Despite the squeeze on the economy, at the moment there are more job vacancies than unemployed people, while the number of people moving from job-to-job has reached a record high.
Dental practices in particular are struggling with staff retention and recruitment issues, as are many other businesses across the country.
Medenta Business Development Manager, Lesley Turner, asked three prominent figures in dentistry for their advice: recruitment expert, Emma Anastasi, business consultant, Chris Barrow, and HR solicitor, Sarah Buxton.
Here, she shares their top five thoughts to come out of that session.
In a nutshell, these were:
If you have team members who are leaving to work in another practice for higher pay, it’s unlikely that it is solely about the money. If this is happening, it’s time to sit down and have a good conversation about what is really motivating them to leave. Having quality conversations regularly to discuss expectations, including how to achieve higher salaries, is also a good idea to prevent this issue from arising.
To retain staff and build loyalty, schedule in regular time to have discussions with your team and communicate with them both as a group, about the business and its goals, and also individually, for example through a regular discussion where you both give feedback on how things are going. Also, consider whether you want to buy loyalty through a retention bonus or earn it through other means, such as wellbeing initiatives.
Staff costs are rising, to combat this consider whether you’re fully utilising the scope of practice of other clinicians such as dental therapists. One of our experts is advising clients to increase fees by 20% as soon as possible to keep pace with rising costs.
To make sure you’re recruiting someone who will be right for your practice, include a short trial or shadow as part of the interview process so you can assess if they’re a good fit and get team feedback. Also consider whether you need to replace someone who has left with exactly the same kind of role or if a change would be better. Two recommended reads on this topic are The Ideal Team Player and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.
Finally, how do you find your next team member? There are good websites such as Indeed, especially if you use the filtering channels effectively, and professional advisers to help you with your recruitment. But it’s also key to use your own websites and social media channels to showcase who your team is, what your practice culture is and attract people by showing them what it’s like to work for you.
Chris has been a trainer, consultant, coach and mentor to the UK dental profession for 26 years.
Sarah Buxton specialises in acting exclusively for dentists, dental managers and dental practice owners in all aspects of HR and employment law and is a director at FTA Law. Sarah advises dental practices on managing and motivating their staff, dealing with sickness absence, assisting with making changes to employment contracts and, if needed, how to bring the employment relationship to an end.
Emma is a founding Director of Diamond Dental Staff – a company that helps recruit dental staff and which has now extended its services to train owners and managers in how to implement their employer branding and build an employee value proposition strategy.