Archive for the ‘Hiring’ Category

Why I Look for a “Cultural Fit” in Employees and Contractors

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

By James V. Anderson, DMD, CEO founder eAssist Dental Solutions

Cultural fit is the likelihood that a job candidate will be able to conform and adapt to the core values and collective behaviors that make up an organization.

To date, there are about five hundred people working for eAssist Dental Solutions as independent contractors and employees in various departments and job duties.  One thing they all have in common is that they understand and embrace the culture of eAssist Dental Solutions.

Sure, I look for certain minimum requirements in my dental billers such as:

Years of dental front office management experience and knowledge

The ability and desire to set your own schedule and work remotely from your home

Self-motivated to achieve goals without being managed

Friendly and professional phone skills

Computer skills and applicable knowledge of the internet environment

Core values define what your organization believes and how you want your organization resonating with and appealing to employees and the external world. The core values should be so integrated with your employees and their belief systems and actions that clients, customers, and vendors see the values in action.

Our core values start with being proactive about your life and being accountable for your actions. Believing that your life doesn’t just “happen.” Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. The choices, after all, are yours. You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose ambivalence. You choose success. You choose failure. You choose courage. You choose fear. Just remember that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.

Proactive people recognize that they are “response-able.” They don’t blame genetics, circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. They know they choose their behavior. A proactive person uses proactive language–I can, I will, I prefer, etc. A reactive person uses reactive language–I can’t, I have to, if only. Reactive people believe they are not responsible for what they say and do–they have no choice.

For me, cultural fit is the bigger picture, more than job skills or work experience.  Some things like skills can be taught, but values come from within the person.  Someone who shares your core values by living them instinctively knows what you want and what the business needs to succeed.

Dr. Anderson headshotJames V. Anderson DMD is a practicing dentist in Syracuse, Utah and is the CEO/Founder of eAssist Dental Solutions, the largest national dental insurance billing company ( in the U.S.    

Dr. Anderson understands the challenges facing today’s dental teams and since 2009 has been providing proven solutions to dental/medical insurance billing, patient portion billing, accounting for dentists and related management services.  He can be reached at

Nice Guys Don’t Get Sued

Friday, April 20th, 2018

Guest post by Aaron M. Layton DDS

Three years ago I purchased my practice. A nice, modern practice with a solid patient base and long-term employees – everything I dreamed of. But it wasn’t more than a few months before I knew managing a team was going to be my most difficult task to date. (You think Boards were tough…ha-ha-ha.)

I dove into every HR book in the Barnes and Noble business section and any Webinar associated with keeping a team happy. One thing stuck out: You are more likely to be sued by an employee than a patient. This bothered me, so I armed myself with the best possible thing I could imagine, KINDNESS.

I’m a nice guy. I made accommodations for employee medical appointments and vacations. I increased benefits and salaries. I was the nicest guy around. Who would ever sue the nice guy?  But I was wrong – very wrong in fact.

On my birthday of 2016 I was sent a letter from my State Legal Board saying a former employee was claiming she was terminated because of her mental health which made her disabled. I had wrongly let someone go who was disabled? After the shock and a few pieces of birthday cake, I located an attorney and began the process of disputing the claim.

As of today, I spent $6000 dollars, one appeal, and countless hours worrying about what could happen.  In the end, the claim was dropped with no marks on my record and all I lost was sleep and money.

From this recent experience I learned two important lessons.

1) Nice guys do get sued, and actually more often. When you’re the nice guy you often provide everything your employees want.  You make sacrifices and adjustments – in fact, you’re better than Santa Claus. If things don’t work out, these employees just want to keep getting at any cost. Keep an employee manual and stick to it. If someone breaks an agreement, hold them accountable. It doesn’t hurt to be a nice guy, just be a nice guy who follows all the rules. It’s good to be nice, but more important to be fair.

2) Everyone needs an Employment Attorney. I thought an attorney was only needed when problems arise, but just like in dentistry, a good Employment Attorney can provide preventative care to keep you out of trouble. A wise old dentist once told me, “When things don’t work out, just call it education.” This past year, with my education budget I got a live course in employment, handbooks, and dealing with disgruntled employees.

AaronLayton_profileimages (002)


Aaron Layton, DDS, is a 2010 graduate of Indiana University. He completed three years working at a large group practice in Vermont before buying his own practice in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he currently works and resides with his wife and their four children.  

Employee Background Checks

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Performing employee background checks is important for several reasons, including minimizing the potential exposure to lawsuits or other administrative claims initiated by unhappy patients over alleged inappropriate care, treatment, or billing issues. Employee background checks are also important for safeguarding your practice against internal theft. Finally, background checks can assist you in protecting the safety of your patients and staff.

As employers and owners of small businesses, dentists face possible claims for the negligent hiring of both associate dentists and support staff. Consequently, it is important to perform background checks in order to confirm an applicant’s qualifications and professional standing. The extent of the background check will depend on various factors, including the position for which the person is being considered. For example, when the decision is made to hire an associate dentist, it is important to ensure that the prospective associate is appropriately licensed. It is also important to determine whether the licensee is the subject of any present or past licensing action. Confirming your hygienists and/or assistants maintain the appropriate license or certification is equally important.

There are numerous methods of performing background checks, including obtaining credit reports, performing criminal background checks, obtaining education and driving records, checking public records and obtaining information regarding an individual’s past employment experiences. Obtaining proper consent for the performance of many of these checks is recommended and, in many instances, mandatory. Careful consideration must be given before performing background checks to ensure you do not run afoul of the laws that protect the privacy rights of prospective employees and protect individuals from unlawful discrimination.

