As the Director of Practical Application here at MGE, I work our clients and office managers on a daily basis. A big issue – especially with new clients is personnel – specifically how to find good employees. While there is quite a bit to this subject, the four most common, yet easy to fix mistakes that offices make while hiring are:

1. Sitting on applications too long

Often in the busy life of the doctor or office manager, reading résumé s and conducting interviews takes a back seat to immediate production. It’s easy to think “I’ll look at that résumé tomorrow.” But then “tomorrow” soon becomes “the next day”… and then “the next day after that.”

The problem with this is that the type of employee you want can move fast and get things done. People like this will usually find a new job and get started in short order. They don’t normally remain unemployed for long periods of time.

If you sit on résumés for a while, instead of calling and scheduling an interview immediately, you risk losing these potential prospects.

So stay on top of hiring activities. If you need a position filled, don’t move slowly – start interviewing people immediately.

(Related: 4 Tips for Hiring Great Front Office Staff)

2. Assuming too much based on experience

If a prospective employee has experience, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will be able to walk right in and start on the job immediately. What another office considers to be sufficient training might not match up with what you consider to be sufficient training. The new employee may need to apprentice for a while to get the hang of how things are done in your office and what’s needed from him/her.

On the flipside of this, don’t assume that someone without experience will be unteachable. There are plenty of smart, competent people out there who can quickly learn what they need to know in order to thrive in the position that you need filled, even if they have never held a similar job before. An intelligent person with a good attitude is worth much more to you than a highly trained person who is unable to work well together with the rest of the team.

3. Not conducting group interviews

There is great value in conducting group interviews, beyond the expediency of getting multiple interviews done at once, especially if the job you are looking to fill requires a “people-person” type of personality.

When you conduct an individual interview, you don’t really get an idea of how well they get along with people. And this is where group interviews come in handy, because with a group interview, you have all of the prospective employees enter at once and sit together in a group. This allows you to see how they interact with each other. Someone who says they “love working with people” but then sits off silently in the corner by themselves with a sour expression on their face might not really “love working with people” as much as they claim. This is a good way to interview particularly for front desk personnel.

However, there is a proper way to do this. Here at MGE, we’ve developed a whole methodology on the group interview process that we teach our clients on the MGE Power Program.

(Related: The Do’s and Dont’s of Hiring Dental Office Staff)

4. Failing to use the information on the résumé

Résumés can be over or under-used. While you might not make a decision based purely on a résumé, there are definitely some things to consider from it.

Consider longevity of employment. That will give you some indication of whether they can hold a job for any length of time or not. If someone has gone through twenty different jobs, none lasting more than a few months, then this may be a red flag.

If you are looking to fill a position that requires lots of interaction with other people, then it’s a good sign if they have successfully held those types of jobs in the past—not just sitting by themselves doing data entry or something of the sort. Of course, observing them in person (as described in the group interviews section above) will be far more telling in this manor, but you should also look at the résumé.

Lastly, you should always, always, always call references. You may not get much information, because employers tend to be careful about which statements they make for legal reasons, but generally no one is going to withhold saying “He/she was a wonderful employee!” for fear of getting sued.

Hiring is one of the many subjects taught on the executive training programs here at MGE. Just as dental training is required for doctors, RDHs, and RDAs, executive training is a must for practice owners and managers.

Call (727)530-4277 or send an email to Dennisd@mgeonline.com for more information about our training programs.


Carla Dezelic provides this general dental practice management advice to furnish you with suggestions of actions that have been shown to have potential to help you improve your practice. Neither MGE nor Ms. Dezelic may be held liable for adverse actions resulting from your implementation of these suggestions, which are provided only as examples of topics covered by the MGE program.

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