Healthcare Staffing Resources

5 ways to use your company culture as a physician recruitment tool

Healthcare culture in physician recruiting

The growing physician shortage is making it harder than ever for healthcare organizations to attract and retain providers. However, many physicians are looking for more than just a bigger paycheck as they take the next step in their career. Healthcare organizations with a strong culture can use it to differentiate themselves in their physician recruiting efforts. Here are five ways to make your company culture stand out during the physician recruiting process.

1. Focus on how your organization supports the individual

According to author and organizational culture expert Dr. Michael Pacanowsky, one of the most powerful ways to differentiate your organization is to emphasize how your company supports the individual. Opportunities for personal growth and advancement are often a more powerful motivator than money or benefits for many candidates.

“I wouldn’t try to differentiate myself by saying, ‘We’ll pay you more,’ or ‘We’ll give you more days off,’” Dr. Pacanowsky says. “I would focus on how your corporate culture supports them as a frontline healthcare provider. Share what your hospital or clinic does to help the doctors and nurses who work there feel supported and respected. People want to feel like they are going to be treated like individuals, and that the leaders of the organization understand what they are going through and will support them as much as possible.”

2. Treat people with respect right from the start

Dr. Pacanowsky says the first rule in creating a positive culture is to treat everyone with respect, and that attitude should come through from the very first interview in the recruiting process.

“It’s important to treat the person you’re talking to as a real person, not a commodity. When people are treated like real people during the interview process, they’re more inclined to believe they will be treated the same way if they take the job,” he says. “Treating people with respect allows them to feel good about the opportunity, which translates into them wanting to be part of the organization.”

3. Really listen and learn what’s important to them

Matthew Wride, president of employee experience firm DecisionWise, says listening with empathy is an important way to demonstrate how your organization treats both current and future employees.

“Healthcare is a science-based industry, and as such we speak with a lot of authority about how we will treat this or handle this. That brings assurance and confidence to the patient experience, but it also means we sometimes just don’t listen,” he says. “Start listening more and listening with empathy.”

If candidates feel that hospital or clinic leaders truly care about what they have to say during the interview process, it will give them more confidence that their concerns will be heard when they work there. Creating opportunities for social interaction with candidates is a good way to demonstrate that your organization has a culture of listening.

4. Help candidates believe they will find meaning in your organization

Dr. Pacanowsky points out that the average working American spends two-thirds of their waking time at work, which means it needs to be fulfilling. One of the primary reasons physicians and other providers leave an organization is because they don’t feel like they belong or can’t find meaning in their work.

“Many people are saying to themselves, ‘Is this satisfying me? Is this helping me grow? Is this helping me become the best person that I can possibly be? Is this making use of my talents?” he says. “In some cases, people are saying ‘Why do I even want to be in the role I’m in?’”

Wride says it’s important to talk about your mission and values during the interview process.

“Give them a vision and a cause, and they’ll want to belong to it,” he says. “Every employee deserves a place, a purpose, and a path. Because if you give them a place to belong, a purpose in how they’re going to grow and become better as a person, and a path they can see, it kind of falls into place.”

5. Explain your culture in a way candidates can understand

Before you can talk about your company’s values and culture, you need to understand it yourself, Wride says.

“Culture is the way things operate around a particular place. It’s basically the beliefs, the values, and everything that’s taught — whether overtly or subconsciously — about how things work at a particular organization. You have a culture regardless of whether you intend to or not,” Wride explains.

And if you can’t explain the culture, the pitch is over, according to Wride.

“First, know your culture well enough that you can talk about it and explain how it can help them find what’s missing in their lives,” he says. “You can paint for them how they are going to succeed, and how you are going to support them.”

Focusing on your healthcare organization’s culture in your physician recruiting efforts can help you be more successful in both your hiring and retention efforts. As Wride puts it, “Leaders are creating an experience that invites people to connect, to belong, to find meaning, and to ultimately stay.”

Need temporary coverage at your healthcare facility? Weatherby Healthcare has quality locum tenens physicians, PAs, and NPs ready to go to work for you. Give us a call at 954.343.3050 to learn more.

About the author

Lindsay Wilcox

Lindsay Wilcox is a communication professional with experience writing for the healthcare and entertainment industries as well as local government. When she's not circling typos, she's enjoying fish tacos and hanging out with her family.