Hiring by Behavior Predictors
Hiring, training and onboarding a new team member can be a quagmire if the new employee is not who you thought you hired. Dentists often blame this on an error of judgement, when it was actually due to using the wrong type of interviewing techniques.
Hiring should not be a game of luck; it should be a system of tools designed to identify the best candidate for the job position available. Dentists or their managers have traditionally hired based on what is written on the resume or job application regarding experience in dentistry. The industry demands experience in dentistry before it considers the possibility of hiring someone without any dental knowledge, and will usually weigh in favor of experience over formal education or potential to learn new skills.
Front office or business staff interviewing questions such as, “Have you worked in the business office of a dental practice? How long did you work there? What were your job responsibilities?” etc. are standard. The next step is usually checking references, which may or may not be honest in delivery, as many employers are hesitant to really express their discontent with the former employee for fear of retaliation.
Many problems can arise after hiring is complete. For example, your new Business Coordinator may have said she has experience, yet cannot get the deposit and day-sheet balanced by the end of the day. Or perhaps your new Office Manager, who came with a great recommendation and resume, is condescending to other members of the team and now there is turnover of valued staff. Maybe the new Scheduling Coordinator, who said he could keep the schedule full and had a great resume to boot, is being reported as “rude and abrupt” on the phone by patients and there is a negative review on Yelp. He is also double-booking appointments that require the doctor to be in two places at the same time, causing stress for the clinical team.
According to Katharine Hansen, Ph.D. from QuintCareers.com, “behavioral based interviewing is said to be 55% predictive of future job behavior while traditional interviewing is 10%.” Traditional interviewing techniques have been the standard for hiring for a long time. This method includes starting the interview with “Tell me about yourself.” The applicant can give you what you need to hear based on knowing what the job position is and enhancing it. “The interviewer has no way of knowing whether this is really the way the person would act in the circumstances demanded by the position.”
With “Behavioral Interviewing” there is much more probing, with open-ended responses required. “Employers use behavioral interviewing techniques to evaluate a candidate’s experience by past behavior so that they can determine the applicant’s potential for success.” In story form, a question is asked such as “Tell about a time when a patient was cancelling an appointment for that day.” Follow the probe with, “What were you thinking at that moment?” Probe more with “Lead me through your decision making process for doing what you did.” The applicant will have to engage listening skills instead of thinking ahead to try and anticipate the next question.
The formula for this system is called STAR (Quint Careers):
A sample STAR story for the Scheduling or Business Coordinator:
Situation: Patient phones office to cancel their hygiene appointment for that afternoon.
Many times the urgency of filling an important position in the practice forces the dentist or office manager to take shortcuts in the hiring process. Studies show that this can be very costly to the practice in the form of lost revenue to train and onboard the new hire. In addition, this can cause stress on the team to get to know and help the person, only to have the person not work out. Most important is the perception of the patients, who will leave your practice or complain on social media if their treatment is poor or below standard.
Need help with managing the hiring and training of your team? Contact McKenzie Management today for professional customized training courses for Business, Scheduling, Patient and Treatment Coordinators, Office Managers and CEOs.Forward this article to a friend
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