The process of hiring additional personal for your agency should beging with the home health management management staff assessing the need of the agency and whether or not it requires adding additional personnel or if the tasks can be fairly delegated between existing employees.
If multiple positions are being filled, consider holding a meeting with HR personnel and key employees within the department of the job vacancies.
Job Description and Requirements
Develop and prioritize the key requirements needed from the position and the special qualifications, traits, characteristics, and experience you seek in a candidate. (These will assist your Human Resources department to write the classified ad; post the job online and on your Web site; and screen resultant resumes for potential candidate interviews.) These should include the following:
- What are the goals that are expected to be achieved by the candidate?
- How does will the position assist the medical office in consideration of its strategic plan?
- In what ways will the position improve the overall effectiveness of the medical office?
- How will the position help in meeting the medical office’s short and long term goals?
- What challenges might the candidate face in performing the functions of the job?
- Develop the position requirements based on the requirements from the previous step.
The educational requirements should be discussed among HR personnel who have expertise in the required licensing and regulatory requirements for you agency’s state.
Additionally, there should be careful consideration taken for the salary range offered and hours per week the clinician is expected to work. The salary should be dependent upon the candidate’s overall experience and credentials. However, there are several other factors that should be considered when screening a candidate. Other considerations that should be taken into account:
- Knowledge of telephone etiquette
- Knowledge of general clerical practices
- Knowledge of HIPAA policies and guidelines
- Skills necessary to interact with patients courteously and professionally
- Skills necessary to effectively communicate with patients, coworkers and management
- Skills necessary to understand and follow oral and written instructions
- Ability to multitask
- Ability to operate computer hardware, software and other office equipment
- Ability to type a minimum of 35 words per minute
Once potential applicants have been screened, an informal offer can be sent to chosen applicants. These offers should be clearly marked as contingent upon background checks.
Criminal background checks are mandatory for your agency and failure to complete one may put you at substantial legal risk. The background check should cover county, state, and federal records as well as any sex offender registrations.
References and Credentials
Failure to investigate an applicant’s credentials such as degrees, certifications, or licenses may also put your agency at risk if not thoroughly researched. The credentials’ issuing institution should be able to readily verify these for you.
Checking the professional references of an applicant is another important task when successfully hiring high quality personnel. It can also reveal information that may not have become apparent on the application or during the interview. When contacting a reference, there are several basic, yet important questions you may ask. These questions may include:
- What were the candidate's responsibilities?
- How did the candidate perform these responsibilities?
- Is the candidate a team player or an independent worker?
- Was the candidate dependable?
- What are the candidate's strongest qualities?
- Is the candidate eligible for rehire?
- Is there anything you would like to say on behalf of the candidate?
Once the screening process has been completed and the results are satisfactory, you may then extend a final offer to the candidate. The final offer may include any additional information you’d like to include, however, there are a few standard items contained within most offer letters such as:
- Position title
- Beginning salary
- Work schedule
- Benefit summary
- Job responsibilities
- Expectations of the position
- Orientation information
- What to bring on the first day
Maintaining a high quality well-trained staff is essential for any agency’s success. Following a set of standards and completing a thorough screening for employees is a very important factor for setting the agency on a path toward success.