Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2015 06 Job Interview 1

Hiring strategies for your dental practice

June 4, 2015
Everyone wants to find the right people to join the team of their dental practice. Hiring is not as easy as it may sound. Here is some good advice and how to prepare before you begin the search for just the right dental team member.

You have carefully considered your need for an additional team member and have determined that you need to hire another employee. This decision is typically made for one of two reasons:

1. Your ability to increase production, provide better service for patients, or support the current providers in the practice is hindered because you don’t have adequate team members to cover.
2. You have a need for a specific skill that is not present in your existing team, for example, PDA or treatment coordinator.

When you hire someone, you need to do it correctly, which means doing it in the most cost effective and time efficient manner possible. Hiring a new employee may seem like a fairly straightforward endeavor, but it’s important not to act before you carefully prepare. While there are never any guarantees that the person you hire will work out, there are some steps you can take to attract the best candidates and precautions you can take to improve your chances of making a good decision.

Determining what you need
Before you start the process of hiring somebody for a new position, you must know what you’re looking for. The more completely you understand the position for which you’ll be interviewing, the better you’ll be able to evaluate applicants and choose the best ones for consideration.

Job descriptions and specifications are two tools that will help a great deal in evaluating potential candidates. A job description is a written record of the responsibilities of a particular job. It indicates the qualifications required for the position and outlines how the job relates to others in the practice. In a clear, concise manner, the job description should indicate position title, salary or compensation method, area that person will work in, to whom they are accountable, their work schedule, a summary of the job, major responsibilities, and qualifications needed.

The job description should be organized in such a way that it indicates not only the responsibilities, but also the importance of these responsibilities. Within the categories mentioned above, include such information as the following examples—computer experience required, working conditions, and terms of employment.

If the position is new, the job description will help you clarify what the position entails and the necessary qualifications. If you’re filling a position that ‘s been vacated, and if it’s possible to do so, ask the departing employee to update the job description. Job descriptions can become quickly outdated. A departing employee may also help you review the job description to determine if activities being performed still add value to the practice.

It is important to be able to answer these questions:
• What is the purpose of the job?
• What day-to-day duties are performed?
• What other duties are performed?
• How is the position supervised?
• How much or how little control is exercised over this position?
• What instruments, computer, or equipment must be used?
• What external or internal contacts are required?
• What verbal, numerical, or computer skills are necessary?

Determining the requirements of the position
When you’re determining the hiring criteria, you’ll need to examine experience, education, intelligence, and personality requirements. By establishing these requirements objectively through the use of the job analysis, job descriptions, and job specifications, you will eliminate bias that might be caused by poor values, and you’ll be able to look objectively at the traits tied to performance of the job.

As you define selection criteria, you will need to look at the job performance of the former employee and isolate two or three characteristics that have the most impact on successful job performance. Before you begin your search for qualified applicants, consider education, experience, physical requirements, and personality requirements. Be careful that each requirement you identify is specifically job related. This can help avoid potential problems later. Don’t make these job determinations in a vacuum. Ask the other team members for their perspective.

RELATED READING:Train new team members well to ensure success in your dental practice
5 questions to ask when hiring an administrative assistant for your dental practice

Lisa Philp, RDH, is the president of Transitions Group North America. As one of dentistry’s most sought-after leaders, coaches, authors, and speakers, her mission is to allow dental professionals to achieve fulfillment in the workplace. Visit her online at