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Before we begin, let’s do a recap on the past few posts before we dive deeper into the interview process.

The most important part before embarking on the hunt for your next employee of the month, is to know the direction of where you want to take your office in the next 5 years. Figuring out your roadmap will help you see what type of qualities and skillset you need to look for now to help you get to where you want to be! So now you have your roadmap ready, understand the qualities and skills you are looking for. Let’s look at some interview questions to ask potential candidates and find out what to look for in their answers. Learn what TO ask & what NOT to ask when interviewing your next employee! Download your free guide now!

Confessions from a Dental Recruiter

No matter what position I had to fill, my guideline was always to find answers to the following five questions: Is the candidate able to do the job? Is the candidate motivated to do the job? Is the candidate adaptable/malleable? Will this candidate fit the office culture? Will this candidate provide excellent customer service/patient care? For each of these five questions, I ask a series of further probing questions. The questions I ask are crafted so that candidates give real-life examples using SAR statements (S = Situation in which the behavior took place, A = the action the candidate took to address the situation, R = results of the action)

Let’s use the examples we listed in last week’s blog post:
1. Tell me about a time where you went above and beyond for a patient
The answer to this question will give you a glimpse of a time when the candidate took the initiative and went above what the job required to make sure the patient was satisfied and taken care of. It also will show how proactive they are to thinking of solutions to problems. Another thing to think about is seeing how you as the principle dentist or owner, would want your current employees to react or handle a situation to make sure a patient was taken care of.

2. Tell me about the most difficult procedure you have performed? Why did you find this difficult and what did you learn while performing it?
Here you are gaining insight as to how adaptable the candidate is, their motivation AND if they are capable of doing the job. It shows how they were able to overcome a challenging situation, what they learned from it and how they were able to grow from it! This will give you insight into their critical thinking ability, see if they will use this as a learning opportunity and their attitude towards the situation.

3. How would you handle a situation where you were faced with an irate patient who was angry over the length of their wait before they saw the doctor?
Now let’s face it, this situation comes up from time to time in every practice. You want to make sure that your team will handle this stressful situation with poise, empathy and with professionalism. Again, another situational question to see how they have reacted in the past and ensure this line up with your values and high standards of customer service.

For example, if this is a for a dental admin position: If they answer by saying they took the initiative to go into the clinic, ask the Dentist and auxiliary staff as to when they will be able to see the patient, report back to the patient, apologizing for the wait and informing them it shouldn’t be much longer only X minutes, offer them refreshment or opportunity to reschedule if they are pressed for time, then offering Starbucks gift card etc.
This answer shows they value and respects the patients time and concerns. They did not make some excuse or brush the patient off saying it’s a busy day. They were adaptable and figured out a solution and diffused the situation.
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Asking questions doesn’t end at the interview stage. The answers you received during your interview is a great starting point but you want to be sure this is the RIGHT person for your office. Next week, we will find out the answer to “How do I REALLY know this is the right person for my practice?” We will look into conducting reference and background checks to make sure they are who they say they are!

Welcome back to week 3 of our “How to Attract & Retain Top Talent” series. Last week, we discussed what to look for when hiring your next employee.  We talked about some top-notch qualities to look for when hiring.  This week we will be discussing Recruitment and the Screening Process.

If you have a thriving practice, hiring someone becomes a tough decision, as you want only the best on your team. During the interview, you may have felt excited about a candidate, only to find out a short time later that he or she has not turned out as per your expectations.

