For years I refused to hire “experienced” chairside employees. I knew that other offices weren’t as good as mine and that my treatment was superior to all others – well I believed this anyway based on all my orthodontic assumptions. So based on these firmly held beliefs I knew that “experienced” assistants/clinicians were inferior to clinicians I hired based on attitude and trained myself… to do things the right way (aka my way). And I also knew these things based on results because once or twice (over a decade ago) I’d hired experienced assistants and they didn’t know how to do things my way the first day they showed up. All of this combined with my hubris led me to believe/know that “good clinicians/assistants aren’t available to hire – only losers and brain damaged assistants respond to advertising requiring “experience”. In hindsight it’s obvious that all of this failure and these mistaken biases were totally my fault. Allow me to explain:

  1. All of our orthodontic assumptions (as discussed earlier) are biased toward me being awesome and everyone else sucking. I used to truly believe this. 
  2. In the past my systems were too complex, my procedures too varied and too numerous, and my need for total control was too great to expect anyone to pick up and become fluent in what we do in the clinic at speed. 
  3. I truly believed that no employee of mine would ever consider leaving me because I’m so awesome – therefore I was certain that no other good employees would leave their positions to respond to a want ad requiring experience. 
  4. A job means work and if you work for me then you’d better be busy all the time because I’m paying for your salary. Therefore I’m going to waste a bunch of my time making sure you’re not wasting time on non patient days even though there’s really nothing to do other than makework. 
  5. Experienced employees are too expensive and I don’t want to pay for losers who can’t keep a job elsewhere. 

So now I know that these five things are stupid, that I was wrong and that hiring experienced assistants with great attitudes is an excellent way to grow my team. How do I know? 

RESULTS 

This week at Smiley Face we started 40 new patient contracts working M-W 9-3. With 5 chairside employees – 4 of which have experience and have worked for us a few weeks to a few months. 

The takeaway being that, once again, just because everyone agrees that something is right doesn’t make it so. 

PS Here is the ad we run as we grow and need new assistants:

Tired of traveling to a bunch of offices?

Tired of getting up so early?

Tired of working through lunch?

Tired of running behind and dealing with upset patients and parents?

Tired of getting run over by the after school rush?

Tired of finishing late and being late to pick up your kids?

We thought so…

At Smiley Face we see patients 3 days a week, start with an 8:45 am morning meeting and our last patient is scheduled at 3:00 pm so we are usually done seeing patients before 4:00! You will know your schedule a year in advance, the doctor takes 8+ weeks off a year (including 2 weeks in June and one week in July while all our kids are out of school) so there’s plenty of time to plan family vacations. You can choose to work 32 or 24 hours a week and you can change your mind if you want to!

We are looking for a bilingual (Spanish/English), experienced orthodontic assistant with great skills and a better attitude to join the Smiley Face team – we pay very well for talent and mindset! This is likely the best job you’ll ever have – but don’t take our word for it, ask one of our team members.

Stop the madness. Come work in a fun environment where we run on time, finish cases on time and patients are happy. Why wouldn’t you?

Please send resume and cover letter to [email protected]

Please do not send anything via FB messenger – resumes sent by messenger will not be considered.

 

One thought on “HR Hubris

  1. Correction. We work three days a week not 5 as I incorrectly stated in the original post.
    Ben

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