How to Select the Right Practice Support Staff

How to Select the Right Practice Support Staff

Consider the following when selecting staff for your practice

When owning a practice, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is your choice of staff.  Whether it’s the front office or clinical, your team is the beating heart of your practice. They perform essential duties and typically interact with your patients before and as often as you do. A cold, unpleasant staff will surely diminish the patient’s experience, and one that isn’t properly trained can lead to billing and coding issues, incorrect filed claims, low revenues and fewer patients. In this blog we will outline the key components that you should look for when choosing a medical staff for your office. 

Three Traits to Look for When Hiring Staff

As you begin the process of hiring your staff, there are three characteristics every member of your staff should have.

  • Ability to be taught – You want your staff members to have a desire to learn, to have a passion for keeping their skills sharp.
  • Great temperament – Collectively your staff must work together to provide your patients with an awesome patient experience all while making sure nothing falls through the cracks. We spend more time with our coworkers than we do with our families, it’s important to find people whose personalities will work well together and provide great customer service.
  • Experience – Having previous experience always makes it easier for you to train your staff on the way in which you would like things to be handled in your office.

Question Your Needs and Take Your Time

Before the first candidate walks into your office for an interview, you’ll want to assess your needs.

  • Will you need a receptionist?
  • Are you looking for an office manager?
  • How many medical assistants do you need?

When you choose your staff, you should also ensure they’re cross trained for maximum efficiency. Smaller practices rely on all staff members doing their part, as well as stepping out of the box and performing duties that aren’t in their typical job description.

Hiring a staff isn’t an endeavor that one should embark on hastily. It can be tough weeding through the dozens of applicants. Perhaps some have a lot of experience but aren’t exactly quite right. listen to what each applicant has to offer. You’ll want to find people who can mesh with you and don’t require a lot of supervision.  Your staff will be a critical asset when things start to get busy, and you need support. Another thing to consider is that you don’t want to have a revolving door of staff members. Letting people go on a regular basis really gives other staff a sense of demoralization and doesn’t give way to a positive work environment.

Tips to Remember When Hiring for Your Practice

Post an Ad – Create an engaging job listing. Make sure to provide an accurate job title, summary, responsibilities, prequalifications, range of compensation and work schedule. Describe the type of personality that will best fit your practice and what skills you’re looking for. Post your ad to Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn or any industry-specific job boards. Local colleges also have job boards for students and graduates who are searching for part-time or full-time work. 

Offer competitive compensation – Your staff is an investment. Both pay and cross-training ensure higher levels of productivity and better service for your patients. You can use Glassdoor and sites like to find out a baseline salary and other benefits. This will elicit more qualified applicants and increase the likelihood your hire will be more satisfied and stay longer. 

Seek out referrals – Getting a referral is a cheaper and faster way to hire and generally produces a better hire. 

Evaluate the applicant’s personality during the interview – Your staff should reflect your personality and be able to put your patients at ease as soon as they step into your practice. Will the applicant you’re meeting with be able to present the attitude you would like your patients to see and experience? Will they work well with you and others? Skills can be taught, and experience can be gained, but a poor attitude can be the most difficult aspect for a team to overcome.

Take notes – Chances are you will not remember everything about every applicant you see. You can return to these notes as you move through the interview process and they will inform your decision making when you select your team.

Talk to referrals – Referrals can offer insight into your applicant’s strengths and deficiencies. You can also learn more about work habits such as, punctuality, crisis management, work ethic, as well as how they handle mistakes and constructive feedback.

Once you’ve hired your team members you can begin your new hires with a probationary period. GM was famous for offering new employees a 90-day probationary period to see if the job was a good fit. A trial period can also help you to discover aspects of your new employee’s personality that may not have been revealed in the interview process.

Patients will come because of your training and clinical experience, but they’ll return because of the customer experience you provide to them and the environment your team creates in your office. With the right team, your practice can become an asset to the community it serves, so choose wisely.