5 common hiring mistakes and how you can avoid them

Dec. 22, 2010
There are great people out there who want to work and want to work well in a professional/health-care environment. Cathy Jameson, PhD, lists five common mistakes that put the hiring process in jeopardy, and as a consequence threaten your chances of having the practice of your dreams.
by Cathy Jameson, PhDWhile hiring is the pivotal point at which an employee launches into a new position, hiring itself is not easy, and in many instances it is not handled well. Jim Collins, in his bestseller “Good to Great,” says, “When in doubt, don’t hire.” However, many dentists do not display the patience needed to hire properly. That is why we say to hire slowly and hire right. Here are five common hiring mistakes that put the hiring process in jeopardy. 1. No clear, current job descriptions. Research supports the fact that people want to know what their position responsibilities will be in a new job. They want to be able to identify areas where they bring expertise to the table and areas where learning will be necessary. The clearer you are with your written job descriptions — which would be reviewed during employment interviews — the better both you and the candidate will be. 2. No idea of the characteristics desired in the person whom you wish to fill a position. While I do not recommend that you go into a hiring process with a closed mind, I do encourage you to brainstorm — as a team — what you would like the new team member to be like. What values, characteristics, experience, etc., would you find desirable?3. No formal/legal process for hiring. There are human resource laws that govern the hiring process. These laws are unique to each state. It is imperative that you stay in contact with human resource experts to make sure your application is current and legal, that you know what you can and cannot ask during an interview, and how to hire for the protection of both you and the candidate! Hiring should not be a haphazard process. The more carefully you handle each detail, the more time, money, and effort you will save in the long run.4. No interview knowledge. At Jameson, we believe that communication is the bottom line to your success. That applies to any job, any position, any person on the team, any interaction with patients. The crux of excellent hiring lies in your ability to communicate to the candidates and to encourage open, honest, comprehensive communication from them. During an interview the candidate should do about 70% of the talking and you should do about 30%. Be ready to ask open-ended questions and then listen.5. No formal orientation or training program. So you have gone through all the steps in the process of hiring and here you are — day one. You throw the new employee into the activity of a normal day and tell him or her to just follow along and figure things out! NOT GOOD! No matter how carefully you organize the hiring process, if a person is not carefully integrated in the early days, weeks, and months of employment, research shows that this becomes a major factor in shortened longevity, lowered productivity, and disappointment in the job. Enthusiasm for the new position quickly wanes and complacency sets in. Have a written program for training, make sure the new employee has a mentor, celebrate the victories, and find out where concerns or confusions may lie. Feedback is vital to the growth of an employee.This is an excerpt from Cathy Jameson’s article “Hire slow and hire right.” CLICK HERE to read the entire article.Author bioCathy Jameson is founder and CEO of Jameson Management, Inc., a company dedicated to improving the lives of dental professionals through in-office, comprehensive coaching. For more information, visit www.JamesonManagement.com.