Your team is your most powerful tool for dental success. Indeed, human Intellectual capital is a crucial resource that every organization requires. Employees are considered assets and now that they are all the more aware of their value (referring to cultural shifts and the “Great Resignation”), they want compensation that reflects their full worth.
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review by Brad Chamber cites around 20 million Americans quit their jobs in the last 18 months leading to approximately 11.3 million job openings — a lot more unfilled positions than those seeking employment. This gives job seekers an upper hand and more control in the employer/employee relationship.
What does this mean for dentistry? As for other small businesses, in times like these, an effective and well-planned recruiting process is absolutely necessary for practices to attract new employees. There is also a growing need to emphasize employee retention. Effective recruitment and retention are especially important for a dental practice, as a good team is essential to running a successful practice. A proper hiring process cultivates a positive relationship between the employers and the potential employees right from the start, and leads to more involved and committed employees. This can give your practice a competitive advantage.
It is important to create a hiring process for your dental practice team that is not cumbersome and impersonal. The parts of Chamber’s article that applies to dentistry are below and will help you measure the effectiveness of your hiring process.
Focusing on a CULTURE fit
One thing that has come to the forefront of the “new” hiring marketplace is that job seekers are looking for an employment “package” that is more than just salary and benefits. While we as employers seek out the best fit for our organization, candidates are also deciding whether your practice is a good fit for them. A culture fit nurtures a sense of engagement and commitment. So it’s a plus if your hiring process reflects a practice culture that provides a premium dental patient experience.
One tip is to conduct situational or behavioral interviews, such as a role-play in how they would deal with a particular dental patient. Interview techniques such as these will help the employer in identifying the most suitable candidate while the candidate will be able to better understand the kind of situations they might face with patients and what their role will likely be in the dental organization.
Do you provide a realistic job description?
It is important to ensure that the information you are conveying to applicants at every stage of the process gives the true and authentic image of your organization. A realistic job description is a recruiting tool you can use to ensure that your candidates get an accurate image of expected duties and the environment of the organization. In the long term, a job description helps in the retention of employees, and during the hiring process, it thins the pool of applicants leaving only those candidates who are serious and are a good fit for the company.
A responsive hiring process
Today’s job seekers are generally more impatient than they were even a few years ago. To ensure that you have the person-job fit is something that takes time. But if you are too slow, candidates will likely get disheartened and even lose interest and move on to the next opportunity. Brad cites in his article, “62% of working professionals say they lose interest two weeks after the initial interview if they haven’t heard back”. My gut says that if a highly-qualified candidate hasn’t received some sort of response in the first few days, they will simply reach out to the next practice.
Of course, it is also frustrating for the dental practice if it takes too long to find the appropriate candidate. This can lead to impatience, cutting corners, or panic hiring – all of which can have disastrous consequences. So, it is important to speed up the hiring process.
Try implementing these three steps for your dental practice hiring process:
- Advertise your jobs on job boards and social media, following a proper plan of action
- As mentioned above, realistic job descriptions will dissuade unsuitable candidates and leave those who are really interested
- Weed out unsuitable applicants by doing an initial phone or video interview or even early assessments at the time of a candidate’s application submission
Are you providing timely feedback?
Feedback is one of the most important elements of a communication process. In the hiring process, timely feedback creates a positive association between you as an employer and your potential employees. It increases your goodwill in the industry. A survey by The Talent Board indicates that applicants receiving timely feedback are 52% more likely to form an engaged relationship with prospective employers.
Constructive feedback is also important in situations where you have to reject a candidate. It is not only helpful to them but also beneficial to you as they are now more likely to consider you for future employment opportunities. Feedback is also important for you if you want to achieve effectiveness so you should seek out the candidate’s feedback as well on the entire hiring process and its effectiveness.
Value is a two-way street
It is said that businesses buy and sell value. While we demand value from our employees, we provide value to them. Today, candidates are not only looking for money, they also want help with personal and professional growth.
It is important to communicate how seriously you take their needs, and talk about opportunities where they can grow the most. Training, personal and professional development, and learning opportunities for employees indicate that candidates (future employees) will be given their time’s worth.
In a post-covid world, where the working world has turned upside down and socio-economic trends like Big Quit are on the rise, dental practices need to have an appropriate and effective recruiting process. They need to ensure a positive experience to attract candidates and retain them for the long run. This positive experience promises a good employer/employee relationship right from the start.
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