6 Hiring Mistakes Most Dentists Make
You can hear the words, but you sure don’t want to listen. Your loyal patient coordinator of seven years is telling you all about her big plans to move across the country in two weeks. You smile and wish her well, all the while wondering how the heck you’re going to replace her, and already dreading the thought of hiring someone new.
While hiring new employees can be stressful, this situation isn’t cause for panic. Think of hiring new team members as an opportunity to reassess your systems and goals, as well as an opportunity to improve your practice. No matter how much you loved Patti the Patient Coordinator, I can guarantee you she wasn’t the perfect employee you’re picturing now.
Oh yes, but the hiring process has burnt you before. You shudder to think about all the hiring mistakes you’ve made, and how much money it’s costing your practice. You know you have to get this next hire right, or it could cost you thousands in lost revenue.
If you want to make the right hiring decisions, you must have a system in place. Most dentists skip key steps in the hiring process, and they end up with underqualified employees or employees who want to do as little as possible and still collect a pay check. To help make sure this doesn’t happen to you ever again, I’ve put together a list of the top mistakes dentists make during the hiring process, and how you can avoid them.
1. There’s no job description. Many dentists scoff at this, but it’s critical to create job descriptions for every position. Not only do job descriptions help keep current employees on the right track, they help you find qualified candidates with the necessary skill set when it’s time to hire.
Taking the time to create detailed job descriptions makes the hiring process easier for everyone involved. The job description tells you exactly what you’re looking for – no more guessing or settling for the first candidate who sends you an impressive resume. And if you send applicants a job description before the interview, they’ll have a much clearer picture of what the role entails, from hours to benefits to necessary skill set, and can bow out early if they find it isn’t a good fit.
2. The job listing attracts the wrong crowd. If you want to attract the best and brightest to your practice, your job listing has to stand out. Target your ads specifically to the position you’re hiring, and highlight all the relevant information job applicants want to know, including office location and position status. Use active words to describe the role, and remember to include a salary range because 50% of prospects ignore ads that don’t.
3. Resumes aren’t properly reviewed. It’s easy to be dazzled by a well thought-out resume, but remember the resume is nothing more than a sales pitch. Applicants exaggerate or even flat out lie, making the hiring process that much more frustrating.
When reviewing a resume, look for common red flags. If the resume lists skills, responsibilities and accomplishments but has no chronological record of employment or job details, you’re dealing with a job hopper. Large time gaps in employment history is another tell-tale sign this applicant might not be hiring material. It also helps if you know exactly what you are looking for when reviewing resumes. Use the job description to help determine if applicants are a good fit, and quickly move on when it’s clear they’re not.
4. There’s no phone screening. Before bringing candidates into your practice for a face-to-face interview, you have to conduct a phone screening. Why? If you don’t, you may waste a lot of time and effort only to find out the seemingly perfect candidate isn’t willing to work the weekend and evening hours the role requires.
During the phone screening, ask candidates any pressing questions you have about their employment history, and ask what salary range they’re looking for to avoid any surprises later in the process. Pay attention to tone and attitude as you talk. By the end of the call, you’ll likely know if the candidate just isn’t a good fit, saving you both time and frustration.
5. Asking the wrong questions. During the face-to-face interview, don’t rely on close-ended questions that will only yield yes or no answers. Ask open-ended questions that will give candidates the opportunity to describe their experience and skill set. You’ll get more detailed responses, and you’ll learn more about the candidate’s true feelings and character.
Don’t let candidates get away with vague or general descriptions. If Super Steve with the dazzling resume tells you he administered the recall system, ask him to describe that recall system and his exact role.
6. There’s no testing. Unfortunately, you can’t take applicants at their word. Before hiring new employees, make sure they fill out an application and complete pre-employment testing that includes an assessment test (you can read more on how I can help with this HERE) and a personality temperament test. It’s also important to call references and do a background check for each candidate you want to hire.
While the hiring process can be stressful, hiring the right employees is vital to your practice’s success. With the right team on board, you’ll find your practice is more efficient and your patients are happier. Your profits will go up and you’ll be glad you took the time to make the right hiring decisions, rather than settling for anyone with a pulse.
Next week: How to craft the perfect job description.
For more information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
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