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Best practices for hiring dental practice staff

The learning curve for running your own dental practice can be long. Learning how to hire employees and build a great team is one very important element.

Follow these simple guidelines to help with that process.

Know what you want

Whether you’re looking for administrative help, a hygienist, a dental assistant or an associate dentist, know that there’s more to creating a successful job posting than filling in the job title. This is your practice so ask for exactly what you want.

A clear and concise job posting will include:

  • Required qualifications and certifications
  • Relevant past experience
  • Day to day responsibilities
  • Performance expectations
  • Information about your practice’s customary procedures and culture

Screen candidates

You don’t have time to interview everyone. Spend more time interviewing fewer candidates and shy away from trying to meet every single applicant who’s in the ballpark. Come up with a system to whittle down your list of applicants before you call interview them. A quick phone interview is a great way to get a feel for candidates before calling them in for an in-person interview.

Align values as much as capabilities

Team members are an extension of your practice and everything it represents. Hire according to your core values and vision and you won’t have to worry about fitting a square-peg employee into a round hole on your team.

Provide opportunities to interact with your team

While the final decision is ultimately yours, it’s a good idea to have potential candidates meet your current team and to ask your staff what they think before making a job offer.

Be willing to train

If your gut tells you a candidate is right for your team but their resume lacks the experience you seek, consider giving them a chance. It’s easier to train someone with a positive attitude than it is to retrain an experienced person that does not have the right attitude or does not fit your culture.

Don’t dismiss red flags

It’s easy to see a candidate through rose-tinted glasses. Don’t let positive first impressions sway you from seeing red flags when they appear. If the same red flag would disqualify a different candidate from the position, it should probably disqualify this candidate, too.

Take advantage of national dental job boards

Expanding your hiring radius broadens your range of applicants and improves your chances of finding the right fit. Some dental professionals are open to relocating. Don’t limit yourself to local applicants.

Take your time

Resist the urge to fill staffing needs as quickly as possible. Even when an important team member quits unexpectedly the long-term costs of a bad hire far outweigh the temporary relief of covering an immediate need.