Finding the right people for your practice is the key to its success. However, since COVID it’s become increasingly difficult to find good candidates to answer your ads. Some people never show up to their interviews, others decide they want to be elsewhere after going through the process, and then you have to go through the hiring process all over again. It’s a tremendous drain on your time, but there’s a better way. I spoke with Dr. Susan Thompson about how she’s managed to keep her turnover exceptionally low, and it comes down to her hiring process. Her secret? Let someone else do it! Now, she’s not advocating for pushing the responsibility off on a random person; instead, she lets the department leads control the hiring for their respective departments.
Trust Your Team
Your department leads have a clear focus on the personality and qualifications they’re looking for, and they’re more heavily invested in making the right choice, as they’ll be working in close proximity with the individual. Dr. Thompson mentioned an example from her practice of a phenomenal assistant who, unbeknownst to her, was actually toxic for the team. Had the department lead had the chance to meet with this individual prior to their hiring, it’s likely they would have realized it wouldn’t work, saving the practice from a large headache.
It’s empowering when you trust them with this responsibility, and it helps the new hires see the department leads as authority figures. Instead of coming to you with minor problems, they’ll bring them to the department lead, freeing up your time. Your department leads should be leaders, and empowering them will help them do so. Dr. Thompson did say she provides her department leads a framework for salary or hourly wage, but almost everything else is left up to them. There’s a tendency to micromanage your team, but giving them more autonomy reduces it, making your work life a lot easier.
Finding The Right Person
It’s never a negative thing to want a candidate with good work experience, but it’s the intangible qualities that truly make the difference. Like I often say, “Your favorite people will value the same things you do,” so search for someone who will fit in with the culture you’ve created. Personality is one of the top qualities to look for, because it’s not something you can teach. When you find someone who’s warm, welcoming, and compassionate, you can work with them to improve their technical skills. They’re going to add so much to your practice, as opposed to someone who just punches in, does the work, and gets out.
Look to your core values as a resource when putting out an advertisement—don’t just create an ad that’s a wall of text, because that’s not going to interest anyone. Consider asking questions instead, such as “What are five reasons you’d be an amazing team member?” Not only will it weed out those individuals who won’t bother to answer it, but you’ll have a much clearer picture of the candidate than a mere résumé would provide. From there the department leads can screen the candidates by phone, and then invite the top few for in-person interviews. Trust that they know what will work best, and watch as the team becomes stronger.
Having a great team is the difference between feeling like you have ten people behind you that have your back, and wanting to bury your head in the sand and cry at the end of the day. Dentistry is a hard job, but when you surround yourself with good people who can take the weight off, it makes a huge difference. You have so many other responsibilities in the practice, but letting go and letting someone else handle the hiring will bring you freedom. You need to learn to rely on your team more, so schedule a call with the ACT coaches today! They’ll help you implement the systems and training you need to have a team that functions smoothly, giving you the time to focus on building a Better Practice, and a Better Life!
Kirk Behrendt is the CEO and Founder of ACT Dental