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Don’t put on the brakes

Throughout  my recruiting career, I’ve worked with clients who have asked me to put candidates on “hold” when they felt they already had enough providers coming aboard in a given time period.  They get excited because a great provider signs an offer letter and agrees to start in two weeks.  Then that unexpected call comes in - “Thank you so much for your interest in me.  I was so excited about this job, but I just got another offer that’s too good to turn down.”  Your world stops turning because you had everything put together so carefully … you were counting on this provider and stopped the recruitment process as soon as you saw their CV.  You don’t have any back-ups and are again at square one.  How are you going to tell your team that there will be no new provider?  Tell your referral sources that you actually can’t see those 20 new patients you promised to intake this month?  If you only had a list of providers that you already interviewed, kept on the back-burner, and to whom you could quickly get an offer out!

There are a few key methods to keeping back-up candidates interested in your opportunity while you wait to have your first-choice provider begin employment.  

1. Stagger the interviews.  When you know you’re interviewing back-up candidates or providers you don’t want to bring on for a while, don’t set up multiple interviews on the same day or even on consecutive days.  Try to separate them by at least a few days, or even a week or two.  You can always cancel interviews that you set for after your new provider’s start date - once you’re comfortable that he or she is going to “stick”.  Additionally, you can have a multi-step interview process and space the meetings out by a week or so each.  This makes the process longer and buys you time, but also shows an impressive level of attention to detail and won’t make the candidate think you’re stalling (even when you are).

2.  Schedule an observation day.  This is an excellent way to add a lengthy step to your hiring process with the added bonus of being the most thorough way to screen a potential new provider.  While a big commitment on the part of the candidate (as well as your staff), this is the best way to show a provider what they can expect with your organization, while allowing you to see how truly interested they are - few people will commit to spending an entire day interviewing for a role about which they’re not serious.  This can also provide a much-needed delay in the hiring process when you’re trying to juggle back-up candidates.  Typically, it’s difficult to schedule shadow days, as you’re balancing the candidate’s calendar against your own.  Afterwards, you can also stall as you take the time to collect feedback from everyone the provider shadowed.  

3.  Review the interviewees.  Let the candidates know you’ll be sitting down with your team to thoroughly and carefully review all providers who interviewed and will be following up once all discussions are completed.  Give them an extended timeline and make sure to follow up when you say you will, even if that’s to inform the candidates you are off schedule because someone was out sick, you’re waiting for license verification results, etc.  

While these ideas are focused on buying you time while you wait to be sure your new hire is going to start and be happy in your organization, it also has the added bonus of creating a pipeline for your future needs.  If that new provider starts on time and works out so well you exceed your growth expectations, it’ll save you time, effort, and money to have a list of pre-screened candidates that you also liked, who might still be in the job market.

Thanks for reading,