Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ETS Dental: Your Career and the Dental Job Market

ETS Dental would like to invite all current Dental Students and Dental Residents throughout the U.S. to join us on January 29th at 5:30pm EST (2:30pm PST) for a free webinar: Your Career and the Dental Job Market.

Register here: Your Career and the Dental Job Market
Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM EST (2:30 PM PST)
Length: One hour

This webinar is open to all current Dental Students and Dental Residents in the country. We will be covering the following topics in our one hour webinar:


  • Current landscape of the U.S. dental job market
  • CVs, resumes, cover letters, and interview tips
  • Compensation and contracts
  • Location of hot jobs
  • Live Q&A with recruiters from ETS Dental

ETS Dental is an independent dental recruiting firm. We specialize in finding and placing Dentists, Dental Specialists, and Dental Staff with practices across the country. Our commitment is to match the best dental professionals with the right practices. At ETS Dental, we are not in the business of just filling dental jobs. Our focus is on fulfilling a long-term opportunity for the dentist and dental practice. Learn more about us at www.etsdental.com.

REGISTER TODAY: www.anymeeting.com/PIID=E951DB83894C3C.  Please, forward this to fellow classmates or any colleagues that may find this webinar helpful.. I look forward to having you join me and my colleagues on January 29th.


If you have any questions contact Carl Guthrie at cguthrie@etsdental.com.

Handling Employee Turmoil


We all have probably all been the topic of gossip at some point in our life, most likely in middle school.  But what happens when the dramatics of middle school enter the office?

Honestly, I was shocked when I started my research for this post.  Unfortunately, this is a growing problem in all sectors of business.  In fact, a survey for Randstad USA found that 60% of employees list gossip as the Number One problem in the workplace.  It also found that only 8% of the issues get reported.
Gossip and harassment take a toll on not only the individual, but on the office as a whole.  This type of an atmosphere does not foster a team environment, causing productivity to suffer.  If a situation is allowed to escalate, it can create a hostile work environment, leaving not only the tormentor, but the employer as well, open to legal repercussions.

So how can you, as a manager, foster a positive work environment?

  1. Address the issue and let the staff know that kind of behavior will not be tolerated.
  2. Encourage communication between both parties with a manager present, while remaining impartial.
  3. Have a policy in place to deal with workplace harassment.
Contributed by Tiffany Worstell, Dental Staff Recruiter- Nationwide. To Contact Tiffany, call 540-491-9112, or email at tworstell@etsdental.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dental CPAs: The Top Ten Mistakes Dentists Make Filing Their Taxes


Original Article found at http://dentalcpas.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-top-ten-mistakes-dentists-make.html

Lance Jacob of the Dental CPAs has compiled a list of the top ten most common tax filing mistakes that he sees his dental clients making. If you don't have a dental CPA, contact Lance.

1. Filling out tax forms with an incorrect Social Security number. The IRS computers will automatically reject your deductions and credits if your Social Security number is wrong.[i] This mistake seems careless and trivial, but it is paramount to have the right Social Security number when filing your taxes. Your social security number is your tax ID number, which is linked to numerous transactions such as income statements, savings account interest, and retirement plan contributions. It is also vital to claiming tax credits.

2. Double dipping on dependents for divorced taxpayers. Ill repercussions could result such as additional taxes, penalties, and interest charged.[ii] A child can ultimately meet the rules to be a qualifying child of only one person.[iii] Once divorced, your children do not duplicate out of thin air; therefore they cannot be claimed twice in taxes. The IRS does not allow both divorced taxpayers to claim a child as a dependent.

3. Not reporting non-deductible IRA contributions. Any contribution to an IRA, whether it is deductible or non-deductible, should be reported on Form 8606, so when you withdraw it you are not taxed on it. Plain and simple, all contributions to an IRA must be reported.

4. Incorrectly reported estimated tax payments. If your accountant instructed you to make quarterly estimated tax payments, be sure to let him or her know the details of the payment for each installment. Provide the check numbers, dates of payment, and the amount of each payment. What often happens is people claim they made the payments as their accountant told them, but did not keep any records and inadvertently forgot a payment or two. If the accountant includes all of the estimated payments on the return when they all were not really made, the IRS or state government will send a notice of tax due with penalties and interest.

