Building a Scalable Enterprise: 3 Mantras to Help Change the Way You Think About Hiring


If you are trying to scale up your business now or in the future, you absolutely must have the best people: scalable staff that will grow into new responsibilities as your practice or dental group grows. You can scrimp on just about anything else, but good people are the cornerstone of growth.

We rarely have the same luxury of being able to throw a ton of money and at hiring the best people that corporate has. For this reason, it’s key that you build the capacity to hire scalable team members for every position.

For most of the professionals I help, this means a radical paradigm shift in how you handle hiring. What do you look at when hiring new staff? How do you make a short list and how do you interview?

Obviously, you want people who have the right knowledge, skills, and experience–but given a list of seven candidates who look the same on paper, how can you identify which will be a winner?

A big mistake a lot of people make is putting more weight on experience and qualifications over personality. Pick the best resumés and use the interview to make sure there’s nothing off about them, right? Wrong!

What’s special and different about your business is what’s going to make it scalable. It’s better to find a good fit for how you are different than to find a person with tons of experience in offices with very different cultures. Sometimes more experience makes a candidate more closed off to fitting into your unique culture and vision.

These three concepts may help you shake up the paradigm and help you change the way you hire.

Mantra 1: Everyone in Your Office or Dental Group Needs to Be a Leader

To build your team you need everyone to be able to make good decisions in any situation. They need to be able to think independently and be empowered enough to take control and act when the situation requires it. No matter what the positions are, you want leaders to fill them.

Good leaders know when to lead and when to follow. Good leaders can think on their feet and feel empowered to do so. What it really comes down to is empowerment. Are you willing to empower your staff to give their best qualities to the business? Are you ready to let them be as good as, and better, than you?

Ultimately you want people who feel empowered to use their best qualities to make your business work. Are you willing to do this?

Mantra 1: Like Attracts Like

How many times have you ever said, “I wish I could clone you” to a valuable team member? When you’ve got a good person, you want more of them. So how can you leverage that to bring in better people? It needs to be more than just making those people a part of the interview process.

Identify the qualities that make that person such a perfect fit for your business and look for those qualities in new hires. These identifiers don’t need to fit into an easily definable box.

As a general rule, you want people who are humble, smart, and hungry. There’s no room for big egos in a scalable team, and everyone needs to be able to think out of the box and on their feet—but what about hungry? You want individuals who never stop feeding the need to grow, improve and learn.

Use that clone-able team member as a reference when you advertise and interview. Reflect on what it is that works about them and use that to create a job ad that pulls like to like. Use it in an interview as well. Tell a story that exemplifies their fitness and ask the candidate to tell you a similar story from their past.

Mantra 3: The Things You Are Looking for Are Not Going to Show Up on A Resumé

Once you face up to what you really want in a team member, you’ll probably realize you’re not going to see it in a professional bio. it If you do, hire that person; they get it. Granted, you may see evidence of the leadership qualities you are looking for if you find someone who has worked in a variety of disparate settings and risen the ranks time after time. People like that are rare, and unless your paradigm has already shifted to affect how you attract new talent, you won’t find them from a cookie-cutter job ad.

For the majority of cases, you want to use that interview to draw out those qualities. You can’t test their mettle real-time in an interview, but you can ask the right questions. What are those questions?

  • Why should I hire you?
  • What makes you a leader?
  • When have you said, “that’s not my job, but I’m going to do it anyway”?
  • What situations are deal-breakers for you?

Broad questions like these can help you find the people who are engaged in reflection and growth. Candidates with meaningful answers to questions like these will show you who they really are, underneath the layers of job experiences and certifications and degrees that ultimately tell you nothing about the person you choose.

Contact us about your team challenges and the solutions you’re looking for.

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