10 Tips to Hire the Right Employees for Your New Pulmonology Practice

Next week, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) staff will begin to set up for the 2016
Next week, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) staff will begin to set up for the 2016
Hiring the right people for your pulmonology practice will help it grow. How can you assemble an all-star staff?

There’s no question you have the medical skills and drive to open your own pulmonology practice. But, do you have the HR know-how to assemble an all-star staff? Hiring the right people will not only grow your practice, but also make your day-to-day more enjoyable. Here are 10 tips to help you hire the right team.

1. Create a Plan

Before you do anything else, figure out which roles you’ll need to fill. Create an organizational chart to plot out positions and how they’ll interact with one another. Specifically define the core competencies and responsibilities of each role, as well as what the recruiting and interview process will look like. Once you have a plan in place, you can start your search.

2. Post Job Ads Online

According to Pew Research Center, 54% of US adults have sought job information and 45% have applied for at least 1 position online.1 You can reach qualified candidates quickly by posting job ads on LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, Monster, and other popular job boards. Also, post ads to industry-specific job boards such as CareerVitals and Health eCareers.

3. Make Your Job Ads Specific

To get the most out of the job ads you post, ensure they specifically outline the requirements of the position. Your ads should have straightforward titles and detailed descriptions of responsibilities, qualifications, and performance expectations. Because you’re hiring for a pulmonology practice and whomever you hire will be interacting with patients, be sure to list great communication skills as a requirement.

4. Ask for Referrals

Although we live in the internet age, an overwhelming majority (85%) of jobs are still filled by networking.2 Because you’re just beginning to assemble a staff, you won’t have current employees to use as a source for referrals just yet. However, you’ve likely built relationships with fellow pulmonologists who may be able to lend a helping hand, so reach out to your network for recommendations.

5. Pay Close Attention to Personality

Patient comfort is essential in any practice. Your patients will be more comfortable when the people they interact with are polite and personable. When interviewing candidates, try to gauge how they might interact with patients and other staff members. You can do so by role playing or asking how they would handle certain situations. Remember, you can train employees to perform job responsibilities, but you can’t train personality.

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6. Offer Great Benefits

In a competitive specialty such as pulmonology, offering employees great benefits will help separate your practice from other suitable employers and encourage employees to stick around. Offer a comprehensive package including health, dental, vision, paid time off, long-term disability, life insurance, retirement, and flexible spending. Not only will doing so help you attract and retain employees, it’s also a worthy thing to do.

7. Form a Complete Picture

Some pulmonologists prioritize education over work experience. Others prioritize skill set over personality. Try to form a complete picture of candidates by factoring in everything they bring to the table. Consider past actions as a predictor of future behavior. Something as simple as a mistake on a resume might suggest future mistakes on important paperwork.

8. Meet in Person

Phone interviews are a good way to screen candidates and narrow down your list, but don’t rely too heavily on them. A direct, face-to-face interview is always the best way to get to know a candidate. In an in-person interview, you can assess preparedness, read non-verbal cues, spot discrepancies from what was said over the phone, and ask more open ended questions.

9. Hire for the Long Term

Employee turnover can be costly for you and deflating for your team. It can also discourage patients who may have formed a bond with a former staff member from continuing to receive care from your practice. A good way to figure out if a candidate is likely in it for the long haul is to ask what type of work environment they’re seeking. If what they describe matches what you have to offer, chances are they’ll be content and stay longer.

10. Know the Laws

Protect yourself and your new practice throughout the process by familiarizing yourself with hiring laws. Always avoid questions about marital status, children, race, religion, age, and any other areas that might be closely related to protected classes.

Final Note

While the pressure is on to open the doors to your new practice as quickly as possible, don’t rush the hiring process. Most often, hiring the first warm body you find will end poorly. Instead, take time to map out which positions you’ll need to fill and interview candidates thoroughly. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to building an all-star staff.


  1. Smith A. Searching for work in the digital era. Pew Research Center. November 19, 2015. Accessed July 18, 2018.
  2. Adler L. New survey reveals 85% of all jobs are filled via networking. LinkedIn. February 29, 2016. Accessed July 18, 2018.