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A naturopathic physician shakes hands with an interviewee.

The Hiring Game Has Changed

When it comes to hiring, what worked in 2019 often doesn't fly today. Here's what you need to know.

Post-Covid, there has been a huge change in the way we hire employees. Before spring 2020, you’d place an ad on a hiring website, and your inbox would see resumes from a good number of applicants. You’d screen and invite a few folks to an in-person conversation. Once your top candidate was identified, you’d make an offer and they’d start in a week or two.

Not anymore.

Now, you put that same ad on the same hiring website, and you might get hundreds of applicants. "Wow!" you think. Thanks to the technology we have all come to rely on in the last few years, you start the interview process, scheduling Zoom interviews. Of the twenty people you invite to a conversation, five respond, and only two actually show up for the call. You make an offer to your preferred candidate, they come in for one day of work… and never return.

We’ve entered a period the media is referring to as the Great Resignation. Some theorize there has been a realization that the reason, the “why” we do what we do, is as important as how we're compensated for the work. Staying home afforded many people time to think about what would fulfill them and what is important – beyond the paycheck.  

You’re the Visionary

Your role as doctor, as much as patient care, is to be the visionary. You set the vision and you determine where the business is going. To be successful, that should be your primary focus.

In the past, you probably hired someone to make your life easier. Now you want someone who complements your skillsets, to fill in the gaps and to do the jobs you can’t or don’t want to do. The staff you hire will be tasked with getting things done, perhaps managing scheduling, or billing, or marketing, or something else. Your employees, whether one person or a dozen, should help your organization move forward and grow.

But their role should benefit not only you as the owner, but the employee as well. People are looking for a job they can connect with.

What does that mean? Hiring now is a lot different than just fitting a job description or having a specific skillset. If you're hiring for skillset, you will limit yourself in terms of the type of employee you can bring on to support you and your goals. Skills can be learned, but mindset, attitude, and worldview are innate.

What Matters to You?

Before you even think about hiring, take a good look at your core values. What is your organization here to accomplish? Hire folks that are in alignment with that value set.

In this new environment, everything has changed, including the interview process. How we approach interviews has changed dramatically from what the process used to be.

Most importantly, make sure the posting accurately describes not just the facts about the job – hours, part-time or full-time, job description – but why your business matters and how your employees gain and grow from being part of the organization.

Interviews Go Both Ways

When the time comes to have a conversation with candidates, be aware that has changed, too. It used to be that the hiring doctor would ask all the questions. They would consider whether the candidate was a good fit for the needs of the position and the business as a whole.

These days, candidates have Googled you, they've checked your LinkedIn profile and your Yelp reviews. They know what your website and your social media looks like. The new interview is truly a conversation. Candidates may come with a lot of questions, and that can be surprising for some folks who haven’t been introduced to this new process.

They’re looking for a match just as much as you are. Gen Z and millennials, especially, often want a position that has a social consciousness to it, that has a higher purpose. If you're trying to fill a clerical position, you may have to connect the dots for the candidate between how they are going to do their job, whether it's managing patient records or patient files, and how that connects to the bigger place of making a difference in people's lives.

Naturopathic physicians really shine because you have a built-in mission within your practices to make a difference in people's lives. Being able to verbalize that and make that part of the interview process, is really important.

In It for the Long Term

Once you find a good employee, how do you keep them? What do team members need to stay at their job?

Flexibility

If in the past you've been very rigid, as many employers were before the pandemic, know now the landscape has changed. You may find your paid time off policy which gave folks a week or two weeks after a period of employment isn’t sufficiently flexible.

For example, a lot of the potential workforce are parents. Think creatively. Perhaps instead of requiring a single full-time employee, the needs of the job could be met by two part-time employees. Or, consider what is necessary to be done onsite versus what could be done offsite from home. Especially for parents, this provides the ability to care for children and still complete the tasks that need to be done.

Quality of life balance

Let your potential employee know that you care about them and their future. It’s been said that people don’t quit jobs, they quit their employers, they quit their managers. Doing things because it's the way we've always done simply doesn't work. Being innovative and creative in today's environment is absolutely essential.

Reassess the Process

Before you post a position and begin the interview process, take a step back and assess the way you are approaching it. Understanding how life has changed and being prepared for how potential employees may think differently than before will improve the hiring experience for everyone.

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