Tips for Hiring Dental Staff at Your Practice

A dental practice isn’t an enormous workplace with dozens or hundreds of nameless faces. It’s a small, tight-knit team. 

When it’s time to add someone new to that team, it’s worth taking the time to conduct a thorough and thoughtful recruitment process in order to attract the right person. 

Today, we’re sharing our top tips for finding and attracting the ideal candidates to fill positions at your growing dental practice. 

Know What Sort of Candidates You’d Like to Hire

Determine precisely what position you would like to fill. Dental practice support positions may include:

  • Dental hygienist
  • Dental nurse
  • Dental therapist
  • Dental technician
  • Receptionist
  • Office manager

Understand the differences between similar roles as you prepare to draft a job description. 

For each role you need to fill, consider which strengths are most essential to help you narrow down your hiring priorities. Decide the hours you need filled, the pay rate you can offer, and any must-haves or dealbreakers that will help you decide who to hire. 

Write Detailed Job Descriptions

When writing job descriptions, be as clear and detailed as possible. Emphasize the reasons why candidates should want to work for you, but also be transparent about the position’s challenges, demands, and requirements. 

Job descriptions that include sufficient detail help candidates self-select, resulting in a pool of qualified, motivated applicants. 

Use Multiple Recruitment Sources

Once you’ve drafted the text of your job posting, it’s easy to post your ad to multiple job board sites. 

Along with the most popular all-purpose job boards like Indeed.com, use healthcare-specific boards such as Health eCareers, medicaljobs.org, and CareerVitals. 

Conduct Thorough Interviews

Interviews provide the best opportunities to quickly learn about candidates’ strengths, experiences, and personalities. 

Include the following in your interview:

  • Closed questions for quickly gathering information about the candidate
  • Open-ended questions that elicit long-form responses
  • The opportunity for the candidate to ask their own questions

When you’ve reached the interview phase, avoid the mistake of delaying the steps of the hiring process. 

Once it’s time to interview a candidate, the meeting should be promptly scheduled and quickly followed up on afterward. Yours is probably not the only position that your best candidates are considering, so you may need to act fast to avoid losing your chance to hire them. 

Check References

A common hiring mistake is to treat reference checks as a formality or a step that can be rushed through or even skipped. 

Remember, your hiring decision could (ideally) result in a professional relationship that spans years and puts you in close proximity with this person on a daily basis. Isn’t it worth checking in with a previous manager who’s already had a similar working relationship with the candidate?

As with candidate interviews, ask a mix of closed and open-ended questions when you speak with references. This allows you to both confirm key facts (“how long did Sally work for you?”) and gain deeper insights (“how did you like working with Sally?”) about the candidate. 

Offer a Competitive Salary

Paying more for great team members is one of the best ways to invest in your practice’s success. Competitive salaries attract high-quality candidates and help keep them on your team for the long haul. The expense of higher wages is offset by reduced employee turnover costs and improved efficiency throughout your operations. 

When posting your openings, keep in mind that today’s job-seekers are reluctant to reply to job postings that don’t reveal pay rates. Recent salary transparency laws passed in New York City, California, and other parts of the US require employers to disclose pay rates in job descriptions, advancing a major shift in the way that employers and job seekers communicate with one another. 

Provide Training and Development Opportunities

When you’re confident in the training and development opportunities you provide for your staff, you can give more consideration to a candidate’s aptitude, rather than relying strictly on their prior work experience. 

Once you’ve hired your ideal new team member, be a patient and helpful boss as you initiate their training. 

Seek input from your current staff and allow different team members to participate in new staff training. This helps a new employee to gain a more comprehensive understanding of operations while quickly getting to know the entire staff. 

Building a Winning Team at Your Dental Practice

As your practice grows, your financial management tasks become increasingly complex and burdensome. If it’s becoming too much to handle on your own, Duckett Ladd can help. 
We’re a team of CPAs and advisors devoted 100% to the dental industry. To learn how our financial experts can help your practice grow and thrive, contact Duckett Ladd today.


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