How to Hire
the Front Desk Position

By David Foster D.C.
Chiropractic Economics published 2011

I would say only three of four Front desks/ Reception personnel hired today will end up being a bad hire in six months.  The reason being, the person hiring has no idea how to advertise, interview or choose the hire correctly. They have no skill or manual to efficiently process applicants and choose the person with the greatest chance of success.

As you may have experienced a bad hire can destroy your practice. Poor patient interaction, lack of insurance knowledge, substandard secretarial skills, irresponsibility, and lack of honesty can cost you many times more than the employees wage.

The following outline will increase your awareness in the hiring process. I urge you to improve your hiring skill and build a practice with stability, cohesiveness and a culture that supports your mission.

Set Expectations

Hiring a front deck person is like computer dating. The hiring doctor advertises his/her wish list to what they are looking for. Record a list of every requirement, skill, and personality attributes that you desire in the position. This may allow you to get a more accurate perspective for the necessary knowl­edge and abilities needed to succeed in this position.

Help Wanted Advertisement
A certain way to increase the success rate the help wanted advertisement must state exactly what you are looking for; advertising their expectation of the position. Conversely, the Front desk person can evaluate the advertisement with a critical eye to the fit of the position in relationship to there own personality and needs. The goal of the ad is to attract the person that fits the ad and to weed out the ones that do not. This is the beginning of the courtship, to see if each party’s expectation is similar. It is done very impersonally and efficiently.

The location you are advertising in must be congruent to the position you are filling. The most effi­cient vehicle to advertise is the internet. In this day and age the person searching for employment in a newspaper may not be the person for your position. For the position of front desk, you can advertise to the general population through Craig’s List or your local town’s web site. Many towns now have web sites with help wanted classified sections.

Resume Review
The question you must ask yourself when reviewing the resumes is, “does this applicant fit the needs of the position?” Take all personal attributes out of the resume review process. Compare the resume against your check or wish list of the position and make a cut and dry decision. Do not be swayed by anything but the facts presented on the resume. Separate the resumes into two piles, the ones you want invest a interview call and the ones that you have no interest in pursuing.

Interview Process
The process is similar to any one of the reality shows where the looser is never seen again and the winner has competed challenges and has succeeded in overcoming all obstacles. The first interview is by phone. Set aside time, preferably in the evening, and speak with each applicant for 5-10 minutes maxi­mum. Prepare with written specific open-ended questions that will evaluate the applicant for the position offered. Put your effort into listening to the applicants answers. Ask yourself would you want this person answering your phone.

The second, third and possible forth interviews pair down the field matching the applicants to your original wish list. The questions asked begin general and then become specific in all areas of the job responsibilities. Each important task will have questions or exercises to measure their competencies.

Once you have chosen a few candidates I recommend a series of aptitude and personality tests to confirm our decision. The internet offers many tests that challenge the applicants technical and emotional talents.

The Decision Making Process
As the pool of applicants are reduced through interviews to a few each person’s back round is thoroughly researched. The Internet offers many services that dig deep into a person’s past; history is the best window of the future.

Selection

Once you have gone through this process to choose your new hire, you can feel confident that you have utilized an intelligent process that will allow you the best chance of success.

For a full description of the How to Hire the Front Desk /Reception manual, please click here.

About David Foster D.C.
Dr. Foster has practiced Chiropractic for the past 20 years and has co-owned 10 satellite practices. His undergraduate education includes a BS degree from Boston University with a major in finance and marketing prior to attending Life Chiropractic College.

With his acquired knowledge and experience Dr. Foster has consulted the Chiropractic community for the past decade in appraisals, Buy-Sell and Associate agreements in addition to a wide variety of legal, financial and strategic issues related to the business of Chiropractic.

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