Employers make many mistakes, for a multitude of reasons, when hiring employees. These consequences can hit hard on the bottom line of the business as well as effect moral and or patient perception of the practice. Heed these top five hiring pitfalls listed below and you will save on time, money, energy and reputational risk.

Pitfall #1: Don’t hire too quickly and out of desperation

Do you feel like you need that nurse, office manager, assistant now? Do you feel if you do not hire someone now your office will collapse? Adopting the mindset of ‘finding the appropriate individual’ for the job will help you avoid pitfall #1. Hiring a “Head Hunter” is a short term band-aid for hiring. The solution is your practice either takes the time for a careful search or alternatively engages a medical specialist firm such as SpineSearch for the complete search and the perfect fit.

When hiring, we are often in a rush to fill the position. However if you just think about how quickly hiring the ‘wrong’ person will affect your business’ bottom line, you may take a step back and look at the big picture. Consider the cost of hiring and training an employee only to learn after a short time that he/she lacks the skills needed for the job. Not only will you find yourself back to square one but you will also have the arduous task of firing, and rehiring another employee. This will quickly lead to frustration, loss of resources and negative office morale. Don’t rush an interview or candidate. If more than one interview is needed to determine the best fit for the position, bring the candidate back again for another interview.

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If you find yourself in a pinch, hire a temporary employee (very cost effective). You can accomplish this through word of mouth (from respected professionals) or by utilizing a full service recruitment firm, like SpineSearch. A temporary employee will help maintain balance in the practice while you take careful time and consideration in searching for a permanent employee to join your team. Adopting these procedures will aid in your ability to find the right fit for your organization.

Pitfall #2: Have a clear job description.

Are you creating a new position? Has someone left your office and you are replacing an existing position? Have you written a job description? Is it clear and concise? Does it meet all of your needs?

A job description is a map for the employer as well as the employee and is crucial in the hiring process. Without a job description the employer cannot appropriately represent the job he/she needs filled. In addition, a job description gives the employee an understanding of their role in the office. Without this clarity a successful hire is left to chance, and the possibility of confusion, lack of productivity, and dissatisfaction is greatly increased. In writing and presenting a full job description the employer may uncover a specific skill set or expertise that may be vital to help maximize efficiency and profitability for the office. SpineSearch has a vast amount of experience in creating these job descriptions and can help a spine practice uncover ways to run a smarter business.

Take the time to create or revise a job description prior to a new hire. This will ensure the responsibilities of the employee are clear and concise. In addition, it will give the employer the opportunity to confirm those duties needed to run the office are being performed. It also gives a yardstick that is useful in judging if a new employee is completing all expected aspects of the position – both for the employer and employee. NO GUESSING!!!!

Pitfall #3: Prepare for the interview

Are you, the employer prepared for the interview? Have you reviewed the resume prior to the candidate’s arrival in the office? Did you leave enough time in your schedule for the interview?

No matter what your position, surgeon, physician, or office manager, you have taken many years to train and prepare for your specialty. On a daily basis you prepare for meetings, presentations, and patient consultations. So don’t fly by the seat of your pants when you interview someone to join your team. They are a representation of you and the quality you expect and deliver. Review their resume prior to the interview so that you can appear educated and interested about their background. If you don’t appear interested in the candidate why would they want to work for you? Take heed of yearly job changes on a resume and be prepared to question this if necessary. Identify gaps in work periods, and inquire. As an employer, taking the time to be educated for an interview shows the employee your interest in your practice and your employees.

Of course, you want to give the interviewee an opportunity to be prepared as well. This can be achieved by presenting him/her with some information prior to the interview, such as your website. Then, during the interview learn what the interviewee did with that information. Throughout the interview you can have carefully planned questions to uncover the candidate’s use of the information. This will give you a better idea of how the employee will utilize the tools given to him/her in their daily job. Allow the candidate the opportunity to speak as this will help you learn a lot about the individual. Remember, you want to leave the interview with a good picture of how this candidate will fit in the position and within the organization.

To simplify the process and make it as methodical as possible SpineSearch recommends making a S.O.P. “Standard Operating Procedure” much like a physician has a standard diagnostic procedure when treating a client. It creates an efficient, easy environment for the interviewer to conduct his interview.

Pitfall #4: Include valued members of your team in the process

Do you do all the hiring by yourself? Do you have good, effective and efficient people in your organization now? If yes to both questions, try and utilize your current staff in deciding which candidate is the best fit to join the team.

When working in an organization there is no “me”. An individuals’ personality, work ethic, behaviors and attitudes will affect all the employees and clients he/she has contact with. It is important the candidate is a fit not just with skill set, but with the office environment as a whole.

Before the interview, share with the staff there will be an interview and invite some to engage in conversation with the candidate. Provide the applicant a tour of the office given to them by a trusted employee. This frees up physician time and allows the MD to get feedback from the person providing the tour (second opinions are invaluable). Candidates are usually less guarded when they move away from the interviewer. Don’t hesitate to do a 2nd interview and include or have it conducted by another trusted staff member. You can also invite the candidate to attend a meeting, and share in staff discussion.

Pitfall #5: Utilize references

Have you hired someone without a reference check? If so, an inadequate reference check could set you up for disaster. A medical office with unconfirmed credentials could be exposed to litigation.

Anyone can misrepresent themselves on a resume. Some can even eloquently tell untruths and conjure up great misrepresentations of the facts. Utilize those references you required from the candidate. Make sure YOU make the phone call to the preceding employer. You can gain a wealth of information from the managers’ tone of voice on the phone and the manager’s description of the candidates’ performance.

With the candidates authorization you can also perform a background check to guard from unfortunate mishaps.

Hiring the right person is the biggest benefit you can give to yourself, your staff and your practice. Ask yourself if you are guilty of any of these hiring pitfalls. If so, make a commitment to change your current hiring practices. The strategies mentioned can help avoid hiring pitfalls, and help you find the right track and the right fit for your practice.

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