Question: Should I only hire staff with dental experience?

ANSWER: We had a question asking about if we need to hire somebody with dental experience or not when hiring for the dental office. This is one of my favorite topics and it is also a reason I founded and started Front Office Rocks.

Watch Laura’s YouTube video message here to find more of her thoughts on the topic or continue reading on below!

My background, just to tell you a little bit about it is, I was married to a dentist for twenty-two years, I was married to him through dental school and we opened two practices together. I’ve been in dentistry and around dentistry for a very long time.

When I started in dentistry in 2002, I didn’t know anything about teeth. I didn’t know teeth had numbers, I didn’t know procedure codes. I didn’t know surfaces, I didn’t know Dentrix, Eaglesoft, I didn’t know anything. I knew human resources, management, sales, and marketing. I was in the corporate world when he went to dental school. He then decided to open a practice and said, “Hey, come work for me! It’ll be amazing.” So that’s how I got into dentistry. I didn’t know anything about the dental part of things but what I knew was sales and marketing and management and I bring that value to the practice. I had to learn all the other things but you can learn these things right, which is really why I started Front Office Rocks. I would have people telling me all the time, there’s no place to teach them, there’s nobody to teach things like dental codes and procedures and scheduling and Confirmation calls and all of that. So that’s why we have Front Office Rocks is to solve that problem.

So let me talk about my reasons why I think that you do not have to hire based on dental experience.

I think there are multiple reasons. Now, I’m not saying there’s not amazing Rockstar dental professionals out there, if you found somebody with experience that is amazing! I’ve trained tons of people who now work in multiple offices and they’re Rockstars, but many times it’s hard to find somebody with dental experience and when you find somebody with dental experience a lot of times…[mepr-show if=”loggedout”]Members only resources[/mepr-show] [mepr-active memberships=”629,630,37388,37393,37672,37676,37670,37668,37674,44674″ ifallowed=”show” unauth=”message” unauth_message=”Answer hidden, please login or purchase a membership to view.”]

They cost you a lot more than somebody who doesn’t have experience. Which, if you’re on a tight budget or you’re worried about overhead, maybe it’s okay to find somebody who doesn’t have dental experience and train them up the way you want versus having to pay more for somebody who knows what they’re doing walking in. I have to be careful of that because I love my Rockstar front office trained people but I want to make sure that you know you don’t have to hire somebody with dental experience. One of the other reasons that I shy away from hiring people from other dental offices in the past is that many times when you hire somebody who’s been in another dental office, now to come in to yours, they also bring whatever they’ve learned, how they were trained in that office – into your practice. So basically, whatever the other doctor wanted, whatever the other office team culture was like, whatever their policies were, when you hire somebody with good dental experience, they’re gonna bring that into your office. Now that could be a great thing because maybe they’re amazing and they have great policies and suggestions.

I have lots of friends who are office managers who’ve moved to other jobs and made amazing differences for those dentists, however sometimes it’s not good. Sometimes, they’ve got bad suggestions, ideas and policies and so you just have to be conscious and careful of that.

Here is why I think hiring somebody with not dental experience is a great idea.

When you hire somebody from another industry many times you can find somebody who has got great experience that you can apply in the office. I’ve hired people who have managed restaurants, insurance salespeople, I had somebody who I hired who used to sell solar for your houses, bank tellers, hostesses, these are people who have great skills, great things that can bring it to your practice and all we’ve got to do is teach in the dental, they already know how to multitask. They understand the importance of customer service, they potentially are great at sales, they have no problem talking about money. They’re not insurance driven, they’re not so focused on insurance, they’re focused on getting the patient the help they need.

If they come in with a fresh perspective and we can teach them the dental, I mean, I didn’t know about dental codes and procedures, they can learn that but they can bring a whole new fresh set of skills to your practice that maybe you’ve never had before. The other thing is to realize that when you’re looking at personality as king, is priority over Dentrix and Eaglesoft, I would rather hire somebody who’s a go-getter, a multitasker, create at customer service, super fun, has a lot of energy and I’ll teach them Dentrix and Eaglesoft. I don’t need somebody who has two or three years of Eaglesoft experience but doesn’t have the right personality.

For me, personality wins over a dental experience every day, specifically in the front office. I don’t think you need to have anybody in the front that has dental experience especially now with tools like Front Office Rocks because we can teach them that. You can put them in front of videos, they can learn what they need. If they’re a good person and they learn fast and they can multitask and grow and adapt and take this on you’ll have no problem training them. I’m going to add to that too, even for the back, I think many times I see you know ads for dental offices and you need as a hygienist, you need five years of experience or two years as a dental assistant and experience is good. Don’t get me wrong, but there are a lot of new graduate dental assistants or hygienists that are rockstars, compared to people who have ten, fifteen or twenty years of experience, who are very knowledgeable and experienced, but don’t have the right personality.

So, I would not decide who you need to hire based on experience alone. Really look at the candidates, do they have the right personality? Do they have the right work ethic, can they learn, can they grow? Are they a Rockstar? No matter how much experience they have and can you teach them what they need to know?

You’re gonna have much more success building an amazing team when you build the team on the right kind of people, not just on the amount of experience they have. I’m all about giving everybody an opportunity and experience in a dental office is something you look at when you’re when you’re looking at resumes but is not something I am not going to consider first and foremost. I look more at skills, personality and traits, before I worry about their years of experience.[/mepr-active]

To learn more about hiring your dental team and managing a dental practice, watch this training webinar and following course module! [wpcourse course=”5″ module=”2″ module_desc=”true” /]