Dental Practices and Human Resources: Frequently Asked Questions | Schiff & Associates Dental CPA

Whether you manage your practice’s human resources or oversee a practice manager, you are responsible as a business owner for ensuring your policies are appropriate, legal, and fair. Few practice owners are trained in HR, but some level of knowledge is important for the viability of your practice. 

Here are a few commonly asked questions regarding aspects of human resources for dental practice owners. 

What questions should I avoid during interviews? 

There are a few basic, even common questions that are never appropriate for an interview setting. Some of these include: 

● What is your marital status?

● Do you have children? 

● What is the origin of your (unusual) name? 

While such questions seem like natural ice-breakers, they are illegal. They can lead to the sharing of information about protected class status such as disability, family status, ethnic or religious heritage, sexual orientation, and others. 

Even if their answers would have no bearing on your decision, these questions can leave you open to a complaint if the position is not offered. You should always keep questions business-related. 

What should I do if an employee refuses to sign a disciplinary action form? 

If this happens, bring a witness into the room, and note the refusal to sign. Have the witness sign confirmation that the disciplinary action form was provided to the employee. Remind the employee that refusal to sign does not negate the disciplinary action and further infractions will lead to more serious consequences. 

We use software to track employee hours and the program has a function to automatically deduct meal times so employees do not need to manually clock in and out. Should we use this function? 

Before you decide to use an automatic system of this type, consider the time saved by not manually entering hours. Then compare it to the time lost by entering corrections if a team member misses lunch, returns early, or runs late. 

If your office rarely deviates from schedule, this might be beneficial. However, if you find that you are making corrections more than once or twice a week, this function could cost more time than it saves. 

Understanding the nuances of human resources is an important part of building a strong practice. As bookkeepers, tax preparers, and valuable advisors to dental practices, we can also help you create a profitable operation. Contact our office today for a free initial consultation.