Attracting a qualified and hard-working prospective employee involves more than just putting an ad on a website. The key to finding the ideal candidate for your practice is to use all of the resources available, including existing staff, industry contacts and job boards. On the following pages, practice owners share their strategies for recruiting top-notch personnel who will support practice success and provide care that keeps patients coming back.
Hiring From Within
A busy practice will often find potential staff members already at work in the office. Former interns and externs are always promising candidates: They have experience working at the practice and have built relationships with patients and staff.
“My favorite way is to go to nursing schools and use their nursing students as interns,” says Mitchel P. Goldman, MD, of Goldman, Butterwick, Fitzpatrick, Groff & Fabi Cosmetic Laser Dermatology Center in San Diego. “They’re literally working with me doing an internship for a few months, and then if we like them, we hire them.”
Charles Crutchfield III, MD, notes that recruiting students to work at his practice, Crutchfield Dermatology in Eagan, Minnesota, is not only convenient for hiring but creates great employees. “Relationships with nursing schools and medical assistant schools are very beneficial in this regard. We’ve had a number of excellent externs complete their schooling at the same time we have had a personnel need,” he says. “Since we already know each other from the externship, they quickly become outstanding employees.”
Referrals from existing staff members are another valuable in-office resource when it comes to hiring. “Probably 50% of my employees are hired through existing employees,” says Dr. Goldman. Since staff members already know how the practice runs, they will be unlikely to suggest someone who won’t fit in.
Sometimes, word of mouth and a well-known practice are all it takes to get applicants in the door and simplify the recruitment process. “Our clinic is recognized as an excellent medical facility that provides top quality care, and we are known in our medical community as a terrific work-life environment,” says Dr. Crutchfield. “As a result, we continually receive inquiries from strong employment candidates for all of our operational areas: nursing staff, medspa, patient relations and administration—we have not had to actively recruit for some time.”
Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS, of the Center for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, California, agrees that “word of mouth is No. 1 when it comes to finding clinical nurses. Industry sales reps are also a great resource,” he says. “They often know great people that have worked at other aesthetic practices.”
Monster.com and craigslist.org are two of the top websites that practitioners and managers may use when looking for new employees. While finding an ideal applicant can be more difficult due to the sheer number of responses, it is certainly not impossible.
Dr. Azizzadeh’s strategy is to be specific and actually oversell the job responsibilities, which weeds out those who may not be as qualified or committed. “We include very detailed information about experience, expertise and demands on the job,” he says. “We always overestimate the demands so that only very motivated individuals apply.”
Chicago-based plastic surgeon Steven H. Dayan, MD, FACS, agrees that being realistic about the difficulty level of the position and amount of duties is critical to attracting the right candidates. “We definitely say it’s going to be a challenge,” he says. “We let applicants know that it’s hard work and long hours. Being honest like that has really worked best for us.”
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