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2019 AAPPR Physician Recruiter Satisfaction Survey Analysis

A female recruiter selecting smiley on her laptop computer for a workplace satisfaction survey.

A recent survey by the Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (AAPPR) conducted in the fall of 2019 outlines the level of work and satisfaction recruitment professionals are reporting in the healthcare industry. The small sampling, less than 300 respondents, may represent a window into how your physician recruiters see their role in the institution, their value, and the pressures and rewards their work provides.

Their Physician Recruitment Workplace Satisfaction Survey polled recruitment professionals from a variety of facilities. More than half the respondents overall reported their role was part of a multi-hospital/integrated health delivery system. On average, they have worked three to five years with their current institution and with 10 years in the recruitment field. These workers average 47 to 50-hour workweeks and report they typically work with two other institutional recruiters and one staff member in their department.


Overall satisfaction

The majority of recruiters, 74%, report they are somewhat to completely satisfied with their current position/role, but another 18% report being somewhat to not at all satisfied. Overall, 60% of respondents revealed they feel a sense of accomplishment from their work.

Detailed information may reveal where physician recruiters are finding satisfaction on the job and where they may feel a disconnect. When asked if they feel they’re sufficiently involved in decisions that affect their work, only 37% strongly agree; 42% somewhat agree, with 20% neutral or disagreeing with the statement. 

When asked, “Does your company recognize you for the work you do?”, only 34% strongly agreed, 28% somewhat, and 28% were neutral or disagreed. When asked if they felt valued by their organization, 37% strongly agreed; 37% somewhat agreed and 26% reported they were neutral or disagree. 

When asked if their department encourages feedback and makes improvements based on it, 41% strongly agree, 35% somewhat, and 24% were neutral or disagreed. These numbers may represent where your institution is getting it right, and where they may be missing the mark. 


What boosts job satisfaction?

The data digs deeper, asking recruiters to rank what impacts their job satisfaction. Topping the list was personal fulfillment, followed by being involved in the decision-making process. The third and forth rated impactful areas were being valued by their organization and being recognized for their work. In a list of 15 items, compensation, surprisingly ranked number 13 in the ratings. 


Staffing level satisfaction

For most recruiters, staffing level is key to meeting demand. With more recruiters to lighten the load, hiring metrics can be more successful, but a significant portion of those surveyed report they need more help. 

Overall, 35% of respondents believe they could use more recruiters on staff. By provider size, the need increases: 26% at the smallest facilities are looking for assistance; 40% at mid-size facilities, and 44% at the largest healthcare providers. When it comes to support staff, more also is needed according to the data: 48% at small providers, 55% at mid-sized and 57% at the largest providers surveyed admit they could use additional support staff. 


Opportunity in and out

A majority of respondents, 66%, revealed no opportunity for advancement within their department. This could be a factor in determining whether your recruitment professionals will be retained.  

When making their own long-range career plans, 41% report they plan to leave their current organization; 16% of them plan a role change, while 25% will remain in the recruitment field. Of the 59% who plan to stay with their organization, 38% expect to be in the same role in 3 years, 13% expect to be promoted within the department, and 17% expect promotion outside the recruitment function. 


Areas for improvement

Stress levels can result in lower morale and productivity as well as produce churn. The study found the majority of recruitment professionals report stress on the job. Twenty-six percent call their stress level very high, with 49% at somewhat high. Only 15% say their stress is neutral, 10% low or very low. 

The biggest challenges physician recruitment professionals face, by ranking: 

  1. Finding candidates
  2. Leadership
  3. Communication 
  4. Workload

Recruitment professionals from the largest organizations report they feel understaffed, more stressed and have less of a work/life balance. Managers agree, with management level recruitment professionals reporting they, too, want more staff. 



For institutions of every size, the recruitment team is critically important to maintaining staffing levels. The data in the AAPPR report suggests that while physician recruiters are overall satisfied with their role and facility, 4 in 10 recruiters plan to leave their organization in the next three years. Healthcare providers must work hard to retain these professionals. Smart facilities look to provide the most support for their recruitment teams; the result can mean better hires and retention.

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About Riia O'Donnell

Riia O’Donnell has over 20 year’s hands-on experience in all aspects of the Human Resource function. Beginning as a recruiter, she grew to lead in all areas of HR, including employee training and development, legal compliance, benefits administration, compensation evaluation, and staff management. She has been a contributing writer for a wealth of HR, training, and small business websites for the past 7 years. Connect with Riia on Twitter at @RiiaOD.

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