Hiring For The Right Fit
Part 1 of 2
Knowing and Understanding Your Business First.
You have just acquired another dental practice and your current offices are on an upward trajectory of growth. Maybe you have just acquired multiple offices across numerous states or another region of offices. Now your organization needs to hire, and hire quickly to be sure you are not creating an opportunity cost – production! What next? Who shall you hire? Where do you begin?
The easy answer used to be, hire the best, most qualified candidate possible. However, hiring has now become a science and an in-depth, critical process.
The reality of hiring is that your workforce most likely comprises the largest, most expensive line on your profit & loss statement – you cannot take a risk of just hiring anyone! Making the wrong hire may not only cost your office tens of thousands of dollars, but it may cause months of disruption and even possibly create bad morale amongst employees.
Hiring the right fit is the overwhelming answer to help eliminate some of the most critical mistakes in bringing aboard the wrong hires; by office, regionally or into your support office. Although a candidate may be the most highly skilled and trained person in their position, they may not always be the right fit. That is why interviewing and hiring begins well before either of these processes commence.
As a Group/DSO, you are going to want to pay strict attention to the items below and begin to create a standard around each item, including:
• Job Titles
• Job Descriptions
• Roles & Responsibilities
• Qualifications & Requirements
As an established Group/DSO, you or your support team may have already identified and defined each of these points. However, as a smaller or newly established Group/DSO, you are going to want to dig deep within your region or even within an office to understand all of the factors in hiring for the right fit. Often times, regions and individual offices will have their own culture and environment, so again, you want to be proactive going into every hiring situation and be well prepared and armed with the proper standards and strategy.
Below are a number of factors that will aid in identifying and defining the best interview and hiring processes for any position in your office or group, regardless of level.
• Define, learn and understand the mission, values and philosophies of your Group / DSO. If you do not know or understand how each of these are defined, then how can you expect to hire the right person? Your mission, values and philosophies should not only be a major part of your interviewing process, but it is a key marketing advantage to your patients. Additionally, it should also be part of your daily engagements amongst your entire Team. Each office, region, or organization has a true personality, so define and engage that personality and culture.
• Timing. Defining a timeline on how and when you are looking to bring on a new person not only makes you committed, but it also provides the candidates the ability to determine if the timing is right. And remember, timing does not always have to be immediate. Making the right hire takes time, so be sure you allot sufficient time to prepare for this major event.
• Pay scales for your Group / DSO. Establish a general pay scale for not only the position you are hiring for, but all of the organization’s positions. This should include production percentages and goals if the pay involves a production based model. You will need to do your homework on the demographics of your office or region, average pay grade based on local and state wages, as well as what other comparable offices or even other Group / DSO’s are paying. Be sure to use resources such as your local dental manager associations, as well as associations and study groups specific to the position for hire.
• Hiring can and should be a team affair. Who knows the inner workings and culture of your practice better than your in-office staff and regional support? Your team members, especially those with tenure, are a great resource when trying to find the right fit. While colleagues can help, at the end of the day, you need to make the assessment and decide what is best for the practice.
• Ask your patients. Today, the buzz revolves around maintaining your patient base and increasing recall or recare percentages amongst your patients. One great way to accomplish this is through touch points and patient engagement. Offer a discount or a FREE product or service when an active patient (12 months or less) answers a survey to the culture of your office from their perspective. Your organization and in turn your business can only be enhanced if you listen to your patients.
Follow through. Although this may seem quite obvious, delaying or not being serious about bringing on new personnel, can and will negatively influence the working environment and moral of the office and the Team.
You will be far ahead of the curve on hiring for the right fit if you have a clear understanding your business and office culture before you conduct interviews begin the hiring process.
Creating a Talent Pool of Qualified Candidates.
So now you completely understand and have defined your organization’s model for hiring the right fit. Where and when do you start seeking out talented persons to fill your positions of growth and replacement? We refer to this as sourcing. Sourcing the right candidate for current and future job openings is key to a stable employee base.
When? If you have not been proactively seeking out talented people, you are already late to the game. As described above, finding the right fit involves many resources, standardizing and strategic thinking before you can even make the proper hire. Creating a database/talent pool of engaged candidates is important because you never know when you will need to fill that next opening – someone unexpectedly leaving, maternity leave, illness, family matters, retirement, in-office growth or opening additional offices.
