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Hiring Staff

By John Van der Werff, DDS | January 17, 2017

by John Van der Werff, DDS

We spend a significant amount of time at work and the people we work with are important in making that time enjoyable. After 35 years, I have had many opportunities to pick whom I work with. Some have been good, and others would have been better off in other offices. I would like to share some pearls I hope you find helpful.

  • Hire people you like. You don’t have to be best friends, but hire people you like to be around. I have my staff involved in the process, and if my staff has a negative experience or feeling, we look at others.
  • Check references. It is amazing what you can find by calling references. Sometimes I wonder why people put them on their reference list.
  • Hire people for the things you cannot teach. I have hired many people who have little or no experience in the dental field but are nice people, are willing to learn, have a positive attitude and are able to learn. This cannot be done for those positions requiring a license, but for other positions this has worked quite well. You can always teach people skills if they are willing and able to learn.
  • Attitude is very important. A person with a positive attitude can make a huge difference in how things run and in solving problems. 
  • Have a training program in place. Knowing how to train can avoid a lot of frustration with everyone. We use a four-step process of showing, watching them doing, have them working on their own and mastery. Each step requires a different amount of teaching, correction, and encouragement.
  • Finally, make sure you have a positive attitude as you train people. Let them know you may be critical of their behavior because you want them to succeed. 

Maybe others have further gems of wisdom. Add your own experiences and tips in the comments section.


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