Redefining Recruitment to Retention

AAPPR Board Corner: Understanding the Importance of Family in Physician Recruitment

By: Marjorie Alexander, MBA, CPRP-DEI


We can see physician candidates’ priorities evolving, focusing on family time and better work-life balance. Acknowledging and accommodating these needs has become a pivotal aspect of successful recruitment.

The Family Dynamic in Recruitment

Recruiting physicians from out of state, especially those with families, requires a nuanced approach. While understanding the candidate’s professional motivations is important, diving deeper into their family needs is equally vital.

Even if a candidate hasn’t openly shared details about their family, gentle inquiries can be made to accommodate their needs.

Challenges and Considerations

When physicians have high school-aged children or family members with special needs, things can become more complex. Spousal career prospects are important as well in the candidate’s decision-making process.

Depending on the family dynamic, being close to a major airport or assessing the potential impact on a spouse’s career might influence the candidate’s decision.

Personal Touches Matter

Building connections between the candidate’s family needs and the prospective community is an integral part of the recruitment process. Understanding if they have ties to the area or if they have visited the area before is important.

Beyond organizing the candidate’s visit, including the spouse by offering information about local attractions and amenities adds a personal touch. It makes the family feel involved and valued in the decision-making process.

Incorporating Family Engagement

During in-person interviews, involving the family by arranging community tours or engaging a trusted realtor to showcase the area can help the family imagine their life in the community. Understanding the spouse’s profession can help to tailor experiences that resonate with their interests.

Hosting joint dinners with other physicians and their partners creates a supportive network, showing support and camaraderie.

The Key to Success: Embracing the Whole Picture

Success in physician recruitment isn’t just about understanding the provider; it’s about comprehending the dynamics and motivations of their entire family. By holistically addressing their ” why, ” recruiters forge connections and create a path to success for everyone involved.