Let’s go over some ideas on how you should screen potential candidates and avoid any future

Accurate job descriptions

Remember this all goes back to what we have been discussing the past few weeks: reverse engineer how you want to grow your practice and then determine what KPIs you need to look for with your new hires. Using this information and putting together a job description for this position will help you in more ways than one! Your job description should state what the ideal candidate needs to bring to the practice.  A good job description provides a clear and concise summary of a position’s duties and responsibilities. It outlines the essential qualifications and requirements of a candidate. In addition, a properly written job description explains the core competencies required for the position. First, it will serve as your checklist when you are screening and interviewing. Secondly, when you hire your new employee, it will outline exactly what is expected of them and you start the relationship on the right foot. Third, it will help with future performance evaluations to see where they are excelling and in which areas they need coaching and further improvement. I am sure I can name about 10 other reasons about how important a job description is but we will save that for another day ☺

Change the focus of the interview

The natural tendency during the interview is to concentrate on technical questions. Don’t get me wrong; the need for technical skills should never be undermined. If you look back at all the encounters with your previous employees that didn’t work out, you are bound to agree that things did not work out with the employee, not ‘only’ because of technical skills. There is always more to it than that. You also need to take into consideration the individual’s personality and attitude. Remember that someone’s true personality and attitude come to the forefront after a point of time. If you are basing your screening process only on technical knowledge, then the entire focus of your interview is incorrect. To hire great employees, one should include both personal, behavioral AND technical questions in the screening process.

Asking the right questions

Depending on the level of candidate you’re interviewing, their responses can provide excellent insights into their level of acumen and philosophies.   Make sure to look for compatibility, not just likeability. We tend to hire people who are similar to us but remember you already figured out your new hire avatar so stick to that.

Here are a few examples:
– Tell me about a time where you went above and beyond for a patient
– Tell me about the most difficult procedure you have performed? Why did you find this difficult and what did you learn while performing it?
– How would you handle a situation where you were faced with an irate patient who was angry over the length of their wait before they saw the doctor?

Good questions hey? See how their answers line up or reflect the KPIs you are looking for. Asking situational questions where the answers will show their personal, behavioral and technical abilities. Next week we will dive deeper into this subject and really analyze questions and the answers to listen for!

Until next week!

Welcome back to week 2 of our “How to Attract & Retain Top Talent” series! Last week, we left with you a serious soul searching question- where do you see yourself and your office in 5 years? The direction you want to take your practice should make you seriously evaluate the decisions you need be making TODAY; including hiring! If you haven’t done this yet, stop now and go back to read last week’s post before taking this next step!

Your Roadmap is ready!
People with goals succeed because they know where they are going and now that includes you! Congrats! This will now allow you to identify the traits, qualities, skills and cultural fit that you are looking for. Having this AHEAD of time will make a huge difference not only with developing your interview questions but also seeing what type of training will be required.

Top-notch qualities to look for
No matter what position you are hiring for, there are a few very important qualities to look for that will sky-rocket your practice:

1. Detail-Oriented
In our profession, an eye for detail is crucial but this can go one step further when you add a critical and forward thinker to the mix. They can begin to look at your systems, protocols and see how to take it to the next level by making a few changes here or there! Imagine, having someone who can look at a more effective way to screen and educate your patients so they are coming regularly to their hygiene appointments. Your production will go through the roof! For accelerated growth to take place, look for someone who will go beyond merely completing tasks, focusing more on the fine details that bring about greatness.

2. Adaptable
We know that great things are in store for you and your practice, but change has to happen to be able to achieve those results. If you are looking to add a new service to your practice and are hiring someone who has that experience and skill set. Then they need to be adaptable to help put the work into to make the transition possible and your office a success! The best employees are the ones who aren’t so set in their ways that they are unable to remain effective when changes need to be made.

3. Passionate
Let’s face it- there will be ups and downs on your journey but you need someone with a positive mindset. Someone who is genuinely passionate about their work, patients, and personal progress. Naturally, when things take a turn for the worse, they’re the first to begin looking for long-term solutions, as opposed to taking the easy way out.

4. Outstanding Customer Service
As the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh said: “Customer service should not be a department, it should be the entire company.” Everyone in your office should have OUTSTANDING customer service! Your patients are the lifeline to the success of your practice! If every person in your office is not doing their best to provide an amazing experience, it will begin to affect your bottom line or worse, you might not be able to reach that 5-year goal. This is a non-negotiable trait when hiring; no matter how amazing their skills are! Skillset can be trained, but you can’t train someone to have good customer service!

Have you found anybody who possesses each of the above four qualities?

