As dental professionals, we might have a different perspective of what it’s like going to the dentist. For us, we get a cancellation and it’s our chance to jump in the chair to get some work done. For our patients, there’s a different perspective and I’m certain patients don’t give a thought about what it takes to run a dental practice. Between patients, production, equipment, and staffing matters, we know it’s all quite involved. Here are six tips for successful dental hiring, since without a team driven staff, a dental practice would be very difficult, if not impossible, to maintain.
1. Keep it Cordial
Remember what it’s like to be new: whether it was at school, a new neighborhood, or a new member of the soccer team, being the new kid is a stressful position. When there’s a new hire, who’s probably visited dental hiring sites, be sure to extend a warm welcome and make personal introductions amongst everyone on the team. And since everyone will be working together as a team, lunch with the whole group would be a great way to get acquainted.
2. Keep it Clear
One of the biggest favors you can do for your new hire is to be sure that all duties and responsibilities are explained clearly from day one. This will help avoid confusion and misunderstanding between the new hire and the rest of the staff members. When expectations are clearly stated, your staff can work as a team. Remember: a new hire is just that: new. Be patient while they learn the systems in your dental practice.
3. Keep it Professional
A cordial, pleasant dental office environment is just that: a professional situation. It is not a sorority or a country club, no matter how friendly everyone is. Avoid personal jokes and references to off-duty adventures. Any topics that don’t include everyone equally are probably better left for another time. This is just a matter of common courtesy and sensitivity: would you want to be the odd one out from a chat about something they all did three years ago? Of course, sharing a special memory, such as a staff member’s wedding that everyone attended, is different; this shows that your staff is a team at work and on special occasions, too.
4. Keep it Positive
Encouraging your new hire is a vital part of professional dental staffing. Your new hire will probably be looking for it from information they read from your ad on the dental hiring site. Requested changes sandwiched with positive feedback has proven to be a successful strategy for a new hire. Establishing expectations, having a schedule for a performance review, and maintaining a successful rapport among all members of the staff will help make the practice appear cohesive to patients.
5. Keep it Realistic
As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Try to avoid giving too many instructions and assignments all at one time, especially the first week. Training should be realistic and appropriate, but not done in a deluge to overpower the employee. Setting goals, providing training and monitoring performance, are all expected by dental job seekers, especially those who have visited dental hiring sites. This applies to all new dental hires: dental front office jobs, associate dentists, dental office managers, dental hygienists and assistants alike.
6. Keep it Balanced
According to many dental experts, as well as dental hiring sites, the new employee should start with meaningful work, clearly defined, on day one. This will help the new hire integrate with the group as assimilation is very important when adding to the dental office team. Keeping the balance among the group is a critical aspect of staffing a dental office. The sooner your new hire understands their role in the group, the better the entire team will perform.
“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
Dr. Deborah Marynak is the owner of DentalStaffing.org, a dentist with over 30 years experience, and is committed to helping Dental Professionals find the right fit for both employees and employers. She also works with Dental Offices to help them streamline their clinical systems and teach Dental Teams how to effectively document to avoid risk.