I don’t need to tell you that one of the most crucial yet difficult responsibilities we have as endodontists is to hire the right employees – those that are team players; bring tremendous and differing skills to the table; and help make the office as efficient (and pleasant) as possible. My experience is that, like any relationship, people only let you see the very outer shell at first – particularly during the hiring process.  You see what they want you to see.  It’s human nature to project the positive and over time, expose more and more of who we really are.  Obviously, a resume outlines skills and experience. But what is not necessarily obvious is who a person is; how they interact with others; their kindness and values; dedication to their work; their ability to learn and be trained.  The interview process cannot tell you the whole story.  Only time will do that.

My ideal employees

Of course, my first criteria is that the candidate have top skills for the position.  I believe in hiring the best and paying them accordingly.  But beyond the obvious, what I look for is what I call “fast walkers.” Those who can anticipate future needs; have energy and vitality; are genuinely people-focused and solution-oriented; and those who will fit into the culture of my practice.

Sometimes it just doesn’t work

Is it chemistry that goes wrong between people?  Is it work style or mediocre skills?  Is it taking too much time off?  Is it just someone who rubs others the wrong way?  Whatever the “IT” is, sometimes an employee just doesn’t fit.  We know it and, believe me, so do they.  The key here is to end the relationship as soon as you see the writing on the wall.  This reminds me of a quote I heard: “I never fired anyone too soon.” The first time I had to fire an employee I made my decision on a Thursday and waited until Monday to have the talk.  It hung over me for four stressful days, with me dreading the conversation.  But it taught me something important.  When you know it’s over, it’s best to set them free sooner than later.

A recommendation

A resource I depend on to help me find the really great candidates is REO Consulting.  If you’re in the hiring process, I recommend reaching out to their team.