Coach’s Corner | Hiring the Right Team Member

I received such a great response to last month’s Coach’s Corner that I wanted to go further into the hiring process. Specifically, what to look for when hiring the right team member for your practice. Let’s make sure that we’re all on the same page. Last month I discussed the difference between having employees and having a true team work with you. The leader of the team is the doctor, and you will need to create your own game plan for your practice. Part of that game plan is writing down your mission, your vision, and your culture of the practice.

When looking for a new team member, hiring just anyone to fill the vacancy is not good enough. I’ve often said, “hire for character and teach the skill”. There are many new hires in the dental industry that have no past work experience in the field, obviously these are for non-clinical roles in your practice. I believe the personality that you are looking for as well as the character of the individual is more important than their skill set. When looking for additional team members, remember you have the ability to teach how you want things to be done. If they show the initiative and have the self-discipline needed to work in your dental practice, then that is what you should be looking for. Again, focusing on someone’s character and then teaching them the skill. All new team members will need to be onboarded correctly in your practice regardless of their past dental experience. Until someone has worked with you, they do not know how things are done in your practice and all of that needs to be taught. If you find yourself needing to hire new team members, then please start writing out an onboarding plan for every role in your practice. This plan will help you set up all new team members for success in your practice.

After you have found an applicant that has the character you are looking for, then you will need to make sure they align with the culture you are creating or have created in your practice. Last month’s Coach’s Corner I refer to culture as what is acceptable or not acceptable. I believe culture or defining culture is something that we really make harder than we need to. It’s that simple – what’s acceptable or not acceptable in your practice. In other words, what behaviors are acceptable or not acceptable in your practice.

In addition to culture, you will want to share your philosophy of dentistry. Your philosophy is something that should be covered in your mission statement. This needs to be shared with a potential candidate to make sure that everyone is in alignment. If they do not share the same viewpoint then please do not try to fit a square peg in a round hole; it will not work. I want you to be set up for success right from the beginning so that is why I’m mentioning all of these things. Next to share is your vision statement which is forward thinking. The manner in which I create vision statements with my clients is so encompassing, that it becomes part of your business plan. To make sure everyone is on the same page, please share these items with your potential hires.

All of these previously mentioned items are necessary to put your practice in the most honest and relevant light with new hires. It has been my experience that new hires are looking for most of these things: a dental family that focuses on patient care, want to be a true team member, and want a healthy, non-toxic culture. Having the right culture and doing the work to have a mission, vision, and culture written down is really a competitive advantage for your practice. Practices that want to be the best will invest their time in creating all of these things because of the importance to the team and the practice. The most important is all of this is done to make patient care the priority. Bringing like-minded individuals together on a team is the first step to make sure that you and your practice are as successful as they can be.

If you need help creating your plan or you have questions, please contact me lynne@victorydentalmanagement.com