Of course, a lawful background check cannot guarantee you will not have issues with your staff, but it can certainly help minimize the potential exposure and risk you face as an owner of a dental practice.


Screenshot 2015-04-16 10.33.11Andrew Paluda has specialized in the representation of dentists in malpractice and general business matters for over 20 years. He has a Martindale-Hubbell AV rating in recognition of his preeminent legal ability and high ethical standards. He frequently is called upon to give risk management seminars and was recently named a top lawyer by DBusiness Magazine.


To read this article in its entirety CLICK HERE


 Editor’s note: This does not constitute legal advice.  Please consult professional counsel for your individual situation.

The Profitable Associate

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Can an associate generate a profit? The answer is in the size of your patient base. If you have a saturated practice with an abundance of patients, you can keep your associate busy and generate a 30-35% profit margin.

The first step after accurately measuring the size of your patient base is to perform a cost benefit analysis to determine the likelihood of profitability, as well as to gauge the non-monetary benefits such as improved quality of life, which may be equally important. The following steps will help you analyze the economic sense of hiring an associate, and will help you set realistic expectations about the return on investment you are likely to attain.

Step 1: Determine Production Goals

Step 2: Assign Direct Expenses to the Associate

Step 3: Apply the Formula and Get the Answer

Associate Profit Analysis Summary

Daily Collection – $950
(Assume 95% Collection/Production Ratio on Daily Production Goal of $1000)
# Days Worked Per Year X 196
Projected Annual Revenue $186,200

(Assume 34% Collections) Associate Compensation – $63,608
(6% Dental Supplies) Associate Payroll Taxes – $4,843
(8% Lab Expenses) Associate Lab Expense – $14,896
Associate Supplies – $11,172
Assistant Salary (inc P/R tax) – $21,620
Uniforms – $200
CDE Allowance + $1,100

Projected Annual Revenue: $186,200
Less TOTAL EXPENSES – $117,439
Associate Profit: $68,761

($68,761 PROFIT / $186,200 ANNUAL REVENUE)

Once you’ve assured yourself that the economics make sense for your associate, proper planning is key. Most importantly, if this associate is a candidate for your long term transition plans, make sure that you properly think about your exit strategy so that once you begin interviewing candidates, you clearly spell your vision for a successful relationship.

To read the original article in its entirety please visit: The Dentist’s Network Newsletter #100

Dr. Thomas L. Snyder, Director, Practice Transitions for The Snyder Group, a division of Henry Schein Professional Practice Transitions.

Business Employee vs. Assistant…Whom to Hire First?

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving Holiday!  We know a few New Dentists out there are planning to open a new practice and are currently thinking about hiring staff to help run it.


So, who do you hire first?  You could say it’s a bit like the chicken or the egg analogy, which comes first, the business employee or the doctor’s assistant. For new dentists who are opening their first practices, few can afford to hire multiple employees, so they typically must choose between hiring an assistant and hiring a business employee initially.


There are advantages and disadvantages to hiring either at the outset, but dentists should look for an assistant with front desk experience. In addition, if the new practice has computers in the operatories many of the front desk duties can be handled chairside, such as scheduling appointments and collecting payments. And if the doctor has an assistant, s/ he can work out of two rooms and that helps to increase production.


If the dentist is hiring an employee to perform both jobs temporarily s/he should hire for the business skills. That person needs to be nurturing and friendly, but s/he also need an analytical and logical side because s/he will be handling insurance, asking patients for money, organizing the schedule. Additionally, think long term. A new dentist wants to look for someone that they would like to keep on staff for many years.



We invite you to share your thoughts with us here.  Have a hiring nightmare story or question? Let us know.


Need more help with Hiring The Right Employee?  Check out our Recruitment and Hiring section of our Bookstore at

Hire Smart, Hire the Best

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Hiring quality employees is not unlike providing quality dentistry. It requires planning, use of the right tools, and a methodical process. Establishing well polished hiring procedures from day one will save new dentists a career of regrettable hiring decisions.


It all begins with a little thought. Take 15 minutes and consider what you want this person to do. Once you’ve done that, update or write a job description for the job tailored to attract the employee you need. Include the job title, job summary, and specific duties. This is a simple yet critical tool in the hiring process. It clarifies what skills the applicant must possess and explains what duties they would perform.


When advertising, include salary range, location, hours, and importance of the position in your wording. Promote the advantages of your practice, “new technology, flexible hours, friendly and progressive environment.” Advertise in a variety of media, including employment websites, etc.  And encourage applicants to email resumes to expedite the process.


When reviewing resumes, look for those that explain skills and detail work experience chronology. Don’t assume that experience translates into good employees. Keep an eye out for resume red flags, e.g. only listing years rather than specific employment dates such as 2009-2011.


When you’ve narrowed your list to the top five, pre-screen potential candidates by phone. You want to use the conversation to address your most pressing concerns immediately, such as gaps in work history, salary expectations, etc.


During the face-to-face interview, ask the applicant to specifically explain past responsibilities. Be sure to ask open-ended questions such as, “How would you describe your previous employer?” Test for the best. Take advantage of Internet testing tools that are now available to dentists. Such testing has been used in the business sector for years to help companies identify the better candidates for specific positions. And finally, check references.


Still looking for more resources on how to hire the best employee? Go Here Need help with new employee testing? Click Here

Newly Graduated DMD

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

I recently graduated from dental school in Nevada. I moved to California and have a California dental license, but I cannot find a job. I am looking for a position either part-time or full-time as an employee or associate. I have searched for a job in virtually every California city for almost two months. I’ve looked at, Craigslist, The Dental Trader, and other websites, but I can’t find anything. At this point, I’ll work as a hygienist if I have to… can you help?

-Newly Graduated DMD