Article by Susan Muller, Director The Pharmaceutical Locum Company.


As I network at conferences and talk on a daily basis to pharmacy owners, there is one question that is repeatedly asked of me, more than any other: “What can I do to find and retain good pharmacists?”


Here are my Top 5 tips.


  1. Slow Down
    Recruitment is about having a selection of candidates and then making a choice. It’s hard. The pressure is on. You want the problem solved. Don’t be so desperate to replace a pharmacist who has left suddenly. The temptation is to take the first person who seems suitable with some experience in a similar role and can turn up for an interview. This can be a disaster and prove expensive and a time waster.  Remember the time it took to show the last pharmacist the intricacies of your particular business, the time spent going through resumes and interviews. Slow down. Gather a selection of candidates. Then choose. 
  2. Get Clear
    You need to think long and hard about what you actually want. When I ask, owners often struggle to articulate what the business needs and so they just list details of dispense software and script numbers.  If you want the best chance of finding the right person create an overall picture of the business and the sort of person that would be best suited. Then match to that. 
  3. Spell it Out
    Once placed in a role the pharmacist needs to know what is expected of them. They may be experienced, but not in your business. The induction process is critical. Don’t leave it to chance. 
  4. Offer Support
    Feedback is important. Communicate regularly to see how things are progressing.  Be available in the first days and weeks to address any issues that may arise.  Give praise where deserved and rewards for targets met.  Facilitate team activities to encourage members to learn more about each other, inside and outside the work environment. 
  5. Lead from Behind
    Know when to step aside and let the new recruit take some responsibility. Young pharmacists can suggest new and innovative ideas. Know when to release the reigns and give them a chance to prove themselves.  You just never know!

Every year I help recruit hundreds of Pharmacists and locums. If you need help call me on 0293286300 or send me an email.


The above information relates to permanent placements but in order to receive our free 10 point locum checklist please send us an email.

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