Hiring staff is most likely a common occurrence in your medical practice. Yet, it's also one of the most underrated and undervalued hats that the leaders in your practice wear. Do it wrong, and the ripples impact patient satisfaction and retention, quality care, staff morale, and your bottom line. In light of the importance of getting it right on the first try, here are seven tips to help you hire for keeps.To download this slideshow in a PDF format, click here.
Most practices do it wrong. They hire quickly and then permit a bad hire to drag things down for months or years. In hiring for keeps, we take our time to find the best fit for the job. We hire slow, and we fire fast. We're looking for that right mix of skills, aptitude, values, adaptability, and personality - that unique person who fits in with existing employees. @WaveBreakMedia/shutterstock.com
Many candidates come with experience, but have churned through many other practices through the years. Avoid them. People most resistant to change are the ones who change jobs the most. There are many roles where prior experience is important, but don't be deluded. Hire for fit first - if the fit isn't there, experience alone is not enough to risk a hiring mistake. @Pressmaster/shutterstock.com
Look for candidates with skill sets that might transfer easily to your medical practice. A waitress who can juggle six dinner parties while making each person feel special is the ultimate multi-tasker. You want someone like that at check-in, an adaptable and bright soul who makes every patient feel better. We can train most anyone to do anything, but you can't train someone's attitude. @IuliiaMakarova/shutterstock.com
I involve other staff members in the interview process, regardless of the position. Sometimes, we'll interview a candidate in turn, while other times we interview as a group. The former gives one-on-one time, while the latter helps the candidate to see our teamwork on display. While I am unsure which style works best, I do find we hire better employees when others are involved. And I don't just have managers and doctors do the interviewing: It's important to have a potential employee spend time with employees whom they'll be working with. @LuisLouro/shutterstock.com
Encourage candidates to be selfish in evaluating your practice. You want them to judge whether your practice is a right fit for them. You don't want someone who is taking a job with you just until they find a better position elsewhere or someone who does not mesh with your team or your culture. @Minerva/shutterstock.com
Never shortchange reference checks. Ferret out what you can about candidates' work habits, teamwork, intelligence, and the like. You've heard their stories about why they left a job - see if former employers concur. It also is prudent to get a good background check on anyone who will be working in the business office or handling money. You do not want to be a victim of the serial embezzler. @JeanetteDietl/shutterstock.com