Make Your New Dental Employee Stick

by | Jul 18, 2019 | Dental Office, Employer advice, Hiring | 0 comments

Let me know if this scenario sounds familiar?

You have been searching for the perfect Dental Assistant or Front Office staff to hire and you finally find one… 

The interview and working interview was great, they accepted your offer and your team is finally complete!

Then that person’s start date comes and they don’t show up.  You call them to see if they got the date or time confused and you don’t hear back.  You end up never hearing from them again…


More Commonly, They start, you think things are going great and then they quit or stop peforming after only a few short months.

These two scenarios are happening way too often in the dental field but we are here to help! This post shows how you can be proactive in making sure the candidate you hire is in it for the long haul.

Start with your interview:

Be personable and friendly.  Remember, the Dental Assistant, Dental Hygienist or Dental Front Office person is interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them.  If you want them to join your team they have to like you.

Make the interview more conversational and get to know them personally.  Asking about what they like to do for fun and connecting with them on a deeper level, will increase the chances of them wanting to join your team. It’s really important to remember your employees spend more time with you than family sometimes and so try to create a connection for best success. 

Make sure all exceptions are understood and agreed upon:

One of the first questions you should ask during an interview is “What are you looking for in your perfect dental Practice?”  Or “What does your perfect dental job look like?”. Make sure the hours, pay and benefits work for them.

If they need a practice that can guarantee their hours, OR need to leave exactly at 5 every day to pick up their child, you need to uncover and reassure them that your practice matches up with their needs.

If your practice doesn’t match up with their needs it is best to address it now.  The likelihood of them staying with a practice that doesn’t work with their lifestyle or schedule is slim… So don’t waste yours or their time trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole.

Check their references:

This is always a must.

In the state of California, we can really only ask if they worked there and are they re-hirable.  However, if they are re-hireable, take this as an opportunity to ask more questions.

For Example:

1. “Are they reliable?” – You want to know if they showed up for work on time, or if they called out sick a lot.  This will also give you a heads up if they are likely to ghost you.

2. “Were they a good team player?” – The success of a dental practice almost always comes back to how well the team works together.  You want to make sure you hire someone that is going to fit in well.

Once they pass your interview and reference check, what happens when you make them the offer will ensure they show up for work on that first day.

When you made the offer, was there any hesitance? Did they lack excitement? If so, you might want to see if there is something causing that apprehension. 

Is it the pay?



A quick, “Hey, you aren’t as excited as I thought you would be, what is up?” Could save you time in finding out right away if this candidate isn’t really going to accept the offer or is going to leave after a few short months.

However, if they were excited and immediately asked “When can I start?”, you know you got a keeper.


Between the offer and the start date stay connected:

Reach out a few days after the offer has been accepted to let them know how excited you to have them join your team and reconfirm that start date.  And then a day or two before their start date, reach back out to confirm the time they should be there and give any basic instructions (parking, attire, etc) and again let them know you are thrilled to get them started. Starting a new job is tough sometimes and even the most talented people need reassurance. 

Once you got them in the office, keep them:

Make sure you do one-on-one reviews with your employees by the 3-month mark.  You want to make sure they are happy and give them good solid feedback they can work with.  If they don’t know how they are doing they might start looking for work elsewhere. The dentists that communicate early and often tend to have the most successful dental team.


These are all small and simple steps but by adding them to your hiring process, should ensure that candidates start and stay in your dental practice long-term.