American Academy of Nurse Entrepreneurs

5 Steps for Hiring Amazing Employees

Building solid teams is essential to growing a thriving practice. Failing to hire well can drown you unnecessary managerial issues. Hiring the wrong fit leads to high employee turnover, which keeps you stuck in a cycle of searching, interviewing, and training. And that kind of inconsistency can also be a turn off to patients, too. 

When I started my first practice, I made plenty rookie mistakes in my hiring processes. Mistakes I’d like to help you avoid. I’ve since honed in on my hiring practices to bring on board the best people that are the best fit for my practice. Here are 5 essential steps to finding and hiring amazing teams

Where to Find Good Candidates

You know how important referrals and reviews are for bringing in new patients. Well, the same is true when hiring new team members. Rely on referrals first.
 
Reach out to your colleagues. Send a short and simple message to 10 friends and colleagues saying that you’re looking for someone great. You might be surprised by how many gems get sent your way.
 
If you need to expand your search, then connect with your local NP chapter an other professional organizations. It’s also a good idea to post to Facebook and LinkedIn groups. The American Academy of Nurse Entrepreneurs offers a free Facebook group, too. Join our group to expand your network right away! Nurses are connected to nurses and other providers all around the country. You never know where a good lead might come from.

Once you’ve exhausted those options, that’s when I would turn to a jobs site, like Indeed.com. But, for me, it’s a last resort. Referrals should always be step one.

Attractive Job Descriptions

Whether you’re posting a job description online or sharing it with friends, write your job descriptions like it’s sales copy for your practice. You want candidates to be excited for the position.
 
Truth be told, most job descriptions are drab. That’s good news for you because it means the bar is very, very low. You don’t have to be the best copywriter in the world to make a job description stand out. 
 
Don’t just list job tasks. Ask yourself
  • Why would someone want to work here?
  • What kind of atmosphere would they be coming into?
  • What kind of people would they interact with?
Your job description is a great opportunity to share the highlights of your practice’s culture.

Culture Fit is a Must

Most role’s in your practice are, essentially, triage and admin. Respectfully, you can train those to just about anyone. But great employees do so much more than that – from how they interact with patients to their ability to adapt to certain situations. That’s why it’s important to hire the person, and train for the role.
 
Right fit for your culture is key.
 
There are all types of practice cultures out there. One practice might have a culture of routine, while another practice deals with something different every day. Some practices might be slow and quiet, while others might be fast-paced and light-hearted. There’s no right or wrong. It’s important you’re aware of your culture and hire people that will fit well within it.
 
For example, I highly value feedback. I want people on my team who are willing to suggest ways we could do things better. Another part of our culture is flexibility. We don’t run a strict 9-5 schedule. Sometimes we work remotely the majority of our time. So, candidates who want to clock in, do their basic tasks, and clock out are not a good fit for us. But they would be a great fit for someone else who is on-site more often and prefers a narrow scope of tasks.
 
Just know your culture. Communicate it. And hire for it.
 
If you’d like some guidance on how to do exactly that, get your copy of The Culture Bible. It’s just one of the many templates we offer within the American Academy of Nurse Entrepreneurs.
 
The Culture Bible is an editable document that you can make your own. It will help you create your Vision, Mission, and Values, along with 11 Key Principles that cultivate a powerful and helpful team so that you can expand your practice.

Interviewing

So, how do you know if someone is a culture fit when you interview them? Ask a lot of questions.
 
The following examples are not intended to be scripts for your interview, but rather serve as guides for the types of questions that can identify good culture fits. Your interview (and the questions you ask) should be conversational.
  • What gets them excited within their work? What types of tasks do they enjoy and look forward to doing?
  • What does their ideal day look like? What types of patients do they enjoy working with? What types of results do they enjoy providing for patients?
  • Are they “plugged in” to industry news? Do they know what’s happening in healthcare on a broader scale?
  • What does work/life balance mean to them? What else is important in their life? How do they take care of themselves or what do they do to unwind?
  • What’s most important to them in a job? (Money? Flexibility? Being treated well? Etc.)
  • Do their job needs align with your job needs?
  • What expectations do they have? What do they want in the future? What are their goals?

Money Conversations

Obviously, money is an important part of the hiring process. My #1 piece of advice here is:
Money conversations should always be in person, not over email.
 
Eventually, you’ll put everything down in writing, but the negotiation should be a collaboration between you and your new hire.
 
Not too long ago when I brought a new NP onboard, she sent me her salary requirements and they were way above industry average. I tried to craft an email reply that was respectful of her request while also communicating my own expectations. I wanted to outline the many options we could offer her that would still make it worth her while. But the email got long and convoluted because I was trying to express too much all at once.
 
Once I realized that I was breaking my own rule (Money conversations should always be in person), my long-winded email was cut to a simple message: “Thank you. This is helpful. I’d like to sit down and further discuss this and see where we can make this a great fit for both of us. How about lunch on Thursday?”
 
From there, we collaborated on a solution that worked amazingly well for both of us!

And one last step before hiring anyone...

Run a background check. I recommend using Pre-Check because it’s specific to healthcare and they also run a criminal background check with it.
 
Hiring is an exciting part of being a business owner because you have the privilege to provide a living for your fellow healthcare workers. It’s an opportunity to expand your services and help more people. Follow these 5 principles for your healthy hiring process!

Veronica Pike

FNP-C President & Co-Founder
Veronica co-founded Med2You, a healthcare company based in Austin, Texas that provides primary and psychiatric care to underserved populations with a completely remote care team led by nurse practitioners.

Veronica started her business as a single provider with a mobile “doctor bag,” cellphone and a laptop.

As a family nurse practitioner and entrepreneur who has operated her own practice since 2013, Veronica knows the unique challenges and needs APNs have when navigating the business, legal and regulatory components of starting and operating a thriving healthcare practice.

Now, her mission is to put this knowledge in the hands of other advanced practice nurses so that they can realize their full potential as clinicians, entrepreneurs and leaders in their community.

With her business partner, Griffin Mulcahey, a healthcare regulatory attorney, Veronica has designed the educational programs, resources, and community support network that is the American Academy of Nurse Entrepreneurs (AANE).

Veronica is also a sought-after speaker around the country. She speaks to healthcare entrepreneurs, clinicians, hospitals, and associations – proudly educating and helping the growing community of healthcare entrepreneurs who are giving more options and better care to communities around the country.

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