You always want to have an active network of candidates that you are keeping in touch with – passively recruiting in a sense – by reaching out over email, inviting them to social or networking events, or including them in your offices patient marketing campaigns. You may also elect to send them quarterly emails discussing the recent events in your regional offices or organization from an employee and community perspective. Highlight why it is such a great place to work.
Here are few platforms that you can utilize to keep in touch with each of your candidates if you are not already using a service.
• MailChimp – First 2,000 email addresses are free with marketing templates included
• iContact – Inexpensive and simple marketing templates
• Constant Contact – More expensive but great support and more detailed/fine-tuned templates
In sourcing candidates, it is important that you and your recruitment team understand the fact that there are both active and passive candidates. Active candidates are those currently looking for a new career opportunity and have their resume or CV on the street, confidentially or not.
Passive candidates are those who are not necessarily looking for a new job or career currently, but if the right opportunity is placed in front of them, they may be intrigued to apply. Greater than 60% of candidates will apply not just for more money, but because there is more benefits.
As Group / DSO you have many intriguing and exclusive benefits including the possibility of career advancement and relocation within the organization. All in all, active candidates are probably the easier of the two segments to target.
When sourcing candidates, don’t forget to look at hiring from the perspective of the jobs seekers – where are they turning to find the right jobs? What sorts of networking events are they involved with? Where are they spending their time gaining additional knowledge, volunteering or networking outside the office?
Below are a number of suggestions for helping you find the right fit of candidates for both your current and future career openings. It may be a good idea if you have a number of people involved in recruiting, to divide and conquer on all of the options below and see what comes of each one.
• Job Sites. Active candidates are constantly posting their resume or CV with these sites and registering for daily or weekly job alerts that match them with their job title and preferred geography. Some sites even provide unlimited job postings so you can create general, regionally specific positions sourcing resumes and CVs for future openings. But do your homework; only a few job sites are actively sourcing both active and passive candidates.
o Local & National Dental Study Groups
o Regional & State Dental Society Chapters
o Local & Regional Dental Association Chapters
• Community Events
o Charity events and programs
o Neighborhood and city or town festivals and gatherings
• Colleges, Universities , Residency Programs & Technical Programs
o Do not limit yourself to just your regional footprint. The world is a smaller place today and many graduates are willing to travel, especially knowing they may be able to relocate from one of your offices to another
• Social Media. Social media is the new way of the world for communicating, engaging and networking. Although I am a firm believer that person to person networking and relationships will never be trumped, social media does connect the world. Advertising job openings or the office itself on social media is another great way to expand your audience. Be sure to discuss how wonderful it is to work for your offices or organization. Not only will your patients see it, but so will your active and passive candidates!
Options for tracking applicants and candidates
Now that you have an active network of potential candidates, how do you manage and track them? One solution is using a job site or “mini-ATS”. For example, most, if not all job sites should allow employers to post jobs directly from their dashboard. There are other very niche and enhanced dental job sites that also enable recruiters to manage and track a database of candidates down to the position, including their resume or CV and cover letter or additional documents. We consider these systems, mini-ATS’s.
The second option is utilizing a Customer Resource Management System or CRM. A CRM is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It often involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.  This too can be used by recruiters for tracking applicants, however, it has less functionality than that a true Applicant Tracking System explained below.
The third and most extensive recruitment platform is utilizing an Applicant Tracking System or ATS. An ATS is a software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs. An ATS can be implemented or accessed online on an enterprise or small business level, depending on the needs of the company. An ATS is very similar to customer relationship management systems, but are designed for recruitment tracking purposes. In many cases they filter applications automatically based on given criteria such as keywords, skills, former employers, years of experience and schools attended. 
With these tools, you and your recruitment team should be well on your way to hiring for the right fit! As you can see, setting standards and having well defined strategy and goals will enhance your processes and recruitment efforts in the long term.
About The Author
Peter Cargill is the Founder & President of DentReps.com – The Dental Jobs Site and WhyDSO.com promoting DSO & Group Careers & Affiliations. DentReps is an exclusive dental job site and tool that supports the hiring of Associates, Specialists, Hygienists, Assistants, Office Staff, Lab Techs, Group Support, Executives, as well as Dental Sales & Marketing Leaders. With over 40,000 Dental Jobs posted and 500,000 Hiring Connections made since their inception in 2011, is a great tool to aid in your recruiting and talent acquisition goals.
DentReps.com | e: info@DentReps.com | p: 781.987.1365
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