7 tips to help you avoid bad hires

2016 05 24 14 35 52 802 Mc Kenzie Sally 2016 400

When a team member decides to move on, it can be pretty disruptive, especially if that employee has been with your practice for years. It changes your team dynamic and requires you to spend time looking for a replacement, time you'd much rather spend doing about a million other things.

Sally McKenzie, CEO of McKenzie Management.Sally McKenzie, CEO of McKenzie Management.

Hiring can be a daunting task, which is why most dentists want to get it over with as quickly as possible. So instead of going through the proper steps, they hire the first person who sends in an impressive resume. Unfortunately, this can turn into a costly mistake.

Rushing through the process will almost certainly lead to a bad hire, and bad hires hurt practice productivity, team morale, and your bottom line. Eventually, employees who aren't the right fit will quit in frustration or you'll have to let them go, putting you back to where you started.

Instead of focusing on getting someone on board as quickly as possible, focus on adding the right person for the job. Implementing a hiring process will help ensure you get it right the first time, saving you from the many headaches a bad hire can bring.

Here are seven tips that can help.

1. Craft thorough job descriptions

This is a big one. Many dentists convince themselves they don't really need job descriptions. These are the same dentists wondering why tasks aren't getting done, and why the practice isn't as productive as it should be. The fact is, job descriptions are vital. They serve as a road map to success for employees, and they can also help guide you through the hiring process.

When putting job descriptions together, include a definition of the role, the skills required to succeed, and an overview of your expectations. This makes it clear who's responsible for what. It will also help weed out candidates who aren't a good fit. Share job descriptions with applicants early in the process. That way, if it's clear they don't have the necessary skillset, they can remove themselves from consideration.

2. Develop targeted, detailed job ads

It's important to target your job ad to the position you need to fill and to highlight all the relevant details job seekers will want to know, such as location and hours. This is how you attract the best applicants. Use active words to describe the job and be sure to include a salary range. If you don't, half of the potential candidates who come across your ad will quickly move on to the next opportunity.

3. Be on the lookout for resume red flags

It's easy to be wowed by an impressive resume, especially if you're trying to get through the hiring process as quickly as possible. Remember, resumes are marketing tools, and candidates often exaggerate their experience or even lie. Their goal is to get an interview. Your goal is to weed out anyone who doesn't have the skillset or qualifications you're looking for.

When reading resumes, there are plenty of red flags of which to take note. For example, if the resume lists skills, responsibilities, and accomplishments but is missing a chronological record of employment or job details, chances are the applicant is a job hopper. The presence of large gaps in employment history is another red flag that should give you pause.

4. Carefully consider personality type

It's important to make sure anyone you bring on board has the right temperament for the role and is comfortable performing all job duties. For example, someone who tries to avoid conflict at all costs wouldn't do well handling collection calls. I suggest you ask top candidates to complete preemployment testing that includes a personality assessment. This will help you determine if they are good fits.

Do you want to learn more about personality types? Consider reading my book on the subject. You can also check out a DrBicuspid.com continuing education course on personality types if you want more information.

5. Screen candidates over the phone

A 30-minute phone conversation can save you a lot of time and heartache. Use these interviews to find out what candidates are looking for in a job and to learn more about their experience. You may find their salary requirements aren't aligned with what you're prepared to offer, or that they're not interested in working the required evening hours. Learning this type of information will help you narrow your list even more before scheduling in-depth, face-to-face interviews.

6. Ask the right questions

Whether talking to candidates face to face or over the phone, it's important to ask open-ended questions that allow them to explain their experience and how they can benefit your practice. If interviewees are clearly avoiding questions about their experience, talking around them as much as possible, it's a sign that something is off and they're not right for the role.

7. Always check references

Even if you feel confident you've found the one, it's important to check references before you extend an offer. You may learn the candidate isn't a team player or struggles to get to work on time -- information you'll want to know before you make this person part of your team.

Hiring the wrong employee can significantly cost your practice. I want to help you avoid that. My new e-book, Hiring the Best Dental Employee, will guide you through the process. Of course, if you want even more guidance, don't hesitate to reach out. I'm here to help.

Sally McKenzie is the CEO of McKenzie Management, a full-service dental practice management company. Contact her directly at 877-777-6151 or at [email protected].

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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