The Road to Hiring the Right Front Office Employees

Real World Insights from AADOM Authors - Angie Coffey

Since the pandemic in 2020, the dental industry has struggled to keep its practices staffed with quality employees. My office has been fortunate to retain our clinical team, though we have struggled to maintain front office staff. I am happy to say we have now had our team in place for more than a year, and things are going well. Hiring the right employees for the role is crucial for the success of your practice. Here are the steps we used to improve the hiring process:

Determining the needs of your practice is the first step. Before posting the position, have your roles and responsibilities clearly laid out. What qualifications are you looking for? How many positions do you need to fill? Are there certain skills that are required? Once you know the specifics, creating your job description should be easy. Keep in mind that dental knowledge is beneficial. However, many front office tasks require strong administrative, customer service, and organizational skills. Potential employees who have worked in other customer service fields are great candidates for the front office team. Dental terminology and software are teachable.

Post your job openings on relevant websites. Indeed, Dental Post and LinkedIn are just a few examples. Make sure your job post is compelling and accurately describes the roles and requirements you are looking for in a candidate. Consider reaching out to professional networks that you belong to. Our local AADOM Chapter has an email chain that we post to when we are looking to fill positions.

Screen the resumes you receive and prioritize the candidates you would like to interview. At this point in the process, I go through the resumes in depth. I look at the language used. Are there spelling errors? Did they include relative information that is up to date? If they included a cover letter, did they make sure that they included your business name and position? They are applying for a position that requires them to pay attention to details. Their resume should be pristine. I also look at job history. Are they changing jobs frequently? I am looking for someone who wants to be part of our office family for the long haul, not just someone who is looking to fill a temporary spot. The last thing I do before setting up an interview is look at social media. How do they represent themselves on Facebook? Is it in line with our office’s core values? This can be a make-or-break moment in the process.

When setting up an interview, be detailed about what the applicant can expect. I let the applicant know that they should plan to be at our office for approximately an hour. I will discuss the job responsibilities, benefits, and expectations. We ask pertinent questions that involve communication skills, problem-solving, and technical ability. If they do well, we have them take a Wonderlic Assessment, a type of cognitive ability test. This gives us more insight into identifying candidates who will best fit into the roles we are trying to fill and helps us to make a more informed hiring decision. After you select the right person and they accept the position, the process does not stop there. Onboarding your new employee is important. You must provide the necessary training, resources, and support to set your new employee up for success. Make sure that you are checking in with them and your other employees to ensure that all needs are met.

Remember, hiring is not a one-size-fits-all process. It’s valuable to evaluate candidates based on their overall qualifications and skills that fit the needs of your practice. Utilizing resumes, social media, and the interview process will contribute to the success of your employees and practice.

For more information on Wonderlic Assessments visit www.wonderlic.comThis link opens a new tab to the Wonderlic website.

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About the Author

Headshot of Angie Coffey

Angie Coffee’s career in dentistry started in 2005 as a business team member with Dentistry @ University PointeThis link opens a new tab to the University Pointe website. In February of 2014, she was promoted to office manager, a role where she felt completely lost. Thankfully, she heard about AADOM, and started heading down the right path. Angie is currently the Vice-President of the SW Ohio/N Kentucky ChapterThis link opens a new tab to the AADOM website, where she enjoys networking and learning with her peers.

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