If not, resist the urge to settle! Your success is at stake here!

Next week we will show you how to recruit and screen to find the best candidates for your office!

One of the biggest struggles every business has is finding and keeping great employees! But it doesn’t have to be! Indiana Jones didn’t find the Holy Grail without using a map and neither should you.  Indiana Jones was prepared and knew where to go and we want to help get you prepared too.

The most important part before embarking on the hunt for your next employee of the month is to know the direction of where you want to take your office in the next 5 years. Figuring out your roadmap will help you see what type of qualities and skillset you need to look for now to help you get to where you want to be!

“Why is this important? Can’t I just hire for what I need now?”

Yes, yes you certainly can! However, this is more of a band-aid solution and can help fill your temporary needs. But what about in the next 6-12 month? What if you are adding new services or software to your office? Wouldn’t it be helpful and more efficient to hire someone who has experience with that so they can immediately add value to your practice? What if you are looking at increasing your case starts or treatment acceptance and can look at hiring a dedicated and experience treatment coordinator who can focus on that day in and day out? See how this goes hand in hand and why it is important to think of this now versus having to search for someone with these skill sets later. Or worse, you overstaff your clinic instead of finding one person who can handle all of these roles and responsibilities.

This step requires some serious forethought! Remembering your mission/vision statement helps to keep in mind what your practice short and long-term aspirations are. This can help you analyze and understand the traits and skills needed to help you reach your goals!


The only time you start thinking about your staffing needs is when you are filling a recent vacancy. We see it all the time, practices go into panic mode and settle for hiring the best candidate from the pile of candidates that apply! Big mistake!

Even before you have the need to hire someone, you should identify the traits, qualities, skills and cultural fit that you are looking for. Having this AHEAD of time actually helps you in the screening process. Write it down and create your checklist. Really think about the traits and skills you are looking for and divide them into: must have, nice to have and non-negotiable.

Bring this checklist into every interview and use this as your road map to ensure you do not forget the big picture! Your practice success is counting on it!

Do it right the FIRST time

Do you know what making a bad hire can cost your dental practice? 41% of surveyed employers who said a bad hire in the past year had cost them at least $25,000. OUCH- that’s a hard pill to swallow! Unless you enjoy throwing away money, you need to kick your bad hiring habits before it drives your business into the ground!

The one challenge that every dental business owner has in common is to find, hire and retain high-quality individuals, all the while running a practice and maintaining a high quality of patient care. And that’s no easy task! Stay tuned each week as we dive deeper into attracting top talent for your dental office; what to look for and how to find them!

Hiring new employees is an opportunity to re-evaluate your goals, streamline your systems and improve your practice. 

Terminating an employee for any reason can be a very stressful and unpleasant situation and it can even be somewhat overwhelming, even a bit confusing… written notice, termination pay, progressive discipline, termination for cause, without cause. So many things to know and understand.

Take it step by step:
Proper preparation prior to the termination can get you prepared for what is to come but it also helps ensure that the employee leaves with dignity and helps mitigate risk to your practice.

Now sometimes, it is necessary to eliminate a position that has become redundant or you may have to lay off employees due to business slowdowns. Other times, terminations may be due to poor performance or inappropriate conduct. Regardless of the reason, it is important to terminate the business relationship in a professional manner, with appropriate notice, and in a way that meets at least, the minimum legislative requirements for your province/state.

An employee who is wrongfully terminated or terminated without cause and not provided with an appropriate notice period (or payment in lieu), will now have reason to initiate legal action to recover the monies owing, or to contact an employment standards officer to open an investigation. Which is something I am sure you would not like to happen!
It’s much better to understand the appropriate way to handle terminations within your workplace so that you avoid any type of litigation or investigation in the first place.

