As much as 80% of employee turnover can be attributed to bad hiring decisions, the Harvard Business Review reported.1 And turnover costs are high—one report estimated them to be 100–300% of the base salary of a replaced employee (with 150% commonly cited).2 Given this, the importance of hiring the right employees can’t be underestimated.
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So where should a rheumatologist begin when looking to fill an open position?
Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR, practice owner and rheumatologist, Arthritis Treatment Center, Frederick, Md., suggests asking existing staff for referrals before advertising a job opening. “Good people tend to know other good people,” says Dr. Wei, who finds the majority of his employees this way.
This strategy has also worked well for Barbara Taylor, CPPM, CRHC, office manager, Arthritis & Pain Associates of Prince George’s County, Greenbelt, Md., who says that 80% of the time she finds great employees through word of mouth or networking.
Helen Wheeler, principal and consultant, Alexander Mann Solutions, a provider of talent acquisition and management services in Cleveland, Ohio, says the most cost-effective approach to hiring is through relationships. “Leverage your personal network,” she adds. “Consider people you’ve worked with before and who fit the mold of someone you would want to work with again.”
But where do you turn when referrals, word of mouth or networking come up short? A smart approach to advertising jobs, screening résumés, conducting interviews and evaluating potential candidates can help employers make better choices when it comes to new hires.
Employers should be straightforward when writing an advertisement, Dr. Wei advises. “Write what is expected, along with requirements, such as education,” he says.
Ms. Taylor recommends listing desired attributes in a candidate, such as a solid work ethic, flexibility, punctuality, a willingness to learn and commitment to patient service. In addition, her practice prefers candidates who have two years’ experience in a private practice physician’s office, a working knowledge of medical terminology and a passion for working on a team.
Eric Dickerson, managing director and senior practice leader, academic medicine physician and leadership recruiting for Kaye/Bassman International Corp., Plano, Texas, a firm that specializes in retaining academic medical physicians, says it’s also important to highlight two or three reasons in your ad that would draw a potential job seeker to your practice. “What makes your opportunity unique and different from other practices?” he asks.