What Do You Want?
Your office may or may not have great interviewing skills. Perhaps you are using the tools available from McKenzie Management when hiring new employees, such as Online Employee Testing or the How to Hire book. However, even if you hire a seemingly “perfect” employee, if they do not know your expectations, office policies, or what job they are responsible for, you may have hired the wrong person.
The first interview typically screens potential employees to see if they deserve a second interview. Hiring a person based on their previous experience and ability to show up to work on time is not enough. If you are hiring a person to work the front desk, for example, experience is not the only qualification you want. How they handle different aspects of the job and what the applicant feels they excel at are just a few of the items you need to learn about the person in front of you. Interviewing is a process that requires a lot of attention.
It’s important to have your team cross trained to help cover for each other when somebody is sick, on vacation, or the office is extremely busy. However, it is equally important for there to be accountability for individual responsibilities. If you are hiring a person and their specific responsibility is to work recall and keep the schedule full, make sure they are aware of this before you hire them. A person who is extremely qualified but hates to work recall is not the person to hire if recall is the job’s number one priority.
It is important to have the written job description available for candidates to review. Make sure they are aware of what their raises and reviews will be based on. If you are looking for a hygienist who is periodontally oriented, for example, make sure this is what you hire. Have the candidate explain to you what type of patient warrants root planing. What pocket depth should they have? What bleeding determines? How often should a patient be probed? There are countless questions and scenarios that may be created.
When interviewing, provide case studies and ask questions about the patient’s recommended treatment. How would the interviewee handle a particular situation? Ask “what if” questions. Provide actual patient information (omitting names) and see how the job candidate would handle that specific person. This may be done with any position.
If you are hiring someone to do treatment plans, have a mock phone call to hear them go over a treatment plan. If they are hired to answer phones, work recall and handle the schedule, have them do some role playing situations. Many people dislike role playing, but this allows you to see how they react to negative situations.
For example – as the person in charge of recall, what if you have a patient cancel in the hygiene schedule while you are currently working on another project. What would you do? What if a patient is in your chair who has 4 and 5 millimeter pocketing and is bleeding heavily during their 3-month recall appointment? Once the candidate has passed the “what if” scenarios and questions about specific situations, this is when you share the actual office job description and/or office policy manual.
Your practice philosophy and what you expect of your new hire will make a difference in the answers you look for during the interview. This is why it’s so important to have job descriptions and office policies/protocols in place when it comes to the care of the patients. However, if you as the leader do not know what you want, it is hard for your staff to provide the quality of care and service you expect them to perform for your patients. Leading by example is always the best type of leadership in a practice.
Interested in improving your hygiene department? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask us about our 1-Day Hygiene Training Program or call 877-777-6151
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