How do I recruit the right person for my practice?

It’s no surprise that employees represent a major cost of your business in terms of wages paid and time allocated to train, manage and monitor performance.

Statistics published by IBISWorld show wages are the largest industry expense, revealing a whopping $375.5 million was paid in wages in 2013-2014, accounting for 46 percent of revenue in plastic surgery practices. And $146.2 million was paid across the health, wellness and spa industry, a sizeable 39 percent of revenue.

Collecting industry data since 2003, the IBISWorld report indicates that wages costs, as a portion of revenue, have increased over the past five years and show no sign of decreasing as the demand for these services continues to grow.

In an industry heavily reliant on superior customer service and the provision of specialised medical procedures as well as health and beauty treatments, getting staffing right is crucial to the success of your business. However, finding and keeping the right people is often harder and more time-consuming than anticipated.

When a vacancy arises in your business, the search for a new employee can be time-consuming and expensive, and if you are not well prepared, you may end up with a poor return on your investment of time and money.

Having a well-thought out recruitment plan and being ready to start the process quickly is important as a vacant position will have an impact on the effective running of your business including compromised service and added burden on other staff members.

A blog by Australian firm Recruit Shop revealed survey findings stating the average time between posting a job vacancy and filling a position is 34 days (4.8 weeks) and the time between an employee leaving and a new recruit starting is often as long as 54 days (7.7 weeks). So getting started early is crucial for your business.

Job description

Start by creating a thorough job description that describes both the tasks to be done and the expectations of the position. This document will guide the selection process and ensure the potential new employee understands exactly what is expected of them.

Compile a list of the job’s responsibilities, tasks and communication needs (job specification) and then cross- reference these with the skills, knowledge and abilities the candidate will require, including experience and level of education (candidate competency).

It is also important to be clear on what you are offering the prospective employee in terms of salary and additional benefits and in return what hours they will be required to work. Being realistic here is essential as no one likes surprises!

The final preparation criterion is the Personal Profile. Getting the right “fit” for both you and your business is crucial. Focus on your business culture, determine what type of manager you are and what style of employee works best for you. Be honest with yourself here, it’s no use saying you want an independent thinker if you have a tendency to micro-manage – you’ll only end up with an unhappy helper!

New age recruiting – using social networks

The introduction of social media has meant the world of recruitment has changed dramatically in
recent years. For job seekers, the opportunities to secure employment with the click of a mouse are increasing. Which means, as an employer, the best options for finding your new employee is within social media networks such as LinkedIn, Myspace, Twitter and Facebook.

A recent survey by Jobvite found employers who used social media to hire noted a 49 percent improvement in candidate quality over candidates sourced through traditional recruiting channels.

A study by The Aberdeen Group revealed that Millenials are changing the recruiting industry, with 73 percent of 18-34 year olds finding their last job through social media networks.

For employers, the most obvious benefit of recruiting a candidate using social media is that while their traditional resume will only provide information they “select” for your viewing, their social media profile will provide a better overall representation of them.

Checking social media sites plays an important part in the pre-selection process. According to a recently published Whitepaper by Recruitment Group Robert Walters, more than 62 percent of employers routinely check social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn prior to selecting candidates for interview. It pays to research as what you find online may not communicate what you think is a suitable fit for your business culture and existing team.

The Whitepaper also revealed that candidates are just as likely to research and assess potential employers, with 46 percent of jobseekers visiting an organisation’s LinkedIn and Facebook page before applying for the role.

This is a clear message to employers to use your recruitment assignment as a PR and marketing exercise. Business websites, Facebook and LinkedIn pages are not only a way to advertise but they also play an important part in communicating brand values defining corporate culture and connecting to the public.

Make a time-saving phone call!

After assessing resumes and checking social media profiles, save your valuable time by making a phone call to the potential candidates and asking a few crucial questions prior to arranging a face-to-face interview.

Cover information such as: current employment and what notice period is required; current salary and salary expectations; their location and ability to travel to your workplace; and plans for future study and/or travel.

Listen carefully to their tone and manner and don’t shy away from asking questions that may exclude them as candidates.

Interview for success

Once you’ve created a shortlist of suitable candidates for interview, it’s important to capitalise on the time you spend with them.

Being well prepared for the interview process and allocating adequate time to create a relaxed environment will ensure you see the candidate at their best.

It’s also a good idea to prepare a Fact Sheet outlining information such as opening hours, any uniform required, induction and training. And provide a copy of the Job Description – this will save you time repeating the same information to every candidate. It also shows that you are professional and transparent.

Gen-Y rules

When hiring Gen-Y candidates they will be interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them. Be upfront about the role, your business culture and what opportunities are available for them.

A Net Impact study of Gen-Y employees found that 58 percent of respondents would take a 15 percent pay cut to work for a business with similar values to their own. It’s important to acknowledge that Gen-Yers are looking for a workplace that offers flexibility, career options and a feeling that they are listened to.

Check references!

Once you’ve made a decision to hire, be diligent about reference checking. This is your opportunity to verify facts and uncover anything you may have missed during the interview process. An industry survey conducted by Boots and All Consulting revealed that more than 40 percent of employers fail to complete reference checks prior to employing a new staff member. Those that failed to reference check were 60 percent more likely to turn over employees within the first six months.

Plan for success

Finally, after investing time and money on advertising, resume screening, interviewing, reference checking, negotiating job offer and start date, it is essential to have a clear plan for induction and training that will ensure the success of the candidate you’ve chosen because you believe in their ability.

Originally Published in Aesthetic Medical Practitioner Issue 1