Two Week Cliff:Delays in Physician Recruitment Are Costing You Candidates

Time kills all deals, and this is especially true in physician recruitment. When hundreds of health care organizations are battling over a limited pool of candidates, failing to have a sense of urgency in your recruitment process will cost you more candidates than you’d care to count. For some recruiters, a gap of several weeks seems like it would only affect your chances of filling an opening if the candidate were already well into the process. A report out of careerbuilder, however, tells a different story.

Careerbuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study showed that two thirds of candidates wouldn’t wait more than two weeks to hear back from an employer before considering the position a lost cause. This can happen at any stage of the recruitment process, leaving physician recruiters chasing after candidates that have written them off long ago. Even more, candidates report a chronic failure of recruiters to respond at all, with 45% indicating that as their biggest frustration with the recruitment process.

So what are recruiters to do to keep this from ruining their chances of hiring the right candidate for their position? Below are four things physician recruiters can do to keep their candidates from losing interest and getting frustrated with the process.

1. Respond to Every Candidate

Whether you’re interested or not, every candidate deserves a response. Spending the time looking for and applying to a position is precious time to physicians who are often overworked and over scheduled. Make sure to give every applicant a response even if it’s an automated one letting them know that they will be contacted within a specified amount of time if they are under consideration. This helps set a candidate’s expectations and will help keep a candidate interested if you later decide they’re a fit.

2. Hold Decision-Makers Accountable

Many times, it’s the decision-makers holding up the process. Whether they refuse to look over CVs in a timely manner or fail to get back to you within a reasonable time frame, it is important to let them know what the expectations are for their involvement in the recruitment process. Make them aware that there is a deadline for providing feedback to you on a candidate, and emphasize the fact that waiting to respond will likely lead to a candidate going to the competition.

3. Keep in Touch

Just because you haven’t been able to schedule a site visit doesn’t mean you should ignore a candidate. If they reach out for an update, be honest and engaged. Make sure they know you are interested and let them know if there are any delays. This helps the candidate feel as if they are a part of the process and lets them know that they are a priority for your organization.

4. Move Quickly

This is quite possibly the most important aspect. If a quality candidate comes through, you need to move quickly. Even if it is just holding an informational call, it’s important that the organization contact them as soon as possible. Once mutual interest is established, it’s crucial to move them through the recruitment process as quickly as possible (site visits, letters of intent, and executable contracts) to keep the competition from scooping them up.

Key Take Aways:

  • Candidates are in demand and won’t wait around for organizations that don’t act with a sense of urgency during the recruitment process
  • If there are delays, communicate that to the candidate so that they feel that they are part of the process
  • When you’ve found a great candidate, make sure to move quickly – scheduling site visits promptly, presenting terms at the end of a promising site visit, and following up with an executable as quickly as possible is crucial
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