top of page

Hints & Tips When Employing Staff in a Medical Practice

Hints & Tips When Employing Staff in a Medical Practice

Like any business, when hiring new staff in medical practices it takes time and effort, so it makes sense to get it right at the outset.

Whether you are looking to employ a new receptionist, nurse or manager, there are simple rules to help make the process as stress free as possible.

Position Description (PD)

  • Is it an existing position or a new position?

  • Do you need to review the old PD or develop a new one?

  • What job do you want the person to do?

  • What tasks will they perform?

  • What skills will they require to perform the tasks?

  • What are the key responsibilities of the role?

  • What qualifications are required?

  • Will it be a casual, permanent or fixed term role?


  • How will you attract suitable candidates to this role?

  • What media platforms do you have in your area to advertise?

  • Can you use word of mouth?

  • When advertising ensure you use the PD to outline the requirements including your expectations and nature of employment ie casual / permanent.

Interview Process

  • Prepare your questions based on the role you are interviewing for.

  • Shortlist applications based on the PD and the essential & desirable criteria.

  • Conduct the interviews with each applicant to assess suitability for the role.

Use behavioural interviewing as a way of assessing the suitability of a candidate for a particular job. The idea is that the manager who is hiring can assess what a person might or might not do based on what he or she has done in the past. “Behaviours” could include teamwork, problem solving or an ability to work well under pressure.

Candidates should be asked to draw on real-life experiences to explain how they tackle various issues. Questions should commence with phrases such as: “give me an example of”, “tell me about a time when” or “describe a situation where you”.

Answers need to be detailed and about the candidate not about someone else. It is also a good opportunity to ask candidates about a time/s when things did not go well and what they learned from that experience.

Reference Checking

  • Never forgo this step.

  • A verbal reference is recommended over a written reference as you have the opportunity to ask the previous employer/s questions that specifically relate to the role you are recruiting for.

  • Develop a script of questions to follow.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask about skills level, performance, areas for improvement or points of concern.

Employment Offer

Once you have selected the successful candidate:-

  • give them a call to advise they have been successful at interview

  • go over the offer verbally and then follow up in writing.

  • ensure your written employment contract sets out inclusions such as: the award they will be employed under, terms and conditions of employment, type of employment (ie casual, permanent, fixed term), hours to be worked, rate and frequency of pay, superannuation, any leave entitlements (ie personal, time in lieu), any probation period, any additional requirements of the role (ie attend afterhours callouts), any additional pay.

Once They Start

  • Show them you have prepared for their first day

  • Have an induction checklist.

  • Make them feel welcome.

  • Provide them with a ‘new employee kit” which outlines important information about the business ie organisation structure, key policies, key staff etc.

  • Introduce them to the team and give them a guided tour of the practice and facilities

  • Provide WHS instructions.

  • Buddy them up with someone.

  • Touch base with them weekly to ensure you identify any issues early.

  • Review regularly – don’t leave it until the probation period is over.


  • Hire for the right reasons not the wrong reasons.

  • Remember these employees are the “face & voice” of the business.

  • Invest the time and ‘hire slow’ & ‘fire fast’.

For more information and a range of resources go to the Fair Work Ombudsman website

Debra Smith


Debra is owner / founder of Berkeley Healthcare Consulting

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
bottom of page