Physician Recruitment Incentives: Necessary or Not?

Physician Recruitment Incentives: Necessary or Not?

19Nov, 2015

Physician Recruitment Incentives: Necessary or Not?


As competition for high quality physician candidates heats up, many recruiters find themselves using every tool in their arsenal to attract the best and brightest candidates. Everything from leveraging existing physician’s networks to rolling out the red carpet during site visits is on the table. But when it comes to physician recruitment incentives, many recruiters and organizations disagree as to which are necessary to attract and hire physicians, and which are not.


The answer to this question is not a simple one. Every organization and practice is unique, with different locations, circumstances, and resources, just as every candidate is unique in what their priorities are. Below are three things to consider when deciding what – if any – physician recruitment incentives to offer prospective candidates.



Just like in real estate, location is a key motivating factor for many physician candidates. How big a draw is your location to your target candidate? Many physicians (about 93%), new graduates in particular, prefer communities larger than 50,000 people. Additionally, the vast majority of physicians list quality of life as one of their top priorities when choosing a practice location.


Major cities with copious cultural, recreational, and community activities are much more likely to attract a large number of candidates, while rural communities often struggle to find candidates that would choose to relocate to their communities. It is important for physician recruiters to objectively analyze how large a pool of prospective candidates will be drawn to their communities. In this case, practices in larger cities will often need to offer fewer incentives to draw candidates, while rural practices will often need to offer much more generous recruitment incentives.




Do you know what your competition is offering? In many communities, physicians will have multiple options in where to practice. Whether it is your direct competition down the street, or a competitor in a nearby community, it is important for recruiters to be aware of what the competition is offering prospective candidates for a similar opportunity. If a competitor is offering a generous incentives package, it may be necessary for your organization to offer something similar or risk losing potential candidates to the practice down the street.



Candidate Priorities

Every candidate’s job search is unique. Some physicians are motivated by the earning potential offered by productivity incentives, while others may be more motivated by loan forgiveness due to a heavy student debt burden. In these cases it is important to realize what type of candidate you’re targeting and create a specific incentive plan to attract that type of candidate to your position. It is also important that employers be flexible in the types of incentives they are willing to offer candidates, tailoring their offers to each candidate’s expressed desires.



Key Take Aways:


  • Make an honest assesment of how attractive your community and position would be to your ideal candidate. The more attractive, the fewer incentives you may need to offer.
  • Be aware of what a competitive compensation package looks like in your area. If your competition is offering a generous signing bonus, chances are you may need to as well in order to stay competitive with prospective candidates.
  • Don’t be afraid of tailoring your physician recruitment incentives to each candidate. Whether it is swapping a signing bonus for loan forgiveness, or a productivity based model instead of a flat salary, physicians will be more likely to accept a position with your organization if they believe you are tailoring your offer to their needs.