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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 first contact and get the new hire immediately involved. 

 Have a Plan 
This scenario is all to 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.  
Next week, we dive into what their first week at the practice should look like!  

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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 of 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 of 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!

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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!

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 for 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 skillset. 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!

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