5. Incorrect Federal ID number used on 1099 MISC. Although your accountant can easily fix this, the less the IRS has to contact you, the better it is. The IRS matches 1099MISC and the Social Security number or Federal Identification number used. If you provide services, and the client you did the work for issues a 1099MISC, be sure they know to use the federal identification number of your business and not your social security number. If they use the wrong number the IRS will send you a notice that you did not report income on your personal return, when in fact it was reported correctly on your business return.

6. Exceeding the mortgage interest deduction limit on Mortgage and home equity debt in excess of $1.1 million. This error commonly falls as the fault of both the taxpayer and accountant. They only deduct the amount reported of the mortgage interest statement, Form 1098, and do not bother to check the amount of mortgage the taxpayer has. The tax laws limit the amount of deductible interest to the interest on the first $1,000,000 of home mortgage debt and $100,000 of home equity debt[iv]. So if you have a mortgage of $2 million, you can only deduct mortgage interest related to the first $1.1 million in total debt.

7. Standard mileage vs. actual expenses. Mistakes in this area come from inconsistent use of methods. If your car is for business purposes only, then the entire cost of its operation can be deducted. However, if the car is used for both business and personal use, only the cost of its business use can be deducted. The amount of your deductible car expense can be found using either the standard mileage rate method or the actual expense method. [v] Some people will qualify for both methods but you must choose only one method when you start using the vehicle and continue with that method until you replace the vehicle. Be sure to figure your deduction with both methods initially to see which gives you the larger of the deductions.

8. First-Time Homebuyer Credit recipients unaware of the fine print. Those who received a First-Time Homebuyers’ Credit towards their purchase of a home settled on prior to 12/31/08 must begin repaying that money on 2010 tax returns. Now is the time to take a good hard look at the details of this credit. Many who accepted the $7,500 credit may not realize that it was in fact a loan, and the government will begin not-so-politely asking for the money back over the course of the next 15 years starting with 2010 individual tax returns. As with any federal money however, there is a lot of fine print to read into on this one.[vi]

9. Forgetting to tell your tax preparer you took an early distribution on an IRA; therefore, failing to calculate the early distribution penalty of 10%. If you are under the age of 59.5, a distribution on an IRA (including employer matching and profit sharing) is considered early, and subject to a 10% additional tax. This tax is in addition of other taxes that apply to the distribution.[vii]

10. Forgetting your signature on your return! If you were an artist, you wouldn’t forget to sign your masterpiece upon its completion, would you? You must sign your taxes for the IRS to process your taxes. Filing your taxes electronically is a foolproof way to ensure your taxes will not go unsigned. These software packages do not allow documents to be sent unless every step is completed.
___________________________________

[i] http://www.walletpop.com/taxes/most-common-taxpayer-mistakes/
[ii] http://taxes.about.com/od/dependents/a/Dependents.htm
[iii] http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=218767,00.html
[iv] http://www.irs.gov/publications/p936/ar02.html
[v] http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc510.html
[vi]http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/24/pf/expert/home_buyer_credit.moneymag/index.htm
[vii] http://www.irs.gov/faqs/faq/0,,id=199762,00.html

You can contact Lance Jacob with additional questions or comments at ljacob@dentalcpas.com or (800) 772-1065.www.dentalcpas.com

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Positive Momentum Grows as Fiscal Cliff Nears

Home prices have now been rising for eight months, and are now up more than 11 percent from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. The current supply on the market fell 1.4 percent in October, representing a 5.4-month supply, down from 7.6 months a year ago and the lowest level of supply since early 2006.

If home prices continue to rise as expected it will have two significant effects on the labor market in the coming year and years ahead. The most direct result will be the increase in U.S. home construction. Not only did new home starts jump at an annualized rate of 15 percent in September, existing home sales often also results in more construction jobs as home owners renovate before selling or after purchasing.

