Hire Slow and Fire Fast. Is anyone in dentistry really THAT indispensable?

A dentist I know well has just recently been interviewing for Dental Office Team Members.

And so have I.

One of the key rules, or principles of hiring and employment is this:

Hire Slow and Fire Fast.

How many times do we see the opposite of this rule occur?

And we do….. and we keep seeing it.

And we keep doing it, don’t we?

We hire fast.

And we take *FOREVER* to dismiss someone who may not be right for our team.

And combined together, these two incongruences, keep occurring and occurring and occurring.

For some reason we as employers just don’t seem to learn.

We just don’t follow the rule.

And I guess, as dentists, we’re really not alone in hiring fast and firing slow. It’s not anything unique to dentistry as such.

It is, in fact, a very very common affliction of all small business.

Because when you’re a business of three or four or five or six employees, it’s very difficult to be without one.

Because that one person, just by the numbers, could be twenty five percent, twenty percent or sixteen percent of your workforce.

And taking time, going slow, to replace them, can be a burden.

A burden on the owner and a burden on the other employees in that small business.

In dentistry it can be a real burden.

Going without one person in your team, for even a short period of time, can be a real strain for your business and for your other team members.

Having no replacement, while you source and interview and source more and interview more, and more, and more…oh my goodness, it’s just a testimony to internal fortitude, isn’t it?

For the interviewer, for the small business owner, [read DENTIST here], for the other team members as well…

What do you do?

Do you try to soldier on without that front office person, without that dental assistant, without that steri person?

Or do you use an agency, where the person they send has different levels of ability and awareness.

Different from the person you want.

Different from the person who you are replacing.

Different from the person who came from the agency the day before…

It’s enough to drive a small business owner mad…

I mean crazy.

But also mad angry.

Angry mad.

Because as a dentist, all you really want to do is just go back to fixing teeth.

Not this H.R. stuff.

After all, you’re not trained in H.R..

And you’re not cut out for it either?

And you weren’t taught it at dental school.

You didn’t sign up for it.

You signed up for fixing teeth…..

And this is where it all starts to unravel….

This is where we start hiring fast.

Because we just aren’t cut out for all the sifting. And the sorting. And the time it takes.

And the weighing up. And the evaluating. And the comparing…..

“Well this one’s good at this, but that one can do that… But not this…. And then there’s this other one…”

The self-talk is just enough to send you crazy.

Because you’re just not cut out for it.

So you hire fast…

Now in my opinion, if hiring fast can work for you, then I’m OK with that.

But only, *ONLY* if you’re up for firing fast as well.

Because sometimes you just don’t know how good or how well or how poorly a potential employee will be without seeing them working the floor, in the shoes, doing what you want them to do…..

So give them a go, because sometimes a real pearl can be found, or appears, once in the work environment, rather than during the interview process.

But you must be ready to pull the lever if need be.

If they aren’t the right person.

And pull it quickly.

I mentioned a dentist I know at the top of the article?

Well it seems that my colleague was concerned about the loss of a long-term dental hygienist, and how patients might react to her departure.

And I guess he felt this way because it had been a few years since the last time he had a vacancy in his hygiene department.

Well my colleague was happy to report that the new hygienist was welcomed and very well received by all the patients who she treated…

And I knew that this would be the case…

Because I guess, for those patients, sometimes a change of hygienist is just as good as a holiday…

Which makes you wonder if a change of dentist would bring about a similar nonchalance in behaviour?

Would your own absence, or replacement, Doc, be just like water off a duck’s back to your trusty and loyal clients and customers?

That’s very difficult to say…


It’s a topic for another day.

But it gets you thinking….

Is anyone in dentistry, including you Doc, really *THAT* indispensible…..


Improved hiring techniques techniques are part of  The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple easy to implement system that I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me: david@theUPE.com

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