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Making the Right Hire for your Dental Practice

Hiring the right employees for your practice is extremely important, as they will be part of your team for some time to come. A great team is essential for dental clinics and play a crucial role in success. Your patients have to interact with them and a positive experience is good marketing for your practice.

However the opposite is also true. Surly or unprofessional employees can turn your clients away from you. It’s not enough if the person has the technical skills, most job roles require some soft skills as well. For instance, a dental hygienist should not just be good at their job but also know how to deal with a patient’s fears or answer questions. So how do you go about finding the best possible person for any role in your clinic?

First Step: Advertise

Finding the right person means you should know what you want and ask for those qualities. Your advertising should include detailed job descriptions, list necessary skills and the responsibilities that you expect the new hire to take on. Most employers worry this will reduce the number of applicants and it is true. But wouldn’t you rather have a few good applications instead of wading through hundreds of bad resumes?

Make sure your ads stand out and grab attention. Don’t forget to include a range for salary as most people want to know if a job is worth applying for. It’ll also help you weed out people who don’t fit your requirements.

Separating the Good From the Bad

Now comes the next step of narrowing down the field. Even today, some people send out resumes with basic errors (spelling, grammar etc.) You can eliminate them at the outset. But there are more serious red flags like employment gaps, multiple jobs in a short time period etc. One red flag in an otherwise outstanding resume is one thing but too many should set off warning bells.

Before you interview people in person, make sure to have a phone interview as well. Some employers skip the phone screening but it can give you valuable clues about candidates. The main purpose of a phone screen is not to find the ideal hire but to eliminate the bad ones. A quick conversation can clear up salary expectations and clarify any employment issues. Depending on the type of job you’re filling, you can also include assessment tests in the interview process.


Ask the Right Questions in the Interview

The interview is where you find out the most information about prospective candidates. So use this time well and ask the right questions. Avoid questions which can be answered in one word or sentence. Ask more open ended questions about things that aren’t generally found on resumes. This could be something like how they faced a challenge in the past or how they dealt with a difficult patient and so on.

You should also pay attention to their body language and watch how they interact with others.  The new hire should fit in well with the rest of the team as well as have the relevant competencies for the role. Quite often it’s easier to train an inexperienced person than trying to change someone whose working style doesn’t fit your practice. Decide beforehand on your priorities – how much are you willing to pay for the right person and skills they need to have vs skills that are nice to have.

Hopefully these tips should help you hire the right person for any job role in your clinic. This can be a long process but it’s almost always better to wait than hire someone who’s the wrong fit because you need to fill the role.

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