10.29.10 Issue #451 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Take These Steps and Hire Only the Best
by Sally McKenzie CEO
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Hiring quality employees is not unlike providing quality dentistry. It requires planning, use of the right tools, and a methodical process - beginning with the employment advertisement.

Although unemployment remains high and your ad may attract several responses, you don’t want merely a pile of applications. Quantity doesn’t equal quality. The best applicants have to be lured in, and that begins with the right advertising. Your ad should be the one that causes even the casual want-ad reader to stop and take notice. One of the most effective techniques to grab the attention of your reader is salary. Ads that fail to note salary are ignored by 50% of the prospects. Display salary prominently.

Consider what your target audience is looking for; dental auxiliaries, for example, have five primary objectives when searching for a dental position:

  1. Salary
  2. Benefits
  3. Location
  4. Hours
  5. Status of the position

Highlight all of those in your advertising. Clinical assistants want to do more than just pass instruments. They are looking for progressive offices that will delegate tasks and give them the opportunity to work more closely with patients. A dental business employee position would be listed as “Administrative Assistant” and would be placed in the “Clerical” section of the classifieds. Think carefully about the words you choose. Use active verbs and don’t abbreviate the wording. For example:

Self-starter with organizational and communication skills to manage patient and business activities in a progressive eastside dental practice. No prior dental experience required. Professional training provided. 36-hour week. Excellent benefit package. Email confidential résumé to:  xxxx25@yahoo.com.

With the right advertising you will attract the right candidates. Don’t rule out hiring a business assistant with no previous dental office experience. While professional training is essential, this person will likely be very open to learning your preferred approach. Once you have reviewed the applications submitted, identified positives and negatives for each applicant under consideration, and conducted email and telephone pre-screening interviews, you are ready for the face-to-face interview.

Prepare a checklist that includes standard procedures for each interviewee, for example:

  • Time to complete the application
  • Time to complete the competency test
  • Time to complete the personality test
  • Time for an office tour
  • Time to meet the team
  • Time to review the job description
  • Time for questions and answers

Allow at least one hour for each applicant - preferably 90 minutes. Schedule the interviews when you will be able to give applicants your undivided attention. Try to be flexible to accommodate the applicants’ schedules as well. Eliminate barriers that will cause the applicant to be more guarded, distracted, or otherwise uncomfortable. For example, is there a desk between you and the candidate? Will there be phones ringing and interruptions? All of these can negatively influence the interview and create a situation where the applicant has neither the inclination nor the opportunity to provide the information you seek to gather.

Use a written set of standard questions for each applicant to compare responses to the same questions. Ask additional follow-up questions based on the applicant’s responses. Gather facts about previous experience that can be verified. Take thorough notes during the interview to help you keep track of who’s who. Jot down personal details such as what the candidate wore and distinguishing features. Remember, the applicant is likely to be on their best behavior in the interview, but things aren’t always as they seem. Before making a decision, gather as much information as possible.

Once you’ve narrowed your list to two or three applicants, test them for skill set and to determine if they are a good match for your team. Testing tools available through McKenzie Management provide a statistically valid and scientifically based hiring assessment tool for dentists. The computerized assessment measures job applicants against a profile of the “ideal” dental practice employee for each position. The procedure is simple: Applicants answer a list of questions online. Within minutes, the dentist receives a statistically reliable report enabling him/her to clearly determine if the candidate under consideration would be a good match for the position. It’s straightforward, accurate, and fully compliant with legal requirements associated with employee testing.

The interview is one-step in a multi-step hiring process. Only through thorough preparation and a well-laid plan will you achieve the best results.

Interested in speaking to Sally about your practice concerns? Email her at sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com. Interested in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.

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