Dental Practice: Hiring From the Outside

By Dr. Addison Killeen

July 12, 2022

When You Need to Hire

Hiring for any position is darn near impossible it seems right now.  I’ve talked with folks all across the country who are having a hard time finding hygienists, assistants and managers.  As it happens, my office manager quit recently to move back closer to family, and so I had to go through the hiring process again.  

I hate hiring….I feel it’s always a gamble.  You can interview, check references, and do all your homework, and still only be 50% successful. (However, if you do none of those things you’ll be even less successful.)

Recently I went through a few processes that we have in DSN to make sure I’m hiring the best possible people. 

Here’s my initial steps prior to hiring:

If all those boxes are checked and then you can move on with the process.


Hiring Process

Prepare a Job Ad

Place Job Ad on Appropriate Sites

Inform Team of New Position Going Out for Hire

Start Accepting and Screening Applications


What and Where

One of the things our members have ran into recently are ABSURD pay levels.  To arrive at what you’ll need to offer, you will need to check both as well as other job ads for similar positions. If all the ads for hygienists are $50+ an hour then you’re probably going to at least need to include that in your range.  

In different areas of the country it’s also interesting to see where people respond to job ads.  Some larger markets its only Facebook, whereas others use Indeed or Craigslist more often.  If you’re not getting much traction, make sure to try some of the other site and see if you can get more applicants.  


Finding Your Match

As you move through the process…there are always places where a candidate can prove that they’re either a ‘fit’ for your organization, or not.  One thing to do at each stage is promote your core values and make sure that ‘anyone who doesn’t fit these values is going to have a difficult time in our organization’.  Hounding this might seem odd, but it has saved me more times than not. 

As you go through the hiring process, you will come to the point where you need some tests to help identify if they will be a good match.  Here’s what many of us on DSN use for pre-employment testing.  (We even have a Pre-Employment Associate Doctor Test that helps identify great DDS candidates!)  Even though some of these services are expensive, avoiding making a bad hire is worth the money spent.  In more cases than I can tell, I’ve avoided making a bad hire because of some test results.  

Pre-Employment Testing

I hope these notes on hiring has helped.  After you hire them…the race has only begun.  Now it’s your job to train them up.  If they’re for front office or assisting, you might want to consider the Rookie 2 Rockstar courses on Front Office Academy.  (I’m using them right now to train up a Manager from scratch.)