Investing time and attention in the medical practice staff hiring process can reduce costs as well as boost staff retention.In a busy medical office, an empty staff position can be a real problem. Days that were already full, are even more so. Patients are complaining.
The instinctive response is to fill the empty position as soon as possible. Resist the impulse! Any short-term relief will inevitably produce long-term aggravation and higher employment costs.
The data vary widely, but it is generally agreed that filling a staff position costs more than the associated annual salary. Most of these costs have a real impact on productivity.
- Lost productivity and increased overtime while the position.
- Time associated with interviewing candidates.
- Even more lost productivity and increased overtime while the new employee is learning.
- The biggest cost, however, is making a hiring mistake. Hiring carefully is worth the investment. Here are six steps to significantly reduce hiring costs:
Step 1: Define your requirements
The important requirements are the ones that don’t appear in a CV or transcript. These are:
Personality. For instance, should the individual be cheerful? Optimistic? High-energy? Empathetic? Independent?
Work ethic. Do you want a self-starter? Team player? Leader? Someone who is detail-oriented?
Appearance and manner. Should the individual speak up? Be poised? Youthful? Mature?
Step 2: Describe the ideal candidate
It will be useful to describe how your ideal candidate would respond in two or three hypothetical situations. (You can use these hypotheticals in the eventual interviews.)
I also recommend describing the ideal candidate from the candidate’s point of view. To whom would the job be most appealing?
To whom might the appeal be short-lived? Your best source of these information is your impression of staff, current and past.
What type of person at what age and stage has performed well, been happy and stayed for a long time? What are the attributes of people who have not worked out well?
The object of the exercise is to have something definite in order to evaluate the candidates. It is unlikely that you will find an ideal candidate, but you will get much closer if you know what you want and hold out for a reasonably good fit.
Step 3: Make adjustments
You may discover that the highly professional, well-turned out, mature person you would really like to hire has no interest in the duties of the job and finds the compensation inadequate.
A long-term solution requires adjustments to your requirements, the job, or both.
More flexible hours, the opportunity to learn, educational benefits as well as a pleasant workplace, are all examples of perks that have real value to candidates without necessarily increasing costs.
Once you know the desired attributes, it becomes easy to tailor the job and attract the ideal candidate.
Step 4: Establish a process before interviewing the candidates
Before anyone looks at candidate submissions, have someone respond to everyone with a request for some action, a test for example, on the part of the candidate.
The action should be related to the position so that the request maintains your credibility, but the task itself should be easy.
Your purpose is to let casual candidates self-select out of the process. If you still have too many candidates to seriously consider, assign another task. About 90% of them will drop out with each request.
Step 5: Verify selected CV and application information
If something on a CV or application is important to you, independently verify the assertions.
Step 6: Give new employees an easy way to quit after a short trial period
It is not unusual at all, for a new employee to discover that accepting the job was a mistake. The sooner the new employee can admit it and move on, the less you will lose in integrating the new person into the practice.
A bonus is also that your second choice may still be available and willing.
Hiring process is necessary. Investing time and attention in the process so that your employees are the right ones, reduces the costs substantially.