Utility Players: Finding and Hiring These Key Contributors to Your Team
By Gracie E. Ryker
In the ever-changing struggle to brand our own clinic’s culture, we are constantly on the lookout for employees who are eager to buy in to what makes our practices successful.
Key traits of an ideal candidate to consider are simple: education, experience, strong background in processes and procedures, and leadership ability. However, we tend to overlook the candidate that can potentially be our utility player. Utility players are the employees who are willing to step in and step up whenever asked, regardless of the task at hand. Someone who is applying not just for a role, not looking to just fill a position, but someone who is able and willing to evolve in your practice while mindfully embodying your clinic’s culture.
Instead of writing advertisements in hopes that someone will apply who encompasses what you are looking for, the better approach may be to seek and interview candidates as if you are seeking employment from them. You want to find someone who is going to come into your existing culture and, while still respecting its history and core values, will push the envelope to make your business thrive. So how do we attract these fantastic people we call utility players?
First look within; do you already have employees who possess these characteristics? If yes, interview them and find out what attracted them to your company and what keeps them working for you.
When interviewing prospective employees, ask diverse questions so you can get diverse answers. Don’t try to find people who can do the job you can train them to do; chances are you are better off with someone who will learn and stick to your specific procedures. However, ask critical-thinking questions and find out what kind of culture they want to work in. I always end my interviews with “As important as it is to me to find someone who can fit the needs of this job, it is equally important that we fit the needs of our candidates. What are you looking for in an employer? What are you looking for in a direct manager?” If you are able to stack your employees full of utility players, you are going to end up with a diverse, flexible staff that is ready to problem solve any situation that comes their way.
Gracie Ryker is the Director of Operations for Integrated Rehabilitation Group. She has been with IRG for 13 years and finds passion in cultivating employee’s to be their best selves. She can be reached at Gracie.Ryker@irgpt.com.