Hire an Office Manager Who Will Help Grow Your Practice

By Sally McKenzie, CEO Printer Friendly Version

The Office Manager’s job isn’t easy. This team member typically handles many of the business tasks that come with operating a practice, as well as HR duties. Office Managers must have a certain skillset and temperament to succeed, which is why it’s so difficult to find the right person to take on this critical role.

But when you do, it will bring a lot of benefits to your practice. A good Office Manager will help make your practice more efficient and give you more time to focus on providing exceptional patient care. The problem is, many dentists rush the hiring process and then provide little guidance once they have someone on board, so they end up with an employee who doesn’t meet expectations. Instead of streamlining the practice, the new Office Manager causes extra stress and frustration for everyone on the team.

Want to avoid this scenario in your office? I thought so. Luckily, I can help. I’ve put together a few tips to help ensure you hire an Office Manager who will help you grow your practice. If you take these steps, you’ll find a talented Office Manager who will become a valuable member of your team.

Define what the role involves. Many dentists have trouble hiring an Office Manager because they don’t really know what an Office Manager does. The Office Manager is a critical team member who will serve as the practice’s Chief Operating Officer, or COO. To succeed, the person you hire must have a specific skillset and temperament. He or she must be good with both people and numbers, and be prepared to take on a variety of duties including:

-Reading and understanding practice reports
-Managing business measurements
-Handling HR tasks, such as recruitment, hiring, firing, raise assessments, salaries, performance reviews and other personnel issues
-Overseeing practice overhead
-Making financial arrangements with patients
-Scheduling and running team meetings
-Developing and enforcing employee polices
-Creating and executing marketing campaigns

That’s a pretty extensive list of duties, which is why it’s so important to hire the right person. I suggest you sit down and create a detailed job description that outlines the Office Manager’s responsibilities. As you do, really think about the role you’d like this team member to play in the practice. Be sure to include performance measurements and expectations. The Office Manager will use this job description as a guide to success.

Afford Raises

Go through the proper hiring process. Many dentists look to their star employee when it’s time to hire an Office Manager. They often promote someone who is reliable and good at their job, convincing themselves it will all work out. Remember how important it is for the Office Manager to have the right qualities? When dentists promote from within, they often end up with someone who doesn’t have the characteristics and skills necessary to handle the role. The team member who once exceled begins to struggle, and that can lower team morale and damage the practice.

The fact is, not everyone can handle the Office Manager position, no matter how good they are at their current job. The Office Manager must work well under pressure and be able to go from dealing with HR issues one minute to interpreting practice reports the next. That’s why it’s key to go through the proper hiring process before offering someone the role.

What does that entail? Creating a detailed ad, looking for common resume red flags, completing phone screenings, asking the right questions during face-to-face interviews and conducting personality testing. And that job description you created can help you weed out candidates who don’t fit the bill.

Now let’s talk about temperament. Finding someone with the right temperament can be difficult, as Office Managers should be both personable and analytical and demonstrate a good balance of thinking and feeling. People who score high on the “thinking” scale are usually task oriented and may come off as demanding. Those who score high on the “feeling” scale often find it difficult to hold staff members accountable and maintain practice policies. Either personality type will struggle in this role. Temperament tests can help ensure the candidate you’re considering is the right mix of both.

Offer proper training. No matter how talented your new Office Manager is, this team member can’t read your mind, or fix all your business woes without any guidance. If you want your Office Manager to improve practice efficiencies and make your job easier, you must provide the proper training.

McKenzie Management offers Office Manager training that covers everything this vital team member needs to know. After taking the course, Office Managers have more confidence in their skills and are ready to contribute to practice success.

The right Office Manager can do a lot of good for your practice, but the wrong one can do a lot of harm. Following these tips will help ensure you hire an Office Manager who will help you grow your practice.

Next Thursday: This is What Your Office Manager Needs to Succeed Share this Newsletter

Interested in speaking to Sally about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
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