Your employees represent your practice, and often, your professional reputation lies in their hands because of their continued interaction with your patients. If you hire people who don't have a patient focus, it won't be long before your patients start attributing that lack of concern to you as well. The first step in hiring good people is creating the kind of job description that will attract them and inspire them to apply. Here are some suggestions on writing the perfect job description.

Know Who You're Looking For

From marketing to fishing, knowing whom you want to attract (your ideal candidate in this case) is the first step in deciding how you will attract them. Make a list of what you want in an ideal candidate and use it to craft your job description. Keep in mind that while you want to use words that will attract your ideal candidate, that doesn't mean targeting a demographic. Requiring "youth" and other discriminatory practices will land you in hot water.

Make Them Easy to Scan

Just as employers spend little time reading each résumé, job candidates are doing the same. They're looking for that "Yes!" moment and won't read every word of every job description. Bold important words. Use bullets and short sentences or phrases that start with a verb. You're not looking for a job as an author. You're looking for your next ideal team member.

Headlines Matter

Take your time on the headline because it's something candidates will read and make an immediate judgment about your position based on it. It tells them to read more or skip to the next one. Your catchy headline should say something about your practice or the type of person you want. Something such as, "Hygienist for Fast-Paced Dental Practice" works well. This tells the candidate there's not much downtime, and hopefully, those who like a slower pace won't apply.

Capture Your Culture

The language in your job description should fit your office's culture. Let your personality shine through in your description. Those that find your description appealing will enjoy your culture if you've been true to it. For instance, if you have a buttoned-up office culture, don't go for laughs and sarcasm in your job description. If you do, a practical joker may get the wrong impression of the office culture, and neither one of you will be happy in the long run.

Be Honest But Don't Air All Your Dirty Laundry

Exaggerating your brand, or aspects of your office culture, is misleading and will affect your employee longevity. While there's no reason to confess that your office is "in flux" or retention has been a problem, for instance, you don't want to claim to be something you're not.

A good job description is critical to your ability to attract and hire the right job candidate. Take your time and think of what your needs are from a skills and personality standpoint. Remember your team members spend more time with your patients than you do, so you want to ensure they represent your practice in the best possible light.

Featured image via Flickr by Finizio