No practice – or for that matter any business – wants to make a bad decision when it comes to hiring employees. Unfortunately bad staffing decisions happen quite frequently in every industry. Why is it so important to avoid such mistakes?
A bad hire can cause a lot of different problems. The most obvious one is that you have wasted resources and time with the wrong person for the role. But there are other consequences as well. A person who doesn’t work well in a team can bring down the morale of everyone else in the office. Your patients are affected for the duration that the person stays in the role.
Naturally you want the best employee for any particular role in your practice. But how do you go about selecting that person? Can you really differentiate between a potential superstar and someone who will adversely affect the clinic? Here are some tips for getting the best dental employees, regardless of which position you are looking to fill.
Get the Job Specification Right
Before you start the hiring process, you need to be clear about the position you’re trying to fill. If you don’t really know what you want in an employee, how will you select for those skills or traits? The job specification is more than just the title and compensation package.
Suppose you are looking for a new office manager. What does the job entail in your practice? Do they need administrative skills, clinical knowledge or people skills to excel in that role? Sometimes your expectations may be different from the norm or the job may need skills that aren’t normally called for. If you don’t communicate the required skill set to potential candidates, you’ll spend a lot of time interviewing the wrong people.
Look beyond the Resume
Educational qualifications, professional achievements and work experience are all things that you can look for on resumes. But the person you’re looking at is more than the sum total of these aspects. You can probably find many people with similar qualifications and experience. So how do you select only one person for the job? Think about what other skills (apart from those on the resume) are needed for the particular role.
Imagine that you are hiring a new dentist for the practice. What kind of person would you consider suitable in your office? A multispecialty practice may be looking for a dentist who can integrate well with the existing office culture. On the other hand, a single practitioner might be looking for a potential partner who can work without needing supervision. Keep an eye out for these qualities during the interview process and don’t just focus on the resume.
Ask Questions and Be Prepared to Answer Them
The only way to find out more about a potential candidate is to talk to them and ask them questions during the interview. Invite them for a second interview if you feel all details weren’t covered in the first one. Describe a typical day in your office and ask how they would deal with a particular problem or situation. Their responses to such questions will tell you a lot about their suitability for the role.
At the same time be prepared to answer questions that they might have about your practice, the job profile or anything else for that matter. Most people who are interested in a position will have some questions about the job. A friendly and relaxed atmosphere during the interview will help everyone involved make the right decision. Lastly, don’t rush the hiring process. It’s better to wait for the right candidate than hire someone unsuitable for the position.