“Construction employment is still down by 2.2 million jobs compared to its pre-recession peak and has had virtually no recovery,” says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. “Despite being less than 5 percent of the total U.S. workforce, that represents more than half of the 4.2 million jobs deficit from the pre-recession peak. Any economic activity that can increase employment for the sector will have the most immediate effect of reducing total U.S. unemployment and increasing U.S. consumer spending power.”

Rising home prices will also add to U.S. spending power in another way—increasing equity. The cumulative growth in home equity has added $760 billion in equity to the U.S. economy, nearly equal to the $787-billion economic stimulus package approved in early 2009. Yet, that program was phased in over three years, whereas growing home equity will add another $1 trillion in the next year. While home equity can’t immediately be spent on groceries or a new TV, especially if a mortgage is underwater, it can make obtaining credit easier, and can make consumers more confident to spend the cash they do have. Receipts from the holiday shopping season are just starting to be tallied but projections suggest total revenue in 2012 will grow by 4.1 percent, above the 3.5 percent average growth in the last decade.

“About 700,000 temporary retail jobs have been created this holiday season, up from last year. But retail jobs are just the last position in a long chain of jobs created by Black Friday and the weeks after it,” says Romaine. “Should projections for a strong holiday season pan out, revenues over the last five weeks of the year will spur a new round of hiring for product development, design, manufacturing, supply chain, marketing, and branding professionals and managers to create and sell products for the 2013 holiday season.”

While the economy’s momentum continues to build, several significant and fast-approaching storm clouds remain on the horizon. Lawmakers have pushed several critical decisions into the post-election season. Consequentially, before the new year, a lame duck session of Congress will need to revisit a series of temporary tax cuts set to expire, new taxes set to be levied to support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), expiring extended unemployment benefits, a 30 percent reduction in Medicare payments to doctors, and the first of eight annual $109 billion cuts in defense spending.

Collectively known as the fiscal cliff, should the laws stand as they are now written, more than $500 billion will be removed from the economy in 2013, causing a projected 0.5 percent drop in GDP. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this double-dip recession could lead to the unemployment rate to surge back to 9 percent by the end of 2013.

“No one expects the fiscal cliff to occur in its current form, but what compromises will be made are still largely unknown,” says Romaine. “Should the compromise be modest enough to prevent a double-dip recession, momentum in both the residential real estate market and consumer goods sectors bode well for unemployment to continue to decline next year as demand for professionals across industries will remain strong.”

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dentists and Dental Staff- Are You Ready for your Job Interview?



Are You Ready for the Interview?

You want to work for the practice, they've seen your credentials and they've asked you in for an interview. You want the job. Here are some suggestions that will help you make sure your interview goes as well as possible.

Preparing for the interview

Thorough preparation is critical. It is great for your confidence in the interview room and it leaves a very positive impression with the interviewers.
  1. Get the logistics right. Time, location, interviewer's name and position title.
  2. Do your research. Find out as much as possible about the practice: size, scope, location of the office and any satellite locations, etc. The practice website should be a very good source. If the website includes a biographical sketch of the owner, be sure to research the organizations and institutes of which the owner is a member.
  3. Do some more research. Make sure you have key data in your head about your existing and most recent employers.
  4. Do even more research. Ask former co-workers to tell you about your professional traits. What did they most admire? Try to find some faults as well. This leaves you more prepared for questions such as "what are your greatest faults" or "if I were working with you ...".
  5. Prepare questions. The employer will be trying to work out whether you fit the available role. You should also take the opportunity to ensure that the practice is right for you.
  6. Practice (see below). Take time to run through some of your answers. Don't over-rehearse, but make sure that you are coming across confidently.
  7. Present yourself well. Find out what the office culture is regarding business dress. If in doubt, go more formal, not less formal. Make sure you are well groomed on the day.

What you should practice

When practicing for an interview, you should focus particularly on the way you answer questions.
  1. Be descriptive. Don't just answer "yes" or "no" to questions. But also avoid "over-answering." Make your answers colorful but not lengthy.
  2. Sell yourself to the interviewer, but without exaggeration or telling lies. You are there to market yourself, "blow your own trumpet" and explain why you'd be right for the role. But don't come across as arrogant.
  3. Avoid making negative remarks about your current employer, or past employers or colleagues. This will only reflect on you in the interview.
  4. Be determined. Make it clear that you want to get the job, even if you are given information in the interview that sheds a new light on the role. Be positive, and then evaluate the opportunity again when you are away from the interview. Don't burn your bridges.
  5. Have positive body language, and maintain a good posture.
Remember: expect unexpected questions. It's fine to pause for thought. It's also acceptable to admit you don't know the answer.

