The Top Five Hiring Mistakes In Dentistry

Take a moment and answer these questions:

  • Have you ever been unable to fill a position in a reasonable amount of time?
  • Do some of your new employees seem to start out very well and then fade?
  • Have you ever had a new employee who looked great on paper but who just didn’t perform in your practice?
  • Does the doctor do any of this hiring process personally?

If you answered yes for any of those, you’re making one of the top five hiring mistakes.

The Hiring Mistakes:

Mistake #1 – Not having a clear vision for your practice

Having a clear vision allows you to filter every decision you make on whether that decision will take you closer to or further away from your vision.

Early on I made this mistake. I had a desire to see my practice grow but I didn’t have a clearly defined and effectively communicated vision.

I was making hiring decisions not based on this vision of growth but on a desire to lower overhead. Because I had this decision to reduce overhead, I was going to err on the side of too few employees rather than too many. Now, if you’re going to have growth, you’re going to need more employees. I was erring on the opposite side of my vision.

It’s very simple: my lack of vision clearly communicated to my team was strangling my practice.

Mistake #2 – Not having a clearly defined role for a new employee

Very few practices have written job descriptions for employees. Even fewer have a clearly defined role for the new employee that matches the new employee’s skills and experience level.

This mistake looks like this in practice:

  • You have one employee leave,
  • She’s been in the position for many years and wears many hats in the practice: supplies, lab work, complex temporaries, etc…
  • A replacement is hired and is expected to fill all the roles of her predecessor.
  • While she does have good skills and good qualities, she may not have experience in all those roles, and she’s expected to fill those roles with no training process.
  • She is absolutely destined to fail. She begins to fail by becoming disinterested, becoming not as motivated, and not as initiative-taking as she could have been.

Mistake #3 – Not having a systematic and objective way to pick the best candidate

Left to their own devices, doctors tend to hire people who they like and make them feel good. This candidate may not have the best qualities to do the job. An objective process will produce a much better hire than a doctor using their gut.

Having an objective method is the key ingredient to getting the team in charge of hiring.

Mistake #4 – Having a doctor perform the hiring process

A well-trained team member using an objective hiring system will do a better job than a doctor going by gut feel any day.

Also, this saves a tremendous amount of the doctor’s time which can then be used for driving up production and therefore collection.

Mistake #5 – Having an untrained member perform the hiring

Our world becomes more litigious by the day. There are federal and state laws that protect people from unfair hiring practices. These rules, if not carefully followed, can result in fines, ligation and very bad press.

Have a well-trained trusted team member capable of both hiring, and if it should be necessary, releasing employees.