Hiring in today's market

Dec. 12, 2011
Managing personnel and handling teamwork headaches can be nearly paralyzing sometimes. Tabitha Jaquay Fernandez of Jameson Management explains how you can make the hiring process more effective by addressing problems with crucial business systems, which will ultimately help you to enjoy dentistry even more!

By Tabitha Jaquay Fernandez

“Hiring is more difficult for me than most dentists.”

“There is a shortage of quality applicants in my area.”

“You just have to understand my region — it’s tough finding good people.”

“Turnover is such a big problem for us. I’d like to find someone once and be settled for a while.”

I hear these phrases all the time from people all over the country. While I understand this may be the case in some remote areas around the United States, it is most often a barrier that we can help you work around to make to a strong hiring decision.

With a national unemployment rate at an all-time high, we are seeing more applicants interviewing employers than employers interviewing applicants. Applicants are looking for balance and a good work environment, so it will be important for you, when listing your position, to pay attention at the wording and the description of the job.

Just as we teach you to market your services using patient-focused copy, you must now market the position you are hiring for with a focus on the applicant’s work environment and what makes this practice better than the one next door. If you don’t have positive things to say about your work environment in your ad, this may eventually lead to deeper issues that could result in turnover problems. Don’t deny those issues or defend them, but rather analyze them and address the necessary solutions.

The doctors I speak with every day through Jameson Management are looking for balance: peace in their practice and their personal lives. The job applicants you speak with in your practice are looking for the same things. They want stability from one month to the next and balance between work and personal facets of their lives.

This week, a doctor contacted me about an article, titled “Finding Quality Team Members,” that she had received from our founder, Cathy Jameson. The article included sample ads dental teams can place when a position opens in the practice. This doctor called me because, after following all of our recommendations in the article, she finally selected someone who came back two days before she was supposed to start and said she had accepted another position. The doctor had offered the woman the position two weeks prior. She had accepted and they selected a start date. Needless to say, the doctor was very frustrated. After investigating the situation, she discovered that the candidate did not have a better offer, but rather had heard how poorly team members are treated by the doctor.

Because applicants have many options right now, it is important for doctors to conduct exit interviews and find out why team members leave. You may also have an outside advisor do these interviews in order to gather the most honest and crucial information. You must be open to the feedback from the interviews. Do not become defensive; simply look at how you can improve based on the feedback you receive. If you have internal problems that are not addressed, turnover WILL continue.

At the AADOM meeting this year, Kathy Mataxis spoke about “The GAP.” The GAP, she said, refers to the differences in generations — what each generation values, how they learn and communicate. All of these things are important to look at when you experience turnover and are looking for new team members. Cathy Jameson has taught us listening and communication skills that take generational factors into consideration, as well as many other types of life experiences and differences. Have you explored such factors within your existing team? Have you worked on excellence among the employees you already have, or do you keep throwing your energy toward replacing the people who leave without looking deeper?

Cathy says, “When obstacles or challenges present themselves, you have the choice to determine how you will handle those challenges. Face them head on.” We recognize that the problem or challenge is evident the moment progress stops taking place ... the moment resistance stops forward motion. Many might not want to address the situation until things are getting bad — and then moving from bad to worse. Instead, it is better to face the reality that you and your team may have some room for system enhancements. Then, get started!

Managing personnel and handling teamwork headaches can be nearly paralyzing sometimes. However, in order to enjoy doing dentistry, one must address crucial business systems and be able to effectively manage a team of professionals. Jameson can help you find this balance that you and your team members want and deserve.

Author bio
Tabitha Jaquay Fernandez is director of client relations at Jameson Management, Inc. She is often one of the first Jameson team members to hear your story and start paving a path toward the solution. Hear more of what Tabitha and other dental practice management advisors have to say on Jameson’s complimentary webinar series. Register today at www.JamesonManagement.com/webinars or call (877) 369-5558 for more information.