I have been in the healthcare space long enough to have a high level view of the complexities involved in doctoring and providing a high quality of patient care. Being a doctor requires the greatest level of commitment and diligence and the last thing we want is for our doctors to be distracted with none core, mundane functions, like choosing servers or types of networks needed to run your practice software. However, hiring your staff is not one of those functions and I recommend you get passionate about this task.
Choosing a good team of people for your practice is one of the most challenging tasks you will encounter, some have the gift of picking good people that end up staying with them for years or decades, however for others it is not so simple and the consequences are extreme. If this task is not done correctly, then your time in the practice suffers, as a result your patients may suffer as you are rushed and your income will suffer and if not the things I mentioned then worse still it will be your own health that will be on line as you spend nights compensating for the workload.
I guess I made my point here so the solution in my opinion is to hire slowly so that you don’t have to fire and allow me to share my thoughts on this topic. There are recruitment firms available to you that do not cost a fortune because they cap their fees, also there are specific healthcare websites or the main stream search, regardless of which you decide to do here are some high level guidelines that I use:
- Define the role you are wanting to fill carefully, as I find that employers are often guilty of trying to fit a good employee into the wrong job and end up with two issues
- Interview carefully and more than one interview. The fact of the matter is you will spend more time with your staff than you do with your family so you need to ensure that you get along with them and they are the right cultural fit.
- My second or third interview is usually a casual coffee in jeans and speak frankly
- Try to describe not only the work environment but also the typical day to day tasks as candidly as possible (it’s impossible to get it 100% right but try and give a true picture of events)
- Always have an employment contract and ensure the responsibilities are outlined along with all the conditions and obligations
- Train your staff, one of my favourite lines in business is “what If I train my staff and they leave? The answer is: what if you don’t and they stay?”
- Nurture staff for a period of time and then trust them to do their job.
- Provide a safe environment for yourself and your staff
- Make it fun and this is a challenge for healthcare but necessary in my opinion
Having an awesome team on the other hand just changes your world. Your patients will have a much better experience with you. It’s this experience that defines you most of the time, not the just the technical aspect of what you do also your income capacity will be higher and most importantly you will enjoy coming to work.