The EntreMD Podcast

How to Find The Next Rockstar Employee In Your Private Practice with Fatima Sparks

August 24, 2020 Dr. Una Episode 58
The EntreMD Podcast
How to Find The Next Rockstar Employee In Your Private Practice with Fatima Sparks
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The EntreMD Podcast
How to Find The Next Rockstar Employee In Your Private Practice with Fatima Sparks
Aug 24, 2020 Episode 58
Dr. Una

On this episode of the EntreMD Podcast, I’ll discuss with special guest, Fatima Sparks, how you can find the next Rockstar employee for your private practice.

For many entrepreneurs, HR is your biggest challenge. We are going to be unlocking some of the strategies, tips and tricks that Fatima has used to find the right people. 

Use these strategies, and you will find viable candidates that are worth your time and efforts.

Listener Spotlight of the Week!

Succinct, practical, and digestible! by Efosa A – Aug 7, 2020 ★★★★★

Dr. Una gives practical business tips in bite sizes. Easily digestible and yet, very impactful. The EntreMD podcast is a must-listen!
 
 Subscribe & Review in iTunes

Have you subscribed to my podcast? If you haven’t, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode. Great episodes will be coming every week and if you are not subscribed, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those.

Click here to subscribe in iTunes!

Also, I would really love it if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Your glowing reviews help other people find my podcast and I love reading them. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. Thank you.

Join the EntreMD Private Facebook group here. 

Links mentioned in this episode:
 
EntreMD Business School
Join the mailing list here

Show Notes Transcript

On this episode of the EntreMD Podcast, I’ll discuss with special guest, Fatima Sparks, how you can find the next Rockstar employee for your private practice.

For many entrepreneurs, HR is your biggest challenge. We are going to be unlocking some of the strategies, tips and tricks that Fatima has used to find the right people. 

Use these strategies, and you will find viable candidates that are worth your time and efforts.

Listener Spotlight of the Week!

Succinct, practical, and digestible! by Efosa A – Aug 7, 2020 ★★★★★

Dr. Una gives practical business tips in bite sizes. Easily digestible and yet, very impactful. The EntreMD podcast is a must-listen!
 
 Subscribe & Review in iTunes

Have you subscribed to my podcast? If you haven’t, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode. Great episodes will be coming every week and if you are not subscribed, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those.

Click here to subscribe in iTunes!

Also, I would really love it if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Your glowing reviews help other people find my podcast and I love reading them. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. Thank you.

Join the EntreMD Private Facebook group here. 

Links mentioned in this episode:
 
EntreMD Business School
Join the mailing list here

Dr. Una 0:03  

Hi Docs! Welcome to the EntreMD Podcast, where it is all about helping amazing physicians just like you embrace entrepreneurship so you can have the freedom to live life and practice medicine on your terms. I'm your host, Dr. Una.

Well, hello, hello Docs! Welcome to another episode of The EntreMD Podcast. Now you guys know I'm always super excited to do these episodes, but today I am unusually excited because I have a really great guest here. So as you guys know, my first business is Ivy League Pediatrics, a pediatric practice in Georgia. And I have Miss Fatima Sparks, who is our Practice Administrator here. A lot of you have asked questions about hiring, getting the right people on board, you've talked about how HR is your biggest challenge. And she is a genius when it comes to this. So when we first started working together One of our biggest projects was up-leveling our team. And, you know, I think we've done a really good job. I think we have the best team that we have ever had before. And we are going to be unlocking some of the strategies and tips and tricks and all of that stuff that you know she did to make that happen. So let's enjoy this episode. So welcome to the show, Miss Fatima.

 

Fatima 1:23  

Thank you so much. I really appreciate this opportunity. I love the topic that we're going to go over and I'm very excited about it.

 

Dr. Una 1:30  

I know you love the topic.

 

Fatima 1:33  

You know me, I've been in management for 25 years, I've been in the medical field for about 19 years. I transitioned from restaurant to medical because I always wanted to be of service to people and I’m always as excited to learn more about medicine and health. And so I started off as being a medical assistant but you never take that management hat off. So always saw opportunities for improvement all around me, and I shared that with the physicians. It was a startup practice. After several years as a medical assistant, they asked me to be their Practice Administrator. And that's after about four or five series of managers, one manager here that just wasn't cutting it. So I was excited and nervous. However, I've learned so much. And I transitioned from that practice, which was cardiology, on to gastroenterology, otolaryngology, and then now pediatrics with Dr. Una. And I've really enjoyed working with her. I have a ca- do attitude, and she has been a match for me, and I'm trying to be a match for her. She's just, we always are thinking of “how” not “if”, and that's just how I work. And so we're riding in alignment in that way. And so I really enjoyed it and thanks for having me here.

