Here are the resources and transcript from episode 107 of our podcast Oral Surgery Admin’s Time Out Podcast: Practice Management Success Tips, which you can listen to below or find wherever you listen to podcasts. If you enjoy it, please subscribe, leave a 5-star review, and share it with your oral surgery colleagues.
Here are a couple resources that Mr. Tambuzi referred to during the episode.
Join host Jill Dunnam and co-host Halisi Tambuzi (CEDR HR Solutions) as they cover The Great Resignation… or The Great Job Hop, cultural fit versus culture add, plus the whole interview process, including two types of interview questions and interview methods… have you conducted working interviews?? Uh-oh!
[00:00:00] Jill Dunnam: Hello and welcome to the Oral Surgery Admin’s Time Out Podcast for Practice Management Success Tips. This podcast is brought to you by the Society of OMS Administrators. Today, we have Halisi Tambuzi with us from CEDR Solutions. He is one of the advisors there. Hi Halisi!
Halisi Tambuzi: Hi, how are you doing today?
Jill Dunnam: Great. Tell us about yourself.
Halisi Tambuzi: So I am one of the advisors at CEDR. I’ve been at CEDR for about six years. I also do the training lead for all new advisors that come on. So we have a group of training advisors that, that work together to just kind of onboard and get new advisors acclimated to that. And then my job as an advisor is to provide expert guidance to our members in order to help keep them compliant with all their HR related issues.
Halisi Tambuzi: A lot of the stuff we do is we focus on risk assessments in order to help our members make good business decisions when they are dealing with their HR related issues.
Jill Dunnam: What does CEDR stand for? It’s C-E-D-R, right?
Halisi Tambuzi: Yeah, it is C-E-D-R. So it’s the “Center for Employment Dispute Resolution.”
Jill Dunnam: Okay. Alright.
Halisi Tambuzi: Yeah.
Jill Dunnam: CEDR Solutions.
[00:01:20] Jill Dunnam: Well, so one of the reasons we wanted to talk with you all is because lately everyone’s hearing about The Great Resignation right now, and a lot of our SOMSA members are feeling the effects of some turnover. And so we just wanted to chat about that a little bit.
[00:01:37] Halisi Tambuzi: That’s an excellent question, just because there’s a lot of turnover that’s taking place.
Halisi Tambuzi: And I think just want to first start off by just highlighting that “Great Resignation” aspect and that “Great Resignation” aspect, you know, actually there’s, it really implies that employees are leaving the workforce entirely. And so that’s not the entire case that simply just going, leaving the workforce, not working at all.
[00:01:59] Halisi Tambuzi: What’s kind of more taking place and what our CEO, Paul Edwards kind of phrases this as more of a “Great Job Hop” because employees, they’re still in the workforce, but they’re looking for new jobs overall that are going to be more of a fit with them personally. And so that’s gonna ultimately be the task for practices or businesses to try to get employees to remain at their workplace. And so employees are hopping around.
Jill Dunnam: Makes sense, a Great Job Hop. I think that sounds like they should make that into a song for roller skating rinks. Yeah. So a Great Job Hop. So, well, in preparing for this podcast, we asked some of our members some questions, things that they might wanna ask or wanna know.
Jill Dunnam: And one of our members asks how can we find people that appreciate and demonstrate a strong work ethic?
[00:02:48] Halisi Tambuzi: Yeah. Getting that strong work ethic. A lot of times what’s taking place is, uh, businesses are looking for a cultural fit. And again, there’s a kind of a language discrepancy that I’ll also describe there.
Halisi Tambuzi: The “cultural fit” is probably not the best term as not the best term. I mean, just for when you talk about cultural fit. If the members are familiar with kind of protected classes: disabilities, race, gender, religion, those type of protected classes. When you talk about seeing a cultural fit, it can have this kind of weird connotation to it. Whether or not some applicant is applying to the position, whether they fit with the culture. Right. And so there’s that language issue there.
Halisi Tambuzi: The second issue there with the kind of cultural fit is that it kind of focuses on whether a person fits in with what the practice is doing. And one task that you really kind of wanna focus on—and this will change the term from a cultural fit—is really looking at a “cultural add.”
[00:03:42] Halisi Tambuzi: Does the employee that you have, do they add something, add a particular skill to the practice? And so when you’re looking for an employee’s strong work ethic or some other skill, we really wanted to just try to say, you know, are they adding a skill to the practice that is going to help us? And if you’re looking for strong work ethic, then you may want to make sure that you’re testing for that during the interview.
