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How to Hire and Train Staff

DrScruggs_Molina_032The ACP Private Practice Committee is pleased to introduce a new series of articles for members in practice -- written by prosthodontists, for prosthodontists.

These articles are intended to share tips and wisdom that members have picked up from their experience in practice -- with useful ideas for prosthodontists new in practice and those who are further into their careers.

Contributed by: Dr. Khaldoun Ajlouni

Poor hiring decisions can be costly for any business – they are especially high for a prosthodontic practice. An employee who is not a good fit for your practice can lower the morale in your office, gives the wrong impression to your patients, wastes time, and puts unneeded pressure on your practice. I have experienced all of that! Therefore, hiring the right employee is key to preventing or at least minimizing these unnecessary issues. A right fit will also make the new employee a happy and productive member of your team.

In this article, I would like to share with you few of the ideas that worked in my office:

  1. Look for talent everywhere. When we are searching for a new employee, we look everywhere for talent. We use social media, like Facebook and LinkedIn; we advertise on websites like Indeed.com and Monster.com; we ask our existing staff for referrals; and reach out to family, friends, and even past employees to see if they know anyone who would be a good fit for us.
  2. Interview three or more candidates for a position. Even if you like the first candidate, interviewing others can either confirm your first impression or you might find another candidate who is a better fit.
  3. Interview the candidate in different settings. In our office, we have a formal interview first and if we decide someone is a possible candidate, we ask them to come back for a paid working interview, usually for a half a day, where they get to meet the staff in the front and back offices and interact with all of us and our patients in a less formal way. You will be surprised how sometimes in this setting you see a totally different aspect of their personality! And this gives our staff an opportunity to be part of the decision-making process as well.
  4. Once someone is considered a good candidate, we offer them the job with the understanding that the first 2 weeks is paid training and the first three months is a probation period. Once the probation period is complete, the new employee will have a performance review and will be considered for a pay raise.
  5. It is important that your staff knows and is reminded of your practice philosophy, and it is important to repeat that philosophy again and again.
  6. In our office, a salary increase is not based on the employee’s tenure, but their performance and consistency. A good employee can get two pay raises a year plus other incentives and rewards, but these must be earned. Some of the incentives awarded are airline tickets to visit family, annual recreation center memberships, cooking classes, movie tickets, and restaurant gift cards.
  7. Positive feedback is a must. A ‘thank you’ will get you a long way. And giving a new employee ownership of their position and the means and flexibility to do it will allow them to excel in their job and make it a better place for all.

If all of the above didn’t work well for you with one of your hires it’s OK. It’s part of the challenge we have as small business owners, and it’s probably time to start searching again and find a better fit for your team!


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