PennWell Dental Community
Having an administrative assistant is like having a carbon copy of you. Ideally, you want your assistant to have the same ideals, goals, and vision about your business that you do. However, it’s not easy to find someone who will adapt to your way of thinking, especially if that person is new in the dental industry. Finding the right candidate is hard, and with so many qualified (and unqualified) people vying for the position, once you’ve narrowed down your pile of resumes, how can you then narrow your search further to land on the right administrative assistant for your dental practice?
Here are the main questions you need to ask when you’re hiring an administrative assistant.
1. Are you approachable?
Your administrative assistant should be a friendly, approachable and socially active person. She will not only be responsible for data filing and client reports, but also handling concerns of every other team member. If your laboratory technician needs some information on a particular patient, the assistant will be the one to provide it. If your dental hygienist needs to know the patient’s next appointment, the administrative assistant will be the one to answer. This means everyone in your clinic will be interacting with her, and if she’s not approachable, some of your team members may not feel comfortable working with her. This can create a division in your team and ultimately destroy the functionality of your clinic and business.
2. Are you a good talker?
Your administrative assistant should be charismatic. Patients are quite sensitive when it comes to customer service and assistance. Although he will not be working as the receptionist, your assistant will still be interacting with patients especially about dental records, procedural concerns and appointments. If your assistant isn’t a good talker, some patients may see it as rejection or laziness, and he will be considered impolite or uninterested in the patients’ concerns.
3. Do you know how to listen?
As an administrative assistant, she will be tasked with various responsibilities. These can vary from employer to employer. If you have a big team, your assistant may be saved from a lot of work and just focus on something particular, such as filing patient records and managing your schedule. However, if you only have a small team, your assistant may be expected to do more to cover for other positions that are unfilled, such as taking calls, scheduling patient appointments, sending out laboratory requests to technicians, cleaning dental equipment, and cleaning the office. With all of these responsibilities, your assistant is required to have good memory and know what needs to be done and when. She should be able to follow instructions properly.
4. Do you have attention to detail?
A sharp eye is one of the most important skills that your administrative assistant should have. He should be able to see errors easily, especially when entering data and patient information. He should spot incorrect entries in forms, financial reports and other documents. He should know what procedure you’re going to do today and have everything prepared for you. He should be able to set up your schedule without mixing up patients and procedures. A lazy and unenthusiastic assistant will bring more chaos to your dental office than organization.
5. Do you have good work ethic?
Work ethic summarizes the responsibility, dedication and effort that a person exerts in her job. If your future administrative assistant doesn’t have good work ethic, it’s highly likely that she will forget her tasks or procrastinate and cause major delays in your operations. If you run a small clinic and your assistant is responsible for appointment setting and client relations, you can end up having double appointments or wrong dental records for different patients. A lazy assistant also misses work frequently, often without sufficient prior notice.
Since an interviewee is unlikely to disclose this kind of attitude, you can refer to the persons of reference that your applicants included with their resume. Past colleagues and superiors, in particular, can answer issues about the attendance, reliability, responsibility and overall job efficiency of your applicant.
Whether you’re a Colorado Springs dentist or a Denver orthodontist, your name and clinic should be an image of health and wellness. Your entire dental office team is a crucial part of maintaining that image for patients when they come in. When searching for the right administrative assistant, don’t focus solely on people with dental background. You need work ethic and a sense of responsibility. The better employee is the one who is dedicated to the job, not the one with the most awards and certifications.