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The Right Way to Hire a New Physician or Practice Manager


Bringing on a new physician or practice manager can be a stressful process. That's why you should use a recruiter, if you can.

Undoubtedly, bringing on a talented physician or practice manager will help to ensure your medical practice operates more efficiently, is profitable, and has happier employees. Finding such an individual, however, can sometimes be challenging, since your practice is not the only one attempting to recruit that stellar candidate. So, if you like gambling in casinos and/or have plenty of time to spend interviewing countless candidates, you should put an advertisement in your local paper or online. Otherwise, your time and money would be better spent using a recruiter to find your ideal physician or practice manager who you will value for years to come.

A good recruiter will weed through the candidates and give you just a few (no more than three) who appear to be a good fit for you and your practice.  Additionally, seasoned recruiters will do thorough reference checks and logistical coordination of interviews, which frees up your already tight daily schedule.  They also are great at being the "go-between" when it comes to compensation negotiations, so after the hire is made there is no bad blood between employer and new-hire.  Of course, when it comes time for the interview, there are several items you need to ensure are covered.

Top Characteristics

Here a few things that you should ensure the candidates have when you are conducting your interview:

• Appropriate education level

• Practice managers (Do they need a high school diploma? Specific type of college degree? Master's degree?)

• Physicians (Are they trained in the procedures that you currently provide?  Are they trained in procedures that you would like to add to grow your practice?)

• Business acumen

• Practice mangers are your business person, so don't skimp on this criteria. You are not hiring them to perform surgery; you are hiring them to keep the practice in order.

• Physicians will most likely be partners someday, so while they don't need to be business savvy from day one, they should at least have the interest in learning about the business side of running a practice.

• Leadership capabilities (Are they motivating? Can they delegate? Do they communicate well? Are they empathetic? Do they have a sense of attention to detail?

Warning Signs

Recruiters should be interviewing candidates in great detail before they ever send them your way.  Joe Ciaramitaro, President of CorpSearch Int, notes:

"The proper vetting practiced of candidates are being done by professionals that do this type of work the entirety of every day.  You want essentially a short-term hiring partner here, where success is achieved and measured by the ability to work and trust the recruiters experience and shooting straight with the recruiter so they can trust and help you through the entirety of the process the most.  It will be sometime an arduous journey to the end result of the successful hire you really want but timely and well thought out communications between presenter of your opportunity to the world of candidates out there, the recruiter and yourself, will ensure the greatest efficiencies and outcomes of your search."

 It is the job of the recruiter to be acute and to have a thorough selective process. Even the best of recruiters may miss something when they screen candidates, so here are a few red flags you should be on the lookout for when conducting your interviews:

• Did the candidate ask about salary upfront? (Actually, when using a recruiter, the candidate should not even bring it up since the recruiter should have already covered the salary range, benefits, etc.)

• Did the candidate ask about long hours?

• Did the candidate slam their former co-workers?

• Does the candidate appear to have poor people skills?

• Does the candidate appear to miss the point about patient care? (This can sometimes be the case with practice managers if this will be the first job they have in a medical practice. Obviously, patient care is a priority. The candidate that does not get that will not do a job well since they will be unable to relate to the tasks the clinical staff perform on a daily basis. The manager does NOT have to have clinical experience to do a great job as a practice manager.)

A new physician or practice manager is a crucial member of your staff and critical to the success of your practice. Finding the right individual is not easy, but being open about your requirements to a recruiter can help to facilitate the search for a perfect fit.  Engaging a recruiter as a trusted member of your strategic hiring needs will ensure they have a good grasp about the type of candidate that will be ideal for your particular practice.


Contact ABISA for healthcare consultancy support or speaking engagements.

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