It’s harder to recruit clinical teams for rural health centers. Healthcare professionals can be concerned that the workload is higher, or they may have difficulty taking time off. They may worry about geographic isolation and a lack of activities for their families. Or, they may believe there will be fewer opportunities for advancement or continuing education. Interestingly, many of these issues are not real or can be overcome by some of the more positive aspects of working in a rural healthcare facility. Here’s how to use the reality of working in a rural healthcare facility to your advantage when recruiting healthcare executives.
Advantages of Going Rural
The Rural Health Information Hub reports, “Rural communities often face challenges in maintaining an adequate health workforce, making it difficult to provide needed patient care or to meet staffing requirements for their facilities.”
To overcome these challenges, recruiters must communicate some of the rewards that balance the challenges of working in a rural community:
- There is a stronger sense of mission in rural settings. Practitioners recognize every day that they provide a service to the community that is needed and welcomed.
- They develop long-term relationships with their patients that may not be as rewarding in the anonymity of an urban setting.
- There is a slower, more natural pace in rural settings that foster a healthy lifestyle.
- Rural clinical settings have more access to hiking, camping, biking, or other natural pursuits.
Recruiters should share the intangible “give back” benefits of working in rural practice; patients and the community are welcoming and appreciative of your work.
Beyond the benefits of location, rural practices typically reward practitioners with excellent pay and incentives that stretch farther because the cost of living is lower. These providers often offer financial assistance with student loans, which is a tremendous benefit for the new graduate. RHI lists some of the benefits and incentives available in the compensation packages of providers in rural settings. They include:
- Coverage of malpractice insurance
- Licensure fee payment
- Payment for continuing education
- Paid time off
- Sick leave
- Leave to volunteer for non-profits
- Sabbaticals for mission, research, education
- Goal-related rewards
Low-interest home loans
Help with spousal employment
Help to find daycare
Recruiters and hiring teams working to fill positions in rural areas must overcome the perception that these positions lack rewards when compared to their urban counterparts. The truth is that working in rural healthcare settings is both financially attractive and physically and emotionally rewarding. Recruiters should seek out mission-minded clinicians interested in giving back to a community that needs them. They can use the incentives and financial rewards to attract more talent, particularly clinicians struggling under the burden of heavy financial loans.
Talk with the team at UHC Solutions about your recruiting efforts. We specialize in helping rural health centers staff up to provide quality care to their clients.