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Phase 1: Creating the Job Description

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Once the decision has been made to begin recruiting staff for an existing job or if the position is a new one, creating the job description is the first step in developing an effective recruitment plan. The job description is important because it describes the details of the position and should reflect everything that is essentially required or needed to measure each candidate in order to make the best selection. This information should include the primary function, the duties and responsibilities, the minimum education and experience, and the required knowledge, skills and abilities.

Primary Job Function

The primary function is a basic description of what the job pertains to and answers the following questions:

What are the goals that are expected to be achieved by the candidate?

How does will the position assist the medical office in consideration of its strategic plan?

In what ways will the position improve the overall effectiveness of the medical office?

How will the position help in meeting the medical office’s short and long term goals?

What challenges might the candidate face in performing the functions of the job?

Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of the job description provide the detailed tasks that are necessary to fill the role of the position. This section should identify each task that is expected of the candidate. It may be difficult to determine all the details or possible scenarios that may arise for a particular job, especially for a new position. It will be important to clearly establish that the candidate may be directed to perform other tasks related to the job other than those specifically defined in the duties and responsibilities.

Education and Experience

Determining the minimum education and experience requirements might require the assistance of an HR analyst or expert in the health care industry. Other factors that may affect the outcome of the amount of education and experience required for the job position that should be taken into consideration are:

  • The primary function of the job may require a certain certification, licensure or degree
  • The amount of wages budgeted for the specific position
  • The amount of hours/days per week the position is needed in the medical office
  • The degree of necessity for adding the position
  • The potential gain or advantage in fulfilling the position

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to perform the tasks of the job are the basis of which the duties and responsibilities can be performed. Without these basics, it may be difficult for a candidate to become effective in this new position. Depending on the ability of the medical office to provide training or extra time in aiding a candidate in obtaining the basic knowledge, skills and abilities, these may be a requirement of a candidate to be eligible for the position. Certain skills such as typing speed may be allowed more flexibility, if time permits, as this is a skill that can improve over time. More stringent guidelines may be followed if knowledge of medical terminology is a requirement of the job. Some other knowledge, skills and abilities of medical office staff might include:

  1. Knowledge
    • Knowledge of telephone etiquette
    • Knowledge of general clerical practices
    • Knowledge of HIPAA policies and guidelines
  2. Skills
    • Skills necessary to interact with patients courteously and professionally
    • Skills necessary to effectively communicate with patients, coworkers and management
    • Skills necessary to understand and follow oral and written instructions
  3. Ability
    • Ability to multitask
    • Ability to operate computer hardware, software and other office equipment
    • Ability to type a minimum of 35 words per minute

These are just some basic areas that need to be covered in a job description. Based on the position, specific areas will be necessary to cover all the aspects of a complete and effective job description. This is an important part in hiring the best medical office staff.

Once this section has been completed, you can move on to Phase 2: Developing the Recruiting Process.

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