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.
__________
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!