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Canadian Medical Doctor Recruitment / Recruiting, A Case from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Canadian Medical Doctor Recruitment / Recruiting, A Case from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Canadian Doctor Recruitment is more about Marketing than about Headhunting

Canadian Doctor Recruitment is more about Marketing than about Headhunting

Recruiting Medical Doctors to Canada. Headhunting versus Marketing to Recruit Medical Staff to Lethbridge, Alberta

April 26, 2016 Update: This article on medical doctor recruiting in Southern Alberta was published Aug. 15, 2010. Since then, and partially because of this article, I have worked with Dr. Shannon St. Pierre of Calgary and other business that offer business services to the medical field. Also, in 2016 we hired Bita Moftahkar who has eight-years experience in the medical device industry working with Smith & Nephew. Bita not only is an amazing business development specialist but has worked directly with orthopedic surgeons around the world training them on artificial joints during actual surgery.

The original post:

During the winter of 2010, I was contacted by a Lethbridge medical clinic to help in doctor recruitment. My proposal, a well researched one, was ultimately turned down. The client, who will remain unnamed in this article, had already spent $5000 on a head hunter to help in doctor recruitment. The results of the headhunting initiative were abysmal. $5000 generated two visits to the recruiter’s website and no contact with the clinic.

What follows is my research in to doctor recruiting from a marketing perspective. Please note: this material is copyright David Howse Marketing 2010. It may be used by clinics to aid in recruitment but can not be used to sell recruiting services or proposals or how-to guides or anything similar to those seeking medical professionals.

The Proposal

Dear [name removed] and [name removed]:
After my initial telephone conversation and meeting with [name removed], I am pleased to provide you with this brief outline for doctor recruitment to your clinic. After [name removed] and I spoke, I conducted 10 hours of research to better understand the possible strategies for doctor recruitment. The outline in this document will cover five areas:

  1. A Situational Analysis;
  2. A Competitive Analysis;
  3. A Target Analysis;
  4. Strategy;
  5. Project Finance.

(1)    A Situational Analysis: Through our conversation, local media, and anecdotal information, there is no argument that the access of [name removed] citizens to family medicine is poor. There may be [statement removed] of community leaders toward the clinic and, when combined with potential predatory recruiting practices from other [name removed] doctors’ offices, the status quo outlook for improvement is virtually non-existent.

2)    A Competitive Analysis: Your 2009 budget for doctor recruitment was $5000. The budget for a similar community’s recruitment initiative is $85,000. The aggregate Canada-US recruitment budget is over $100,000,000 . Your 2009 budget was 0.005% of the total pool [of your competition].

In terms of communications, your message could not possibly be detected in this financial resource pool. Your past recruitment strategy was to hire a “head hunter.” The head hunter then opened his database to your needs which provided two leads. This is a passive form of marketing. Considering your competition for recruitment, your voice could not possibly be heard in your request for a new doctor.

In terms of marketing strategy, going forward, ending the match-the-competition strategy is the only rational choice. Adopting an as-close-to-a-personal-interaction-as-possible strategy is your only option.

(3)    A Target Analysis: Canada has approximately 36,000 family doctors. The United States has over 100,000 family doctors. England and South Africa add to this pool to create over 200,000 family doctors.
Understanding doctor motivations is critical in target selection. When recruiting doctors the following must be addressed:

  • Salary
  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Hours of work
  • Relocation costs
  • Community
  • Partnership in the Practice

With the above points and further information, a proper marketing message can be created.

(4)    Strategy: Referring to the Competitive Analysis, under no conditions can a target be properly addressed on a budget of $5000. The below assumes a budget of $12,500.

  • Web:  the home base for information dissemination featuring

… the complete details of the clinic
… your requirements in a doctor
… community information
… proof of community support
… video: welcomes and messages from community leaders
………. senior hospital staff
………. doctors
………. mayor
………. other political figures
………. University of [name removed] professors
………. citizens
………. potential candidate inquiry forms
………. search engine optimization that will allow doctors to better find the recruitment website.

  • Further internet marketing
  • Building a cooperative network within the [name removed] medical community with the potential of a distribution of the recruitment budget between other clinics.
  • Faxing Dr. Offices. I have access to 73,000 Dr. office fax numbers.
  • Local media support
  • Medical School Outreach
  • Measurement of all efforts through web technologies

(5)    Project Finance: Time to Recoup & Break Even Risk Analysis:
Please review these capital costs for doctor recruitment with your financial advisor.
The following assumptions are made:

  • The doctor earns $250,000 per year
  • You receive 10% of the doctors salary
  • Interest rates are 5% and Inflation is 2% (This creates a net present value of spending $12,500 today projected to what $12,500 will probably be worth in 2015 if invested in another area).
  • A 100% success of recruiting a doctor, a 50% chance of recruiting a doctor, and a 10% chance of recruiting a doctor.

According to the breakeven analysis of doctor recruitment, with the above conditions, even with a 10% chance of success, a recruitment initiative should begin. The worst case scenario is a loss $12,500. The best case scenario is a gain of $128,346.

Risk Analysis Table:

how much doctor recruitment cost canada financial accounting break even

This chart is for illustration purposes only.

For help with Alberta Doctor recruiting or any other marketing activity, contact David Howse at 403-991-8863

David Howse is a Calgary Marketing and Business Consultant.

0% Risk Analysis = 1 Dr. Recruited 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Cost of $12,5000 + 5% Interest -2% Inflation $  12,500 $   12,875 $    13,261 $     13,659 $    14,069 $     14,491
NPV Income – Inflation ($250K Dr. paying 10%) $  25,000 $   24,510 $    24,029 $     23,558 $    23,096 $     22,643
6 Year Total Income $   142,836
Gross Income $   128,346
50% Risk Analysis = .5 Dr. Recruited 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Cost of $12,5000 + 5% Interest -2% Inflation $  12,500 $   12,875 $    13,261 $     13,659 $    14,069 $     14,491
NPV Income – Inflation ($250K Dr. paying 10%) $  12,500 $   12,255 $    12,015 $     11,779 $    11,548 $     11,322
6 Year Total Income $     71,418
Gross Income $     56,927
90% Risk Analysis = .1 Dr. Recruited 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Cost of $12,5000 + 5% Interest -2% Inflation $  12,500 $   12,875 $    13,261 $     13,659 $    14,069 $     14,491
NPV Income – Inflation ($250K Dr. paying 10%) $     2,500 $     2,451 $      2,403 $       2,356 $       2,310 $        2,264
6 Year Total Income $     14,284
Gross Income -$           207

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  1. Hi , i am a resident doctor in anaesthesia and i whant to now if i can work in Canada as a resident doctor.thank you

    • Hi,

      Thank you for your question. You would have to contact the Canadian College of Physicians to find an answer. If you can’t find there contact information just google, “Canadian College of Physicians”


    • we are in current need of an anaesthesia in the community of Slave Lake, Alberta, people are having to travel anywhere from 2 to 3 hours for a doctor please when looking for placement consider the community of Slave Lake, amazing community that has been through so much natural disaster and then man made and need some positive for our community

  2. This was a great analysis on the cost of recruiting and vacancies. Keep up the good work David!

  3. Hi! I’m a geriatrist and cardiologist. I’m looking for a opportunity of my job. Respond to me, please

    • Hello Mr. Nguyen,

      I am a marketer and market researcher. I am not currently working for a regruiting agency, medical region or hospital.

      David Howse

  4. My aim is to be a Medical Doctor!!!!!

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