[00:04:07] Jill Dunnam: Yeah, I really like that: cultural add. That’s great. It makes sense. So kind of going along with that then: so how do we do a good job of interviewing to find that right culture add and finding the right employee?
[00:04:20] Halisi Tambuzi: It’s gonna take a little bit of preparation just with your interview process. And so the interview process is really the employee or the applicant’s first introduction to the practice.
Halisi Tambuzi: And so as much as we think, as the business owners, managers, think that the applicant that we’re interviewing the applicant, the applicant is also interviewing us. And so we wanna make sure that we take that into account when we’re sitting down with them. And so that preparation for an interview is important.
Halisi Tambuzi: So, you know, are you setting enough time available to engage with that person, to engage with that applicant? Are you informing the rest of the team, Hey, we have an applicant, someone who’s applying to the position.” And so letting them know that it’s a priority, that you are gonna be spending time with this potential new hire that you’re gonna be bringing on. So make sure you’re preparing for that.
[00:05:11] Halisi Tambuzi: And then also having a particular process in place when you’re doing interviews. And so a process might, right, so are you gonna be doing phone screens? Are you going to be doing in-person interviews? Are you gonna be doing second round interviews? Are you gonna be doing some type of test during that interview process? So making sure that you kind of have those all aligned so that you’re able to provide a consistent interview.
[00:05:36] Jill Dunnam: So in your opinion, how strongly important is the job description or job ad?
[00:05:43] Halisi Tambuzi: Job descriptions and job ads are hugely important because the job ad is pulling that applicant to the particular job, to the practice.
Halisi Tambuzi: And so you want that to be engaging. You want the applicant to be able to identify with what the core values are what you’re looking for, what are some of the skills that are going to be required in order to be effective in their position. And so that job ad is gonna be important.
Halisi Tambuzi: And then the job description, that job description is also important simply because it tells the essential functions of the job so that one, the employee can look to the job description and really say, okay, these are the requirements that I need to be able to do, whether that is the kind of work conditions. So I’m gonna be lifting something. Am I going to be on my feet all the time? What are those type of work conditions?
[00:06:31] Halisi Tambuzi: But then also the essential functions, what are my expectations? If I’m going to be on the phone, if I’m going to be working closely with patients. So those essential functions are ultimately gonna be there.
Halisi Tambuzi: And there’s one last reason for the job description. It is a tool that is used. So say for example, you have an employee who gets injured. And so they have some limitations in order to, some limitations when it comes to performing their work, but it may not be clear what specific limitations that they have. The job description, you can send that job description with that employee to their medical provider. And so that their medical provider can say, “Okay, this is what you do on a regular basis. How is that going to affect the limitations that they’re experiencing?” And so then they can go ahead and bring that, then they can return to the practice and say, “Okay, these are the limitations that I have. I may need some accommodations.” And so the job description helps with that. It helps legally so that you are able to say, “Hey, these are the essential functions. This is what I need you to do. And, but this is where we can provide some accommodations.”
[00:07:39] Jill Dunnam: That makes perfect sense. And I really like for employees at my office having very clear path to success, and I think if there’s confusion, then you know, whose fault is it? Really ultimately it’s mine because I never made the success factors clear to that person. So. I agree with you. That’s great.
Jill Dunnam: So, you know, talking about interviewing a little bit, you mentioned earlier, what are some great, uh, tips for interviewing and some great questions? That was one of our other members asked: what are some tips for interviewing, great questions there.
[00:08:11] Halisi Tambuzi: So, uh, you know, it’s a common question that does come up about what are some great interviewing questions. And great interviewing questions, if there was a set of questions that I could simply provide to everyone that they could ask, and then they would get the great employee, then I would certainly go ahead and provide those. So there’s not going to be one specific type of interview question that is ultimately gonna be the best.
Halisi Tambuzi: There are different styles, styles and ways in which to ask questions that could get the information that you are looking for. And so you can have like these traditional style interviewing questions or behavioral style questions. And so we recommend using the behavioral style questions, your style interviewing questions, and those questions are going to reveal more of the applicant’s normal behaviors, kind of what they typically engage in. What have they done in the past?
Halisi Tambuzi: Whereas traditional style interviewing questions typically get you a yes or no answer. Right? Can you use the practice management system? Yes, I can. Where the behavioral style interviewing question is gonna say, you know, “Tell me about a time where you had difficulty using the practice management system.”
