Dental practices need to work smarter and harder to attract (and retain) the very best talent. Here’s what you can do in 2019 to stay on top and make recruiting your competitive advantage.

Finding top dental talent is becoming ever more challenging amid the backdrop of record employment levels and a dental skills shortage that’s hitting critical levels across the UK.  Make no mistake: we are in a candidate-short market and this is consistently pushing salaries up.  The Office of National Statistics is recording that the average number of vacancies in the UK continues to rise year-on-year.  Competition for the best candidates is only getting stiffer among practices that are growing, but struggling to find the people they need to keep pace with that growth.

Furthermore, despite increasing uncertainty around Britain’s exit from the EU, which has undoubtedly slowed some hiring decisions and candidates moving to the UK, employer confidence remains relatively high, with many dental practices deploying a “business as usual” approach to recruitment planning and hiring until there is a degree certainty around the ramifications of Brexit.

All this means that recruiting great candidates is not getting any easier. We explain how recruitment is changing in 2019, and the practical things you can implement to ensure you thrive and succeed this year and beyond to ensure your practice teams continue to deliver outstanding patient care.

If you’re reading this congratulations you’re keen to learn and are one step ahead of thousands of apathetic dental practices who, quite simply, are getting left behind as the recruitment market shifts –  

1. Employer Value Proposition

If “EVP” means nothing to you, it’s all the things that should make your practice attractive to prospective recruits.  Everything from your company’s values, culture, through to benefits, flexibility and approach to work/life.  It really is becoming a necessity rather than a ‘nice to have’ and will get candidates excited about working for you.  If you haven’t yet communicated your EVP make 2019 the year you get started.

2. Speed

While quality candidates are in short supply, speed is vitally important within the recruitment process in 2019.  Do what you can to accelerate your hiring process, communicate with candidates throughout it.  When you find a candidate you like, do not procrastinate, move swiftly to make an offer to secure them quickly and stay in touch with them during their notice period.   

3. Increase Salaries

Wages have risen at their fastest pace in nearly a decade during 2018 and salary growth is predicted to continue well into 2019, so if you aren’t keeping tabs on the market you should be.

With the jobless rate hovering around 4% make no mistake: we are in a candidate-short market and this is consistently pushing salaries up. The uncertainty around Britain’s position in the EU has impacted skilled dental talent immigration, driving yet further wage growth.

4. Candidate Experience

Whether you like it or not, candidates expect more in 2019 than they did in 1999 and you must think and treat them as customers not candidates, which means adjusting your approach throughout the entire search, selection, and on-boarding process.

Recruitment is an extension of your employer brand you need to ensure candidates get a strong impression of your practice regardless of whether they’re offered a job at the end of the process or not.  Put yourself in a candidate’s shoes is the experience friendly and efficient does it represent your brand?

5. Diversity

This isn’t about hitting a quota, or simply being seen as a modern employer. This is about celebrating individualism and understanding that a diverse workforce actually results in a better practice and patient care.  

6. Automate 

Recruitment and dentistry are true people businesses and technology will never replace humans.  However, much of the admin and process that exists around recruitment can and is being commoditised – this is where Destination Dental can help you with much of the aforementioned things, helping to widen your candidate search, accelerate and standardise your hiring process.  2019 is the time to embrace technology, allowing you to focus and invest more energy in the human elements, like interviewing candidates and giving them a fantastic impression of your practice.

7. On-boarding

It’s often the afterthought when recruiting, particularly for independent dental practices, but it’s a vital part of the hiring process.  What’s the point of investing all that time, money and energy into finding and recruiting great candidates if you can’t then retain them? Let 2019 be the year that you make your new hire’s first few weeks ones to remember, cementing their commitment for the long term.

To discuss how Destination Dental can make your recruitment more cost effective, smarter and efficient in 2019 please call 0800 2118253 or email [email protected]


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