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I have a love/hate relationship with this advice. There is much validity to this statement but I feel like the simplicity of this leaves much room for misinterpretation and confusion that can slip in. I wish this statement had a caveat or a footnote that would shed some more insight.

The “hire slow, fire fast” mantra doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take months to bring someone on board, or that you fire team members based on knee-jerk reactions or after the volcano of emotions has erupted. But as a business owner; finding, hiring and retaining the right team can either make or break your business! The important chemistry component, the makeup of your team can drive your practice forward, provide outstanding customer service, and help your business reach new heights.

Making a bad hire can really tarnish your practice reputation, which is why you need to take your time when it comes to finding the right person.

Five reasons for hiring slow:

  1. By hiring too fast, you may end up making some BIG hiring mistakes, or a situation that former Apple executive Guy Kawasaki terms “the bozo explosion.” According to Kawasaki, “When you’re in a rush to fill openings to respond to growth, you make mistakes. Unfortunately, many practices adopt the attitude of, ‘hire any intelligent body, or we’ll lose business–we’ll sort everything out later.” BIG MISTAKE!
  2. It is critical to make sure people fit in with the rest of your team. Understanding what makes up your current office culture and what your business growth plans can help with the hiring process. This formula will help you understand if these candidates are either a perfect fit or a lousy fit for your culture.
  3. You may find a way to avoid filling that position altogether. For example, if you take the hiring process slow, your current team could evolve to take on the responsibilities you were looking to add.
  4. You can be more certain about making a legitimate offer if you have taken the time to vet the candidate completely. This person may just be an amazing actor—they can look good on paper or answer your interview questions perfectly but in reality, maybe a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Do your due diligence by doing both background checks and reference checks!
  5. Your team is everything. If you have the right team in place everything clicks together, projects get completed more efficiently, patients are happy and life just seems to flow much better! You don’t need to spend more of your precious time dealing with drama.

But here is the caveat: taking “too long” to make a decision on a candidate means you could possibly lose out on this amazing candidate while they are waiting for you to make a decision. On average, top talent gets snatched up within 10 days of being in the job market. Waiting too long for you to “wait and see what else is out there”, could make this hiring process much longer than it needs to be. That’s why understanding what the right candidate looks like for your office ahead of time will make this process much more efficient!

Five reasons for firing fast:

  1. The moment you think that person is not a good fit anymore, you are probably six weeks too late. Take action to remedy the situation, understand where things went wrong and WHY! This will help you identify any “leaking pipes” (a.k.a systems and structures) and will help you be proactive to avoid this from happening again!
  2. Don’t procrastinate, because everyone around you will begin to wonder why this negative behavior is being allowed to continue to happen. They begin to feel underappreciated and start thinking: “well if Suzy gets rewarded for doing the bare minimum…why should I keep working as hard as I have been?” Then you will notice their drive and work ethic will begin to decline! Your A player will now turn into a C player. A bad employee can poison the rest of the team–the longer they stay around, the more their negativity affects others.
  3. Your patients think you are building a world-class team and maybe you promote this on your website or on your advertisements. Don’t disappoint them by holding onto someone who is a bad fit or worse who can begin to tarnish the reputation you have worked so hard to build!
  4. Your team is only as strong as its weakest link. You have likely heard this before, but it is just as true now as it was then. Your weakest link is pulling the rest of the team down.
  5. Stop those sleepless nights! The amount of stress that is associated with these HR issues has to stop! It is taking your focus away from growing your business and providing top-notch treatment to your patients!

But here is the caveat: avoid those HR issues by establishing an effective HR program to make sure you have set up very clear expectations with employees so they know what they have to do to be successful.

If they can’t achieve those goals then they need to be given a warning. In fact, every single time an employee is “talked to,” you need to document it as the business owner, or manager. Take time to understand what you can do to help them be successful at their job can make a HUGE difference! Is there more training, resources or tools they need so they can perform at their best?

Hopefully, this will resolve any issues but if a second warning is needed, explain that if they cannot do what has been asked by XX date, then your only option is to terminate them. Document that conversation, and then when you fire them to make sure you keep all documentation. If they come back at you with a legal claim after the fact, you will have some ammunition.

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The bigger goal here is that you have set up an effective hiring practice that helps you avoid costly hiring errors. If you have taken the important step of setting the proper expectations for your new employees, the wrong people (the bad fits) ultimately end up quitting before you have to fire them.

