5 Issues That Get in the Way of Hiring Good Employees

My background is in the corporate world. I’ve worked in sales, management, recruiting and human resources. When my husband wanted me to come to work in his dental office I did a lot of research. I learned very quickly the major differences of the dental world and the rest of corporate America.

I realized that there were some major changes that needed to be made in order to be able to hire the best of the best for his team. If any of these things sound familiar to you, you could be jeopardizing your potential to hire quality team members.

1. Leadership is lacking

In my experience, though some loose systems are in place, and the team means well, there is rarely a clearly identified leader in the dental office. “What happens next?” “Who is in charge?” “Who makes final decision?”. This simply doesn’t happen in most other environments. Titles come with certain responsibilities and leadership roles.

2. High tolerance for office drama

I can’t tell you how many teams I have met who complain of the office drama. It is also rare (when pushed) for most team members to admit they have no part to play. In the corporate world such drama is simply not tolerated. Again, if there is a problem that is impacting performance there is a protocol in place to file complaints. There is also management in place to nip the budding drama before it gets out of hand.

3. Products customers need but don’t want

This is probably the greatest challenge for most dental offices. We sell so many things people don’t want. Most business sell a product that solves a problem customers know they have. In the dental office, many patients just don’t get why they may need our services. Teams need to understand how to sell to patients in a way that resonates.

4. Insurance

Love them or hate them, insurance companies have a huge influence in our industry. Most other for profit industries doesn’t have this issue. While we don’t actually work for the insurance companies, some days it sure as heck feels like it. When patients decide they are only completing what their insurance covers, and we allow that–then we really do work for them.

5. Dependency on the idea you HAVE to hire someone with dental experience

Most dentists feel it necessary to find employees that have dental experience. While this seems to make sense, I find it does not equate to better employees, in fact it limits the applicant pool. In other industries, having the right attitude is more important than the knowledge of a company’s specific product.

Anyone can be taught the features and benefits of a product, but we all know we buy from people we like, and you cannot train someone to be nice under pressure or always welcome patients with a smile.

How to hire the rock star!

These challenges to dentistry are real and it takes a strategic hiring process to get a team in place that can overcome and or fix them. My next articles will address how to go about hiring employees that can take your business to the next level.

Laura Nelson

Laura Nelson, BS, MS, FAADOM is the founder and driving force behind Front Office Rocks, and the leading provider of on-demand virtual training and resources for dental practices.