Inconvenient Candidate Interview Trips – their (hidden) costs, and the most important cost factor in recruiting: Pre-qualifying your prospects

Inconvenient Candidate Interview Trips – their (hidden) costs, and the most important cost factor in recruiting: Pre-qualifying your prospects.

If an employer is considering our product, Online Job Tour, for their recruiting, perhaps a great way to appreciate it is to take a trip on an airplane. ‘Been on one lately?

Gone forever are the days of airplane travel being glamorous – today’s planes like (full) buses, and the “ordeal” of checking bags after packing, making arrangements for one’s home, the uncomfortable flights, etc., make the entire experience of interviewing for a career inconvenient at best. If your job targets/candidates are physicians – young or old, then I assure you they look at entire travel and interview trip as a “necessary evil” of looking for a job. But this entry is not about the psychology or the angst candidates feel during multiple interviews and site visits to prospective employees – but the practical/logistical problems employers face, and the immense costs regarding the interview trips themselves.

The cost of the onsite interview for one candidate is pretty easy to calculate – the price of airfare (for the candidate and spouse), car rental, the nice (it better be a nice one) hotel, and the meals. What are not easy to calculate are the seemingly endless hours to prepare for them, the people involved at the employer who must be pulled from their jobs (so they cannot produce) or something else they would prefer to be doing (few people like to sell or recruit – and few physicians involved in the recruiting process of physician candidate don’t love it, and certainly aren’t making any money don’t it either).

  • There as many as 10 employees or physicians in hospital physician recruiting who are pulled away from productivity during every single candidate interview visit – plus more community people/board members, etc.

So it can be rather crushing when an interview visit is cancelled, bad weather ruins the site visit, or worse, upon stepping off the plane the candidate looks around and decides before their first meeting they aren’t interested – this happens a lot more than you think (I used to be a recruiter and 2 of 5 physician candidates – that’s 40%, told me that within the first few hours of their trip they made a decision about a second visit).

And from my unscientific survey of 10-12 CEOs, they believe that from the moment a physician learns about a career opening and the time they make a “decision of authentic serious interest in the position” takes 3-5 months (and often multiple trips) – it’s a grueling process.

Two studies by major organizations who know a lot about the subject, claim hospitals lose $100,000 for every month a position is unfilled.

  • This is certain in physician recruiting – there is a ton of waste. That means there is a ton of lost money.


I just returned from a production trip to a new client in South Carolina and had my typical great but bruising time – I run ragged during these trips trying to get as much footage as I can, and there are so many pick ups and new things I find and want to feature after already overstuffing my itinerary.

By far, the worst part of the trip, as always, was the flight and the accommodations/hotels – and this is typical of the potential logistical problems that exist during traditional interview visits (which Online Job Tour is designed to emulate and in many ways be better than).

My flight last Tuesday was on Delta from Tampa through Atlanta with a connection to Florence, SC. (Mistake #1, says my mom, a corporate travel agent, was not booking a non-stop flight, but then I would have to go to Charlotte and have a much longer drive to the client – logistics).

Due to bad weather throughout the Southeast, and because every flight on the eastern seaboard seems to go through it, Atlanta’s control tower decided to delay my flight – which was at the gate (with me on the plane already), for 1 hour.

After the captain broke the news, I was on the smart phone to Delta re-booking on another flight out of Tampa to Atlanta – which I was able to get, but I would miss my connector and need to get a later flight to Florence. After booking the flight and getting off the plane (my luggage would stay on and actually make my connection), I was rescheduling every meeting I had that day but my last one, which I was eventually late to. The entire day was basically shot – because of thunderstorms – impossible to plan for.

Now – imagine I was a candidate for an important career position at your business – from a CRNA to a Cardiothoracic surgeon – less being purchased a first class ticket (sorry CRNAs, only docs for that perk), if the interview was going to be that day, overnight, and then the next day, virtually half of the interview itinerary was ruined – all the planning by the recruiter, all the folks – physicians and others, who planned to meet the candidate – the time missed and wasted for the initial interview visit – pretty much a goner. Because of thunderstorms.

Stress. People scrambling to try to make the best of the interview, or worse, canceling it to start over – all while the unfilled job remains unfilled.

  • How much money do thunderstorms actually cost employers for their recruiting?

Fortunately for me, I was able to reshuffle my first day pretty easy and there wasn’t any damage done, as I would be at my client for an entire week.

To keep this blog entry short, let me just say that if the rain would have continued, imagine driving through a community and merely peering out windows – driving past stores, businesses, schools, and missing the people and their stories.

  • And rain simply delays everything. Aren’t people always coming into meetings from out of a rainstorm and saying, “Sorry I’m late.”?


Here’s my conclusion based on 9 years of recruiting medical professionals and then dealing with my clients and prospects with my company:

Pre-qualifying the physician is the single biggest factor in the economy of recruiting. “Closing” is important to get deals done, but let me say this – if you close an unqualified professional on a good deal and financial package alone, they ain’t stayin’. If that new employee and their family aren’t fully knowledgeable on the employer and the service area, then “retention” becomes an issue – and that’s another subject altogether that haunts many hospitals and employers in other industries who relocate employees to them.

Online Job Tour works because before the candidate even decides to pursue the job, they get a comprehensive “visit experience” which promotes among many benefits a better education and knowledge of the employer and life in its area – candidates come “pre-sold” to interviews instead of nervous, anxious and unprepared – to say nothing of the competitive benefits as jobseekers such as doctors generally consider 6-10 options.

  • Online Job Tour, while providing a better visit experience from the comfort of a computer screen viewed in the candidate’s home or office, requires no flight or interview visit, and no thunderstorms.

Imagine candidates arriving excited to meet you having already “met” you. Imagine when they arrive and the weather is awful and they exclaim, “No problem – we already visited your area using your Online Job Tour – and the weather was great online!” Better yet, imagine candidates offering to accept your open jobs without a site visit – our clients are experiencing that, which is both a symbol of our culture change as well as the effectiveness of our product.

Based on the empirical numbers – Online Job Tour can wipe away the 40% of candidates who otherwise arrive and become uninterested within a couple hours. It has already proven to shorten the time window to fill positions from 3-5 months to 2-3 months. Online Job Tour eliminates the problems (and costs) of thunderstorms.

Or after calculating the hard dollar costs of your interview expenses and recruiting and figuring all the folks involved and what they could have otherwise been doing, if these additional lost dollars don’t convince you Online Job Tour is a no-brainer investment, what may convince you simply getting on an airplane.

To contact me directly, email me at I am also on Facebook. Learn more about my work at


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