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  06.24.05 Issue #172

Recruit Employees Long Before You Need Them

Sally Mckenzie, CEO
The McKenzie Company

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I would venture to bet that there isn't a small business in the marketplace today that doesn't struggle with employee recruitment. Economic boons, busts, and bubbles aside, luring a quality selection of candidates is a task - often a major chore - that even human resources experts agonize over.

For most dental practices, recruitment planning and hiring strategies are seldom even considered until the office is scrambling to fill a vacancy, which typically happens about every 18 months. The little preparation that takes place is usually limited to slapping together the cheapest and most hastily arranged classified advertisement, an ad that likely reads something like this: Dnt Ast /Rcpt. Biz exp. a +. Bnfts. Snd rsme: Local Journal Register, P.O. #329, Box 5555, North Easystreet , Yourtown., ST 22235

Recruiting quality employees is a process that goes well beyond the two-line classified ad written in secret code. Attracting the best candidates begins with a plan. First, look at your mission statement and remind yourself where you want to take your practice. If you and your team aspire to deliver the highest level of quality care, you're not going to settle for just another warm body, drifting through the day on her/his way to collecting a paycheck, planning ensures that you won't have to.

Consider the strengths and weaknesses of your practice as well as your own and those of your employees. Are there voids in employee skills and/or duplication of strengths or weaknesses among the team? While no position is perfect, it's important to understand each job and what particular attributes a prospective employee needs to have. If your goal is a 98% collection rate you don't want a candidate who has trouble asking for money no matter how charming their personality.

Don't limit your employee search to only those times in which you have to fill a vacancy. Look for quality candidates even when your ranks are full. The excellent receptionist at the local fit club who's also responsible for scheduling the racquetball and tennis courts may one day make an outstanding scheduling coordinator in your practice. When you experience exceptional service , consider that individual as a potential future candidate. Give them your business card and invite them to send a resume, which you will keep on file for review should an opening occur.

If you have a website, create a Join Our Team section that tells prospective employees about the mission and values of the practice, the many benefits, your philosophy as an employer, your commitment to creating an excellent dental experience for every patient, the positive culture of the office, what sets your practice apart, etc. Make it easy for prospective candidates to email, fax, or mail their resumes for future consideration. Your website is one of the most important recruiting methods you can use to attract prospective employees. Use it!

Network. Connect with those friends, colleagues, patients, local dental societies, vendors and others whose opinion you respect and ask them for employee referrals. Contact area business schools, hygiene programs, and assisting programs and ask faculty to refer those candidates that would best represent the excellence of their programs.

Post your opening in various association newsletters, such as dental association, oral hygiene association, dental assisting groups, and business associations.

Next week, develop the ad that will drive applicants to your door.

If you have any question or comments, please email Sally McKenzie at

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McKenzie Management's Seminar Schedule
2005 Location Sponsor Information Topic Speaker
July 21-24 San Diego, CA IA of Comprehensive Aesthe 702-341-7978 Peak Performer Sally McKenzie
July 28 La Jolla, CA Southern CA Ortho. Symposium 619-656-4646 Top Issues Sally McKenzie
August 13 Topeka, KS Delta Dental Plan of Kansas 800-733-5823 Breakdown Sally McKenzie
Sept. 9-11 San Francisco, CA California Dental Association 916-443-0505 Successes Sally McKenzie
Sept. 22 El Paso, TX El Paso Dental Society 877-777-6151 Breakdown Sally McKenzie
Sept. 23-24 Griffin, GA Endo Magic Root Camp 877-478-9748 Top Issues Sally McKenzie
Oct. 14 Riverside, CA Riverside Implant Study Group 951-279-7847 TBA Sally McKenzie
Nov. 18-19 Griffin, GA Endo Magic Root Camp 877-478-9748 Top Issues Sally McKenzie
Dec. 1 Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati Dental Society 513-984-3443 Breakdown Sally McKenzie
Dec. 9 Minneapolis, MN Minneapolis District Dental 877-777-6151 TBA Sally McKenzie

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