Terminations caused by poor performance: Some employers will avoid conflict as long as possible and will continue putting up with inappropriate conduct or poor performance from an employee, rather than starting the disciplinary process. Having a disruptive employee, or someone who does not seem to pull their weight, can begin to have a negative effect on the rest of the staff; and that is something you do not want! When employees see that an underperforming colleague is allowed to continue down such a path, the rest of your staff may become resentful and it can result in lower productivity and higher turnover.
Poor performance or inappropriate conduct should be addressed as soon after the incident as possible, or upon noticing deteriorating performance. In some cases, working with the employee can help to turn things around without having to take further disciplinary action.

However, if the results are still not acceptable, it is critical to act quickly, document all discussions, and adhere to legislated requirements for your jurisdiction before terminating employment.

Cover the basics:
1. When an employee is hired, it is important to have them sign an employment agreement.  This contract will clearly outline information that outlines roles, expectations, salaries, probationary period and termination provisions.
2. Conduct regular performance reviews to provide feedback, guidance and create an action plan for areas of improvement.
3. If there is a cause for progressive discipline it must be documented to show you provided enough opportunity & guidance for them to improve.
4. If at that point, things are not improving you must contact an HR professional for advice to ensure that your documentation and process is appropriate to minimize your risk.

If you proceed with deciding to terminate- it does not end there!

There are series of steps you still need to take to ensure everything is done correctly the day of. We can’t stress this enough! The decision to terminate should never be taken lightly. If not handled properly, it can also result in expensive litigation. This is not a position you would want to find yourself in.

We have put together a termination checklist for you to download. It walks you through what needs to be done the day of termination.  Visit: https://streamdental.leadpages.co/terminationchecklist/  
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Stream Dental understands that you have a lot on your plate, as the owner of a growing Dental Practice, usually having little or no in-house Human Resource expertise! Our new services allow us to become your virtual HR department. Offering human capital solutions that provide the greatest impact on workplace productivity, employee engagement & retention and help you grow your business with the right people and processes.
Contact us today: www.streamdental.ca

 

Let’s start off by addressing what a confidentiality agreement is. It’s an agreement for your team to keep everything in your office confidential. The purpose of the agreement is for your team members to agree to maintain confidentiality regarding all confidential materials, patient information, processes, marketing, pending business transactions… just to name a few! This agreement outlines that all confidential information is kept strictly confidential both during and after their term of employment.

Why is this necessary?
As a business owner, you have worked hard to grow your practice and to provide the best treatment to your patients and build your reputation. It is important for you to protect all your hard work by having a confidentiality agreement in place. Everyone who comes to your office to work should sign one! This means all new and current team members should sign! One other area that is often overlooked is any temporary employees or candidates that come into your office for working interviews. You want to protect you and your practice.

We understand that temporary relief & working interviews are common in this industry, but have you ever given much thought to getting potential candidates to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to their interview?

The same goes for working interviews. These potential candidates may come into contact with, view, or handle confidential medical and personal patient information, products and/or system. This is information that is not readily available to the public and may compromise your practices competitive advantage in the marketplace in the event that sensitive business information relating to your practice is divulged.

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Your business deserves to be protected! You worked so hard to start and build your business– make sure it’s protected! If you are missing this agreement, we have you covered! It might be some time to review your HR protocols and see what items are missing. Take our Dental HR audit check-up by downloading this ebook!

 

 

Rethinking Human Resources for Dental

As a business owner, you need to be able to attract, hire and retain high-quality individuals to help you ensure that your practice succeeds. And that’s no easy task! What’s more, you need to be able to protect your practice by setting clear expectations and implementing policies that preserve the integrity of your business.
Ideally, these would be handled by a full-time Human Resources manager — someone who understands the intricacies of HR in a manner that matches your expertise in dentistry. Hiring people for your practice is one thing, but Human Resources entails much more than just hiring and firing.

