5 Steps to Hire the Right Employees

Even if you know what you’re doing, it can be hard to make good hires. Because doctors are trained to practice medicine, many receive little or no training in how to run a business—or how to make great hires for non-clinical positions. Here are some tried-and-true tips to help you make sure your next hire doesn’t turn into your next headache.

Hiring mistakes can be extremely costly. Dealing with a bad hire not only takes a ton of time, but it can also have disastrous consequences, such as harm to patients, fines, lawsuits and general “bad blood” if you eventually end up terminating the incompetent employee. One hiring mistake can even damage the morale in your entire office.

Even if you know what you’re doing, it can be hard to make good hires. Because doctors are trained to practice medicine, many receive little or no training in how to run a business—or how to make great hires for non-clinical positions.

Here are some tried-and-true tips to help you make sure your next hire doesn’t turn into your next headache:

1. Attract the “right” candidates

Make sure you clearly define the position and create a detailed job description before advertising. Always establish education and experience requirements.

It may help to consult with your practice manager or other industry experts to establish an appropriate salary range for the position—advertising a salary that is too low (even if you are willing to pay more) may deter high-quality candidates from applying. And, don’t forget to consider what you are looking for in a teammate and what type of person would fit in well with the other staff.

2. Verify credentials

You’ve got patients to see and a practice to run, so you cannot afford to waste time interviewing unqualified candidates. Select a handful of candidates on your short list and check their credentials, make sure their licenses are up to date and run criminal background checks BEFORE scheduling interviews.

This may mean spending a bit of time and money up front, but trust me—you don’t want any surprises or disappointments just before you are ready to put a job offer on the table.

Bonus: Advance background checks will enable you to ask about any inconsistent, concerning or questionable information during the job interview.

3. Craft your interview questions

Developing interview questions that shed light onto a person’s work habits, attitudes, potential and personality is an art form. You already know about a candidate’s experience and qualifications, so you should use the interview to determine if the candidate possesses the “soft skills” you are looking for and if he or she would be a good fit for your team.

One of my favorite interview tactics is to ask a candidate to describe a work situation that frustrates them. If the candidate becomes angry, blames others or complains too much, I consider it to be a red flag for a poor attitude. Conversely, asking candidates to describe a time when they felt excited about their job can give me an idea of how passionate they are about their career.

Ultimately, your questions should correlate directly to the characteristics or skills that are most important to you. It might be a good idea to ask a human resources consultant or staffing firm for help if you are stumped.

4. Think long-term

Turnover will cost you time and money, so it is important that you hire quality staff that will stick around for a while. Offering a low salary might save you money in the short-run, but it will also set you up to lose that staff member when he or she gets a better job offer from the practice down the street.

Don’t be afraid to bet on potential, either. An inexperienced, but highly teachable candidate with a ton of upside might be a great investment for your practice.

5. Take your time

If you conduct your interviews and feel that the candidates are lackluster, you would be well-served to re-advertise the job. If you are on the fence about someone, call him or her back for a second interview. And, don’t settle for a candidate that you are less-than-enthused about if your top prospect turns down your job offer.

Even though a prolonged job vacancy can cause a strain on your current staff, a temporary redistribution of work is far better than being stuck with a malcontent or incompetent employee.

If you follow this basic advice, you will be well on the road to hiring your next Employee of the Month!