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The New Rules on Hiring: Build Your Team for Effectiveness

By Deb McClanahan
Principal, BroadBand HR Consulting

 January 23, 2017

While we know you don’t always have full control over who is on your team, here are some basics to think about in selection and hiring. It used to be that you were the master of your domain as a surgeon. You got to make all of the decisions about who worked or did not work on your team or in your business. And the process of both hiring and losing team members was quick and within your control. Now, there are lots of interferences between you and the decision as to who works around you.

Here is a basic concept to consider in the new order:

  • Customer Service is a key to the success of every business – Are you hiring schedulers who make every patient feel like they are the only person he/she speaks to today?
  • Customer Service extends to everyone on the patient’s team, whether spouses, parents, children, significant others, or friends who accompany them on their visits. Staff members need to understand that and practice to meet that expectation daily.
  • Customer Service is not just concerned with who is on the phone – it must be demonstrated in each interaction, whether on email, in direct contact, or on the phone.

In other words, developing new skills to work effectively and efficiently within the new model, or what’s expected from patients in the new millennium. In this and further posts, I’ll emphasize lessons from my experience working with professionals in the in the healthcare industry.

Lesson #2: Hiring Schedulers and Front Desk Personnel

Your front office staff is you to the 3rd power – they have to be the best ever in today’s competitive environment. Purchasing decisions by the patient are often made on the basis of interaction with these various staff members. Some basics of hiring that you need to know now:

  • Start with a well-defined job description that details a clearly defined job title and the experience and skills one needs to have to perform the work on Day 1 on the job. Have one of your team members interview you to get your input.
  • Have a candidate pool to select from – never hire the 1st person you interview immediately. Ensure that you and your team always consider more than one candidate.
  • Use the same process with each person – if it is an in person interview process, use the same process with each candidate. Not only does this broaden the acceptance of the new hire by the team, it gives multiple inputs to the decision. This is really empowering to the whole team, and ultimately takes the pressure off of you.
  • Ensure that your process doesn’t violate any of the larger organization’s rules on timing, posting, or advertising. Those rules are in place to protect the whole organization, and while they may cause you a delay the rules are there for the longer/larger scope protection of the organization. Keeping you out of court on employment issues is a prime priority in every business today.
  • Ensure that references and/or background checks are performed on selected candidates before they are hired. While this seems like “motherhood and apple pie,” it is a prime requirement in hiring today – one cannot trust only superficial judgment about an individual and their reported background.

In further posts, we’ll discuss other Management 101 issues for your consideration.

Deb McClanahan, Principal of BroadBand HR Consulting, helps companies with Executive Search and HR Consulting.  She can be reached at (650) 520-7589 or through email,

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