Hiring Help: Adding New Team Members to Your Practice

Written by on August 1, 2014 in Practice tips - No comments

HandshakeWEBHiring a new team member or members can be a bit overwhelming.  There are so many “what ifs?”  Often times, especially in smaller clinics, office managers and physicians don’t really know what to look for our how to “test” candidates to see if they may be a good fit. It is important to remember you don’t want to hire the best of a bunch of so-so candidates. You should only be adding extraordinary people to your clinic.

The big trick is finding and recognizing them when you have them. Here is an overview of the system we use with our clients to ensure optimal hiring:

  1. Make a list. Write a detailed list of skills, experience, AND personality skills you need your new employee to have. Ask for others input, sleep on it, try to nail it down perfectly.
  2. Write out detailed instructions on how the candidates need to apply.  This will be the first “test” for applicants.  It is important to have detail-oriented people who can follow instructions, and making prospective employees follow instructions will immediately will serve to weed out certain candidates.  Points to consider for detailed instructions:
    1. A particular e-mail address for submitting applications/resume
    2. A certain subject line (e.g., when hiring internally we often use “MSG LLC Join Team” as the required subject line)
    3. A document detailing their particular experience related to the required skill set in lieu of just a resume and cover letter
    4. A deadline date and time to have submitted applications
    5. Determine where you should place ads for optimal candidates. Some suggestions include your website/ blog, Facebook, or Twitter accounts. Be sure look for referrals from personal networks, LinkedIn, other offices for recommendations, or advertisements in newspapers, trade organizations, magazines, Craigslist, and online job sites (Yahoo, CareerBuilder, etc.). Ask any current exceptional team members/employees if they know of anyone who would be interested and encourage them to apply.
    6. Start sorting. Once you receive applications, I advise clients to sort their incoming applicants into three main categories.
      1. NO: These applicants didn’t meet your skill requirements or didn’t follow your instructions for applying down to the letter.  Regardless of the skills and experience if the applicant did not follow the submission instructions, we advise our clients to weed them out immediately.
      2. 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, or vice versa. (Remember, skills can be learned!)
      3. YES:  These people have all of the skills, apparent personality, experience, and followed your instructions perfectly.
      4. Contact all of the candidates from the YES category.  You should talk to at least five and as many as 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.
      5. Narrow it down. Ideally, you will narrow down your list to five or fewer candidates. Bring them in for interviews; introduce them to current team members (gauge their opinions as well).  Don’t skimp on calling all of their references, or performing background checks.
      6. Keep weeding. 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.

Welcome to your newest perfect fit for a team member!

By Audrey Christie McLaughlin, RN

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