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7 Ways to Hire the Best

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Linda Drevenstedt's picture
Joined: 27 Sep 2012

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Management experts tell us that personnel turnover costs a business at least 6-12 months of the salary for the position that you want to fill. I personally have seen the costs even higher if a key staff member leaves the practice. Yet, husbands get transferred, staff members have babies and decide not to return or they leave due to other family illness. Hiring is never something you want to do. And, because the process is arduous, it is important to have a consistent system for hiring to allow you to bring your team the best candidate.
Here are seven core ways to hire the best:
I. Have a professional employee handbook/personnel manual. This allows you to clarify all of the guidelines for working in your practice. I recommend that you work with a firm that has a labor law attorney on staff to create your practice personnel manual. Labor law violations are more likely to have you end up in court than OSHA, HIPAA or malpractice. All your staff member has to do is to go online or contact a labor law attorney if you have been in violation. Next thing you know, you are in court. (Email me if you need a referral.)
II. Have a written job description. Old news and yet most of the practices I go into do not have written job descriptions. Dentists often assume that if someone has experience as a hygienist then they will know how to be a hygienist in their practice. Let me tell you, after years of moving and temping as a hygienist before I took a position - NO two dentists expect the same duties from their hygienist.
III. Write a compelling ad and recruit candidates widely. Your ad should be written to attract a quality person. Have the best person you know who holds or has held this positon help you write an ad that they would respond to. Craig's List is good but don't rely on that alone. There are specific dental job posting services such as Use the grapevine of other practices, your lab and supply reps, local dental assisting or dental hygiene schools. And use your local paper's web job posting service. Offer a bonus (paid after 90 days of employment for the new staffer) for any team member who refers a person for the position. Be cautious with hiring relatives and "best friends."
NEVER hire someone you CANNOT fire!!
IV. Know the legal issues in hiring. If you have not viewed a webinar about hiring, or researched potential illegal interview questions, it would be good to do so before hiring.
V. Screen before you interview in-person. Direct resumes to a blind email so your practice is not identified. Set up you own gmail/yahoo account just for that purpose. After you receive your resumes, call the "Possibles" and conduct a Telephone Screening Interview. This allows you to save time before any in-person interviews. Telephone screening takes about 15-20 minutes each. In-person interviews take 45-60 minutes.
VI. Let them talk. Interview systematically with a list of legal questions. Do not talk too much to "sell" your practice or position. They will reveal many things that you cannot ask if you just keep asking a variety of questions. Ask several position-related questions.
VII. Check references ALWAYS!! Use a legal format to check references that are of former employers or supervisors. No need to call "best friend" references.
Lastly, always send a job order to your local dental placement agency. The employment agencies do charge a fee, however, they often have candidates who are looking behind the scenes and off the formal market. Their candidates are often looking for a better practice or a move up in position. This can be a great resource for you.
Use these 7 Ways to Hire the Best for your practice. Get everything in place now - before you need it. Check the resources on my website also.

Linda Drevenstedt
Drevenstedt Consulting LLC
Ventura, CA

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Linda Drevenstedt
Drevenstedt Consulting LLC
Ventura, CA