Think back to when you set up your dental practice, or think forward if you're just starting out. You didn't take anything for granted, you researched the equipment you needed to buy and bought the best you could afford, right? These decisions were important. These are the tools you use to make your practice successful. You have to use them everyday, so you want to be sure that they are suited to you. Shouldn't you put the same effort into building a great staff? These are the people you will work with every day. Shouldn't they be well-suited to you as well? When you were thinking about buying your equipment you probably asked yourself what you expected from each item and how important it would be to you in your practice. You should do the same with the employees you hire. Don't just think, "I need a new assistant." That would be fine if all assistants were generic and identical. When one left, you could just pull another one in and sit her across from you and pick up where you left off. Define the person that will suit you and then look for her in the people you interview. What do you expect from your office manager? Do you even know what to expect? Do you even really know what an office manager is supposed to do? Same thing for the front desk assistant. Do you see your hygienist as a part of the team, or is she someone who comes in, cleans teeth and goes home? When you hire the wrong people you hurt not only yourself. A bad hiring decision boomerangs all over the place. It can affect your other employees and your patients, too. The stress from a really bad hire can ripple out to your family and your team's family if it's something that everyone takes home with them. You can build a great team. You have to be willing to decide that you want to put the work into asking yourself what you want, you have to do your homework, and then you have to begin to build. I'll help you. I'm going to start a series here that will take us through each position so that you can have a better idea of what you should look for to build your great team. The good news is, some of those people may already be on your team, you may just need to develop them in a new way. Haven't you waited long enough?