Top Tips for Recruiting Providers to Rural Communities

Mar 22, 2022

Recruiting healthcare providers to rural communities comes with challenges. Despite one-fifth of the population living outside of metropolitan areas, only 10% of physicians practice in rural communities. So how can in-house recruiters at rural facilities fill open positions when the odds are against them?

How Providers Benefit at Rural Facilities

Providers benefit from rural opportunities in multiple ways. Depending on the provider's lifestyle, these benefits can greatly outweigh the downfalls. Many healthcare providers chose this profession to serve communities in need. The uneven distribution of rural providers to rural population size means rural communities can provide this mission-driven instinct.

Rural facilities also allow providers to develop stronger connections with their patients. In a small-town setting, providers have more opportunities to connect with their patients outside of the hospital. This connection can directly benefit healthcare outcomes. Some studies have found a correlation between positive outcomes and improved doctor-patient relationships.

Providers can also expect a different personal lifestyle when choosing a rural healthcare facility. The slower pace of life and increased access to the outdoors has become increasingly appealing across the board. One survey found that almost half of U.S. adults would prefer to live in a small town or rural community in 2020. That's almost a 10% increase from 2018.

Tips for Recruiting in a Rural Community

1. Utilizing Telehealth and New Technology

We all know telehealth can provide physicians with locational flexibility. But telehealth and technology have evolved even further to help physicians on the job. eICU systems can be used to help rural physicians collaborate with physicians at an urban hospital with more resources. Integrating technology like this into your practice can provide potential candidates with the peace of mind that they’ll have access to the necessary resources.

2. Focus Efforts on Providers Who Grew Up in a Rural Community

Studies show providers who grew up in rural communities are more likely to return to those communities at some point in their career. You may wonder how you can source providers based on where they grew up or completed residency. This strategy requires an in-depth sourcing and screening process, as well as building a pipeline of candidates.

The Inline Group process for sourcing candidates involves screening candidates beyond their CV. Our recruiters inquire about lifestyle preferences and background. Thus, when building a pipeline for our many rural clients, we can target candidates who are most likely to engage with a rural opportunity.

3. Appeal to Lifestyle Benefits Outside of Your Facility

Many facilities focus on job-related benefits in their postings: insurance, salary, work schedule, etc. While these are important, life outside of the hospital plays a role in which opportunities a provider applies to. Consider your community's cost of living, the unique hobbies of locals, and events that take place. 

By including this information in your job listing, you encourage the provider to envision their life both inside and outside of the hospital. Which, when you consider the provider may have a family to bring with them, this approach allows the provider to visualize their family enjoying your community as well.

Choosing a Sourcing Partner

Provider recruiting has become increasingly difficult for rural communities. However, recent shifts in technology and lifestyle choices present an opportunity for rural healthcare facilities. The team at Inline has over 15 years of experience sourcing and screening providers for hospitals in rural communities. Connect with our team today to learn how our budget-friendly platform can support your recruiting efforts.


Recruiting Tips


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