Filling Maternity Leave Positions

One type of leave that’s always a happy time for the office is when someone goes on maternity leave!

However, it does pose the challenge of finding suitable cover which can be tricky since it’s temporary.

You've got three options when it comes to mat leave fill.

First and often easiest is to chat with current staff and see if they have the capacity to increase their hours or help out at all. Current staff should be your first port of call.

The second option is the most traditional - advertise! Put an ad out for a maternity locum. The challenge here is the standard of applications, so you have to make the job attractive to someone who would possess the criteria you require.

A non-traditional approach with the traditional job ad is where you advertise. I always advertise on seek, however I’ve made four hires by also posting the job on my local buy swap and sell facebook groups! That’s been my biggest secret to success in getting people into support roles.

Finally, use an agency. There is an expense but for the headache a temp agency will cure, I think it’s worth it. It's a valuable relationship to have for staffing needs that come up from time to time. I’d just say find a specialist agency who are experts in your field.

To find an agency, I’ve gone with word of mouth in the past, but your best rule of thumb is to chat with three and pick your favourite.

So there you go! Three solutions to your mat leave cover needs.

I’d love to hear if you have a non-traditional place to post job ads! Let me know via @emmaspencer on instagram, or through the HR and Leadership Skills for Aussie Health Practice owners Facebook group.

emma-spencer-bio

Emma Spencer

Emma is a Clinical Psychologist who has a special interest in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families and peri-natal care.  Her background has been varied and included employment within hospital and community settings, both public and private.

Emma also worked for a number of years in consulting, as a trainer, project manager, neuropsychological assessor and also provided employment selection and transition services.

Tips for recruiting.

Recruiting is a very time consuming and at times very stressful part of running a business. Am I right?!

When you are going out to market and advertising for a position, the very first thing you need to do is think about the role and how are you going to go about implementing your recruitment strategy.

Do you do psychometric testing when you recruit?

If you’re hiring for a role that includes people management, I would do a personality or motivational assessment as part of your recruiting because you really want someone in that role who displays specific characteristics.

Will you start your recruiting with a phone screening, if so what will that look like?

Will you start with a group interview and then follow up with individual interviews?

Will you ensure to include scenario based questions?

Will there be behavioural questions tied in with the deliverables of the advertised role?

You could consider a panel for interviewing, in which case you’d need to determine who will sit on the panel.

Don’t be afraid to reach out within your network! I recently hired an OT for my business, so invited a former colleague to help me recruit. She was able to assess the specific OT qualities and experience that I am not across.

When hiring, most clinicians will follow the traditional route of putting out an ad, then interviewing. However if you think about some of the considerations above, you’re able to make the process more streamlined and efficient by considering the role and how the recruitment process could look in order to find the right candidate.

If you go in with the right strategy, you’re able to make candidates more specific, and save time.

Do you have a tried and tested truck for effective recruitment? Share it with the facebook group - HR and Leadership Skills for Aussie Health Practice Owners, or connect with me - @emmaspencer on instagram.

emma-spencer-bio

Emma Spencer

Emma is a Clinical Psychologist who has a special interest in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families and peri-natal care.  Her background has been varied and included employment within hospital and community settings, both public and private.

Emma also worked for a number of years in consulting, as a trainer, project manager, neuropsychological assessor and also provided employment selection and transition services.

Employee Incentive Programs.

It seems that everybody I know in business right now are really struggling with finding the right people for their team.

Sometimes you interview someone and you know they’re not right, other times they are the perfect candidate - so perfect in fact, that you’re not the only business pitching for their skills!

This is where employee incentives can make you the employer of choice.

Incentive programs are great for staff retention and for attracting candidates.

When recruiting, an incentive program will give you a competitive advantage over other employers. It’s also something you could consider for your team to keep them happy, and maintain your place as their preferred employee.

 

What do you offer?

Options are endless, and you can tailor any incentive to suit yourself and your business.

At the point of recruiting, you may offer options for further education by including training or a fund for the employee that could go towards training. You may be able to offer a certain amount of supervision or other professional development on the job. Including the option for a financial bonus after a trial period is an attractive option to job-seekers.

Some companies offer break rooms with beanbags and video gaming, free lunches and tickets to concerts. No prizes for guessing which industry and which generation of workers they are trying to attract!

You might be able to offer a guarantee for holidays at Christmas and New Year. The beauty of incentives is they are really down to you and what you are able to afford a potential or current employee.

I would love to hear about any incentives you offer, or have been offered that really made a job more appealing to you. Let me know at our facebook page HR and Leadership Skills for Aussie Health Practice Owners, or DM me - Emma Spencer - on Instagram.

emma-spencer-bio

Emma Spencer

Emma is a Clinical Psychologist who has a special interest in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families and peri-natal care.  Her background has been varied and included employment within hospital and community settings, both public and private.

Emma also worked for a number of years in consulting, as a trainer, project manager, neuropsychological assessor and also provided employment selection and transition services.

Emma spoke with David Lunn, financial planner and Principal at Lifestyle Wealth Partners.

