How to Hire the Right Employee the First Time

In attempt to avoid the need to fire an employee and begin the hiring process all over again, one must make every effort to hire “right” the first time. This is an admittedly difficult thing to do in our industry, of course, as those applying for work in your practice may not be those reaching for the highest rung on the ladder. Given standard parting gift of two weeks’ notice, we are often left with too little time to hire a new employee. Rushed interviews and reference checks can lead to poor decision making and settling for an employee candidate who is less than ideal.  Nonetheless, striving to hire right the first time can eliminate headaches down the road. Business coach Eric Herrenkohl speaks to this in his book How to Hire A-Players: Finding the Top People for Your Team- Even If You Don’t Have a Recruiting DepartmentManagement Books).


Recently, I was levied two weeks to hire a new dental assistant when my current dental assistant changed careers unpredictably.  Given the existing economic climate and high unemployment rate, I was afforded the opportunity to consider more candidates for this new hire.  Within the first 24 hours of posting a free Craigslist job ad, I had received multiple resumes from qualified individuals.  In order to avoid sifting through countless resumes from unqualified applicants, I drafted a detailed ad.


In the midst of a busy day of clinical dentistry and practice management, it is tempting to settle for the first warm body to present itself somewhat positively in an interview.  Keeping in mind where “settling” had gotten me in the past, I decided to interview several additional candidates beyond the handful that had appeared adequate.  In this employment market, we are no longer required to settle for adequate.


Implementing the right interview protocol and background checks on potential staff members is imperative in the hiring process.  In our practice we have designed a list of 17 Questions to Ask in an Interview as well as 12 Questions to Ask References when a potential hire shows promise. If interested, a practice management Resource CD which contains these lists and other valuable practice growth information can be purchased by clicking “Buy Now” below.