Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When To Start Looking For Your Next Associate

You are a dentist and an owner of a successful business. You know the value of planning and you feel that you are ready to take your practice to the next step by adding an associate. What you may not know is that it could take much longer than you realize to find the right associate who shares your vision, clinical philosophy and is willing to put in the hard work to make your dreams a reality.

Factors that affect the quality and depth of the talent pool

There are many blogs and articles that cover the demographics of the dental field. To summarize, there are much fewer new dentists entering the field than there are baby boomers who are retiring. At the same time, patient demand is increasing as a result of population increase and the increased care required by aging boomers. In short, supply is not adequate for demand.

In the past, the talent pool met demand. Now, the unemployment rate for dentists is practically nil. Practices seeking to add help quickly have no choice but to accept an associate from a meager pool, indeed. Will you be satisfied turning over your patients and your practice’s future to just anyone?

Finding the right talent

We have been recruiting associates, partners, buyers and staff for dental practices for many years. We can confidently say that the best associate for your office is likely working with another practice. Our most successful placements were actively employed out of the area when we first came into contact with them. Is their spouse from your area? Do they share your clinical philosophy? What would cause them to leave their current job for a better match? We ask these questions and are able to make the best connections from a nationwide pool of contacts in our network. A successful practice owner simply does not have the time or the means to identify, contact and screen all the dentists who could be a match.

How long does the interview process take?

To answer this question, we analyzed data from our last 250 placements spanning a period close to two and a half years. We found that the average time between the first phone interview and a signed contract was 1 month and 26 days. During this time, practice owners and associate candidates typically have 5-7 phone interviews, two in-person meetings, complete reference checks and negotiate contract terms.

Now that you have an agreement, when can the associate start?

Keep in mind that the dentist who shares your practice philosophy, has the necessary experience and whose personality does not drive you and your staff crazy is likely already employed. He or she will have to give notice. Would you want an associate who would abandon a previous employer? There may also be other factors such as relocation, completing cases, and/or finishing a residency or a military obligation. The average time between an agreement and the actual start date is 2 months and 20 days.


It will take an average of 4 months and 16 days from the first conversation to the start date. That does not account for the difficulty in sourcing candidates. Many factors will affect your ability to source candidates:

  • Practice location: A small city or rural environment could require more sourcing time than a similar practice in a dental school city.

  • Practice type: Do you see Medicaid? Do you have a niche practice? This will limit the number of interested or qualified candidates.

  • Specialty: Do you own a specialty practice?

  • Clinical Philosophy: Are you a Pankey doctor? Do you provide sleep dentistry services? Extra training will limit your options.

As you plan for your next associate, be sure to allow yourself enough time to consider all of your options. Remember, hiring the wrong dentist can cost you thousands.

Written by Morgan Pace, Sr Account Executive/ Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Morgan at (540)491-9102 or Find out more at

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bureau of Labor Statistics Report

The Bureau of Labor Statistics published its employment numbers for the month of October this morning. We asked Kitchen PR to put together a short summary and analysis of the numbers.

An Analysis of Today's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Report

The full report can be seen here:

Total U.S. non-farm employment rose by 151,000 positions in October, according to the Labor Department, while the unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent for a third month. In total, the private sector added 159,000 jobs, while the public sector lost 8,000 positions, with the most substantial loss being 14,200 non-education local government positions.

Of the 829,000 total gains in private sector employment over the last 12 months, 451,000 positions were with temporary staffing agencies. October, however, saw one of the most substantial gains yet in permanent positions, with additions spread across the services-providing sector. Seasonally adjusted, retail trade added 27,900 jobs from every category except building materials and gas stations. After an unexpected decrease of average weekly private sector earnings in September, earnings rebounded to an average of $779.64 per week in October.

BLS - November 2010

The total number of unemployed people who were either laid off or completed temporary assignments fell to 9.1 million in October, the figure’s lowest level since April of 2009. Among workers who most recently held jobs in management, professional and related occupations, the unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in October, down from 4.7 percent a year ago.

While October saw the first gains in total U.S. employment since May, private sector employment has expanded now for 10 consecutive months. Stimulus spending helped fuel a bump in private sector hiring in April of 241,000 jobs. Since then, the impact of stimulus spending has worn off; yet, private hiring has slowly increased its gains to the level we see today. Conventional wisdom says the United States needs to add in excess of 150,000 jobs to make up for the overall population growth, a rate we are at last achieving. Should private sector growth continue on the trajectory seen over the last six months, U.S. unemployment should begin easing in Q1 2011.

Provided by MRI Network and Executive Talent Search. Find out how ETS can help your career by visiting us at ETS Dental,; ETS Vision,; and ETS Tech-Ops,; or by calling (540) 563-1688.