The Why, When, and How of Following Up with Physician Candidates

The Why, When, and How of Following Up with Physician Candidates

6Jul, 2015

The Why, When, and How of Following Up with Physician Candidates


Maintaining strong lines of communication with candidates as they move through the physician recruitment process is crucial for successfully bringing a candidate on board. Often cited as one of the biggest complaints job seekers have in regards to the recruitment process, inconsistent or nonexistent communication between you and a candidate can leave a sour taste in a physician candidate’s mouth, and lead them to choose a competitor over you. But is it necessary to follow up with physician candidates at every stage of the recruitment process? And if so, how and when?

Below you’ll see how and when strong candidate communication is necessary at each stage of the recruitment process, and how you can make sure to keep everyone in the loop. 



Initial Application

Whenever a candidate applies for a position, they need to know that their application was received. While there is no need to call each candidate to let them know that you have received and are reviewing their CV, an email is essentially required. A decent Applicant Tracking System can automate this process, letting every candidate know that their CV has been received and that only qualified applicants will be contacted.



48 Hours

After a phone interview or site visit, it is fairly apparent if you want to move forward with a candidate. Additionally, a highly qualified candidate is often interviewing with multiple prospective employers. With competition for qualified physicians as fierce as it is today, it is important for employers to move quickly with candidates they are interested in, unless they’re willing to lose them. Because of this, it is important to follow up with candidates within 48 hours of any interview or site visit to discuss next steps. 


But you shouldn’t only follow up with the candidates you are interested in pursuing. Rejected physician candidates should also be followed up within 48 hours, alerting them to their status in the hiring process. With so many positive aspects to following up with rejected physician candidates, this step is not one that should be pushed aside.



Three Touches

As interested as a candidate may be in your opportunity, they might still find themselves bogged down in the interview process with others while juggling their existing responsibilities. Because of this, they may not have time to check every voicemail or email. In these cases, the best way to follow up is every way. Calling, texting, and emailing candidates to follow up makes sure that you can reach them one way or another. Additionally, some candidates are just quicker to respond using certain forms of communication, and it’s your job as the recruiter to make sure they receive your follow up message in a way that is convenient for them.



Ongoing Engagement

Physician recruitment and retention doesn’t end when you hire the candidate. Following up with the candidate 3, 6, and 12 months after they begin work can help bring to light any issues they may be having and help ensure that the physician stays on long term. Recruiting a new physician is much more difficult and costly than retaining one, and having an ongoing relationship with the physician after they begin practicing can help keep them with the organization and help you address any issues as they arise.


While many believe that sourcing candidates is the most important part of physician recruitment, following up with candidates quickly and effectively has a huge impact on the overall success of your recruitment effort. By following up with candidates in a timely manner during each stage of the recruitment process, and continuing to keep the lines of communication open after they join your team, you will be able to keep these hard won candidates on long term.