As a physician recruiter, you know well that graduating residents are in HIGH demand. New job openings in most specialties far outpace the number of new residents who are looking for jobs, and these candidates are no strangers to unsolicited job offers – which means your recruitment must be on the mark.
The average medical school graduate has $190,000 of student debt, according to a 2016 study. While residency programs typically pay a modest salary, new doctors aren't often able to pay off their student loans until beginning their first "real" job. It's not surprising that considering a pay back plan is top of mind when looking at potential jobs. Here are a few quick facts to keep in mind (from Merritt Hawkins’ 2017 Survey of Final-Year Medical Students):
- 70% of final-year residents are recruited more than 51 times in their final year
- 49% receive no formal instruction regarding contracts & comp., down from 56% in 2014
- 41% prefer to be employed by a hospital; only 1% prefer solo practice
- 92% prefer to practice in communities of 50k or more, down from 98% in 2014
- 72% of residents begin their job search within one year of completing residency
- 78% of residents expect to make $176,000 or more in their first practice
Recruiting residents in a constructive way is paramount
It’s a fact: final-year residents are inundated with recruitment offers, often with little help or context. Most of them start getting ready for their job hunt prior to the beginning of their final year of residency, but a lot of them are starting their career searches early. These newly minted doctors have debt, but they’re aren’t all about the money.
So, what are the most important things final-year residents consider when they evaluate a medical practice opportunity?
Geographic location, personal time, and lifestyle. The same Merritt Hawkins report stats that residents rated “availability of free time” their biggest concern as they enter their first professional practice, followed by educational debt and earning a good income. What’s more, these candidates are seeking hospital employment initially, citing routine and support. They also prefer large hospitals that are close to urban areas that offer a lifestyle they prefer.
Here are 7 tips for recruiting final-year residents:
1. Money isn’t everything
- 78% of residents said they are very concerned with finding a practice that gives them free time
- A good financial package was ranked as the 4th most important factor when considering a first job, but still 69% rated this as a very important factor - so money does still count for something!
- Work-life balance ensures a lower churn rate - 74% of residence said lifecycle was a very important factor
2. Get to know the candidate
- Ask what their ideal job might be, and help them understand the complex vocabulary used in today’s job descriptions
- Do current first-year physicians with your organization share common traits or backgrounds?
3. Technology is vital to success
- Are you engaging physicians on the appropriate platforms? Doctors are adapting to new technology trends fast, and social recruiting opens up all kinds of new avenues for recruiters to reach physicians
- Remember, despite the increase of various outlets, most physicians still prefer email as their primary form of communication. According to our 2018 Physician Career Survey Results, 91% of physicians want to be contacted by recruiters via email
4. Keep the Jargon on the DL
- While you should point out relevant technology and applicable compensation models, this is the first time these candidates are pursuing a job on their own, so ease up on the contract jargon
- Speak their language, not the language of HR, and try to lay out the opportunity as simply as possible. The way you craft your message makes a difference!
- Create an open dialogue and the physician knows exactly what he/she is getting into and just might reduce turnover down the road
5. Be a resource (from the ASPR blog)
- By being approachable and transparent, you can form strong bond with potential candidates
- Offering guidance creates a positive brand in the resident’s mind and opens a dialogue
- Even in the resident accepts another offer, your help and words of kindness will spread (they are the most connected generation, after all)
6. Be relatable
- Go beyond offering to help answer questions
- Everyone is asking something of residents, who is offering anything? Stand out and encourage them to work with you
- Learn about their professional and personal goals, e.g. having a work/life balance isn’t just about working hours and playing hours. Resident physicians also want to contribute at work and grow as human beings
7. Use Doximity Talent Finder
- Doximity supports the next generation of physicians from day one of medical school through their inclusion on the network. In fact, 90% of 4th year medical students have a Doximity account before they even begin residency!
Networking with peers is critical for every level of healthcare career management, which is why 90% of all MS4s used Doximity's Residency Navigator to learn more about Residency Programs from our physician users – the average MS4 searched for 11 different residency programs. Medical residents are full members of the Doximity network and you can connect with them via DocMail and DocPosts, exactly like our physician members. This year, given the demand for these candidates – and that many medical residents are already using Doximity – Talent Finder should be on your list of “must haves” for recruiting medical residency graduates.
Here are a few best practices for recruiting residents using Doximity Talent Finder:
- Use resident-specific searches
- Tailor your messaging and job description to let residents know why your opportunity is a great start for their career
- Consider residents for locums and part-time opportunities. Locums tenens is becoming an increasingly appealing option for residents and fellows: It gives them the opportunity to “test drive” different healthcare facilities prior to committing to a permanent position; it allows doctors in training to work and make some extra money before starting a fellowship; and it provides scheduling freedom and flexibility
Final year residents rule – and they’re ready to be hired! Curious about how you can reach over 70% of licensed U.S. physicians with Talent Finder? See a quick demo to learn more!