3 Ways Bad Hires Hurt Your Practice
When it’s time to hire a new team member, most dentists panic. They don’t know how they’ll ever find someone to replace Suzy the Scheduling Coordinator or Bob the Hygienist, and they certainly don’t want to keep the position open for too long. So instead of conducting a proper search and going through all the necessary steps, dentists tend to hire the first person they find who seems like a good fit for the job.
While it might be a relief to get the position filled as quickly as possible, this isn’t the way to find quality team members who want to help your practice grow. The truth is, hiring the first person who sends in an impressive resume will likely cost you time and money in the long run – especially when you have to start the hiring process over again because the seemingly perfect candidate just didn’t work out.
As much as you might not want to hear this, it’s important to go through the proper hiring process when it’s time to bring on a new team member. This includes reading resumes for common red flags, conducting phone interviews, asking the right questions during face-to-face interviews and asking candidates to take temperament tests to help ensure they have what it takes to excel in the position. If you skip these steps, chances are you’ll end up with a bad hire who doesn’t do much, if anything, to contribute to practice success.
Don’t believe me? Here are three ways hiring the wrong person can hurt your practice.
1. Productivity and profits will suffer. I hate to say it, but some people want to put in the least amount of effort possible and still collect a paycheck. They’re just not motivated to excel in their positions, so they don’t. This of course hurts practice productivity and your bottom line, but could be avoided if you take the time to get to know candidates and check their references before extending a job offer.
You’ll also have problems if you hire someone who just can’t handle what the job entails. Here’s an example. You just hired Cindy, who has a friendly personality and exceptional phone skills. You decided that meant she’d be great at handling collections. The problem is, Cindy hates conflict and avoids it at all costs. Putting someone like Cindy in charge of collections will do nothing but hurt your practice, yet I see dentists do it all the time. Bottom line, make sure the candidates you hire have the skill set and personality to excel in their roles. If you don’t, it could cost you big.
2. It will hurt team morale. Hiring the wrong person doesn’t just make you miserable; it also effects your team members. Team members know when someone isn’t pulling their weight or can’t handle their responsibilities. This often makes their jobs more difficult, which leads to unhappy employees and staff conflict. When employees are unhappy they start looking for new jobs – leaving you with open positions to fill once again.
And don’t forget, if the new team member can’t handle the job, he or she will be miserable too. Maybe when Susan sent in that slightly exaggerated resume she thought she would be able to overcome her lack of experience and excel in her new role. When that doesn’t happen, employees like Susan become frustrated and unhappy, especially if they know they’re bringing the rest of the team down. If you don’t have to let them go first, they’ll probably start looking for a new job, which again means it’s time to restart the hiring process.
3. You’ll lose patients. Trust me, patients notice when things are off at your dental practice. When team members are unhappy, it shows in the way they interact with patients. Customer service suffers and the practice just isn’t as efficient. Patients don’t want to feel uncomfortable during their dental visits, so if they notice tension among team members and problems in the practice, they won’t hesitate to make their next appointment at the practice down the street.
Hiring the wrong people can cost you thousands of dollars, not to mention lead to undue stress and frustration. Instead of hiring the first person with an impressive resume, focus on finding team members who will truly help your practice thrive. Once you find the right team members, give them the tools they need to succeed and you’ll be well on your way to practice success and profitability.
Next week, How to set new team members up for success
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
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