Employee retention is a top priority for many healthcare organizations. Unfortunately, turnover for the healthcare industry hit 18.9% in 2015, according to a CompData Survey. So how do you increase the retention of employees in your company?
One solution is to make quality decisions on the hiring side. No employee is guaranteed to stay at your organization for the long-term, but there are ways to screen and choose candidates so that they are more likely to succeed.
Consider implementing these seven best practices when evaluating candidates for allied healthcare positions.
1. Conduct an initial prescreening of all candidates
Before scheduling any interviews on the phone or in-person, perform a detailed prescreening of each candidate. This process generally involves a close review of the candidate’s education, experience, and résumé. It’s also common to evaluate candidates’ social media profiles. The allied healthcare field often requires in-depth interactions with patients, so it’s important that candidates understand how to create a professional persona. Their online profiles can give you a measure of how well they do this.
2. Schedule a phone interview
For candidates who pass the prescreening process, scheduling a telephone interview is the next step. Phone interviews are an efficient and cost-effective alternative to conducting a first-round, in-person interview. They let you talk with the candidate and get a sense of their communication style, level of interest, and overall professionalism—without spending time and resources on an in-person initial meeting. You can also use your phone interview to ask screening questions that determine the candidate’s fit for your culture. Do they believe in your mission and values? Are they driven by the same things that drive your current team? It’s good to answer these questions before the candidate moves forward in the hiring pipeline.
3. Always interview top candidates in-person.
Once your best candidates make it through the phone interview, it’s important to schedule in-person interviews. These interviews give you a valuable opportunity to assess each candidate’s knowledge, skills, and professional decorum. In-person interviews allow you to evaluate candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, as well. Most importantly, interviews allow you to determine what candidates are truly the best fit for your allied healthcare positions. To receive better results in an interview, consider inviting multiple people from the team to interview the candidate. While this takes more time, it also gives you multiple perspectives and increases the likelihood of making a good hire.
4. Implement an in-depth assessment.
Depending on the allied healthcare position, you may want to consider implementing an in-depth assessment of candidates after the initial interview process. This generally involves pre-employment testing to predict how well a candidate will do on the job. Using these tests helps to ensure you hire candidates who are fully equipped with all the necessary skills and competencies to perform job responsibilities. For example, when hiring for medical billers and coders, it’s common to have candidates perform a skills test to ensure a solid knowledge of ICD-10 codes.
5. Verify education credentials.
Though candidates should always be honest about their personal and professional history, verifying candidates’ education credentials ensures that you’re accurately informed while making hiring decisions. You can verify degree credentials directly through an educational institution, or you can use a background screening service to make sure there are no discrepancies between education records and the information provided by candidates.
6. Evaluate prior employment through a broad lens.
Soft skills are important in the healthcare industry. These include skills like good communication, the ability to work independently, creative-thinking, problem-solving, and more. Experience working on a team or with customers can give candidates invaluable work experience that you shouldn’t overlook. For example, if a candidate has experience as an office assistant in another industry, those skills can transfer to a medical administrative assistant role, especially if the transition is supported by allied healthcare career training.
7. Conduct criminal background checks.
Pre-employment background checks have become increasingly important, especially in the allied healthcare field. If a candidate has been convicted of a serious crime, then they might not be suitable to work in your organization. By hiring a reputable professional agency to conduct criminal background checks, you can be assured that your candidates are in the clear.
Once you incorporate these methods into your allied healthcare hiring practices, you will hopefully see better hiring decisions with positive outcomes. When you hire good people with strong work ethics who fit your organization, you’ll be able to tackle turnover before it’s even begun.