Are You Making These Common Hiring Mistakes?

By Sally McKenzie, CEO Printer Friendly Version

You just found out your loyal Office Manager, who’s been with the practice for as long as you can remember, is leaving in a mere two weeks. Her husband accepted a job in another state, so there’s really no way she can stay on and keep your practice running smoothly. While you’re happy for her and this new adventure, you’re also in a bit of a panic. How will you ever replace her?

When dentists find out a valued team member is leaving, it often makes them anxious and a bit nervous about what the future may hold. Most dread the hiring process and want to get it over with as soon as possible—which more often than not leads to bad hires and all the headaches they bring.

Don’t fall into this trap. When you find out an employee is leaving, take a deep breath and put a plan in place to find a suitable replacement. If it takes a little longer than you’d like, that’s OK. That’s better than bringing someone on who isn’t a good fit. Not only will that hurt practice productivity and team morale, eventually you’ll have to fire the employee or she’ll quit in frustration, leaving you to go through the hiring process all over again.

Taking the proper steps will help ensure you hire the right people. To get you on the right track, I’ve put together a list of common hiring mistakes dentists make, and how you can avoid them in your practice.

You don’t have job descriptions. Contrary to popular belief, job descriptions aren’t a waste of time. They’re a valuable tool that not only give your team members much needed direction, but that also help guide you during the hiring process. Job descriptions outline the job’s tasks, necessary skillset and your expectations. You can refer to job descriptions as you’re reviewing resumes, and weed out applicants who don’t match up. Sending job descriptions to candidates also helps. They’ll know exactly what the role entails, and can bow it if they realize it isn’t the right fit.

Your job listing doesn’t attract the right job seekers. If you want your job listing to stand out to qualified candidates, you have to include all the necessary information, such as office location, hours, position status and salary range. Many dentists opt to leave salary out, but that’s a mistake. Half of candidates will skip over an ad that doesn’t list a salary, making your pool of applicants smaller.

Remember, when creating a job ad, it’s important to target it specifically to the position you’re hiring for, and to use active words to describe the role.

You’re letting flashy resumes impress you. As you’re looking through resumes, keep in mind they’re nothing more than a sales pitch. Applicants will exaggerate or even lie if they think it will get them an interview. That’s why it’s so important to know how to properly review resumes.

There are a variety of red flags to look for as you’re going through resumes. For example, let’s say a resume lists skills, responsibilities and accomplishments but has no chronological record of employment or job details. This candidate is likely a job hopper. Notice large time gaps in employment history? That’s another sign the resume belongs in the circular file.

You don’t conduct phone screenings. You can learn a lot about candidates during phone interviews, but most dentists skip this step. Talking to applicants for 30 minutes on the phone can save you the time and expense of an in-person interview if you find they’re just not a good fit.

Once you have candidates on the phone, I suggest you ask any questions you have about their employment history and get a feel for salary expectations. Also pay attention to their tone and attitude as you talk. Before the end of the call, you’ll know if this is someone you want to bring in or if it’s time to move on.

You ask closed ended questions during the face-to-face interview. Yes and no answers aren’t going to give you the insights you need to make hiring decisions. Focus on asking open ended questions during interviews to give candidates the opportunity to tell you about their experience and why they’re right for the job.

Some candidates will try to be vague when answering these questions. Don’t let them. Ask them for the details surrounding their accomplishments. If they can’t give them, they may not be the person you’re looking for.

You skip testing. Once you find that perfect fit, you want to extend an offer right away and get the person on board. Understandable, but I suggest you have the candidate complete pre-employment testing first, which should include an assessment test and a personality temperament test. It’s also a good idea to call references and perform background checks. This will help you avoid any surprises later on, and ensure you’re truly hiring a qualified, hard-working candidate.

Yes, hiring can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these tips to avoid common hiring mistakes, and you’ll bring on talented professionals who have the skills necessary to excel in their job and help the practice thrive.

Next Thursday: 4 tips to ensure your new hires contribute to practice success Share this Newsletter

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