It made all the difference having Patricia guide us through the process of recruiting a practice manager to a successful conclusion. These transition times can be unsettling but with Patricia's huge experience, friendly yet professional support and confident expertise, we felt secure that we had the best possible chance of finding the right person for our team, which in fact we did! I would have no hestitation at all in recommending her to another practice looking to recruit.
Top tips on how to recruit a practice manager
The role of the practice manager is key to the running of the practice. Recruitment is expensive and time-consuming, and selecting the wrong candidate can have disastrous consequences.
It may be tempting to just promote a member of the practice team but without a comprehensive recruitment process, you will not be able to match an internal candidate against other candidates.
Remember that many excellent practice and business managers have come into the job with no experience in practice management, but have the right management skills and experience to succeed in this increasingly demanding role.
Here are some tips to carry out the right process to select the best candidate:
- Review the job role to decide on what the practice needs (eg a strategic business-focused manager or an operational manager). This will often depend on what other staff are available to help run the practice. It will also depend on how the practice plans to develop in the future.
- Decide on the level of salary being offered and other terms in order to attract the right candidates.
- Market the practice positively by producing an information pack with a profile of the practice, job description, personal specification and details about how to apply.
- Consider using an application form to provide consistency of information about each applicant, making it easier for you to short-list.
- Produce an advert which describes the job, salary and how to apply.
- Plan the advertising campaign using appropriate Internet sites (Such as http://practiceindex.co.uk/gp/jobs/) and local media.
- Agree the closing date and interview dates from the start and include these in the information pack.
- Ensure that requests for information and queries are handled promptly, and that applications are logged and acknowledged.
- Assess the candidates carefully after the closing date to select the right shortlist.
- Invite candidates for interview and offer an informal visit to the practice.
- Organise an interview panel, a facilitator, selection tools and interview questions.
- Consider a two-stage interview process: the first interviews as assessments and the second interviews more in-depth.
- Ask the candidates to provide a presentation on a chosen topic.
- Ensure you avoid any possible claim of discrimination.
- Keep interview notes and assessment sheets for a period of one year.
- Inform the unsuccessful candidates.
- Make a conditional offer in writing to the selected candidate.
- Include a probationary period of six months.
- Take up references and DBS check.
- Provide a contract of employment within the first eight weeks of employment.
- Organise an induction programme and any training such as an overview of practice management.
- Provide a mentor for the new manager - usually one of the GP partners.
- Carry out regular performance reviews and appraisals to provide two-way feedback.