Small Business
Staffing Strategies for Start-Ups

Staffing Strategies for Start-Ups

Train your employees to be at the top of their game.

No matter how carefully you plan out every last detail of a successful practice, at some level that plan is only as good as the people you hire to help you implement it. Staffers will often serve as your ambassadors. They'll be among the first faces patients see when they arrive and quite possibly the last they'll see before leaving. They'll help keep your records in good shape and operate expensive equipment. You need people on whom you can rely.

And the competition for quality health staff is only expected to grow, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As one example, hiring for registered nurses is expected to rise 26 percent from 2010 through 2020, significantly outpacing expected growth for most occupations in the United States.

As you consider ways to go about hiring the best possible employees, you may want to start by listing all of the important functions that you expect from a position you're trying to fill. When the time comes to interview prospects, you'll be that much more prepared to determine whether the candidate's qualifications and experience are right for the job. And be sure to communicate all of those responsibilities with the prospects. If the ones you wind up hiring have a better idea what they're signing up for, it may help avoid misunderstandings later on.

Take Time to Train
Even when you're hiring specialists, make sure they understand the idiosyncrasies of your practice. No two practices are exactly alike. Give new employees time to get well versed in your operations, how your staffers interact and how you handle the flow of patients.

Set Clear Standards
Everyone wants to work in a friendly environment, but take care that the tone you set doesn't confuse employer and friend. Staff will take their cues from you. One of the best steps to maintaining a high-performance staff is to set clear standards of professionalism, courtesy, punctuality and respect, and see to it that employees aim to meet them.

Find a Leader
No matter how many hours you pull, you can't be everyplace at once. And while you make the big decisions, you can't make all of them or preside over every minor staff inquiry. A strong manager is vital for helping things run smoothly. Make sure the staffers understand that the manager has your full support, and make that person part of hiring decisions. They, in turn, will likely support your mission to provide superior care to your patients.


1 Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.

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