Taking the Wheel: Personnel Management

Hiring the right employees for your company is especially important to small business owners where, in most cases, the clinician/owner has a lot at stake personally and professionally. With tried and trusted personnel selection methods in place and the right attitude, you can not only choose the right people for your team, but keep them working to the best of their ability for years to come.

Part of keeping employees working for you is giving them as few temptations to be dishonest as possible, explained Robert Benedetti, controller for Delatorre O&P and consultant for Promise Consulting. Assigning carefully selected tasks to each employee and keeping them in the informational loop will limit these temptations when enacted properly.

In the last part of a three-part series, O&P Business News presents some tips O&P business owners can follow to ensure they have hired the right staff for their practice.

Hiring the right people

© 2007/Robin Jareaux/Artville/Getty Images

There are many methods available to choose from when selecting employees for your business. Benedetti recommends a series of tests including a personality test and interviews. He also relies on personal references to gauge a prospective employee.

Another method involves current employees and is only suggested for use when you are hiring for a new position while the company is in a state of growth. Allow current employees to conduct interviews of prospective coworkers and you may receive different feedback than you would if you conducted the interview yourself.

“Let one or two people whom you trust interview that person because they may see things that you don’t see,” Benedetti told O&P Business News. “The interviewee might drop his guard a little bit and they may be more transparent or they may interview better, they may be more real.”

You can be confident that your staff members will report honest critiques since there is a likelihood they would have to work alongside the interviewee in the future. Additionally, you will make your trusted employees feel like their opinions are valued.

Keeping them in the loop

Once you have the right people working for you and have them settled in their duties, it takes more than a pat on the back and a thanking smile to keep them on the path you have set for your business. In order to avoid any resentment in the workplace, it is helpful to let those employees know what exactly your business path is and warn or explain the dips and turns along the route.

“When you keep [employees] in the dark, you’re asking for trouble,” Benedetti said.

He suggests keeping employees aware of the financial health of the business through regular meetings of your own design. Benedetti encourages that business owners share selective information and withhold only what is necessary.

This peek behind-the-scenes might be exactly what your employees need to better understand business changes and continue to work to serve your office more fruitfully.

Also, allow your employees the opportunity to offer suggestions. These suggestions are expressed personal commitments to your business and they will feel a sense of pride that comes along with having a say in the bigger picture.

“If I know that I have some say in the company that I work for, I am less likely to steal from them and be a rotten employee and I am less likely to leave to find greener pastures,” Benedetti said.— by Jennifer Hoydicz

The Cost of Employee Fraud

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 2006 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud & Abuse, small businesses (fewer than 100 employees), suffered losses of $190,000 per scheme. This represents a higher median loss than the largest organizations investigated for the report.

Of the 381 cases investigated, the following represents the schemes which afflicted most businesses.

  • Check tampering, 111 cases, accounted for 29.1%
  • Skimming, 105 cases, accounted for 27.6%
  • Billing, 94 cases, accounted for 24.7%
  • Expense reimbursements, 88 cases, accounted for 23.1%
  • Corruption, 87 cases, accounted for 22.8%
  • Cash larceny, 75 cases, accounted for 19.7%
  • Payroll, 68 cases, accounted for 17.8%
  • Non-cash, 67 cases, accounted for 17.6%
  • Financial statement fraud, 46 cases, accounted for 12.1%
  • Wire transfers, 29 cases, accounted for 7.6%
  • Register disbursements, 6 cases, accounted for 1.6%

Taking a more active role in proactively detecting fraud could help to protect your business from losses in the future.

For more information:


For more information:

  • To read parts I and II of our “Taking the Wheel” series, please visit O&P Business News’ Web site at www.oandpbiznews.com.

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