It seems the entire nation is short-staffed. On top of that, recruiting employees can be expensive, time-consuming and frustrating. In fact, replacing an employee can cost 2 ½ times that person’s salary. Wouldn’t it be better to avoid the hassle and expense and get your next employee via an employee referral?
As you know, the best way to get good patients is through word of mouth and this is even more true with employees. Studies reveal that referred candidates are hired faster, are onboarded quicker and stay longer. This shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider that a candidate who has been hand-picked will be a known quantity and will come to your office predisposed to like you.
In this article we describe five ways to utilize your current team to become active and adept recruiters.
- Brainstorm the benefits.
Before you ask your employees to refer candidates, you need to know what they will be saying about life at your practice. Ideally, they will present a positive (and truthful) picture, but don’t just leave this chance. Before you set up a recruitment program, meet with the team and ask them to brainstorm the benefits of working at your practice. But word to the wise: if your current employees cannot name anything positive about your practice, you have some big-time issues. Call me ASAP!
- Suggest a script.
Once you have all agreed on what makes your practice a great place to work, then you need to craft a script. Decide on what your employees should say verbally and in writing when contacting potential candidates. It isn’t great for your employee to text: “Apply here, our dentist is desperate.” Better verbiage would be, “I’m wondering if you are interested in an opening at our practice? I love my dentist and we’re located close to you. Would you like to hear more?”
- Make recruiting and interviewing a group activity.
The best way to motivate your team to do something is to make it fun and easy. Play a recruitment game at a team meeting. Ask your team to describe the skills and characteristics of the ideal candidate. Then ask everyone to get their phones, identify people they know who fit that profile, and start texting. This is why technique #2 (suggest a script) is important.
To generate buy-in, also enlist your team in the interviewing process. Once candidates have passed a screening interview, have them interview candidates either with you or in pairs. Alternatively, they can take final candidates out to lunch. But make sure you train your team on what questions they can legally ask!
- Offer an incentive but don’t depend on it.
You don’t need to offer a generous cash reward to motivate your team to recruit. In fact, supporting my contention that bonus systems usually backfire, companies like Google found that when they increased the bonuses for recruiting, fewer employees referred! Yup – in fact, employees at Go Daddy only improved their recruitment activity when the incentive when DOWN. Human nature is not what you would predict. So, could/should you offer a financial award? Yes. But for the most part, employees are motivated to recruit because they believe in the practice and want to help out. The bonus is a benefit but not the main inducement. A bonus may be a few hundred dollars and can be paid either once the employee is hired or after the employee has worked 2-3 months.
- Engage in aided recall.
When doubling the hiring bonus didn’t work at Google, they instead engaged in something called “aided recall.” Most folks don’t remember things well without some sort of prompt. So, Google prompted their employees’ mental rolodexes by asking them questions such as: Who were the best people at doing X that you ever worked with? Ask your team to think of the best employee they ever worked with or met at a professional event, or who they miss the most from a previous job or someone who provides the best customer service at an allied medial office. And by the way, you might want to reach out to former employees who left in good terms, to see if they want to come back.
Your team can be vital in finding new employees as well as on-boarding them once they arrive. Carve out a way for your team to be intrinsically involved in the hiring process so that you can enjoy a fully-staffed team as soon as possible.
I can help you write a compelling job ad, design interview questions and onboard a new employee. Let me know if you need assistance.