How to Find a Good Dental Team Member
We put so much time, effort, and money into our practices to create a WOW dental experience for patients. But before we can deliver that WOW experience, we need to hire a team to help us execute.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful your practice is, you need amazing team members to execute on your vision for your practice. When hiring, it’s not enough to just look at skills and credentials. You need to go deeper than that. You need a team of like-minded individuals who share your values and are just as excited as you are about the business.
A strong team of loyal, motivated people working together in the same direction can overcome even the toughest challenges. It will help you delegate what you don’t want to do and take time away from your practice without worry.
Here’s how to identify the right candidates to help you build a practice that delivers WOW experiences to patients every time they walk through the door.
Step #1. Know where you’re going and how the new hire fits into that vision.
The first step for any good plan is to know where you want to go. For every potential hire, ask yourself where your practice is going in the next three to five years and how the position fits into that vision. Do you want to grow to have multiple doctors in the future? If so, adding team members who are excited about growth and supporting additional doctors will be a plus.
Step #2. Identify and rank the traits, qualities, and skillsets you need.
Write down the traits, qualities, and skillsets needed for each position you want to fill. Do you need someone who is detail-oriented? Outgoing? Calming? Extra patient? Do you need someone with specific training? Specific experience? Specific skills?
Write down everything that comes to mind. Once you have all the qualities in mind, rank them by priority. Be sure to identify your non-negotiables. Non-negotiables are traits, qualities, and skills someone must have for the position. This could include a certification or license, a particular personality style, specific experience, or even a particular availability.
If you need someone to work on Saturdays or who can travel with the practice for CE, for example, Saturday or travel availability would be non-negotiable.
Step #3. Prescreen candidates before you interview them.
Interviews take time. Before interviewing, screen candidates to avoid you or a candidate taking time to interview for a position that won’t be a good fit. Before I invite people in for an interview, I ask them to take a personality test and answer pre-interview questions.
Different positions fit better with certain behavioral tendencies. Introverts and detail-oriented people, for example, are great for positions that involve accounts or ordering supplies. Outgoing and talkative people generally fit better at the front desk.
Be sure to include position-specific questions in your pre-screening. For example, if you know you need someone to take on a specific role in the practice, such as social media, make sure your new hire will be not only comfortable but excited to take on that task.
You can address these issues in the pre-interview questionnaire. My pre-interview questionnaire asks candidates several questions. We ask what they know about our office. We ask why they’re leaving their current position. And we ask where they see themselves in five and ten years. If traveling is important, we ask whether they can travel for training. If specific availability is important, we ask whether they’re available to work evenings or Saturdays. And if a specific personality trait is important, we ask whether they consider themselves shy or outgoing. Finally, we ask their desired salary. The way they answer these questions helps us know whether we want to interview them.
This form saves a lot of time and money.
Step 4. Conduct more than one round of in-person interviews for candidates who pass the initial screening.
Finally, I recommend you do at least two rounds of in-person interviews for candidates who make it past the pre-interview screening.
The first interview should involve you and the office manager. If you and your office manager are both excited about the candidate, arrange for a second round with key coworkers.
The second interview is almost an orientation. Its goal is to see how your other team members feel they’ll get along with the new candidate. This helps ensure a great interpersonal fit in addition to the technical and personality-style fit for your new candidate.
How do you find the best dental team member candidates for your practice?
Building an amazing team is one of the most impactful things you can do for your dental practice. In many ways, it’s at least as important as your business and marketing strategy. For some practices, it’s even more important.
Many dentists make the mistake of overlooking their team and the importance of the hiring process. Your team is who you and your patients interact with every day. Without them, you don’t have a business.
If you’re looking for training or coaching for your team to accelerate your growth, click here to learn more.
And if you want to start your practice in what we call the comfort-zone level of dentistry, I can’t help you. But if you want to start your practice off on the right foot from the start and avoid the common pitfalls, I invite all dentists to join our Dental Boss MOVEment Facebook Group.