Site visits may be virtual for now, but the in-person variety will regain their importance soon enough as a way for both employer and physician to assess each other. Either way, a stress-free, well-run experience is more likely to leave a good impression than a day riddled with confusion.
Whether the candidate you’re meeting is just entering the world of interviewing or is a seasoned physician changing employers, check in with them ahead of the visit - even if they claim they’re all set. Here are a few areas to go over.
Travel and transportation
Always clarify who is making the candidate’s arrangements for flight, hotel and ground transport. If the candidate prefers to do this on their own, follow up to confirm everything is in place. Ideally, someone should meet them at the airport or at other key points, so be sure to provide names and contact numbers. If you’re hosting a virtual visit, provide a comprehensive email with all the interview times and meeting links so the candidate can "arrive" on time.
Oftentimes, a spouse, partner or family member will accompany the candidate on an in-person site visit. Do your best to support a good experience for their companion. Let the candidate know what events their companion is welcome to attend, such as a dinner meeting or tour. Address any issues regarding reimbursable expenses that extend to their companion. Offer assistance in planning their companion’s time: Share names of a real estate agent or recruiter, or offer to connect them with other physicians’ family members. Even if virtual, make a point to connect the physician’s partner with others so their questions can be answered.
Monetary reimbursement is always important to a candidate, yet they may hesitate to ask questions in this area. For an onsite visit, be clear about what expenses are covered (i.e., food, lodging, transportation) and what are not (i.e., additional days, alcohol, or recreational pursuits). Explain any dollar limits and restrictions in place and what paperwork is required for reimbursement.
Whether your candidate’s visit is onsite or over the computer, load your candidate up with information about your organization: marketing material, press releases, newsletters and links to social media.
Reach beyond the candidate
The physician may be focused on their career move, but probe around to uncover their family’s needs or interests. Do they have children in school, or family members seeking higher education? Does anyone have an interest in sports and recreation? Will they need daycare or senior services in the next five years? If you discover an area of interest, share any connections you may have, or put together a list of relevant websites they can pursue.
Review the agenda
At least a week before their scheduled visit or online interview, check back in with your candidate to go over the agenda. Focus on areas commonly in question, such as expectations for less formal events, dress code for social gatherings or off-site meetings if in person, and contact names for each event. Discuss any personnel nuances or difficult name pronunciations. Remember that your candidate may not feel comfortable asking certain questions, such as if "Dr. Chris Brown" is male or female, so taking the lead in this area may put your candidate at ease.
Ask your candidate if they have any other needs you can accommodate. If interviewing online, ask if they’ve been able to successfully download and test the software.
Site visits and interviews can be overwhelming, no matter if they’re online or in person. Doing what you can to support a well-tailored and smooth-running experience can help your candidate form a positive opinion of your organization.