5 tips on what to look for in front office staff

Between developing a job description and salary, posting the job, screening resumes and setting up interviews, a lot goes into recruiting a new employee for a dental practice. For working relationships to be successful, both the employer and employee have to find the right match.

To help determine the right match, CDA Practice Support has compiled the following five tips for what to look for in a new front office employee.

  • A sense of maturity and reliability. Check personal and professional references. Does the candidate change jobs regularly? Does he/she have a reputation for being difficult to work with? Prescreening candidates over the phone is a good way to gauge an applicant's sense of self. Can the applicant articulate himself or herself well and describe his or her career progression?
  • The ability to multitask. Ask the potential candidate questions about how they handle stressful situations, changes in the schedule and daily interruptions. Ask the candidate to provide past examples.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills. When requesting resumes, ask potential candidates to include a cover letter and three reference contacts. Additionally, ask for a sentence or two about what makes him or her the best candidate or the ideal employee. This will help weed out candidates who do not follow directions and give you a sense of their ability to write and communicate clearly.
  • An exceptional customer service attitude. Nothing kills a practice faster than having a lifeless greeting at the onset of a patient arrival. Choose candidates who exhibit warm, genuine characteristics during the interview process. While skills are important, they're easily learned. Character comes from within.
  • A tactful, "no-fear" attitude when collecting co-payments from patients. With practices offering to extend credit to patients on the rise, it is important for front office staff to be comfortable with discussing and maintaining established practice financial protocols and communicating them to patients.

"Take time to visualize, develop and prioritize key requirements for the candidates you seek. The hiring process can be tedious, but when done properly it can result in finding the right candidate," said CDA Practice Analyst Michelle Corbo.

For more tips on how to recruit new employees in the dental practice, view CDA Practice Support's Recruiting Checklist at cda.org/practicesupport

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