In this new practice management column, Penny Reed of Penny Reed and Associates shares tips and advice to help your dental practice thrive.

In this second installment, she tells you how to make sure you always have high quality candidates to turn to when a position opens up at your practice.

"/> In this new practice management column, Penny Reed of Penny Reed and Associates shares tips and advice to help your dental practice thrive.

In this second installment, she tells you how to make sure you always have high quality candidates to turn to when a position opens up at your practice.

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    How to recruit the best dental team for your practice

    In this new practice management column, Penny Reed shares tips and advice to help your dental practice thrive. In this second installment, she tells you how to make sure you always have high quality candidates to turn to when a position opens up at your practice.

    In this new practice management column, Penny Reed of Penny Reed and Associates shares tips and advice to help your dental practice thrive.

    In this second installment, she tells you how to make sure you always have high quality candidates to turn to when a position opens up at your practice.

    In the previous article we looked at common mistakes made in dental hiring.  The first of those is waiting to recruit until you have an open position. 

    I will be the first to agree that there are plenty of differences between running a dental practice and coaching a professional sports team. 

    However, one of the positive attributes we can model from professional sports is the continuous search for talent and building relationships to hire the ideal candidates when we have a position available.

    Admittedly, the practice of hiring is something I began in my corporate days and continued to focus on during my 20+ years in dental consulting because of the lack of experience and confidence that most dentists and office managers have in this area. 

    Let's face it, if we could eliminate turnover, many of our headaches in running a business would disappear.

    One common practice among dentists we've worked with is the natural tendency to hang on to underperforming team members.  It seems like the path of least resistance is the easiest way to go. 

    After all, it can be uncomfortable at times to ask a team member to step up his or her performance.  This is especially true if you have no possible candidates to reach out to if a team member opts to leave your practice rather than follow your protocols

    Have you have ever felt like your team is holding you hostage, meaning you cannot run your practice the way you want to because your staff threatens you directly or indirectly, and you have continued to allow them to treat you this way?  If so, it is likely you don’t have any prospects available to replace those team members, so the thought of coaching them to step up or replacing them is frightening.

    Here’s how you can take action and begin to recruit the type of people you want in your practice:

    1. Determine who your ideal candidate is.  You must know who you are looking for so you will recognize them when you see them.  Are they friendly and outgoing?  Based upon your state practice act, what certification(s) must they have?

    2. Always carry business cards with you.  This is an excellent practice for potential patients as well as possible team members.  Ask individuals who impress you to send you a resume to keep on file. 

    Say, "We currently don't have any open positions in our office, but we are always looking for talented people who are team players.  I would love to have your resume on file." 

    And when you receive resumes, keep them in a file that is easy to access.

    3. Add a tab to your practice website for ‘Employment Opportunities.’  This sends the message that you would love to have resumes from potential candidates. Setup a separate email address to route these resumes to and have your office manager keep them on file.

    4. Stay connected with the dental education programs in your area.  Whether you have a local dental school, hygiene school or dental assisting program, be sure to establish and maintain a relationship with them. 

    Offer externships in your practice and keep the door open to meet with students and recent graduates.  All students and recent graduates will need experience interviewing and it would be great to give them the opportunity to come in for a “mock” interview.  You will be amazed at the talent you will run across and the relationships you will establish.

    Remember, recruiting is different from hiring.  You always should be in a mode of recruiting and creating relationships.  Then, when you are in need of a new team member, you will have the cream of the crop to choose from. 

    Keep your eyes open for next month’s article on employment ad placement and screening candidates.    

    Want more advice from Penny Reed? Watch this Morning Huddle video to learn how you can save your dental practice $500 per day:

    Penny Reed Limoli
    Since 1992, Penny Reed Limoli has been working with dentists and their teams nationwide to help them achieve success in their practices. ...