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    Attract outstanding staff to your practice

    One of the biggest challenges facing a medical practice is procuring and developing exceptional staff members. A low turnover rate is usually a good sign and indicative of a happy, healthy, dynamic workplace. Excellent staff anticipates your needs, improves your clinic efficiency, supports your efforts, and makes the workday enjoyable. So how do you attract great employees, and more importantly, what keeps staff eager and motivated to stay?

    When seeking out new staff, posting local ads is often the most cost effective and targeted means of seeking out local talent. When composing an ad, ensure the posting is accurate but enticing. Why does someone want to join your practice? What unique qualities does your practice offer? What special skill sets or prerequisite requirements are sought? The more clear you are with the job description, the more likely suitable candidates will respond to your position listing.

    Candidate screening tools

    Screening tools are another means of ensuring an individual is a good fit with your practice. As a part of the job application process, I request that applicants respond to several questions posted in the ad. This tests a candidate’s ability to pay attention to detail and to respond as directed. Their answers are telling. Grammar, syntax, comprehension, creativity and personal voice are communicated in their responses.

    Some practices, where state laws allow, also conduct full background checks and even personality assessments. The former can be surprising and worthwhile investigative tools. Personality tests, if permissible, can provide insight into work dynamics. For example, inventories may reveal whether an individual is well suited for particular daily responsibilities or how their personality will blend with already established staff.

    Each physician must determine what is the best means of interviewing candidates for job positions. In my experience, a multi-tiered interview process has vetted the most suitable, long-term staff members. Similar to a 360-degree employment review where an employee is evaluated by his/her managers, peers, and subordinates, I involve multiple team members in evaluating job candidates. The departmental manager is responsible for evaluating initial applicants and conducing a phone and in-person interview.

    In the next round, job candidates must be willing to spend time in the office with staff members that will be their peers, observing daily activities in the office. Finally, a candidate successfully passing the first two stages of interviewing meets with me, the physician. Although this may seem exhaustive, this relatively small amount of energy initially can pay off tremendously if a well-chosen new staff member is the ultimate result.

    Next: Conduct 'practical' interviews


    Melanie D. Palm, M.D., M.B.A.
    Melanie D. Palm, M.D., is director of Art of Skin MD in Solana Beach, Calif. Visit her at http://www.artofskinmd.com


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