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New Hires for the New Year: Choosing the Right Candidates

January 19, 2021

Adam Lueken


It’s crazy to think, but we’re almost a full month into 2021 already. Although there are some lingering challenges from 2020 still hanging around, you and your team are ready to take on the New Year and tackle new goals. Perhaps that includes growing your team and filling those gaps with strong, quality candidates? If you do have new hires for the New Year in mind, there are valuable steps you can take when choosing the right candidates.

Building the right team is extremely important. They’re typically the first ones to interact with patients, help them during their appointments and take care of them on the way out. Your team has a huge impact on your patient satisfaction, office morale, productivity and profitability.

Even one mis-hire can be costly. According to Topgrading, the average cost of a mis-hire can range from five to 27 times the salary of the hire, depending on the company and position. And as you’ve probably experienced, the interview process is full of obstacles like setting aside the necessary time to conduct effective interviews, breaking through that surface level during interviews and asking the right questions so you can evaluate properly.

Hiring’s not an easy process and there are lots of unknowns. But there are processes you can use to increase your success:

Know the Position You’re Hiring For

You’ll likely build a job description with highlights of the position’s focuses and needed qualifications. But go beyond that. Gain a full understanding of the big picture plan for this role. If this role will report to another manager or supervisor, bring them into the process. Ask them to make a list of top skills needed and top projects the role will be responsible for. Doing this diligence ahead of time will help you pinpoint the right skills and personalities in your candidates beyond their basic qualifications.

Use a Systematic, Consistent Approach with Interviews

Before you interview a candidate, ask them to prepare a self-appraisal, including their 15 strengths and 15 weaknesses or areas of improvement. When they begin sharing their list, ask questions and encourage them to elaborate on their responses, so you can create conversation and learn more.

Once the actual interview beings, start by asking the candidate about their first job experience. Do the same for each following job chronologically. For each role, incorporate the following questions (visit Topgrading for more details):

  • What were your responsibilities and accountabilities?
  • What major challenges did you face?
  • Describe your successes and accomplishments. What were your failures and mistakes?
  • What did you enjoy most and least?
  • Why did you leave?
  • What were the strengths and weaknesses of your boss?

This may feel a little repetitive at first, but the candidate should catch on quickly with the setup and feel more at ease sharing with genuine responses. Starting with their first job and going forward will help them gain confidence in their responses and help you learn more about how they’ve developed personally and professionally over the years. This will also create more conversational opportunities during the interview and help it feel less formal. The goal is to help the candidate share genuine feelings and experiences, so you can get an accurate, realistic sense of their fit within your team. After each interview, create a scorecard that assesses the candidates in each of the areas below, based on what they shared and what you were able to learn/conclude.

  • Intelligence – analytical skills, decision making, strategic skills, risk assessment.
  • Personality – initiative, organization, independence, stress management, self-awareness, adaptability, drive, enthusiasm, balance in life, creativity, work ethic.
  • Interpersonal skills – listening, likeability, team orientation, assertiveness, honesty, positivity.

Effectively Evaluate Candidates Post-Interview

Review the list of top skills, traits, etc. from your position review and compare them with the candidate information from your scorecard. This will help you determine if there’s at least a 70% match between your job requirements and their skills. You should also determine the gap between where they are now and where they’ll need to be in 12-18 months to be successful. It’s unlikely you’ll find a candidate that’s a 100% match, so start thinking about a growth plan for the position, including monthly check-ins, to continually close that gap.

When choosing the right candidates, it’s difficult to fully know if a candidate will be the right fit for the next five, 10 or 20 years. But by using the right processes consistently, you can better set yourself up for hiring success. Also, keep a positive attitude. Make it exciting – you’re potentially improving your team and helping someone else improve their life. Use this to better understand your team and help candidates better understand themselves.

Need some help growing your team? We’re always a phone call or click away to support your needs. Schedule a consultation with one of our practice management experts today!



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