It is easy to understand that running a chiropractic practice means being a business owner.
However, “running a business” may entail far more than many DCs first realize, and one of the most challenging aspects of running any business for many healthcare providers is hiring and managing employees.
Most Americans spend as much or more time with co-workers as they do with their families, so if you are uncomfortable with your co-workers, it can have a significant impact on your quality of life. In a chiropractic office, patients usually have more contact with staff members than with the DC, so one “bad apple” can mean many patients lost. And finally, if your staff is unhappy, productivity will be lower, and you may find key members leaving.
While there are several factors that go into creating a positive work environment, it all starts with hiring. Make sure your process for finding, attaining, and maintaining employees is as solid as the team you want to build.
Have a clear job description.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but a quick look at a few job descriptions will reveal that many do not actually say what duties the new hire will be performing on a day-to-day basis. Outline the position’s responsibilities, and, if you have an existing staff member in the position, solicit their input on what the new hire should expect.
Make the job appealing.
In addition to providing plenty of details about what the position entails, make sure the description is appealing. You want to work with people who enjoy their jobs as much as you enjoy yours. A list of duties and requirements doesn’t offer much insight into why working in your practice is interesting, fun, or rewarding—use the description to communicate those things.
Before you throw an ad online or in the local classifieds, let your existing staff know you are looking for someone and be open to suggestions. Sometimes, approaching hiring from a networking perspective might be better than casting a wider net—this will generally prevent an overwhelming number of applications to sift through.
Additionally, your existing employees know the character of your practice, which means they are less likely to suggest a candidate who will make their own working lives less comfortable. They are also less likely to suggest someone who cannot do the job.
Colleagues can be another possible source of referrals—other DCs know what it takes to get the job done within a practice and are therefore in a good position to make suggestions.
Approach the interview carefully.
When it’s time to bring in candidates, it may be a good idea to review the legal aspect of interviewing so as not to inadvertently violate the law.
During the interview, ask open-ended questions and try to learn as much as you can about the candidate’s views on working so you can determine if they fit with your own. One old piece of advice that applies to hiring particularly well is “past performance is the best indicator of future performance.” If a candidate has a long history of working for a few months then changing jobs, chances are high that he or she will continue to repeat the pattern. Conversely, if a candidate has a history of regular promotions, he or she is likely to continue doing the things that garnered those promotions.