The Biggest Hiring Mistakes Dentists Make!

The Biggest Hiring Mistakes Dentists Make!

Dental practices need quality (and happy) staff to keep patients coming back year after year. But finding them and then retaining the best can be a challenge. Recruitment is a major concern for dentists, and it’s easy to make a mistake when hiring for a position. 

Dental Office Managers & Outsourcing

Dental office managers can be a lifesaver for practices, so that you, the practice owners, are not overwhelmed by the process of hiring hygienists, assistants, or administrators on top of all of the other things you have to do. 

In some cases, practices absolutely benefit from a manager who can do it all, from marketing to human resources. Other times, practices need help with a set of HR solutions to complement the practice’s vision, growth plans, and help them stay compliant.  We’ve spent years building a team that excels in making comprehensive HR policies — fit for any practice’s workflow and management structure.

But it’s well worth knowing a few tips on what hiring mistakes to avoid, no matter where your dental practice’s HR responsibilities land.

Your Brand

One of the biggest mistakes dentists make when building their teams is not having an idea of what their practice stands for. Do you know what makes your practice different? You need to remember that you are not the only practice hiring! You want to set your dental practice apart from the competition. 

At its essence, your brand is an idea or a feeling, but your team are what brings that emotional appeal to life. They provide services for you and alongside you, and that teamwork makes for an excellent patient experience.

How You Seek Them Out

Of course, your main recruiting focus might be dental job boards. But not seeking personnel on brand-appropriate media or search platforms is another mistake.

Suppose your brand is fun and kid-friendly because you specialize in pediatric dentistry. In that case, you might want to advertise for geographically targeted job openings on Instagram or Facebook. 

If you’ve been building a team based on your gut instincts and it’s worked out so far, that’s great. But having an iron-clad hiring process in place will take your teamwork to the next level. Getting the right balance between what your patients need, what you need, and the candidates themselves need is no small feat.

Choosing candidates can be difficult, but there are more than a few pitfalls. Your practice might hire a candidate that looks great on paper but lacks the people skills, motivation, or team spirit needed to gel with the team.

Screening & Selection

Interview questions are easy to come by with a quick search engine search, but having industry-specific, dental specialization-specific, and practice-specific questions is essential. You might need to lay some groundwork for eliciting the responses you need. It’s necessary to determine their fit for the role, and your practice’s defined work culture.


Sometimes pay isn’t aligned with the culture you’re trying to cultivate. As you and a candidate you’re delighted with come to salary negotiations, it’s imperative in this day and age to have a compensation strategy in place well beforehand. A fully fleshed-out compensation philosophy will allow you to balance a competitive rate with concern for your bottom line. 


Nothing says, “this practice is right for me,” than a smooth, comprehensive, and reassuring onboarding experience after a successful interview. Poor training can render the talent you hired for inaccessible. But reliable procedure helps deliver on that first impression, so you’re not flying by the seat of your pants.

Sometimes the dental practices we work with note that there’s not enough time to make a smooth, seamless, no-stone-left-unturned onboarding procedure. In that case, having a trained HR manager on staff or outsourced HR training can go a long way.  

HR Policy Can Prevent Hiring Mistakes

We’re often saying to ourselves and others, that dentists went to school to be dentists, not for HR. But if you can define your brand, culture, incentive philosophy, and training and make them all complementary to one another — you’ll attract and retain staff or managers that put the practice first. Good HR begins by looking at your options!