Hire slow, fire fast.

At Fortune Management, we believe that the only way to grow a practice is by growing the people, specifically the right people. We get questions and concerns from nearly all of our doctors about how to find, hire, and onboard the right people, or how to solve urgent issues with troublesome or difficult staff members. Building an extraordinary practice (as well as an extraordinary life) begins by surrounding yourself with people who are positive, skilled, capable, trustworthy, willing to learn, and fit the culture of your office. You can have the most state-of-the-art building and equipment, or be the most talented dentist in your area, and still struggle to have a growing practice that you love if you have a team you can’t trust.

The primary factor for building a team that can take your practice to new heights is, you guessed it, hiring the right people from the very beginning. Here are some essential first steps to take.

Step 1: Vividly imagine the person you need. You are never just hiring an assistant or a hygienist, you’re hiring a person! Who do you need that person to be? What kind of person would fit in well at the office? Should they be more serious and stern, or easy going and fun? Should they be very detail oriented, or more “big picture”? Imagine the exceptional, not just the ordinary.

Step 2: Get your team involved. You aren’t hiring someone to work with you, you’re hiring someone to work with your team. Sit down with your team and ask them the types of questions from Step 1. Make sure you’re all on the same page about who it is you’re looking for and who will be the best fit. Involving your team will ease the onboarding process for the new member and facilitate their success.

Step 3: Write a job description and post it. Once you have a clear and collective vision for your new team member, write it down in the form of a job description. Be very clear about the tasks and responsibilities the new member will take on, and the traits you’re looking for.

The Bottom Line: While there are no right or wrong answers for what type of person will work best for you and your practice, one thing we have learned from helping many clients with hiring is that it is best to hire for attitude, not experience. While there may be a few cases in which experience is a hard requirement, it is much easier and cost effective to hire someone who is trainable and positive than someone who has all the talent but is a terrible team member.

Take it slow. Even if it feels like the pressure is on, it can be catastrophic to your practice financially and emotionally to hire the wrong person. The right person, however, can make all the difference.


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