Communicating with candidates (via email, text, or phone/video call) is perhaps more important now than ever before. Job opportunities and priorities are changing quickly, and clinician job seekers are looking to recruiters for answers. We’ve recently heard from our clients that some roles may have changed, or have been put on hold entirely. While it’s nice to have eager candidates in your pipeline, it might also feel challenging to keep that relationship positive amidst an unknown hiring future. We’ve put together a few tips to help you keep your candidate pipeline warm.
1. Be a resource. Try to think of your role as a consultant to your candidates. Reaching out to candidates when you need to fill a position is important; however, there is also value in establishing long-term relationships with clinicians. Having knowledge about the market is key, and taking time to help educate and advise your candidates will earn their trust in the long run.
2. Continue reaching out. Most candidates understand filled positions or hiring freezes (especially now), but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to hear from you. Keep them up to date on the status of hiring timelines. Make sure you are communicating periodically with them to inform them that you are interested in them coming on board.
Here are a couple ideas to help do this consistently:
a) Create a check-in calendar. Reach out with personalized messages that show you spent the time to research their background and experience. Extra points if you incorporate learnings from previous conversations you’ve had with them!
b) Involve leadership. If you’ve already reached out to a candidate in your pipeline a few times, try asking a director or chief of that division to reach out to the candidate to show they too are still interested in hiring and are looking forward to proceeding with next steps when they can.
3. Be candid in your conversations. When you are talking to candidates but do not have any current openings, be candid about your situation and encourage them to start the application process anyway. This will help to keep them in the know and puts them ahead of the game when a position does open up.
Some other tips to establish a relationship with candidates include:
a) Take a few minutes to connect with them and understand their career preferences and interests (why they want to work for your organization, etc.)
b) Learn about them personally (their family, hobbies, etc.) to have topics to build future conversations on.
c) If you can, meet with them via video - this builds a more personal connection.d) Maintain the relationship you built in this conversation as you follow up over time (using your check-in calendar).
4. Communicate role changes. If a role has changed, be honest about whether the decision has been made to eliminate or revise the scope of the position. If the candidate is in the later phases of the hiring process, explore ways that you can utilize their talents and skills for other positions within your organization.
Pro Tip: Create a pipeline list along with a note on the candidate (you can do this in Talent Finder if you are a current user) so you can reach out for any future opportunities that may become available.
5. Be Prompt. As you reach out to candidates, make sure you are also ready to reply to them in the form they reached out to you - and promptly. You might even want to reassure them that you plan to communicate updates about positions as soon as you learn them. For example, if you decide to move forward with offering a candidate an interview, reach out and get them scheduled as soon as you have availability. Or, if a candidate is rejected, make sure you don’t leave them in the dark. Finally, if you have a planned vacation or leave from work, give the candidate a heads up so they can expect delayed responses.
If your organization is not hiring as much as before, this could be an ideal time to get on the phone and start building better relationships with clinicians. There is a lot to be said for just talking to doctors in these changing circumstances and better understanding their concerns and what they might be looking for in the future. Even more, when you do have a job become available, you’ll already have a relationship with a likely candidate. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start building relationships!
For more tips and tricks about physician recruitment, check out the latest articles on our Talent Finder Blog.