Put your practice into overdrive with overhiring

Overhiring can reduce the cost of turnover.
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Aug 01, 2008

"Because of the rate of turnover, overhiring can be cost effective," says Sheila Grosdidier, RVT, a partner with veterinary consulting firm VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo. How does it work? Say you're normally fully staffed with 20 people. The next time you have an open position, hire so you have 21 or 22 employees. This process helps eliminate overtime, it reduces stress on your existing staff, and you're able to offer clients the service they expect.

But what about the cost? It's simple. "You hire the additional person, and he or she reduces your turnover and the cost of turnover," Grosdidier says. "These extra employees pay for themselves."

Another benefit: Your team's happier. No one's worrying about who's going to cover the extra shift when Denise goes to the dentist or Dan calls in sick. "I know several clinics that have moved to overhiring, and oh boy, the whole demeanor of the team has changed. They're no longer in the situation where they say, 'OK, who's short today, and what are we going to have to do?'" Grosdidier says.

And clients feel the benefits too. After all, more staff members means a larger team equipped to offer high-quality service and care. "If practices want to perform at the level that clients want, it's going to depend more on the number of team members they employ than the number of doctors," she says.