Many administrators at small medical practices consider consulting an agency to outsource talent acquisition. Perhaps the office is newly opened and hasn’t yet gained a patient flow they can anticipate week to week. Or, for the established smaller practice, staffing agencies are useful to employ temp workers and boost coverage during busy seasons like back-to-school or the holidays. In either scenario, it’s critical to understand exactly what a staffing agency can do for a small medical practice, and what you should expect.
Evaluation of need
Start by researching the agency to ensure they specialize in hiring solutions for the healthcare industry. Their other clients will be hospitals and medical offices of all sizes, and they should be eager to provide references. Ask about the agency’s sense of the candidate marketplace. They should be completely informed and fluent about the candidate pool in your geographic area.
Ideally, the agency you call will perform a formal assessment of your office’s patient load, appointment fluctuations, existing permanent staff and service gaps. They will inquire about the length of time you anticipate requiring additional staff, but will also provide suggestions based on their evaluation of your practice.
You will also need to create a list of your practice’s defined needs, policies, and job descriptions for temp positions so the agency’s recruiters or staffing manager can identify the professionals that will be most successful there.
The practice will pay the staffing agency for their services. But the cost is a net savings if the firm proves their value proposition. Searching for qualified personnel takes time, and hiring an expert to tackle the search and the ensuing minutia allows your staff to focus on patients and office administrative work with fewer distractions. Additionally, most firms will offer a satisfaction guarantee.
Once you’re comfortable that the agency has a solid understanding of your practice, schedule and needs, the search should begin immediately. They will handle all the pre-screening like reference checks, drug testing and paperwork. On your end, ensure a smooth start by prepping the existing staff. If the agency is providing a biller, receptionist or other position that would require a stationary desk, prepare their workspace. CNAs, nurses, NPs or other patient-care providers will need a point person on your staff to show them around the office so they become accustomed to exam rooms, supply areas and storage.
Providing feedback about the new employees helps the agency with ongoing placements. Regular check-ins also give the practice a forum to report any issues and adjust requirements. Schedule a weekly call with your agency point-of-contact and prepare a list of important discussion items. Problematic employees should be reported immediately so the firm can send you a replacement with minimal disruption in coverage.
Ultimately, whether it’s a seasonal shift or a newly-opened office that has you thinking about outsourcing, a good agency can save you time, give you quick access to a viable candidate pool and scale a staffing solution for the size of your practice.
For The Lee Group, it’s not about just placing people in jobs. It’s about making sure there’s an optimal fit across the board, for both businesses and candidates alike. To learn more about why The Lee Group believes that’s an important job worth getting right, visit our staffing resources page and contact us. We’re happy to talk through our philosophy, experience in medical office placements and history in the community.