A recent survey by the ADA found that 79% of dentists still find it “extremely challenging” to hire a dental hygienist. And almost 84% of dentists find it “extremely challenging or very challenging” to find a dental assistant. 69% of dentists find it “extremely challenging or very challenging”to fill administrative roles.
Yet, when I speak with dentists or office managers about their hiring process they are still doing exactly what they did in 2019. Sadly… those days are long gone and your hiring process needs to be hyper focused on selling the applicant on why they should want to work for you.
And that is why I am writing this post. To give you some ways to shake up your hiring process and to making finding hygienists, dental assistants and front office dental personnel not so challenging.
# 1 It starts with your ad
When you start to write your post, I want you to think of two things.
- There are hundreds of dental offices near me that are hiring for this same role.
- Applicants are not going to read this entire job post.
Having that at the top of your mind should make you understand that you need to highlight and emphasize why they should apply to your post and not the other hundreds of job posts in your area.
So put whatever is best about your job at the very top and make it big and bold. Usually applicants wants to see great pay and benefits. But if you have other stuff to offer like long standing and happy employees, new state of the art facility or just an overall amazing and healthy work environment. Make sure that is posted up at the top and stands out in some fashion.
*Please make sure your pay and benefits are competitive. If your ad is brillant but your pay rate is more than $2 less than all the other job posts you aren’t going to get applicants.
** Also, with many states now requiring pay to be listed on the ads, if you don’t include pay, they will add it for you. Which can cause problems, so post the pay and make it competitive.
#2 Use as many tools as possible to get your ad seen.
If you are using DirectDental you are off to a great start with this. We will post your ad to all the major job boards. And if you use any of our recruiter services we will also message persons on LinkedIn and post your job to all the facebook groups in your area to attract more persons. However, if you don’t do these things here is what you should/can do.
- Post to a job board that is proven and can get you candidates from multiple sources.
- Work with your local dental recruiter if you have one.
- Reach out to former colleagues and employees to see if they know of anyone looking for work.
- Offer a hiring bonus to your current employees if they help you fill to job.
- Join local Facebook dental groups and post your job there.
- Reach out the the dental schools in your area and ask for recent graduate referral.
#3 Dont be too nit-picky when reviewing resumes
Nothing drives me more crazy than when a dental office refuses to call a dental assistant because there is a spelling error on their resume. Most dental assistants didn’t take a ton of writing courses and some of them don’t have English as their first language. So PLEASE don’t let grammatical errors or formatting issues stop you from calling a candidate. Rather, look at their work experience and skills. If they have what you are looking for call them.
Also, if they have bounced around jobs, that used to stop me from calling, but now it seems common place. So call them and asked them why they left every office. It could be enlightening and you could just be their forever work home.
#4 First contact is everything
As mentioned at the start of this blog post, you now how to sell the applicant on why they should want to work for you. So when you connect with the applicants, be overly warm, friendly and build rapport before anything else. Again, have in your mind that you are competing with hundreds of dental practices for this one applicant and you need to make them WANT to meet you.
I always start the call asking about their day, if they have anything fun planned for the weekend, etc. Ask why they are on the market for a new position and then go into your interview questions. Then go over the job, really sell the office, team, benefits and anything else that makes you and your office stand out. If they hang up the phone and are excited, then they will show up for their interview.
#5 Don’t have a long interview process
The other thing that drives me crazy is when a practice finds an applicant that seems perfect but they push the interview out 2 weeks away. And then they are shocked when the applicant cancels because they accepted another job.
From the time they apply to the time of an offer is presented should be about a week. This feels rushed but in this market the offices with a shorter hiring timeline win. Something like this seems to work best.
Day 1: they apply and you call them.
Day 2: phone interview (if you didn’t do that on day 1) and schedule formal interview if needed OR go right to a working interview.
Day 3: Formal interview or Working interview
Day 4: Working interview if you did a formal interview – Offer position at end of working interview.
Day 5 or 6: Offer letter signed by applicant and start date agreed up.
Anything longer than that, you will miss out on some great applicant.
And there you have it. These 5 steps are sure fire ways to have success in hiring in this extremely challenging market.