How to Avoid Hiring Mistakes that Can Cost You Thousands
Hiring new team members can be complicated and exhausting. While you're conducting interviews and assessing the merits (and skills) of each candidate, applicants are evaluating you and your company, too.
The hiring process is more complex than choosing the right person for the job; it's attracting and securing the best candidates, who align with your company's vision and core values.
When it comes to common hiring mistakes, in our experience it’s a lack of three things:
Many dentists or dental groups put out a generic ad, put little thought/time into the design of the process/system, and don’t do it enough to be experts. At joyfull People we have a saying- “you can’t hire all stars with a rookie system.” If you’re putting job ads that are just like everyone else, you’re going to get candidates just like everyone else, you know...the ones that the dental industry is constantly complaining about in social groups.
The dentist (and company) needs to be clear about the vision and values of their organization. From there they can then build the entire system around finding and aligning people with that vision who have those values. We have a process we built while growing a dental group from $0-$40M in 6 years (with denovos, not acquisitions) and nearly 200 team members (97% Millennials and Gen Z).
Once the vision and values are set for your organization, here are the top 6 things we recommend for avoiding common hiring pitfalls.
1. Focus- be really specific on the type of candidate you are looking for. We build an ideal candidate profile. It’s best to first outline the competencies and personality qualities that would enable an ideal candidate to be a fit for your team and get the job done. You’ll also want to very clearly the tasks you need the individual to accomplish as well. You will then be in a position to assess your most promising applicants against this ideal profile. This is the surest way to avoid hiring someone simply because you like them and then wondering a few months later why they did not succeed.
2. Treat the job as like a piece of marketing and not like a job description. If you read ten ads for a hygienist and wouldn’t be able to pick your ad out of the group (if it didn’t have your practice name on it) it’s an issue. Even if you’re in a hurry to hire, take the time to write a proper job description. Doing so has two benefits: first, it forces you to think through what you want this new person’s responsibilities and skills to be. Second, it helps candidates understand the role and decide whether they’d be a good fit for the position. When it comes to the interview, you’ll both be better prepared.
3. Having a rating system to review resumes- we used a 5 star system and used an applicant tracking system for scalability. You’ll want to look for key listed experience, skills, etc that compare with the job description you’ve created. How does the resume compare to the job description, does that candidate meet all of the criteria?
4. Be intentional about every step and be observant in every interaction with the candidate- didn’t answer the phone- what did the voicemail message sound like? How fast did they call back? How did they sound on the phone?
5. Systemize the interviewing process- you should have a core set of questions built around your core values that you ask every candidate including a scorecard for how they answer. Interview scorecards set out the criteria that every candidate is evaluated against. They usually have some common criteria across the organization (usually around cultural fit) with each location, department, or job role usually requiring some custom skills-based criteria. Most scorecards use a simple rating system to keep things as objective as possible and make it as easy as possible to rank candidates.
6. Include your existing team in the process, everything from the way we walked candidates through the office to leaving them in a room briefly with another team member while “grabbing something” was built in and intentional. The team knows the process and the roles they play.
We had to turn something subjective into something objective and we needed the ability to scale and equip brand new managers and dentists with skills that sometimes take decades to learn.
A well designed system can take a lot of guesswork and heartache out of the experience. Score our free Interview Scorecard & Templates here.