Contributed by Morgan Pace
, Senior Account Executive/Dental Recruiter at ETS Dental. To find out more, call Morgan  at (540) 491-9102 or visit us online at www.etsdental.com

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

From Oberman Law: Should you choose a friend to be your business partner?

Thanks to Stuart Oberman at the Law Offices of Stuart Oberman, we share with you this thread from their website about whether or not friends are good choices for partnership.

Find out more at http://www.gadentalattorney.com/ or at their blog- http://obermanlawfirm.wordpress.com.


Planning to start a business partnership with a friend? Prudence demands looking at the pitfalls – as well as the potential strengths – of such relationships. Here are a few questions to consider.
  • What will my friend contribute to the business? Does he or she have strengths that will clearly enhance the business – abilities, knowledge, or resources that you don’t possess or aren’t willing to acquire by other means? Say, for example, you are good with customer relations, but not too good with numbers. If your friend loves details and is clever with records, the partnership may make sense. If, on the other hand, your friend really can not offer something that would round out the business or make it more profitable, you might want to consider partnering with someone else.
  • Are you willing to lose the friendship? This is a tough question, but one that’s critical to consider. After all, you and your friend will be working together, day in and day out, to make the business succeed. Such relationships can bring out the best – and worst – in people. If maintaining your friendship is one of your highest priorities, partnering with someone else may be a better choice.
  • What’s expected from each partner? Developing a profitable business is hard and often unrewarding work. You and any potential business partner should honestly discuss expected work hours, contributions, and responsibilities. Resentment can creep into any business relationship when partners feel that workloads and rewards aren’t fairly distributed.
  • Can you communicate effectively? Like a good marriage, a long-term business partnership takes honest communication to succeed. Ask yourself, for example, whether you can handle constructive criticism from your friend/business partner. Even the closest business partners don’t always see eye to eye, so it’s important to take an honest look at how you both handle disagreements. Will you work through difficulties for the firm’s sake, or bury your head in the sand and hope for the best? Answering this question is crucial to the success of your partnership.
This first appeared in Oberman Law.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Decline in Productivity Could Lead to Growing Employment and a Self-Sustaining Recovery



In recent months, initial unemployment claims have edged down and the four-week moving average has fallen from over 400,000 claims a year ago to less than 370,000 a week. In September, the reported unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent crossing the critical psychological barrier of 8 percent for the first time since early 2009. U.S. consumer sentiment has actually reached a five year high in October according to the University of Michigan index.

“There is good reason to look at the economic data and say that the workforce situation continues to improve,” says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. “People continue to see friends and neighbors going to work and nothing will rebuild sentiment faster than that. Consumer debt, which is increasing after years of consecutive quarterly declines shows that people have more confidence in their jobs and in their economic future."

Adding weight to the deluge of economic figures, GDP grew at an annualized rate of 2 percent from 1.3 percent in the second quarter of the year. The figure was more positive than many economists projected, yet it still is unlikely enough to pull growth in 2012 as a whole over 2 percent. Such growth, though, is not typically enough to drive substantial improvements in employment markets, and certainly not enough to push unemployment down half a percent in two months. Yet, that isn’t necessarily cause to think that either the employment or GDP figures are incorrect.

One potential cause is that productivity, which has increased through both the recession and the recovery, has reached a peak and employers are finding they can’t keep running with the same level of staff. The current level of economic growth has become less of a temporary condition and more of the new normal. Managers can no longer count on staff to continue working under emergency conditions, especially as corporate America continues to see record profitability. Since the economy’s peak in October of 2007 corporate after tax profitability has grown at nearly three times the rate of GDP.


