Recruit in haste - repent at leisure

Staff are the largest cost within the Practice and have a significant impact on the experience the patient receives.  Alongside clinicians (the recruitment and selection of whom is the subject of a separate item), they can significantly impact on the profitability and growth of the Practice.

Therefore, not only are there very good reasons to recruit the very best people, there are compliance issues which are fully explained at   RQIA Inspections also include reviews of practice recruitment policies and procedures and adherence to them. The following material is a much shortened version of the information that is freely available from the Equality Commission NI.

The Practice general principles of recruitment should be clearly understood by those within the Practice involved in recruitment.  The recruitment should be fair and consistent and opened upto competition i.e. appointing the person who happens to drop off their CV just as a vacancy appears, would be not be seen as open and fair.  Assessment of candidates against agreed specification is a requirement and therefore the recruitment process should be well planned before its commencement.

A recruitment file should be opened for each new recruitment as well as a monitoring file.  Note that a monitoring file is not required for employers with less than 10 staff (counting only those staff members who work for 16 hours or more per week).

A job description and personnel specification are required for every role and are very helpful when providing regular feedback to the new inductee and also for ongoing appraisals.  The position should be widely advertised and it is best practice to send an application pack to each applicant, including the closing date for applications.  Three weeks would be a reasonable period.

The selection process is likely to include the following stages:

  1. Pre-shortlisting
  2. Shortlisting
  3. Testing
  4. Interviews
  5. Pre-employment checks

For some reason, ‘testing’ is quite uncommon within Practice recruitment.  When it comes to IT skills and patient communication skills (telephone and face to face), these can be easily investigated and can be illuminating.

Referencing is an important part of the pre-employment checks and are required before the Confirmation of Offer is made.

An open, fair and consistent recruitment and selection process gives the best chance of recruiting staff who will grow and develop with the Practice.  We can help you recruit the right staff, just give us a call.

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