How to Hire and Recruit the Best Team for Your Medical Spa
When someone gives their notice, is let go from a position, or a need arises to hire additional team members, we often see aesthetic practices make the mistake of jumping into the hiring process too quickly. This is especially true when someone leaves with very short notice. While it’s tempting to put an ad online immediately to fill the position, you will save yourself both time and money in the long run if you follow key hiring and interviewing guidelines.
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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Before you rush to advertise a job opening, it is important to consider your long-term plan. Take a bit of time up front to reflect on the following questions:
- What is your mission and vision for the business and what type of personality traits and skill set do you expect them to have to fit into your culture?
- What is your vision for practice growth in the next year?
- How will your new hire contribute to the growth?
- What level of training will you provide this new hire to ensure they meet the demands of the position and are an asset vs. an expense?
- What specific qualities or qualifications and personality traits are needed for the role to be a good fit?
Finding quality people often takes time. We encourage you to take some time to think about and/or to speak with the rest of your team to determine some of the strengths and weaknesses of the previous employee and what skill set the position needs. Then, discuss what you are looking for in a replacement. Often it is better to hold out for the right chemistry, qualifications, and attitude, then rush into hiring someone who is not a good long-term fit.
Some factors to consider are:
- What responsibilities would you like this role to take on?
- Are clear expectations set forth and defined?
- What personality traits match the position?
- Is there a defined career path or room for advancement?
- Is there someone internally who might be a good fit for this position or would like to move into this role?
- What is the compensation range for this position?
- What training will be provided to ensure they are set up for success?
- Who will they be reporting to?
THE INTERVIEW PROCESS
Typically, you’ll receive many resumes to sift through–especially for roles such as front desk coordinators. Starting with a phone or zoom interview is a great and time efficient way to weed through the applicant process.
- Schedule a 15-30-minute call with the candidate to see if they have the basic qualifications for a more in-depth interview. You want to be respectful of their time as well, so keep this call to the basics. There will be time for more in-depth conversation later.
- What are the basics?
- Compensation: Is the compensation they are looking for in line with what you are offering or willing to pay?
- Schedule: Can they work the days and hours that you need to fill the position?
- Basic skills and requirements to meet the needs of the role.
- Personality: Are they friendly and can they have a conversation?
- If the basics check out and you like them, schedule a more in-depth, in-person interview. Walk them through what to expect at the in-person interview. If they are an aesthetician and you want them to perform a hands-on treatment, let them know that so they can be prepared.
Phone interviews enable you to be on the same page as the applicant as far as requirements for the position, so you can have a more effective in-person interview. They also lower the chance of applicants not showing up for the in-person interview.
Conducting an In-Person, Behavioral Interview
Behavioral interviewing is the most effective interviewing technique leading to the most quality hires and lowering your turnover rate. Here are some tips:
- First and foremost, make sure you are interviewing for the behaviors that you are looking for.
For example: Sarah, excellent communication is vital for us in this practice. Please walk me through specifically how you have used your communication skills in your current or past roles whether with a patient and/or your manager and what was the outcome?
It is essential that you dive into these questions. If you need more clarification, or if you need a different example, ask for specifics and what their responses were to those situations and what the outcome was.
- You are not a mind reader, so don’t assume you know the answer or what is going on in an applicant’s head. Ask questions and clarify.
For example: Asking the applicant why they are interested in the position, along with questions about the candidate’s past positions, why they left, and more importantly why they would be a good fit can help you map out a pattern of behavior and motivating factors.
- Once you identify motivation, don’t just look at skills. Just because an applicant has the skills to do the job does not necessarily mean that they are the best fit. If someone seems unenthusiastic during the process and is solely banking on their experience in the interview, remember this is the “honeymoon” stage and the best you can expect.
- Interview and hire who best represents you as a company and what you stand for. This is a time to keep your mission statement and core beliefs close in hand. Take time to determine how their core values match up with your practice’s mission and vision. Asking questions that help identify behaviors that either align or detract from your core beliefs is essential to weeding out the wrong hire.
For Example: David, in our practice we are very big on patient care. Please give me a few examples in your current role or in a past role where you provided exceptional patient care. What motivated you to take that action?
- Remain neutral before a meeting and while speaking with the applicant.
