• Jackie Schletter

Are You "THE" Practice to Work For? Why Polished Practices Impress More Than Clients

Like the Neon Trees song says, "everybody talks". Your clients. Your staff. Ex staff. Your vendor reps. All are opinions that count and that behind the scenes may be making an impact on staff acquisition that you are unaware of.

After many years of interviewing at a variety of practices, I have found this to be true: just as you cultivate and make an impression on potential clients, you're doing the same for potential staff. If your storefront, lobby and staff are unpolished and tired looking, that just might be what your job candidates look like.

Put yourself in a candidates shoes. For whatever reason you're on the prowl for a job in a new practice. Maybe you've moved to a new location, would like more opportunity for advancement, you would like more pay. We need to remember that our future staff have begun the interview process long before we've decided we want to interview them.

One question I always ask candidates during an interview is if they had visited our website to learn about the practice. While I've not found a "yes" answer to be universal, an overwhelming majority had visited the website of what I would consider a polished practice more than say, a diamond in the rough. One step further, they specifically stated that great reviews, and our response to them made an impact and roused their interest in applying. The pattern was clear: it seemed that the old "birds of a feather" adage held some weight. Quality candidates want to work at quality practices. The vibes your practice is throwing off meant alot if you want to attract quality talent.

This makes sense to me. I am a TripAdvisor user. When my husband and I are looking for a new dinner place, or hotel for a getaway, we don't just rely on the reviews from customers, we look for the responses from management. How a manager, or whomever is tasked with responding to reviews responds gives us a glimpse into the culture of that business and gives us an idea how we might be treated. Now consider, for us this is just one night, or one dinner. For a potential employee, they are most likely after a long term engagement so a review site may drive a great employee to you - or away from you.

The "word on the street" makes an impact in our industry too. Your vendors notice everything and they chat. If I'm looking for a new hire, I'll ask our distributor and vendor reps if they know anyone looking. Conversely, unhappy staff ask them if they know of any practices hiring. They will steer those staff to practices they consider a good place to work.

So ... make sure your practice glows with a great web presence and pictures of staff and the practice are updated and professional. Be sure the outside of your building is clean and professional; do you feel proud each morning walking through the doors? If a candidate walks in to drop of a resume or fill out an employment application, does the existing staff make a great impression as potential colleagues? Consider your review responses carefully. Future clients and employees are reading them and judging you. Work everyday to be "THE" place to work and you might find yourself with a drawer full of stellar resumes just waiting for you when hiring time presents itself.

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