Onboarding & Integration - What to Do on Their First Day
Your new hire is about to start their FIRST day at your practice! They are feeling excited but nervous - they don’t know anyone or are familiar with your systems or preferences yet. Nevertheless, they are excited to start the first day of what could be many loyal years working in your practice. That is the way you need to view their first day as well; the beginning of a long-lasting working relationship.
This individual will be with you for 80% of their day! They will be taking care of YOUR patients and building YOUR practice. You want and NEED them to be successful because the reputation and success of your practice is dependent on it. Why not take the right steps and set them up for success — it benefits EVERYONE involved; your team, patients and practice's reputation. There are a few key things you can do to ensure your new hires success.
Get the Welcome Wagon Ready!
You know the drill during the first few minutes on the job, your tendency may be to parade your new hire around the office so quickly they will barely be able to manage a few handshakes as you announce, “Everyone, this is Samantha; Samantha, this is the team.” Before you know it, the team will jump back into what they were doing and the new hire is left standing around feeling alone and overwhelmed!
As a manager/owner, you can speed up the acclimation process for your new employees by spending a little more time on the introductions and—here’s the important part—making some connections from the start.
Instead of simply introducing your new hire by name, give a little background: “This is Samantha, our new Administrator. She’s amazing with Dentrix reports, so she’ll be a huge help with analyzing our current recall strategy and getting pending treatment back into our chairs and keep us all busy! In the meantime, she’ll be available to help show us how to pull up these reports for—so touch base with her to let her know what you need.”
With this, you have acknowledged your new employee’s strengths (and made him or her feel valuable from day one) and given current employees an opening to make the first contact and get the new hire immediately involved.
Have a Plan
This scenario is all too common and extremely ineffective…
“The minute I arrived on my worst first day, I felt like an afterthought. My boss ushered me to my desk, handed me their procedure manual and training videos to watch on their practice software program, and, after logging in, they told me to “play around and get comfortable” with the system. They said they had their own work to get done— so I was on my own. At the end of the almost unbearable day, I left the office doubting my decision to accept the offer. This isn’t what I expected at all!” This is what a candidate said asking for help to find her another office after this experience! NOT GOOD!
Is this how you want them to feel? I am sure you want them to be excited about their new position, eager to tackle their own projects, and striving to make an impact in your practice. And that doesn’t usually come from a thrown-together training plan that makes your new employee feel like you couldn’t care less that he or she actually showed up!
I know (from experience) that everyday responsibilities are always waiting to get in the way. But taking the time to plan out a variety of assignments or training tasks for the new hire—ideally, for at least the first week on the job—will not only help them get up to speed quicker but assure him that you’re truly invested in their success. Meaning: they will be much likelier to show up on day two confident that they are in the right place.
Assign a Mentor
Find one or two employees who are your top-notch, A-type, go-getters who can take your new hire under their wing! They can show them the ropes and teach them the RIGHT skill sets and habits to make them successful. Your new employee will also feel much more at ease knowing there are a few people who “have their back” and can ask any questions they may have along the process.
While it’ll still take plenty of time, training, and coaching to get your new employee up to speed, these small steps will lay the groundwork to get them familiar with the team and make sure they feel like an important, valued member of your practice. And that will make day two (and onward!) a whole lot more successful!
We just covered a few small steps on what you can do to make their first day a success! But there is much more involved so make sure to grab our checklist and you can see what else should be on your to-do list for that first day.
How do I REALLY know this is the right person for my Dental Practice?
Welcome back! We hope you downloaded our free guide on sample interview questions and questions/topics to avoid asking a potential candidate. If not, you MUST download it now, we shared some valuable tips that you can’t afford to miss out!
The next step to find and hire your next employee of the month: do your due diligence! All candidates who apply for the position have one goal in mind- to get hired. They will do and say whatever it takes to make sure this happens! Do not be fooled… remember, you are investing your time, money and practices reputation on this person. They need to be top notch!
Here are some tips:
Reference checks are often overlooked and misunderstood
Would you ever buy a house without getting a home inspection first? You could be potentially walking into a money pit. Of course, you wouldn’t risk losing thousands of dollars! So why would you hire someone without doing a reference and background check?!?
Conducting reference checks can be one of the most important steps in the selection process. Since past performance is often the best indicator of future performance, references allow you to talk to their former employers in order to determine if the candidate being considered is the best person for your practice!
