3.16.12 Issue #523 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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How to Interview for Quality Employees - Part II
By Nancy Caudill

In my previous article, we discussed the initial steps of keeping or not keeping new employees and how to start the interview process. Let's continue on with the task of narrowing the candidates down to a workable number.

During the past two years and the decline of the economy, layoffs of dental employees became more prevalent. As a result, one might assume that the “hiring” market to obtain dynamite dental employees would be at an all time high. However, dentists are still struggling to find “good” employees. It seems that the experienced, quality dental employees are still working and were never laid off in the first place. As a result, it may take more time to find a good fit for your practice. Be patient! Don’t hire the first person that sits in your interview chair.

Resumes today are being sent by email and it’s not uncommon, after placing an ad, to receive lots of emails.  To organize this process, create email folders: No, Maybe, and Yes. Slide each one into the appropriate folder as you maneuver through the steps below. When it’s time to start making your next cut, start in the “yes” folder first. Hopefully you won’t have to open the “maybe” folder.

#1 - Sort Through All the Resumes and Cover Letters
• Check for poor spelling or grammar.
• Avoid hiring someone that seems to have a different employer every 6-12 months unless you only want them for a short period of time.
• See if they followed your ad's instructions and attached their cover letter.
• Contact their previous employers.

#2 - Create 10 Questions
Print a master-copy of your questions and use it for each applicant that you speak with on the phone. Ask the same questions of each applicant and jot down their responses.  This will be most helpful when you are trying to recall who said what. Ask open-ended questions such as: “Why did you leave your most recent employer?” Watch out! It is amazing how some applicants will answer this question and you will be able to eliminate them immediately. Thank them for their time and move on.

Another good question is: “What do you feel that you can bring to my practice from your previous experiences?” A good applicant will take a moment to think about their answer to avoid saying something that makes no sense.

Follow the legal guidelines of what you can and can’t ask, such as age, race, religion, marital status, children, etc. If you are a real “techie” then you should consider using Skype or your iPhone to conduct the interview. It is much more personable and also demonstrates how techno-savvy they are, as well.

Don't forget to ask what salary range they are looking for. Even though you included this in your ad, sometimes they respond anyway hoping that they can squeeze more from you - and maybe they can! Often, they are looking for more than your budget allows.  Move on. Indicate this is the first step of the interview process. Contact them via email or call as a courtesy to let them know if they will be invited for a personal interview; otherwise, wish them the best in their pursuit of employment.

#3 - The In-Office Interview
Please make sure that you are not alone in your office conducting your interviews. Ask an employee to stay, have your spouse present in the office, keep the door open, sit in the reception area, etc.

Have available the copy of the notes you made from the telephone interview. Refer to the applicant’s responses and possibly ask them to elaborate a little on their comments.  This is really the time to check your “gut” and see if you feel comfortable and genuinely like this person. You can tell in a matter of a few minutes. That is all the time that your patients will have, especially if you are hiring for a business position. Trust what your gut is telling you - it is usually right!

Look for eye contact, the mimicking of your posture, any nervous twitches they may have such as twirling their hair, pen, bouncing their foot, etc. Make additional notes to help you remember who they are - hair color, what they are wearing, etc.

#4 - The Final 3 
Try to narrow your search down to 3, if possible. At this point, invite them back to the office where they will be required to take math and spelling tests if the search is for a business employee, or a clinical test if applying for dental assistant. These tests can be found in the book “How To Hire The Best Employee” - GO HERE.  At this point the applicant will complete the Dental Employee Assessment Test to determine their job-fit capability.

In Part 3 we’ll discuss the “working interview.” Happy Hiring!

If you would like more information on how McKenzie's Consulting Coaching Programs can help you IMPLEMENT proven strategies, email info@mckenziemgmt.com.

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