What are the downsides of background checks for job candidates?
Last month, I indicated that we complete background checks for all potential employees. This process has its downsides, however. These include costs (usually about $30 per check) and “invasiveness” of the procedure. Surprisingly, no potential employee has openly ever balked at undergoing testing, although some have withdrawn their application to avoid the process. One other caveat is that you should inform the company performing the checks exactly what you want them to investigate and what is not important to you. Additionally, many localities will refuse to share information electronically, leaving ways that an individual can pass the check without having a “clean” record.

Rather than establishing Internet usage guidelines, is it easier to simply block all access?
We utilize the Internet in multiple ways for our office duties, so it is nearly impossible to allow it for only some staff members. On the other hand, we have been “burned” by unauthorized use of the Internet on occasion. This is consistent with numerous reports of firings due to Internet abuse by employees.

The challenge is to craft a policy wherein Internet use is allowed, but only for company matters or minimally intrusive personal matters. The problem with the institution of draconian rules or filters is that so many tasks in an office require availability of websites that may be considered “illegal,” so the filters may make for significant disruption of work flow. We track our overall website usage by employees and review it every month for problems. In this way, we find issues and address them promptly with a warning or termination depending on the infraction.

Who sells the cosmeceuticals in your office?
While most of our office staff is willing and able to sell products if necessary, the primary “front lines” are the nursing staff, estheticians, and me. Without nurses who are interested and capable of explaining the merits (and flaws) of certain products, minimal sales will occur. For this reason, we take the time to educate the staff on old and new products and always in-service new staff in a thorough manner to get them up to speed. Some of our lines are more popular, so we do a more extended training for these lines, such as Obagi, Kinerase, and SkinMedica. Estheticians, if available, are brought into the room to educate patients, and our patient coordinator is available throughout the day.

One benefit of having a robust product sales program is the ability to form a relationship between your staff, patient coordinator, and the patient. While not all patients love in-house product sales, the majority of patients are at the dermatologist's office to fix issues and find solutions. Many of these problems are readily improved via cosmeceuticals, and that creates a wonderful opportunity to provide these solutions in a timely and efficient manner to your patients.