By conducting reference checks, you can avoid costs associated with failed probation periods and poor performances which can impact your current team dynamic and quality of patient care and damage your reputation.
Before making the calls, it is good practice to make a list of questions so that you are asking the same set of questions, giving you a consistent frame on which to base your decisions. All questions should be job-related and legal. You cannot ask questions during a reference check that you are prohibited from asking during an interview. – Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered…download some sample questions here
What kind of checks should I do?
There are a variety of checks you can perform on your potential employees. But first, before you begin this process, you must obtain consent from the applicant to contact their references!
Aside from reference checks, background checks should be next on your list! Performing background checks on your potential employee is an effective way to discover potential issues that could affect your business. We already touched on this here on the blog, but this candidate will have access to patients personal, medical and financial information! Sadly, fraud is very prevalent in our industry. Taking this one step could save you THOUSANDS! Another thing to consider is that this candidate will be working directly with or on your patients. What if there was a serious conviction in their past of substance abuse or a sexual offense? You could be leaving your patients and your practice vulnerable! A lot at risk here!
There are several companies that can perform a thorough background check that covers criminal reports, credit history, educational verification and much more! To process a background check, you need written consent from your employee. For prospective employees, the credit check should be completed only after a conditional offer of employment has been made in writing.
In summary, bad hiring decisions can and should be minimized by performing due diligence. Now more than ever, you need to redirect your hiring techniques and incorporate all of the recruiting methods available to you. Let’s be honest here- Your entire practice benefits when you conduct an appropriate reference or background check on any potential candidates!
Don’t forget to download the ultimate reference check guide now! If you are enjoying our series so far, please spread the word and share this with your Dental friends who would find this information of benefit!
Next week we will start our next series: “I hired someone…now what? How to retain TOP talent!” We will discuss proper onboarding and integration, employment contracts, job descriptions, performance reviews and much more! Till next time 😊
Asking the Right Questions to Find Your Next Employee of the Month
Before we begin, let’s do a recap on the past few posts before we dive deeper into the interview process.
The most important part before embarking on the hunt for your next employee of the month, is to know the direction of where you want to take your office in the next 5 years. Figuring out your roadmap will help you see what type of qualities and skillset you need to look for now to help you get to where you want to be! So now you have your roadmap ready, understand the qualities and skills you are looking for. Let's look at some interview questions to ask potential candidates and find out what to look for in their answers. Learn what TO ask & what NOT to ask when interviewing your next employee! Download your free guide now!
Confessions from a Dental Recruiter
No matter what position I had to fill, my guideline was always to find answers to the following five questions: Is the candidate able to do the job? Is the candidate motivated to do the job? Is the candidate adaptable/malleable? Will this candidate fit the office culture? Will this candidate provide excellent customer service/patient care? For each of these five questions, I ask a series of further probing questions. The questions I ask are crafted so that candidates give real-life examples using SAR statements (S = Situation in which the behavior took place, A = the action the candidate took to address the situation, R = results of the action)
Let’s use the examples we listed in last week’s blog post:
1. Tell me about a time where you went above and beyond for a patient
The answer to this question will give you a glimpse of a time when the candidate took the initiative and went above what the job required to make sure the patient was satisfied and taken care of. It also will show how proactive they are to thinking of solutions to problems. Another thing to think about is seeing how you as the principle dentist or owner, would want your current employees to react or handle a situation to make sure a patient was taken care of.
2. Tell me about the most difficult procedure you have performed? Why did you find this difficult and what did you learn while performing it?
Here you are gaining insight as to how adaptable the candidate is, their motivation AND if they are capable of doing the job. It shows how they were able to overcome a challenging situation, what they learned from it and how they were able to grow from it! This will give you insight into their critical thinking ability, see if they will use this as a learning opportunity and their attitude towards the situation.
3. How would you handle a situation where you were faced with an irate patient who was angry over the length of their wait before they saw the doctor?
Now let’s face it, this situation comes up from time to time in every practice. You want to make sure that your team will handle this stressful situation with poise, empathy and with professionalism. Again, another situational question to see how they have reacted in the past and ensure this line up with your values and high standards of customer service.
