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The Power of Assessments: Get to Know a Candidate Before You Hire Them

Posted December 2, 2019

Tonya Lanthier, RDH

How good is your gut instinct? Chances are even if it’s good and you’re a super people-reader, you still can’t successfully determine the nature of a person. Recently, when I visited the home of a friend and fellow entrepreneur, I got to meet best-selling author, Malcom Gladwell, whose acclaimed books (Tipping Point, Blink) tackle the connections between social psychology and success. In his latest book, Talking To Strangers, Gladwell presents a powerful examination of our interactions with people we don’t know. He offers that as human beings we “default to truth.” We are naturally trusting of people, of technology and just about everything we encounter. And usually, we trust too much. This is painfully true when it comes to hiring. Our bias, (both good and bad) gets in our way of being able to accurately assess candidates.

A Passion For People, Practices, and Their Potential

Our mission at DentalPost is to help dental teams and practices hire better. Hiring the wrong person is costly. This is where candidate assessments – which we offer free to all of our users – can make a difference and show you how to beat the odds and hire right the first time.

Know What You Need Before You Engage with Candidates

Before you start the hiring process, identify your hiring priorities. List the attitudes and behaviors that an ideal candidate would exhibit, based on the personalities of existing coworkers and your practice culture. The superstar leaders of your team can tell you the traits they have that make them effective on the job. You can test candidates and measure the extent to which they possess the same characteristics.

For example, if you have a more flexible and “loose” work environment, screen candidates for signs of rigidity and order. Talk to the leaders of your team and ask them what characteristics would help balance out the team. Assuming the skills are there, what other qualities do they see as being the most valuable in potential candidates? Having team buy-in early on makes your current team feel valued and it also makes on-boarding new team members much easier.

The Types of Assessment Tools

Integrity Tests

This is where pre-employment testing started. These are your most basic forms of assessments and they range from background checks (which DentalPost offers through a screening partner, Sentinel) to skills assessments and personality tests. 

Aptitude Tests

Aptitude tests measure critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to learn, digest and apply new information. They help understand a candidate’s brainpower. It’s difficult to assess this based solely on resumes, coursework grades and interviews. That is where aptitude tests are useful.

Personality Tests

Personality tests can uncover a candidate’s suitability for the culture, work environment and the management style that yields their best performance. These traits are directly correlated to job performance and can help prevent future management issues and keep teams gelled and harmonious. At DentalPost, we offer a free DISC personality assessment to help you understand the differences between personalities in order to integrate individual team members with less troubleshooting. In a typical team, there are varying degrees of compatibility, not just toward tasks but interpersonal relationships as well.

Emotional Intelligence Tests

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is being called the new “smart.” Everyone you work with has some level of EI, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each team member can have a great impact on the overall success of the team. People with high EI are invaluable in roles that involve frequent interpersonal relationships and leadership. Having high EI is especially important in healthcare and caregiving, often being the differentiator of your practice.

Skills Assessments

Just like it sounds, Skills Assessments measure actual skills. From clinical skills to technological know-how and general communication abilities, both hard skills and soft skills can be measured and ranked by level of proficiency. DentalPost invites all job seekers to complete a free Skills Assessment on their resume profile so you can better find candidates based on specific sets of skills you may be seeking in a potential new hire.

Core Values

Core Values Assessments offer a clear sense of what is most important to a person in life. It is important to know what a candidate values the most when choosing a dental practice to work with. As an employer, you will also benefit from knowing what you value to ensure the right culture in the office.

Workplace Culture

Workplace Culture Assessments help you understand what types of work environments someone would enjoy most, as well as the types of environments that they would work best in. Understanding a candidate’s Workplace Culture preferences will help you find team members who best fit in your practice environment.

A Holistic Hiring Approach That Provides Clarity

Assessments are invaluable in narrowing down the candidate pool, eliminating those who don’t meet your basic requirements and highlighting those that do. Sometimes a candidate scores high on a particular assessment, but your gut tells you something is not right. The best hiring decisions take a holistic approach and consider a multi-dimensional view of a candidate’s personality, behavior and skill set.

Losing your best employee can send you into a panic. Firing your worst employee can leave you feeling paranoid, untrusting and scarred, especially if you were not aware of some of the employee’s issues until it was too late. As a small business owner, I know first-hand the strong emotions we feel in the wake of turnover, but screening assessments can give us clarity, perspective, and confidence to quickly replace a team member or expand a team as needed.

DentalPost provides employers with access to comprehensive job seeker profiles, complete with candidate photos and completed assessments such as Emotional Intelligence, DISC, Core Values, Workplace Culture, and Skills. You can also use our free Hiring Toolkit to help you understand who to hire and how in just five steps.

DentalPost is the dental industry’s premier and largest online and mobile job board.
We connect and educate more than 850,000 job seekers in the U.S. and Canada to build better places to work through teams that excel.

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