Are you an accidental business person? I am! I studied, worked for the public and private sector, decided to become a sole trader, and now I spend more time running and expanding my business than I do clinical work.

Accidental business people might be good at rolling with the punches and making a success of their expertise, but you probably haven't thought too much about financing your retirement.

It may seem a long way off, but retirement can be a shock when you're used to a steady and generous income stream. How are you going to keep up that standard of living when the stream is cut off?

Future planning is important. Like any goal, you need to set out to achieve it.

You want to be making decisions that benefit your business now and in the future.

In your corner, you'll need a financial planner or a good accountant who can understand your goals and objectives. A compliance accountant may not be invested in your vision, so make sure you find someone who will work alongside you.

Having the correct financial structure is imperative when it comes to asset protection. You'll need a firebreak between your private wealth assets and at-risk assets.

When it comes to tax, if you're not structured properly at the start of your business venture, it can be expensive to restructure and get things where they need to be.

Don't stress about locking yourself in-for-life to a set-up that may not be right for tomorrow. David says that as a financial planner, he aims for flexibility in any structure he works on with his clients.

It's really important to me that despite my business, my priority is my kids – and I know I'm not alone in that constant battle! I need my work and home life to be in sync.

With your own retirement plan you should consider synchronicity with growing your business, and your personal goals. Your personal values are important in this big picture, and you can future-plan a structure that will suit both.

If you want to future plan, David Lunn is one resource you can find at www.lifestylewealthpartners.com.au - I've also shared a link to his business on our facebook group HR and leadership skills for aussie health practitioners.

Good luck!

emma-spencer-bio

Emma Spencer

Emma is a Clinical Psychologist who has a special interest in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families and peri-natal care.  Her background has been varied and included employment within hospital and community settings, both public and private.

Emma also worked for a number of years in consulting, as a trainer, project manager, neuropsychological assessor and also provided employment selection and transition services.

Emma chatted with Consulting Psychologist Heizy Serrels about the three top tips for recruitment interviewing.

Hiring the right people for your business is so important, and here's some things you can do to hire like a pro.

Do you remember psych 101 and learning about primacy and recency bias? We tend to remember the first and last person we spoke to and blur the in-between. Keep notes on each candidate so you can properly reflect on each.

I like to conduct interviews with another person so that together we can reflect on who we've spoken to, and remind one other of each candidate's strengths and challenge areas.

Suppress the instinct to make a hire straight away! Come back to your notes so you don't overlook a strong candidate that falls outside of cognitive bias.

Also - don’t forget comparison bias. You might estimate a candidate to be of a higher quality if the person interviewed before them was of poor standard. Going back to those helpful notes will ensure your decision making is reflective not reactive.

Beware the interview star!

You know that person who is charming, has all the right answers, basically nails the interview process – but when it comes to the crunch, falls flat in the role?

We all like to be heard, so if you're doing too much talking in the interview chances are you're going to feel good about the candidate who patiently listened to you for an hour.

Avoid being dazzled by completing proper reference checking. Gather data and evidence to back up your decision.

Watch the language being used by a candidate – are they speaking theoretically or from experience? You want to know they can do what they should be doing, not just talk about it.

Finally, when you're tired, you're not at your best! Don't fall into the trap of shoehorning your interviews into "downtime” like lunch breaks or after closing time.

When we're tired we're more immediately critical, and more prone to cognitive bias.

You need to make time for interviewing at a time you're at your sharpest, and have an open mind.

So next time you're hiring – be aware of bias, beware the interview star, and beware of your own exhaustion! You're going to need to make considered decisions, not reactive ones.

We have a slew of info each month with the A-Z of leadership on HR and Leadership Skills for Aussie Health Practice Owners. Follow us on Facebook.

emma-spencer-bio

Emma Spencer

Emma is a Clinical Psychologist who has a special interest in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families and peri-natal care.  Her background has been varied and included employment within hospital and community settings, both public and private.

Emma also worked for a number of years in consulting, as a trainer, project manager, neuropsychological assessor and also provided employment selection and transition services.

Emma spoke with Visibility Coach Dave Fuller about how to excel at blogging.

If you're like me, you're very capable at writing a blog and you have all the information required, but you sit down to do it and you're just...stuck.  Or you start up and then lose the momentum to keep going.

It doesn't need to be like this!

Dave Fuller is a visibility coach so he's able to advise on how your business can be more easily  "found".

Dave says that if there was one silver bullet to being found, it's blogging!

Blogging helps with directing people to your website due to key words and phrases. It's also an opportunity to present yourself as a knowledge expert.

Where do you start?

The number one tip to being a successful blogger is this; every question you're asked as a professional is a potential blog.

Keep a notepad on your desk or by your phone and every time you're asked a question – write it down! That's the title for your next blog.

In the course of your work you may see the same challenges arise again and again for different clients. You're able to advise on those challenges – and that's another blog.

You could write how-to guides, do product reviews, provide cheat sheets and checklists, transcribe interviews or videos. There is endless content you can draw from in the course of your work.

Don't worry too much about keywords. Key phrases are more relevant to SEO, and by virtue of the fact that you’re churning out regular content, those key phrases will be there.