For example, if this is a for a dental admin position: If they answer by saying they took the initiative to go into the clinic, ask the Dentist and auxiliary staff as to when they will be able to see the patient, report back to the patient, apologizing for the wait and informing them it shouldn’t be much longer only X minutes, offer them refreshment or opportunity to reschedule if they are pressed for time, then offering Starbucks gift card etc.
This answer shows they value and respects the patients time and concerns. They did not make some excuse or brush the patient off saying it’s a busy day. They were adaptable and figured out a solution and diffused the situation.
Asking questions doesn’t end at the interview stage. The answers you received during your interview is a great starting point but you want to be sure this is the RIGHT person for your office. Next week, we will find out the answer to “How do I REALLY know this is the right person for my practice?” We will look into conducting reference and background checks to make sure they are who they say they are!
How to Recruit and Screen to Find the Best Candidates
Welcome back to week 3 of our “How to Attract & Retain Top Talent” series. Last week, we discussed what to look for when hiring your next employee. We talked about some top-notch qualities to look for when hiring. This week we will be discussing Recruitment and the Screening Process.
If you have a thriving practice, hiring someone becomes a tough decision, as you want only the best on your team. During the interview, you may have felt excited about a candidate, only to find out a short time later that he or she has not turned out as per your expectations.
Let’s go over some ideas on how you should screen potential candidates and avoid any future
Accurate job descriptions
Remember this all goes back to what we have been discussing the past few weeks: reverse engineer how you want to grow your practice and then determine what KPIs you need to look for with your new hires. Using this information and putting together a job description for this position will help you in more ways than one! Your job description should state what the ideal candidate needs to bring to the practice. A good job description provides a clear and concise summary of a position’s duties and responsibilities. It outlines the essential qualifications and requirements of a candidate. In addition, a properly written job description explains the core competencies required for the position. First, it will serve as your checklist when you are screening and interviewing. Secondly, when you hire your new employee, it will outline exactly what is expected of them and you start the relationship on the right foot. Third, it will help with future performance evaluations to see where they are excelling and in which areas they need coaching and further improvement. I am sure I can name about 10 other reasons about how important a job description is but we will save that for another day ☺
Change the focus of the interview
The natural tendency during the interview is to concentrate on technical questions. Don’t get me wrong; the need for technical skills should never be undermined. If you look back at all the encounters with your previous employees that didn’t work out, you are bound to agree that things did not work out with the employee, not ‘only’ because of technical skills. There is always more to it than that. You also need to take into consideration the individual’s personality and attitude. Remember that someone’s true personality and attitude come to the forefront after a point of time. If you are basing your screening process only on technical knowledge, then the entire focus of your interview is incorrect. To hire great employees, one should include both personal, behavioral AND technical questions in the screening process.
Asking the right questions
Depending on the level of candidate you’re interviewing, their responses can provide excellent insights into their level of acumen and philosophies. Make sure to look for compatibility, not just likeability. We tend to hire people who are similar to us but remember you already figured out your new hire avatar so stick to that.
Here are a few examples:
- Tell me about a time where you went above and beyond for a patient
- Tell me about the most difficult procedure you have performed? Why did you find this difficult and what did you learn while performing it?
- How would you handle a situation where you were faced with an irate patient who was angry over the length of their wait before they saw the doctor?
Good questions hey? See how their answers line up or reflect the KPIs you are looking for. Asking situational questions where the answers will show their personal, behavioral and technical abilities. Next week we will dive deeper into this subject and really analyze questions and the answers to listen for!
Until next week!
Time to rethink HR for your practice
Rethinking Human Resources for Dental
As a business owner, you need to be able to attract, hire and retain high-quality individuals to help you ensure that your practice succeeds. And that’s no easy task! What’s more, you need to be able to protect your practice by setting clear expectations and implementing policies that preserve the integrity of your business.
Ideally, these would be handled by a full-time Human Resources manager -- someone who understands the intricacies of HR in a manner that matches your expertise in dentistry. Hiring people for your practice is one thing, but Human Resources entails much more than just hiring and firing.
Human Resources -- Critical to the Success of Your Practice
Look at it this way: if you do Human Resources right, you can grow your business and keep your patients smiling in more ways than one! Not only do you attract the best employees; you also retain them and keep them on track with clear expectations and policies that outline important standards and practices. And when employees fail to live up to those expectations and standards, you are ready to discipline, retrain or, if the situation warrants, terminate their employment confidently, knowing that you are following all pertinent guidelines, legal and otherwise.
