Relocating Healthcare Workers: Understanding Unique Challenges and Solutions

Managing professional relocation has always been challenging and complex in every industry. But it’s particularly tricky in the healthcare sector, especially right now.

Much of this is due to the ongoing healthcare talent shortage, which has left industry employers under intense pressure to fill myriad openings as quickly as possible.  

As a result, employers are widening the geographic scope of their talent searches—and, then leveraging their relocation benefits to help recruit, then get new hires on site ASAP.

It’s created some unique relocation challenges for healthcare employers. But for every challenge, there’s a solution—and here’s our top three.

Challenge #1: Offering Competitive Relocation Benefits  

When considering various job offers, healthcare professionals weigh multiple factors: compensation, location, the organization’s culture—and yes, its relocation package.

Now, there’s not much you can do about some of these factors. If your employer is located in what many perceive as a less-than-idyllic area…well, it is what it is. And you can only offer whatever compensation your organization can afford to pay.

But one thing you can—and should—optimize are relocation benefits. It doesn’t necessarily mean increasing your budget. In fact, if you do it right, you can greatly reduce your costs.

The solution is twofold: 

  • Implement a flexible relocation policy—one that allows new hires to use their benefits however they choose. That way, candidates will feel confident that it will meet their needs.  
  • Partner with a modern, tech-based relocation provider, not one of the old-school relocation management companies some healthcare employers still use. After all, healthcare professionals use some of the most advanced technologies around—they absolutely expect it from desirable employers.

This approach will allow you to offer cutting-edge relocation benefits, while projecting a progressive, tech-savvy image. (And, thanks to the cost-effective wonders of technology, you’ll cut your relocation costs, too—see below.) 

Challenge #2: The Need for Speed

As you know, recruiting the right healthcare professionals takes time. According to one physician search firm, the average time it takes to fill an open physician position is 6-18 months.

So, the minute that final paperwork is signed, it’s understandable to want those new hires relocated…yesterday. The best way to do that: don’t just give them a relocation allowance—guide them smoothly through the process.

Your relocation provider should be using every time-saving industry tool and technique available, from connecting new hires directly to pre-screened movers and realtors…to paying and tallying their expenses automatically (which they can review on your modern, online relocation platform).

Because the more tasks you can cross off their to-do list entirely, the faster they will arrive. 

Challenge #3: Setting New Hires up for Success 

Moving and changing jobs are two of life’s most stressful experiences. Human beings have a need to know what lies ahead; it helps us feel in control. Relocating, with its many unknowns, can be a nerve-wracking experience.

The last thing you want is for your incoming physicians to be worried about whether their household goods will arrive on time. Or, if they’ve made the right housing decision. Or, if their commute will be bearable. These are all fears a sound relocation program can and should allay.

For example, your relocation provider should have pre-screened every vendor in its network and continue to monitor their performance, to ensure reliable, on-time moves.

It should also partner with you to give incoming employees the real skinny about your city and organization. The more knowledge they have up front, the more optimistic and in control they’ll feel. Better yet, the faster they’ll acclimate to their new job and environment once they arrive. That’s key. 

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Finding Proven Healthcare Relocation Solutions

Unfortunately, the healthcare talent shortage isn’t predicted to end anytime soon. If your current relocation provider isn’t helping you meet these relocation challenges, now’s the time to upgrade to one that will.

At UrbanBound, we specialize in serving in the healthcare industry. We also pioneered relocation technology, cutting clients’ costs by 66% while maintaining employee satisfaction levels at 4.8 out of 5.

For these reasons, many of the top names in healthcare—from Mayo Clinic to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital—have entrusted their relocation programs to us.

Want to see what they have to say about us? Read their reviews here, and let us know if you’re ready to take the next step.


Human Resources Today