How to Hire the Right Practice Manager

As a busy vet, managing the day to day operations of your practice can be a tremendous hassle. After all, you got into this industry to work with animals, not to worry about hiring staff, balancing the books and all the other routine tasks that are necessary for keeping the business running smoothly. A practice manager can help alleviate this burden, allowing you to focus on what you’re most passionate about. But how can you know which candidate would be the best fit for the job? Here are a few expert tips from our experienced veterinary recruiters.

Education and Experience

The amount of experience and education required for a veterinary practice manager will vary to some degree, depending on your particular needs and preferences. Being a DVM isn’t necessarily a prerequisite, but in most cases, a college degree and/or adequate experience running an office (preferably in the veterinary field) are among the basic requirements.

Qualities and Characteristics

Perhaps even more important than experience and education is the candidate’s personal qualities. Remember – this individual will be interacting regularly not only with other clinic staff members but also with clients and possibly even patients. Selecting someone who has exceptional people skills and also a love for animals is recommended.

Cultural Fit

This is somewhat subjective in that it really depends on the unique culture of your particular practice, but finding someone who fits in with the way you like your business run is essential. For instance, as part of the DreamTeamElite candidate selection process, our veterinary recruiters make it a point to truly learn about the cultural feel of each practice because we know from experience that this ensures a better match with the staff we help to recruit.

Ask the Right Questions

As you’re going through the process of evaluating candidates for the practice manager role, it’s a good idea to have a list of key questions to ask during the interview. Ideally, these questions will help you get past the basic credentials that you can find on the candidate’s resume and get a better idea of whether they’d truly be a good fit for your practice. For instance, some common questions may include:

  • What did you like the most about your last position?
  • What did you like the least about your previous position?
  • What leadership roles have you held in the past?
  • What challenging situations have you dealt with and how did you handle them?
  • What do you believe are the most important elements to a role like practice manager?

If there are specific characteristics that you are looking for in a practice manager, feel free to ask candidates to provide real-life examples of how they’ve leveraged and/or demonstrated that particular trait. The more digging you do upfront, the better you’ll be able to narrow your selection and make the best choice.

Testing 1, 2, 3…

Some practice owners take things a step further and choose to administer actual tests to their candidates. Some tests are designed to help ascertain certain personality traits to assess cultural fit, while others evaluate a candidate’s intelligence level, skill sets and even ethics. If you don’t feel as though you are a good enough judge of character to effectively analyze candidates in an interview scenario (or you simply don’t have the time to do so), this could be a viable option.

Go With Your Gut

Last, but certainly not least, there’s something to be said for instinct, even as it pertains to evaluating a candidate for a practice manager role. While it’s never a good idea to hire someone based solely on your gut feelings about them, intuition can be used as a deciding factor when choosing between two candidates you’ve already narrowed down based on other quantifiable criteria.

Hiring a practice manager to run your clinic isn’t easy. By following the above guidelines, you can better prepare yourself to make a more informed decision and improve the chances of selecting the ideal candidate for the job.

Need help? Don’t sweat it. The professional veterinary recruiters at DreamTeamElite are ready to step in and assist. We’ll do all the legwork for you. All you’ll have to do is interview the applicants who have made it through our rigorous, no short-cuts process and make a final decision. Sound good? Contact us today at 1-800-469-1871 ext 353 to learn more!

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