But remember, there are steps you can take now to be proactive: understanding your growth plans will help you determine who you need to hire. Having your practice guidelines outlined will help you weed out the people who are a bad fit and could hinder your practice growth. Establishing effective HR systems will also protect you from those HR nightmares.

 

Do you know what job seekers consider MOST important when looking for a job…[drumroll please] 95% said job benefits and perks! Let’s be honest, we have all considered this a major factor when deciding the next move in your career.

Many dental practices have various employee benefits and perks, some being: extended health coverage, gym memberships, uniform allowance or discounts off of dental treatment for themselves and immediate family.  These are very generous but one of these is more susceptible to being abused, taken advantage of and put you & your practice at risk!

The Sad and Scary Truth About Employee Treatment Discounts

Let me paint you a “real-life” scenario– Dr. X offered a VERY generous employee benefits program, free dental treatment to his staff and their immediate family members. They would only be responsible for the lab cost! Amazing right?

After some investigation, he discovered that this was being abused! How? Dr. X began to uncover a string of questionable situations: team members claiming a friend of the family, second cousins of cousins were immediate family, others were claiming insurance off of the FULL treatment fee (a.k.a insurance fraud) and others had never paid for the lab bill! Can you imagine how Dr. X felt? Hurt…upset…lost trust or respect for his team. But, how did this happen? Where did it go wrong? How did this generous benefit end up becoming a detriment?

Avoid These Common Mistakes

Let’s dig deeper into Dr. X’s employee discount policy and read the guidelines. Oh wait… there wasn’t one! This office employee discount was a verbal agreement.

Often times with verbal agreements, it leaves room for things to be misinterpreted and can leave yourself exposed and vulnerable. Verbal agreements remind me of the “telephone game,” do you remember that or did I just date myself?! One person whispers a message to the person beside them, they, in turn, continue that message until it gets back to the original source. And what happens? It ends up returning back to them as a completely different version! Now, we played this game for fun and would laugh about how different the two messages ended up becoming but your business is NOT a game!  Dr. X cannot do anything about all of the lost money or insurance fraud because he has nothing to fall back on to prove that was against office policy.

Implementing an Employee Discount Policy 

Here are a few items to consider and include in your Employee Discount Policy:

  • Who is Eligible For This Program:
    • For example: Are new hires eligible for this right away or after their probationary or evaluation period?
  • Do you have different discount levels based on their amount of years of loyalty to your practice?
    • For example: for an employee that has worked less than 1 year it is X% off OR for an employee with more than 1 year it goes up to X%
  • Will you offer a payment plan for the lab cost?
    • Are you expecting full cost upfront? OR can they pay you $100 for X months?

I have been burnt before on this! An employee paid a small portion and only after she left, we discover 75% of the lab bill was still outstanding!

Having employee benefits are a great way to show your team how much you appreciate them! BUT, it needs to be a written policy, implemented effectively and communicated properly! Having a paper trail will help you to avoid these costly mistakes! This policy should be included in your employee handbook or have a stand-alone policy for the team to read, sign and keep a signed copy in their employee file.

If you take anything away from this post it is to have your employee discount program! In that way, if any questions arise, there is a signed policy stating they understood the practice guidelines and you can avoid these HR nightmares!

 

 

 

 

We all daydream about where our next travel adventure will take us. I just got back from spending 10 days in paradise down in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. My husband and I were celebrating our 10-year anniversary and had the most amazing trip ever! Now I am back in the snow and suffering through this -20 degree Celsius weather!

But this is something that happens quite frequently in dental practices…a team member booked a holiday and is now asking for some time off. This can put some strain on your practice. What is the best way to handle this? After all, everyone deserves a vacation and some work/life balance.

How do you balance this while also trying to run & grow your business, keep your schedule busy AND keep your patients & team happy?!?

 

Have it Down in Writing

First things first: It is important that your employees understand how your practice vacation pay works, the scheduling of vacation days, and the stipulations around requesting vacation. This can be done by having a dedicated policy that outlines what the office expectations are and what the office protocol is. By having this you will avoid those awkward conversations, misinterpretations, or worse yet, you have multiple employees on holidays at the same time– leaving you shorthanded!!! {Not a great position to be in}

So, let’s avoid that by having a good and effective Vacation policy. It is also important that your Vacation Policy be compliant with your provincial, territorial or state employment standards. Because every province & state have different regulations, amount of vacation days and how they should be compensated. For example, I am here in Alberta and vacation time is based on the length of employment. For instance: 1-5 years is calculated at 4% of their wages which equals 2 weeks of pay. 5 years or more they get 6% or 3 weeks holidays.

