During a particularly difficult time in the recent history of the practice, Patricia managed to make an insurmountable problem become solvable. Whist we recognised the isses with where we were and knew where we wanted to be, we were unsure as to how to manage that change. Patricia helped highlight the core issues that needed addressing and helped us to navigate through the challenging process of restructuring that was necessary for the pracice to move forwards. In so doing she helped us in the recruitment of a key new staff member. She was available at all times to answer our queries and made the interview and candidate assessment process straight forward and hassle free. I can wholeheartedly recommend Patricia Gray's management consultancy and recruitment services which is uniquely general practice oriented, given her background as a practice business manager.
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.