How do I REALLY know this is the right person for my Dental Practice?

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 😊

Asking the Right Questions to Find Your Next Employee of the Month

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!

How to Recruit and Screen to Find the Best Candidates

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!

Hiring Top Talent Can Make ALL the Difference!

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. 

Why Hire a Recruiter?

When it comes to running a dental practice, dentists want to focus on treating their patients and not spending all their efforts on the stressful hiring process. It takes a lot of time to hire the right person. That's exactly where a recruiter would be beneficial. With the right kind of recruiter by your side, finding the best, experienced and ideal dental candidates becomes a lot easier.

Having the Right People: When you hire a new employee, you spend a lot of time, resources and money to get them trained. What happens if after all that effort, they quit or it doesn’t work out! The practice encounters a number of problems in the absence of well trained, experienced and knowledgeable staff. Having a great dental team in place allows the dental office to operate smoothly and achieve their desired goals.

Achieve Success and Business Goals: A recruiter can find you the right people for your team who can further aid you in fulfilling your business goals and steer your dental practice on the path of success. Remember, when you choose the right set of people today, you’ll find it more convenient to fulfill your targets tomorrow. Candidates with positive mindset bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm with them, which eventually benefits the office in the long run. An experienced recruiter can assess candidates on your behalf and spot the right ones for your practice. With their years of practice and experience, they can determine which candidates are serious about their careers and future and which ones are simply looking for nothing more than job security.

Recruitment-Word-Cloud Save Time: Having a recruiter for your dental practice will aid you in saving a great deal of your time and energy, which you can further put towards expanding as well as strengthening your business. A recruiter will focus on getting you the right kind of dental professionals and assistants for your practice. This is a huge advantage for dentists & dental practices that do not have much time on hand to interview each and every candidate personally and then determine which ones are appropriate for their business. A recruiter will pre-screen and interview a number of candidates and review their resume to determine whether they are appropriate for the role or not. Recruiters dig into a candidate’s past experiences and current job profiles to analyze their true potential and capabilities.

Develop Long-term Partnership: Recruiters focus on building long-term relationships with their both candidates & clients. We help you find the best employees who fit your needs and your culture but that’s not all. We stick with you and your new hire during the critical onboarding process. We provide motivation so they can reach their full potential

Is your time valuable to you and your practice?! A lot goes into recruiting the right dental staff for various roles. Let a recruiter take over that task for you, so you can focus on your practice.
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Contact Stream Dental today for a Free Consultation and let us assess your requirements and needs so we can find the right candidate for you!

Top 5 Questions to Ask At Your Next Dental Job Interview

Congratulations! Your resume has impressed the Dentist and they just asked you to come in for an interview. Now what???

As an aspiring dental professional in this competitive job market, you NEED to make a genuine first impression to stand out! One way to get started is to find out about the dental practice you are planning to join. While, preparing the relevant documents, resume and gathering details pertaining to your previous work experience and skills are important, it is impertinent that you make a list of questions that you would want to ask your future employer. Interviewing the interviewer...make sure this new office will match your needs, goals and lifestyle!

Here, take a look at the top 5 questions that you must ask during your next interview!

1.What is Your Dental Services Philosophy?

Simple right? Make sure to listen carefully! Their answer is important and can give you a good indication of their office and patient philosophy.

Now ask yourself- "Does this match my philosophy? Are they providing the level of patient care, services, and treatment that I would recommend to my family/friends? Is this environment somewhere I would be happy spending 8+/hours a day in?

Deep...I know! But this a great question, it not only shows your genuine interest to fit in but you will also help you to figure out if you will be happy working in their office. Being happy and satisfied with your work will make you a better dental health care provider and a better team player!

2.What type of Dental Technologies are you currently using?

If you wish to become a successful dental professional then make sure you join an office that offers modern, sophisticated and advanced dental technologies, software, and services! This will help you gain an insight into the world of dentistry and expand your knowledge and skills. You will also grow into a more efficient, experienced and effective dental professional in the future.

This question lets them know you are eager to apply your valuable skills and take their office from good to GREAT!

3.What are Your Future Plans? How are you growing?

This answer will help you find out more about their exact expansion plans, roadmap, new services and future goals.  You will be able to let them know how your previous skills and experience can help them reach their goals! It shows your value now and as a long-term employee!

4.What would be my role in your company?

You may be saying..."Hello! It's for as a Receptionist/RDA/RDH!"... Yes, BUT, it's important to understand the kind of position the company is willing to offer you. As an aspiring dental professional, you must find out more about your specific role within the organization. Their answer will give you a chance to see if this position will offer room for growth, promotion, and longevity in their office.

5.What would be our next step?

This question should be asked right when the interview has reached its conclusion. Remember, no company will disclose whether they would be hiring you right away. But by asking such a question, you will send a strong message - you are interested and enthusiastic about working with them! Plus, after asking such strategic questions, why wouldn't they hire you?!?

Need help with your job search? Find out how Stream Dental Staffing Solutions can help you find your dream job faster!