Avoiding Madness in Your Practice
Hire Smartly, Fire Promptly
Hiring and firing at the appropriate times and for the appropriate reasons can be a tricky endeavor. Without a human resources department, many chiropractors are left to do the heavy lifting all on their own. Avoid the madness that comes with a circus of poor hiring strategies and a drawn-out firing process. Use some tried and true techniques sprinkled with a few best practices to help you employ great staff members and cut your losses in a reliable manner.
A good hiring process is one that is well-defined, consists of an ideal candidate in mind, and comes with clear goals for what type of employee will be successful by means of their personality, drive, and skill set. Hiring should also be a carefully thought-out process that does not fall prey to time constraints. Hire for longevity by creating a comprehensive and standardized process up front, and you won’t find yourself having to continually repeat the process.
Pre-qualifying can go a long way towards narrowing down the playing field and sparing yourself a great deal of time and effort expended by speaking with the wrong candidates. Make sure the candidates you consider fulfill practical aspects of the position before you ever sit down with them. Do they have the right availability, experience, and interest? If not, stop there and move on.
2. Consider Carefully
If you hire carefully, chances are you’ll only have to hire sparingly. Use online screening and evaluation tools, and don’t hire because you’re desperate. If you find yourself in a bind, reach out to a temporary agency to fill the position while you’re looking for a more permanent fix.
Standardize the process as much as possible to keep yourself from relying solely on your gut instincts. Make sure you ask a consistent, thorough list of questions, and take the time to reach out to references.
4. Take Your Time
If you’re not sure you’re making the right decision, don’t make the mistake of settling. The emotional and financial cost of hiring, firing, and rehiring is worth the extra time it may take to discover that perfect candidate.
Terminating an employee can put your practice at risk. Make sure that you go about the process carefully and correctly, from beginning to finish. There are usually two main categories that a decision to terminate falls under. 1) Acute reasons such as employee theft or security compromise. 2) Chronic reasons such as continual tardiness or failure to perform duties.
Regardless of the reason, the first course of action should be documentation. If the reason for termination is chronic, then make sure you begin early by writing down instances of an employee’s failure to meet expectations or failure to perform up to the required duties of the job.
Make sure that you are comfortable with the conversation before you begin. Practice your speech and identify solid reasons and defenses as to why this is a necessary termination. If you intend to let go of an employee, it may be prudent to give them the opportunity to alternatively submit their resignation. This can leave the interaction on a more positive note and also help you protect yourself from disgruntled legal claims later filed by the employee.
3. Make a Clean Break
It is important to ensure that the information and skills of one employee is successfully transferred to another staff member before their departure. However, if you cannot find a way to confidently support an amiable exit, make sure that the employee’s access to your practice and the systems therein is shut down prior to their termination.
4. Fire in the Company of Others
You should never, ever terminate an employee without a witness. This helps protect and verify information, such as in the event that the employee threatens retaliation or later makes erroneous claims about the interaction.
Hiring and terminating employees is not always an easy task. Have a solid game plan, patience, perseverance, and practicality, so you can successfully navigate the process and maintain long-term staff members that fit your practice.