Dental office managers: Beware the shiny veneer of the false resumé
There is an old saying that still applies today: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Like many dentists or dental practice managers, you probably still rely on a pile of resumés to choose a potential hire. According to Cloud Dentistry, “Resumés are instrumental to making memorable first impressions,”1 and that can catch even the most seasoned manager off guard.
Resumés are often embellished or falsified in the dental job market. According to collected data from digital reference checking specialist Checkster, a whopping 78% of people polled had stretched the truth on a resumé.2 This statistic is troubling, especially when you take into account that people with honest, accurate resumés might not be considered because another applicant decided to lie about their qualifications. Below are a few things to look out for when reviewing resumés:
Employment gaps and/or multiple positions in a short period. Applicant A’s resumé says they held a certain position from 2018–2019. It looks like a year, yet it’s only six months. Applicant B shows a gap in their employment history of one year or more. What were they doing? If the applicant is honest about taking time off to raise a child or take care of a relative, it’s a good sign, and rusty professional skills can be improved with a little practice.
Stretching abilities. "Dental software proficient” could mean they were able to make appointments but couldn’t enter a treatment plan or create an insurance claim. Bringing less than stellar skills to the job translates into more time spent training and you can’t be sure the applicant will be able to perform to the level needed. Test the applicant’s skills before offering the position.
Education embellishments. An applicant may claim to have earned a Bachelor of Arts, but in reality, they only completed 30 units of coursework. They may have majored in business administration, never actually completed the degree, but decided to go ahead and list it on their resume. Failing to check official school records leaves you vulnerable to applicants who choose to inflate their academic achievements.
Background checks and reference checks. These are two steps often skipped by dental practices that have the potential to weed out a bad hire. The cost of a background check is negligible when you consider the potential risk to your patients and team. Reference checks are key in determining whether the applicant actually held the positions they claim—speaking with them is about more than just getting their overall opinion of the person’s past performance. After all, an honest appraisal from a previous employer may be hard to come by for fear of reprisal.