Recruitment and Staffing Blog

4 tips to avoid a bad HIM hire

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the cost of a bad hiring decision can be as much as 30 percent of an employee’s annual salary. That’s a whopping $24,000 in lost expenses for an $80,000 position. Here are 4 quick tips to save your HIM department precious time and money in the new year:

1. Be specific

The more detailed you outline your job description, the better. It’s more important to know that you are looking for ‘an inpatient coder with a minimum of two years experience who can work independently’ than ‘a seasoned remote coder.’ A suggestion from online career resource Monster is to organize the job description into five sections: Company Information, Job Description, Job Requirements, Benefits and a Call to Action. Be sure to include keywords that will help make your job posting searchable. A well-defined job description will help attract qualified candidates as well as help reduce employee turnover  in the long run.

2. Pick up the phone

Phone interviews can be an enormous time saver for you and for job candidates. Consider calling applicants to get a better sense of who they are.  In just a few minutes, you can get a decent read on a person.  Be prepared with a specific list of questions and pay close attention to their answers and the tone of their voice. Look for enthusiasm and confidence when they describe their skills. This is an excellent way to test for basic fit to determine if it’s worth investing time in a face-to-face interview.

3. Don’t overlook new graduates

It is estimated that the labor force will be 75% millennials by 2025 (loosely defined as born between 1980 and 2000). When you combine this with increased demand for HIM expertise, entry level candidates should not be overlooked. “Our goal is to hire more recent graduates from our local RHIT programs and start their mentoring for their long-term HIM career,” says Manuel Soto-Griego, RHIA, AzHIMA president and HIM Director at Maricopa Integrated Health. Don’t forget the negotiating power you receive with new graduates—they demand lower salaries than that of experienced workers. If budget is tight but patience is your virtue, you could save big bucks while taking an eager entry level worker under your team’s wing.

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4. Be prepared

Like the candidates you interview, you should also do your homework beforehand. Prepare to ask questions that explore their ability and potential. Questions that require responses based on real-life experience are important—they help determine a person’s fit within your organization. Also be sure to ask the candidate if they have any questions. This will indicate whether they’ve done their research and are genuinely interested in the position.

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