All too often, interviewing and hiring managers make their mind up about a candidate based on their resume or from external influences. This changes the way you interview. If a person goes into an interview thinking a candidate is amazing, they tend to structure their questions to highlight the candidate’s strong points and confirm their initial opinion of the candidate. In reverse, if they think the candidate is not qualified or not a good fit, they are already set on a “no” and don’t fully hear what they have to say or give them a fair opportunity to showcase their potential for the practice.
- Stay on task and steer the interview. It is very easy to let an interview get off course and allow a candidate to hijack the process with off topic stories or filler conversation. This does not allow you to truly understand what the candidate has to offer as an employee and does not let you identify their core behaviors or future behaviors and how they may fit into your practice. If you see the interview veering off course, redirect back to the question at hand and clarify until you get the answers you need.
- Don’t fall victim to the “warm body” effect where you feel as though anybody is better than an empty position. Don’t lower your standards and go with someone who is good enough. Ignoring your gut about someone to fill the immediate need, will undoubtedly lead you to bigger problems down the road from having to replace the person you just hired, additional stress on the rest of the team leading to possible additional turnover, as well as the patient experience suffering due to lack of consistency.
- Take Notes. It is easy to believe that you will remember everything about a candidate you are interviewing, but if you are interviewing several candidates for the same position, it is easy to forget details and information, which can lead you to possibly hire the wrong person for the position.
- Respect the process and prepare accordingly. It is easy to feel extremely overwhelmed as a manager that is short staffed and going through the hiring process. However, you must prepare for each interview and know who the person you are speaking to is. It sends a negative message to candidates when you are scattered or unprepared.
- Establish a follow-up process and communicate to the candidate your timeline, next steps, and when they can expect to hear back from you. Having a clearly laid out process puts them at ease, establishes trust, and allows you to stay organized during an already chaotic time.
If you are interviewing for a role and you require a hands-on interview (such as a facial from an aesthetician), ensure you have a set process in place to allow the candidate to showcase their skills but also be able to have a true side-by-side comparison for all candidates.
- Put together a basic steps protocol for them to follow for the interview (send this to them in advance, so they can prepare accordingly)
- Pull the products for the candidate (the point of this is to see how they perform a facial. It is unfair to expect them to know every product in a line they may not be familiar with, so set them up to succeed)
- Setting a time limit for the facial allows you to see if they can manage their time.
- Use the same standard for all candidates.
Tip: Ask them to treat you like a client and perform a skin analysis, recommend additional complimentary treatments, have them recommend an at-home regimen (they can talk about a line that they are familiar with–it doesn’t have to be what they are using for the facial). You will be able to tell a lot about their confidence level, how they connect with the patient, their overall aesthetic knowledge, and their communication and sales ability.
There is a lot of value to a team interview. It reinforces a sense of ownership and sense of teamwork amongst your current staff. It also helps to ease any anxiety on the part of your staff when bringing on a new employee. This is also a great way to set the tone of transparency for both the candidate and your current staff.
However, it is essential that a team interview is structured and guided. It can be an intimidating process for someone interviewing to meet an entire team of people. This process is not meant to be an interrogation; it is a dialogue and should be treated as such. So, make sure to create a list of questions as a team and allow time for the candidate to ask the team any questions they may have.
STREAMLINING THE HIRING PROCESS
- Be proactive. Always be on the lookout and keep your ears open for qualified candidates even if it means hiring before a start date you had in mind.
- Act fast but carefully. If you find a qualified candidate you are excited about, don’t wait to extend the offer. But make sure you are not rushing.
- Involve your team in the process and solicit feedback from them as mentioned earlier. Buy in and teamwork is essential.
- Interview based on quality not quantity. Pick out the top 10 resumes and conduct pre-screening calls. Then, choose the top 5 to schedule in-person interviews. Narrow down your choices and schedule a second interview and invite several members of your team to be involved. Including other team members can help to ensure the candidate fits your practice culture.
- Consider administering a skills assessment test. Just because someone says they have skills doesn’t always mean they do. If it is a front desk position, run them through role play caller scenarios to see how their customer service skills measure up. Some suggested personality tests we recommend are Myers Briggs, DISC, and Predictive Index.
- Make sure to conduct a background check and employment verification check. According to CareerBuilder.com, up to 56% of candidates have false information on their resumes.
If you would like to download a free guide to specific interviewing questions to ask for the four most common roles in a medical spa, it is available here. (hyperlink).