 

Dr. Una 3:00  

So happy to have you here and you, you are a great match. Keep trying, but you are a great match. But I'm so glad you shared the story though, because it resonates with everything we do on the podcast as EntreMD’s, where you're going to see opportunities, and you're going to feel like wow, can I do this? And just have the can-do attitude and say yes, and embrace it. And you will find yourself in a position where you're like, how did I get here? You know, so your stories are really impressive story, and I've heard it before, but each time I hear it, I'm like, Oh my gosh, that is so cool. But anyway, everybody's going like “Tell me about the hiring,” you know. So let's look at this right? So for you, what is the very first step in the hiring process? So you're like, Okay, I need to hire whatever, like what's the very first step?

 

Fatima 3:51  

So the first thing is, I'm typically not just looking to hire out of the blue there's a there's an indicator for me some kind of external indicator. So basically someone has turned into two week notice, or businesses going so well that systems are in place, but we just need an extra pair of hands. So there's some sort of prompt that makes me think I need to hire. But again, it makes me think I need to hire, I need to test that bringing on a new employee onto the payroll is a very large expense. And you want that expense to really be an investment. So the first thing I do is to assess and verify that need to hire. And I do that through a SWOT analysis of the organization of the departments of each individual. I take as much data and as I can to tell me, for sure, and I question our systems that we have in place, just to kind of verify Is it true Do we really need to hire?

 

Dr. Una 4:55  

Oh wow. So body saying I'm leaving doesn't automatically mean, I need to replace them? Like I need to go into some research to see Well, hey, you know, okay, so some of my listeners may not know what a SWOT analysis is. So can you unpack that a little bit?

 

Fatima 5:13  

Yeah. So I think it can be interpreted in many different ways. But there's, I've watched videos and read about it, and there's different versions of it. But its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threat. When I consider it, I don't look at it the way maybe most people do, where they list all the strengths and look, list all the weaknesses, opportunities and threats. And I think it's because I'm looking at that all the time. That's just something that I should be considering in my daily work. And it should be done if I'm not considering it daily, at least, some sort of schedule for it, so weekly, monthly, quarterly, and it has to be done annually. So I am always abreast where I stand. So, some of the strengths for your organization may be customer service, it could be speed it could be your brand is very strong. Some of your weaknesses could be those very same things that your brand is weak that your things aren't don't go as well, that you have poor customer service. And then some threats and opportunities. Most people consider threats and opportunities are external. So basically, opportunities as in how to broaden your demographic your reach, that would be an opportunity, and maybe a threat is having increased competition in your area or something changing in society that creates, you know, a less of a flow for your customers to come in or need for your product. So any kind of thing like that would be considered a threat. 

 

Dr. Una

So like what we have at the time of this recording with the COVID pandemic?

 

Fatima

Yeah, exactly.

 

Dr. Una 7:07  

Okay, so what's the connection? So when you do the SWOT analysis that how does that help you define if you need somebody and what kind of person you need, like, how does that help with this process?

 

Fatima 7:20  

So what happens is all that data and like, you know, doctor, and I love data, so all that data, be it patient surveys and feedback, your employees feedback, your revenue, is it up, is it down? Is it down in a certain area, how many customers you're seeing, how long it takes to get all that data? If you pull it all together, it paints a picture. You would compare that to what your goals are, where you're trying to go, what your what you how you want your future to look and see are you in alignment and what players and what systems play into your strengths and which ones play into your weaknesses? And that new hire, needs to be able to contribute to those strengths and support or actually be the answer to your weaknesses. 

 

Dr. Una

You're looking at a holistic picture, not just the tactic of I need a new hire, you're looking at the whole picture of the business where the business is going, where we're strong, where we're weak. And whoever we bring on should be an asset that helps us accomplish what we're trying to accomplish. So hashtag don't just go on and indeed get a warm body and put them in the seat. Don't do that. 

