Why you’re recruiting new staff completely the wrong way

Human Resources concept: choosing the perfect candidate for the job

Paul Green looks at a smarter way to recruit qualified staff.

I’ve been working with independent practice owners helping them grow their businesses for a long time now. And do you know what the most common barrier to growth is? It’s you. The way you think and act directly determines the results that you get from your business.

But closely following this, the second most common barrier to growth is your staff. You can end up spending much of your time focusing on fire fighting their problems, rather than investing that time into developing your
best staff.

The trick is to surround yourself with the very best people, who are engaged with the practice, and what it is you are trying to achieve. This starts with getting your recruitment right.

Recruitment as a marketing challenge

It’s so tempting to treat recruitment as just another little job that has to be done. But that’s crazy. You probably spend more time with your staff than you do with the people you love. This is why I always recommend trial days or weeks. A candidate can pretend to be something they’re not in an interview. But it’s harder to keep that up for an entire week.

I believe that most people’s approach to recruitment is totally wrong. In my mind, it’s a basic marketing challenge. And that means you need to apply good marketing principles to it. Don’t look at it from your point of view. Look at your practice and vacancy as if you were your potential future member of staff.

What’s good about your practice? What makes it an exciting place to work? What’s not so good? This is the key question to answer: What makes you different (or better) than all of the other dentists?

Attracting the right candidate

If you’re struggling to get the right qualified staff, you need to tackle any perceived negatives of working for your practice. It’s not what you think about your practice; it’s what the candidate thinks.

Your advert needs to get the basics right as well. That means following the classic marketing acronym of AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action). If your advert reads the same as everyone else’s, then you will get the same results. The best employees don’t just want a job. They want excitement, a challenge. Somewhere they will grow personally and professionally.

You can use other marketing tactics to make the role seem more desirable. For example, apply some social proof to demonstrate that your staff love working for you. This could be as simple as a one-line testimonial from a current member of your team, working in a similar role.

Finally then, the interview process. CVs are full of exaggerations, so ignore them in favour of pre-interview phone calls. The more contacts you can have with someone, the better a feel you’ll get for them.

Killer questions

Here are some killer interview questions to use:

Test for ability to achieve: Tell me about a time you set difficult goals. What did you do to achieve them? Walk me through the process and purpose

Test for ability to fit into a team: Tell me about the relationships you’ve had with the people you’ve worked with. How would you describe the best ones? The worst?

Test for self-awareness: Tell me about a time you screwed up

Test for intelligence: In five minutes, could you explain something to me that is complicated but you know well? (doesn’t have to be work related)

This is a great way to gauge their feelings about you and your role, and give you final confirmation whether they are the one or not.

You can get a free copy of Paul’s dental marketing book, The Root of the Problem, posted to you by visiting www.dentistsmarketingbook.co.uk.

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