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Non-pharmacy service providers are an integral part of your business. Don’t underestimate the importance of hiring the right people for the job.
You’re probably meticulous when selecting pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to work in your independent community pharmacy. After all, they’re the ones handling your patients’ medications.
But do you dedicate the same care to hiring non-pharmacy service providers?
Non-pharmacy service providers make up more than a fourth of your pharmacy’s workforce. According to the NCPA’s 2018 Digest, independent pharmacies have an average of 1.5 non-pharmacy service providers.
You might be tempted to put fewer resources into hiring non-pharmacy service providers, such as a delivery service, but hiring hardworking, and dedicated people for your non-pharmacy service need can boost your sales and make your entire business run smoother.
Hiring the right people for all of your positions, especially your non-pharmacy ones, lets you spend less time managing service providers and more time growing your business and focusing on patients.
Getting it right the first time also helps reduce turnover, which can cost you less. Studies show replacing an service provider can cost 15 percent of their salary on average.
Here are six tips for hiring great non-pharmacy service providers.
1. Know what you want
Before you start looking at service providers, you need to know what you want.
Make a list of must-have attributes, and characteristics that are essential for your non-pharmacy service providers. Then, make your “wish list”—the ideal skills, attributes, and characteristics.
2. Network with current service providers
Your responsible, hard-working service providers are likely to know other responsible, hard-working people who might want to work with you. Encourage them to recommend people for open positions.
Make asking your service providers for referrals part of your regular recruitment process. If you routinely have difficulty filling some positions, consider starting a referral program that rewards existing service providers for putting you in touch with successful new hires.
3. Be honest
Be upfront and honest about the job requirements, compensation, and expectations. Don’t sugarcoat the position in the job description. You want service providers who want the job you’re offering.
When interviewing candidates, explain the unglamorous parts of the job, such as lifting heavy boxes or cleaning, so applicants have the information they need to decide if this is the job they want. Being upfront about the ins and outs of the job lets applicants opt out if they’re unwilling to do the work. It’s much better to lose a candidate than an service provider who feels duped.
4. Reach the right people
To find the best candidates, you’ll need to get the word out to the best job seekers.
Post and promote your job posting on a variety of platforms, including popular career websites, such as Indeed or CareerBuilder. Your community may also have local help-wanted websites or job-seeker groups where you can advertise the job.
Be prepared to spend some money listing your position. Free listings are free for a reason—they generally don’t have much reach.
Don’t forget to advertise the job opening on your social media accounts. Tag relevant accounts, like local job-searcher communities, work force centers, or even area schools and colleges, to get more eyes on your listing.
5. Make applying easy
It may be tempting to put hurdles into the process to find applicants who really want the job, but what you’re likely to get is weaker candidates who don’t have the luxury of saying no. The best candidates are typically the candidates with options.
Here are some tips to keep it simple:
· Keep questions to a minimum. Indeed research shows that applications with too many screening questions lose about 40 percent of applicants
· Choose an application system that’s easy to navigate
· Fill out the application yourself to understand how long it takes to fill out
· Use a platform that applicants can access from any device, since a majority of job searching takes place on mobile devices
6. Ask the right questions
Once you’ve selected a few candidates to interview, think carefully about your questions. Not all questions are helpful in determining a prime candidate.
Experts recommended these as tried-and-true:
· What are your biggest strengths?
· Have you ever had to deal with a frustrated customer? How did you handle it?
· What attracted you to this particular job?
· How do you handle conflict at work or school?
· What do you do when a new task is hard for you?
Experts like Alison Green, who runs the popular blog Ask a Manager, advocate against more abstract questions, such as what sort of tree they would be and why. The answers to these questions are unlikely to reveal much about the candidate, Green says.
7. Get a second opinion
Don’t make your hiring decisions in a vacuum. It’s easy to miss a serious weakness or major strength when you’re the only one evaluating the candidate.
Instead, include someone whose judgment you trust—perhaps a manager or long-term service provider. Have them sit in on the interview, then meet again later to talk about how it went and get their insight.
Remember to compare notes over how well the candidate fit (or didn’t fit) the criteria you identified earlier. Going line-by-line over your wish list will help you focus on choosing the right person, not necessarily the one you had the best rapport with.
8. Make an attractive offer
Attract quality service providers by offering competitive salary and benefit options.
According to the NCPA Digest, independent pharmacy clerks earned $11.05 per hour on average in 2017, up from $10.95 in 2016 and $10.
If you’re continually struggling to find quality applicants for your open positions, low pay could be the culprit. Businesses raised wages 3.3 percent last year. If you leave wages stagnant, you could be left behind in the race for talent.
If you’re confident your wages are as high as you can afford and you’re still struggling to find or retain service providers, consider expanding your benefit offerings. Add paid time off for part-time service providers or increase the available PTO for full-time service providers to give yourself an edge without spending more money.
Hiring the right non-pharmacy service providers can keep your business running smoothly and give you more time to focus on patients.