Best Practices for Hiring Talented Healthcare Staff at Your Private Practice

It’s a challenging time to be hiring.

With more jobs being created in healthcare than any other industry, the competition is fierce — and the best candidates are off the market within days.

Yet in the midst of these hurdles, many independent physicians are staffing their offices with top talent. How do they do it? 

Simple: They’ve optimized their job recruitment process. Once you understand what it takes to find and attract best-in-class talent, you can improve the caliber of your candidates and shorten the hiring cycle. 

Here are several proven best practices to help you do just that.

Set the stage to hire right

When you have a vacancy to fill, timing is everything. So your first response may be to quickly write and post a job description. The faster you can get the word out, the sooner you can find the best person. Right?

Maybe, or maybe not. If you don’t take time to craft a quality posting first, you could end up right back where you started — with the addition of costly turnover. Nearly three in four employers are impacted by poor hires. Each one costs companies an average of $14,900, plus a 36% drop in productivity and 32% drop in employee morale. 

While the right employees will help grow your practice, hiring the wrong person can have the opposite effect. Which is why it’s critical to attract the right candidates with performance-based job posting, which focuses on expected results.

If you don’t already have a hiring strategy in place, put one together first — before you post open positions. Taking just 30 to 60 minutes to answer a few key questions can help increase the likelihood of job success and retention. For example:

  • How will you attract the best candidates? If you’re getting too many applications from unqualified candidates, your job description may not accurately reflect what you need. Ask employees to help create a must-have list of minimum qualifications. In addition, consider going beyond basic job requirements to describe benefits, perks, and other items that will appeal to top talent.
  • How will you position your practice? Three in four job seekers research companies before deciding to apply, and 14% say company values are the most critical factor. Presenting your practice as a great place to work is essential if you want to attract quality candidates. Ask your current employees what inspires them and what they love most about their jobs. Then use their answers to write a short value proposition for your website and job postings. If you already have your company values documented, include those in job listings as well.

Choose the right recruitment channels

If your practice has been struggling to attract the right job candidates, you’re far from alone. Surveys show this is the number one challenge for an astounding 76% of hiring managers.

What’s the best way to overcome it? Choose the right channels for each job posting. You don’t necessarily need to cast a wide net — just a strategic one.

Rather than going straight to corporate staffing companies or large job sites like Indeed and Monster, consider more relevant options such as:

  • On-demand recruitment services designed for independent practices
  • Local job boards
  • Healthcare-specific job boards 
  • Healthcare organizations and communities, such as the American Nurse Association and American Hospital Association
  • Local colleges, universities, and other learning institutions with quality programs

Keep in mind that many of your most qualified candidates may not be actively looking for a job. An estimated 86% of the most qualified candidates are already employed but would be open to accepting a new position if the right opportunity comes along. 

For this reason, it’s a good idea to leverage your existing network for potential referrals. Post openings to your LinkedIn and Facebook pages, and let your staff and patients know you’re looking to hire. Or, better yet, partner with an organization that’s already building relationships and routinely sourcing passive candidates.

Screen candidates with care

For every job opening, you could receive several applications to vet. 

One way to speed this process is to do an initial screening to validate work experience, skills, licenses, and certifications until you’ve narrowed down your list to a handful of choices. If your current employees don’t have the capacity to tackle this step, outsourcing to an experienced vendor can help.

Then, before you invite candidates for interviews, prepare a list of questions that will allow you to go deeper. Rather than sticking to standard questions about resume highlights and previous work experience, ask about issues that relate directly to the role. Depending on the position, you could ask behavior-based questions such as:

  • What is a challenging situation you had to work through and what did you do to overcome it?
  • How will you greet patients?
  • How would you handle a challenging patient?

Asking the right questions will not only help you get to know your potential hires, but also evaluate their potential. A new hire with excellent communication skills and a strong work ethic is more likely to learn fast than someone who’s simply done a lot of clerical work or has an impressive degree.

In summary: Finding quality candidates in today’s competitive job market is one of the biggest challenges independent physicians face. If you’re tired of turnover and ready to create your dream team, these best practices are a great place to start. And if you need help putting them into practice, omo can help. 

Our team has been successfully staffing physician practices for more than 25 years — and we take pride in providing some of the industry’s fastest turnaround times and lowest costs. To learn about omo’s proven six-step recruitment process, visit our on-demand recruiting page.