Ever made a hiring mistake? Feel sick when you know you need to start the hunt for a new team player? Have you given the responsibility of hiring to another team member and it went horribly wrong? If you own or manage a dental business then you have gone through these painful hiring experiences.

The majority of hiring mistakes occur because there is a lack of hiring processes. Many hiring processes tend to be random and managed by untrained and inexperienced people. So why do dental businesses expect hiring to be accurate and to attract quality candidates with an unstructured process? Especially when they get expected results only 56% of the time? Ouch!

Most dental businesses simply accept a high failure rate. And many dentists avoid this process altogether by placing the burden of hiring on their office manager or team.

Seems like a good time to share a funny, but true story. I have a dear friend who practices dentistry in Oklahoma. His team had been telling him they needed a greeter at the front desk. He gave them permission to hire someone the following week while he was on vacation. They felt empowered, they were getting the patient greeter they wanted and he was going on vacation with no worries of having to interview or hire. Win-win right? He returned from vacation to find a new team member sitting at the front desk. He approached her to say hello and she greeted him with a huge smile. The problem? She was missing number 8! He’s now faced with doing major dental work on a person that has worked for him less than a week because you can’t have the face of your dental business greeting patients missing an important anterior tooth and expect patients to have confidence in the office. The lesson? People who are not trained to make great hiring decisions should not be given that responsibility. Everyone involved had positive intent, but the end result was not ideal.

Let’s get back to the facts. Most hiring managers have little or no training on interviewing and hiring. Some only do it once or twice a year and others do it several times a month. Regardless, they are in charge of one of the most important aspects of any business and they do it with little or no training or outside assistance from qualified and experienced recruiters. The result is one hiring mistake after another. Hiring mistakes are costly, stressful on the entire team and can cause low team morale.

Dental businesses have systems for clinical procedures and important tasks like insurance claim processing, collections and scheduling. Yet, they fail to place importance on the hiring of quality people to run those systems. “A warm body in the seat will do” is often the path taken.

There are many steps to an effective hiring process. These steps have to be repeatable and managed by competent people. Many of the most important steps are skipped to get to a decision faster. Checking references and conducting background checks are rarely a part of the process. Embezzlement in the dental office is at an all time high. I believe the main reason is that dentists do not follow a proven process to weed out candidates that put them at risk.

Why is it that dental businesses will ask for coaching/help from experts in almost every area except hiring? You can scan the web for articles on hiring and one common piece of advice surfaces every time. Ask for help from experts in hiring. More importantly, we believe you should ask for experts in hiring in the dental field.

Dental team recruiters are skilled at asking the right questions to make sure that you know more about the candidates you meet before you meet them, than you would after spending an hour interviewing a complete stranger. With references from previous employers harder and harder to obtain, dental team recruiters probe every situation as carefully as possible, run background checks and complete a 3-step interview process prior to recommending a candidate for a skills assessment in your office. With time, energy, money, patients and in some cases your best team members at stake, the benefits of consulting with dental team recruiters are clear.

Randa is Co-Founder and President of Dental Team Finder. She speaks both nationally and internationally on many topics related to the business of dentistry. She has published articles in Contemporary Esthetics, Dental Economics, and Mentor magazines. Her desire to make a difference in the teams she coaches motivates her to learn more about “people” every day. Her goal at Dental Team Finder is to remove the stress associated with time consuming hiring processes and to prevent knee jerk hiring mistakes.