With the prospect of new ideas, skills, renewed energy, enthusiasm and hopefully a welcome breath of fresh air, recruitment of a new team member can and should be an exciting opportunity.
As many practice owners have learned the hard way, it can also be quite daunting and the “wrong” decision, can make life difficult for many months to come.
Common concerns I hear when recruiting new team members for client practices are:
- “Will they fit in to the team?”
- “Will they be disruptive?”
- “Will they work well with the rest of the team?”
- “Do they have the right attitude for the team and our patients?”
- “How do I make sure they will make a difference?”
As with many things, a well structured and organised approach to recruitment will go a long way towards making the right decision.
- Don’t rush into making decisions – far better to wait and cover the role until you find the “right” person
- Make sure you understand the role you are trying to fill – this can be a great opportunity to redefine a role and restructure responsibilities across the team to bring in new skills and fill knowledge gaps
- Understand the type of person you need – all teams benefit from a range of personalities, experience, maturity and approaches to work
- Understand the strengths of the remaining team and look to bridge any gaps or weaknesses through your new recruit
- Is the time right to promote from within the team and bring in a more junior role to replace a more senior person?
- Create a job profile outlining key responsibilities and requirements for the role
- Create effective wording for your advertisement to attract the right candidates
- Focus on the skills and requirements needed
- Remember to “sell” your practice and the role using positive words like opportunity, “great team to work with”, successful, enthusiastic, “great location”, “good public transport links”, “coastal/rural/city centre location”
- Take a look through my “News” page for several examples of proven recruitment advert wording
- Always request a covering letter to support C.V.s, asking the applicant to explain why they are right for the role you have on offer and what they can bring to your team and practice
Each applicant will have a different range of skills and experience and one of the best ways to identify and short-list for interview is to “score” applicant C/V.s against your own prioritised criteria:
- List 10-12 key aspects of the job and person that are important to you, such as
- Years of experience
- Specific skills needed for the role e.g. specialist nursing, decontamination, lead nurse, management , customer service, IT/software, teamwork, dealing with difficult situations, planning, communication
- Always have an “Other” aspect for candidates who flag up special skills or particular reasons they could be right for you
- Use the C.V. and covering letter to score each applicant against the criteria you have listed (0 = low/none, 5 = high/perfect!)
- Allocate your own weighting or ranking to each of the aspects so that candidates with the most important skills score higher
- If Lead Nurse skills are vital, weight this with a 5 – the best candidates would score a 5 from their C.V. x your own weighting of 5 = 25
- Short-list between 3 and 5 of the highest-scoring candidates for interview
Get to Know Your Candidates Better
At this stage many of my clients make good use of Everything DiSC, a long-established and proven work-style preference profile, which short-listed candidates complete on-line in about 20 minutes.
Based around candidate responses to a wide-range of work-style/team scenario questions, a detailed profile on the candidate’s likely approach to work and their ability to work effectively alongside different types of people, including yourself as their manager or leader, is summarised and made available to you.
The profile helps to identify whether the candidate can fill “gaps” in your ideal team structure. Remember that no team can function effectively where everyone has the same attitude, approach and work-style.
You will also be able to identify the likely “motivators” and “stressors” for each candidate, which helps to structure the right questions for interview and is a great help for managing the successful candidate.
The profiles are self-explanatory, self-contained and available for just £75 per candidate. As an accredited trainer and provider of Everything DiSC tools, I can help you interpret and make full use of the information if required, including comparison reports where there is no one clear “winner”, even after interview.
You can find out more about Everything DiSC workplace profiles here.
Really Get to Know Your Candidates
At the interview use a similar score-card to the one above, update scores based on what you see and hear
Don’t take anything at face value – ask for examples of what has been done and what has been achieved. Challenge the C.V. and claims but most importantly of all, get to know the person and what makes them tick.
- “Give me an example of when you resolved a patient complaint”
- “Tell me about a time you felt under pressure at work and how you responded”
- Give me an example of how you supported another member of the team”
- “How would you deal with a patient complaint about . . . “
- “How would you make sure the diary was kept full?”
- “What part of the job do you find most and least satisfying?”
- “Why is this role the right one for you?”
Some important additions to the C.V. score-card when used for interview candidates are:
- Approach to handling of typical scenarios such as those above
- Personality traits you are looking for such as confidence, outgoing, committed, hardworking, willingness to learn, flexibility
- Specific questions and circumstances for individuals, which need clarification or investigation
We have focused this discussion on skills, attitude, ability and team structure. Don’t forget to use your practice recruitment procedures/checklist to make sure all the practicalities and legal requirements of recruiting the right person are also covered. A suitable probationary period of up to 6 months is also essential.
Go For It and Make Your Decision
Armed with information from the applicant’s C.V., covering letter, Everything DiSC workplace profile, candidate score-cards and an effective, frank and open interview, you will have all you need to confidently make the big decision.
There is plenty of help out there to plug any management gaps within your business, including Your Dental Manager, so please do get in touch if you have any concerns or want to further improve the overall management/efficiency of your practice: firstname.lastname@example.org or check our on-line calendar to book a complimentary chat.