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5 Mistakes Dentists Make When Hiring

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As a dentist, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Outside of meeting with patients, augmenting your professional skills, and running your practice, there’s little time for anything else. However, recruiting matters. 

Though it would be nice if you could find top talent overnight, a 2016 report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that on average, it takes a business 36 days to fill an open position. The survey also found that the average cost-per-hire is a whopping $4,425. 

Hiring new talent is both time-consuming and costly, so it’s important to be strategic. Your decisions also affect your patients and your office culture. This article will help you identify and avoid common hiring mistakes dentists make. 

5 Common Hiring Mistakes Dentists Make 

1.) Not knowing what you want in a candidate. Before you create a job description or post a listing, it’s important to know what type of employee you’re looking for. Sit down and make a list of necessary skills and experience. Consider things like education, professional background, and personality traits. 

Obviously, your list of criteria will vary depending on the position you’re hiring for. For example, if you’re hiring an office manager, you might want someone with people skills who is also computer-savvy. On the other hand, if you’re hiring a cosmetic dentist, you probably want someone who is board-certified by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) with specialized training in veneers, crowns, and bridges. 

2.) Only recruiting in emergencies. Even if your practice isn’t hiring, it’s always good to keep your eyes and ears open. Staff members move, people take promotions, and turnover happens. Instead of making a desperation hire, encourage recruitment throughout the year. For example, you can mention on your website that you’re always accepting resumes. This way, you’ll always have candidates in your back pocket. It’s also a good idea to attend a few networking events throughout the year. The more people you know, the easier it is to find talent when you need it. Use a dental job board like DentistJobCafe.com to continually fill your hiring pipeline. 

3. Having poor interview skills. One of the most common hiring mistakes dentists make is having poor interview skills. Instead of asking questions that a candidate can answer with a simple “yes” or “no”, dig really deep. You’re trying to determine if this person is a good fit for the position, but also for your company, in general. If you’re struggling to come up with interview questions, The Muse recommends open-ended ones like: what one skill makes you the most qualified for this position? Or how would you describe your working style? 

4. Taking everything at face value. Just because a candidate has an impressive resume doesn't necessarily mean it’s true. When you start narrowing down your talent pool, go the extra mile and invest in background checks. You should also contact references to get a better idea of your candidates’ work ethic and professional experience. 

In addition, take the time to compare candidate resumes with your original job description. Comparing these two items is an easy way to get rid of candidates who don’t have the skills or qualifications you’re looking for. 

5. Making pay and benefits an afterthought. Did you know that 50% of job prospects skip ads without a listed salary? If you want to attract a wide variety of diverse candidates to your dental practice, it’s important to list as much information as possible including salary, benefits, and job responsibilities. 

If you’re unsure what to pay candidates, Dental Products Report recommends contacting a local hiring agency or asking some of your fellow dentistry colleagues. You don’t have to be the highest paying dental practice in town, but you do want your salaries to be competitive. 

In the same vein, it’s important to consider your office’s culture. If your team is like a family, make sure that potential candidates are aware of this. For many people, general happiness and work-life balance are just as important as a decent salary and benefits. 

These are just a handful of the common hiring mistakes dentists make. 

Have you made some of these hiring mistakes yourself? Would you add any other items to our list? Hiring isn’t always easy, but it’s important you put in the time and effort to do a good job. By defining what you want in a candidate and brushing up on your interview skills, you can find the employee of your dreams and avoid many of the common hiring mistakes dentists make.


5 Mistakes Dentists Make When Hiring
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance B2B and B2C medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.

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