By Bridget Burris

Over the lifetime of a practice how many applicants do we interview?  We ordinarily interview an average of 8 candidates for a position and in a single office location you are probably guaranteed to hire at least 2 people per year (let’s face it – no one is that good at the hiring process that we get it right each time). The constant replacement of team members is usually not a termination issue but a marriage/divorce/transfer situations but no matter the reason you’ll need to hire a ton of people over the course of your career.
We started doing this about 15 years ago and has been a great tool. Our goal is to WOW our applicants in order to make them to want to work with us more than any other job they have ever considered. Why, you may ask? Well besides the fact that we want energetic and enthusiastic team members when they start their new position,  it’s all for marketing. We want our reputation to be spread within the community in an organic manner that is sincere and genuine – interactions with patients are a big part of this but impressing interviewees is also a great way to grow the practice legend. Along with an awesome experience during the interview process, each interviewee will get a small goodie bag when they leave our office after an interview. Very often it is a little favor that has a small lotion or lip balm or even a T-shirt along with a business card and referral card. How much does this really cost us? Most of us have these items already in stock. Do you think they have ever been given a gift when they have interviewed in the past? I think it just shows that we are willing to go above and beyond. Secondly we ALWAYS email or call them by the time we said we would with an answer as to whether they are getting the position or not. I have heard this a multitude of times that there are so few companies that ever call back after an interview. This blows my mind as I find it incredibly disrespectful to the candidate – they have taken time out of their lives to meet with you. Lastly I send them a hand written note letting them know that we will keep their resumes on file for future interviews AND should they have an orthodontic need for themselves or their children in the future we certainly hope they would consider us. It is UNBELIEVABLE how well this works. I have seen the applicants faces multiple times over the years when they bring their kids in for treatment. There is seldom a “bad” vibe that they didn’t get the position they interviewed for but rather a sense of camaraderie and gratitude to have been treated so well. Does this whole process take effort? Yes, of course it does but I normally have a team member write the notes in advance and we place the name in at the appropriate time. Same with the goodie bags. Here is another advantage of treating people well: we often hire the ones who didn’t get a job initially at a later time – mainly because we get to know them as patients or parents of patients!
Change your perception on hiring as a formidable chore to an awesome marketing opportunity and it will be!
Good luck and have fun.

2 thoughts on “Interviewing Is Marketing

  1. I enjoy reading this change in outlook in the process. Where do you find the most candidates to interview? Is it more word-of-mouth with employees or facebook or do you actually have success with craigslist/indeed/etc? I am very rural and I’m trying all of them while we are looking for current candidates.

  2. Indeed has been effective and our go to in both rural and suburban areas. In rural areas, a classified ad in the local paper also works. Good luck! Let us know how the interviews go.

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