Since about 2008, the number of employees voluntarily leaving their jobs fell significantly as people didn’t want to, or couldn’t change jobs at the rate they once did. The U.S. quit rate fell as low as 1.2 percent in late 2009, but has since recovered to 1.6 percent. The rate among workers who feel overworked or under-compensated is understandably even higher.

“Even if a company isn’t cutting its staffing levels, it likely is losing employees to churn at a higher rate today than they were two years ago,” says Romaine. “While through the recession managers might have tried to cover those losses with existing staff, today companies have reached a point where most positions vacated need to be backfilled. If a salary lasted in the budget through the recession, it was a position worth keeping filled.”

If hiring is increasing, however, that could very well help add buying power to the economy just in time for the holiday season, giving a possible boost to fourth quarter GDP.

The United Kingdom recently experienced a similar situation where employment was growing while GDP was shrinking. The counter cyclical employment growth was puzzling to many economists giving it names like 'the employment paradox' and the 'economic puzzle.' Whatever the cause though, the increased employment likely helped to lift the UK economy out of recession in the third quarter.

So whether the dog wags the tail, or the tail wags the dog, 2013 seems to be building the potential for some upside surprise for both the economy and labor market.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Grow Your Practice in the Upcoming Year with a Business Plan





The theme of my articles around this time of year always revolves around planning and goal setting.  Like it or not, we are just 60 days away from the end of 2012.  It’s in the books, and that’s all she wrote…

Practice owners: If you don’t set time aside to write out your business plan or set your personal goals by November 15 it’s probably not going to happen this year.  Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, followed by Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years.

Associates and practice owners: Set your personal goals for 2013 by November 15.  Whether it is improving your clinical skills, planning for retirement or your kid’s college, or getting back in shape, the time to set your 2013 goals is NOW!

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of articles, books, and blogs have been written about the importance or writing a business plan and setting personal goals.  I’d like to share a few of my favorites:

Eleven reasons to write a business plan:

  1. Achieve your long-term goals by developing a road map that details specific short-term goals and milestones.
  1. Prove to associates, employees, family members, and bankers that you’re serious about growing your practice.  It allows them to see where they fit.
  1. Share your strategy, your priorities, and your plan of action with those who will hold you accountable, such as associates, employees, your spouse, and business advisors.
  1. Determine when you will have to say “no.”  There is no shortage of good ideas.  Each year it’s better to pick a few and execute them well, rather than saying yes to everything and not giving any of the ideas the effort they deserve.
  1. Understand your patients, your competition, and your opportunities better in order to grow.  Writing a business plan forces you to do research on your market and the needs of your patients.
  1. Make your practice more attractive to potential buyers-- five, ten, or twenty years from now.
  1. Making a plan gives you a reason to stop doing things in your practice that don’t make sense anymore (or never made sense in the first place).
  1. A plan determines your financial needs.
  1. It allows you to assess new revenue opportunities as well as rejuvenate old ones.
  1. It also gives you a chance to make mistakes on paper, or to prevent you from repeating those mistakes that you’ve already made.
  1. Establishing daily and weekly goals simply makes it more fun and rewarding to come to work in the morning.

If you have never written a business plan before, you will find the following article helpful:

8 Simple Steps to Preparing a Business Plan for 2012



Twelve reasons to write down your personal goals.  (Today!)

  1. Writing transforms your goals from thoughts to tangible objectives.  Once goals are written, they are easy to remember, track, and accomplish.
  1. Great minds have purposes, others have wishes. (Washington Irving)
  1. First you write down your goal; your second job is to break down your goal into a series of steps, beginning with steps which are absurdly easy. (Fitzhugh Dodson)
  1. One worthwhile task carried to a successful conclusion is better than half-a hundred half-finished tasks. (B.C. Forbes)
  1. All you have to do is know where you’re going. The answers will come to you of their own accord. (Earl Nightingale)
  1. A goal is a dream with a deadline. (Napoleon Hill)
  1. Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor. (Brian Tracy)
  1. You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change. (Les Brown)
  1. A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder. (Thomas Carlyle)
  1. The path of least resistance is the path of a loser. (Phil Weltman)
  1. Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk. (J.C. Penney)
  1. You must have long term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures. (Charles C. Noble). 
Written by Mark Kennedy, Owner/Managing Director of Executive Talent Search (ETS Dental, ETS Vision, ETS Tech-Ops). To find out more, call ETS Dental at (540) 563-1688 or visit us online at www.etsdental.com.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dating and Hiring a Dentist – They are Just Not That into You

Hiring an associate dentist is a lot like dating. A job seeker will do their best to impress while digging for information. A practice owner will tidy up and try to show the best face of the practice while probing for future issues. Both sides want to know if the other is interested but do not want to seem too anxious. Sound familiar?