[00:09:23] Halisi Tambuzi: And so then they have to go into a longer speech about their use of the system, about the difficulties that they had, and you can ask them, “Well, what did you do to resolve those type of issues? And so then that’s gonna key you into, well, how are they problem solving when that issue does arise?
[00:09:40] Jill Dunnam: So, what would you say if I have a traditional interview question in mind and wanted to convert that to a behavioral interview question. Can you give another example of that?
[00:09:52] Halisi Tambuzi: I mean, there are gonna be some examples. So you could look at the particular skills you could say, “Tell me about a time where you had a difficult interaction with a supervisor or a difficult interaction with a patient. How did you resolve those?” That would be a little bit different than the kind of traditional style, right: “Are you good with patients?”
[00:10:12] Jill Dunnam: The answer might be just, “Yeah, I’m great.”
[00:10:14] Halisi Tambuzi: “I’m great.” Yeah.
[00:10:16] Jill Dunnam: “Interview’s over. I got the job!”
Jill Dunnam: That makes, that’s great. Okay, Halisi, I also wanna ask you, what do you think about working interviews?
[00:10:25] Halisi Tambuzi: Working interviews, they’re common. And so we recognize how common they actually are, but we don’t typically recommend them because they come with a certain level of risk. And so we try to be risk averse.
Halisi Tambuzi: And so oftentimes with working interviews, what’s taking place is it’s been added into your interview process. You go might go through the phone screen. You might go through the in-person interview. And then you try to test the employee out to see whether or not they have the proper skills to be able to work in the practice.
Halisi Tambuzi: And so with that particular working interview, an employee shows up, the applicant shows up, and they start performing whether that would be taking notes, whether that would be, you know, helping with assisting, whether that would be maybe taking a phone call, talking with potential patients, potential patients or actual patients.
[00:11:17] Halisi Tambuzi: And all of those activities are activities that are associated with an employee. And so that becomes the rub there, as you haven’t officially hired this individual on, but they’re acting in a way as if they’re an employee. And so you’re going to want to make sure that that individual is paid. Because essentially, whenever someone starts performing work for the practice, they are considered an employee, so they do need to be paid.
Halisi Tambuzi: Another issue with the working interview is that because they need to be paid, you want to make sure that they have filled out those tax forms so that they, so you, so the proper taxes can be deducted so that they can get paid. But sometimes on that first day, the first day of, it can be a little bit hectic, and so sometimes forms, don’t, all the forms that go out, don’t go out. And so if you choose not to hire that person, well, then you have to track that person down to try to make sure that they are paid accurately. So you have that pay issue that’s there.
[00:12:16] Halisi Tambuzi: And then you have a potential: what happens if that employee, that individual, gets injured, uh, on just that working, that working day, a possible needle, stick something small, like that can trigger a worker’s compensation issue and worker’s comp, they are there to compensate the employee, and to protect the practice, if there is an injury that took place while working, but they are there to protect for employees. And so if the worker, this applicant isn’t, you know, registered as an employee, the workers comp may not provide that coverage.
[00:12:55] Jill Dunnam: Ooh, it’s a whole of worms right there.
[00:12:57] Halisi Tambuzi: It is a whole can of worms and what can be missed from workers’ comp is that workers’ comp is there to protect the practice. And if workers’ comp is not present, then what can happen is that employee can sue the practice directly. So workers’ comp steps in to say, you know what, you’re not gonna sue the practice for negligence or anything like that. We’re gonna step in and cover the cost.
[00:13:19] Jill Dunnam: I don’t like the thought of having to set up payroll for somebody that I’m not even sure yet about hiring. If you don’t recommend doing working interviews, what do you suggest instead?
Halisi Tambuzi: We suggest a strong interview process, first off.
Halisi Tambuzi: To have that strong interview process, so going through, you know: phone screens, interviews, behavioral style questions, probably some skills testing that’s gonna be in there. So having that strong interview process.
Halisi Tambuzi: And then, if you want to offer, provide an offer for that individual, for that applicant to be an employee of the practice, then once they become an employee, there is, we recommend having a getting acquainted period in place.
[00:14:00] Halisi Tambuzi: This getting acquainted period is this introductory period, to determine essentially the same thing as the working interview, it’s a longer timeframe. So it gives you a better spectrum of whether or not the employee’s going to fit with the practice, but the getting acquainted period so that you are doing an, an actual assessment on this employee’s, uh, work performance to see whether or not they, you know, they are gonna match with the practice.