However, if you do Human Resources wrong or fail to give it the attention it deserves, the consequences can be costly and severe, putting your practice in jeopardy.
Hiring people becomes a game of chance. Sure, there are job boards that can help you find qualified candidates, but the screening and hiring process takes time, effort and energy. You can also find templates online for various policies, contracts, guidelines and other documentation, but these readymade pieces of content don’t consider the nuances that make your practice special and unique.
Doing it all by yourself is not a viable solution -- it only leaves you exhausted and unable to provide the excellent care that your patients expect.
No One-Size-Fits-All Solutions
Searching the web for advice and examples regarding your policies, contracts and documents may give you an education on some of the fundamentals of Human Resources. But you need Human Resources solutions that are strategically crafted with your specific practice in mind. This is where Stream Dental’s HR services can make a massive impact and keep you from making costly mistakes.
For many dentists, the idea of crafting specific policies doesn’t occur to them until an incident must be dealt with. For example, you may assume that your employees will adhere to a certain standard of appearance or dress. But unless this expectation is communicated, agreed upon and enshrined in an official policy document, you may find yourself having awkward conversations with employees who hold a different view of work-appropriate dress than you.
There can be over 50 official policies that dentistry practices should have, and Stream Dental is here to help you craft them in the manner that best suits your practice.
Some examples include:
• Policy Manual
• Confidentiality Agreement
• Holidays/Vacation and Sick Days
• Probationary Period
We don’t just supply a plan and let you figure it out; we work with you to develop a strategy that allows you to grow your business with the best people onboard!
Thankfully, Stream Dental Staffing Solutions understands the precise Human Resources needs of dental practices like yours!
Stream Dental -- Your Virtual HR Experts
You need a Human Resources solution that allows you to focus on doing what you do best -- treating your patients. Several solutions exist, but Stream Dental brings serval years of dental industry experience to the table in addition to top-notch, up-to-date HR practices and procedures that are crafted specifically for your business.
Let us be your virtual HR department!
Contact Stream Dental Today!
What’s Better- Hiring an Experienced Candidate vs. No Experience?
We understand that hiring can be stressful! Going through all the resumes, interviews and reference checks can be time-consuming. You want to make sure that you are hiring the right fit for your practice and want someone to fit in with the team, so hiring the right person becomes quite a task. We often get asked: “Is it better to hire an experienced candidate or search for dental professionals with no experience at all”
Hiring for Dental Practices
When it comes to hiring candidates for different roles, dental practices need to take several things into consideration. To begin with, they must understand that searching for the right dental professionals can be extremely time-consuming and sometimes be a tedious process. All dental professionals are expected to handle several things at the same time. For instance, Dental Administrators need to manage patients, patient records, schedule appointments, manage inventory among other important tasks. You need to look at each role and understand what skills are required. You need to look for candidates that are best suited for various positions, because each position may require different skills, experience and education.
Experience or No Experience
Before hiring a suitable candidate, dental practices need to have a clear and concise idea around the type of candidate they are looking to hire and the skillset that is needed. Depending on the role, a dental practice should focus on hiring a candidate with great customer service, knowledge, and positive attitude. Even if a candidate has many years of experience, they may fail to connect and interact with patients, which could result in some lost business. Thus, it is important for dental practices to hire dental professionals who are friendly in their approach and have a positive personality, whether they have 1-year experience or even 10 years. Dental Administrators and Assistants should pay heed to patients’ requirements and be personable. These are certain traits that cannot be taught at any dental school or college.
Dental practices must, therefore, assess a candidate’s overall skills, abilities, and experience to determine whether he/she is suitable for the job or not. While experienced dental professionals can certainly handle dental procedures and treatments appropriately, experience may not be everything. Thus, dental clinics should look to hire candidates based on the requirements of the job roles. While there’s no denying the fact that experience comes in handy during dental procedures and treatments, dental practices shouldn’t ignore the fact that a candidate can easily be trained if he/she has the willingness and desire to learn and grow.
There is no hard rule to say whether experience is better than no experience, but it all boils down to the specific role you are hiring for and the skills needed for the job. Some things can be trained and learned, other things cannot!
Need help with your recruitment and HR needs, call Stream Dental Staff Solutions for a Free Consultation. We are here to help with your Staffing and HR needs.