10 Tips for Setting Realistic Expectations with Physician Candidates

Posted by Doximity TF Team

Setting_ExpectationsThere are a lot of factors that affect your recruitment strategy. As a recruiter, you take the time to build relationships with candidates as well as earn trust and credibility. However, some recruiters may overlook a critical step in the process: setting realistic expectations. Starting with clear expectations and maintaining ongoing communication means you can address changes as they happen. It also helps you to drive the recruiting process and keeps candidates informed and engaged. 

Here are 10 tips for setting realistic expectations with physician candidates: 

  1. Establish communication preferences. It’s crucial to find out early how and when a candidate prefers to communicate with you. It’s also key to ensure they know how and when to reach you.
  2. Provide a timeline. Creating a timeline or itinerary that explains the general recruiting/interviewing/hiring process will help candidates know where they are in the process at all times. It’ll also limit redundant phone calls and emails for clarification or confirmation.
  3. Know the candidate’s preferences. Learn what motivates your candidates and identify their career goals, income expectations, and location preference(s) upfront. Can your knowledge of market trends, compensation, or competition offer a perspective they don’t have? If so, share it with them.
  4. Explain the interview process. Take the time to fully outline the interview process (and help the candidate prepare for it if they’re selected).
  5. Learn about the candidate’s lifestyle. We recommend learning all you can about the candidate’s family, spouse, partner, children, pets, and anything vital to their lifestyle and detail it in writing. Also, make sure the key decision-makers are involved in the interview process (usually a spouse or partner).
  6. Offer a realistic view of the community. Provide background on the area candidates will be working in (or moving to). If your candidate is expected to participate in community events or a charitable organization, tell them that up front. Are schools ranked well in your area? Doctors with children will want to know.
  7. Provide details for the on-site visit. Share requirements about the on-site visit and clarify what’s essential for the candidate on the visit. Also, arrange on-sites as quickly as possible. The longer a candidate is waiting, the more likely you are to lose them to another offer.
  8. Communicate the perks of the opportunity. What can you offer in terms of salary, benefits, relocation, potential career advancement upfront? Then detail the offer process (and help guide the candidate through if they get the offer).
  9. Explain possible delays. It’s important to discuss potential process delays and relay any changes that come up right away, even the news a candidate doesn’t want to hear. If your candidate doesn’t get the offer, putting the call off won’t help anyone. Reach out to the candidate for updates too by asking, “Has anything changed in your search or with your status?”
  10. "Communicate, communicate, communicate". When in doubt, it’s better to over-communicate. Don’t let assumptions or natural conversation gaps create missteps. There are more jobs than doctors right now, and a missed call could mean losing a great candidate.

Have you had a problematic situation occur with a candidate? You’ll probably never forget it. What made it so hard? What would you do now in a similar situation? Use that lesson as a guide for setting expectations and then reassess what’s working and what’s not. 

Knowledge is power in any recruiting situation. A candidate’s expectation of the process – as well as their expectations of you – helps you anticipate their needs and reduce the risk that something will go wrong along the way. The rapport you create when you set realistic expectations is an essential part of a winning recruitment plan. You can’t control how candidates react, but you can manage their expectations of outcomes.   

Speaking of outcomes, recruiting physicians using social recruitment tools like Doximity Talent Finder requires a strategic, long-term approach. That means you need to work smarter, not harder. If you’re using Doximity Talent Finder, we want to provide the knowledge and skills to use Talent Finder to reach your recruitment goals efficiently. Please join us for a special training session on August 10, 2021: Work Smarter, Not Harder: How to Use Talent Finder Efficiently. 

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Topics: physician recruiting tips

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