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Should you rehire a former team member?

May 20, 2022
Has a former team member applied for an open position? Should you bring them back into the fold? Here are three things to find out before you do.

Due to the recent staffing challenges, many practices are looking to fill positions and must be creative in their search. There are times when you might consider reaching out to former employees, which can be an excellent idea in some cases. However, you should be cautious. We recommend three questions to ask if you’re considering rehiring a former team member. These will help you determine whether this is the right decision.

Does the team member bring the right skills? 

Just because the team member worked in the office previously doesn’t mean they’ll be knowledgeable or skilled enough to meet today’s expectations. Dentistry is rapidly changing with the advances in technology, and some team members may resist learning new skills and as a result, slow down the practice. Carefully assess whether their current skills and experience match the job description and what it will take to get them up to speed. If they’ve demonstrated in the past that they’re excited about learning, they might be a great fit. 

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Is this the easiest option?

You may think the rehire doesn’t need much new training, but it’s likely that the current practice culture, vision, and team attitudes are different than when that individual left. We’ve seen practices rehire team members who came in thinking they were queen or king for a day, only to alienate the team, cause conflict, and lead to the loss of other team members. Furthermore, keep in mind that practices, processes, and systems grow and change, and this former team member may need the same amount of time for orientation as a new hire. Be sure that they’re willing to be humble enough to “re-learn” the practice. 

Will the rehire stay on long-term? 

There was a reason that the team member left the practice before. Have a very honest conversation with the person about what they’re looking for, why this position could be different than their role in the past, and whether it will be fulfilling for them. Talk to them about the practice vision for the coming five years to give them a sense of whether this is the right fit for them, and the right fit for you.

About the Author

Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and founder of Levin Group

Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and founder of Levin Group, has worked with more than 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and more than 4,000 articles, and regularly presents seminars in the US and around the world. To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit levingroup.com or email [email protected].

Updated January 23, 2024

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