 

Fatima

Exactly. And don't just assume that who whomever is leaving that particular role, or that person, for example, their work style, you might really appreciate their contribution, but it doesn't mean that that is what you need to bring in. There could be an underling, someone that they've coached, that needs to take on that role, that already understands and can. There won't really be a slow down or any loss of effectiveness while you bring on someone, maybe in a lesser role, there's less risk there as well. And things can keep going. And that's an opportunity also, that you've promoted someone from within, that always helps you to retain your, your employees. 

 

Dr. Una

So that way you can repurpose somebody that's already in the in the business and bring them to that role. That's okay. Okay, we got that. All right. So let's say some, you know, someone's done the SWOT analysis, they've done all that they've said, Yes, I do need to hire. And how do they find how do they attract the right people? Right, because I think you've had times where maybe you've put on Indeed, and 300 resumes came through, and maybe two of them matched what you were looking for it right. So what do you do to attract the right people?

 

Fatima 9:57  

Well, one thing and this is something thing I've done recently is I take a skill that is the most unique skill of that role and say that and lead with that. So I may not be looking for someone to necessarily, you know, maybe I'm looking for a medical assistant, but not everyone is experienced with vaccine administration for pediatrics. So I will lead with the most difficult skill or challenging skill. It doesn't mean I'm going to eliminate people without that skill. But the person who never has been in a medical field, they're less likely to try out for that than the ones who have been in the medical field but they just end it in they administered maybe vaccines, but just not to the pediatric population. So at least I'm narrowing it down, but any kind of way that you can place the ad or promote the position that's unique to that vision that you now have through your SWOT analysis. Using those keywords that helps eliminate people that you don't want. 

 

Dr. Una

So no cookie cutter, copy and paste type ads? 

 

Fatima

Oh, no.

 

Dr. Una

We should be thinking this through. And we should recognize that it's our first point for elimination. Right? The elimination shouldn't start with the actual interview, it should start with what you put out there. 

 

Fatima

Right! Because your time is valuable. You don't need to do that administrative tasks of sifting through all these applicants, when you could have done filtered through that just by the way you your wording of the ad. Also, I have three questions, at least three questions that I'll ask after they, you know, that's the next step. So they'll ask those questions and sometimes on Indeed, even though maybe non-qualified people may respond. They can't get past the questions typically. So that's the next level. So you can just keep building And filtering, and then the people who are in front of you are actually viable candidates worth your time.

 

Dr. Una 12:08  

So for your first step you put the more difficult stuff in the ad you lead with that on the ads. So some people are like, I don't have time for them, right. And then the second step is they have the follow up questions, which I'm sure a lot of them don't even bother answering. Right. That has been my experience, right? Yeah. So a number of them are like, yeah, I'm just not about that. You know, so they don't answer that. Do you do anything else to screen before they get to you?

 

Fatima 12:34  

Well, after that, then I'm, I call them so I call and discuss. By the time they answer the questions, I pretty much know that they can do their role. So now I'm trying to know who this person is. So if they seem that they're excited that I call or that they want to know more about the position, how they respond means a lot and we can just tell how excited they are about the opportunity and being excited about the opportunity and ambitious that has to be there. Otherwise, maybe your role is not something unique to them that they find valuable. You're just one of the callers that have responded to them. 

 

Dr. Una

So we don't want that.

 

Fatima 13:20  

No, no, no, no, definitely not. 

 

Dr. Una

And this phone call, is that a screening call? Or is that the interview?

 

Fatima 13:28  

It's a screening call, but I don't put it to them as an interview. I just asked them Do they have a few minutes to chat, and then I make it as casual as possible, but I still go into even more detail: specifics of what I need, but I make some small talk with them too so that they can be comfortable, because I need to know who this person is. It's very important for me to understand who this person is as a human being and not just as a status feel.

 

Dr. Una 13:57  

Awesome. Now, so before we get into the next step people make this comment of hiring for attitude. As opposed to hiring for skill. I mean, the skill still needs to be there, right? You hire for attitude and you can train for skill. What's your thought? What’s your take on that? 

 

Fatima

I'm 100% believe in that: you can't train attitude. You cannot train values. So if someone just is not a good character, it's what I say to myself, you can't raise them, that should have already been done. And that's just too much to have on your plate, that those things might change. But we don't have that kind of time. And that's really not what, you're not looking for a project, right?

 

Dr. Una 14:44  

Right, you're looking for an asset, not a product. I love that. I love that. Okay, so you've done the ad and you weeded off some people. And then you did the three questions and you weeded off some other people. And then you did this screening interview where they thinking they're chatting. But really, you're only using that language in that format to get them to put their guard down long enough. So you can tell who they really are.

