Top 5 mistakes dentists make when hiring employees

July 6, 2012

The hiring process is hardly ever enjoyable; the paperwork alone can be enough to drive anyone insane. Unfortunately, this long, exhausting process is unavoidable.  If you’ve said, “I know I need a good team, but it is too hard to find the right people,” chances are you’ve made some mistakes during the hiring process. Here’s a breakdown of the top 5 mistakes dentists make during the hiring process, and how you can avoid them.

The hiring process is hardly ever enjoyable; the paperwork alone can be enough to drive anyone insane. Unfortunately, this long, exhausting process is unavoidable.  If you’ve said, “I know I need a good team, but it is too hard to find the right people,” chances are you’ve made some mistakes during the hiring process.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 5 mistakes dentists make during the hiring process, and how you can avoid them.

1. You didn’t provide a clear enough job description. Don’t skip over any details when reviewing your job description, and make sure applicants are fully aware of what they are expected to do, said Cathy Jameson, CEO and Founder of Jameson Management. All candidates should be aware of every skill they must possess prior to employment to make them a successful team member.

“The clearer you are with your written job descriptions-which would be reviewed during employment interviews-the better both you and the candidate will be,” Jameson said.

2. You don’t know what you’re looking for. Before you begin the interviewing process, you have to know what traits and skills you want the candidate to possess, Jameson said. Brainstorm with your team members about what characteristics you need in a new team member, that way when you begin the process you have a better understanding of what kind of person would benefit the team most.

3. You go with your gut. Sometimes, when you’re interviewing an applicant, you get a ‘gut feeling’ that this person is the right fit, said Penny Reed Limoli, owner of the Reed Limoli Group. Don’t go with your gut and hire the person on the spot. Always fact check, call for references and check the candidate’s job history before you make an offer. Also be on the lookout for ‘job hopping.’ If a candidate has not held a job with one company for at least two years, you should consider whether this person is the right ‘fit’ for you and your team.

4.You assume that just because they’ve made it through the paperwork and the interview, they are going to cut it in the office. Always provide new staff with orientation and training. It may seem tedious, but it is a crucial part of discovering how the applicant will work not only with clients, but also with staff.

“No matter how carefully you organize the hiring process, if a person is not carefully integrated in the early days, weeks and months of employment, the research shows that this becomes a major factor in shortened longevity, lowered productivity and disappointment in the job,” Jameson said.

5. You hire someone out of desperation. This happens more often than you may think, Limoli said. You might think you simply don’t have the time to be selective during the interviewing process, so you hire the first ‘decent’ person who walks through the door. HUGE mistake. Make sure you check every fact and detail, and most importantly, find the time to interview applicants. That way, you don’t hire someone who’s decent; you hire someone who is perfect for your practice.

All these mistakes can be detrimental to a practice, but they are all easy to avoid. How? Limoli suggests establishing a hiring process.

“This ensures two things,” she said. “The first is with a hiring process, every candidate will be compared on the same level. Establishing a hiring process will also eliminate that ‘gut feeling’ you get when meeting with applicants.”

The most important thing you can do to keep yourself from making the most common mistakes is to allow yourself the time to meet with and review applicants. It is tough, but if you pay enough attention to detail and learn from the mistakes above, you’ll have a perfect new staff member in no time.