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How to Find a Happy, High-Performing Team Player

Posted February 25, 2015

Judy Kay Mausolf

Interviewing job candidates can sometimes feel like searching for a diamond in the rough. You know that your expectations are reasonable – but do you know how to find someone who fulfills them? Consider these top 10 interviewing tips as you go through the process, and remember: when it comes to dental team members, you should never settle for ‘good enough.’

1. Get the wrong people off the bus and the right people on the bus. Is there a member of your team who just isn’t the right fit? Rather than trying to jam a square peg into a round hole, it might be time to select a different peg entirely. Letting an employee go can be one of the most difficult parts of running a business, but it is a necessary one – and sometimes you’ll find that firing someone can be an act of kindness that benefits both parties.
2. Breathe, slow down and think. Hire slowly. You are not just filling a chair, you’re adding value to your practice.
3. Get your whole team involved. When your entire office is involved in defining a list of wants, needs, and desires, you’ll be able to confidently identify the character traits, skills, experience, and goals necessary for this particular role.
4. Write and place an impressive ad. Great job listings attract great candidates! Take your time to explain exactly what you’re looking for and you’ll be rewarded with applications from individuals who fit the bill. Consider publishing your ad on DentalPost.net, in small, local online classifieds, other advertising mediums, and never forget to network with colleagues.

    • Dynamic, full time, scheduling coordinator position available in a topnotch practice located in MN. We are seeking a positive, happy, mature, intelligent, motivated, professional team player with excellent communication skills, ability to multi task and computer savvy. Yes, we are looking for a star to join our existing super star team! Our team is committed to excellence in both dentistry and patient care. We believe it is important to establish a relationship with each patient built on kindness, respect, and trust, and work hard to make sure that our level of care is deserving of our patients’ respect and confidence. If service, exceptional care, and working in a healthy environment with can-do attitude people who respect, appreciate and value your skills appeals to you, we would love to meet you. Dental Experience Necessary. Please email resume and references to…

5. Listen more, talk less. Ask questions. Watch. You can learn a lot about a candidate this way. Consider the following:

  • 80/20 Rule: You should only talk 20% of the time. Leave the other 80% up to the candidate.
  • Body language: Are they smiling and confident, or do they look down or fidget? How do you think they will interact with patients?
  • Present a challenge: Evaluate how they handle switching back and forth from work and skill questions to beliefs and philosophy of life questions. Ask them to elaborate on every answer.

6. Clarify high expectations at the interview. Making things crystal clear from the get-go will help to alleviate any potential issues down the line.

  • Review job description with applicant
  • Take a photo at the interview (or reference their DentalPost.net Job Seeker profile photo). Show the applicant their picture – dressed professionally, smiling and enthusiastic. Tell them if you hire them this is the person you will be expecting to show up to work every day, and ask them to commit.

7. Hire for character traits and capabilities. if you have two great candidates and it comes down to the details, choose character traits over capabilities. Capabilities can be learned through training; character traits are much more difficult to change.

Character Traits

  • Positive attitude:positive intent (belief about others); ownership mentality. However, whenever, whatever it takes to make the practice thrive, that’s my job!
  • Self-motivated
  • Self-disciplined

Capabilities

  • Knowledge
  • Background
  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Potential

8. Request & contact quality references. These include past managers and doctors at previous jobs.

9. Perform a background check, and make sure that it’s clean.

10. When in doubt – if there’s a twinge in the gut – don’t hire. Never settle unless you are 100% confident that this candidate meets or exceeds every expectation.


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