How to recruit and retain the right practice staff
- On 06/12/2016
Hiring staff is a skill that isn’t covered in medical school. Yet getting good employees is key to the success of your medical practice.
Having a clear picture of what you expect from staff members and their roles is a good start. This will help you create detailed job descriptions and give you a concrete way to cross-check a candidate’s ability to perform in the role.
When interviewing candidates – do your due diligence. It is a huge waste of your time, as well as the employee’s, if the person you hire is not right for the job. Take the time to find someone who can not only perform the role competently, but you will enjoy working alongside. Life is too short to spend your working hours with people you don’t like being around. It is a good idea for both employer and employee to have an agreed probation period. Also, be sure that any offers of employment and contracts meet Fairwork and Award requirements.
When it comes to retaining new staff, the trick is to give them the best possible chance of succeeding. Give employees a thorough and well-structured induction and orientation program.
Check in with (not up on) new staff to make sure they understand their role and to see if they have lingering questions that have not yet been answered. Make sure they are not too stressed or overwhelmed with their new responsibilities, and if they are, discuss whether their responsibilities need to be pared back slightly until they get more familiar with their role.
New hires have lots of questions, which is great – it’s how everyone learns. But it’s a good idea to tell your new employee who the best person is to direct all questions to, so other staff are not repeatedly interrupted.
Every job has “unwritten” rules based on the employer’s preferences. If you want all calls answered within three rings regardless of whether the employee is speaking with another staff member or patient, then make sure they know that.
And after the initial settling in period – look at ways to keep employees long term. Patients like coming in to see a familiar face, particularly in a medical office atmosphere, where they may have anxiety about their health. Keeping staff loyal is good for your practice and saves you time and money in constantly hiring and re-training new staff. So make the necessary investment. Make sure your remuneration is competitive. Also look at other ways to improve staff morale – regular lunches, quarterly dinners or birthday recognition are simple ways to treat staff and improve their overall job satisfaction.
Are you hiring and retaining good staff?
We can help you better meet the needs of your community.