How A Single-Doctor Dentistry Practice Made Hiring Easier

We interviewed Dr. Chris Pennisi to find out how he's used Rise Hire to improve his hiring process and make better hiring decisions at his practice, Pennisi Family Dentistry.

Here's the text from our interview:

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Rise Hire: We'd love to get a brief description of your background in Dentistry, where you've practiced, etc.

Dr. Chris Pennisi: Dentistry is a second career for me. After many years doing biomedical research I decided to go back to school for dentistry. I've been in general dentistry for about 10 years now and have practiced in many different settings including community health centers, large group practices and small private practices. I currently own and operate my own solo private practice.

RH: Whether first-hand or second-hand experience, how many times have you observed or been a part of hiring a new staff member?

CP: Through all of these different settings I've been involved in the hiring process of many employees.

RH: Could you give us an idea of what that process looked like, what were the pain points, the challenges? Other difficulties?

CP: The process can be long and time consuming, usually starting with advertising, collecting resumes, doing the initial phone interviews, the in-person interviews, and, many times, ending with the working interviews. I almost always involved the other staff members, taking up more of their time. 

RH: How long did that process usually last? 

CP: The whole process could last weeks to months. It can be a huge hassle hiring the wrong person. It is costly in time and money to initially hire and train someone, and if they turned out not to be the right one, then the process starts all over again. I would usually take my time to carefully evaluate all the candidates and try to pick the one with the best characteristics that would match our team and office culture.

RH: What were the primary methods of advertising that you used?

CP: The main methods of advertising usually included print ads, on line ads in local classifieds, ads in local and regional dental society web pages and dental school websites. Many times it was a challenge keeping track of all the responses. I used to use a temporary email address so that my main email address wasn’t advertised and so my inbox wouldn’t get bogged down.

RH: What kind of response was typical?

CP: Usually we would get more than 30 resumes. Some of the resumes were immediately eliminated because they didn’t have the qualifications for the position. However, that still left too many applicants to interview so we would have to filter through them and choose the best ones to interview.

RH: How easy or difficult was it to find candidates with the skills/experience you needed?

CP: I believe the Assessment tool Rise Hire uses has helped to weed out the candidates that were not serious about the position. When we hired our hygienist it seemed like there was a greater percentage of higher quality candidates. I think the ones that weren’t serious about the position didn’t want to bother completing the assessment.

RH: How did Rise Hire help you improve your hiring process?

CP: Our last hygienist was hired using Rise Hire. Rise Hire helped in several ways. It gave us a central location where all the resumes were emailed. It can remain anonymous, can be a long term storage area for resumes you want to hold on to, and won’t bog down your personal/business email inbox. This was great because it gave us a central location for all the resumes. When someone applied for the position I got a notification from Rise Hire in my email. I would then log into my Rise Hire account to see the resume. 

RH: How was your experience managing incoming candidates from your Rise Hire dashboard?

CP: The Rise Hire dashboard keeps things very organized and easy to navigate. The candidates' resumes and responses to the assessment tool were easy to locate and rank. I liked to keep them ranked by highest score on the assessment tool. You can also star the ones you are most interested in. 

RH: How easy was it to utilize the Assessment tool and what did you think about the results?

CP: When the candidates apply they immediately complete the assessment, which gives you an initial idea of what kind of employee they will be. The higher the score, the greater the chance they will make a good employee. Along with the score, the Rise Hire also gives you a list of follow up questions specific for that candidate that you can ask at the interview. I certainly welcome any help I can get when it comes to interviewing and hiring.

RH: Ultimately, how did this recent hiring experience turn out for you, and do you have any other thoughts on ways Rise Hire helped you through this process?

CP: After all the interviews were over we chose who we thought was the best candidate for the position. For more than 9 months now, the candidate has been an exceptional fit with the patients and the staff. Things have worked out very well. Interestingly, this candidate had the highest score on the Rise Hire Assessment.

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We want to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to Dr. Pennisi for taking the time to respond to our questions. Our hope is that his experience may help other private dental practices feel more confient about taking control of their hiring process, and using tools like Rise Hire to make better hiring decisions.

Alex Slater