By Terri Ross, Terri Ross Consulting
I see many aesthetic practices make the mistake of jumping too quickly into the hiring process without considering a few key pieces of information.
What You Should Know Before You Begin
Before you rush to advertise a job opening or hire additional staff, it is important to consider your long-term plan. Taking a bit of time up front to reflect on the following questions will be time well spent; this time just might end up saving you money, time on training and headache later on:
- What is your mission and vision for the business, and what type of personality traits and skill set do you expect them to have to fit into your culture?
- What is your vision for growing your practice in the next year?
- How will this person contribute to the growth?
- What level of training will you provide this new hire to ensure they meet the demands of the position and are an asset rather than an expense?
- What specific qualities or qualifications and personality traits are needed for the role you are filling?
If you are replacing an existing staff member who only gives short notice prior to their departure, you might feel pressured and tempted to simply post an ad online and find a warm body to fill the position. However, finding quality people often takes time. I encourage you to take some time to think about and/or to speak with the rest of your team to determine some of the strengths and weaknesses of the previous employee and what skill set that position actually needs. Then, discuss what you are looking for in a replacement. Oftentimes, it is better to hold out than rush into hiring someone who is not a good long-term fit.
Some factors to consider include:
- What responsibilities would you like the person in this role to take on?
- Are clear expectations set forth and defined?
- What personality traits match the position?
- Was there too much responsibility or too large a workload placed on the previous employee, or were they simply not a good fit?
- Is there someone internally who might be a better fit for this position or would like to move into this role?
After you are clear on exactly what you are looking for, the next step is making sure that you have a clear, concise, accurate job description. Now more than ever, it is imperative that you have thorough job descriptions to make sure you are compliant with your state labor and employment laws. Job descriptions should:
- Outline specific salary and bonuses;
- Detail the exact skills and experience necessary to perform the position’s duties;
- Serve as a basis for recruiting and interviewing;
- Give a clear scope of responsibilities and expectations;
- Provide a baseline for employee reviews, salary increases and meeting expectations; and
- Serve as legal documentation in the event an employee files a termination or discrimination suit against the company.
If you don’t have a job description created for each position in your office, I’ve got you covered. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. I offer a full bundle or individual job description downloadable templates for purchase on my website.
Streamlining the Process
There are several recruiting sites where you can post job ads, including AmSpa’s job board, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Simply Hired and Monster. Some sites have free listings and others have fees for posting, so the ones you use might depend on your budget.
Terri’s tactics for streamlining the hiring process:
- Be proactive. Always be searching for qualified candidates, even if it means hiring before a start date you had in mind.
- Act quickly but carefully. If you find a qualified candidate you are excited about, don’t wait to extend the offer, but make sure you are not rushing.
- Involve your team in the process and solicit feedback from them, as mentioned earlier. Buy-in and teamwork is essential.
- Interview based on quality, not quantity. Pick out the top 10 resumes and conduct prescreening calls. Then, choose the top five to schedule in-person interviews. Narrow down your choices and schedule a second interview, and invite several members of your team to be involved. Including other team members can help to ensure the candidate fits your practice culture.
- Consider administering a skills assessment test. Just because someone says they have skills doesn’t always mean they do. If it is a front desk position, run them through role-play caller scenarios to see how their customer service skills measure up. Some personality tests I recommend are Myers-Briggs, DISC and The Predictive Index.
- Make sure to conduct a background check and employment verification check. According to CareerBuilder, up to 56% of candidates have false information on their resumes.
Terri’s top six interviewing tips:
- Always ask open-ended questions. Let the candidate tell you about their background so that you can hear how they communicate. (Example: “Tell me a bit about your background.”)
- Clarify information that you find interesting by asking them to elaborate. (Examples: “That’s really interesting, tell me more.” “How so? What made you come to that decision?”)
- Be curious. Try to learn more about what makes them tick and the “why” behind their interest in the position. (Examples: “What made you decide to apply for this position?” “What about the aesthetic industry excites you?”)
- Determine their research or motivation level. Ask questions to gauge whether or not they did their homework about your practice. Remember, you are looking for long-term candidates, not just anyone needing a job. (Examples: “What interests you about our practice?” “How much do you know about the services we offer or the clientele we serve?”)
- Ask them about their past experiences and how they were able to overcome challenges. This technique can give you a lot of information about the candidate and assess their problem-solving skills. (Example: “Tell me about a time you had a challenge at work or with a customer or client and how you handled the situation.”)
- Always end by asking the candidate if they have any questions for you. Putting the ball in the candidate’s court can often give you good information about their true motivations and level of interest.
The Next Step After Hiring Staff
Most practices do not have formal training in place, so even if you hire and find the best possible candidates, they may not be able to help move you towards your goals of expansion or generating more revenue.
Establishing a formal sales training program is a key, critical component to growing your aesthetic practice.
While there is no substitute for comprehensive sales training, there are a few key components to provide every new employee:
- An employee checklist with necessary paperwork and forms;
- A job description;
- A comprehensive employee manual with policies and procedures;
- Work hours and a holiday schedule, plus details on paid time off, personal time, etc.;
- A workstation and the necessary equipment to perform their job functions; and
- Training in whatever areas that are necessary.
Remember, I’m here to help. Please feel free to contact me with any questions at email@example.com. You can purchase your full set of job descriptions here.
Terri Ross brings more than 20 years of sales and management experience to the field, having worked with leading-edge medical device companies such as Zeltiq, Medicis, EMD Serono, Merck Schering Plough and Indigo Medical, a surgical division of Johnson.
Ross’ vast knowledge and experience as a sales director managing upwards of $20M in revenue and successful teams has allowed her to become a renowned plastic surgery management consultant helping aesthetic practices thrive.
To optimize revenues and business performance, Ross’ practice management consulting services help physicians evaluate practice processes including, but not limited to, overall-operating efficiencies, staff skill assessment, customer service and operating efficiency strategies. The goal is to develop a comprehensive plan of action to improve productivity, quality, efficiency and return on investment.