Management + Leadership

The fundamentals of HR in dental practice

Few things are as professionally rewarding as opening your own practice. Leading a team. Seeing your branding vision come to life. Your name on the sign.

But the process isn’t all enjoyable. It comes with some challenging questions: How many employees do I need? How do I find a good employee? And, once they’re in place, how do I keep them?

The human resources element of owning and managing a dental practice can frustrate any dentist. “It’s the hardest part of owning a practice,” says Dr. Katie E. Stuchlik.

She would know, as Dr. Stuchlik established her own practice — Dentistry of the Oaks in Houston — with her good friend and dental school colleague in October 2018. She described the saga of securing a front desk receptionist during her first year of business:

  • The first person hired never showed up for work, so friends helped for the first month by working the front desk.
  • The next hire was a great fit, but she only stayed five months because she found a job closer to home.
  • The third candidate was fired within her first 90 days because she wasn’t the right fit.
  • The fourth hire didn’t show up to work on her first day.
  • The fifth hire was fired within her first 45 days.
  • Dr. Stuchlik is on her sixth receptionist. So far, so good.

As Dr. Stuchlik’s example shows, hiring — and keeping — good employees can be overwhelming. But fortunately, this doesn’t have to be your experience. Dr. Stuchlik shared the top five hiring and team-building tips she’s learned in her first year of practice ownership.

Read the rest of this article in February 2020 Contour magazine.

Kelly Rehan

Kelly Rehan is a freelance contributor to Contour magazine.

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