By Concierge Medicine Today Staff
Over the past several years, Concierge Medicine Today has spent countless hours in interviews, conducting surveys and learning from all types of physicians and practice models what it takes to survive, thrive and grow into a successful concierge medicine and direct primary care practice. But there’s always one concern that’s been a popular topic over the years in this environment and that is … staffing and turnover inside concierge medicine or direct primary care doctors office.
Like lots of young start-up concierge medicine clinics, you probably discontinued several of your insurance and managed care relationships and in turn, reduced the amount of staff you need to operate now that you’ve transitioned to a more transparent payment and billing model. But when it’s time to hire someone to replace or add to your concierge medical or direct primary care health team, its not uncommon to spend several hours a day over a long period of time reviewing resumes, doing background checks, scheduling telephone and in-person interviews.
In addition to the sheer volume of resumes you’ll receive since the recession of 2008 for just about any position that is publicized, the growing pains associated with transitioning from a small startup concierge practice to a medium-sized, thriving and successful company are many. Most concierge medicine practices only employ 1-3 people notes The Concierge Medicine Research Collective (“The Collective”).
The Fix: Rather than micro-managing the hiring process, concierge physicians should shift some staffing responsibilities to their managers. When your practice has moved past the one-man-band that helped launch you to where you are today, physicians should seek out specialists to help meet their hiring goals. In today’s concierge medicine and direct care practice, managers have a lot of responsibility and are in most cases, the best way to ensure that your practice hires the right person with the right skillsets through tests like those given to computer developers to gauge their problem-solving skills and overall knowledge. This action can help vet your hiring candidates before you, the physician or owner of the practice ever need to be involved. Interviews for new hires nowadays can occur via Skype as well.
As your practice grows locally or regionally, your human resources can become more formalized. According to Entrepreneur.com, check-ins with new staff should happen at multiple intervals, after the first and second weeks as well as after the first 30, 60 and 90 days to ensure they have the tools they need and can get questions answered.
Now, with the use of your manager dedicated to helping you in the new hire process, you should maybe spend less than two hours a week on talent acquisition and hiring.
“I want an entrepreneurial culture,” says one concierge physician from New York City. “Hiring is part of growing and we need to make sure our type of practice [concierge] does it right. We have a lot to live up to as [concierge] doctors. Let’s get our employees attitude and service capabilities right.”
A large, rapidly growing concierge medical practice or direct primary care practice must evolve its hiring practices and empower staff to take the reins.