By Cheryl Whitman, Beautiful Forever Consulting
A good team will make or break a business. When you hire the right people, and motivate and train them well, the machine functions smoothly. Your practice then becomes defined by its positive culture, productivity and compassionate care.
The million-dollar question is: How do managers find the right employees, train them to uphold the practice’s culture and protocols, and retain those valuable team members? The answer to this question is multifaceted and requires strong recruiting techniques, ongoing training and policies that motivate rather than discourage a team-based approach to care—every touch point in your practice is crucial to the overall success of the business.
Practices That Ensure a Good Fit
What is the culture and mission of your practice? Taking a few moments to consider the story of “you”—what makes your practice unique and the best choice for your target patient base—is a good exercise in branding your practice not only to patients but also potential employees. Schedule a time to document your story and create a mission statement, then use that information both internally and externally to guide your decision making.
If resources are available, create a web page just for prospective employees. You’ll need to provide a link to prospective applicants—this page should not be visible on your site map. It should tell potential applicants what working at the practice is really like and what is expected of all successful employees. This page might include:
- “A Day in the Life” description of the day-to-day flow of the practice
- Expectations of staff members in how they relate to patients and fellow staff members
- Brief job descriptions for various positions
- An overview of your compensation package
- Any “unwritten” rules and expectations that shape and form the practice
This list will not only serve to attract the right kind of people, but will also eliminate applicants who realize that they may not be a good fit. If you are not able to create a web-based version of this information, consider writing it up and keeping it in a PDF file to send to prospective employees.
Your practice is a reflection of your standards, your personality and your expectations. Make this clear before potential applicants get their foot in the door.
In addition to reviewing resumes and applications, create a questionnaire to help identify those who have a positive attitude and attributes that will support practice success and allow them to mesh with their fellow employees. You can find several examples of pre-employment questionnaires online. Use these as a template to help you create your own, or you can work with a business consultant to create one specifically for your practice. These types of questionnaires are widely used in corporate recruiting and are completed online as part of the pre-application process.
Skill tests are also valuable in weeding out applicants who do not have the minimum skills required for the open position. Develop a series of simple skill tests for each position in your practice, and keep in mind which skills are most important for each position. For example, not all applicants for technical or back-office positions will have— or need—innate customer service skills.
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