So, let’s break this down into what should be included in the policy and how to implement this in your practice:

What Should Be Included in The Vacation Policy

  1. Explain how vacation days are being calculated and paid out. Is this being accrued over time or paid out on every pay cheque?
  2. When can it be taken…
    • Does it have to be used during this calendar year or can it be carried over?
    • The maximum length of vacation days can be taken consecutively. For example: if I have 3 weeks vacation, can I take all three weeks consecutively or should this be broken up over the calendar year?
    • If there are conflicting dates—how should this be handled? Multiple employees request the same time off, how will this be handled?
    • How should popular vacation period like Christmas, new years and long weekends be handled to allow for fair treatment amongst all employees?
  3. How vacation time should be requested- How far in advance do they need to request time off? For example, it’s a Saturday afternoon and you get a text that your hygienist just booked a last minute trip and will be gone for 2 weeks starting Monday…now you are left EXTREMELY short-handed. Having a policy that outline the process and timeline for requesting vacation time will avoid these stressful scenarios!

How Can This Be Implemented?

  1. Have your team members read and sign the vacation policy and save a copy in their employee file for easy reference.
  2. The office manager should have a vacation tracking master spreadsheet to know how many vacation days each employee is entitled too, who is on holidays and when they are away = so that you don’t accidentally double book multiple team members off!
  3. Have a vacation request form whereby the team member writes out their requested days off and contingency plan– ie: how their vacation time will be covered. This is given to the office manager/Dentist at least X number of weeks in advance and approved by them before the vacation is booked.
  4. Save the approved vacation request form in their employee file.

Can you see how important it is to have a Vacation policy AND Vacation protocol in place? There is SO much more involved than just having a standard policy written out. You need systems and accountability to ensure everything is running smoothly for the entire office—team, doc’s and for your patients!

Need help putting the HR documents together? We have this ready-made structures in place that include Vacation policy, request form and master spreadsheet so you can implement this in your practice right away!

 

Your new hire is about to start their FIRST day at your practice! They are feeling excited but nervous – they don’t know anyone or are familiar with your systems or preferences yet. Nevertheless, they are excited to start the first day of what could be many loyal years working in your practice. That is the way you need to view their first day as well; the beginning of a long-lasting working relationship.

This individual will be with you for 80% of their day! They will be taking care of YOUR patients and building YOUR practice. You want and NEED them to be successful because the reputation and success of your practice is dependent on it. Why not take the right steps and set them up for success — it benefits EVERYONE involved; your team, patients and practice’s reputation. There are a few key things you can do to ensure your new hires success. Start by downloading our New Hire Onboarding Checklist to get the 411.

Get the Welcome Wagon Ready! 
You know the drill during the first few minutes on the job, your tendency may be to parade your new hire around the office so quickly they will barely be able to manage a few handshakes as you announce, “Everyone, this is Samantha; Samantha, this is the team.” Before you know it, the team will jump back into what they were doing and the new hire is left standing around feeling alone and overwhelmed!

As a manager/owner, you can speed up the acclimation process for your new employees by spending a little more time on the introductions and—here’s the important part—making some connections from the start.

Instead of simply introducing your new hire by name, give a little background: “This is Samantha, our new Administrator. She’s amazing with Dentrix reports, so she’ll be a huge help with analyzing our current recall strategy and getting pending treatment back into our chairs and keep us all busy! In the meantime, she’ll be available to help show us how to pull up these reports for—so touch base with her to let her know what you need.”

With this, you have acknowledged your new employee’s strengths (and made him or her feel valuable from day one) and given current employees an opening to make the first contact and get the new hire immediately involved.

 Have a Plan 
This scenario is all too common and extremely ineffective…

“The minute I arrived on my worst first day, I felt like an afterthought. My boss ushered me to my desk, handed me their procedure manual and training videos to watch on their practice software program, and, after logging in, they told me to “play around and get comfortable” with the system. They said they had their own work to get done— so I was on my own. At the end of the almost unbearable day, I left the office doubting my decision to accept the offer. This isn’t what I expected at all!” This is what a candidate said asking for help to find her another office after this experience! NOT GOOD!

Is this how you want them to feel? I am sure you want them to be excited about their new position, eager to tackle their own projects, and striving to make an impact in your practice. And that doesn’t usually come from a thrown-together training plan that makes your new employee feel like you couldn’t care less that he or she actually showed up!

I know (from experience) that everyday responsibilities are always waiting to get in the way. But taking the time to plan out a variety of assignments or training tasks for the new hire—ideally, for at least the first week on the job—will not only help them get up to speed quicker but assure him that you’re truly invested in their success. Meaning: they will be much likelier to show up on day two confident that they are in the right place.

