15 Aug 2018

How can you make sure your candidate is the right fit for your practice? (PART 1)

Their resume has blown you away, they have impressive university qualifications and experience, on paper they may be exactly what you are looking for.  At interview they say all the right things and their presentation is impeccable. So this is the new employee, right? But do they “fit” your dental practice?

You may know whether they fit the educational criteria you’ve given, but you don’t know how they work, who they are and what they can offer your team. You don’t know whether they’ll perform or whether they’ll be just an adequate contributor. 

Usually, when we make decisions to spend a significant amount of money on a product or service we tend to seek out objective data to inform our decision. Please reflect for a moment on the last car or OLED Smart TV you purchased, it’s highly likely you obtained some data and facts to assist your deliberations.


The traditional route

Investing in new staff is a far trickier proposition. With traditional recruitment, we tend to rely on resumes, interviews, and reference checks. Given that it is estimated that 25% of people “embellish” their resumes, and most would agree that it’s unlikely a candidate will ask you to contact a referee that won’t endorse them, it’s clear there is a distinct absence of objective information available to us when making hiring decisions. We are left to rely on “gut feel” an intuition, and as a result, we make decisions based on “like”. After an interview, we can often hear ourselves or others discussing a candidate: “I really liked the way they answered this” or “I liked that they said XYZ”. They say determining “fit” can be a bit like beauty, it’s in the eye of the beholder.

The bad news is that statistics tells us we get it “right” only 25% of the time. By getting it “right” we mean a top performer, not an adequate or below par performer. I am sure you would not tolerate any other process in your practice that delivered the right outcome only 25% of the time, so why do we tolerate the hit and miss nature of selecting people to join our business


What’s the alternative?

There are ways to improve your recruitment process and ensure you are doing the most you can to attract and select top performers for your dental practice. New and bespoke ways to recruit top performing talent can be the difference between your new hire being the right fit for your business...or not.

These days it’s not just about filling a role with the person that has the best university degree or the most highly regarded experience. In fact, big players like Ernst and Young are abandoning such methods, in favour of a new approach of recruiting based on the person themselves, and how they will fit within the team. Overall, this alternative is about choosing people based on who they are as a person, and whether or not their attitude, behaviours and personality are the right fit for your dental practice, and vice versa. 

The key is to benchmark your team members to allow you to understand what makes them top performers.

In Part 2 of this article we will explore what are the critical success factors that drive your team’s top performance, and how can you use this information to objectively measure a candidates “fit”.



David Leahy


Directions Unlimited

M: 0405-691-845 


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About Directions Unlimited:
We are a specialist provider of customised people solutions and services to local and international clients. We provide state of the art assessment and development solutions to help you select, match, on-board, manage, develop, engage and retain top talent. 

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