1.17.14 Issue #619 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Belle DuCharme, CDPMA
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The Benefits of Hiring Returning Workforce Employees
By Belle DuCharme, CDPMA

Dentists are not fond of hiring new staff members, especially at the front desk. Hiring a new employee isn't a decision that should be taken lightly, as it doesn't fall lightly on the practice budget. But without a skilled Business Coordinator at the front desk, the work does not get done. And that's the bottom line for dental practices, even though the investment may make the dentist cringe. How many times have you tried so hard to match the skills of a candidate to the demands of the open position, that the most important characteristics of a person have been relegated to lesser importance or forgotten entirely?

The key to a person's worth is their attitude, integrity, honesty, intelligence, communication skills, and the ability and willingness to learn. Technical skills are important, but without the key ingredients, the technical skills of the applicant may be irrelevant. Too often dentists look for current “experience” - meaning they will hire someone already working for another dentist who can “step in” to the position with little to no training - without placing much relevance on personal characteristics.

Long-term employees have always been valued by dentists, especially those who are skilled at what is most important to the success of the practice. Yet the average turnover in a dental office is still about 18 months to 2 years. The reality is that you could be hiring someone who has worked in 5 dental practices in 10 years.
If you think the pool of potentially excellent dental employees is getting smaller, you are mistaken. It is just that you have narrowed your focus to include only those with the most current dental office employment history and those with training on your software program.
Take Dr. H, who placed a well written ad for a Business Coordinator on an internet job board addressing the personal characteristics and philosophy versus current job history of the potential applicant. He said that current dental office experience and knowledge of dental software was desirable, but he would offer training to the right person. “Betty” answered his ad even though she had not worked in a dental practice for 7 years. During that time she had spent individual time with her child and had also worked from home doing marketing research. Betty loved dentistry and the interaction with patients, and was ready to return to a full time position but was having trouble finding work because she had been out of the dental workplace so long. After completing the application process, Dr. H hired Betty. She was a fast learner and had the integrity to take the time to learn the dental software program as quickly as possible - and in less than two weeks she was running the entire front office the way Dr. H. had envisioned.

The economic downturn put a lot of talented, educated and hard working people out of work. Many of these people have the personal characteristics that you are looking for in your dental office. Some might be older than you are seeking or may have been out of work for a year or more, but they deserve a second look. Study the background and work history of those who might qualify and make sure you are diligent at checking references and doing background checks and credit checks.

Training dental employees is necessary for the success of the new hire and also for the success of the practice and the rest of the team. Investing in training and continuing education for the dentist and dental team is insurance for the growth and profitability of the practice. Software training can be accomplished with hands-on professional trainers, webinars or training manuals. Most dental software companies have software support either by internet or phone that is a huge benefit to anyone using the program. Learning dental terminology, procedures and codes involves some study and applying what is learned to the course of the dental workday. An applicant who is willing and able to learn new skills and has the desire to be the best they can be will succeed in the position.

For Business Coordinators, Office Managers and other front office positions, professional business training that is one-on-one and customized to your practice is available through McKenzie Management.
If you would like more information on McKenzie Management’sTraining Programs  to improve the performance of your team, email training@mckenziemgmt.com

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