Why Your Front-End Office Staff Doesn’t Need Direct Healthcare Experience

November 27, 2017

Why Your Front-End Office Staff Doesn’t Need Direct Healthcare Experience

If you’re in need of new employees for your front-end office, you may be tempted to seek candidates with administrative healthcare experience. However, with administrative responsibilities constantly evolving, you may find that your best candidates are those who come from a diverse array of backgrounds.

Surprisingly, many employers have begun to seek candidates who come from industries such as hospitality, food service, and retail. That’s because these types of candidates have experience interacting with people – whether they be customers, clients, or teammates.

Before dismissing candidates for having seemingly irrelevant skills, it’s best to evaluate each candidate with a holistic approach. There are many common transferrable skills and strengths in the healthcare industry to be aware of when considering candidates.

As you make hiring decisions, remember that candidates with diverse working backgrounds are likely to exhibit the following strengths.

Strong communication skills

The ability to speak clearly and express yourself is critical for any front-end office employee. Even if a candidate did not previously hold a job in the healthcare field, he or she may be a very effective communicator.

Communication is a transferable skill that many professionals develop throughout various jobs, and will be very easy to identify during an interview. You’ll see that candidates with experience communicating in a variety of situations are often equipped to handle the communications needs of your office, such as answering calls, responding to patients’ inquiries, or interacting with physicians.  Employees in your front-end office must be especially good communicators, because they will be expected to communicate with many different patients regarding a variety of issues, such as late payments, insurance inquiries, and appointment scheduling, among others.

Customer service experience

A With patient satisfaction being a top priority at many healthcare organizations, it’s important to make customer service a high priority in your hiring process.

Candidates who have worked in industries like food and hospitality know firsthand the importance of providing superior customer service. They also understand what it takes to create positive experiences for customers. These types of candidates will likely be able to contribute to patient satisfaction at your organization and know how to cater to the needs of your patients.

A candidate who has met the demands of customers is likely able to adapt to an administrative position and work with many different people. And candidates who can provide optimal customer service experiences will help to keep patients satisfied, which contributes to a positive company culture.

Management skills

Working in a fast-paced healthcare office requires your administrative employees to effectively manage a variety of tasks while maintaining a high degree of customer service. Many administrative healthcare roles also require an ability to multitask and be detail-oriented, with the ability to manage patient files, office finances, and other important pieces of information.

Candidates with prior management experience are likely to the transition into an administrative role with more ease and less initial training. This management experience doesn’t need to be simply having direct reports or running an office; it can include project management experience for specific tasks, and a greater level of trust and responsibility in previous rules, in general.

Management experience is also useful because these employees tend to be good problem-solvers, exhibit a high degree of professionalism, and motivate others to perform their jobs well.

Candidates with valuable transferable skills should still be closely evaluated for fit in your company and culture. But by considering candidates with diverse combinations of skills and expertise, you’ll expand your hiring options and retain employees who can successfully serve your organization.

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About the Author

Tommy Moon

Tommy Moon is a staffing professional with more than eleven years of experience in helping candidates find the right positions for them. He is familiar with all aspects of the hiring cycle, and currently works as the Senior Director of Career Services at Ultimate Medical Academy. In this role, he oversees a team of advisors who assist UMA graduates as they begin healthcare careers.

The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Ultimate Medical Academy.

The UMA Blog covers information and advice for employers and workers at the intersection of healthcare, education and employment. Our contributors are intimately familiar with a wide range of subjects covering professional development, career advancement, workplace politics, healthcare industry specific topics, personal finance, education and so much more. Learn what you need to get ahead and stay ahead.

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