Dental Staffing

Building a Dental Dream Team: 5 Things to Look for in a New Hire

Teamwork is at the core of any efficient and successful dental practice. Once the Dental Team works as one cohesive unit, you’re one step closer to a thriving dental practice. Assembling a Dental Dream Team isn’t simple, but there are steps you can take to make it easier. Here are four-character traits and one accomplishment that your perspective employee should have and how to spot them during an interview.

1.  Strong Work Ethic

It’s no secret that dental employees who possess strong work ethic have adopted certain principles that positively impacts their behavior at work. And of course, excellent performance at work equals better revenue and higher profits for the dental practice.

A Dental Dream Team must possess characteristics of strong work ethic to include:

  • Reliability: they can always be called upon to go the extra mile
  • Cooperation and flexibility: whether interacting with other members of the dental team, dentist, OM, or patients
  • Takes initiative: a self-starter who doesn’t need to be told when a task needs completion
  • Discipline: dedicated to the task and consistently brings quality to it
  • Multi-tasker: productivity that can be counted on to get the job done

You can ask a dental interviewee about a situation in one of their past jobs and how they resolved it. You can also develop your own scenario and ask any potential dental team member to solve the problem for you. Their answers should help you predict how they will act in future situations.

Does your Dental Team embrace these characteristics at a consistent level? It is true: your Team will only be as strong as your weakest link. If not, post an ad on and it’ll will help you find Dental Professionals with these characteristics.

2.  Professionalism

Professionalism is the outward display of behavior of your Dental Team. Professional employees monitor all aspects of their behavior, especially how they speak. They embody principles that separate their personal life from their professional life, remain cool under pressure and consistently display a positive attitude.

Members of a Dental Dream Team must possess other characteristics including:

  • A consistent ability to remain focused on the task; focus is critical in dentistry.
  • Remaining poised, irrespective of any negative activity: dentistry is very multi-faceted, and negativity can come from anywhere at any time.
  • Excellent communication skills with your entire Dental Team and patients.
  • Extending common courtesy to everyone.
  • An ability to own accountability when any task fails to materialize as desired.

One way you can spot someone with this trait is to observe how the candidate interacts with your Dental Team while in your office. The candidate should also be able to discuss their relevant experience and knowledge thoroughly and in a meaningful way.

Does everyone on your Dental Team work to maintain an elevated level of professionalism? If not, you can strengthen that weak link by posting an ad on,

3.  Attitude

The power of positive thinking is an asset in any area of life. An employee who consistently displays a positive attitude can almost always cope better in stressful situations. They’re easier to get along with and can help increase morale and motivation in the workplace.

A Dream Team candidate with a positive attitude demonstrates:

  • A development of soft skills and the ability to empathize with people
  • A real interest and attentiveness in what you are saying
  • A friendly and helpful attitude
  • Communication  that includes smiling and eye contact

A consistent positive attitude can be maintained when your entire Dental Team works to bring each other up when any negative activity creeps in. Don’t have a Team that works together on this? Some dental offices have one special person who can monitor attitude consistently. You can look for that special person on; just develop your practice profile and post an ad!

4.  Qualifications

Dentistry is a highly technical profession where skills, experience, and knowledge play a major part in the success of the dental employee and the dental practice. The profession is constantly evolving and looking for someone whose ambition is constantly pushing them higher is an absolute asset to any practice. No one wants to hire someone who is complacent and has no desire to come up higher in their profession.

A well-qualified individual is to consider for your Dental Dream Team:

  • Is “on” at work throughout the entire day!
  • Career-oriented
  • Eager to learn and/or has practical experience
  • Willing to refine and enhance skills and knowledge through continued education

The “working interview” can put your practice at risk and in some states the practice is considered illegal. There are skills tests that can help you evaluate the skill level of the perspective employee, or you can consider having the interviewee shadow a team member. Chose a Dental Team member who can effectively communicate to you their feel for the skill level of the individual.

5.  Passion

Dr. Travis Bradberry, President of TalentSmart wrote in an article on July 9th, 2016:

[Dr. Robert Vallerand at the University of Quebec has studied passion more than anyone, and he asserts that passion is self-defining. According to Vallerand, “Passion is a strong inclination towards a self-defining activity that people love, that they consider important, and in which they devote significant amounts of time and energy.”]

Passionate employees who care deeply about their profession will be happier and more productive at work. It’s a win-win for the practice, patients and the entire Team!

Candidates who you’d consider for your Dental Team must demonstrate passion by displaying:

  • Enthusiasm about their work; it’s all about their work
  • Motivation to do an excellent job
  • Optimism and always chasing their next goal

Check your candidate’s answers for any creativity which might indicate passion. Someone who’s enthusiastic about the work he or she does will also most likely be interested in honing skills and building on knowledge. They may mention a desire to take a step at higher education such as a Dental Assistant who aspires to become a Dental Hygienist or someone who’s considering dental school. You should also look for indications of personal and professional development on the resume.

Develop your dental practice profile and post your ads at and start building your Dental Dream Team today!



“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot;
together we can do great things.”
- Mother Theresa