Medical Practice Hiring: 7 Tips to Get It Right

December 11, 2014

Hiring a new team member can be daunting. Success comes from having a clear process in place, and carefully screening each candidate.

Hiring a new team member or members can be daunting. Many times the office manager isn't really trained to be a human resources (HR) representative. Even if they are, or you have an HR department, it can be hard to know you are hiring the right person. Everyone wants to make sure they hire only the best to join their team.

Here are the steps we use to hire staff for our clients:

1. Write a detailed list of skills, experience, and personality skills you need your new employee to possess. Get lots of input and take your time to make sure you nail it down perfectly.

2. Write out detailed instructions on how candidates should apply. This is a very important "test" for applicants. It is important to hire detail-oriented people who can follow instructions, and this will immediately weed out unlikely candidates. Some items to consider including in your instructions:

• A particular e-mail address for submitting applications and/or resume.

• A certain subject line; when hiring internally we use "MSG LLC Join Team" as the required subject line.

• Instead of just a resume and cover letter, ask for a document detailing the applicant's particular experience related to the required skill set.

• Give a deadline, including date and time, to submit applications.

3. Do some research to determine the best place to advertise for your new team member. Some suggestions include: your blog, Facebook, Twitter, referrals from personal networks, LinkedIn, other medical offices (for recommendations), newspapers, trade organizations, magazines (many nursing magazines have ads space for employment ads), Craigslist, online job sites (Yahoo, CareerBuilder, etc.), and, ask any current, exceptional team members if they know of anyone that would be interested in the job, and encourage them to apply.

4. Once you receive applications, begin sorting your incoming applicants into three main categories.

• NO: These applicants didn't meet your skill requirements or didn't follow your instructions for applying, down to the letter. No matter the skills and experience if the applicant did not follow the submission instructions, we advise our clients to weed them out immediately.

• MAYBE: These applicants have all of the skills you need, and followed the instructions, but may be lacking in some areas such as personality and experience.

• YES: These people have all of the skills, personality, experience, and followed your instructions to a "T."

5. Contact all of the candidates from the YES category. You should talk to at least five to seven people. If you must reach into the MAYBE category to do so, that is OK, but also consider casting a larger net for applicants. Never reach into the NO category.

6. Once you have narrowed it down to five or fewer candidates, bring them in for interviews and introduce them to current staff members (to gauge their opinions as well). Don't skimp on calling all of their references, and performing background checks.

7. If a clear front runner hasn't emerged, then give the top two to three another detailed assignment. Someone will make a mistake in it, and automatically weed themselves out, or you will get a little deeper insight into who will work best for your office. You could even consider having the candidates each come in for a half day or full day trial run.

Will you be expanding your team in 2015? Tell us in the comments section below.