 

Fatima 15:10  

Right? Yeah, exactly. 

 

Dr. Una

So what do you do next? 

 

Fatima

So at that point, if if that doesn't go, Well, I will literally let them know that maybe it's a certain skill or they don't have the level of experience I was looking for. But I leave it positive, because I want them they might be a good candidate in the future. And I don't want them to have a negative view of the practice or myself. So it doesn't need to be a negative experience. And I wish them luck. So I don't tell them I'm going to call you back. I'm not going to call you back. If I know already. And I might even give them suggestions.

 

Dr. Una 15:47  

That is good, too, because that is really so good. Like even though you're not gonna be here. I still want you to have a good impression of my company. I want you to have a good impression of me. I don't know if later you'll be a good match. I don't know if you'll talk to somebody who could be a good match. At the same time. I'm not going to do the easier thing, which is a wrong thing and say I’ll call you back when I know I'm not gonna call you back. I mean, that's so good. I love it. Yeah. So I just had to interrupt.

 

Fatima 16:19  

So also I will from that point, if I think they're a great candidate, I'll go ahead and set up the interview. Well, let me back up, there could be multiple great candidates. So I will, if I think they're great candidate, I will let them know that I'll be reaching out to them. And I will actually reach out to them. Even if, let's say have five good five or six good candidates. I may not want to interview five or six people, I may want to interview three or four, that fifth and sixth one. I'm just going to let them know. I'm going to call them back but let them know. Either I'm interviewing that they're still you know, I'm still considering them. And I do want to check back with them, so I don't want them to go away. But I don't want to take so long that they miss out on opportunity. I need to be thoughtful that way, but they're still in the running. They're just not in the top of the list. So I definitely want to respect their time and but I want them to know I'm interested. And I wanted to go ahead and go through the ones the top ones as quickly as I can, because it might be that fifth one that's perfect. And I miss-identify those top few and I learned that they weren't better, you know.

 

Dr. Una 17:34  

Well I'm sure that you are enjoying this episode of the EntreMD podcast, but I wanted to take a moment to let you know about EntreMD Business School. Now EntreMD Business School is the business school designed to make up for the business education you did not get in your medical training. So you know you've wanted to start a business or you have started a business but can't quite figure out how to make it work. This is designed to walk you through a Step by step process to take your business even if it's just an idea from idea to profitable status. And the reason why we do this is because I believe as doctors, we have worked so hard and we have sacrificed for so long, that we deserve to develop the financial freedom we need to live life and practice medicine on our own terms. However, you would have noticed that that's not just going to drop in our lap there is something we need to do, there is a skill we need to develop and that is business skills. You are literally one skill away from building the business and career of your dreams. So check out EntreMD Business School, it's a school by doctors for doctors to help us build profitable businesses, it’s EntreMD.com/business. 

 

Dr. Una 18:51  

So this is interesting. So you have five great people. So this is like you know, the girl who has five guys who are like, right, we all Want to get married? Right? So how do you pick the one? 

 

Fatima

The way I pick the one is very difficult when you have several good hires, because it's hard to find a good hire, or let's say it's challenging. And honestly, I try to see how I can bring them both. If there's two, what I will think about the future there if it's something temporary, they can do for experience, but the one I'm not picking because I need to keep a connection with them. So I don't have to go through all this filtering process and add again, now have a name, I can reach out to them and bring them on board should I have another opportunity open up or business grows to the point that I just need to grab someone that I that I feel good about? So the thing is, you have to stay objective. That's why you do your SLOT and you do your vision before you meet the people. There are people who are very charismatic that went to the same school as you, you know, grew up in your neighborhood, you might be prone to lean towards them. No, you have to go with your analysis, that vision, that objective view of who you're looking for. They have to be a match for that.

 

Dr. Una 20:15  

So hang on, right, because I was taking notes as your talk because I was going to ask, how do you keep the emotion out of it? How, you know, the way you see someone you're like, I just like them. Right? I have no reason, they'll be great. I just like them. How do you stay objective? And so you started that off with you have to go with what your analysis says. Which means it’s dangerous to start the hiring process without doing the SWOT analysis.

 

Fatima 20:40  

100% Yes, yes. 100%. If you don't, it's a disservice to yourself. If you're the entrepreneur, if you're the business owner, if you're a manager, it's a disservice to your boss. And it's a disservice to yourself because you have not optimized things and you are working below the level you should be. 

