It's not easy when it comes to building a great staff. First you have to identify them, then you have to develop them, and finally you want to keep them. It's an all or nothing proposition, all the steps need to be there. So, let's start with how to find great staff members. Listen to your instincts. Be ready to wait for the right person. Don't bring someone on board that you think you can change. Change doesn't come easy, so don't start out a working relationship hoping for something elusive. Be very clear about your expectations for this person and spell out the responsibilities that their position will include. Listen to them. Ask open-ended questions and listen to their answers. This will let you know if they are articulate, if they have good grammar and it will also give you an insight into their character and what's important to them. The following are a few questions that I like to ask at interviews:
Tell me about the best teammate you ever worked with, and what made her so impressive?
Tell me about the worst teammate you ever worked with and why you felt that way.
What will you bring to our practice? How will you make us better?
What will make you feel satisfied in this position?
What is your definition of a good work ethic?
Watch their reactions and listen for sincerity. If the answer sounds too good to be true, it is. You'll feel it, but you have to listen to yourself. I once hired someone who gave the perfect answers and I knew that she was trying to impress. When she told me that if I hired her I'd be hiring the best assistant in the state, my initial reaction was that she was conceited, but I convinced myself that she was just confident. She was conceited and made life miserable. She was so sure of her own perfection that I could not help her see that her behavior was not appropriate, because in her eyes, she was perfect. Had I listened to my gut, I'd never have had to deal with her. If a candidate has poor grammar, you may think it won't bother you, but it probably will eventually. The way they talk to you in the interview is the way they will talk to your patients. If they do not connect well or don't sound intelligent, that's what your patients will experience. They are the people your other staff members will have to interact with. Hiring a staff member who is a poor fit with the rest of the staff can cost you a good staff member in a few months. It's in everyone's best interest to be careful and responsible when hiring. Next, I'll talk about how to develop a great staff member once you've hired them.