One of the biggest struggles every business faces, whether we are talking about the service or industrial sector, is finding, hiring and keeping competent employees. The single most important task that influences the success of the practice is nailing the employment process right from the get-go. This will not only ensure the quality of the service, it will also give you the competitive edge you need over rival practices.
And we are not talking here solely about the dentists themselves. Practice owners and managers have to hire a wide variety of personnel, from assistants, receptions, hygienists to technicians and even associate dentists, in some cases. A good dental practice is a complex mechanism, and each employee is a vital component of the system. And, as always, good help can be hard to find. Here is how to recruit and hire great dental employees.
Think about it this way – let us assume your longtime receptionist has given you her two weeks’ notice in the worst period possible, and you need somebody on that phone constantly. Now ask yourself this: who would you prefer answering calls, handling important documents and filing insurance claims? A person who you have just met and hired solely to fill out the vacancy, or a competent employee who went through the process? As obvious as the answer might be, you have no idea how easy it is to let yourself get overwhelmed by panic and choose the former.
The same principles apply when hiring dentists, even more so, since the quality, success, and reputation of your practice are entirely dependent on them. One good way of simplifying this entire process is by carefully analyzing CV patterns.
Always check resumes for recommendations, qualifications and other relevant information. Additional qualities include, but are not limited to, dexterity, communication skills, and empathy. If you want to delve deeper into this subject, you can check out these dentist resume samples.
Losing a competent and hardworking employee can, in some cases, deliver a huge blow to your practice, especially during the busy season. But as tempting as it might be to fill out that position as soon as possible, it is better to take your time and not hire the first vaguely qualified person that came in for an interview.
Long term, it is much more sensible to temporarily take on the workload on yourself and do your due diligence in terms of hiring, instead of making a knee-jerk reaction, recruiting somebody and regretting the decision later.
Another vital element that will determine the effectiveness and success of the hiring process is the job description. Before putting out the advertisement, take a step back and examine the position you need to fill. Even if, as a manager, you probably already have a template. You will probably have to update it, especially if the nature of the practice has changed over time, either by the inclusion of new technologies or a new management style.
When filling out a vacant position, it is best to ‘’depersonalize’’ it, meaning that you have to consider the position itself, ideal job skills and the responsibilities, not the person that occupied it. Make sure to be very specific about what the job entails and the necessary skills. A job with clear distinctions and requirements will not only increase the quality of the service but will also contribute to a fair and transparent performance evaluation process.
Admittedly, this is easier said than done, as the interviewing process can be easily influenced by subjective factors. To avoid falling for your own biases, create a list of questions that you will ask all candidates. Stick strictly to job history and their previous working experiences. Avoid any questions related to marriage, religion, politics, sex, and hobbies, as this will help you create a level playing field in which all candidates will know they have a fair shot at landing the job.
The success of a dental practice is not entirely dependent on the qualities of the dentists, rather the sum of its parts. At the end of the day, the receptionists, assistants, hygienists and so on are the cogs that keep the machine running efficiently, which is why all managers should take the recruiting and hiring process very seriously.
Posted March 3, 2021
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