Human Resources — Critical to the Success of Your Practice
Look at it this way: if you do Human Resources right, you can grow your business and keep your patients smiling in more ways than one! Not only do you attract the best employees; you also retain them and keep them on track with clear expectations and policies that outline important standards and practices. And when employees fail to live up to those expectations and standards, you are ready to discipline, retrain or, if the situation warrants, terminate their employment confidently, knowing that you are following all pertinent guidelines, legal and otherwise.
However, if you do Human Resources wrong or fail to give it the attention it deserves, the consequences can be costly and severe, putting your practice in jeopardy.
Hiring people becomes a game of chance. Sure, there are job boards that can help you find qualified candidates, but the screening and hiring process takes time, effort and energy. You can also find templates online for various policies, contracts, guidelines and other documentation, but these readymade pieces of content don’t consider the nuances that make your practice special and unique.
Doing it all by yourself is not a viable solution — it only leaves you exhausted and unable to provide the excellent care that your patients expect.

How to Screen Potential Candidates No One-Size-Fits-All Solutions
Searching the web for advice and examples regarding your policies, contracts and documents may give you an education on some of the fundamentals of Human Resources. But you need Human Resources solutions that are strategically crafted with your specific practice in mind. This is where Stream Dental’s HR services can make a massive impact and keep you from making costly mistakes.
For many dentists, the idea of crafting specific policies doesn’t occur to them until an incident must be dealt with. For example, you may assume that your employees will adhere to a certain standard of appearance or dress. But unless this expectation is communicated, agreed upon and enshrined in an official policy document, you may find yourself having awkward conversations with employees who hold a different view of work-appropriate dress than you.

There can be over 50 official policies that dentistry practices should have, and Stream Dental is here to help you craft them in the manner that best suits your practice.
Some examples include:
• Policy Manual
• Confidentiality Agreement
• Termination
• Overtime
• Holidays/Vacation and Sick Days
• Probationary Period

We don’t just supply a plan and let you figure it out; we work with you to develop a strategy that allows you to grow your business with the best people onboard!

Thankfully, Stream Dental Staffing Solutions understands the precise Human Resources needs of dental practices like yours!

Stream Dental — Your Virtual HR Experts

You need a Human Resources solution that allows you to focus on doing what you do best — treating your patients. Several solutions exist, but Stream Dental brings serval years of dental industry experience to the table in addition to top-notch, up-to-date HR practices and procedures that are crafted specifically for your business.

Let us be your virtual HR department!
Contact Stream Dental Today!

 

Human Resources gets a bad rap sometimes and is often misunderstood & over-looked! It goes beyond just hiring and firing! HR deals with the human aspects/needs of both employees and employers. Many dental practices do not have an HR department and the duties often fall on the Dentist or the Office Manager- who do not have up to date training and information on employment standards & regulations.

What is HR?:
Let’s start off by talking about what the Human Resource department does. The HR department needs to provide the knowledge, necessary tools, training, administrative services, coaching, staff development, legal and management advice, and talent management oversight that the rest of the organization needs for successful operation. HR departments must become attune to changes in the business and talent landscapes and help organizations navigate the changes in pursuit of their goals.

Appropriate Documentation:
Another area that often gets overlooked in Dental practices is employment agreements and employee handbooks. Why are these documents so important?! The importance of having those in place are meant to protect not only the rights of you as an employer but also the rights (or powers) of your employees. These documents help ensure expectations and responsibilities of both the employee and employer are clearly defined.
A policy manual helps you communicate your company expectations to your employees by developing a clear a thorough manual. These will be your workplace guidelines that cover a wide range of workplace activities, from resolving conflicts to code of conduct to performance management, dress code, sick leave, vacation time and much more. Having these documents leaves no grey areas of what is expected of your employees.

Recruitment:
We understand that recruiting takes lots of time. You want to find the right candidate to fit your team. It may take time to find the right candidate, but it’s important to do it right. If you hire the wrong person, there can be negative effects to having a bad hire, such as having an adverse impact on your team dynamic, quality of customer service, lost time and wasted money.

Gone are the days where HR just meant hiring and firing. There is so much more involved when it comes to your staffing needs. It may seem a bit overwhelming with running your own successful practice and having to juggle all the HR duties as well, but it can be done!
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Stream Dental understands that you have a lot on your plate, as the owner of a growing Dental Practice, usually having little or no in-house Human Resource expertise! Our new services allow us to become your virtual HR department. Offering human capital solutions that provide the greatest impact on workplace productivity, employee engagement & retention and help you grow your business with the right people and processes.

