5 Mistakes Recruiters Make When Screening Physician Candidates

5 Mistakes Recruiters Make When Screening Physician Candidates

27Jul, 2015

5 Mistakes Recruiters Make When Screening Physician Candidates


In the battle for top quality physician candidates, many recruiters are finding themselves focusing on hiring the candidates with the best training and experience they can. While this is important, there are many other factors recruiters are failing to take into account when sourcin and screening physician candidates. Avoiding certain questions or failing to consider important factors such as fit or likelihood to stay can end up costing health care employers in the long run – both in terms of talent and their bottom line.


In order to ensure that recruiters only bring on physicians that will make excellent additions to their teams over the long term, it’s important that recruiters avoid making key screening mistakes. Below are the five biggest mistakes recruiters make – and need to avoid – when screening physician candidates.

1. Not Asking the Reasons Behind Their Search

There are many reasons a candidate would consider a change in practice. Whether they want to relocate closer to family, need more support, or are just looking for a better arrangement, physicians have plenty of excellent reasons for pursuing a new opportunity. But at the same time, many candidates will pursue a new opportunity because they have burned bridges, are difficult to deal with, or simply want to use a competiting offer to negotiate a better contract where they currently are. In order to keep yourself from wasting time and resources (or worse, bringing on a bad employee) it’s important to thoroughly vet the reasons behind a physician’s job search.



2. Ignoring Red Flags

Recruiters should use initial candidate screenings to address any red flags on physician candidate CVs, but sometimes during a screening a recruiter can uncover a previously unknown red flag. While some physician recruiters may be tempted to ignore red flags with an otherwise excellent candidate, doing so can come back to bite the recruiter down the road. It is important to address and thoroughly vet candidates that have red flags come up during the screening process.



3. Failing to Address Their Family’s Needs 

In order to keep physicians on your team in the long term, it is important for recruiters to make sure that the community can meet not only the candidate’s needs, but also the needs of their family. If they have young children, a working spouse, specific religious affiliations, or other extracurricular preferences, it is important for the recruiter to address it and ensure that the candidate has a full picture of what the community can and can’t offer their family. By making sure that they’re a fit not just for your practice, but also for your community, you can ensure that they will be able to fully integrate into the community and stay on long term.



4. Avoiding the Compensation Conversation

It’s easy for an employer to completely fall in love with a stellar candidate. With great training, excellent experience, and a personality that would fit in perfectly with the company culture, it can be easy to gloss over a candidate’s desired compensation. This is especially true as many employers leave the compensation conversation for much later in the process. But it’s important to get a ballpark figure when you screen physician candidates early on, or you might spend lots of time, energy, and effort recruiting a candidate you cannot afford.



5. Not Asking Questions That Assess Emotional Intelligence

Many studies have shown that a physician’s emotional intelligence has a major impact on patient satisfaction and quality of care provided. In the effort to provide the best patient experience as possible, it is then crucial for physician recruiters to make to to screen physician candidates for emotional intelligence during the physician recruitment process. Failing to do so can result in an organization bringing on a candidate that looks good on paper, but fails to perform when interacting with patients.


Thoroughly screening candidates is likely the most important aspect of the physician recruitment process. In order to ensure that the candidates hired will be an excellent fit and will stay on long term, it is important that recruiters avoid these five mistakes many physician recruiters make when screening candidates.