The Ultimate Guide to Hiring the Right Employees for Your Practice

Hiring the right employees

The healthcare hiring process is a headache — a complex labyrinth of selecting, screening, and scrutinizing employees with no guarantee of success. If things don't work out? The average cost of replacing a new hire is 21 percent — that's $10,500 for someone earning $50,000. Optimizing your recruitment process reduces risk and saves money. Here's how to hire the right employees for your medical practice, whether it’s a new doctor, dentist, or other healthcare professional.

Craft a Candidate-Focused Job Description

Hiring the right employees

Job ads for healthcare candidates are different than those in other industries. Ever-changing organizational structures and unconventional job titles — “practice manager” instead of “office manager,"  for example — confuse candidates. Encourage more applications with candidate-focused job descriptions. These ads should be part of a wider candidate-focused recruitment process, where applicants receive detailed descriptions about policies, procedures, and potential responsibilities. 

Start with the basics:

  • Job title (Optometrist, for example)
  • Location
  • Contract length, if applicable 
  • Experience required
  • Qualifications required

Then outline the main duties of the job. This summary should be clear, concise, and objective. You don't need to list every type of software a dental office manager needs, for example. Keep it brief. 

Candidate-focused descriptions emphasize the roles and responsibilities of candidates, not an organization's achievements or managerial structure. However, you might need to include some information about working conditions to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Use HR tools to stay on the right side of laws like EEOC and avoid expensive penalties. Learn more here.)

Applicants want to know:

  • Salary
  • Package benefits (Retirement, health insurance, flexible working, childcare, etc.)
  • Career progression opportunities 
  • Company culture and values

Applicants don't want to know:

  • The names of all managers in the organization
  • A detailed history of the organization (when a dental practice opened, for example)
  • Recent managerial decisions
  • Detailed HR information like payroll dates or disciplinary procedures (Candidates learn this during the onboarding process.)

Keep all this information on the "About Us" page on your website instead. 

Tip: Research shows the ideal job description title length is 50-60 characters, and descriptions with industry-specific terminology receive 40 percent more applications. (Choose "RDA" over "Registered Dental Assistant" when hiring people!)

Recommended reading: 3 HR Policies You Should Abolish Today 

Use a Creative Recruitment Marketing Process

Long gone are the days when healthcare practices just posted job descriptions in the local newspaper. Today, recruitment marketing is multi-faceted, with recruiters favoring job websites like Monster and social media platforms like LinkedIn. 

A creative marketing strategy engages the industry's top talent at various touch-points in the recruitment life cycle, from job creation through to final placement. Here are some tips for hiring people:

  • Update your website so it's customer- and candidate-focused. Prospective employees will check out your "About Us" and "Corporate Culture" pages before applying for a role. 
  • Update your social media profiles with the latest job opportunities. 
  • Use inbound marketing techniques like email lists and content marketing to attract the most qualified and talented hires, such as recently-graduated nurses.

Tip: Optimize healthcare job ads for mobile devices. Forty-five percent of job seekers search for opportunities on mobile, and 89 percent think mobile experiences are "important" for recruitment. 

Recommended reading: Read our insights into onboarding in healthcare here!

Look for the Right People in the Right Places

Hiring the right employees

Sometimes, qualifications and experience aren't enough. You need someone with the right personality for your practice — a "right-fit" job candidate that becomes a valuable member of your team. Don't focus your efforts on one platform but use a combination of talent acquisition channels to increase recruitment success:

  • Indeed: One of the largest healthcare job databases in the world. 
  • LinkedIn: More than 500,000 healthcare jobs in the United States alone. Build talent pools and grow your team. 
  • US News: Post your job description here and network with dentists, doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, administrators, and more. 
  • Health Jobs Nationwide: Healthcare-only job portal. Perfect for networking and recruitment. 
  • Healthcare and Pharma Jobs Public Group (Facebook): Facebook group for healthcare and pharma professionals. 

A couple of job-specific job resources:

  • Dentists: onDiem connects dental practices with the industry’s best talent, including dentists, dental hygienists, and front office staff. 
  • Optometrists: iHireOptometry is one of the largest online job boards for opticians, optometrists, ophthalmologists, technicians and more. 

Recommended reading: Has your business been impacted by COVID-19? Check out our valuable HR resources here.

Nail the Interview Process

Hiring the right employees

Healthcare job interviews happen during the final stages of the recruitment process and determine job suitability. Ask candidates the right questions to avoid common interview mistakes such as:

  • Rushing the interview process.
  • Not identifying "red flags" that indicate unsuitable candidates. (A physician with many gaps in their work history, for example.)
  • Not checking documentation/licenses. 
  • Not staying legally compliant.

Recommended Reading: The Pros and Cons of Working Interviews

Recommended Resource: Your Template For Creating A Working Interview Letter

Recommended Resource: 75 Best Interview Questions to Ask Potential Employees

Final Word 

Hiring the right employees in healthcare is a skill. Get it right and increase productivity and improve patient outcomes. Get it wrong and put your medical organization at risk. Follow the tips above for more successful recruitment results when hiring medical professionals like dentists and physical therapists.

Want to know how to hire employees? HR for Health's suite of tools minimizes the risks associated with recruitment and increases performance. Streamline communication, stay compliant, and optimize the entire recruitment process. Click here to learn more.


Quick note: This is not to be taken as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws change over time and can vary by location and industry, consult a lawyer or HR expert for specific guidance. Learn about HR for Health's HR services.