What Do Dentists Want When Hiring Business Coordinators?
I was recently sent on a temporary assignment in a dental office from a dental employment agency. It was made clear that they wanted someone proficient at Dentrix software. That was it. I was there one hour and the doctor pulled me into his office and said “When can you start?” I was floored. Is that all it requires to get a dental office job these days?
Bee Perplexed, Job Seeker
I would have to answer yes and no to that question. It definitely increases your odds of employment if you are computer savvy and proficient at one of the major software programs. Many dentists think you must know their office software or you will not be able to do the required work. Experience shows that if you know one well enough, you can pick up any of the other programs within a week or less. Usually dentists do not have the time to train new staff, nor do they have the knowledge of the systems to demonstrate skills in scheduling, posting insurance checks, doing treatment estimates, and the many other tasks driven by the dental software. If there isn’t a staff member who has the time or the knowledge to teach, then the doctor has to decide whether to get the software trainer back in for a couple of days or just keep looking for someone already trained. Software training is costly, especially if the job candidate doesn’t work out.
When the dentist is faced with hiring suddenly, panic causes the focus to lie on the software skill more than anything else. Qualified job seekers proficient at Eaglesoft are overlooked for employment in favor of the applicant who is skilled at the office software, Dentrix. Job seekers today should be prepared to counter this request by offering to pay for the software training and be reimbursed after six months of employment. Keeping up on the current versions of software systems is also important, just as it is to keep up with CPR and OSHA training. Proof by testing is even more important today, with software being the driver of the systems and managing the important practice data. Set up a test patient and then let the applicant make an appointment, enter insurance information, and post a check. If the applicant has used dental software programs in the past, they will be looking for the icons and the keystrokes to get them where they need to go in the system. Test the applicant for keyboarding skills also. If you are a busy practice you do not want someone “hen pecking” the keys to enter data.
Dentist employers today want someone who is dependable and self-motivated. In the dental practice this means being on time to work and being prepared. Have the treatment plan prepared in time to speak to the patient at dismissal, and know how to collect fees or help patients to secure financial arrangements. “Self-motivated” means being able to schedule to production goals and adhere to scheduling protocols for efficient time management. Self-motivation comes from taking initiative to get the job done without being told or micromanaged.
Dentist employers want team players with positive attitudes. Because this is the most overlooked quality in hiring, it becomes the biggest reason employees give notice. The employee who steps up to the plate every time to stay through lunch or work overtime or clean up after other employees is eventually the one to leave. Feed positive attitudes with praise and demonstration of appreciation. Make each employee accountable for being part of the team and taking on extra responsibility.
When dentists need to replace staff, the focus should be on what the practice needs. This is evident when you read online job postings. The ad is written to address the needs of the practice, but little is said about what the employee will be provided to ensure their job success in the practice environment. You are not ensuring the job success of a very important member of your team if you don’t provide ongoing software training and business systems training. Dental software is always being updated with new features that the Business Coordinator must be trained to use. This ongoing training can be provided through online training webinars and online support as an alternative to paying for a trainer to come in.
Consider software training as an ongoing practice expense designed to improve the performance of the practice. Want to improve the business skills of your Business Coordinator or Office Manager? Call McKenzie Management today to learn about training for your employees.Forward this article to a friend
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