Small Business Case Study: Hiring for a Hard-to-Fill Support Position

See How This Boutique Medical Clinic Solved Their Turnover Problem

For certain types of small businesses, every employee fills an essential role. Managers wear many hats and have little time to set aside for tasks like hiring. To take time from your regular job to devote the necessary time it takes to hire the right person causes the business to suffer and places a burden on the other employees who must pick up the slack.

This is the reality for a boutique ophthalmology clinic in Queens, with a solo doctor and just four full-time staff. Two of those positions have been occupied by the same people for many years, but the other two have suffered frequent turnover.

Here’s their small business hiring case study, and how they solved the turnover problem.


A Consistent Problem with Turnover

This turnover hasn’t been caused by anything unhealthy about the company. The nature of the position – an entry-level support role that works half time at the front desk and half time assisting the doctor – requires some specialty knowledge. But it fits a younger demographic at the earlier stages of their career.

Thus, they have ended up hiring a lot of students and recent graduates. But, those people are also more likely to relocate, especially if they are students when hired.

So while this business has invested time and money in training their employees and strengthening their certifications, those employees often still end up leaving from this particular position.

When the practice  tried to hire on its own, the manager  was  frequently frustrated with the process and the results, and seemed to be in a state of ‘constant hiring’. It was hit or miss. Mostly miss.

So when they lost yet another person in 2018, they decided to try out PainLess Hire on the recommendation of a doctor who had shared his experience with traditional recruiters and told this clinic administrator that PainLess Hire was different.


A Method That Works

The clinic administrator describes PainLess Hire as using a highly “efficient” approach that incorporates pre-testing and phone interviewing. In this case, the approach enabled them to filter through over 600 candidates.

This is the problem with lower level positions.

You get more applicants, but you want to spend less time on the hiring process because turnover tends to be higher. That’s why it is so easy to get caught up in this ‘forever hiring’ cycle, and it wears you down.

Finding the right person proved extremely challenging in this case, because the needs of this practice were very specific, and yet it was an entry-level spot. They didn’t want another student who would just graduate and then leave. They also wanted someone who could start off part-time but then transition to full-time.

According to the administrator, PainLess Hire’s approach “saves us time from having to review all the resumes” and from having to learn how to quickly weed out the unqualified candidates and find that “diamond in the rough.”

They needed someone who didn’t just want a job. They needed someone with a particular skillset, an interest in the field, and who would fit their unique office culture, where patients are treated like guests. It’s very personalized service, like a concierge practice. But unlike other clinics that offer this level of service, this practice  takes insurance, which means anyone can show up.

The additional challenge was that they had a lower wage structure than the big hospitals – in part because of state laws mandating different minimum wages for different-sized businesses. As a result, they would often lose the best qualified candidates to big hospitals. On PainLess Hire’s advice, they raised their pay scale for this position to better compete for higher quality talent.


The Needle in the Haystack: “Can We Clone Her?”

After a lengthy search and repeated pre-assessments on new sets of candidates, PainLess Hire found a woman working toward a nursing credential while also working part-time. PainLess Hire’s pre-assessments indicated she was an outstanding candidate.

According to the administrator, she was told by PainLess Hire, “Don’t wait on this one. Hire her now.” She was that good. Her only weakness was a bit of shyness. But the administrator believed a bit of training and experience would help her overcome that enough to do the job well.

So, they offered her the job. She quit her other job and left her program to take it. Over a year later, she’s still here – no more turnover – and she’s “a star.”

She has a bright, positive, can-do attitude. She has taken front-desk training courses and grown in her patient service skills. After six months, she switched to full time, as desired. Best of all, she fits the culture of respect and personal service, and is very polite and pleasant with patients.

More recently, when a new entry-level position opened up and this same clinic returned to PainLess Hire for help, they asked if Painless Hire could just clone this other recent hire.

She really was as good as advertised.


What This Small Business Says about PainLess Hire

When she was told to hire this person now, the administrator didn’t hesitate. Why? Because the level of trust established between the practice  and PainLess Hire was very strong. Before finding their all-star, the clinic had been told by our consultants that other candidates were not good hires and would not stay long term – which was their primary goal. After a few rounds of that, when they were finally told they had found a great candidate, the message resonated.

In her words, PainLess Hire “has gotten to know our practice and our needs and has been helpful as a resource with knowledge about the local market.

PainLess Hire has taken the ‘pain’ out of hiring for us. They screen candidates, saving tons of time for us. Started with 600 resumes. They have a certain method of testing and interviewing that seems to work. We’re not getting a “Jekyl and Hyde” like when we tried to do it ourselves.”

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If you’re tired of getting Jekyl and Hyde candidates who transform into different people after they get hired, stop using the same old hiring methods.

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