Hiring a new staff member is a big step for many small businesses.
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But in a medical practice, the process of hiring additional staff involves some additional requirements. Why? Because a medical practice isn't just a business -- it's a group of healthcare professionals who are often called upon to put their patients' welfare ahead of normal business processes.
- Lives are at stake. The most significant difference between a medical practice and most small businesses is that lives are at stake. Although profitability is a concern, ultimately the success or failure of a medical practice will be determined by the health and well-being of your customer base. As such, your hiring practices take on a whole new level of importance.
- Every employee has a mission-critical role. In a typical office environment, some staff members play a mission-critical role while others serve auxiliary functions. But in a medical practice, every employee has a direct impact on the organization's mission, i.e. providing the highest quality of care for the patients.
- Pace of work is relentless. Unless they have prior experience in healthcare, many job candidates are unprepared for the relentless pace of a medical practice. In an industry where there is no such thing as downtime, you will need to focus your hiring process on candidates that have the physical stamina and mental wherewithal to keep up.
- Customers are often in crisis. Medical practice employees are required to regularly interact with people who are in the midst of a personal health crisis. Candidates who are either overly sensitive or lack adequate interpersonal skills often find it difficult to adapt to a workplace that is filled with challenging personal situations.
- No room for errors. Most small businesses expect a certain margin of error from their employees, especially when it comes to routine office procedures. Medical practices, on the other hand, leave no room for error. A simple miscommunication or misunderstanding can have devastating consequences for patients. Look for applicants who have demonstrated an ability to get it right every single time.
- Self-directed workflows. Many medical practices operate with few (if any) redundant positions. For example, while a small business may employ a couple of receptionists, medical practices often only employ one. Each employee plays a specific role and will be required to function in a self-directed manner. Candidates should understand that there is no "handholding" in your practice.