Staffing Your Medical Practice: Ten Tips to Ensure your Facility is Effective and Compliant

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AnitaGavett[2]By Anita M. Gavett, PHR

According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the years 2010 through 2012, 8 out of the 20 fastest growing occupations in our country are in healthcare.  For example, the need for Personal Care Aids is growing 70% faster than the average occupation.  Other jobs included on the DOL list include: home health aides (69%); physical therapist assistants and aids (69%); diagnostic medical sonographer (44%); and physical therapists (39%).

Because of the high demand for staff in the medical industry, now is the perfect time to review your recruiting and employment practices to ensure that they are effective and compliant and that your facility is an employer of choice.  Having a diverse and qualified pool of candidates for your practice will allow you to focus on your primary mission, providing quality patient care.

Listed below are a few suggestions to help create an effective staffing program:

  • Ensure that your recruiting tools such as job applications and job descriptions are compliant and well written.  Having clear and concise job descriptions is a huge time saver for you, your hiring team, and your candidates.
  • Consider posting your openings in a variety of publications and websites that reach a diverse applicant pool that encourages women and minorities to apply.  Utilizing social media, related LinkedIn groups, associations, and the many free job boards to post your openings will expand your branding and reach many more candidates than simply placing a print ad in the local paper.
  • Include an equal employment opportunity statement in your job postings and document your outreach efforts.
  • Make sure your hiring managers are trained in effective and compliant interviewing practices.  An untrained supervisory staff could lead to non-compliant employment actions resulting in potential claims which can cost your practice time and money.
  • Consider creating interview guides that reflect the specific duties for the positions.  Utilizing interview guides will help keep the hiring manager on track and promote consistency with interview questions for each applicant.Ideally interview guides should mirror your job postings and review templates.
  • Conduct a compensation survey of similar practices in your area to ensure your compensation (salary and benefits) are competitive.
  • Keep your candidates informed during the entire selection process.  Respond to candidates that you interview and keep qualified candidates not selected in mind for future opportunities.  Keeping in touch with your qualified candidate pool will create favorable marketing for your facility, and candidates appreciate the courtesy.
  • Consider creating an employee referral program and utilize your current networks. Frequently some of the best candidates, particularly passive talent, are referred from current team members.
  • Recognize your current staff to promote positive employee relations.  Often times, candidates can pick up on the morale of potential co-workers during the selection process.
  • Be sure to conduct thorough, compliant, and appropriate background screening and reference checks for the candidates you select to join your team.

Having a staffing plan is an essential component of your practice’s overall strategic plan.  Creating an employment game plan that attracts a variety of talent, not just for current openings will help your practice and hiring team remain proactive for current and future talent needs.  Think long-term.

Anita M. Gavett, PHR, is Lead Consultant with Virtual OfficeWare. She has over 15 years experience as a human resources generalist and leader in a variety of industries including HR consulting services, health care, construction and manufacturing, wholesale distribution, insurance, retail and communications. For more information, visit www.virtualofficeware.net/hr-consulting-services.