Steps to successfully onboard an Associate DDS

Hiring and onboarding an Associate DDS is great step in practice growth and transition. Follow these steps to set your practice and new Associate up for success from interview #1.

  1. Phone/virtual interview
    • An initial phone or virtual interview is a great way to gauge the interest and personality of your potential Associate prior to arranging time within the practice. Gather your research and questions for the candidate ahead of time to have an impactful 30-minute conversation.
  2. In-person interview with the administration team and doctors
    • If the initial phone/virtual interview was a success, then it is time to set up an in-person meeting. Appoint the main person to lead the interview whether that is the Practice Administrator or senior/owning Doctor. Create a list of new, more in-depth questions that you have as a result of the initial interview. Also, don’t forget an office tour and casual introduction to the team.
  3. Shadow office
    • Skip the working interview, yes, we said it! You are better off having the Associate shadow for a half day at the practice allowing them to watch flow, patient interactions and review charts to understand scope of dentistry and treatment planning.  Don’t forget to grab a coffee for them to start the day and ensure the entire team is aware so they are in a friendly and welcoming mindset (not that they won’t be already).
  4. Lunch with the team
    • Meeting the rest of the team is an essential part of the interviewing and onboarding process. Schedule an in-office lunch for the Associate to meet and greet the team. Don’t forget to come up with a creative way to spark conversations if needed, awkward silence at any lunch as a newbie is the worst! This is a great way to tap into the superpower of your most energetic team member!
  5. Private dinner with associate and spouse if applicable
    • As things get serious, yes, take them out! But in a professional way. Inviting the Associate and their spouse to dinner is a great way to further the connection and get to know them personally.
  6. After contract is signed, fun outing with staff
    • You did it! You hired an associate. What better way to celebrate than to arrange a fun outing with the entire team. This is a great way to put the best foot forward when starting a new routine in the workplace and to make your new Associate feel comfortable in their new dental home. We are sure you can come up with something creative and fun at this point.

For sample questions and ideas regarding onboarding your new Associate DDS, email us at