Starting a Medical Practice: Interviewing for the new staff
Once you get enough candidates to apply (Refer to these articles for how to hire your new medical staff), the next challenge is to sift through the applications to find out who is best suited staff member for your medical practice. You should know what is important for your medical practice, before starting interviews. Here are some of the salient points, I will suggest you look for in candidate, especially if you are just starting a new medical office:
1) EXPERIENCE: You should not hire rookies for a new medical practice. The candidates selected for interview should have at least two to three years of job experience in the same position you are hiring them for. For example, I am sure you believe have some clue how a front desk is run. Wrong! You probably have no clue at all. Even though it sounds simple, it is not. A front desk staff member receives the patient, checks their insurance status, takes their copay, swipes their credit card or check, bill them for their co-insurance if needed. Now do you know what number or website to call to verify copay? Do you know how to swipe a credit card? If you think you do then give it a try. It is a difficult task. Especially when there are no set protocols set for that job. And in a new medical office you need people who can establish some protocols based on their previous job experience. Rookies come cheap, but having them in a new medical office is like sailing on a boat with a blind leader and blind crew. Not a recipe for success, eh! CAPTAIN?
2) COURTEOUS: Number one reason why a patient will leave your medical practice is the rudeness of your employee. A single instance of impoliteness can prompt a patient to leave. A rude answer on the phone can deter a patient from making an appointment. Therefore, try to hire people who will stay cool despite their stress level.
3) BACKGROUND CHECK: Check to make sure that the candidate you intend to hire does not have a criminal background. For those job positions where money transaction is part of the duties, a credit check is very important. Candidates with poor credit scores, deep in loans etc are high risk for becoming corrupt.
4) REFERENCES CHECK: Always get at least three references and have your office manager call and check them out. If you hear from someone that they cannot comment positive or negative about an employee, that is a bad recommendation. It should raise a red flag.
5) STABILITY: Look carefully at the resume of the candidate. Have they had multiple jobs in last three to five years? If yes, then most likely this new job will just be another one they would whiz by. You need employee stability, as high employee turnover leads to disruption, loss of productivity, a need to retrain the new hire, and monetary loss.
However, be careful how you ask questions in the interviews. Certain questions should not be asked and are considered illegal. Asking them is like throwing open the doors to a lawsuit. For a list of such questions, click here.