Abstract: Building your ideal staff not only helps your business, but also makes the job of management easier. By utilizing your staff members’ existing skills and taking the time to train them in other vital practices, you can smoothly promote your business, create a reliable infrastructure and develop a loyal clientele via your team members.
Q: What is the ideal staffing model for a medical aesthetic practice or medical spa?
A: Depending on the laws of your state, medical spas and medical aesthetic practices can take on a variety of staffing models. Ultimately, best practices indicate a facility should have a supervising physician on-site to oversee mid-level providers and estheticians. Preferably, the on-site physician should specialize in the type of treatments being provided, such as those a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist offer.
One of the keys to creating a successful medical aesthetic practice is finding and keeping a talented and happy staff. Avoiding heavy staff turnover will allow you to retain clientele, and a stable environment that produces consistent results will also assist in attracting new patients.
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High turnover rates in staff are many times attributable to poor or inconsistent management, and in the medical aesthetic setting, this can stem from an off-site supervising physician or traveling supervising physicians who split time among many locations. While it may increase margins to employ a full-time physician on-site to manage other medical aesthetic providers, the consistency and stability such full-time management brings will save on staffing costs in the long run. Furthermore, many states are now imposing laws requiring an on-site physician at all medical spas and medical aesthetic practices for health and safety reasons.
Q: Are reduced-cost treatments for staff appropriate?
A: Allowing your staff to take advantage of the services you provide can be one of your best methods of advertising. As a medical aesthetic professional, think about how many impressions you make on potential patients each day, depending on your schedule, and how many patients per day you see. Now multiply that by the number of staff you have: If each staff member can speak about the treatments you offer based on first-hand experience, that not only creates an instant rapport with patients, but it also creates an immediate sense of excitement about the treatment, which is impossible to replicate with brochures and photos alone.
In a well-run practice, staff members should also double as active referral sources for new patients. When a staff member gets regular Botox injections, IPL treatments for broken capillaries or has had a surgical procedure, this is an instant conversation starter for each potential patient your staff member meets.
Last, and just as important, each staff member should truly believe in the value and benefit of the services provided at your office. And there is no better way to establish this than to have them experience the treatments first-hand.
Q: What is better as far as staff is concerned: new and impressionable, or older and experienced?
A: This is a difficult question to answer, because many times, the answer is both. Naturally, finding a staff member who is highly experienced in treatments and techniques is an invaluable find, because they can hit the ground running, avoiding a lengthy training process.
On the other hand, the training of new staff has as much to do with assimilating your new addition to the specific culture and values of your office as it does with teaching technical skills. Sometimes there is a significant downside to hiring a staff member who has a lengthy history with a competitor or who has leapfrogged among many offices. In many cases, those staff members—albeit well-experienced—are accompanied by years’ worth of bad habits, complaints or pre-determined methods of how things should be done. In many cases, the trade-off for experience is the hard work of training your new staff members to de-program from their previous employers and adjust methods to your company’s culture and values.
Hiring staff who do not have a specific history in the industry can be rewarding as well, especially for certain positions. A good example is the receptionist position, where, in an elective, cosmetic-based practice, a candidate who has superior customer service skills far outweighs any medical office experience.
In other areas, the benefit of experience oftentimes outweighs other downsides. This is especially true for injectors, where it can take years to master skills for injecting dermal fillers and similar products. It may also be true of estheticians who have an established track record, and especially for those who might have a following of patients who will move with your new employee to your practice.
In the end, assimilating all of your new employees to your own personal office culture and work ethic is an extremely important factor employers need to consider in making hiring decisions. This will need to be accomplished whether your new employee comes with experience or not.