When physician candidates are considering whether or not to accept a position, they are certainly concerned with salary, but they’re also concerned about community. In short, they want to know what it’s like to live in your town or city. Does it suit their personal and professional needs? Will their family feel at home? As we discussed in our last Physician Recruiting Tips post, when you’re selling a position, you’re selling the community too. A thorough community profile will help you do just that.
Community Profile Basics
Given that both print and digital media are now widely used in physician recruiting, you’ll want your profile to be available in both digital PDF and high-res print. Some physicians will ask for hard copy, whereas others will want the file emailed. Be prepared for both. Ideally, your team will have the resources to work with a copywriter and graphic designer to put together a beautiful community profile package, complete with compelling headlines, copy, and striking graphics that highlight your community’s strong suits.
What to Include
To properly sell your community, you need to do some in-depth research and highlight your area’s best features and benefits. You should also ask yourself how your community stands out from others and what it has to offer that other cities and towns do not.
Here is a list of suggestions on what to include:
Airport Information: Be sure to include general information on your area’s top airport(s). If your community is somewhat remote, easy access to airports may be a top selling point.
Arts & Entertainment: Prepare a list of the art galleries, museums, cinemas, theaters, music venues, and special events arenas in your area. Are there book clubs, art classes, and so on available? List them.
Book Stores: Locate the bookstores and libraries in your area and have their addresses listed for reference. Does your town host special readings and literary events? Include them.
Churches, Synagogues & Mosques: Include places of worship in your area, with specifics on location. Spiritual organizations like meditation centers and yoga studios may be helpful, depending on your community profile.
Cross-Cultural Services: If you hire physicians who may not speak English as a first language, it’s important to include cross-cultural services in your package, such as ESL services, cultural organizations, etc.
Cultural Organizations: There may be interesting arts organizations and events in your area. Include those, along with any big annual events that may be of interest.
Daycare: Physicians will families will want to know if there are reputable daycare facilities available. If they have aging family members who may relocate to be near them, they will want to know about retirement communities and homecare options.
Demographics: Share some facts and statistics about your community, including key industries, future projections, the area’s sociological makeup, and so on.
Employment Resources: Career centers, job market statistics, and other employment resources are important to include for the physician and his or her partner and additional family members. The physician will want to know about other medical centers, clinics, teams, and organizations in the area, for future reference. Other members of the family will want to know about promising industries for their own employment.
Fitness Centers: Include it all: the gyms, the pilates and yoga studios, the martial arts centers, the pools, and the dance studios.
Location & Maps: Include maps and precise detail about your community’s location with regards to the area, the state, and the closest major centers nearby.
Meetups & Social/Medical Organizations: Social sites like Meetup.com offer a variety of social opportunities for newcomers, so include them, along with any other social or medical organizations that could help your physician feel at home in the community.
Parks & Recreation: No, we’re not talking about the T.V. show! (Just seeing if you’re still reading.) It’s really important to let physicians know about the natural beauty in your area, from lakes and rivers to hiking trails, campgrounds, rafting and boating, kayaking, fishing, and so on. If there are natural landmarks in your area, be sure to include them.
Public Transportation: Get to know the local transit system, including airport shuttle, train stations, bus, and taxis.
Real Estate Resources: Do some research and find the average price on homes, condos. Create a big-picture view of the general buyer’s/renter’s market. Include areas in town and in surrounding communities. You may want to add helpful links to blogs and realtors that you find trustworthy.
Schools: Include a wide range of education options, from preschool through elementary, secondary, post-secondary, and adult education. You never know which will be of interest to a physician and his or her family. Include public, private, language-immersion, and religious.
Shopping: Let prospective candidates know about the malls, big-box stores, and specialty boutiques in your area. Furniture stores can be especially important for people who are relocating.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should get you started! Did we leave out something important? If so, drop a comment and we’ll edit this list.
In terms of formatting, you don’t want to overwhelm your readers with information. Use strong headlines and bullet points, and keep paragraphs short. Use striking visuals and photos to highlight your community’s unique beauty. Naturally, it’s best to place the most compelling points front and center so they make a strong impact.
We hope you’re not reeling from the huge list above! But there’s good news: chances are, someone has gone ahead and done most of the legwork for you. A quick Google search or Wikipedia page will get you started, and local tourism sites and municipal sites can help as well. You may also want to pay a visit to your community promoters in City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce, or tourism welcome centers to get firsthand insights into the community’s top selling points.
As a physician recruiter, do you have any insider advice on how to create a more compelling community profile? If so, we’d love to hear your comments below.