The Biggest Hiring Mistake Dentists Make

by Dr. Ron Arndt

Quite frankly, some dentists fail to be as diligent and comprehensive when hiring an employee as they do when creating a treatment plan for a patient. This is frustrating to see, because there are better alternative ways to go about it! I expect that the dentists I coach use the same attention and care to the ever-important hiring process as they would in creating a well-thought-out treatment plan for their most valued patient.

When dentists get swept away in the urgency of hiring an new employee right now, decisions get made out of haste and emotion. When this happens, dentists have absolutely no idea what they are looking for in a new employee. They fail to list the actual personality qualities and traits that will fit best with the practice, and therefore, are going into the interview essentially blind.

When hiring a new candidate, sit down (with your “real–not simply stated” Office Manager or coach) and answer these questions:

  • What does the ideal employee really look like? If the most “perfect fit” was sitting in front of you…would you be able to recognize it? No, I do not mean the most beautiful; or the one with the most experience; or the one who was able to BS you in the interview! Cut the crap…is this one, “THE” one?
  • What is the plan for writing a thoughtful, comprehensive position description that gets attention from the right candidates?
  • Where will we post this ad? Big city newspaper? Local weekly newspaper? Craig’s List? How about an “in-office” Bounty? (you can learn more about this if you only ask Dr. Ron…but most will not! Email me  at
  • What are the questions that we need to ask – beyond the basics – to choose the right candidate in the interview? Yes/No? Open ended? What is the difference?

When dentists create and develop a plan of action from the very beginning, the end result is low turnover, an exceptional employee and greater attention to our patients’ needs. Who wouldn’t want that? This plan could save you tens of thousands of dollars every year!

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