 

Dr. Una

Wow. Okay. Alright. So you decided this person is the one: is there anything you do in the actual interview? So on the call, she's like, Yeah, go for it. What do you what do you do?

 

Fatima 21:15  

So I, of course, I invite them back like, Okay, so I've invited them on site. So I invite them back, I'm very friendly. Well, first of all, I like people anyway. So it's not difficult for me, but I'm, I try to be extra friendly and a little more animated like Dr. Una in that because I'm not that bubbly.

 

Dr. Una 21:34  

I'm not that bubbly. I learned it too.

 

Fatima 21:38  

Because I really want them to be super comfortable. That's when they're going to tell me things that they wouldn't otherwise tell me because now we're kind of they're just feel warm and cozy with me. And that, but you know, that's where you see where people feel a little too cozy, and they tell you things that they probably wouldn't have otherwise said, or some that, you know, they may even express a bad experience that they've had that they weren't going to talk about. And you can assess, is your organization, you know, would they have that same bad experience with your organization? Would they have that same set of challenges so they look good on paper, but they've now told you a story that you need to keep in mind. So it's all about making sure that they're comfortable. And then I go through different scenarios with them. I specifically love to name a scenario that I'm struggling with a current struggle. 

 

Dr. Una

Give me an example.

 

Fatima

Well, one old question I used to ask a check in is, and it's regarding them multitasking and prioritizing. So I will ask them, a line of patients come in, the phone is ringing. The MA is asking Who's next? The doctor is asking you why a patient had to wait so long, and the managers standing behind you. 

 

Dr. Una

Oh, wow. 

 

Fatima

What do you do? 

 

Dr. Una 

Oh wow Fatima!

 

Fatima

Well, I asked that because it's not a position I myself want to be in, I think check in they’re great, like anyone who can sit with all these patients looking at you like you're in a fishbowl, but that person’s got to be able to withstand that type of pressure. So even if they kind of answer my question a little wrong, it's the fact that, I can see their wheels turning like, Okay, I will do this first, I will do this second, and then you get to see who they prioritize. So it doesn't mean that necessarily you can teach them which one is right or wrong, but it tells you what their values are. Some will say, I'll answer the doctor, so they respond to authority. So that's your number one, not necessarily the patient care or their peers is the authority figure. Some will say the patient, we're all here for the patient. So basically, whatever their response is I get to learn more about their values and how they go about making decisions, that’s just one example.

 

Dr. Una 24:02  

You do investigations. 

 

Fatima

Oh, yes. Yeah.

 

Dr. Una 24:09  

Okay, so go ahead what else we did the interview? 

 

Fatima

I will ask them a teamwork question which is kind of generic when you go because everyone says I'm a team player, I'm a people person. So I've asked them what scenario or what situation they've been in where they had a they had someone that they work with that was very difficult. So sometimes people don't want to answer that question. But if they do, because they'll say, Oh, no, I haven't never been in that situation before. But the ones who, who answer honestly, have been in a situation like that, and I listen for what things kind of rubbed them the wrong way. What you know, maybe they really like order, and the person was, was all over the place. Maybe they really the person was dramatic, and they're just kind of stoic-type personality. Maybe the person was set in your ways, and they're very flexible, so you can hear what they didn't like, you can hear more about them, you get a better picture of them by knowing their likes and their dislikes and what they value.

 

Dr. Una 25:14  

Just really good. So your questions are not, because sometimes we do interviews like, I just need to get through these questions, right? But your questions are not really straightforward. They're telling you something, that the person doesn't even realize that they're telling you about themselves.

 

Fatima 25:32  

Correct. Because the whole thing is to really understand that person to really grasp, Who Are you hiring?

 

Dr. Una 25:41  

That is so good. Okay. Anything else exotic you do during this interview? These are really good pointers.

 

Fatima 25:47  

I like personality tests. And I can't say that I've done it consistently, but at the practice that I was promoted at my first start, I've learned about these personality tests. And I gave it out to staff existing that because I said I need to replicate these people. So I would make that part of the screening process. It doesn't mean I'm going to get that my rock star Angela, for example, I may not get another Angela, but it's going to teach me better about how to filter and how, who this person is and what attributes I know that I'm getting that I haven't learned through the interview process. So I'm going to I'm going to get to understand them on that level, too. So there's some personalities that want autonomy. And so is this role going to give them that? There's some that really like structure and needs to know what's going to come next. Will they know that? Or will they have to roll with the punches? So that kind of just helps me and it doesn't mean that I'm not going to hire them, but I know what I kind of have an idea of what the challenges will be. Right and developing them and then getting comfortable with the role.

