Oh No! I have to hire again!

A dreaded process for everyone


Those of you who have had the responsibility of conducting interviews as you seek to acquire new hires know how stressful and often futile this “drill” can be. The turnover of employees within the dental field is larger than in many industries, and many practices are sadly forced to make this almost a monthly event.
Most endeavors that we pursue in life take practice to master, but this shouldn’t have to apply to locating the right employees for your dental practice. Having created a successful dental-only placement agency that later expanded to a national dental placement franchise system, I have taken this journey and will gladly pass on some “pearls” for those of you that haven’t had as much mileage in this particular area of practice management.

Interviewing literally thousands of potential dental hires face-to-face, in addition to supporting 8 national franchise locations and all of their interview challenges, my interaction with dental team acquisition has given me a tremendous amount of experience in this area. This exposure served as a perfect launching pad to hone in on some unique skills and techniques. I’ve been able to gather valuable information via years of trial and error; passing this on to those that can make use of the guidance.

Because I was responsible to deliver the best choices for my clients I felt it was important for me to assemble as much valuable information about the job candidates as possible. I realized it was necessary for me to create systems and methods so that I was able to ascertain information that would assist them in making wise and well-educated hiring choices. First and foremost as a segment of my interview coaching, I had to be certain that everyone respected all legal guidelines and that the proper questions were presented in the most ethical and correct format.

Asking someone “what do you want to make?” or “what do you need to make?” or “what have you made in your last position?” provides no real insight into the true value of a candidate. Think about it. Are you really going to hire them based on what they want, need, or made with a past employer? You should never let these questions reflect what you are planning on compensating them. This area will be addressed in detail in future posts.

The message I want to send here is an approach to take during the interview process that I developed many years ago. It is the equivalent to the glass being half full or half empty and how each person perceives the question stated exactly this way. When presented at the proper time and in the proper context during the interview process, it can be extremely valuable and incredibly revealing. To set the stage:

You have conducted a good part of your interview and no mention at all has been made of salary or compensation which, by the way, should not be discussed in detail in an initial interview (I will further explain in detail in future posts).
Here is a video to illustrate this and 3 very typical responses:

You can easily see the proper response in the examples, with the third meant to demonstrate how you respond to the candidate that wasn’t certain about the question and how to answer. Keep in mind that you must always stick to the question exactly, word-for-word and then listen closely for the response. Typically the most powerful indicator of all is from the candidate that responds quickly and answers without skipping a beat. Usually the candidate with the “right” answer doesn’t have to ponder what they think your intent may be.


2 thoughts on “Oh No! I have to hire again!

  1. Hi I watched the video and it was pretty interesting, but towards the end I kind got confused with your comment about people using you for leverage ? If you can plz eloborate this. As much as I understood and please correct me if I am wrong that if the dentist is paying me good amount and doing things for me is that just to keep his office running smoothly and I can keep my mouth shut.

    • Shirin,
      This was to illustrate the team member that would rather go out and pursue other job opportunities just so that he/she could use it as “leverage” to receive a salary increase rather than to sit down with her present employer and point out “why” she is deserving of an increase based on her performance, loyalty, personal contributions to the practice growth, etc. Quite the contrary, I’m encouraging conversation not discouraging it. Thanks for the comment.

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