Hiring can be one of the most time-consuming, frustrating and IMPORTANT tasks you handle. The consequences of getting it wrong have far-reaching tentacles that affect everyone from the provider to the patients. There are several key elements to hiring the very best staff members for your practice.
And even if you are a seasoned practice manager, it’s easy to make the wrong decision. So, if you want to hire high-quality medical office staff that fit in well with your existing team, leave your patients with good first impressions and keep your practice running smoothly, here are few crucial areas to concentrate on.
Why Should They Work for You?
When courting top candidates to join your office, you want them to know what makes you special. It’s important to spell out why they would want to work for you. Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering how to describe your practice to potential candidates. Remember that you only get a few seconds to catch their eye, so you must stand out.
- Who are you?
- What are your company’s core values and mission statement?
- What does your current team bring to the table?
- What is your culture like?
- What qualities are prized in your existing team?
- What qualities may be missing or could be a great addition?
- Why would a high-quality candidate want to choose your practice?
How Can you Make the Job Appealing?
A well-written job description is much more than a laundry list of responsibilities. This is a candidate’s first impression of the position and your practice. Of course, listing responsibilities is a must, but you also need to include the job title, the position’s requirements, and any required skills or education the candidate needs. Be sure to include special qualifications or certifications like a state license.
Your posting should be concise and creative. Think of ways to attract job seekers to check out the position. This includes letting them know what’s unique about your practice as mentioned above. Consider a line about your ideal candidate that speaks directly to them. For instance, your ad might include the following: Our perfect candidate is a team-spirited, skilled and efficient worker with a compassionate heart. Ideally, you want someone to read your ad and think, “Wow, that seems like a cool place to work.”
What is the Best Interview Process?
Your interviewing process should start with a quick 15 to 30-minute phone screen to find out if the candidate meets your basic job requirements and determine if there’s a mutual fit. Next, invite your top three to five potential new hires to separate in-person interviews.
Ask strategic questions that reveal their skills, qualifications and enthusiasm for the role and company. But remember, you should only be speaking about 20% of the time. You want to let the candidate talk and really listen to what they’re saying to get a feel for them and their work style.
Practice management expert Susan Childs recommends asking honest, thought-out questions without too many details, while keeping deeper questions to a minimum and spread throughout the interview. “Use your line of questioning to draw out which applicants have a natural compassion,” she says. “You want to find someone who inspires and brings out the best in themselves and those around them.”
Behavioral questions can really give you some insight into the way someone works, how they solve problems and what their personality is like. An example is, “Tell me about a time you had to influence a patient to do something they didn’t want to do.
How did you handle it and what was the outcome?” or “Have you ever had a disagreement with your boss? What happened and how did you resolve it?” This may seem obvious but watch their body language as they respond to your questions. Are they squirming in their chair or smiling and confident? Anyone can be nervous at first, but most people relax into the conversation once you get going.
Is Checking References Really Necessary?
Checking references is a great way to gain additional insights, verify skills and ensure that you’re hiring employees who are being honest about their work experience and qualifications. Request three references from your top candidates and give them a quick call.
Depending on the availability of the people you are calling, you may want to ask your candidates for reference email addresses as well. Sometimes people are more apt to reply to emails, and they might provide you with more information than they would over the phone.
Here are a few questions you can ask your candidate’s references to get to know them better:
- Can you confirm the candidate’s job title, responsibilities, start and end dates?
- How long have you known/worked with the candidate?
- What is it like to work with the candidate?
- Why did they leave the position?
- What is their greatest weakness? (Or strength?)
- If the opportunity presented itself, would you hire this candidate again?
It’s difficult to spend such a short amount of time with a potential new hire and have to decide with what might feel like limited information. Accordingly, the answers you receive from references should help you feel more confident about making an offer to the right candidate.
It is essential to the smooth running of your practice that you find high-performing employees who are a great fit for your team and will be with you for a long time to come. Although the process seems simple enough, adding a couple of the recommendations above may make your hiring process easier and less stressful. To get more step-by-step information on improving your hiring process and finding the perfect candidate for your next job opening, sign up for the upcoming complimentary online training, taking place on Thursday, March 11th at 1 PM ET. During this live online training, practice Management expert Susan Childs is will deliver best practices for hiring and retention in healthcare.