Keys To Hiring Great Office Staff

Danielle Chicano, Editorial Associate

   Taking candidates out of the interview setting “catches them off guard” and to that end, Ms. Homisak suggests taking potential employees out to lunch and observing them in a more relaxed environment.

   “Pay attention to how they are treating service people and their impromptu reactions,” notes Ms. Homisak. “Do they smile a lot? Do they ask for things politely and look at people when they speak to them? The body language and behavior always trump their premeditated words.”

   Dr. Sanders also schedules informal interview lunches for potential employees in the final stages of the hiring process.During both the formal and informal interview, Dr. Sanders screens for candidates with enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, a positive outlook and a willingness to go above and beyond normal duties.

Why Your Current Staff Should Get A Say In Hiring

It is important to decide whether your current staff will have a place in the hiring process and how you will implement this. As these experts note, incorporating the staff in the interview process and taking their opinions into consideration is significant to foster an efficient office environment.

   Dr. Sanders says her entire staff will attend the informal lunch to determine whether the candidate is a good match.

   “I feel strongly that if I am going to have an existing employee train and/or work closely with a new employee, then he or she should have a say in the hiring process as well,” explains Dr. Sanders, who requires her staff to “sign off on a potential hire” before choosing the candidate.

   Dr. Werber agrees that incorporating your staff is an important step when hiring any new employee. He has implemented a “trial hire” period in order to observe how the applicant will work in the office and with other members of his staff.

   “In the last two years, I have had every one (of my staff members) participate in the interview and then we have a trial hire of the final two candidates, each working two to three hours,” explains Dr. Werber. “We do not put them on payroll. We pay them a nominal $12 per hour for their time.”

   Ms. Homisak warns against hiring anyone that the staff has not met. The other members of your staff also will need to work with the new employee so you should consider their opinions as well, notes Ms. Homisak.

   “Once the applicants have been narrowed down to the best one or two candidates, have the staff sit with them in the office or over lunch to get to meet each one,” says Ms. Homisak. “Based on their feedback, either hire or don’t hire.”

What You Can And Cannot Ask The Candidate

While conducting an interview, it is important to know not only what you should ask but also what you are permitted to ask from a legal standpoint. Although the questions you ask during the interview can give you insight into a person’s work ethic and personality, Dr. DeHeer notes it is important to avoid personal questions.

   Employers should avoid any direct questions regarding age, race, national origin, gender, religion, marital status and sexual orientation, explains Dr. Sanders. She will ask job-related questions to determine “how a candidate would respond to a given situation in addition to confirming that the skills and experience listed on their resume accurately reflect their capabilities.”

   Dr. Werber will also ask his candidates job-specific questions that avoid any political and personal areas. He says questions that do not require a simple yes or no answer will allow your candidate to form more objective and thoughtful responses. For example, Dr. Werber might ask the following questions.

• Where do you see yourself in five years?
• Tell me about your best boss. Tell me about your worst boss.
• What happens when you are criticized?
• What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?
• What would be the worst job you can imagine? What would be your best job?
• Tell me about sterile technique.

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