The idea of HR is totally over the heads of most very small practices.
The idea of well trained staff and the idea that employees can be a blessing and not a curse is the backbone to expansion in almost any service-based industry.
But most practitioners such as accountants, dentists, lawyers and medical doctors don't ever learn about Human Resources.
You go to school for 8 years and come out with a thorough knowledge of your trade, but no information on running a business.
And if you try to run it alone, you will wind up overwhelmed right away.
So you start to hire: putting an ad on Craigslist and bringing people into the office between patients or clients.
Then you hire people based off of their personality during the interview procedure.
Are they nice? Funny? Presentable?
Then when they aren't working out, it becomes a matter of disgust.
I've seen practicioners literally start to lose sleep and get haggard over bad staff. I even had one tell me that they hated going to their own practice because of one or two bad staff.
They put up with it because they don't know what to do. They hope it will be better "someday."
But that's not the right answer, obviously.
The right answer is that HR is a large body of technology, no different than dentistry or accounting.
You need to be able to find and hire the right people and you also need to be able to keep them.
You need to make sure they bring far more to the table than what they take.
But how do you do that?
You're already overwhelmed with clients and patients. How are you supposed to do that too?
Well, you simply jusy have to do it.
Might mean you need to work a few 80 hour weeks; but if you don't get things under control then you will simply be overloaded and handcuffed to your office forever.
By hiring and training staff, it allows you to take time off, to take vacations, etc.
If you don't then you will have to work hard to save up enough money then clear your schedule. You won't have any income while you're gone.
So how do you do it?
The correct solution is to hire 3 separate people for a post you want to fill. Have each one come in for a "working interview" for 5 or 10 hours per week.
So you would be training 3 people at the same time. You separate the hours of the post by 3 and give a third to each one.
By the end of a week or two, you will have the person whom of which is the best fit for the job. The other two you can either get rid of or hire part-time/full-time for something else.
Let's say for example, a receptionist:
If you put an ad on Craigslist then had a group interview, you could interview everyone all at once.
If you preferred a one-on-one style of interviewing, you could put up an ad for an "open interview" in a week or a few days and invite everyone.
You could serve free coffee and snacks. You could hold it in your office after-hours.
Then you could call back people to speak with you privately for 5-10 minutes. Ask them some questions, look over their resume, etc.
Have them fill out your application while they wait in reception.
Then once the day is over, you call your 3 favorite in for a "working interview."
Give each one 10 hours of work per week (paid) for 2 weeks. Tell them that the best worker in two weeks gets the job but their performance level expectation will be determined by how they perform over the next two weeks.
They can't work for two weeks then get slack. You have an office to run.
Then, if working with each receptionist is too much for you, you could type a very simple paper on the various tools they will use (phone, email, etc) and what your expectations are of them.
When they come in they can work with you and also read your write up.
So will you be busy over these next two weeks? WITHOUT A DOUBT.
But you really don't have a choice.
The more you try to avoid all this work and headache, your problems will simply get worse and worse.
You have to bite the bullet in order to get over to greener pastures.
You can use a service like Paychex to make sure your payroll and taxes are in order. There will be a simple form that the employee fills out. They can have their money direct deposited into their bank account.
Sounds like a lot of work but, if done well and a lot of people show up to your open interview day, you really only wind up spending one day on the process and then go right into a working interview.
That's a lot better than trying to see people between patients and clients. That burns you out and is overwhelming.
You can generally find generic applications online and can print them for the applicants.
Keep these hiring documents for the future because you WILL need to refer to them later for payroll or other purposes. Ideally they would be organized by name so they could be easily accessed later.
Ok so now on to the next part: how do you determine the best of your working interviewees?
This is more difficult for someone like a dentist because you're often away from the potential employee and with patients.
But they answer is always the same: STATISTICS.
You have to know what it is you want from your receptionist that can be quantified, such as:
1. Amount of scheduled appointments
2. Percentage of appointments kept
3. Money collected
Those would be decent stats for a receptionist in the healthcare field.
But how do you keep these stats?
You can use Orgboat. (Www.orgboat.com)
Orgboat is a full set of tools that you can use for HR and it is COMPLETELY FREE for up to 5 employees.
You can give your new potential employees jobs to do in the Battle Plans section of Orgboat and you can see what has been done even from your cell phone by using a browser such as Safari or Chrome.
Statistics measure the amount of valuable production that your new employees are doing. It also lets the new employee target in on those areas and understand what exactly is wanted by their employer. It puts them on the same page as you.
It's important because most new employees come in (especially if they have little prior experience) in a bit of a daze.
They need your attention, but the one who learns the fastest during the working interview may be the best applicant, depending on what you're looking for.
So here's the checklist for you to do hiring:
1. Sign up for Orboat right away for free and look that over. Look at the statistics section.
2. Determine what exactly you want from the position you are trying to fill. Then also determine the statistics.
3. Do a short write up of the statistics and expectations of the postion. You can also add in a part regarding how the working interview works.
4. Put an ad on Criagslist for an open interview. Invite people to show up.
5. Get those who come to fill out an application and leave a resume. Interview each one QUICKLY.
6. Choose and bring in your 3 favorite potential employees for a 1 or 2 week working interview. Pay them a little during this time, but don't give them the full post amount until they are chosen.
Give them $10/hr, but inform them that if they are chosen, they will get whatever you want to pay then ($15/hr or whatever).
BE VERY UP FRONT ABOUT PAY.
Otherwise you will have people simply walking out on you after the interview and you will have wasted your time.
7. Track their progress using Orgboat and be sure to reward stellar production with lunches, movie tickets, etc.
It's important to note that these are just the very basics of HR.
If you want to know more about HR, you can read more articles and information at www.orgboat.com.
I wish you the best!