10.19.07 - Issue # 293 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague


Belle DuCharme CDPMA
Instructor/Consultant
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Recruiting the right people—Refusing an applicant

“The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightening and the lightening bug.”  Mark Twain

Dear Belle,
My name is Carolanne S. and I have been trying to find a new position as a Business Administrator in a progressive dental practice.  My goal would be to attend the McKenzie Management Advanced Business Course, as I want to keep improving my skills.  I was recently offered a position as an Office Manager. The current manager had given notice and was retiring.  I passed the application and interview process, which took about two hours and was told that I could expect to be called to start the following week.  I was very happy, even went out and bought some new clothes, until I received this phone message on my home answering machine:” “Hi, Carolanne, this is Mary from Dr. Forthright’s office and I regret to tell you that we have decided on another applicant for the position.  Good luck in your search for employment.”  I was stunned! I thought I had the job. Isn’t there a better way to communicate this information?
Carolanne S.

Dear Carolanne S.,
Rejection is never pleasant especially when you had accepted the position.  Job seekers are under a lot of stress and are sensitive to bad news. The utmost tact should be used when delivering this kind of information.  Most dental offices have not developed a formal system for rejecting applicants and should have a form letter designed to deliver the message.  Leaving a message on an answering machine can be a breach of privacy if the wrong person gets the message before the intended recipient. An e-mail letter can be used if the applicant has applied via e-mail but in the case of a two-hour face-to-face interview, more sensitivity should apply.

Under your circumstances, it would be of benefit to you to call Dr. Forthright’s office for a more definitive reason as to why you were not hired. There seems to be a miscommunication as to whether the position was offered or not.  If you were not given a written job description, compensation information and employment tax documents to fill out, your hiring process was not completed.

For the future, should you ever be on the other end of this process I would recommend setting up the following system for writing rejection letters:

  • Use Clear Words and Build Effective Phrases such as:
    Appreciate your application; appreciate your time and effort; can assure that careful consideration was given; many excellent candidates; require extensive experience; reviewed your excellent qualifications; the selection process was difficult.
  • Write Strong Sentences and Build Effective Phrases such as:
    Thank you for applying for the Business Administrator position.  It was a pleasure meeting you.  Doctor Forthright has selected an applicant with extensive experience presenting treatment plans.  We appreciate your efforts during the interview process.
  • Thank you for your resume in response to our opening for an Office Manager. Your experience is very impressive but this position requires at least five years managing employees and doing payroll.

Make your letter positive, precise and brief.  Do not be vague as the applicant may think that they can call back and barter for the position.  The following is a sample rejection letter.

Dear Carolanne,
Thank-you for applying for the Office Manager position.  Both Mary and I were very impressed with your accomplishments and job history.  It was a pleasure speaking to you during the interview process.  The Office Manager position requires, however, extensive treatment planning experience and knowledge of insurance billing.

We would like to keep your resume on file so that we may consider you for future openings.  We wish you continued success in your career.

Yours truly,
Dr. Jack Forthright

Before writing any letter consider the content and the objective. You may have to rewrite the letter a few times before sending it.  Edit, edit, edit in order to make sure you have communicated your message with sincerity and sensitivity.  For Advanced Business Training for the doctor and team please call McKenzie Management today.

For more information on McKenzie's Advanced Training Programs for Office Managers and Front Office, email training@mckenziemgmt.com, call 1-877-777-6151 or visit our web-site at www.mckenziemgmt.com.

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