Let’s be real. As the owner or front office manager of a dental practice, you have your hands full with numerous clients, paperwork, medical records, schedules, cancellations – the list goes on and on. So, it makes sense that you quickly hire someone to fill a vacant spot at the clinic.
However, this is a big mistake. Recruiting the first individual with an impressive resume might check the box on your to-do list, but in the long run, you not only end up losing time and money but also have to deal with the added stress on a daily basis.
That’s why it’s important to put in the extra effort and find a suitable candidate who fits the profile of a model dental employee. More importantly, you should feel comfortable working with the person. So, how do you go about hiring the best dental employee for your practice?
Follow through with the fundamentals of recruitment. Read various resumes and take note of any red flags that catch your attention. You might conduct phone interviews before proceeding to face-to-face interviews. Prepare a set of basic healthcare questions to test the candidate’s knowledge and subject them to a temperament test to find out whether he or she has what it takes to succeed in the position.
Remember that the only thing worse than an under qualified hire is a bad hire. On paper, a dental employee candidate might seem perfect, but it won’t amount to anything if he/she quits in frustration or you have to terminate the employee. This brings down the morale of your other employees and you also have to restart the entire hiring process. So, skip the bad hires to avoid hurting your practice.
A tip - source resumes and applications from credible channels. A cloud-based booking platform for dentists where one can look for dental assistant jobs is much better than dental temp agencies.
Ensure there are processes in place to train the new dental employee. This makes the adjustment a lot faster and smoother and saves your practice a lot of hassle over time. As the employer, you should take on-boarding seriously if you wish to retain new recruits.
Also, maintain full transparency with potential recruits. Tell them the whole truth about your dental practice. There’s no better way to ruin your credibility than to have a candidate find out he or she is the fifth person hired in less than a year. Remember, no matter how hard you try to hide your problems, new employees will discover the truth. And once they do, they will possibly not trust the employer and stay on the job for long.
Conversation is also a key part of on-boarding. When you’ve narrowed your prospects to a couple of people, call them for an interview. Be honest about what you expect the dental employee to do. Provide honest responses to various situations and discuss how staff members interact and behave with one another.
All this will help you find a candidate who is like-minded. If you’re in the habit of micromanaging, never hire a candidate with an entrepreneurial spirit. Likewise, if you have a relaxed work environment, avoid someone who’s uptight and can’t take a joke. The idea is to have a diverse staff with numerous talents. Also, your new employee should blend in with the existing staff members.
Just because you hired a new personnel at your dental office doesn’t mean they are up to speed on your office culture, processes, and policies. Avoid burdening the new recruit with too many responsibilities initially. Give them enough time to acclimate. They should the freedom to learn the office and grow accustomed to the way things are done before you start piling on the pressure.
While it’s a bad idea to overburden your new dental employee with too much responsibility, too much freedom has its drawbacks as well. During the interview itself, define their role properly, especially what they will be involved with and what kind of decisions they will not be a part of. Irrespective of whether or not the candidate has prior experience handling this kind of role, you should avoid giving him/her complete freedom in the workplace until they prove themselves.
Implement a system of checks and balances to ensure the work being produced by your new staff member meets the standard expected in the dental office. Allowing them to begin work, without first determining whether they can do the job, may lead to tons of unnecessary cleanup later on.
Find out whether the new employee agrees with you on important issues like clinical skills, treatment planning, patient care philosophies, and management style. Build a relationship and maintain an open line of communication. If you want this new recruit to represent your dental practice, their operating philosophy needs to be the same as yours.
Finding a new candidate to hire at your dental practice isn’t the easiest thing in the world. But once you come across someone who you’d think is a good fit, try to successfully integrate the person into the workplace. The truth is, there’s no guarantee how long it’ll take you to discover a suitable candidate, so the best thing you can do is keep your options open and not pick a random recruit.