5 Questions You Should Always Ask a New Candidate

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By: Shari Dalton

August 10, 2020

By: Shari Dalton

In a fast-paced market, it’s easy to be a transactional recruiter.  And there are about a million questions you can ask when you get a traveling healthcare professional on the phone. While it’s important to understand their skills set, it’s equally important to understand their motivation for traveling and how you can best help them along their career path.  The more you know, the more you know!  Here are a few of our favorite questions to get the conversation going:

1.     What motivated you to begin traveling?

You will get answers across the board with this one-some are motivated by the opportunity to make more money, others want to travel and see the country, while some may be trying to avoid hospital politics. Whatever the reason, it’s important that you understand what drives them.  This question is even more important in today’s market-it will help you determine if this candidate is someone who is just in it for the money right now and going to go to the highest bidder, or someone you will likely be able to continue working with once the pandemic is over.

2.     Where have been your top two assignments and why?

This question is two-fold.  It will help you better understand what they look for in a location and hospital, but it will also provide you with insight into hospitals you may not previously had known much about.  The better educated you are on different facilities, the easier it will be for you to sell those jobs in the future to other candidates.  Learn as much as you can from the experts who have been there!

3.     What is your goal with travel over the next 1-2 years?

Know where you stand.  The goal is always to work with your candidates for the next 13 assignments, not just the next 13 weeks.  If you can align opportunities that help them reach their goals, you will have a stronger likelihood of retaining your candidate on future assignments.

4.     What traits do you look for in a recruiter? Or, how can I be sure to provide you with the best experience?

It’s important for you to know what your candidate expects of you-everyone is different and we can’t assume that each candidate needs or expects the same things.  And you need to be sure that you can deliver!  If you know you’re not a good match, don’t hesitate to refer them to another recruiter within your organization!

5.     What do you look for in a hospital/manager during the phone interview? Have you turned down offers after an interview?  If so, why?

These questions go hand in hand.  It’s crucial to know what your candidate looks for in a hospital or unit during the interview so you can best match them to open positions.  And if they’ve turned down offers in the past, it’s important to understand why so you can avoid submitting them to positions that you know won’t be a fit.  This can also tell you how seriously they take the submittal process.  If they’ve turned down multiple positions for various reasons, what steps can you take to ensure this won’t happen with your client hospitals?  Time is something you can’t get back-be sure you’re spending it with candidates who take submittals and interviews seriously.


Remember, keep the call conversational!  Try to gain as much insight as possible to ensure you’re only moving forward with the right candidates.  What are some of your favorite questions to ask?

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