Sally McKenzie, CEO of McKenzie Management.
You may not want to hear this, but to ensure you don't make a bad hiring decision that may cost your practice thousands of dollars, you need to put a hiring system in place. Yes, that might mean it takes a little longer to fill open positions, but you'll find you're filling those positons with the right candidates, rather than with people who want to do as little as possible and still collect a paycheck.
Sound overwhelming? It doesn't have to be. I've put together a list of the most common hiring mistakes dentists make and how you can avoid them.
You don't have detailed job descriptions
Like it or not, you need to develop detailed job descriptions for every position in your practice. Each job description should outline exactly what the position entails and the skill set necessary to succeed in the role -- making it easy for you to eliminate applicants who aren't a good fit. And if you send the job description to candidates before scheduling an interview, those who don't meet the requirements can bow out before wasting both your time and theirs.
Detailed job descriptions not only help you find qualified employees when it's time to hire, they also help keep current employees on track. They make your expectations clear and outline who's responsible for which systems. They tell team members how their performance will be measured and serve as a road map to success for both new and current team members.
Your job ads are too general
If you want to attract the best and brightest applicants to your practice, you need to make sure your job listing stands out. How? Target your ad specifically to the position you're hiring. Use active words to describe the position and highlight the type of information job seekers care about most, including hours, location, benefits, and position status. And don't forget to include a salary range in your job listing or you might lose many prospects.
You're easily impressed by resumes
When resumes start coming in, you need to carefully review them and look for common red flags. I know it's easy to be dazzled by an impressive resume, but remember they're nothing more than a sales pitch. You'd be surprised by how many applicants exaggerate their experience on their resume or even flat out lie.
So what common red flags should you be on the lookout for? If a resume doesn't include a chronological record of employment, there's a good chance the applicant is a job hopper. Large time gaps in employment history are another indicator the candidate isn't hiring material, and you should send that resume straight to the "no" pile.
You don't do phone screenings
“When you're ready to hire, ask candidates to complete a few tests before officially bringing them on board.”
While it might be tempting to skip this step and go straight to a face-to-face interview, don't. You'll save a lot of time and frustration if you talk with candidates over the phone before scheduling in-person interviews. You can learn a lot about candidates during these screenings, such as your current front runner is expecting a much higher salary than you can afford, or the person has no interest in working the night and weekend hours the role requires.
The phone screening is also a good time to ask candidates any questions you have about their employment history. As you talk, pay attention to tone and attitude. By the end of the call, you should have a pretty good idea if a candidate just isn't a good fit for the position -- saving you both time and frustration down the road.
You're not sure what questions to ask
Once you finally get to a face-to-face interview, you'll need to ask the right questions to find out if the applicant truly is qualified for the role and is passionate about helping your practice succeed.
Questions candidates can answer with a "yes" or "no" simply aren't going to cut it. Remember, this is your opportunity to get to know candidates and to learn more about their relevant experience and skill set. Ask questions that will get them to open up and share this information. Keep pressing if they try to give you vague answers, but know this might just mean they're not right for the job.
You don't test them
When you're ready to hire, ask candidates to complete a few tests before officially bringing them on board. These tests can reveal much more about applicants than interviews alone. Ask them to fill out an application and complete pre-employment testing that includes an assessment test as well as a personality temperament test. And of course, conduct background checks and call references before handing out any job offers.
I know the hiring process can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. Think of it as an opportunity to improve your systems and your practice. Remember having the right team members in place is vital to your practice's success. A strong, qualified team will keep your practice running efficiently, and that will lead to increased productivity and a growing bottom line.
Sally McKenzie is CEO of McKenzie Management and the author of "How To Hire The Best Dental Employee." McKenzie Management offers educational and management products available at www.mckenziemgmt.com. Contact her at 877-777-6151 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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