Assign a Mentor 
Find one or two employees who are your top-notch, A-type, go-getters who can take your new hire under their wing! They can show them the ropes and teach them the RIGHT skill sets and habits to make them successful. Your new employee will also feel much more at ease knowing there are a few people who “have their back” and can ask any questions they may have along the process.
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While it’ll still take plenty of time, training, and coaching to get your new employee up to speed, these small steps will lay the groundwork to get them familiar with the team and make sure they feel like an important, valued member of your practice.  And that will make day two (and onward!) a whole lot more successful!

We just covered a few small steps on what you can do to make their first day a success! But there is much more involved so make sure to grab our checklist and you can see what else should be on your to-do list for that first day.

 

Onboarding and integrating a new hire is a VERY CRUCIAL STEP and involves much more than having an orientation day. While orientation might be necessary (paperwork and other routine tasks must be completed), onboarding is a comprehensive process involving management and other employees that can last up to 12 months. Think of it as a mentoring program and you are investing in this new employee’s personal growth and development. This is key to long-term and loyal team members. What office doesn’t want that!?!? Want to learn how to do this? Then this mini-series is for you!! But first you need to download this guide and we will work on each of these categories throughout the series.

Always be prepared
Tune into your inner Boy Scout and be prepared! Have all of your documentation ready ahead of time. Meaning you need to have employment contracts, job descriptions, policy manuals, new hire forms and several key policies for your office. This ensures that your team always knows what’s expected of them right from day one! Simply telling your employees about your business practices and the requirements you have for them is not enough. You need to establish clear policies and guidelines. When you have such key documents in place. You are setting your new employee up for success and you are protecting your business and reputation that you worked so hard to build!

Let’s review a few of these items and their importance:

1. Employment Contract
Employment contracts are meant to protect not only the rights of you as an employer but also the rights (or powers) of your employees. It also helps ensure expectations and responsibilities of both the employee and employer are clearly defined and outlined right from day #1!

2. Job Descriptions
A job description typically outlines the necessary skills, training, and education needed by a potential employee. It will spell out duties and responsibilities of the job.
Once a job description is prepared, it can serve a basis for interviewing candidates, orienting a new employee and finally, in the job performance evaluation.

3. Policy Manual
A policy manual helps you communicate your expectations to your employees by developing a clear and thorough policy manual. These will be your workplace guidelines that cover a wide range of workplace activities, including hiring, training, resolving conflicts, maintaining a safe and healthy workplace, use of company property, business expenses, and MUCH more.

4. New Hire Forms & More
Other key items to have is their Employee Information Record which includes their emergency contact information. You also need to have information to process their payroll including tax forms and banking information. Having a copy of their license and/or certifications will ensure there are up to date and active to prove their education/training. Other policies like confidentiality agreement, overtime agreement, and salary confidentiality agreement is something that should be included in their new employee bundle when they are hired!
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Did you notice what all of these have in common? They serve as a great way to open the lines of communication between yourself and your new employee. You are telling them—this is what your job entails and I will be holding you to this BUT I am going to give you all of the tools you need to be successful at it!

Don’t have these tools in your new hire toolkit yet? We do! In fact, we have a comprehensive library of template Policies, Forms, Manuals and Guides that are easily accessible and available to support all aspects of your Dental Practice! Including our new hire bundle which includes 9 documents that have been strategically crafted and bundled together to help you!

Tune in next week to learn what Step 2 is and how to make sure the first day is a successful and productive one!

Congrats! You found an amazing candidate for your practice. But… finding the best candidates is only part of building an effective team. The process of onboarding new employees can be one of the most critical factors in ensuring your new talent will be productive and a valuable member of your team. This next blog series will discuss the best way to keep top talent!

Onboarding: the process of integrating a new employee into the office – is particularly challenging because it can be complicated, and it involves potential negative legal repercussions if it isn’t handled properly. Most people confuse onboarding with an orientation, which is done on your new employees first day. While orientation might be necessary — paperwork and other routine tasks must be completed — onboarding is a comprehensive process involving management and other employees that can last up to 12 months.

What is Onboarding and Why do I need it?

Here is a simple answer: If you want to retain the top talent, good employee onboarding is essential. First impressions are everything! Here are some compelling stats on why you need to have proper systems and protocols for the onboarding and integration of your new hire:

– 22% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days of employment.
– Onboarding and integration protocols can increase retention by 25% and improve employee performance by 11%.
– Employees who participate in a structured onboarding program are 69% more likely to stay with an organization for 3 years.
– 15% of employees said the lack of an effective onboarding program aided in their decision to quit.

