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How to Take the Pain Out Of Hiring for Office Managers

Real-World Insights from AADOM Authors

Imagine you are setting up an online dating profile.

To attract a person who will be a good fit, you emphasize your values, essential aspects of your personality and things that make you happy. These details are obvious when it comes to personal relationships—so why do we, as hiring office managers, take such a different approach to professional relationships?

The way I see it, dating and hiring have a lot of similarities.

What would happen if you put up a generic dating profile? It would look just like everyone else’s and leave out the fact that you are a dominant personality who seeks adventure over the typical dinner-and-a-movie-type date. Your dates would be painful, and both parties would realize the mismatch was a colossal waste of time.

In the same way, you must be 100% true to yourself and your organization when looking for job candidates.

So, how do you take the pain out of hiring? Here are some key points.

Know who you are

If you aren’t a ‘dog person,’ don’t pretend you are to attract more applicants. Sit down with your dental office management team and (if you haven’t already) determine who you are as an organization. At your core, what are the things you most value?

Check out this example of company core values from

Outline of 4 company core values.

Once clear on who you are, you can better identify who you want to hire. That takes us to key #2.

Know the type of people you want to hire (Like, really know them!)

When considering how to evaluate applicants’ cultural fit, focus on these four attributes:

Personality – Do they have the personality type that will blend well with your company culture? If you value employee autonomy and want a team of high achievers, would a more cautious and task-oriented person be a good fit? Nope!
Include a personality assessment in your hiring process to gather detailed information—or, ask questions during the interview that illustrate the personality type of the applicant.

In the job description: We are a team of high achievers. No matter your position, you are viewed as a leader and are encouraged to take charge and make decisions without guidance from others.

In the interview: Can you tell us about a time when you led a group of people to accomplish a task? On a team, what role do you typically play? Leader, collaborator, follower?

Core values – Does the person you are interviewing share the core values of your office? Are you sure? To honestly know if they hold the same values you do, make sure to ask questions that allow them to show how they put those values in practice. You will hear a more accurate answer if you ask the candidate to tell you how they demonstrated their values in
the workplace, rather than listing the company values and asking if they agree.

In the job description: We are a team of truth-tellers, even when the truth is hard. We believe honesty with one another equals honesty with ourselves, our clients and our work.

In the interview: Describe a time you had to tell a hard truth; a time when not telling the truth would have been easier, but you told the truth anyway.

Work culture happiness – It is vital for your new hire to feel that their work environment fits the culture they sought. Some people thrive in a fast-paced office that has an element of unpredictability day-to-day, while others need a predictable workspace.

In the job description: Our fast-paced office isn’t for the faint of heart! Our motto is: Go big or go home! If you thrive in an environment that is continually changing, this is the job for you.

In the interview: How do you respond to projects requiring a quick turnaround? Tell me about a time you stayed late at work with little notice.

Emotional intelligence – Emotional intelligence (EQ) is an important factor when determining the right fit for your business. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to manage one’s emotions and the emotions of others. Employees with high EQ will have better chances of success on a team compared to those with lower EQ.

In the job description: We are looking for a team member who is empathetic and self-aware – someone who is not afraid to apologize when they need to and can self-reflect and change behavior.

In the interview: Please give examples of a time you have demonstrated empathy, forgiveness, and praise for others; or a time you apologized to a coworker or supervisor.

A painless process

Hiring for the right fit does not need to be a painful experience.

Just like dating, be honest about who you are to attract someone who wants to be with you. Get to know your applicants for who they are by being upfront about your needs and asking pointed questions about theirs. Authenticity on both sides will set you up for the best possible work relationship.

For more information on how to hire pain-free, check out more from Tonya and her stellar team on their blog.


Meet the Author

Profile photo of author Tonya LanthierTonya Lanthier, RDH is the founder and CEO of, the premier online and mobile dental job board and community.

She is passionate about helping dental office managers build teams that excel by using matching and personality analytics to make smarter hires.

Tonya started DentalPost in 2005 as a tool to help make dental professionals’ lives easier. The company has since grown into a networking community for more than 750,000 dental professionals and 38,000 dental offices.



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