Take Advantage Of The Employee Market
Those in charge of hiring at Federal Express likely never thought they would see the day, the day that the company would actually turn away seasonal applicants. For years, recruiters for this international courier would spend months trying to entice prospects to sign on to work those least desirable hours – evenings and overnights – during the busy holiday rush. But this year, Fed Ex, like so many other employers, turned away a multitude of well qualified candidates.
Meanwhile, those that do land jobs are eager to please. Employers report that new employees are bringing positive attitudes and strong work ethics. Many can fully appreciate the opportunity that a job offers as some have been searching for work for months and have completed literally hundreds of applications.
Certainly, the tide has shifted from years past when employers, particularly dentists, struggled to keep the ranks full. Many practitioners felt they had no other choice but to hire the first warm body to cross the threshold. Too often they settled for mediocre and ultimately regretted their hasty hires just weeks down the road. Today dentists and office managers sit like gluttons at the lunch buffet, so much potential to choose from, the challenge now is trying to narrow the list.
But just because the numbers of those looking for work have increased considerably, that’s no guarantee that you’ll hire the best candidate for your practice. It still takes careful planning and a clear strategy. Read on.
First, update or write a job description for the position and tailor it to attract the employee you need. This clarifies what skills the applicant must possess, explains what duties they will perform, and it assures that you will have a clear objective when considering each candidate’s credentials.
Next, recruit the best candidates. Your ads should hit on key specifics and highlight those things that will attract quality applicants. The headline should give the position title and the salary range, “Administrative Assistant $30,000-$35,000.” Appeal to those who may be looking for a change, but may not have worked in a dental practice before. “Are you well-organized, hard-working, and looking for a new opportunity or exciting career change?” Remember, excellent employees often come without previous dental office experience.
Pre-screen and you’ll prevent problems. Even in a market teeming with quality applicants, the fact is that most people never look better than they do on their resumes. Take a good close look at that resume you’re considering, and know exactly what you want as you review the applicants’ credentials.
Conduct phone interviews to pre-screen candidates and address your most pressing concerns. If there are gaps in employment history, now is the time to learn why. Does the applicant have a list of “must haves” for this job? Listen for tone, attitude, and grammar on the phone, particularly if the position requires handling patient calls.
Check references and work histories of those candidates you are seriously considering. Confirm beginning and ending dates of employment, job duties, job performance, if the employee would be hired again, their compliance with office policies, and their ability to work and communicate with others. You want qualitative, work-related information on the individual.
Prepare for the interview. Create a checklist that includes standard procedures for each candidate. Use a written set of specific questions and compare responses. Ask open-ended questions. For example, “Describe how you would handle a patient who arrives late.” Or, “If production drops off what would you do to try to correct the situation?” Ask follow-up questions based on the applicant’s responses.
Finally, test your top the candidates to determine who’s right for your office. McKenzie Management provides a statistically valid and scientifically based hiring assessment tool for dentists. The procedure is simple: Applicants answer a list of questions online. Just minutes later, the dentist receives a statistically reliable report enabling them to clearly determine if the candidates under consideration would be a good match for the dental practice position being filled.
Use a careful and deliberate hiring strategy and ensure that your team represents your total commitment to excellence. And always look for quality candidates even when your ranks are full.
Sally McKenzie is CEO of McKenzie Management. a nationwide dental management, practice development and educational consulting firm. Working “on-site” with dentists since 1980, McKenzie Management provides knowledge, guidance and personalized solutions that have propelled thousands of general and specialty practices to realize their potential.
Interested in speaking to Sally about your practice concerns? Email her at email@example.com or 1.877.777.6151.
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