The Key to Hiring & Keeping the Best Team Employees – Part 1
Nothing but the best employees.
I saw my first human totem pole under a fiery sunset reflecting off a rolling-molten glass of an ocean somewhere in Mexico.
I don’t know what it’s really called.
Around 12, I think that was the number they’d stacked – 12 grown men standing on each other’s shoulders – when a little guy near the bottom sneezed.
You know what happened next.
All it takes is one weak link to bring a team crashing to the ground.
It happens to practice owners every year, when they fail to hire the best.
Nothing but the best employees.
That should be your mantra. Or you know, motto or something.
Sadly, most people don’t focus on hiring the way they should.
Let me put it this way. Nothing shifts your team culture like hiring.
It WILL make your organization. Or break it.
Why People Don’t Make it a High Priority
We burn through loads of time and energy marketing, because we know how important it is.
So why not hiring?
Fact is, recruitment is marketing.
You’re putting out an advertisement (your job post) to attract a new asset (a strong employee).
Just because your ad’s purpose is to pull in human capital instead of sales, doesn’t make it any less valuable than any other form of asset.
In fact, a good employee should be saving and/or making your practice money on a regular basis. So in reality, a good employee is a value generator, making human capital consistantly more valuable than a one-time exchange of money.
Here’s the real reason people don’t spend much time on the hiring process.
It’s not fun.
It’s less glamorous. It’s tedious. Boring. So they spend less time on it. And when they do take action, they hire in short, desperate bursts to catch up.
That’s one of the worst mistakes you can make. Rushing the hiring process leads to hiring bad employees.
Sure it’s an overused concept, but it’s worth repeating: Hiring is a marathon. If you treat it like a sprint, you’ll run out of time and energy, which leads to burnout. Which leads to hiring bad employees…
…which leads to a rotting team culture, including poor work ethic, attitude, communication and values.
Why You Should Make Hiring a Higher Priority
Alright. We’ve established that hiring moves the needle more than any other activity. But why?
Your staff members are the building blocks of your practice’s culture. That makes hiring the foundation of getting and keeping golden, granite-solid talent…
…which is truly what makes or breaks your practice.
Your culture is everything. You can hire the best people ever, pour non-stop buckets of cash all over them, and they still won’t stay if you missed that memo.
If you throw people into a poor culture, it doesn’t matter how good they are. They’ll either get pulled down to everyone else’s level, or leave.
Here’s another thing. You aren’t the person doing most of the patient-facing work. Your staff members are.
Your name is associated with your patient experience, but they’re the face of the practice.
Thankfully, you can influence them in a way that enhances your culture from the top down. And when you do that, it’ll come back to you from the bottom up.
That influence starts with the job post you write (or have somebody write). But the most vital time to demonstrate your values and culture (and evaluate their’s) is during the interviews and the first few weeks.
That’s when your new staff member grows an understanding of his or her new community. Speaking of understanding…
Most people misunderstand the hiring process, thanks to loads of flawed information.
Here’s one of the biggest hiring myths:
Good employees are expensive.
Fact: They aren’t. Strong employees are solid business assets.
They help make or save you money, and create a good experience for everyone who comes into contact with your organization.
Inside of it and out of it.
It’s not how fancy your office is, or how great it looks, and it’s not even about how professional or skilled you are.
It’s about your people.
Are they building your practice up or tearing it down?
Staff culture makes the difference between 6 and 7-8 figure practices.
5 Steps For the Perfect Hiring Process
It’s not easy to perfect your hiring process. But it is doable, and necessary.
The steps below are the closest we’ve come to the holy grail of the hiring process.
First things first. Priorities. The best thing you can do, by far…
…pull hiring up to at least your top 3. Should it be #1? Yes.
Here’s 5 steps for a (nearly) perfect hiring process:
► Have a Solid Recruiting Pipeline. This is also known as a recruiting pool or recruiting network. The goal is to create a deep and never-ending ocean of high-skill, high-potential individuals who are interested in working for you NOW. It’s a never-ending process, built for the long-term, so stay on top of it at all costs.
► Stay Organized. Keeping all your paperwork and processes in order can be tough. But it pays off big in the end.
► Make it Your Top Priority. It’s worth saying twice (thrice?). Many times. Your culture depends on it, so there’s nothing more vital to your practice’s success.
Spend 10% (or more) of your week on hiring. The larger your practice becomes, the more time you need to devote to recruiting.
► Get Your Paperwork in Line. Make it super-easy to understand, and ready to roll right out the gate, and again, prioritize. Have a gameplan. It sets the tone better than any other time in the process.
► Fine-Tune Your On-boarding Process and Set Clear Expectations. Get your paperwork in line, and be intentional with your employee’s first few weeks. What does your on-boarding experience look like? What metrics must the new hire hit to be successful?
Your new employee’s transition into your practice is a critical time.
Here’s a true story about a lioness (from one of those nature channels, I forget which one).
She was possibly the strongest member of a pride she’d recently joined. She was the best huntress, the healthiest and had the biggest pearly fangs of the bunch. Three brothers led the pride that they’d recently inherited from the deceased king of the pride, who had just died in battle over territory. They were young, scruffy-maned males who instantly started fighting for her attention. They had loads of future potential, but right now? They were inexperienced, physically and emotionally fragile teens. Worse still, the lionesses were jealous, lazy, and catty (pun thoroughly intended).
The lioness stayed with the pride for about a week. Just long enough to assess her new community’s culture, leadership, and future potential. She had not only herself, but her future cubs to think of. By the end of the week, she had relocated to a competing pride. The narrator pointed out how she quickly gave up the #1 position in her new tribe, and a sure guarantee of a steady flow of animal-income (cubs), for a pride where she was only average.
Why? Culture. That’s why.
Similar to a strong lioness, a strong new employee will:
► Either bail (or worse, become a bad employee) if the community is rotten.
► Choose good leadership, a strong potential for growth, stability and a positive, hard-working team culture over a massive salary.
► Search out a stable, high-potential environment until they find it, then work like an animal to build the practice up in every way they can (Hence the importance of the hiring process).
► The key difference between the lioness and your new employee is a massive gap in intelligence. They’ll figure out whether their new community is good or rotten pretty fast.
Sidenote – Ever wish you had a culture-measuring gauge? Well, now you do. Keep your eye on your new staff members and you’ll learn a lot about your practice. If your culture is going bad, they’ll show it.
They’ll show it if it’s good too.
Behavioral trends – that’s what you’re looking for. Everybody has a bad day every once in awhile. And good days. Your staff should trend almost completely on the good side of the culture coin.
So other than apathy, why do most practices fail to hire amazing employees?
From what I’ve seen, it’s mostly a lack of empathy. Which brings us to the meat and potatoes…
…in The Key to Hiring & Keeping the Best Employees For Your Practice – Part 2 (next week on Thursday).
See you then!