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Dental Consultant Top Hiring Tips
Some people interview well but are disasters as employees. Here are five secrets to interviewing a prospective dental office employees:
1. Engage in social conversation to make the job applicant feel at ease and to observe their ability to engage in social conversation. Are they too "serious" or nervous to do so? If so, they’ll likely be the same with patients.
2. Ask them about their job history. What did they like most about their last job? What did they like the least? Why? Get them to give you specifics about both to see if they will complain or criticize their previous employer or are they complimentary of their previous employer, concentrating mainly on the positive?
3. Go over the concept of an employee producing a result. For example, the results you want from a Scheduling Coordinator are patients arrived on time for the proper amount of time; not just a name in the appointment book.
Then ask them what results they produced on their previous job(s). You may have to help them out on being specific by guiding them but not putting words in their mouth.
One of the things you're looking for is their attitude when they finally get the idea of producing a result and when they look at whether they've ever produced results or not.
If their attitude worsens you may be looking at a nonproductive individual which gives you your answer. If their attitude improves, and they get more enthusiastic, you may have a winner.
4. Find out what they think about dentistry. Have they been good about their own dental health? It's amazing to see how many people applying for a job at a dental office will tell you they "try to avoid going as much as possible" or some such thing.
Ask them if they think a person should spend thousands of dollars to have a healthy mouth and nice smile? Could they ask somebody to pay $5,000 in full today to start their treatment? Be very direct when you ask this question to see if they flinch or suppress their shock or disagreement even though they may be saying "no problem".
5. Put them on the spot by doing some instant role-playing to see how they handle it. It's OK if they get nervous or fumble around with this part because it's a tough thing to do when you're not prepared.
The ones that do it, don't object or don’t get "totally flustered" are good candidates. If it’s a front desk job, role-play something like greeting a new patient or collecting money.
Attitude is everything.
The main thing you're looking for is their attitude and communication skills. Does their attitude stay interested and enthusiastic and do they talk about positive things, laugh when appropriate, etc.
Before you hire anyone be sure to check their references. When checking, just ask if the employee did in fact produce the results you were told in the interview and was the employee dependable.
I also recommend basic math testing and a background check for anyone at the front desk handling money, insurance, etc.
Ultimately, even if they pass your initial hiring protocol, the only real way to know if they are going to work out is to hire the person and watch them in action.
Kevin Tighe, Cambridge Dental Consultants, Senior Consultant, got bitten hard by the business and marketing bug during long summer days working at his dad's Madison Avenue ad agency. After joining Cambridge as a speaker in the mid-1990s, Kevin went on to become Cambridge’s senior consultant and eventually CEO. Cambridge Dental Consultants is a full-service dental practice management company offering customized dental office manuals. Frustrated? High overhead? Schedule a chat with Kevin at
What Does A Dental Consultant Do?
Many dentists will tell you dental consulting works. If dental practice management firms had no worth or benefit they could not stand up to harsh economic realities for long. What a veteran dental consultant brings to the table are systems and protocols successfully implemented in other practices that have been improved and tweaked over many years. Top dental consultants talk and network with each other. They pay attention to what works and what doesn't work across all dental practices.
Marketing & New Patients
Practice management consultants generally have little marketing training or background.
Note: Cambridge'a consultants are Certified SEO and Ad Words Specialists
Dental Office Systems
Key systems dental consultants implement:
- New Patient Phone Call
- Insurance Processing
- New Patient Experience and Patient Education
- Financial Arrangements
- Unscheduled Treatment Followup
- Stat Monitoring
- Daily and Weekly Checklists
- General Policy Manual
You will not get much ROI from your dental consulting if your staff do not have your back. You do not beed a team of cheer leaders jumping up and down with enthusiasm, but you do need staff who are smart and take some pride and ownership in what they do. If there is more than the usual drama in your practice that needs to be sorted out before you will get any real results.
What gets monitored gets done.
The "big" obvious numbers are important to monitor, but when you look at them they are typically already "in the books". You want your team to concentrate and be accountable daily on the "small" stats that bring about the "big" stats. How many practice owners know how many calls were made to unscheduled patients each day or overdue re-care or inactive patients? Many dentists vastly underestimate how much daily "outflow" is needed to keep a schedule full. How may dentists know what % of slots were open in their hygiene schedule each day? How many know how many NP calls there were yesterday, who scheduled and if they end up showing up? More importantly how many staff know considering it's their job to do?
The only way to monitor what gets done is with daily stats especially for your weak areas. For example, one employee should be specifically responsible for calls to patients who are unscheduled, overdue re-care or need reactivation. Other staff can and should help in coordination with the accountable employee, but that employee accountable reports daily on a spreadsheet like this: 1. # of calls or personal texts sent 2. # of contact
3. # of appointments with name and date 4. # of arrivals
It is the employee who is either making themselves valuable to you or not. If they are doing so, dismissing them will never enter your mind. On the other hand, if they are not making themselves valuable, you will be doing them and yourself a favor by giving them the opportunity to find a practice or other employment that is a better fit for them.
What most practice owners are missing is not how to book an appointment but how to be effective leaders. The best systems in the world are useless if the staff do not comply. Good leaders know how to get staff to willingly follow through and comply. Agreement among all team members is key. Your written office policies should contain those agreements and should answer most questions staff come up with. Doing so will save you much time and simplify the management of your practice. Staff non compliance is a sure sign of poor leadership. The primary reason practices underperform is staff non compliance. Key traits of leaders. All it takes is discipline:
- Always keep a cool head especially when "under fire"
- Realize that all mistakes are an opportunity for you and your staff to learn.
- Set a good example.
- Always be learning.
- Take care of yourself.
- Fight the impulse to address multiple issue at the same time. Frantic activity creates spotty results.
Questions You Should Ask
- Do you and/or your staff have to travel or does the consultant come to you?
- Is the program mostly one on one consulting versus seminars or courses with multiple clients in attendance? There are advantages to both.
- If the dental consulting is one on one who will actually deliver the consulting? I recommend knowing who your specific dental consultant will be prior to signing on the dotted line.
- Is program based on a specific dental practice management system? You want to avoid cookie-cutter programs. Ensure the program will be tailor-made to fit your practice's specific needs.
- The cost (including travel expenses and downtime) is certainly not the only factor, everything else being equal, it is still a major factor to consider. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little.
If you do a little homework it should be fairly easy to pick a reputable consultant that is a good fit for you and your practice.