Best Practices in Medical Staffing

When does the hiring process in a medical organization really start? Is it when you all of a sudden realize that a key staff nurse who has been running one of your wards with complete efficiency has given in her notice to leave? Do you then have a back up plan to replace her immediately without in any way upsetting the organization or do you run around contacting various staffing agencies to fill up your needs?

Smart or correct medical staffing can only be a result of following specific procedures so that recruitment becomes a cinch and always has for you, the correct people in the correct jobs.

What you need to do is initially check your existing organization and see whether all its staff requirements are fulfilled, and if there are any shortages, the places where they occur. Then make a complete job description for each and every position of staff. Once you have done this you will be sure whether every job that does needs to be done in the medical facility has been allotted or whether there are some gaps or grey areas. Identify the responsibilities for each job and see that the total work to be carried out from a patient’s admission to his discharge and outpatient requirements are taken care by some or the other of the jobs you have so described. Eliminate any duplication.

Now that you have the job descriptions sit down and evaluate the qualifications and experience that each post requires. Screen your existing staff and see whether each of them fits into the jobs that you have. You may to your surprise discover that you have some people in the organization who are qualified and experienced enough to hold jobs requiring higher responsibility. Maybe you have an intern doing just scrubbing duties in the OT whereas he is a qualified internist that can reduce the load in the ERs. Or a lab assistant who can easily do double duty in other areas because he does not have a sufficient work load.

Once you have identified the real gaps in your organization see whether you can find a medical staffing agency that can fill up the vacancies for you. Make sure that you give them the job descriptions and required qualifications for the vacancy. If you want to do the screening yourself set up a panel of responsible persons in your facility that will receive and screen all applications after you have advertised them in the right media. Make sure that each one of them completely understands the requirement and qualifications required and the placement of the new recruit within the organization. Be very clear as to the emoluments and perks that you would be offering to the new candidates and the leeway that you do have to adjust this. While doing this see that you do not in anyway upset the existing pay structures in your facility.

Once you have identified the right candidate, make sure that you have informed him or her of what the organization expects from them and what they can expect in return. Recruit the candidate only if you think he will be temperamentally suited to the job and is adequately qualified for it. Recruiting somebody who is too highly qualified may cause a turnover and send you back to the recruiting process in a short time.


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