What’s the lifeblood of all medical specialties? Graduates fresh from medical residency training. They fill open positions created by physician turnover; they replace physicians retiring from the medical field; and they bring new ideas and the latest medical information. Most importantly, they are our best hope for filling the physician shortage – forecast to be over 100,000 by 2030.
Most graduating residents start getting ready for their job hunt prior to the beginning of their final year of residency, so come Spring, it's really crunch time for newly minted doctors to decide where they’re going to work. But graduating residents are in HIGH demand. New job openings in most specialties far outpace the number of new residents who want jobs, and these candidates are no strangers to unsolicited job offers – which means your recruitment has to outpace the others.
1. Money isn’t the overriding factor.
Yes, money is a factor for graduating residents in determining what position to take – the average medical school graduate has $190k of student debt! If you look at the national match numbers for residents, you’ll see that many students are drifting to subspecialty careers, and earnings potential/indebtedness and lifestyle are two of the main reasons why.
However, although this generation of doctors wants financial stability, they aren’t shy about saying they want a job that covers loan payments AND supports a work/life balance. It’s not that new medical grads don’t work hard (a Medscape report shows nearly half of residents this year worked over 60 hospital hours per week), they simply value their time away from work. So if your opportunity doesn’t require them to be on call 24/7 or offers flexible vacation time (among other perks), call it out – it’s bound to get their attention.
While you’re recruiting new doctors, remember that retaining new doctors isn’t always easy either. In fact, a Jackson & Coker study found that more than half of physicians left their first job after 5 years, and more than half of that group stayed only 1 or 2 years. The bottom line? Recruit to retain this high demand group of physician candidates, and keep these tips in mind, too:
2. Uncover as much as possible about each candidate.
Walking into the unknown of a new job is unsettling, so it’s your job as a recruiter to really get to know each candidate and allay their fears. Ask them to write down what their ideal job would be, including location, compensation model, schedule, practice setting (academic, large group, private), benefits, malpractice, vacation time, and even EMR/EHR system.
3. Technology is critical.
That’s right, EMR/EHRs are frequently identified as key criteria for new physicians taking a position. They’re digital natives. Technology shapes their work and their mindset. So the clinical tools these technology-savvy doctors use (and that surround them at your facility) go a long way to determining their quality of life.
4. Don’t be too jargon-heavy.
While you should point out relevant technology and applicable compensation models, this is the first time that these candidates are pursuing a job on their own, so ease up on the contract jargon. They likely won't be as familiar with a lot of the nitty-gritty of contracts and negotiations. Speak their language, not the language of HR, and try to lay out the opportunity as simply as possible. Not only does it create an open dialogue, the physician knows exactly what he/she is getting into and just might reduce turnover down the road.
5. Give them great/the right information.
This new generation of physicians wants to grow as a person and they believe specific training and development is part of that career path. Does your opportunity fit this ideal? Then paint a clear picture for them. Why is the position open and does the facility have the patient volume to sustain a new hire? What support systems are in place for physicians? What are the key compensation pieces and does your candidate fully understand them? This goes beyond the “job” per se; they’re looking for options. Is it cultural? Offer a few options of what you can provide: hiking trails in the area, benefit coverage, loan information details, etc.
6. Be relatable.
Like any new grad, new physicians are fearful of making the wrong job choice. Everyone is reaching out to them but you’ll stand out if you truly understand their world and relate to each candidate. Use different points that address their specialty, and understand their true level of interest and participation. If you read our article, 7 dynamic tips for recruiting millennial physicians you noted one other important point about these docs: they don’t want to work FOR you, they want to work WITH you. They believe they are a business of one who has the right to find the right partner, e.g., the ideal recruiter and the ideal employer.
7. Be a resource.
In the ASPR article, 5 ways to capture resident’s attention, number four is great advice for recruiting graduating residents: “By being approachable and transparent, we as recruiters can form strong bonds with potential candidates. Even if the residents are looking at other organizations, it’s smart to provide guidance. It builds trust. And word travels in a group. If a resident feels they can come to you for insight, they will become closer with you and your organization. At the least, they may tell a classmate about you or give you the name of their friend who is looking to relocate.”
8. Use Doximity Talent Finder to find qualified candidates.
Bryan Vartabedian, MD, of 33 Charts says it best in his article 12 things about Doximity you probably didn’t know: “Med students rule. Doximity supports the next generation of physicians from day one of medical school through their inclusion in the network. Med students sign up just like doctors. They’ve been a Doximity priority since their earliest days.”
Medical residents are full members of the Doximity network and you can connect with them via DocMail and DocPosts, just as with licensed physician candidates. In fact, nearly 78% of all U.S. final year medical residents are on Doximity. Given this, Talent Finder should be on your list of “must haves” in order to connect and recruit medical residency graduates.
For more tips on recruiting graduating medical residents, download our guide on residency recruiting.