How To Hire The Right People For Your Practice

Kevin McDonald, DPM

   In order to find the best person for a position at your office, it is optimal to have a host of qualified applicants. It is advisable to be on the lookout for quality people as you go about your life and it also helps to have a network of friends and acquaintances you can tap for referrals. However, perhaps the quickest way to obtain a high number of applicants is to use Web sites such as Craigslist.

   It is important for your advertisement to sell your practice as a great place to work in order to attract applicants of both quantity and quality. Which of the following ads do you believe would garner a greater response?

   Help wanted for busy medical office. Seeking experienced candidate for billing and accounts receivables position. Competitive salary and benefits with 401(k) plan after three years. Criminal background check, credit check and drug test required. Send resume and application to ______.

   Do you want to smile on your way to work and smile on the way back home? Are you good with numbers? Do you enjoy helping people? If yes to all of the above, you may be just the person for an accounting position at our fast paced medical office. Please send your resume and a cover letter detailing your qualifications and attributes to _______.

   I believe the second ad would attract a better response.

   At our office, we were recently looking for a person who would serve in a hybrid position, which would require both front and back office skills. This person would be “rooming” the patient, initiating the medical record and treatment process, and assisting with “checkout.”

   Here is the ad that we came up with for Craigslist.

   We are a small medical practice in Concord looking for a person with a rare combination of traits. We need somebody who is pleasant and kind, but also someone who is fast on their feet and quick with (his or her) mind. If you feel that you fit this description, please reply to this ad with “It’s me” in the subject line and send your resume (as a Word document) with a note telling us why “it’s you.”

   We received over 100 resumes within a 72-hour period. Many of the replies were immediately deleted because there was no “It’s me” in the subject line. If a person cannot follow the instructions of a want ad, he or she probably will not follow instructions at the office either.

   The replies that we paid the most attention to were from people who thoughtfully (and sometimes humorously) sold themselves as being the right person for our office. We ended up with seven candidates who we seriously considered.

Additional Insights On Finding The Best Person For The Job

Of course, you cannot believe everything you read. Interviewing prospective job applicants is a very valuable skill. This can be daunting. I recommend more than one interview and more than one interviewer with each serious candidate in order to decrease the chance of a mistake. The focus of a good interview consists of behavior-based questions in which you ask about a past experience or provide a hypothetical scenario, which will reveal the candidate’s character and problem-solving skills. I try to ask the same question to each person I am interviewing for a position and compare all the answers.

   Another idea is to have a (paid?) tryout day in which the job seeker spends a half day or an entire day at the office so you can really get to know him or her.
Probing reference checks and resume fact checking are standard tools to evaluate job applicants. Psychological testing can profile job applicants and can pinpoint potential problem areas.

   Jay Henderson of Real Talent Hiring offers a fine and economical service whereby job prospects can complete a 20-minute online test.5 You will receive the results via e-mail and can discuss the results with Real Talent Hiring over the phone. These profiles can reveal how people think, how well they work independently and how well they work with others.

   Dr. McDonald is in private practice in Concord, N.C. He serves on the Education Committee of the North Carolina Foot and Ankle Society.


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