How to Build Your “Dream Practice Team” in 7 Steps
Ready to bring in more patients, but don’t know when you will find time to treat them AND manage the day-to-day needs of your practice? It might be time to start building your dream practice team. By expanding your staff, you can free up time to focus on your true passion of patient care.
Building a staff is no small task. It will form the backbone (and face) of your practice. Below are seven steps to guide you on your path to assembling your dream team. These steps will help minimize the chance of hiring employees that are not a fit for you and your practice.
- Figure out your practice needs — The first step is to determine which staff is most essential. You may need a receptionist, medical assistant, billing person or office manager. To decide who to hire, examine your office routine. What happens once a patient enters the door? What staff is needed to take that patient from start to finish? Can someone be trained to fill more than one need?
- Create your staff wish list and choose one — Write out all the staff you wish you could hire in the order you need the most. (Hint: The person you need the most will be your next hire). List the requirements necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of each position. Consider the following when drafting the necessities:
- What are the physical tasks involved?
- What are the mental tasks involved?
- What methods and equipment are needed to get the job done?
- What is the reason for the position?
- What qualifications (includes experience, skills, knowledge, personality traits, and additional training) does the person need to get the job done?
Dream Team Hiring Tip: If you have difficulty outlining what you need for a position, reach out to other practitioners and their staff to help you answer these questions.
- Write the job description – This is an outline of a position and how it fits into your practice. It will also serve as a way to gauge whether or not the duties and responsibilities of the staff are being met. There are five key parts of a job description:
- The Heading includes the job title, where the position fits in the practice structure, reporting information, pay range, and hours to be worked
- The Objective summarizes the responsibilities; it is a description of the position’s purpose and expectations
- The Qualifications sections details education, experience, training, knowledge, skills and abilities needed for the role
- Job Duties and Responsibilities list tasks that will comprise about 95% of the work
- The Special Conditions section identifies any heavy lifting, travel requirements, or other additional considerations
- Post the job opening online – There are several websites where you can post your job opening. Save time by starting an account with a site like CareerVitals.com. This site will automatically funnel your job listing to over 100 job search engines.
- Review the resumes and create your shortlist — Write a list of what you are looking for in your dream candidate. Include a space for notetaking. When you review a resume, check off characteristics on your list as they are met. Pick three to five people that have the background you need to interview.
- Interview each candidate three times, in three different environments – It is amazing how the personality of a person can change when you move the interview setting from one place to another. Candidates will usually be at their very best in the first interview. If they are not genuine, it will quickly become clear in subsequent meetings. Do phone screenings to gauge each candidate’s knowledge and personality. This doesn’t need to be longer than 15-30 minutes. For the second interview, try meeting the candidate at a coffee shop and for the third meeting bring him/her to your practice.
Dream Team Hiring Tips
- Adding to a pre-existing staff? Have another staff person meet the candidate in addition to yourself. The more people on your team who support the selection of a particular candidate, the better chance the staff will have a vested interest in helping the new person be successful.
- Even if you like the first interviewee and feel that he or she is suitable, take your time. Interview at least two others. The more people you interview, the greater your options, and the more likely it is that you will make the right choice for your practice.
- Review your notes and make a selection – Review your notes, meet with the other interviewers, and determine who is the best fit. If more than one person seems to be a good fit, you may need to rely on your gut instinct to make the final selection or set up another interview.
Dream Team Hiring Tip: If you are the only person available to interview candidates, solicit feedback from your peer group.
Finding the right staff for your practice may not be easy. You can make the process more effective by following these steps and repeating them each time you are ready to scale up your practice.
Written by Lindsey Smart
Lindsey Smart is a Marketing Manager at Emerson Ecologics, overseeing the IGNITE program of educational opportunities and events, focused on helping practitioners achieve practice success.