When recruiting clinical (or administrative staff) into your practice in a tight employment market, sometimes we are just happy to have people applying for the job and can compromise good selection in the process.

It might feel easy to just employ the next person who applies rather than the person who fits your values, but the long-term consequences for your clients, your staff and your time are not worth the long term risk.

Hiring the wrong staff member at times of “desperation” often means spending more time managing their behaviour and the negative effect on the company culture far outweighs the positive effects for having a “person” in the company.

These are the 3 important tips to continue to have in mind when selecting staff members in the recruitment process:

1) Know who fits into your core values and the direction of your business

As a company and leader, you have often spent a lot of time deriving and working on your company’s core values. Your core values are what your company stands for and displays to the clients and the staff the direction your company is going and how you intend to present your service to the world.

Unfortunately, if the people you hire do not share or display similar core values, it is very hard (if not impossible) to change people’s intrinsic motivators and values. The result is often a lengthy and painful “performance management” process with a staff member who just does not fit your values.

Although it seems harder during times when you can feel “desperate” to hire staff, saying no to someone who does not share the same values is a lot easier in the long term (and often in the medium term) than trying to deal with their performance “later” and trying to “fix it”

Are you taking an honest look at your candidates and whether they really fit your company (and personal) core values?

2) Know who you need for your current team

Sometimes it is not enough to just hire someone who is the right cultural “fit”, but also the right person for the right position.

A great example is with one of our practices, the majority of the staff members are great with customers, very charismatic and generally great “people, people”. Although this seems perfect for a relationship based business like allied health, it can means the that practice is weak on organization and ability to stick to process.

As a result, the customer service can still suffer from a lack of follow-up and the inability to do all the small things that make the process great for the customer (and the other staff members).

To help balance the good characteristics of “people orientated” staff members, deliberately and strategically hiring “process orientated” staff members helps to balance the service produced for the clients so there is a combination of “great relationships” and “great service” for the long term

Which personality type or characteristics will be the perfect fit to “balance” the needs of your current team?

3) The probationary period is extremely important to work out team fit

The congratulations e-mail to the new staff member and handshake when they start their first day is not the end of the selection process, but part of the process only.

You have done the best you can to determine whether this person is the right fit for your organization and to the current team with the limited information you have had in the recruitment and selection process, however, it has still been limited.

It is only really, in the next few months (during the probationary period) that you will really see whether this person is or is not the right fit to your organization. The probationary period is there for strategic reasons, so use it finish the selection process.

Using the probationary period as a structured part of the selection process was a concept discussed in Brad Giles’ book  Onboarded.

Although we have very structured training with new staff members at the beginning of their employment with us, we continue to have regular catch-ups with the staff member’s direct supervisor to continue to determine if they are the right fit for us and that we are the right fit for them.

We recently had a staff member who completed their probationary period and we mutually decided that it was a not the right fit to continue their position with us. They were not learning and developing in the direction and the pace they would like and as an organization, the clients and other staff were not receiving the quality of service we expected. As a result, we used the probationary period exactly as it was intended, to determine fit and in this case, it was a mismatch.

Is your probationary period used as an extension of your selection process, to determine the fit of the employee over a longer period?

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  • Check out our other Health Business blog posts here

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