Is It Time to Hire an Audiology Assistant? Here’s How to Know
You’ve taken the necessary steps to become a successful Practice owner and you’re now busier than ever. You have a full schedule and see walk-in patients, too. You are often at the office late into the evening and on weekends. You take charts home to make sure you stay caught up. So, you’ve started to wonder, “Is it time to hire someone to help?”
Hiring another employee, or maybe your first employee is a big decision. How do you know where to start? What if you hire the wrong person? Can you afford to hire? You don’t want to hire someone unless it’s absolutely necessary. But if you’re too busy to keep up, patient care is the first thing to suffer and you’ll start to lose those solid patients you’ve worked so hard to create a relationship with. You need to do something or something’s going to give.
The second thing to suffer will be you. The stress of doing everything can become overwhelming. Working hard in your business leaves no time to work on your business, not to mention the cost to your family and friends who don’t see you as much as they’d like to. So, ask yourself these five questions to determine if now’s the right time to hire.
5 Things to Ask Yourself Before Hiring an Audiology Assistant
1. Can I afford to hire someone right now?
Before you can start the process of looking for the right person to join your team, you’ll have to take a close look at your finances and figure out if you can afford to add someone to your payroll. Do you have the cash flow to pay an employee consistently and to cover the required taxes and insurance? Do you have the necessary tools and technology they will need to do their job? Do you have an HR manual with Protocols for adding an employee to your team? Hiring someone is a financial and administrative responsibility. Make sure you can take the necessary steps to make a new hire successful from the start.
2. Is income steady enough to support an Audiology Assistant long-term?
Have you noticed that there are times of the year that are more busy in your practice? I know that in the South, some months don’t see as many patients coming through the door because of hot temperatures. In the North, winter is difficult because of the ice and snow. And, it can be busier around Thanksgiving and Christmas because people want to hear at family gatherings during the holidays. When you hire an Audiology Assistant, they will expect a regular paycheck. Look at your net revenue during your slow months. Is there enough income to pay another salary? Can you put money away during the busy months to pay for the slow months? And here’s something to consider, too: an Audiology Assistant is going to free up time for you to see more money-generating appointments. Consider your potential. If patients are waiting longer than 2 weeks for an appointment, very likely you are busy enough to warrant the cost of hiring an Audiology Assistant.
3. Am I working as efficiently as I can?
This is a tough question but an important one to ask yourself. Do you really help? Or do you help in order to make life easier? There is definitely something to be said about the benefit of freeing up your time, but if your business can’t actually handle the cost of an Audiology Assistant, it could create a hardship in your business that leads to bigger problems. If you can handle the workload by being more organized or figuring out a more efficient way to complete daily tasks, it may be better to attempt those changes first. Then, re-evaluate later.
4. Are you over-promising and under-delivering?
We all make promises to patients to keep them happy. If you are finding that you can’t keep up anymore and you’re letting patients down because you can’t deliver on your promises for fast turnaround or even not emailing them when you said you were going to, adding an Audiology Assistant could start to improve your practice immediately by making patients happier and in so doing, creating higher customer retention. Plus, having someone to help with keeping current patients happy means you can focus on finding new ones.
5. Are you scheduling more than 2 weeks out?
Our patients have a unique health condition that limits the way they interact with the world. If someone’s hearing aid is broken, they want it fixed ! If they’ve decided to move forward with hearing aids and have to wait to get in to see you, you better bet they’re doing research online and seeing what else is out there. What if adding an Audiology Assistant could decrease your patient wait times increase the number of consults you could see in a month? What would that do for your patients’ satisfaction with your service? What would it do for your bottom line?
Ready to Hire?
For expert guidance on hiring your Audiology Assistant, download the free e-guide, Finding the Right Fit: Hiring Your Audiology Assistant. It will take you through the entire hiring process, including best practices for recruiting and interviewing, an overview of federal state employment regulations you need to know, guidelines for maintaining employee records and how to train your Audiology Assistant once they’re hired. It even has some great Worksheets to help you figure out your Audiology Assistant’s Scope of Practice and deciding on questions to ask during the interview process. Click Here to get access to this free resource now!