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When looking to hire new staff members, what do you look for? Skill? Experience? Reputation in the field? Whatever is most important for you and your practice, the reality is that looking for new employees is a heavy drain on a clinic’s resources. Recruiting can be a very expensive process, not to mention the time that it takes to read resumes, interview potential candidates, then train the new hires in workplace practices.

However, there are strategies that you can put in place to minimise the time spent on this process – especially once you select the right person for the role. A new hire checklist is a valuable tool that you can implement to vastly reduce the time and effort required with new staff on boarding. A new hire checklist is for your recruitment team (be that company owner, practice manager, or HR department) to ensure that they are following all the necessary steps to on-board a new recruit.

When creating a new hire checklist consider the following:

1. Once a recruiting decision has been made, send the contract to the employee, including all documents such as a tax declaration form and payroll information for your new employee to sign and return, along with proof of any certifications and licences. Have these double-checked with a third party background check to ensure that your company and patients are protected.

2. Establish a firm start date with your new employee, dress code for the practice, and any signed documents or equipment that they will need to bring along on their first day. Make sure to take care of all of the housekeeping items including: parking, kitchen facilities, lunch and coffee places in the area (show off your local spots!).

3. When the new staff member arrives at your practice, provide a tour of the location, and arrange for your existing staff to meet and welcome the new staff member. Ensure that your new staff member receives a warm welcome from your team to create goodwill from the outset. This is an extremely important starting point for encouraging and building a strong, trustworthy team. One low cost and friendly way to introduce a new staff member is to have a coffee break where the new practitioner is introduced. This gives your team members working that day the opportunity to have a friendly chat with the new hire. This also serves to ease the new hire in so they can settle in more quickly to their environment. Obviously, in busy clinics not all staff members may be able to attend this coffee break. Not all staff may even be working on this given day. That is 100% okay. It is more important to set the company culture tone with the coffee break than to have every single person in your organisation involved.

4. Day one is about giving your staff time to become familiar with their new environment, their role and expectations. Give your new employee their schedule (if not already agreed upon), workplace health and safety information, workplace policies and procedures, and emergency procedures. This is also the time to gather your new staff member’s banking and superannuation information for payroll purposes. The above is in no way a comprehensive list as each practice operates differently. These items are the bare minimum. It is also recommended to include a culture guide for your business. Practices use the culture guides to clearly communicate: company values, work done in the community and how the company builds and maintains its culture (perhaps through retreats and transparent feedback loops).

This info is best given in a staff manual, so create a folder for your staff member to easily be able to access this information in one place. Send this to the new hire digitally as well so they can store this securely.

5. Provide information about the staff member’s KPIs, staff evaluations and reviews The staff member who will be conducting the new hire’s reviews should provide this information so the new hire has the space to ask any questions about the evaluation process. This may be either the practice owner, the practice manager or a lead therapist. It may feel  like it goes without saying but please, please take the time to go through this in detail with the new hire. Too many practices rush through KPI and review descriptions  and then are surprised when their new hires do not fully understand what is expected of them.

6. If your new staff member is not familiar with the practice management system used by your practice, book them in for a training session with your software provider. Comprehensive practice management systems are designed to be user-friendly and to assist staff to achieve their daily tasks and goals. This may also be a source for staff members to track their KPIs so instill the importance of using the software correctly for their own interest.

Learning how to use the practice software directly from a representative from the software company (rather than from colleagues) is the best way to maximise utility from the software and learn about all of the features to make your new starter’s work day easier. Most practice software solutions offer free online training which includes a super beneficial Q&A session.

7. In the staff manual, provide your new recruits with what they’ll need to be successful in their new role. Set a clear date on when the checklist is due. It is best to give the recruit maximum 2 weeks to complete this. It is also important to collect the signature of the new hire on this checklist to maximise buy-in and accountability.

Ultimately, it’s in both management and staff members’ best interests to create a new hire on boarding process that is  simple yet comprehensive. Learn more about Practice Management Software UK. This process not only sets the employee up for success, it also creates a firm foundation on which your new staff member can build loyalty and an affinity for their new workplace environment. Take some time to work with the key stakeholders in your team to build specific new hire checklists for each role you hire for. Make sure each checklist is clear and actionable. Once you have completed the checklist discuss it with recent recruits and continually revisit and improve this all the time until you have a new hire checklist that is the industry standard!