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Hiring The Right Team
10 September, 2021

8 Essential Characteristics To Find The Right Team Members

Recently we had a conversation with a dentist who shared his preferred hiring strategy. He finds new team members by going to restaurants and talking to people there. He finds wait staff with people skills, are attentive to their customers, has a good memory and great personality. He even offers to put them through assisting or hygiene school. This strategy makes total sense because finding team members with the right mindset is more valuable than any other teachable skill. Our CEO, Karl Grimmett, started in the restaurant industry before becoming a CPA. From that experience, he can tell you many stories about how great service workers can utilize those skills in different professions. 


When looking for team members, it is easy to get stuck creating easy exclusionary markers. The right education or a certain number of years of experience can whittle down the candidates, but you may miss a golden opportunity with this strategy. First, you may have experienced a team member that looked fabulous on paper. Once they start working, it becomes a nightmare. The wrong team member can hinder your relationship with patients, lower the morale of your other team members, and harm your business’s finances. The team surrounding you is vital to success. 

The right team member can have the opposite effect. Patients love your practice because she always remembers their names and knows what they need. She sets expectations with patients, so there is no struggle with billing. The whole team is brought together by her attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile. 

What to Look For

Imagine if you could interview by watching prospective team members work? At a restaurant, you have the opportunity to see how they perform. 

A good communicator

In a dental office, you have a lot of different people with different backgrounds. Watch how they treat their customers as well as their team members. Do they use one size fits all communication, or do they alter their communication style from one person to the next? Do they know how to set expectations? Do they communicate that your order will take 10 minutes because the cook has to do something special for their order? Do they tell you that guacamole is an extra cost? These seemingly small gestures show they know how to set expectations that reduce struggles down the road. 

Are they prepared?

How well do they know the menu? Learning every item on the menu illustrates their due diligence in being prepared to care for their customers. They know their product inside and out so they can support their customer and prevent disappointment.

Are they organized?

A great waiter knows how to organize their workload. Do they have a system of managing patrons, so each person feels cared for but not bothered? A wait-person has to keep track of each diner, whether their glass is kept full, and the timing of meals. 

Do they have a good memory?

Do they remember details like names, preferences, or personal information? A good memory shows they are attentive and won’t make as many mistakes as others might. 

Are they self-assured?

People respond better, especially when bad news comes along, to a recommendation from a confident team member. Also, a team member needs to be able to politely but firmly stand their ground when appropriate. These professionals stand up for the best interests of the patient or the practice when faced with roadblocks.

Do they connect to each diner?

Do they have a warm but professional personality? Do they find common ground with patrons? Do they put people at ease? A great service member knows how to make the dining experience enjoyable.

Do they follow through on their promises?

If they say they will be right back with a spoon, do they show up promptly with a spoon? Again this may seem simplistic but, these behaviors can let you know their trustworthiness. 

The right team member is more important than the right education or skills because abilities can be taught. This means that even though someone might not have a formal degree, they could learn what you teach them and make an impact on your business in positive ways. The mindset and character of people working for you should align with yours so that everyone benefits from their contributions to your company’s success!

Note: The material and contents provided in this article are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.


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