How to Uncover Red Flags During a Candidate Screening

How to Uncover Red Flags During a Candidate Screening

26Aug, 2015

How to Uncover Red Flags During a Candidate Screening


With a looming physician shortage, many physician recruiters are scrambling to find enough qualified candidates to meet their physician recruitment needs. With an ever growing list of recruitment needs and administrative pressure weighing on recruiters, many are ready to recruit any seemingly qualified candidate to fill their positions. But in this rush to plug the gaps and replace physicians lost to turnover, some recruiters are failing to spot the red flags that can mark a physician as a less than ideal fit.


By following these five steps during a thorough candidate screening, a recruiter can increase their chances of spotting potential red flags with a candidate, and decide if they truly would make the physician a poor fit for their team.


Step 1: Do Your Due Diligence


Prior to screening any interested candidate, it is important for physician recruiters to do their due diligence and search a candidate’s CV for any potential red flags. Noting gaps, locums experience, frequent moves, or a lack of board certification can give a recruiter some pointed questions to direct at potential candidates that can help them suss out potential issues.


Step 2: Use Open-Ended Questions

Asking open ended questions, such as what motivates their search or what draws them to a location can cause candidates to give away more than what they intended. Small clues given when asking these questions can give a recruiter a direction in which to go with follow up questions and indicate interpersonal issues (and sometimes even a lack of community ties).



Step 3: Watch for Tone

How a candidate answers a question can be just as important as what exact answer they give. Things like hesitation, defensiveness, or a vague response can give a physician recruiter cues that something is not quite right. By pressing further on what solicited these questionable responses, recruiters can uncover issues that would be otherwise masked by great training and experience.


Step 4: Follow Your Intuition


Nothing can ever really replace experience. Seasoned recruiters have spoken with hundreds of candidates and have been able to develop a keen intuition over time. Whether it’s picking up on specific wording or just a vague feeling that something is off, a seasoned recruiter can utilize their past experiences to detect when something is not quite right with a candidate.



Step 5: Trust, But Verify

Many candidates are good, honest individuals looking for their next great opportunity – except for the ones that are not. It behooves recruiters to take detailed notes and write down any misgivings they may have so that they can follow up later. Using industry connections, a professional network, and access to comprehensive tools, recruiters can verify claims made by candidates. Among them, one of the most common are assertions by candidates that they have a “clean record” in regards to malpractice. While many can be believed, it is important for recruiters to conduct a basic check to ensure that what they say lines up with reality.


Even though the physician shortage has created a dire need for qualified physicians for many organizations, it is important for recruiters to ensure that they aren’t bringing a physician on board that doesn’t align with an organization’s mission and values. By spotting and pursuing red flags that can arise during the candidate screening process, recruiters can make sure they aren’t bringing on candidates that would be a poor fit or damage their organization’s reputation in the community.