 

Dr. Una 27:05  

Okay, I'll take it. So it's a lot of personality, personality, who is this person? Really? You know, so not just not just the skill, not just a warm body.

 

Fatima 27:14  

Yeah. And I'll say one thing I left out is why are they, Why do they want the position? Or why did they get into the field? It can't be monetary. Now, of course, oh, to pay our bills.

 

Dr. Una 27:27  

Yes.

 

Fatima 27:28  

We need to pay our bills, but they're, I like to hear a story. I like to hear something that happened in their past that where they knew they wanted to make a difference, because they are here for thing for a reason beyond their paycheck. And that's something I can't give a person they have to come with that. And they're going to stick around because of that feeling and a need to have a purpose. I like that because I was going to ask you, for me when I interview there are two things that once they happen, I'm like done with the interview. I may be polite enough to continue, but I'm done. So if your first question out the door is, how much will you pay me? I'm like, we don't need to continue this. Because if you're a driver, and your best foot forward is how much are you going to pay me? I probably can't pay you enough. Meaning whatever happens, if this is your driver, you will always complain you always like, I know it's a disaster. Right? And it's not to say money is not important. Money is very important. But money can’t be the why it's a terrible, terrible why, you know?

 

Fatima 28:36  

Yeah, there's, there's all types of compensation and billing value adding to people's lives. There's others learning a skill being in an environment where you're going to learn more skills. All of those are ways of being compensated.

 

Dr. Una 28:52  

Yeah, not just money. The other, you may be different, but you come late for an interview? Yeah, we're done. We're done. 

 

Fatima

I would agree. 

 

Dr. Una

I'm just like, this is your best foot forward. And if your best foot forward is I'm not here on time, it means you will never be here on time. And tardiness is just one of those things. I really am like, I'm the boss and I come on time. You don't get to knock on that. So angry.

 

Fatima 29:17  

And then there's people who show up and they're rude to the person, their reception. And pretty much I probably don't want to talk to them. And I'm like, they're here. I guess I will, but I've pretty much made my decision. That's your future coworker. Yeah. And you're already looking down on them. 

 

Dr. Una 29:40  

And this is your best behavior. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Okay. So tardiness, having money as your why and be rude to the existing staff or kind of like, you know, that's screening right there. We're done. So now what do you say to the doctor who's like, I'm solo practice. I have one MA, my MA up and left, I don't, I need the abridged version, right? Because I'm in a pinch right now I need somebody who can help me see my patients starting next week. So what do I do? What would you say to that doctor? 

 

Fatima

Well, this is the thing. And as you know, me, Dr. Una and I don't like surprises, I like things to be hired out and just I like to anticipate the need, you should never be in that position. If you can even forecast being in that position, you need to solve it now. And that's why you do your SWOT way before, something like that happens. But let's say it's already happened. So I without knowing the capacity of the other staff members, I have pulled someone for example. I'm just gonna give you a scenario. I'm making this up. But the people are real, but this is the situation didn't happen because like I said, prevention, but anyway, I had a nuclear technologist that could draw blood and do IVs. So that might be a component of what the medical assistant would normally do. Okay, at that part, then I've got someone that's been at check in for years, but also maybe used to be an MA in the past, or has helped out a lot. So they might end up roaming my patients. So I'm going to look at whatever the MA was doing that we're all going to pitch in. I'm going to have that power talk with everyone. We're going to pitch in, we're going to make it happen. We're going to get through it. And like you say, we're going to rah rah the end of the day. Yep. So I'm still gonna, it will be my top priority then find someone quickly because that's just a temporary fix. And but again, the prevention is the most important. You can reach out to a temp agency I don't like my patients to be in the hands of the temporary person. Again, just hearing this screening process, just having someone attempt to just walk in and start helping my doctor. That's not, that's just not what I want. Even, I don't know if this person may have an office manager and I used to be a medical assistant, so I'm going to go out, I'm going to try to take the blood pressures, whoever can do whatever, we all need to get our hands on board and get this thing done. 

 

Dr. Una

So what that means is you still have to do it right. So figure out a temporary measure to make sure your patients are taken care of, but you still have to go through the process. 

