Beyond Classifieds When Recruiting a Physician

November 9, 2018

You’ve run the analysis and know that not only do you need to hire a physician (or specialist, staff member, etc.), but you have the resources to support the addition. You’ve presented your findings to your partners and they’re all on board. You’ve done your prep work and you’re ready to dive into the recruiting process.

The following is a sampling of the recruitment tools available to help get you started:

Direct mail

Consider buying direct mail lists so they can target physicians in a specific specialty who might be willing to move to the area. If candidates you’re interested in are practicing medicine 10 minutes from the university where they earned their BS and MD degrees, chances are they’re attached to that location. But if there are physicians on this list who attended medical school or completed their residencies in your area and are practicing across the country, they might be willing to consider uprooting for a position in your practice. For physicians, the first choice about whether to make a move is about vicinity, then practice opportunities. You’re targeting people who are already familiar with the area and are more likely to make a change.

Site visits

Site visits can be expensive, but they’re also a great way to impress a candidate you’re trying to woo. Instead of inviting only the physicians for a site visit, increase this line item in your recruiting budget and invite the whole family. Even if paying for the extra lodging, meals, and transportation limits the number of physicians you can afford to honor with site visits, it makes more sense to go all-out for your top choices than to offer less to many candidates who aren’t as appealing.

The right leader

If you’re planning on appointing a member of your staff to lead the recruiting process, don’t underestimate the power of picking the right person. The person in charge should possess the following:

  • Good listening skills
  • Time to perform initial screens
  • An understanding that his or her job isn’t just to fill the position, but to fill the position with the right person
  • The ability to articulately address any of the candidate’s concerns
  • The ability to ask candidates questions in a way that develops a rapport, but also determines the candidate’s wishes
  • Determine the extent of the candidate’s clinical expertise.
  • Determine the candidate’s potential fit with your practice’s culture.
  • Understand the needs of the candidate and their family.

External recruiters

If your staff are so crunched that handling the recruiting process in-house might swamp them, consider hiring an external recruiter. Not only can recruiters pre-screen candidates, but they can also listen to your needs and help you evaluate them. As outside observers, recruiters may be in a better position to illustrate how you might be better served by a half-time physician rather than a full-time physician, for example.

Sourcing services

These services call candidates on behalf of the group. By using sourcing services, your practice can target candidates who weren’t looking to switch jobs and would not have otherwise known about the position. Generally speaking, these services research the physician’s home information, and then call them when they’re more likely to have the time and freedom to talk openly about the opportunities at your practice.


Networking is a powerful recruiting tool that is often overlooked so your practice should be networking constantly. If your practice has let this slide, start by making contacts at your local medical schools and residency programs, and make sure you take advantage of all your local medical associations. Networking can help you find a candidate before you launch into a recruitment program.


Few practices are using paper-based advertising alone. The Internet is crawling with pages where you can list your position or find listings of physicians looking for jobs. Plus, many physicians prefer to be contacted via e-mail because they can read and respond to your message when it’s convenient for them.

Previous post:

Next post: