January 26, 2022 | General Practice

Attracting a high performer for your GP practice is one thing but some practices are unable to keep hold of them. This is because they overlook some of the crucial stages of the Primary Care recruitment process to successfully retain their ideal member of staff.

We always encourage our clients to look at recruiting for their Primary Care establishments a FIVE stage ongoing process. Having this in place allows you to attract, recruit and on-board the right people – and then retain them.

Your practice can reduce the need to recruit as often by following this procedure properly:


Source the high-performing candidates YOU want to work for you; you don’t just settle for whoever is looking at your adverts.

The war for talent and attracting high-calibre employees to your practice is extremely fierce – and this begins with finding them in the first place.

Your ideal employee won’t just walk in looking for a job; nor will they read your advert and apply. In order to find your candidate, a longer term strategy is required than simply advertising and picking the best of whoever responds. We already advertise on many job boards on our clients behalf so you don’t have this legwork to do.

To get the high performer you want, you must be prepared to work differently – or try different things – to your competitors. According to a 2015 LinkedIn survey, 70% of the global workforce are passive candidates – that is to say they’re happy with their current work situation but would consider new opportunities if presented to them in the right way.

So, if your approach is correct, you’ll see it is possible to expand the size of your prospective candidate pool. Crucially, you’ll also notice that a much greater proportion of these people are a potentially great fit for your business. Prospect Health has a unique and flexible approach to recruitment – including comprehensive, multi-channel marketing campaigns to find the audience YOU need.

Recruiting the best passive candidates for your practice takes time, but we have a flexible approach to working hours, so that we can find the best candidates for you at times to suit them. We do all the hard work for you, so we can present you with a tailored list of candidates fitting your exact requirements


Make sure your workplace is one that high performers want to work in; develop your reputation as an “employer of choice”.

Once you’ve found the candidates you’d like, you have to show them that working in your practice is a career option worth considering. Make sure that high performers see you as an “employer of choice”.

If your practice does not inspire this in your employees, then this is bound to be apparent, and you will struggle to persuade your preferred candidates to join you.

Some ways you can become an employer of choice for potential new staff include:

  • Develop a reputation for being a good employer – they are bound to ask people who already work for you how they feel about it.
  • Develop your brand and what it stands for.
  • Demonstrate a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve as a business and articulate your vision clearly to your employees.
  • Align HR practices with business practice.
  • Offer structure and clearly defined review processes to your existing employees.
  • Clearly define the challenges you are looking for a new employee to meet.
  • Provide a clear breakdown of what is expected in the prospective role, general job content, key accountabilities and what ‘good’ looks like.
  • Explain the impact they will have if successful in the role.
  • Outline progression opportunities and prospective career openings that may arise.
  • Give tangible examples of the success of current employees whilst demonstrating their level of engagement.
  • Ensure you have a training structure to ensure that new candidates’ training needs are met.



Select your new employee from your shortlist of fantastic quality candidates, following a thorough interview (and possible assessment) procedure.

With a selection of the best candidates interested in your Practice, the next step is to assess their suitability and credentials for your vacancy.

At this point, we recommend you invest time in a thorough assessment process – possibly longer than you may be used to. It should also be a two-way procedure; the market for high-performing GPs in particular is a competitive one, and you will be assessed on your suitability as an employer. It’s vital to remember that a candidate’s skill is important but is not the whole picture. In order to be a high performer, a person must be willing to go above and beyond their peers – so motivation is key too. It is extremely important to be able to assess the motivational fit of the candidates you are considering, to ensure that the high performer you recruit is motivated by the job and will remain engaged by the short- and longer-term challenges in your practice.

We recommend a four-step assessment process of both standard and lesser-known steps.

Step 1 Introductory Meeting

Step 2 Formal Interview

Step 3 Trial / Shadow Day

Step 4 Job Offer / Serving Notice

If this part is handled correctly, both you and the candidate should commence working together in the right frame of mind, with no false illusions or promises.

We have extensive advisory documents on interviewing that are available to our clients at any time. To discuss techniques or strategies that will improve your ability to select the right people, please contact us.




Ensure your new staff member is assimilated thoroughly and properly, to maximise their motivations and inspire them to perform to the best of their ability.

Perhaps the most overlooked part of the five-stage recruitment process is “on-boarding”, namely, the first three to six months of the candidate’s employment. When this is done properly it should lead to an engaged, happy, productive employee. But if it’s overlooked, then it can result in a swift exit. If you have gone through the earlier stages of our recommended process thoroughly, you should be certain that your new employee is the best person for the position. Yet the hard work of assessing or assimilating this candidate is not over.

Some of the most common reasons for the right employees leaving in this early time frame are:

  • ‘Too much, too soon’ expected of them.
  • Lack of feedback.
  • Leaving them to introduce themselves, or figure things out for themselves.
  • When the employer moves the goal posts or fails to deliver on prior promises.
  • Delayed or non-existent review process.
  • The job and responsibilities are miscommunicated by the employer and the job does not live up to the picture that was painted during the recruitment process.
  • Conflict with colleagues or clash of personalities.
  • No clear understanding of what is expected of them.


On-boarding is designed to help prevent any of these. If you have a structured on-boarding or induction programme, then your new recruit has the best chance of assimilating quickly – and performing at the expected level. The best on-boarding plans are those that act as a bridge for the practice to deliver the commitments and accurate expectations that they made to the candidate during the assessment process.

You can pave the way for your new employee to succeed by implementing some of these points:

  • Ensure new starters have a job description.
  • Ensure they understand and buy into the company’s values, objectives, and mission – give them an overview so they know where their role fits in with this.
  • Get them involved as soon as possible – don’t make the first four weeks all about form filling.
  • Make sure they have the tools and resources available to do their job effectively.
  • Make sure they have a mentor or someone they can turn to and ask questions.
  • Measure their performance; review with them once a week for the first four weeks, then once at eight weeks, and once more before the expiration of their probationary period.
  • Give constructive feedback and make it as positive as possible.
  • Ask for their feedback – on-boarding is a two-way process.
  • Help them understand your workplace’s culture, and any unwritten rules.
  • Provide an opportunity for the candidate to integrate with colleagues at social events or in less formal circumstances.
  • Move quickly to manage and deal with any issues on performance.
  • Be prepared to extend probationary periods if your new employee is not performing.* *Do make use of the probationary period; you should assess regularly throughout and extend it if necessary.


Ultimately a well-structured on-boarding programme can be crucial for retaining new recruits, providing better levels of satisfaction, resulting in their increased effectiveness and extended tenure. We go further than most organisations in encouraging our clients to extend the recruitment process beyond the job offer stage. In line with this we offer very sound advice to our clients on how they can give their employees the best possible start. Please get in touch to discuss this further



Ensure your employee remains stimulated and challenged by being a part of your workforce, so they will wish to stay working for you for the longest time possible

The final part of the five stage process is the one that takes the most time – that of retaining your high-performing employee. The ability to retain staff is closely linked to attracting them in the first place; in both cases your practice has to be seen as a place that the best employees would want to be part of. The most coherent way to do this is to create an Employee Value Proposition – one which constantly addresses the question “why would a high performing, talented person want to work here?” It’s worth taking the time to draw this up, in much the way you might create a charter or value proposition for your patients

Many of the factors that drive employee satisfaction can be grouped into the following categories.

Exciting Work – people want interesting, challenging jobs so they can feel passionate about their work. A great job is full of requirements that the individual finds interesting and worthwhile.

Great Company – many of the best performers want to work for well-run companies, with admirable corporate values and great leaders. An open, trusting environment and a strong emphasis on performance is critical.

Wealth & Reward – this is not simply about an amount of money. People want to feel recognised and valued appropriately for their individual skills and contributions. Similarly, they want to be paid fairly in relation to their other working options.

Growth & Development – the strongest staff always want to develop their skills. This is particularly important for career progression and so the highest performers are naturally especially interested in this.

Some points to address when creating your Employee Value Proposition:

  • Create a positive environment.
  • Appreciate your employees.
  • Reward success.
  • Treat and pay people fairly.
  • Lead, but don’t dominate – give your employees the space to shine.
  • Ensure employees know how their performance is measured.
  • Be seen to be employing other high performers. Whilst there is no perfect formula to retain the best employees, if your recruits feel undervalued, underdeveloped and/or underpaid, you will not keep them.


If you would understand more about the Primary Care Recruitment Process and how we can help your practice our team are on hand to help out. You can give them a call for a no obligation chat on 01423 813454 or email them on [email protected]



January 26, 2022 | General Practice