How to Hire for a Position with Multiple Hats

August 10, 2018

How to Hire for a Position with Multiple Hats

If you run a small medical office, you probably know the importance of hiring multi-skilled employees. Small offices need people who can handle many types of workplace tasks and juggle a variety of responsibilities.

Medical billers and coders are often prime candidates for small healthcare settings, because they’re trained to understand multiple facets of the healthcare administration process. As you hire more individuals to join your team, seeking highly qualified medical billers and coders can help you build a workforce that meets the demands of your office and allows you to maintain high quality patient care.

In addition to necessary technical abilities (otherwise known as “hard skills”), there are other factors to consider when recruiting employees who can multitask. It’s important that employees in small yet busy healthcare environments have the soft skills needed to work well with coworkers under pressure. They also must have an assertive but polite demeanor when interacting with physicians and addressing patient questions or concerns.

Here are some other key traits to look for as you seek candidates who can wear multiple hats.

A collaborative mindset.

Employees who are good collaborators tend to make the best employees in smaller healthcare environments. They know how to work well with others to accomplish common goals and get things done on time. Collaborators are also skilled at knowing when to seek help from others, as they have a keen awareness of their individual strengths and weaknesses.

To gauge if a candidate has a collaborative mindset, start by asking them how well they work with others to complete projects and meet deadlines. Listen carefully to how the candidate responds. Do they reference past experiences working with others? Are they receptive to being part of a team-like environment? Do they demonstrate a willingness to learn from co-workers?

A candidate’s attitude toward these questions can be indicative of how well they share responsibilities with their co-workers and take constructive criticism. In general, employees who actively seek collaboration will thrive in an environment that demands they work well with a team to wear multiple hats at once.         

Problem-solving and conflict resolution.

When your office is busy and an issue arises, it’s important that your employees know how to solve the problem quickly and with professionalism. Even if they have no prior experience in a healthcare setting, candidates with customer service skills and strong interpersonal communication abilities tend to be good candidates for smaller medical office environments.

During interviews, ask potential employees to explain a time when they resolved a conflict. Their answer can help you evaluate their aptitude for problem-solving and conflict resolution. Do they push blame onto coworkers, or do they own the issue and discuss how they helped the team overcome it?

Customer service-oriented candidates are typically more adept at troubleshooting problems and assisting others in solving issues. Candidates who have worked in prior office environments also tend to be better at handling stressful situations professionally.

Time management.

As you screen and interview candidates, it’s important to get a sense of how they manage their time and prioritize their work. In a smaller office, employees are expected to balance many responsibilities while still providing superior patient care and customer service. Employees who know how to avoid distractions and delegate tasks appropriately tend to be well-suited for positions that require wearing multiple hats.

You can also ask candidates how they set goals, track their progress, and schedule their tasks. This can help you understand how they employ time management in their day-to-day lives. Another trademark sign of an effective time manager is adaptability. Employees who can shift their priorities to handle an unexpected issue or crisis are generally versatile in their work approach and skilled at prioritizing their schedule according to the ever-changing needs of their workplace.

For small offices, it’s important to hire employees who can wear multiple hats and excel in a fast-paced environment. Employees who meet the ongoing demands of your healthcare facility with poise and professionalism will ultimately have the potential to thrive within your work environment over the long-term.

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About the Author

Lindsay England

Lindsay England is the Senior Director of Operations at Ultimate Medical Academy’s Career Services Department, and has been with UMA for 6 years. She helps to oversee all of the daily operations within the department, support the staff with achieving successful student outcomes, and lead numerous support functions that contribute to graduate placement efforts.

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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