If you’re in need of a receptionist for your medical clinic or hospital, it’s more than just hiring someone who accepts your rate of pay. You want someone your patients and visitors are comfortable with because they will be handling and discussing sensitive & personal information. The receptionist is the first point of contact for your medical clinic, so the experience your clients have with them will surely determine if they return or not. Recognizing the importance of this issue, we present 6 tips on hiring & choosing a receptionist for your medical clinic.

Tip 1. Have a clear & detailed job description to avoid spam

You must first ensure to have a thorough & clear job description that you can post on job sites & listings. This helps your candidates know what exactly you are looking for and what they will be handling. Be sure to list out specific tasks such as approximate salary, working hours and a list of day-to-day tasks. The idea is to get qualified & interested candidates, and not just any candidate.

Tip 2. Experience & education matter, but not so much

Experience and educational background needs will change clinic to clinic, but the basics tend to remain the same. Your candidates should each have at least a high school diploma (i.e. 12th grade/ higher secondary certificate) paired with some hands on experience. However, if you are hiring graduates, that could make up for the lack of experience. You can assume that since they have obtained a degree, they would be diligent and hard-working individuals. However, remember that a degree does not automatically make for a great staff member; other characteristics are also important.

Tip 3. Communication skills are key

Since your receptionist will answer phone calls and greet patients for most of the day, you must look for excellent written and verbal communication skills. Since they would be dealing with all your customers each day, your receptionist must stay calm under pressure and be under control. They should also be great waiting room managers and know how to handle irate and unhappy patients.

Tip 4. Technical aptitude makes you future-proof

With computers becoming commonplace in medical practices today, receptionists are also expected to be trained in basic to advanced computer skills. You should look for typing, utilizing MS Office products such as Word and Excel, and the ability to use your EMR system. They should have a general technical aptitude to operate office equipment like printers, faxes and telephone systems as well. This will ensure that your receptionist will stick around through various renovations and upgrades and be a part of your medical journey.

Tip 5. Do a mock drill to assess soft skills

As a receptionist, they should be friendly, have a pleasing personality and ready to help out at all times. The role of a medical office manager is one that requires empathy and understanding with patients. Just like you, they should be genuinely concerned about patients and their problems, but without being too intrusive or chatty. To test this out, try role-playing in the interview. e.g. “What will you do when an unhappy patient is showing his annoyance in the waiting room? How will you calm him down?”

Tip 6. Warning signs to look out for

As you are reviewing resumes and speaking to candidates, there are a few warning signs to look out for. Knowing the signs ahead of time can save you headaches and prevent bad candidates from making it to the offer stage.

  • Speaking negatively of prior medical offices or doctors they have worked for.
  • Concerned with salary and working hours up front. This topic is best discussed at the interview table, not over the phone .
  • Candidates who tend to take credit for all good things that happened in their past workplace.

We hope these tips will surely have you on the road to selecting the best receptionist for your medical clinic. Do you follow any guidelines or tips yourself? Do let us know in the comments.