How to recruit a General Practitioner for Rural and Remote Towns

By Marama Montgomery

The continuing shortage of high-quality General Practitioners across Australia has made the recruitment and retention of well rounded providers an arduous task at all Healthcare facilities. The issue most acutely impacts our nation’s rural and remote communities, however with the District Workforce Shortage restrictions Metropolitan areas are also widely affected.

If you are the hiring manager of a medical practice or a rural hospital, you are acquainted with the challenges of attracting and retaining experienced medical and healthcare staff across all the board. Not only are pipelines rapidly depleting but you and countless others in rural areas having to compete with your urban and suburban counterparts for top talent.

What can you do to add value to your attraction strategy to entice the best candidates more efficiently and better ensure their acceptance of a permanent job offer or locum tenens assignment?

Read on for four approaches that may help you find and retain doctors for your healthcare organisation.

1. Highlight your Practice’s strengths. Shine a spotlight on your practice or facility by positively highlighting all the wonderful things a candidate could expect if he or she were to accept a regular position or locum tenens job at your facility or practice.

Talk about the great organisational culture, your collaborative care approach to your community of patients, access to and support of local or inhouse Allied Health, Specialists and other practitioners in the area, types and numbers of patients, what a typical day might entail and of course the attractive remuneration package.

2. Broadcast all of the unique things about your local regional area. Accentuate your community’s best features that make it a fantastic place to live. It’s opportunities for recreational and leisure pursuits to a good education system and lower cost of living in comparison to larger metropolitan cities – all of which can make for a better quality of life.

If a large city is within driving distance or has reasonable prices for flights, mention that, too, as well as some of its “big city” charms and attractions. Be sure to promote the cultural and historic gems that can be found right in your backyard or within neighbouring communities.

3. Clinicians currently practicing within your organisation can be an excellent resource. Enlist the help of your entire team, they know people whom they have either previously worked with or studied with who may be open to relocating. They are also highly invested in the success of your business and in contributing to a positive, collaborative environment.

During interviews, these providers can answer candidates’ questions about working at your facility or practice and in the community. What’s more, involving your doctors in the recruitment process can give candidates a chance to see the opportunity from the viewpoints of experienced and satisfied peers.

4. Try not to appear desperate or over sell your opportunity. We all know the feeling of being sold to and not many people like it. In fact people will usually run in the other direction.

Be genuine, you have a value proposition on offer where you can be instrumental in adding value to the General Practitioners career path and lifestyle. Talk opening about their ideal role, what is motivating them to change. How can you help each other.

When developing an attraction strategy for any job vacancy it is imperative to have a practical plan for the short and long term fulfillment of the vacancy, always keeping the goals of the business top of mind. Can you employ a locum in the interim? What impact is not having that position filled having on your patients, your other team members and the business as a whole?

There are many things to consider when adding new people to your team and in my experience as a Medical Recruiter of 20+ years the best way to tackle the recruitment of any role is to map out a plan, implement the plan and then treat your candidates with respect by following them up.

Best of luck in your search.

Recruitment Strategy, Uncategorized, What’s really involved with job relocation?

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