5 Tips for Associate Hiring Success

Dr. Charles Moser is The DEO’s VP of Community Engagement. With more than 25 years of experience, he led over 60 associates at one of the largest DSO’s in Texas. He also ran his own multiple location group.

Associates are the bread and butter of your group practice/DSO. Hiring A+ talent from the get-go can be the difference between building a good DSO or a great DSO. Implementing an interview system is key to ensuring you have the right people in the right seats on your bus.

Here are 5 tips for interviewing Associates:

1. Introduce your core values

Make your core values an important component of the hiring process. If you haven’t yet figured out the core values for your DSO, make this a priority. There are plenty of free resources available online to complete this exercise with your leadership team.

Ask interviewees what their core values are. Do they align with yours? Asking this question early on can alleviate potential culture and value differences.

2. Know what you are looking for

What kind of associates do you currently need to scale your practices? GPs? Endos? Further, what kind of training do you require from them?

Have specific clinical questions prepared to ask such as “Can you design a basic removable partial denture?” Then you can get a sense of their training since it varies by school and throughout the country.

Remember, you can fill the gap with on the job training if they are missing a particular skill. Interviewing to understand the associate’s values and for culture fit is far more important.

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To learn more about how The DEO can help you achieve your vision and grow on your leadership journey, click here.
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Watch the video here!

3. The five F’s

Hiring is very competitive. Differentiate your DSO by making sure what you have to offer checks the boxes of the five F’s: fit, family, freedom, fortune, and fun. There are many ways to approach each of these depending on your DSO’s culture, associate ownership structure, location, and more.

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To learn more about how The DEO can help you achieve your vision and grow on your leadership journey, click here.
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4. Pose ethical dilemmas and obstacles

Put interviewees in ethical dilemmas to evaluate their character. For example, ask “What would you do if you saw a team member stealing bleaching gel from the office?” It may seem simple to answer this question but it will elicit numerous answers to help you assess the values of your candidates.

Likewise, create workplace scenarios with obstacles and ask how the potential associate would handle each situation. This will yield valuable information about their values and if they are a fit for your DSO’s culture.

Remember you can train dentistry. You can’t train morals and ethics.

5. Be crystal clear about the expectations of the position

Bringing clarity and expectations about the associate job description to the interview is imperative.

Even if the candidate doesn’t move through the job process, defining job expectations upfront lays the groundwork for success, both for those associates you do hire and for consistency of what you are looking for in the industry.


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To learn more about how The DEO can help you achieve your vision and grow on your leadership journey, click here.
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