Make sure you write as 'you', but using the language that will resonate with your audience.

A rule of thumb is 'one idea, one page’ - keep it to one idea per blog.

As with essay writing there's a structure you should follow – a headline to engage your audience, sub-heading to explain a little more about what the blog is about, then the body of text, and a final wrap up including a call-to-action which could be signing up to a mailing list, following for more content, or purchasing something.

So that being said, write as you would speak, keep it to one thought per blog, and please make sure you are following HR and Leadership Skills for Aussie Health Practice Owners on Facebook for more content to support your business.

emma-spencer-bio

Emma Spencer

Emma is a Clinical Psychologist who has a special interest in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families and peri-natal care.  Her background has been varied and included employment within hospital and community settings, both public and private.

Emma also worked for a number of years in consulting, as a trainer, project manager, neuropsychological assessor and also provided employment selection and transition services.

Emma spoke with secret guru and recruitment consultant Renee Hamilton  

Filling positions vacant within your allied health practice can feel like a full-time job in itself, but a recruitment consultant help! A consultant should feel like an extension of yourself, some who you can partner with and who will fulfil an 'end-to-end' service.

The beginning of that service is a comprehensive briefing to find out what you need. An agency will have a pool of candidates who have been interviewed, some even tried and tested! From that briefing alone you could have a shortlist ready to go.

Not all agencies are created equal. Renee's advice is to stay away from the bigger players and find a specialised agency that works specifically within your field. Larger agencies may have a team that works within your industry however a boutique agency has a sole focus on candidates relevant to you and your business, so you're likely to get a higher quality of candidate.

You're probably wondering how much this all costs?

For a permanent employee it's a percentage of the total remuneration package, and for a specialist agency you can expect that to be 15-20%. The other option is a retained search in which a one-third retainer is paid upfront, the second third at shortlist stage, and the final third when the right candidate is found. In addition, agencies will have standard fees upfront but will provide options to lessen those fees if it means an agency can have exclusivity.

To get the best out of working with a recruiter, make sure you're clear on what you want from a role, have a position description, qualifications required, and consider the culture fit of your workplace and the type of person you might be looking for.

You'll also need a salary range.

With the 'end-to-end' service an agency provides, they will check in with you and with the successful candidate around the standard probation time to make sure both sides are happy with the appointment, and if not – most agencies do provide a replacement guarantee. This peace of mind goes a long way to justifying the service fees!

Good luck on your next hire, and I would love to hear about any experience you've had working with an agency!

emma-spencer-bio

Emma Spencer

Emma is a Clinical Psychologist who has a special interest in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families and peri-natal care.  Her background has been varied and included employment within hospital and community settings, both public and private.

Emma also worked for a number of years in consulting, as a trainer, project manager, neuropsychological assessor and also provided employment selection and transition services.

Leadership Mindset vs Management Mindset | Emma Spencer Consulting

Your guide to being an effective leader!

What is the difference between thinking like a manager and thinking like a leader?

Well firstly, a manager thinks in the moment about tasks and their outcome. They are concerned with the here and now, deliverables, the getting things done.

Leadership mindset on the other hand is broad and considers each individual's needs and potential as well as the strategic picture of the broader objective of the organization, beyond the day to day. This is so important for those of us who are health practice owners (or small business owners) because to move our business forward, leadership thinking is what is going to achieve this.

Within an organization, some individuals are competent within their operational role meaning a manager has the space to be a leader. In the case an individual needs workplace training, a balance of manager and leader mindset will be required. If you are a large enough organization, you may have team members in key roles aimed at supporting those individuals who need a management approach. For those of you who are wearing multiple hats in your organization, getting the balance right is paramount!

To achieve an optimal outcome within a workplace, management needs to be more than just operational.  The leadership mindset tends to yield better outcomes in terms of people development and staff retention. People respond better to leadership that is inspiring and feels invested in growth as opposed to management that sees workers as a cog in a machine.

If a manager fails to think and act as a leader, employees can feel micromanaged rather than empowered. For mangers, failing to think like a leader means they are bogged down with the minutia of day to day rather than the bigger picture of what is trying to be achieved and the growth and potential of your business stagnates.

That’s all very well and good, but how do we avoid staying stuck in the day to day? You can shift your thinking to be less of a manager and more of a leader.

Consider your own leadership role models and the traits they demonstrate, this will provide insight into the type of leader you'd like to be and what your values as a leader are.

If you notice you are getting “bogged down in the weeds” (i.e. stuck in the day to day), consider your organization structure, your processes and procedures, your availability, diary management. What practical steps can you take to free yourself up from the details, so you can sit more in the “vision space”.

Consider your meta habits and whether they come from a manager or leader mindset. Remember that the people you are leading will determine which mindset you need to use and when.

Ultimately, use your own insight to grow your style and keep moving your business forward.

emma-spencer-bio

Emma Spencer

Emma is a Clinical Psychologist who has a special interest in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families and peri-natal care.  Her background has been varied and included employment within hospital and community settings, both public and private.

Emma also worked for a number of years in consulting, as a trainer, project manager, neuropsychological assessor and also provided employment selection and transition services.