Why Recruiters Need to Pre-Close Candidates in Physician Recruitment

It’s always exciting when a physician recruiter has a plethora of candidates who are interested in their position. More options means a a better chance of hiring the perfect candidate, right? Not necessarily. Just because a recruiter has multiple individuals interested in a position doesn’t mean they’re the right fit. It also doesn’t mean they’d take the position if offered. Because of this, recruiters need to find ways to focus on candidates who are not only a good fit, but who have a high likelihood of accepting an offer if they are made one.

This is where pre-closing candidates comes in. Pre-closing a candidate involves a recruiter gauging a prospective candidate’s interest in the position, location, and organization, while also getting an idea of their likelihood of accepting an offer in the position’s compensation range. Doing this can help recruiters accomplish a number of goals, including lowering recruitment costs, decreasing time to hire, and improving the candidate experience, all of which will improve an organization’s physician recruitment program.

Lower Recruitment Costs

It’s no secret that recruiting the right physician to your practice is often costly. Between advertising, recruiter salaries, recruitment firm fees, and site visit expenses, most organizations spend tens of thousands of dollars to recruit the average physician. One of the most costly areas comes in when bringing physician candidates in for site visits. With airfare, lodging, rentals, and meals, one site visit alone can cost thousands of dollars. If the candidate wants to bring along their spouse or their children, the costs can skyrocket.

By pre-closing candidates, recruiters can decrease the number of candidates they bring in for site visits, reducing costs by not bringing in candidates they don’t have a high degree of confidence will take the position.

Decrease Time to Hire

In physician recruitment, time is of the essence. Every day your organization goes without a physician it needs, it loses potential revenue and spends valuable funds on locum tenens physicians. Because of this, recruiters are often under pressure to reduce the time to hire. While a longer time to hire is often due to a lack of qualified candidates, in other instances it can be traced back to pursuing candidates that had little to no intention of accepting a position with your organization, often at the expense of neglecting other interested candidates.

By pre-closing candidates, recruiters actually make progress in their quest to reduce time to hire. Doing so allows them to focus on moving fewer candidates through the pipeline with a lower likelihood that they’ll decline positions in the final stages, ensuring recruiters won’t have to move through the entire recruitment process with dozens of candidates only to have to start all over again.

Improved Candidate Experience

Nothing damages the candidate experience more than having a recruiter who is too busy to follow up in a timely manner. But with recruiters juggling so many positions and prospective candidates, candidates tend to fall through the cracks. To keep this from happening, recruiters can pre-close candidates so they know which few to focus on at a given time and which they’ll need to let know they won’t be pursuing. When pre-closing candidates, recruiters reduce the number of candidates that will move onto the next steps in the process, giving them fewer candidates to juggle at any given time. This will give recruiters more time to focus on nurturing each individual physician’s candidacy and can help alleviate some of the problems that cause the physician recruitment process to drag on longer than necessary.

Key Take Aways:

  • Physician recruiter’s are often overwhelmed and lacking in resources. Because of this, they need to focus on candidates who are both a good fit and likely to accept an offer is one is made.
  • Focusing only on candidates who have been pre-closed can decrease time to higher and help lower recruitment costs by ensuring recruiters will be unlikely to return to square one should a candidate decline.
  • Having fewer candidates to focus on can improve the candidate experience by allowing recruiters to rule out candidates quicker and give them more time to focus on their top prospects.
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