A well-functioning dental team is dependent on all its members to provide the highest quality of patient care. Unfortunately, hiring a solid dental team is one of the biggest challenges many dentists face. Many dental owners will experience high employee turnover and poor communication, which can directly affect the image and productivity of an office.
Some of the biggest challenges a dental owner will face with hiring good team members are effective communication and outlining clear job responsibilities. When interviewing potential new team members, dental owners will sometimes rush in the hiring process because it can be a struggle to find the right fit. Instead, poor hiring decisions will occur and a less passionate and dedicated team member will be hired.
Dental owners also experience challenges in finding the appropriate number of employees they need. Many offices will under staff, leading to stress on existing team members, or over-staff, causing financial issues and vague job descriptions.
Most team members thrive when they have a clearly outlined job description and responsibilities. Many times dentists will try and cross-train, and while many team members will wear different hats in an office, sometimes employees are not prepared or qualified. It is important to discuss the responsibilities of the team member based on their experience and competency. Many team members will often feel discouraged and stressed when they are not doing the job they were initially hired for. If you plan to use your employee for a different skill set than they were hired for, you should be prepared to discuss these responsibilities (and compensation changes) to ensure the employee is comfortable and competent.
Hiring and training a dental staff is usually not a skill a dentist was trained to do in school. Still, there are many strategies that can help a dental owner hire and retain long-term, passionate employees.
Communication is key when interviewing a potential job candidate. If you hear a job prospect is not passionate about a previous job or the current one being hired for, she/he is not the right candidate for your office. Discuss clear job descriptions so that the candidate understands what position you are hiring for and what your expectations are.
Effective screening measures are important to eliminate poor candidates. Background checks, references, and having a 90-day work trial are effective ways of finding good employees that are qualified. Have a potential candidate shadow or do a working interview. This way you can present your work culture and show the potential employee how you expect your office to be run.
The biggest step in hiring a great dental team is recognizing your goals of the office and relaying this in a clear way to applicants. When you find someone that shares the same values and work ethic, you will hopefully find a long term and successful employee that brings quality to your practice.
By Dr. Anand, DDS | firstname.lastname@example.org