We’ve talked before about how to quickly hire new candidates for your practice when you’re in a pinch. We’ve discussed dental recruitment in general, and compared the third-party recruitment services available to you as a practice owner.
This week, it’s time to take a look at the core of what constitutes a great long-term hiring strategy: that is, the fundamentals you should be sticking to when it comes to hiring, year upon year.
Pay attention, and let’s get into it – here are our three golden rules for staying on top of your recruitment.
Number One: You’re Always Recruiting!
When your practice is operating at full-speed with every position filled, it’s tempting to put thoughts of recruitment on the backburner and concentrate on your business.
There’s good reason to do so, too – after all, your operation is fully staffed, and you’re free to focus your efforts on marketing, patient comfort and internal systems improvements.
However, we do advise that you don’t forget about recruitment completely. If you do, you’ll have to scramble all over again as soon as someone gives their notice. Instead, take a leaf out of how big companies do things. They know that staff turnover is a part of life, and are continually putting feelers out to make contact with quality candidates.
For you, this might translate to something as simple as handing out cards at the occasional conference, dental trade show or recruitment fair. We’d also recommend browsing a recruitment network like our very own Dental Gateway, in order to keep one eye on the talent.
That way, when the inevitable loss of staff does happen, you’ll have some momentum with your recruitment and should be able to find a replacement with maximum efficiency.
Number Two: Hire For The Right Qualities
Time and time again, experienced hiring managers across many industries have learned that when hiring for technically skilled roles, it’s often not the seemingly most competent candidate who goes on to perform the best, but the one with the best-fit mix of personality traits.
Specifically, look for candidates with a great attitude, interpersonal skills, desire to learn and real compassion for the dental patients they’ll be treating.
Often, the “right person” ends up learning more quickly, working better in a team setting and providing a better patient experience than the technical whizz with deficient people skills.
Sometimes this knowledge doesn’t filter down to small businesses like dental practices, where practice owners or senior dentists have to learn the lesson the hard way. Clinical performance can always be improved with the right training (especially since you’ve hired a vetted, competent candidate through a network like Dental Gateway!), but interpersonal issues can often be much more stubborn to correct.
Do your best to screen and probe for the right personalities in your interview process – it will make a huge difference in your practice down the line.
Number 3: If You Want the Best, Be Prepared To Pay For Them
The salaries you offer need to be, at minimum, competitive. There may well be an abundance of people looking for a position, but competition works both ways: just as candidates are competing for jobs, every practice is competing for the top candidates. And your salaries need to be set accordingly.
Although it can seem like salaries for new hires might be the first place you should look to make savings, we’d advise against it. The best candidates know the value they bring to a practice, and they expect to earn a wage that fairly compensates them. Skimp on salaries and you’ll only be in a position to make mediocre hires.
One final point: if a great candidate asks for more than you’re offering, be willing to negotiate. Some employers think that they shouldn’t budge on salary, because doing so would be giving up their power. This is simply not true – an employee is essentially selling you his services, and he’s entitled to ask for what he wants. Negotiate well and come to a figure you’re both happy with to start the working relationship off on the right foot.
Remember: a good employee is an investment in your business. In any half-decent dental practice, when all is said and done, a good employee will be responsible for generation of revenues many times larger than the salary you pay them. So don’t be afraid to pay top rates for the best candidates – in fact, your practice’s success
When it comes to actually finding the best candidates, we’d point you in the direction of this post on XX. Finally, be sure to sign up to the Dental Gateway network to browse the best-match local candidates for your practice.