We understand that hiring can be stressful! Going through all the resumes, interviews and reference checks can be time-consuming. You want to make sure that you are hiring the right fit for your practice and want someone to fit in with the team, so hiring the right person becomes quite a task. We often get asked: “Is it better to hire an experienced candidate or search for dental professionals with no experience at all”

Hiring for Dental Practices
When it comes to hiring candidates for different roles, dental practices need to take several things into consideration. To begin with, they must understand that searching for the right dental professionals can be extremely time-consuming and sometimes be a tedious process. All dental professionals are expected to handle several things at the same time. For instance, Dental Administrators need to manage patients, patient records, schedule appointments, manage inventory among other important tasks. You need to look at each role and understand what skills are required. You need to look for candidates that are best suited for various positions, because each position may require different skills, experience and education.

no-experience-necessaryExperience or No Experience
Before hiring a suitable candidate, dental practices need to have a clear and concise idea around the type of candidate they are looking to hire and the skillset that is needed. Depending on the role, a dental practice should focus on hiring a candidate with great customer service, knowledge, and positive attitude. Even if a candidate has many years of experience, they may fail to connect and interact with patients, which could result in some lost business. Thus, it is important for dental practices to hire dental professionals who are friendly in their approach and have a positive personality, whether they have 1-year experience or even 10 years. Dental Administrators and Assistants should pay heed to patients’ requirements and be personable. These are certain traits that cannot be taught at any dental school or college.

Dental practices must, therefore, assess a candidate’s overall skills, abilities, and experience to determine whether he/she is suitable for the job or not. While experienced dental professionals can certainly handle dental procedures and treatments appropriately, experience may not be everything. Thus, dental clinics should look to hire candidates based on the requirements of the job roles. While there’s no denying the fact that experience comes in handy during dental procedures and treatments, dental practices shouldn’t ignore the fact that a candidate can easily be trained if he/she has the willingness and desire to learn and grow.

There is no hard rule to say whether experience is better than no experience, but it all boils down to the specific role you are hiring for and the skills needed for the job. Some things can be trained and learned, other things cannot!
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Need help with your recruitment and HR needs, call Stream Dental Staff Solutions for a Free Consultation. We are here to help with your Staffing and HR needs.

The administration department of any organization plays a vital role in ensuring that the company operates in a smooth and hassle-free manner. In fact, efficient administrators work to help coordinate the entire office to help it run efficiently and achieving desired results. Like most companies, a dental practice too, has its own sets of challenges and needs effective administration to cater to their patients’ requirements as well as function and operate smoothly.

The Role of Administrators
You are a very important part of the team, the office needs you to run smoothly. You are also the “front-line” of a dental practice, you will usually be the first point of contact over the phone or on patient arrival. Remember, a lot of people may not be a fan of going to the dentist, so a pleasant smile and friendly demeanor go a long way! But there are other things that a Dental Administrator needs to excel at as well;

1. Being Organized: A dental practice needs to focus on developing appropriate operating procedures and processes. Dental Administrators should have an effective process in place to help the office run smoothly. From getting the office organized, to looking after all the front-line duties, Administrators should stress on developing appropriate administrative processes.

Part of a team
2. Ability to Multi-task: An administrator is responsible for administering the day-to-day activities of the office; from maintaining patient records to scheduling appointments, to maintaining the appearance and order of the dental office. You need to be flexible and able to juggle many responsibilities at once.

3. Being Personable: You are the first point of contact and often the first-person patients talk to. You need to be friendly and must put the patients first. You may even take the role of a “counselor” to help ease the patient’s fears, if they have any, and be able to answer any questions they may have.

As a Dental Administrator, you help represent the dental practice. You must be professional, organized and friendly in treating patients in the right manner and cater to the requirements of the office. The administration department of any dental practice should emphasize on effective communication, making sure the office has processes and procedure in place and help with creating a smooth functioning office. You are a valued member of the dental team. They count on you to help with the office and your administrative duties!
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