For most businesses, the cost of making a bad hire is almost never less than six figures.

Consider their salary, your time training them, taxes, work comp, additional insurance, etc. There is also the loss of revenue/business that can occur because they are a subpar employee giving subpar customer experiences leading to subpar outcomes that damage your reputation and cost your practice precious business.

If you’re doing it right, the entire hiring process actually starts long before you need to hire someone.

But let’s say you are ready to hire right now. How do you find and choose the best candidate, get them trained in the most efficient way, and fill their treatment schedule as quickly as possible?

1. Automatically weed out candidates who don’t follow directions

First, set up a system where those who don’t pay attention to detail and follow specific directions are automatically weeded out before you’ve had to take time to look at their resume or interview them.

This can be done easily and for free using Gmail filters and Google questionnaires.

The steps that any of my candidates go through are as follows:

  1. Make it through my Gmail filters by following specific directions
  2. Online Google questionnaire/written interview
  3. Phone interview
  4. In-person interview at the clinic (and motivator index filled out)
  5. Dinner/happy hour with the rest of my staff, or at least dinner with me and my wife

2. Balancing training and revenue production

For most business owners bringing on a high-cost professional staff member, one of their biggest fears is the "downtime" or "non-revenue-producing" time in the beginning. That is, the time frame before the new hire is at least covering his/her own expenses via the revenue he/she produces.

Don’t allow this concern to make you skimp on training. Spend a lot time with the new hire and make sure they learn from and shadow your staff as well.

You should make sure you are not just providing clinical training, but are focusing on administrative systems training as well.

Your focus should be more on training and spending as much time as necessary to train them well than on worrying about filling up their schedule and throwing them into patient care as soon as possible.

Yes, you may make less money in that first month or two (or even lose money), but in the long-term you will lose far more if you don’t adequately train your new staff and continue to train them for as long as they work for you, via meetings and in services.

3. Automate your staff training and on-boarding

If you can document your systems via text and video ahead of time, you can save yourself a lot of time with this new hire and future ones.

Think about everything you do in a specific way on a daily basis and document it or have your staff document it, with you giving the final check.

Document and teach them everything … from how you greet the new patient, to what is said during treatment sessions, to how you document treatments, and everything in between.

It’s a lot of work to document those systems, but it will save you a ton of time in the long run. It will also prevent a lot of mistakes and stress due to new hires not being fully informed of their expectations.

Another thing to consider here is that just because someone isn’t seeing a patient doesn’t mean they can’t be immediately performing activities that bring value to your business.

Perhaps you hired someone with a knack for social media posting and trends, or someone who is great on the phone speaking with people. Give them a list of things to work on during any gaps in their schedule.

4. Ramping up business and filling their treatment schedules

Ramping up starts with asking your client list and social media following to help you find an amazing therapist in the first place.

When you do this, not only may they help you find great candidates, you have pre-framed your clients and social following to be expecting you’ll soon have someone with incredible skills and a great personality.

Do some a few posts on social media during the recruiting and hiring process, letting people know you’re getting close to choosing an amazing candidate and starting the process of "hyping up" of whoever is chosen.

Make a huge deal about the new hire and all their experience/accolades via various forms of media. Emails, social media, blogs, direct mail, etc. should all be used.

Make sure you do at least a couple videos introducing them and asking them some fun questions that will bring out their personality, and allow past and prospective patients to feel they already know and love your new hire.

When it comes to someone making a decision to pick up the phone and book an appointment, this is actually much more important than the credentials and experience they bring to the table.

And always end with the call to action that your new hire is ready to help the reader/viewer. You can also ask readers of these posts and announcements to forward them to anyone they know who could benefit from working with your fantastic new therapist.

5. Have stellar candidates ready and waiting when you are ready to hire

I’ll end with a tactic that is being used by the best healthcare clinics out there — even if you’re not currently hiring, you should be constantly recruiting. Don’t wait until you are completely slammed and overbooked to start looking for a candidate.

Most business owners hire way too fast and fire way too slow. Whether via your website and/or in-person networking, you should continually be putting candidates who would like to work at your practice through my aforementioned automated hiring system.

Then, when the time comes to hire, you will have at least a handful of great candidates to reach out to.