Dental Practice Staffing: How to Attract the Right People

The best dental practices attract the right dental staff, and subsequently, retain their staff, having minimal turnover.  But even the best practices at times need to hire new staff members. Practice growth, retirement of an existing employee, and family changes including a spouse being transferred to another city, are just some of the reasons necessitating dental practice staffing. Dr. James Pride, founder of the Pride Institute, once said, “Hiring a new employee is your opportunity to continue developing the quality of your practice.”

Have a Dental Practice Staffing Plan before You Search

Many dentists have asked the question, “What’s the best way to attract the right dental staff so that you can continue enhancing the quality of your practice?’” To do so, it’s important to have two processes in place prior to interviewing candidates. First, you must develop a clearly-defined practice philosophy to share with the prospective employee. Second, you should develop a concise, written job description that clearly defines the duties of the position, as well as the doctor’s expectations.

When beginning your search, it’s important to search for employees in the right places. According to the Pride Institute, one of the most effective ways to find the best employees is through “networking” or word-of-mouth referrals. Your future staff member is probably looking in places such as Craigslist, or the newspaper. Social media is also a great way to spread the word. Consider using your website or Facebook page to “advertise.”

Ask the Right Questions: Importance of Interview

Once you find a potential candidate, the importance of the interview process cannot be overstated. Preparation and controlling the interview are paramount, and differentiate between the truly motivated, high performing candidates, and those who are not. Many candidates develop “canned” responses to routinely asked questions. Overused, useless questions, such as “tell me about yourself,” or “describe your strong points,” elicit virtually the same response from each candidate.

Avoid closed-ended questions and offering the answer prior to asking the question. The most effective interviewers rely on open-ended questions requiring the candidate to provide more spontaneous reactions, ultimately revealing more about their philosophy, motivation, and performance potential. Finally, without exception, check references. Sometimes it’s tempting it may seem to skip this critical step, but take it upon yourself to call each candidate’s references personally, regardless of the position the candidate is pursuing.

The time and preparation involved to attract the right dental staff minimizes making costly mistakes. Remember the old adage, “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.”

Henry Schein Professional Practice Transitions, Inc. is a national leader in dental practice transitions. A subsidiary of Henry Schein, Inc. they provide expert guidance for selling and buying dental practices,  assessing partnership and associateship opportunities, and performing dental practice appraisals and valuations.