2.5.10 Issue #413 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Dr. Nancy Haller
Dentist Coach
McKenzie Management
coach@ mckenziemgmt.com
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Improve Your Hiring Hit Rate

Research shows that most employers make a decision on an applicant during the first four minutes and 20 seconds of the interview. This susceptibility to first impression is natural, but hiring an employee based on ‘gut feeling’ is a reckless business move. There is more you should and can do to make an informed decision about the people who make or break your practice.

Recruiting and retaining employees is likely to be the most frustrating and time-consuming challenge in your practice. But keep in mind the cost of hiring the wrong person. The estimate, on average, is nearly $40,000 if the turnover occurs six months after hire. And that’s just the hard costs. Consider what a ‘bad apple’ can do to slow productivity and disrupt the flow of your office. Not to mention lost revenue from dissatisfied patients and the negative advertising that spreads like wildfire.

With such enormous evidence about the importance of good hiring, it is essential to devote time to your hiring processes. Certainly there are no sure-bet methods to guarantee an applicant will be a peak performer in your practice, but there are ways you can increase the probability of success.

Review Job Descriptions
Good hires need to have a clear understanding of the job you want them to do. Not only what to do, but how you want them to do it. Write out the specific duties and responsibilities of the position. Be concrete. For example, your business office manager needs to “pick up and sort mail.” Contrast that description with the following: “Mail carrier arrives between 12 noon - 2pm. Check for mail by 1pm each day, and each hour thereafter until it is delivered.” The more you spell out the exact details of how you want something to be done, the more likely the employee will meet your needs and expectations.

Standardize Your Interview
The interview is one of the most flawed parts of the hiring process. However, most employers place enormous weight on it. The firmness of a handshake, the directness of eye contact, or just liking the way a candidate looks may be important for success in your office. However, be aware that there is tremendous personal bias in the interview – we gravitate to the people we like rather than evaluating the person-job goodness of fit. Eliminate subjectivity as much as possible by structuring questions that are focused on the real needs of the job and your office environment.

Look Beyond The Resume
Technical skills and experience are important but you also need to pay attention to “soft skills.” Listen to how they answer your questions to determine if they are an effective communicator. Give them a conflict scenario and ask them what they would do. Inquire about the last “new thing” they did to ascertain if they enjoy learning. Test their reasoning by presenting a couple of logic questions. You have the greatest potential for strong performance when you hire someone with good thinking abilities as well as effective people skills.

Expand Your Selection Tools
With the increasing importance on interpersonal effectiveness for job success, employers who add pre-employment testing will have a strategic advantage. Recognizing the importance of such a tool, McKenzie Management has developed internet personality testing exclusively for dentistry. Partnering with the Institute for Personality and Ability Testing (IPAT), the Employee Assessment Test strictly adheres to legal guidelines for employment testing. It assesses 12 essential personality traits so you know how closely your candidate or existing employee matches the profiles of peak performers in the dental industry. No more guessing. You have objective and scientific data to help you determine suitability for one of four dental positions. The process is simple with electronic administration and immediate results sent directly to your office. Through the years, I’ve learned that many personnel problems are the result of a poor job fit due to poor hiring practices. Good hires will ensure a more successful and productive office, better patient service, and new referrals. Confronting your own hiring processes is time consuming upfront, but the investment will yield large dividends. The pay-off is higher caliber employees who work harder and stay longer…and this ultimately helps your bottom-line!

Dr. Haller provides training for leadership effectiveness, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and team building. If you would like to learn more contact her at coach@mckenziemgmt.com

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