Hiring the right associate dentist for your practice can help you avoid internal conflicts, unhappy patients and maybe even legal issues. After all, the reputation of your business hinges on the effectiveness of your team. That’s good motivation to get it right the first time.
Here's what you should know about hiring an associate dentist for your dental practice.
Problems Stemming From a Bad Hire
There are countless problems that can stem from hiring the wrong person for your dental practice. Here are some of the common issues you could experience when your associate dentist isn’t a good fit.
When a new hire, particularly one in a leadership role, isn’t meeting productivity standards, it can negatively impact your entire practice. For instance, when other team members observe them performing poorly without repercussions, it sets a bad example that may cause productivity to drop throughout the entire team. This could result in fewer patients, longer wait times, poor customer service and inevitably, increased dissatisfaction among patients.
In a survey of more than 2,100 CFOs, 95 percent said that a bad hire affected staff morale. A ripple effect of negative consequences can cause that blow to morale including overburdened co-workers picking up the slack, the responsibility of fixing mistakes and the general stress of bad business caused by poor work performance.
Making more money often becomes difficult, if not impossible, when your team can't function efficiently and you're losing patients. Even excluding loss of profits as a factor, forty one percent of hiring managers surveyed estimate a bad hire costing their company thousands of dollars in resources.
Your clients trust your ability and skills as a professional. An incompetent, ineffective or unprofessional associate dentist could easily damage the reputation of your entire practice as patients share their negative experience with your practice as a whole, without differentiating between care providers. Your reputation may also suffer if your team is less efficient, wait times are longer or your facilities aren’t as maintained as they once were.
Once your reputation begins to slide, it can be difficult to recover as ease of online reviews and the weight they play in our decisions as consumers continue to grow.
What You Can Do to Hone Your Hiring Process
Even one bad hire can cause enough damage to your practice that you may want to examine or hone your entire hiring process. These best practices may help you find the right candidates for more successful future hiring.
Write Effective Job Descriptions
Set the right expectations from the very beginning by crafting thorough and accurate job descriptions. Begin by performing an assessment of the needs of the associate dentist role in your dental practice. Professional responsibilities are not always consistent from business to business, even when titles are. Then, work on writing a job description that not only fills those needs but describes general expectations for your staff as well.
Identify Qualities You're Seeking
Know what qualities you're seeking in an employee and what type of personality aligns with your culture. Hard working? Positive outlook? Attention to detail? Knowing what qualities, skills, and strengths you're seeking in a candidate can help you to narrow the choices during interviews and decide between similarly qualified candidates.
Consult with Others in Your Practice
As you're crafting an associate dentist job description and list of skills, consult with others in your practice who may have an opinion about successfully filling that role. Anyone that will work with the new dentist may have valuable insights into the day-to-day responsibilities of that position.
Take Your Time
It's hard to hire the right person when you're feeling pressured to fill a vacancy in your office. Just remember, rehiring another dentist after a bad hire could take twice the amount of time, about 7.5 weeks for a management position. If your immediate workload doesn’t give you the luxury of time, consider hiring a temporary replacement to cover the caseload while you're finding the right permanent fit for your team.
Develop Proper Onboarding Techniques
Once you've made a hire, work on your onboarding techniques to help set the right expectations, and get your employee off to the right start with good habits. At the associate dentist level, you may want a shadowing program as part of your onboarding process, to teach your new hire the inner workings of each role in your practice.
Learn to Hire Right Each Time
Like so many aspects of small business ownership, finding and hiring the right employees is a skill that may take time (and a few mistakes) before you can be completely confident. Start each new recruitment with a thought-out plan for success that you can hone over time as you learn what worked and what didn’t.
You may not have studied human resources in dental school, but with research and diligent planning, you may be able to create a hiring process that helps drive the success of your practice.
About Treloar & Heisel
Treloar & Heisel is a premier financial services provider to dental and medical professionals across the country. We assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement with a comprehensive suite of financial services, custom-tailored advice, and a strong national network focused on delivering the highest level of service.
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Treloar & Heisel, Inc. and its divisions do not offer legal or human resources advice. Please consult a professional concerning these topics.