​4 questions to ask candidate references​

Published On: May 14, 2018
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Speaking with candidate references is a valuable way to accelerate your search for qualified physicians. Here are four questions to consider asking the next time you speak with a reference:


1. Would you hire this candidate again, given the opportunity?


This question cuts through the formalities and gets directly to the point. It assesses if the reference has any reservations about their original decision to hire the candidate. The reference's answer will tell you a lot, so pay close attention to the kind of language they use. Hesitation to answer directly or use of vague language could indicate that the reference harbors some reservations about the candidate.


2. How well does the candidate communicate with patients?


Interpersonal skills are important to nearly every aspect of the medical profession. From talking with patients on emotional subjects to relaying information to administrators, communication is an essential soft skill.

As noted in an article published in the Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, communication builds trust between physicians and patients. Good interpersonal habits generate patient loyalty and build engagement, as well. References are uniquely positioned to speak on this subject and can provide much more information than a static CV.

Asking about the candidate's communication skills will tell you more about how he or she builds relationships with patients.Asking about the candidate's communication skills will tell you more about how he or she builds relationships with patients.




3. Would you refer a family member to see the candidate?


This question is valuable because it forces the reference to imagine themselves in a very specific scenario. It's simple yet effective because, like the first question in this list, it circumvents canned responses in favor of a more personal answer.

If the reference answers with a definitive "yes," try to get them to go into more detail by asking follow-up questions. Is the candidate more knowledgeable than his or her peers? Do they have more experience? Is his or her bedside manner comforting? Asking these deeper questions will help paint a clearer picture of the candidate as a working professional.


4. How well does the candidate deal will change?


The medical industry is changing faster than ever before. A decade ago many organizations were struggling to adopt electronic health record technology, yet today nearly every administrative function is funneled through such a system. Physicians need to be able to keep up with changes like these if they are to be successful over the long run.

In fact, a report from ManpowerGroup revealed that 91 percent of HR managers believe new recruits will be hired based in part on their ability to adapt to changes in the workplace. Askin references about a time the candidate had to adapt to a new situation or process is an ideal way to gain valuable insight.

Want to learn more about attracting qualified physician candidates? Visit myHealthTalent.com to post your next listing. Speaking with candidate references is a valuable way to accelerate your search for qualified physicians.