When you’re working with candidates from out of the area, the prospect of relocation creates some different issues to discuss. It’s easy to assume they are taking care of their end of the process, but many candidates - especially those new to the job search - don’t realize the importance of every step. Here are six key points to raise with each potential hire.
1. Make sure their spouse is on board
When a candidate is starry-eyed about a prospective new job, they may become a bit self-centered. Be sure there is a unified front between the physician and anyone who will be moving with them. When the spouse or significant other isn’t in favor of the relocation, the results are typically unfavorable for both the candidate and the employer. Offer to schedule a phone or video call with your candidate’s spouse or partner, or meet with them during the site visit. You can use the time to answer their questions as well as gauge their level of enthusiasm.
2. Understand their life outside of work
Your candidate probably wouldn’t dream of asking you where the nearest CrossFit facility is, or how crowded the beaches get. They’ve been programmed in school to keep up a professional front, but once they move, they’re going to be happier if their usual recreational activities are still accessible. Invest in some small talk to flesh out what they like to do outside of work: ski, run, hike. Pay particular attention to a candidate who is making a substantial change in climate or topography, such as from a sunny coastal town to a snowy, landlocked state.
3. Be sure they’ve explored the area
Do your best to encourage exploration of the region. Some candidates enjoy a formal tour courtesy of the employer, while for others, the preoccupation with making a good impression will be too distracting. Offer to provide a tour when planning their site visit, but if they prefer to tour on their own, suggest a real estate agent they could meet with, or provide some key areas of interest to guide them.
4. Make sure they have a solid financial picture
By this point in the process, your candidate should have done his or her research regarding cost of living and salary for the area, but don’t be too sure. Be prepared to refer them to a cost of living calculator and share salary reports for your region.
5. Go over the reimbursement package
New hires vary greatly in their interest in relocation compensation; one might be cognizant of every last expense incurred while another might not even think to ask. Proactively provide an overview of your company’s reimbursement package early in the process. Do you require receipts or documentation? Do you have a set list of vendors you work with? Is there a cap to expenses? Are family members included? Check in periodically to see how they are handling tracking expenses.
6. Help them get acclimated
As a habit, keep a growing list of contact info for area resources that you’d recommend, from a good barber/hairdresser to a stellar bakery or a reliable plumber. Add to this list as you obtain viable references, and delete anything that becomes old - there’s nothing welcoming about calling a number that’s been disconnected! Share this list with all candidates new to the area.
Retaining talented physicians begins with a solid start in the area, so do your best to give each newcomer that extra bit of attention to help them feel at home.