 

Fatima

Yes.

 

Dr. Una 32:36  

Yeah. So I'm going to ask you that I didn't remember, I actually did that there was a time we were short staffed and so I did the hurry hire right? Get a warm body. They came for the interview. I like them get you know, getting off. I think it you know, two or three, you know, the version of you hired somebody and they went for lunch and never came back like that version of bad hires. Wow. So by the time we did two or three of them, I had a front desk and an MA and then me. So this was years ago. So I called them into meeting. I said, Listen to me, you've seen me try to fill this place quickly. And you see that it doesn't work. This process takes time. Now I have one front desk, one MA, which means please do not tell me you need a day off. Don't tell me you need vacation. In fact, don't get sick. Okay? I'm you guys. Give me four weeks. Let me do this, right. And I'll bring somebody who will be a long standing member of the team and then we'll be good. I you know, I'm good for my word. You can have the time off and everything after that. What I need, let's do this. So when you said I was like, wait a minute, I did that, you know, once upon a time and like, don't ask me for time. Don't tell me figure it out. Figure your kids out, figure everything out. We're in this together. But let's do it right. And when you're absolutely right, find a temporary fix and then do it properly.

 

Fatima 33:55  

But the thing that would work is if you already had if the people you're speaking to just weren't willing, so you had the platform there to be able to do that. So this SWOT and this analysis of your strengths and weaknesses, but it's not you have to be already doing that. Or you can't even pull off the examples that you and I just gave.

 

Dr. Una 34:17  

Right. All right. So work from the beginning. So this has been so helpful. Because it's such a, it's a hard points, you know, for a lot of a lot of practices and applying these same principles. I think in the last year, we've had the strongest team, we had the lowest turnover, and we don't have trauma. And this is all in the middle of a pandemic. Right. And it's been great. It's been really great. So what is one things? You would leave my listeners with? Like, what is the one thing you've said all these things? What's the one thing you’ll leave them with?

 

Fatima 34:52  

I’d like to leave them with the idea that the one is out there. 

 

Dr. Una

Yes.

 

Fatima

Maybe you kiss many frogs: you didn't really have to if you did your filtering and straining process, and always have that list of names always have some people that you can reach out to, they may leave a job to come to you because of their relationship and how kind you've been. So the one is there, don't give up. Just follow the process and know that you're going to have a great hire. 

 

Dr. Una

Awesome. Thank you so so much for that. I have one last question for you, though. I guess one more. How many interviews do you think you've conducted? Just pick a number.

 

Fatima 35:39  

I know over 1000, it's probably, it could be even more. What's so interesting. I went from the cardiology office and I was being trained at the gastroenterology and their patient service center. And a couple of people are like you interviewed me. I know you Fatima. I didn't know them and I didn’t hire them.

 

Dr. Una 36:01  

Good thing you were nice to them. Right?

 

Fatima 36:03  

Exactly. It's like Remember, you interviewed me. So it was, you know, it was nice that I left it nice with them. And you know, now I'm new. Yeah. And you know, and so I'm special to them in a place where I'm unknown. 

 

Dr. Una

That is so cool.

 

Fatima

That really made me think oh my gosh how many people have you interviewed?

 

Dr. Una 36:27  

Yeah, well so the reason why I asked is because I wanted people to get a feel for how much you've done this stuff. And, you know, and this is something that's tried and proven and it works. And so you know, for every doctor listening, I know that HR can be hard, but it doesn't have to be that way. Right? In the EntreMD world, we learned that all business skills are learnable skills. So hiring is a learnable skill. So you can learn that, you know, and if you apply these principles, you end up with the team that is so much better and they will help you accomplish the goals. Fatima, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us and for being on the show and I'll be sure to get you on for another episode because this was so juicy. We have to do some more stuff.

 

Fatima 37:14  

Thank you so much, Dr. Una.

 

Dr. Una 37:16  

My pleasure. So there you go people. So I want you to be kind to all the private practice doctors in your life and share this episode with them, tell them you absolutely have to listen to this. And you know, leave us your aha moments. You can post them on social media and tag us #EntreMD and we'll see you on the next episode of the EntreMD Podcast.

If you love this podcast, please take a moment to subscribe, share and review it on iTunes. As you go about your week, remember you're not just an MD you're an EntreMD. Don't forget to tune in next week for another great episode. Until next time,