Hiring new staff for your medical practice can present you with some unexpected challenges. Healthcare cannot be compared to other industries. Working in a medical practice means having a lot of intense interactions with people who are either unwell or under a lot of stress. Making mistakes as a medical practitioner can mean life or death consequences.
Patient satisfaction is vital if you want to grow your medical practice successfully. This means that as well as skill and experience, people working in the healthcare industry also need exceptional customer service skills. Any new staff members should understand the role that they will play in delivering quality customer care.
Healthcare traditionally has high turnover rates and low employment. More than 60% of medical practices have problems finding qualified applicants. In this difficult landscape of staff recruitment, what can you do to help you find the outstanding staff you need?
Connect With The Wider Community
You want to be making your practice known and respected in the wider community well before you start actively searching for new staff.
Make Your Practice Very Visible
Think about how you can increase the profile of your medical practice. You want people in your local community to think that your practice would be a wonderful place to work. Think about local events that you could participate in. Build your presence on social media. Actively publicize your achievements as a practice.
Finding the best staff may mean reaching people who aren’t unemployed. It may even mean going beyond the medical industry into other fields. Some medical practices are finding that customer service staff who were trained in retail or other service industries are a really good fit for non-clinical job positions. These staff members may see working in a medical practice as an opportunity to work in a more meaningful job. Offering them other perks such as potential career advancement and good benefits could help you to lure the best staff from other fields.
Think Long Term
Make sure that you partner with job boards, local schools, professional associations, and training programs. Offer to mentor students. Allow job shadowing for those in training. Think about the best options of HR systems that can assist with the hiring process. You could even do presentations at local schools to attract qualified candidates.
Encourage Diversity At Work
Having a multi-ethnic and multi-generational team will help you provide quality care to a diverse population. Staff diversity is associated with achieving a better bottom line across all industries. This includes age, gender, culture, experience, and background. Consider widening your network by reaching out to schools, training programs, job boards, and organizations that serve a diverse community.
Create A Positive Work Environment
Create a work environment where you offer rewards and benefits. This will help you with staff retention and with attracting the best new job candidates. If you want to know what benefits people really value, ask them. Create a culture of service excellence. This could be achieved by offering relevant work training.
Keep Open Lines Of Communication
If you come across a highly qualified candidate or receive a great resume, but you aren’t currently hiring, keep their contact information. If the right position opens up later, you could contact them. Stay on good terms with any employees who want to leave but are a valuable part of your team. They may refer other great candidates or even be open to returning one day.
Have A Meaningful Selection Process
A job application or a resume will only tell a small part of the story. Making good selections when hiring new staff requires digging a little deeper.
Look Beyond Credentials
Experience, education, and technical skills are all important. However, you need to think carefully about how well candidates would work as part of your team. How will they interact with customers and with other staff? When healthcare leaders were asked about the most important thing to consider when hiring new staff, 69% of them said “cultural fit”. This means you need to think about the candidate’s character, work ethic, motivation, and adaptability.
Anybody can be trained in technical skills, but personality is much more difficult to change. You may want to consider carrying out personality tests, such as the Myers-Briggs test, to measure these qualities. You can also just rely on references and interviews.
Go Beyond A Standard Interview
Standard interview questions will lead to generic answers that aren’t very meaningful. Think about how to get a sense of how candidates would respond to real-life situations. You could consider some role-play activities during the hiring process. You could also describe an imaginary scenario that is unfolding and ask what they would do.
These types of exercises go deeper than a standard interview. They also give candidates an idea of what they could expect on the job. This will help them to understand the requirements and if they feel they are up to it.
Talk About Expectations
Unrealistic expectations will lead to disappointment. Describe what you expect from your team members. Then allow candidates to describe what they are looking for. Ask what kind of job experience they are seeking. Ask why they chose this field and what career goals they have.
You can ask what unique experience or skills they will bring to your practice. It’s also essential that you clearly lay out what they will need to do in their role to contribute to the wider success of your team and your practice.
Hiring staff for your medical practice comes with no guarantees. To attract the best candidates, you can work on making your practice more visible in the wider community. Make sure that you network with other organizations. Always think in the long term and try to create a positive work environment. Having a diverse staff team will be good for your bottom line and for creating a sense of inclusion for patients and customers.
When engaging in the hiring process, try to go a little deeper. Consider doing role-play or real-world scenario questions. Look at the personality of the candidate and consider how they will fit into your team. Finally, make sure that you always openly discuss expectations on both sides.
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