Things are looking up. Your practice is growing and you need to bring on another employee to keep up. The question is: Do you hire an experienced employee or new graduate?
Look at your business as a computer system; a network of skilled professionals working together to effectively and efficiently complete processes. An experienced employee could be compared to purchasing a pre-programmed computer. It has everything you need. You simply plug it in, and you’re up and running. But it may have unnecessary software that is not needed for your business. This may need to be erased and uninstalled for it to be best utilized for your needs.
A new team member could be compared to a custom-built computer. Initially, it may take additional time and effort to manufacture it into everything you need to be, but once operational, its performance is likely unparalleled because it was, quite literally, created for this.
Seasoned employees bring a level of expertise that allows for immediate skills application. In short, they get to work faster. They require minimal training and immediately add value with their clinical and leadership skills. In addition, their experience lends itself to an abundance of best practices.
Inexperienced employees are a clean slate. This is beneficial in that you can instill in them the skills that best amplify your business, without having to work through professional baggage and preconceived notions.
Newer graduates are, generally speaking, more tech-savvy. Young talent grew up with technology. They are not intimidated by its implementation and have no aversion to executing something new. In fact, young talent may breathe new life into old practices by leading the charge in updating outdated processes. The employee with a thirst for learning means they are open to not only new ways of doing things but learning your way of doing things.
New team members, regardless if they are new to the profession, or well seasoned, may also bring a fresh attitude and eagerness to work. This energy can breathe new life into routine tasks, and spark enthusiasm among existing or long-time employees.
From a business owner’s standpoint, the obvious disadvantage in hiring seasoned professionals is the often hefty price tag. Qualified candidates may demand significantly higher salaries than their less qualified counterparts. The saying goes, you get what you pay for. You bear the weight of determining if the value of their skills is worthy of the ask.
On the other hand, while the newbie may be a bargain in terms of salary, it may take a significant amount of time to bring a new team member to a place of competency. Time spent training takes away resources. An existing employee will have to spend valuable time away from their regular tasks to adequately train the new hire. Efficiencies will unavoidably drop, as well as capabilities. The lack of resources affects productivity, and lost production means a forfeit in practice revenue. This should not be viewed as a hiring deterrent, but a prudent consideration in the decision-making process.
Every so often, veteran employees may carry baggage into the new workplace. This is the equivalent of toxic spam, and it could negatively affect team dynamics. Discord and poor morale could also disturb productivity. Choose wisely.
In the past, the hiring decision was usually made based on years of experience. We now recognize years of experience do not necessarily equal talent. Likewise, simply because someone is inexperienced, does not mean they are not the ideal candidate. Experience has taught us there are more things to consider such as mindset, attitude, willingness to learn, and adaptability.
Before considering your next new hire, it is important to look at your company as a whole. Consider the culture, dynamics, and long-term business goals. The objective should be to hire the candidate who binds synergistically with the existing team, regardless of experience. It’s about finding the team member who is compatible with your network. Selecting the right person for the job could be the reboot your company needs.
Her clinical and support team experiences are the inspiration for her writing and the motivation for coaching clients to success. She is a regular contributor to various publications within dentistry and beyond. In addition to feeding the homeless, starting a non-profit, and being involved in her church and other community organizations, she sings professionally and enjoys several creative outlets. She resides in Florida where she enjoys the company of her husband, three children, and four beautiful grandchildren.