5 Questions to Ask Before Inviting a Physician On a Candidate Site Visit

So you’ve found a fantastic candidate. You’ve had phone and maybe even skype interviews, they check all of the boxes, and you can’t wait to bring them in for an in-person interview. But before you go ahead and extend an invitation, there are some questions you need to ask yourself – and potentially the candidate – to keep yourself from wasting valuable recruitment funds bringing out a candidate who might not be as interested in you as you are in them.

Below are five questions that will help you to decide when – and if – to invite a physician on a candidate site visit to keep yourself from making a costly decision that isn’t likely to pan out.

1. How enthusiastic are they about the position?

Sometimes it’s easy to tell if a candidate is excited about the position, but other times recruiters need to look a little deeper. Does your candidate follow up to see about next steps? Did they talk about how the position would be a fantastic career move during the phone screening? Establishing strong candidate interest before the site visit can help recruiters stretch their budget by increasing the likelihood that the candidate you invite will take the job. While a physician candidate on the fence can sometimes be wooed by a truly excellent site visit, the often won’t be, leaving the recruiter expending precious resources on a candidate that is probably not going to fill the position.

2. Are they committed to moving to your community?

Whether it’s family ties, a love of the lifestyle, or access to activities they love, most physicians have a strong idea about where they want to live and practice. Other physicians, unfortunately, are wide open when considering where they will settle down for a lifelong career. Candidates who have loose or non-existent ties to your community and are considering positions in multiple locations will be less likely to ultimately take the job, or stay if they do. This can leave recruiters wasting time and money on a site visit for a candidate who will never become an employee – or not stay for long.

3. What time of year is it?

Is your practice in an area with great skiing? Or are you a beach side town in a warm climate? Physician recruiters in desirable locations need to beware candidates who will come on a site visit essentially as a vacation, using the opportunity to travel to a tourist destination on your dime to the fullest advantage. This is especially true of the summer months when candidates will ask to bring the whole family along, getting them an essentially free family vacation.

4. Are they interviewing with other employers in the area?

When a candidate is committed to moving to your community, it’s often a very good sign. The downside is that this means they are likely interviewing with your competition as well. If you’ve done your research, you should know what your competition is offering and if you’d be able to match it. Bringing in a physician for a candidate site visit – one where they will likely also be interviewing with your competitors – when you know you will be unable to match any other offer they may receive in the area, will only lead to disappointment.

5. Do you have a top candidate you’re interviewing?

If you’re lucky, you will have multiple high-quality candidates in the pipeline for an opportunity but one will usually stand out. This top candidate is one you think would be a phenomenal fit and, chances are, you’re already in the process of scheduling them to come out for a site visit. If this is the case, hold off on inviting your second and third tier candidates until you see how your top candidate’s visit goes. If it goes well, you might not need to continue interviewing other candidates  and will save yourself the cost of bringing them in for site visits.

Key Take Aways:

  • Dig in to your candidate’s motivations for changing positions and coming to your community before inviting them for a site visit
  • Take into account the seasons and a candidate’s ties to the area before hand, making sure they’re coming out for more than a free vacation
  • Don’t take on too much at once! If your top candidate is coming in for an on-site interview, hold off on inviting other candidates until you see how the first visit goes
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