[00:14:25] Jill Dunnam: I’ve heard that if you call it a probationary period, instead of a getting acquainted period, or maybe other terms, you’re implying that if they get past that, that they’re not probationary, that they’re in forever or something. Is that the thought behind the name?
[00:14:40] Halisi Tambuzi: Yeah. So that probationary period, there’s a couple things.
Halisi Tambuzi: So that probationary period is that the technical language there, it can destroy the at -will relationship. So you, you wanna make sure you’re trying to maintain that at- will relationship that’s there and probation could imply that there’s some contract in place, whether that 90-day, that they’re going to be intended to be there for that full 90 days or whatever the timeframe that you have set. And so, so we wanna kind of just make sure we’re changing that language so that there aren’t issues of implied contracts that are present there.
Halisi Tambuzi: You also don’t want to ultimately change your entire handbook into a contract by having language in. That could imply that a contract’s in place that way, and distributing your handbook to all the employees and all the employees are under some type of contract. And so that could be a little bit risky there. And so we do recommend using the language of, uh, getting acquainted period.
[00:15:36] Jill Dunnam: Well, backing up a little bit before we get ’em into that getting acquainted period, I wanna go back to alternatives to working interview. I wanna talk a little bit about skills testing and, uh, your thoughts about that.
[00:15:48] Halisi Tambuzi: Skills testing. This is a great mechanism that is in place to test the particular skills that you’re looking for during that interview process. So doing the [00:16:00] working interview, you’re trying to see the skills in action that’s there. And so you’re trying to see whether or not that particular person’s able to perform those skills.
Halisi Tambuzi: The skills testing takes more focused on, on the interview process. And you’re trying to test during that moment to see whether or not that applicant has the particular skills that you are looking for. But the one thing that you wanna focus on initially is what skills are you looking for. You wanna make sure that you identify: these are the skills that I’m looking for, and so these are gonna be the questions that I’m going to ask so that I can get the responses. So, so I can get the proper responses that I’m looking for.
[00:16:37] Jill Dunnam: So if I’m looking for a surgical assistant, what would be a good skills assessment for them, skills test?
[00:16:43] Halisi Tambuzi: Skills test for a surgical assistant. Well, what do we need the surgical assistant to know? We need the surgical assistant to know what are the instruments that are going to be there. How fast can they identify those particular instruments? And so one thing that you might do is you might just lay down a row of instruments and see whether or not that applicant can even identify those instruments so that when they’re…
Jill Dunnam: Yeah, that’d be good.
Halisi Tambuzi: Yeah. So that when they are setting them up, right, so you don’t have to worry about setup. They know what the instruments are so that when the patient comes in, that room should already be set up.
[00:17:16] Jill Dunnam: That’s a great test. I like that. Well, okay, I’m gonna put you on the spot. How about front desk? Let’s do another one.
[00:17:21] Halisi Tambuzi: So with the front desk: how are they over the phone? You could do a walkthrough. You could do a script just to see when can they follow a script? Are they polite when they’re interacting with people over the phone? And so that’s ultimately how you could test for that.
[00:17:35] Jill Dunnam: All right. And then how, somebody that you need to use the computer a lot. Any ideas on skills testing for some computer use?
[00:17:43] Halisi Tambuzi: Yeah. So with computer use, you can, the various programs, it could be Word, Excel, or even just the, you know, possible patient notes. You could have like some type of dummy account and are they able to use a dummy account? And this would prevent them from having to work with an actual patient. And so identifying…
[00:18:03] Jill Dunnam: Which makes it not a working interview, it’s just a test.
[00:18:06] Halisi Tambuzi: That’s exactly right. It’s just a test at that point. And so each position is gonna have their own particular skills and that’s why it’s not a one size fits all. It really just depends on what you’re looking for, what you are trying to add to the practice.
[00:18:30] Jill Dunnam: Well, I wanna say thank you Halisi, for the time you spent with us today and also wanna thank everybody for listening to this episode of Practice Admin’s Time Out. We love bringing new practice management success tips and information on great companies that are striving every day to support what we do.
Jill Dunnam: Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode in our HR series with CEDR Solutions, in which we’ll discuss making offers and background checks, plus employee pay, retention and engagement. If you enjoyed this episode, please be sure to rate the podcast. Sharing it and following us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn also helps other people find our content. Bye for now.