What to Consider Before Hiring an Associate
It seems like your practice just keeps getting busier. You struggle to keep up with your schedule most days and you’re constantly stressed out. To you, the solution is clear: It’s time to hire an associate. In fact, the thought of bringing someone else on is making you feel calmer already, and you can’t help but daydream about what you’re going to do with all the extra time you’ll suddenly have.
Not so fast. Hiring an associate is one of the most important career choices you’ll ever make. It really is unlike any other practice hire, and certainly isn’t an arrangement you should enter into lightly. Keep in mind the person you hire might become your partner someday. Before you start handing out job offers, it’s important to first make sure you really need an associate, and then take the proper steps to help ensure the arrangement will be successful.
Here are three tips to help get you started:
1. Make sure you have enough patients of record to support a second dentist.
2. Take a look at your systems.
My advice? Take a step back and really look at your systems. What problems do you see? Ask your team members for input as well. From there, make any necessary changes. You’ll soon notice you have a more efficient, streamlined practice, and might not actually need to add another dentist.
3. Be realistic.
The thought of hiring an associate can be pretty exciting, but unfortunately, these relationships often don’t work out. Why? Typically, unclear or mismatched needs and expectations are the culprit. Here’s what I mean by that. Hiring dentists usually see the associate as an extension of themselves. They want them to start producing quickly, and to fix any problems that are holding the practice back. That’s a tall order, and typically isn’t how it works.
Put yourself in an associate’s place. These young dentists likely have close to $300,000 in dental school debt that still needs to be paid off. They want to work in a stable practice where they can learn from the owner clinician. They’re eager to gain experience, not spend all day taking on the procedures you don’t care for or putting out fires caused by broken systems. Your associate will be miserable with that kind of arrangement, and won’t have much time to actually help you boost practice productivity.
Before you hire an associate, it’s important to have a conversation making sure you’re on the same page. Talk about your individual goals and expectations. Trust me, this will help you avoid a lot of frustration and hard feelings down the road.
Think of hiring an associate as a marriage. After all, this person could become your partner someday. That’s why it’s so important to share a similar philosophy of care and understand each other’s goals and expectations from the very beginning. This will help ensure you find the right person who will help your practice meet its full potential, while the associate experiences true growth.
Still not sure if you actually need an associate, or how to go about finding the perfect match? Feel free to give me a call. I’m happy to help you get started.
Next week: Thinking about becoming an associate? Here’s what you should know.
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email email@example.com
McKenzie Newsletter Information:
To unsubscribe: To discontinue receiving the Sally McKenzie eManagment newsletter,
click on the link at the very bottom of this page for instant removal,
To report technical problems with this newsletter or to request technical help,
please send a descriptive email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To request services, products or general inquires about The McKenzie Management Company, LLC activities
please send a descriptive email to: email@example.com
If you would like to have any of your dental practice concerns answered personally by Sally McKenzie,
please send a descriptive email to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyrights 1980-Present The McKenzie Management Company, LLC - All Rights Reserved.