Hiring The Wrong Person

dental-assistantPersonally I am really good at hiring the wrong person and really bad at firing them. Part of the reason is this:

A study done by Rutgers University Graduate School of Business estimated that the turnover cost for a non-professional position is one and a half times that of the person’s annual salary, while the turnover cost for a professional position is as much as two times that person’s salary.

via 8 Signs You’re About To Hire The Wrong Person | OPEN Forum.

Replacing a dental assistant costs the office between $75,000 and $100,000. In a high tech dental office much of that expense is training people on the use of the technology. On the other hand if you are able to use technology efficiently enough to eliminate the need for an additional staff member the savings is the combined cost of the staff members salary as well as the $75,000 or so it takes to hire and train them. At that level there is a huge ROI on technology.

There are three important points to learn from this.

Hire the right people. The linked article gives some pointers on how to do that.

Train the new people well to get the most return on your investment. That is both the investment in technology and the investment in the person. Sporadic on the job training is not good enough.

Replace underperformers. This is the area of management that I failed at completely. Looking back I hung on to bad employees way too long partly because I did not want to face the expense and the time of finding and training a replacement.

Bill Blatchford famously asked, “When is the best time to fire and employee?” the response, “The first time you think of it.” At first that sounds cynical, even cruel but when you think it through it does make a valid point.

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