With Thanksgiving just around the corner, doctors, physicians, and employees in the healthcare service are usually faced with two types of emotions. (1) Excitement to spend quality time with friends and family to celebrate this special occasion with, and (2) anxiety towards how toxic their day could be at work during Thanksgiving.
Life appears to be a few notches busier than usual during holidays, and Turkey Day is no exception. In particular, hospitals and clinics are expected to receive more patients because of cooking injuries, minor burns and cuts from food preparation, food poisoning, and even turkey fryer injuries. In addition, more vehicles on the road mean more chances of an accident, and more alcohol consumption during the holiday means more drunk driving and more minor altercations.
In 2009, Thanksgiving Day was declared as the most dangerous holiday of the year in the United States, with 502 people getting killed on the road primarily due to drunk driving. In 2016, more than 36,000 people were treated for injuries at the emergency room. And every year, over 4,000 home fires occur every Thanksgiving due to open flames and electrical malfunctions. This shows how busy Thanksgiving can be, and as a result, how busy doctors could get.
Steps on Hiring a Virtual Healthcare Assistant
If you’re one of the healthcare professionals who usually get nervous about the number of patients during holidays, you may have wondered “if there’s only a way to make my day less stressful.” Guess what? Hiring virtual assistant healthcare professionals can make your holidays less strenuous by taking some tasks off your to-do list that do not need your expertise as a doctor.
Here’s how to hire a virtual assistant healthcare professional:
1. Identify the tasks you need to delegate.
There’s a wide range of tasks a virtual assistant healthcare worker can help you with. Your healthcare virtual staff can take a load of routine duties off your busy schedule, from administrative functions to patient support and insurance processing. Some business owners are also delegating office management and some technical tasks to their virtual healthcare assistants. Anything you can assign your regular personal assistants or administrative assistants you can also assign to your healthcare virtual employee.
This step is essential as it will help you envision your schedule after hiring a virtual assistant. Identifying which tasks to outsource to your virtual healthcare assistants will also determine what guides and checklists to prepare for them.
2. Prepare a company guide and training kit for your new virtual employee.
Once you identify what tasks you wish to delegate, you can now start preparing company documentations of your preferred standard operating procedure on how these tasks should be accomplished. For example, if you are assigning your healthcare virtual staff the task of a virtual receptionist, then you can outline the standard greeting, closing spiel, hold, and transfer procedures, and so on.
You will also need to identify what company tools and resources your new employee will need. These include the login credentials and the URLs for the online tools you’ll be assigning them. If there are applications they will need to download, also prepare the download link for the app.
3. Create a job post.
Determine the required skills and the type of qualifications needed for your new virtual employee. This is also important, especially the qualifications, as they can distinguish whether the candidate will be a good fit for you and the company.
Are you hiring long-term or short-term? Is this for a permanent or a part-time position? Can the new employee be considered for a higher role later on? These are just some of the questions that you also need to ponder.
Finally, make some computations and do a bit of research on what pay rate you can offer. Take note that if you want to catch a good fish or the experienced and top-performing healthcare virtual staff, and equally good salary grade should be offered.
4. Upload your job post online.
There are several job sites you can post your jobs posts. Some of them are specific for virtual assistants. To name a few, you can check out the following:
Alternatively, you can also join online community groups for virtual assistants on Facebook or LinkedIn. While it may take time for your job post to get posted here due to the number of requests, consider it free of charge. Plan and allow at least a week or two for your job post to go public in online groups.
PRO TIP: You can skip the hassle of paying for a job post on online job sites, and you don’t have to wait for your group post to become available either. Instead, you can directly contact well-respected healthcare virtual staffing companies like Phoenix Virtual Solutions. We can help you determine which tasks you can delegate, and we can find you your best-matching virtual healthcare staff.
5. Shortlist your top candidates.
This is the part of the process where we advise employers to spend time with. You must check all the details of your candidates’ applications and resumés. Double-check the links and references provided and watch out for inconsistencies and red flags.
Suppose you received many applications or hired multiple virtual assistants or multiple job roles. In that case, you might want to involve a business partner, a human resources associate, or another employee in the managerial position to help you out. That way, you’ll have a second or third opinion. There might be some things that you’ll miss out on, and it would be great if another set of eyes could check the applications
PRO TIP: You don’t need to worry about shortlisting your applicants if you talk directly with professional virtual staffing companies like Phoenix Virtual Solutions. We’ll make sure to provide you with only the top virtual healthcare assistants you or your company needs.
6. Schedule interviews.
Job interviews provide the opportunity that let you decide how well your candidates’ skills and qualifications align with the company’s goals. This part of the hiring process will allow you to gauge your applicants further and confirm their abilities and how well they communicate. You’ll have a glimpse of how it would feel like working with a potential employee through job interviews.
There are a few types of job interview questions that you can choose to ask during this process. Among them are as follows:
Common Interview Questions
Common interview questions are confirmatory questions from the applicants’ curriculum vitae and checking on their skills and qualifications and matching them with what you have listed on your job post.
Case or Situational Questions
You can give a possible work scenario and see how the applicants will take action. The answers to this type of question will indicate how much of a critical thinker your aspirants are.
Questions like “how do you handle work stress and pressure?” or “what are your top strengths and weaknesses?” will let you discover how your candidates will behave. In other terms, you can have a bird’s-eye view of their work ethics and attitude.
Before hiring virtual assistants, you would like to hear them “talk work” first so you can determine if they have the right level of competency for the tasks and duties you are delegating. You can ask questions about previous projects at work or how they have been performing their duties.
7. Offer your top candidates a test job.
At the latter part of the interview, you can ask your potential new employee to do a test task. This process includes preparing the test materials beforehand. Some of the test tasks you can perform are as follows:
- You can ask to read scripts from the list of suggested verbatims for a virtual receptionist task so you can check if the applicants’ voices and tone can represent your organization.
- You can ask to reply to sample email correspondence and see how their written communication skills fare.
- You can ask to perform test medical billing, coding, or invoicing.
Although you’re not required to pay for the test jobs, bear in mind that most virtual healthcare candidates frown at the thought of performing test tasks for free. Especially if the test task would take a considerable amount of time, it is highly recommended to offer minimal pay. This will attract experienced healthcare VAs and will also set trust in the company to your new employee.
The sad news is that unprofessional companies would require job applicants to submit test tasks that would need hours to get accomplished. In the end, these so-called companies could no longer be contacted after receiving the completed assignments. Because of scenarios like this, many virtual healthcare assistant applicants ignore job posts that require test jobs with no pay.
8. Onboard your new healthcare virtual staff.
Onboarding involves having them learn in-depth the core values and vision of the company, the company code of conduct, the detailed specifics of their duties and responsibilities, and introducing them to their new colleagues and superiors. This is where you’ll be providing them with the necessary login credentials and the list of applications they need to install if any.
Some companies offer a probationary period of 3-6 months probation period for new employees, and others will offer a slightly lower rate during probation. Although it is a common practice, having a probationary period with your new employees may limit your job post from attracting the best virtual assistant applicants.
The Oath of Hippocrates, one of the oldest binding documents in history, upholds doctors “to treat the sick to the best of one’s abilities.” This means that as men of medicine, doctors and physicians are expected to treat the wounded, holidays, or no holidays, even if it means less quality time with their loved ones. To optimize your quality time with your favorite persons – during or outside the holidays, start listing the tasks you can delegate to healthcare virtual staff and start experiencing more manageable and less stressful days at work. Feel free to talk to us anytime to help you get the best virtual partner for your practice.