Quality dental employees aren’t easy to find. Consider this: It takes the average employer 24 days and costs about $4,000 to hire one new worker. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecast 19% growth in the dental profession through 2026. That means even more competition for dental employees. How can your practice attract and retain the best employees? Follow these steps.
- Make your practice a great place to work. Start by making sure your current employees are engaged in their work and happy with their jobs. If you’re filling a position because an employee quit, conduct an exit interview with the ex-employee and find out why. Offer employees the ability to advance by promoting from within; provide opportunities to improve their skills or gain professional certifications.
- Update your technology. You can’t hope to attract the best workers if you don’t have a best-in-class workplace to offer them. Keep your practice up-to-date with the latest technology to make employees’ jobs easier and keep their skills current. For example, use Lighthouse 360 to communicate with patients, market your business and manage your front desk. Eighty percent of Lighthouse 360 clients say the app has increased the overall happiness of their staff.
- Market your practice to job seekers. Just as you market your practice to potential patients, you have to market it to potential employees. Marketing starts with your business website and continues through your social media presence and online reviews. Do your social media accounts portray your team working together, looking happy and having fun? Do your online reviews talk about how nice everyone in your office is—or how grumpy they are? Remember, potential employees look at your online reputation to learn more about your practice. Make sure they’ll like what they see.
- Let people know you’re hiring. Go beyond placing online job ads. Work your social network, real-life connections and both personal and business contacts. You never know who will know somebody that might be the perfect person for your office. In addition, many of the best employees aren’t actively looking for work, but they can be wooed away from their current jobs by a better offer. You can’t find these people by placing a job ad, but you can find them by networking.
- Focus on soft skills. Of course, many jobs in dental offices require specific training. However, if you’re looking for a front desk employee, keep in mind that it’s harder to teach “soft skills” such as organizational skills, interpersonal communication or a positive attitude than it is to teach someone how to use your filing system or PMS. (Plus, someone without soft skills can contribute to dental practice headaches.) Don’t get so hung up on specific qualifications or experience that you pass over otherwise promising candidates.
- Offer pay transparency and desirable benefits. Being open about pay ranges can help to attract more qualified candidates and weed out those who aren’t a fit. Benefits are also important for attracting employees. To make your practice more competitive, offer benefits that go beyond health insurance and 401(k) plans. According to a survey by Unum, the three most popular employee benefits in 2019 are paid family leave, flexible work options and opportunities for professional development.
It’s a job seeker’s market today. If you hope to land the best candidates, you’ve got to go above and beyond to reach them.