Staff search: finding experienced practitioners for your clinic

1 March 2016

searching for experienced staff

Have you been struggling to find a clinician who fits the bill? Before admitting defeat, take a step back and take a good look at who you’re looking for, and how you are going about looking for that person. Are you asking for the impossible? Could you compromise on certain ‘wants’ that aren’t exactly ‘needs’? Are you actively looking for your practitioner, or are you sitting back waiting for the right person to appear on your doorstep?


Have realistic expectations


If you can’t seem to find suitable practitioners for your clinic, it may not be the case that experienced clinicians are in extremely short supply in your area. It could be that the package you’re offering isn’t exciting or flexible enough to be of interest to the right people, or your requirements are far too specific. You do need to have realistic expectations about the skills available, the salary that will be expected, the hours people will work, and the contractual details that will be acceptable.

If you are looking for an aesthetic doctor or nurse prescriber, for example, you may find that advertising only for a full-time, permanent member of staff does not attract experienced clinicians, as many will already have other work that prevents them from taking on a full-time role. Also, such practitioners may not wish to take on a full-time salary, as this may be lower than their earnings when working on a freelance basis. Also, if you need a new clinician on a part-time basis, could you be flexible on the days and hours of work? Could you offer some training that would complete the list of skills you require?

Although it is good practice to be discerning when recruiting, don’t let pickiness hold your business back. You may have a very specific person in mind for your clinic, but there may be compromises you can make in order to get a great new employee.


Be proactive, don’t just wait for applications


If you have advertised for a clinician and have had no suitable responses, then revisit your recruitment process and see what other actions you could take. It could be that your job advert isn’t that appealing. Make sure your advert contains an element of what you can offer a new employee, not just what you demand to have from them. If there are similar job opportunities being advertised, you need to make yours stand out, and you need it to be visible to the right people. Don’t just place an advert on your own website, try using job boards or industry-specific sites where clinicians are likely to visit.

If you are looking for an employee with an uncommon skillset, then simply posting a job advert may not be as productive as you hoped. Job adverts are read by people actively looking for work, and your ideal employee may not be doing that. If they are job-hunting, they may not be looking in the same places you have posted your advert. For these reasons, you should also try actively looking for your new practitioner on LinkedIn, or employing the services of a recruitment consultant to headhunt on your behalf. If you are using LinkedIn yourself, make sure you set up a good personal profile and company page for you and your clinic before trying to connect with anyone. Your own account needs to look professional and approachable to encourage people to connect with you, and respond to any messages you send them.


Invest in training


Training courses for aesthetic treatments can be costly, and if you’re sending an employee out to complete a course, you’ll also have to cover their wages, and potentially find cover for the period they are out of the clinic. This may seem prohibitive, but rather than just looking at the immediate costs, you must look at the longer-term benefits as well.

If you find a highly skilled practitioner who has the right attitude and character to fit in with your team and offer an excellent service to your customers, then should you really turn them away on the basis that they lack knowledge of one particular cosmeceutical brand or laser device? Though you may need to organise some training on the specific brands and equipment you use in your clinic, if a practitioner has training and experience that is in part transferrable, then it may be relatively straightforward to get them up-to-speed with your clinic’s specialities.

Your outlay for training a new staff member may seem steep, but being short-staffed or incapable of expansion while you wait for your ideal practitioner to turn up can also be costly. Training costs can soon be recouped, as your employee’s additional skills should be an asset to the clinic, enabling you to take on more customers, or offer a wider range of treatments. If you are too afraid of spending out on training, you could end up falling behind your competitors, and losing business. If you invest in your team at the right time for your business, then it will prove fruitful.


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