How To Hire a Great Medical Receptionist

How to start

For the busy Practice Manager that wants to find a great receptionist, the first step is crafting a compelling Job Description. Good people are looking for more than just a pay cheque. They want to a place that will give them an interesting, dynamic place to grow, so it is important that your advert stands out. Don’t dryly list mundane tasks. Instead convey the most important responsibilities of the role. For example:
  • Provide a welcoming waiting room experience for our patients
  • Manage our appointment book and billings
  • Communicate the values of our practice and ensure all patients are treated with empathy and respect

Where to advertise the Role

SEEK is the largest careers destination in Australia. (At time of writing this article, there are 577 medical reception jobs actively advertised). Unfortunately, SEEK is better at quantity than quality and you may find yourself wading through hundreds of application to find that diamond in the rough. One way to alleviate this burden is by making a Cover Letter a mandatory requirement. Read the Cover Letter first and make sure the candidate at least ticks off the following:
  • Reference to the job you have posted
  • Clear case for why they would be a good fit
  • No obvious grammatical errors or spelling mistakes
If you’re looking to fill a part-time role, you should strongly consider targeting students on university job boards. Students pursuing a health-related degree can be great fit as they should be genuinely interested in the patient experience. You can confidently assume that a capable student will be a quick learner Other places to consider advertising the role are: LinkedIn, SpotJobs, CareersOne and Gumtree.

Have the right hiring process

Make sure that before you invite a promising candidate for a face-to-face interview, you first arrange a phone call. Once on the call, you should be asking yourself the following questions:
  • Is he/she a good communicator?
  • Would he/she be able to empathise with patients?
  • Is this person actually excited about the job or just seeing it as a way to make a quick buck?
Ok, you’ve made a final shortlist of candidates and ready to meet them in person. We advise that you create a standardised list of questions that measure core attributes that are most important to the role such as empathy, teamwork or problem solving. Allocating a point score to each question and tallying them up will help identify which areas a candidate is strong or weak on. We also strongly recommend having an additional interviewer in the room (be it a senior receptionist or doctor) to provide a second opinion.

Time to Offer the Job

Good hiring must be followed up by good training. Make sure that you invest the time and effort in the new employee to give them every opportunity to succeed. This means providing them with structured training, which may involve one-on-ones and shadowing senior staff. Hopefully you’ve found the right person for the job, and he/she will quickly become an integral member of your front office team. Happy hiring!

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