Improving Recruitment and Retention in Healthcare: One Big Idea

For many hospital administrators and HR leaders, the issue of physician recruitment and retention is a serious pain point. And that’s practically unavoidable, given these daunting industry statistics:

But you already know this, as well as what’s behind it. According to the American Medical Association, 63% of physicians are suffering from burnout, which places increased stress on healthcare providers across the system.

As a result, physicians are actively pursuing positions that offer better work-life balance and supportive work environments. Beyond competitive compensation, they seek employers that will invest in their well-being.

So, if you want your hospital to be an employer of choice, your operating principle should be:

Take care of the people who take care of your patients!

Do that, and everything else falls into place, including physician recruitment and retention.

But how do you do that? You start by creating a plan.


Taking Care of Physicians: A Long-Term Gameplan    

If you were to brainstorm the various ways you could improve your staff physicians’ workday, your list would probably look something like this:

  • A lighter workload; fewer weekly hours
  • A more flexible work schedule
  • More paid time off
  • Less documentation time; more face-to-face patient time
  • Enhanced, accessible wellness benefits
  • A more positive work environment
  • More support and appreciation from the top

We know what you’re going to say next: this sounds great, but it’s all pie-in-the-sky. Implementing change in healthcare organizations isn’t easy. It takes funding, planning, and consensus. In other words, it takes time.    

And practically speaking: how can you give physicians more time off until you hire more of them to ease the workload? Talk about vicious circles!

These are valid objections. But if you want to get out in front of the worsening physician shortage, you’ll need to make changes at some point. In fact, you may already be working on such a long-term plan.

But what about the here and now? There are two short-term solutions that you can take in the meantime to show physicians that you care—right from your earliest interactions. Why wait?  


Stay up to date

Subscribe to the blog for the latest updates

Treat Your Candidates Like VIPS 

When you bring candidates in for job interviews, do you bend over backward to wow them? Smart hospitals use these visits to sell candidates on their organizations, cultures and cities.

Give your candidates a warm, gracious, memorable welcome. If they’re visiting from out of town, as many new hires do, introduce them to your city in its best possible light: top hotels, five-star restaurants, and fabulous tours.  

And then, reimburse them promptly for their travel expenses. Many hospitals take four-six weeks or longer to do so—and for residents saddled with medical debt, this creates an awful impression.

If you can’t do all this in-house—and many hospitals aren’t equipped to—simply outsource it.

For example, Candidate by UrbanBound ensures applicants are reimbursed in one week or less, while showcasing your company and city via a state-of-the-art online portal. Because the solution is tech-based, it’s highly affordable—and because it will vastly improve your candidates’ experience, your acceptance rates will likely rise, saving time and money in the long run


Take Care of New Hires During Relocation 

While most healthcare employers offer relocation assistance, often it’s simply an allowance with zero support. Why not differentiate your hospital by offering more?

For example, give incoming physicians access to relocation software that gives them a step-by-step relocation guide, as well as a network of carefully-screened movers and realtors. A system that tallies their spending in real time. And that provides exciting information about your city and hospital—plus access to relocation pros they can call on if they need help.

For the record, UrbanBound’s online relocation solution provides all of these services—and instead of costing you more than you’re currently spending, it will save you money. (In fact, thanks to the cost-saving magic of technology, we typically cut our clients’ costs by up to 66%.)

In other words, here’s a simple, foolproof way to show physicians that you’re committed to making their lives better. It will not only improve your recruiting rates but get those relationships off right, an important key to improving retention.

Plus, UrbanBound specializes in serving the healthcare industry—which is why hospitals like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the University of Vermont Medical Center have entrusted us for years with their relocation programs.

If you take care of the people who take care of your patients, we can help take care of them, too. Find out how!


Human Resources Today