Friday, October 29, 2010

An Aging Workforce Creates New Opportunities for Employers

The average life expectancy for someone born in 1950 is 68.2 years. For someone just ten years older, born in 1940, their life expectancy is 62.9 years and for someone born in 1988, likely just about to be graduating college and beginning a career, their life expectancy is 74.9 years.

While the U.S. retirement age, as defined by the Social Security Administration, is in the process of gradually increasing from 65 to 67, the length of retirements invariably is on the cusp of a sharp increase. The percentage of the employed U.S. workforce that is over the age of 55 has nearly doubled from a low of 12 percent in 1993 to 19.8 percent in January of 2010.

When people do enter retirement, however, they are in better shape both physically and mentally than ever before.

“The last decade has seen a redefinition of what retirement should and can be,” notes Tony McKinnon, who himself came out of retirement to become president of MRINetwork two years ago. “Retirees represent a growing population which workforce managers can tap into in new and unique ways.”

Keeping older workers on the payroll was once thought of as a deficit—they are often the highest paid, carry large healthcare costs, and sometimes have only limited computer skills—but that equation can change. Hiring contract staffers, who have already retired, lets companies bring on board top talent who have completed their traditional careers—sometimes at a competing company—and who are willing and able to continue to work.

These workers may only want to work part-time and won’t have as much interest in collecting benefits as full-time staff, yet, can offer the perspective and experience of decades in an industry. At a time when many retirees and near-retirees have lost substantial chunks of their savings, more seniors will also be looking for supplemental income than ever before.

“It has become increasingly common for companies to hire retirees as consultants, but it’s normally on an ad-hoc basis. Now is a good time for these post-retirement positions to become a formalised part of the org chart,” says McKinnon. “Not only are the number of candidates for such positions swelling, in the wake of the Great Recession, many organizations are giving long-term perspectives more deference than they have received in the recent past.”

McKinnon notes that some of the most obvious positions for post-retirement contractors to fill could be ombudsmen, mentors, or general strategic or advisory positions.

“After a downturn is a great opportunity for companies to reexamine every element of their business. Making large structural changes now will cost less and can potentially have greater rewards than changes made at the top of an economic cycle,” says McKinnon. “Not only are post-retirement contractors an example of the type of opportunity that exists to change the way things are done, once aboard, they can help to temper the degree to which changes are made.“

He continues, “While companies want to stay on the cutting edge coming out of recession, the sage advice of contractors who have already worked an entire career can balance that goal with decades of experience and keep a company off the bleeding edge.”

Presented by ETS Dental, Phone: (540) 563-1688, Website:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Key to a SUCCESSFUL Private Practice

As a dentist, your main focus is to be able to take care of the oral health of the patients you serve. The clinical scope of your job is broad, and it is what you spend the majority of your time in the office each day doing. It is, after all, why you went to dental school and what pays the bills.

In private practice, the job of a dentist does not end there. One must also be a businessman/woman in order to successfully run a dental practice. This involves hiring and overseeing staff, implementing systems that will allow you to chart treatment, running an accounting department to bill patients, paying expenses and employees, all while making sure that you are keeping expenses lower than revenues in order to insure a profit margin that allows you to live the life you want.

This leads me to one of the most important hats a dentist wears in running a successful practice. Being a salesman! Selling treatment plans is the key to achieving the financial viability of a successful practice. This can be daunting and it is the part of private practice that many dentists know the least about and dread the most. It does not have to be that way.

The concept of how to be successful in achieving a high rate of treatment acceptance is actually quite simple and is based on what is found to be a common denominator in the successful sales people across all businesses. It is asking the right questions or asking the “Golden Question.”*

Rather than talking and talking and having your patient glaze over, you need to ask: “When you think about proceeding with treatment, what are your main concerns?"*. Having the answer to this empowers you to be able to address what is most important to the patient. If one understands their patients’ concerns clearly and addresses them succinctly as they discuss treatment, their case presentation conversations become amazingly effective.

*, “The Golden Question for Case Presentation” by Dr. Ryan Swain.

Written by Gary Harris, Dental Specialist Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Gary at (540) 491-9115 or Check us out at

Friday, October 15, 2010

Utilize Your Recruiter

Does your office have a need for a new Associate? Are you looking for a partner for your practice? Let an ETS Dental Recruiter make this happen for you quickly and efficiently.

Here are a few tips that I hope you will find helpful when working with a recruiter:

  • Be timely in responding to the candidates presented. The candidates ETS Dental refer to you have been thoroughly screened and interviewed before their information has been sent. It is imperative that you reach out to the candidate within a day or two, either by phone or email, to acknowledge that you are interested in meeting at a mutually arranged time.

  • Keep in mind that strong candidates are considering more than one opportunity. If you want to hire the candidate with the strongest credentials, you must act quickly.

  • Provide feedback to your Recruiter. This is an extremely important point. It helps us make sure that we are presenting the appropriate candidates for your review. If you have received information on a candidate that you do not wish to move ahead with, respond immediately to your Recruiter so that the candidate can be notified, and we can find other prospects that better suit your needs.

  • Finally, remember what it was like for you when you were searching for an Associate position. Strive to make the interview experience a positive and professional impression for the candidate.

Working together, we can make your hiring process both a gratifying and productive experience.

Written by Marsha Hatfield-Elwell, Regional Recruiter/Account Executive at ETS Dental. You can reach Marsha directly at (540) 491-9116 or Find out more at

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Growing Again From a New Starting Point

The United States is more than a year removed from the official end of the recession, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Yet, the most common question on the lips of business leaders seems to be, "Really?" After 20 years of the most stunning economic growth and technological advancement in human history, the definition of what normal growth is may have changed. Current projections for real GDP growth are between 2 and 3 percent for much of the immediate future.

Economies around the world have strengthened to a point where a double-dip recession is increasingly unlikely, but a slow rate of growth seems unavoidable. Many of the key reasons for recent growth, both real (introduction of computers, the Internet) and artificial (credit bubbles), have either run their course or been removed from the market entirely. Technological advancements will always continue to increase productivity, but the boost seen in the last two decades may not be duplicated for a long time to come, and that will lead to less immediate growth.

"Looking at the economy on a global level, we are out of the woods, but we still have a long way to go," says Tony McKinnon, president of MRINetwork. "The natural rate of growth for companies over the next five years isn’t going to be what we experienced before the recession. Success is going to be hard earned, and even more of that success will be driven by the performance of impact players than ever before."

For evidence of the slow, but steady state of the recovery, one needs to look no further than private employment levels. The top line number—total U.S. non-farm employment—has bounced up and down wildly in recent months. This volatility has been the result of both temporary census positions coming then going, combined with large local government layoffs. Yet, private employment has settled into a slow, steady rate of growth.

In August, on a seasonally unadjusted basis, private employment was up year-over-year for the first time since early 2008 and the first months of the recession. In economic terms, the labor market has established a new equilibrium from which it can grow, and this is the general trend being seen across the economic indicators.

“We are likely past where we might have seen a large post-recession bump. We are already at a place where growth is happening again,” says McKinnon. “Rather than looking back and seeing where we were, it is time to look forward and see the business opportunities that lay ahead.”

Two years of low labor liquidity first caused job openings to dry up, then uncertainty caused candidates to question the safety of changing positions. Mixed with the job dissatisfaction a recession naturally causes, today’s passive candidate market may be as rich as it has been in years.

“If you’ve spent the last two years saying you were going to start hiring as soon as things turned around, this is that time. The recovery has been more anticlimactic than we were all hoping,” notes McKinnon, “but the recession is over. It’s time to staff up, and go fight for your slice of the pie.”