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How To ‘Screen In’ Job Candidates

How to ‘Screen In’ Job Candidates

How to ‘Screen In’ Job Candidates

Sell your facility to everyone who interviews for a position on your staff. 

You’d be hard-pressed to find surgical leaders who aren’t directly impacted by the nationwide staffing crisis. Over the last five years, hiring qualified professionals to work in the surgical industry has become a difficult task. In the booming post-pandemic world of outpatient surgery, savvy job seekers are aware there are far more open jobs than there are people to fill them. Candidates know they have plenty of options — and lots of leverage. Gone are the days of enthusiastic jobseekers accepting the first — and often only — job they’re offered. The market has put the candidates in the driver’s seat and gives them the power to pick and choose where they want to work.

Because of this shift in the hiring dynamic, I’ve learned the common recruiting practice of “screening out” or eliminating candidates strictly based on their resume and experience, without allowing them to interview, is no longer the most advantageous way to hire. In today’s job market, you’ll have much more luck “screening in” the right staff. With job seekers having their choice of the ideal place to work, it’s up to you to find ways to convince them your ASC or hospital is the best choice for them. Here are three ways to try screening in a candidate when conducting your next interview.

~ Discuss their ideal work environment.

 A good way to do this is by asking, “Where was the best place you’ve worked, and why did you enjoy working there?” Once you have an idea of the candidate’s ideal working environment, find a well-timed opportunity to offer examples of how your facility’s culture matches what they desire. This allows you to paint a specific picture of the new job and gives a candidate the ability to visualize themselves in that role. By telling them how their life would look working at your facility, they’ll be more likely to visualize that future themselves.

~ Ask broad questions.

The adage, “Think Big!” comes to mind. Instead of focusing solely on the position for which you’re interviewing the candidate and focusing on what type of experience you need a candidate to have for the current opening, ask questions that are broad enough to determine if the person is best suited for the role or if they’d be a better fit elsewhere in the organization. Try a question like, “Based on what you know about this position, what would you say your biggest strengths are that you’d use to be successful?” Remember, interviewing is not a paint-by-numbers exercise. The process is simply a conversation that allows you to get to know the person better. Being hyper-focused on only the position a candidate is applying for and not keeping an open mind about other open options will undoubtedly lead you to losing out on talented professionals who can contribute to the success of your facility in ways you might not have first considered.

~ Streamline the process.

Now more than ever, your goal is to make sure every candidate leaves the interview wanting to work for your facility. From the first point of contact, ensure each candidate feels welcome to learn more about the job — and receives immediate feedback that they’re being considered. Even if the first step in the interview process is a virtual introductory call, don’t lose sight of the power of a personal connection. A simple call or email within 48 hours of a resume submission to tell the candidate what to expect next goes a long way. The interview process itself should be brief, so keep the follow-up interviews to the absolute minimum. Candidates have more options today than ever before, so a two-month long interview process will only result in great candidates losing interest and moving on to something better. Even if you’d love to interview 10 candidates, and have them meet with 40 staff members, doing so will likely leave your position open longer than necessary — and leave formerly eager candidates with a bad taste in their mouth.

Always give the impression you want to hire each candidate you speak with — even if you don’t offer them the job — and then make your decision quickly. By embracing the idea of selling a candidate on why your facility is great (instead of expecting them to sell their expertise to you), broadening your questions to considering them for other open positions, and streamlining the interview process, you’ll put yourself in the best position to find great talent quickly, and fill any open positions you may have in a timely manner.

INTERVIEW TIPS: 5 Questions to Ask Job Candidates


  • Think of the best boss you’ve worked for — what about their management style did you enjoy?
  • If you had to select your ideal work environment, which one would you choose: A large health system or a small independent surgery center?
  • How do you see your career progressing over the next five years?
  • What would you say is your greatest professional achievement?
  • Based on what you know about our position, how would you rate yourself from 1-10 (1 being the lowest) on the level of success you believe you could achieve in this role?
Outpatient Surgery Magazine | by Andréa Venezio | September 2022

Outpatient Surgery Magazine – September 2022

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