Many Docs would agree that managing employees is the most challenging aspect of owning their own chiropractic business. If you’ve ever had to deal with an chiropractic assistant’s excessive absenteeism, negative attitude or sloppy work habits, you know exactly what we mean.
Here’s an important point to consider. While in your office, your patients often will spend more time with your staff than with you. Whether it’s handling the first phone call from a new prospect, chatting with patients while they wait to see you, or administering therapies, your chiropractic assistants are critical to your business success. From scheduling to check out, you must rely on your CA and office staff to promote your services, encourage compliance and keep your patients happy. It’s a big job.
Simple staff errors, over time, can derail a thriving practice.
Fortunately there’s a way to minimize the amount of time spent on staffing problems. It begins with hiring the right employees.
A quality interview will help you determine if the candidate is a good fit for your office. It’s tempting to post an ad, schedule a few interviews, ask your candidates a handful of questions, then quickly send them on their way. After all, interviews are stressful for applicant and interviewer alike.
However, if you don’t approach the interview in an organized fashion, with an outline and a list of questions, you might miss the opportunity to gain vital insight into the candidate’s personality and work style.
The next time you need to hire a new chiropractic assistant, try using these tips and sample questions to help find the ideal candidate.
Start with a phone interview. This is particularly important if the prospective chiropractic assistant will be handling phone calls. Phone interviews allow you to evaluate an individual without bias to appearance. It will also give you a chance to hear what your patient would hear if this were a new staff member.
Does the applicant have a bright, cheerful phone personality? How about their phone etiquette? Are they easily understood? Do they say “good bye” before hanging up? If the prospect satisfies your criteria, schedule a time to meet.
In advance, make up a prepared list of questions. Type out the list, leaving ample space between questions to jot down notes a few words should be sufficient. Have the list handy during the interview.
The day of the interview, evaluate whether your prospect arrives on time. This may offer a glimpse into future work habits. Begin your in-office interview with a short office tour to give him/her a chance to get over their nervousness. Before you settle down to ask questions, offer your candidate a glass of water or cup of coffee.
If the prospect had prior experience in the chiropractic field, you may ask a few questions related to the industry. (This will also help you confirm the veracity of their work history.) Consider a few of the questions below:
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Notice all questions that begin with the words how or what, require a more than a simple yes or no answer. This will give you a chance to see how well the candidate can think on their feet. In addition, be sure to evaluate the answers for completeness and accuracy.
There are a few topics you should strictly avoid. Never ask the following:
Play it safe. Even if the candidate brings up one of the taboo subjects listed above, acknowledge their comment, then quickly move onto another topic.
If possible, don’t rush into a decision. Give yourself enough time to interview a handful of candidates. You’ll have a better chance of finding the perfect candidate who will be an asset to your chiropractic practice for years to come.