Now I know you do not want to find yourself in the same position again= a vacant position! Successful onboarding is the first step to eliminating this problem. I am afraid there is no fail-safe way to keep all your new employees on board, but you can certainly improve your chances of success by following these guidelines.

Goals of an Effective Onboarding Process

Overall, effective onboarding should acclimate the new employee to allow them to become a contributing member of office in the briefest period possible, increase productivity, plus it makes the new hire happier and it saves you money! I say that’s a win-win, WIN for everyone! Here are some tips to make that happen:

Acclimate — Acclimating a new employee is far more than just pointing out the location of the break room or explaining the parking situation. Every workplace has its own personality, and every Dental Practice has its own goals and philosophies. Your new employee needs to understand what YOU expect from them and the specific role they will play in achieving those goals. At the same time, new hires need to be made aware of what they can expect from the office, such as management support, availability of resources or performance reviews.
Engage — A Gallup study showed a correlation between engaged employees and a company’s profitability, turnover rate, safety record, absenteeism, product quality and customer ratings. An effective onboarding plan offers an ideal opportunity to boost employee engagement, such as fostering a supportive relationship between a new hire and management, reinforcing the company’s commitment to helping employees’ professional growth or proving that management recognizes the employee’s talent.

Give me the 101 for onboarding

As it turns out, the most commonly used strategy in the new employee onboarding process is creating a checklist and we have done just that to help you out! DOWNLOAD YOUR CHECKLIST

Next week we will get into the nitty-gritty on what documents, policies, and contracts you should have ready and prepared for your new hires first day!

Welcome back! We hope you downloaded our free guide on sample interview questions and questions/topics to avoid asking a potential candidate. If not, you MUST download it now, we shared some valuable tips that you can’t afford to miss out!

The next step to find and hire your next employee of the month: do your due diligence! All candidates who apply for the position have one goal in mind- to get hired. They will do and say whatever it takes to make sure this happens! Do not be fooled… remember, you are investing your time, money and practices reputation on this person. They need to be top notch!

Here are some tips:

Reference checks are often overlooked and misunderstood
Would you ever buy a house without getting a home inspection first? You could be potentially walking into a money pit. Of course, you wouldn’t risk losing thousands of dollars! So why would you hire someone without doing a reference and background check?!?

Conducting reference checks can be one of the most important steps in the selection process. Since past performance is often the best indicator of future performance, references allow you to talk to their former employers in order to determine if the candidate being considered is the best person for your practice!

By conducting reference checks, you can avoid costs associated with failed probation periods and poor performances which can impact your current team dynamic and quality of patient care and damage your reputation.

Before making the calls, it is good practice to make a list of questions so that you are asking the same set of questions, giving you a consistent frame on which to base your decisions. All questions should be job-related and legal. You cannot ask questions during a reference check that you are prohibited from asking during an interview. – Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered…download some sample questions here

What kind of checks should I do?
There are a variety of checks you can perform on your potential employees. But first, before you begin this process, you must obtain consent from the applicant to contact their references!

Aside from reference checks, background checks should be next on your list! Performing background checks on your potential employee is an effective way to discover potential issues that could affect your business. We already touched on this here on the blog, but this candidate will have access to patients personal, medical and financial information! Sadly, fraud is very prevalent in our industry. Taking this one step could save you THOUSANDS! Another thing to consider is that this candidate will be working directly with or on your patients. What if there was a serious conviction in their past of substance abuse or a sexual offense? You could be leaving your patients and your practice vulnerable! A lot at risk here!

There are several companies that can perform a thorough background check that covers criminal reports, credit history, educational verification and much more! To process a background check, you need written consent from your employee. For prospective employees, the credit check should be completed only after a conditional offer of employment has been made in writing.

In summary, bad hiring decisions can and should be minimized by performing due diligence. Now more than ever, you need to redirect your hiring techniques and incorporate all of the recruiting methods available to you. Let’s be honest here- Your entire practice benefits when you conduct an appropriate reference or background check on any potential candidates!

Don’t forget to download the ultimate reference check guide now! If you are enjoying our series so far, please spread the word and share this with your Dental friends who would find this information of benefit!

Next week we will start our next series: “I hired someone…now what? How to retain TOP talent!” We will discuss proper onboarding and integration, employment contracts, job descriptions, performance reviews and much more! Till next time 😊

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!