As the process moves along, often the associate candidate will continue to push for the job even after the point there they realize that they would rather “keep dating other people.” It is important for the hiring practice to stay on the look out for warnings and clues before making an offer or, worse yet, hiring a dentist who really does not intend to stay with the office over the long term.

 Here is a list of red flags to look out for as well as advice on how to deal with each:

Commitment to the Process

When a candidate’s commitment to work with you is in question, you may wish to ask, ‘I am sensing that you are not 100% committed to making a career change at this time, and that is 100% acceptable.  Am I reading this correctly?’

--Candidate doesn’t do research on the practice

  • Ask how committed the candidate is to making a job change.
--Candidate coughs, clears throat, acts nervous.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask the candidate to explain his/her nervousness.
--Candidate does not reply promptly to calls or emails

  • Don’t be afraid to ask the candidate how important the opportunity is to him/her, how serious or interested he/she is in the position.
--Candidate resigns from current job before accepting an offer.

  • Ask them directly for their reason for resigning ‘early.’
--Candidate does not respond to your requests.  Returns calls at odd hours or doesn’t return calls at all.

  • State "this is my last phone call to you" to force a response.
--Candidate nit-picks parts of an offer, deflecting your attention.

  • Ask how committed the candidate is to making a job change.

 Willingness/Availability to Relocate

When you have questions about a candidate’s willingness or ability to relocate, consider asking them if they will speak with realtor or relocation coach.

--Candidate agrees to relocate his/her family when significant other has a good job and children are in school.

  • Talk with significant other, recruit him/her and confirm that relocation is acceptable.
--Candidate has shared custody of children.

  • Ask how this will affect a candidate’s decision to move forward on an offer.
--Candidate has high school age children.

  • Ask if the candidate has discussed the potential of a move with the entire family.
--Candidate has recently purchased a house.

  • Ask candidates how long they have owned their homes or how much equity they have in their homes.  Ask candidate if they have checked with their accountant regarding their state’s capital gains tax laws.  (Some states require you to own a home for a specified number of years.)
Qualifications

When you suspect that a candidate has lied, exaggerated or generalized their qualifications or experience, you need to ask specific questions and obtain written documentation that verifies his/her claims.

--Candidate says he/she cannot share production figures because those numbers are confidential.

  • Reference check to assess candidate’s accomplishments. 
--Candidate provides unusually larger production figures

  • Verify their payment structure and ask them what their W2 income was last year. Simple math will verify if the production number was more or less accurate. Ask for a copy of the W2 if you feel it is necessary
--Candidate’s resume states an accomplishment as ‘number 5 producer in the region.’

  • Ask for specifics.  There might only be 6 in the region.

Unrealistic Expectations

It’s relatively easy to recognize when candidates have unrealistically high expectations about their next career moves.  What’s not as obvious are candidates who apparently lower their expectations for their future roles.  

--Candidate is unwilling to lower his/her expectations about compensation or is inconsistent about their desired salary.
 
  • Ask the candidate why he/she deserves a certain level of compensation and explain what level is realistic. 
--Candidate insists that his/her travel expenses for interviewing be paid up front by the company

  • Question the candidate’s commitment to making a change.
References 

Candidates may provide incomplete or inappropriate references, or resist providing any references.

--Candidate can’t provide references; says they won’t compromise their current situation.

  • Explain the importance of good references.  Make an offer contingent upon satisfactory reference checks. 
--References are all peers, subordinates, patients, suppliers.

  • Be proactive by outlining what kinds of references are acceptable.

Material provided by Management Recruiters International. Contributed by Morgan Pace, Senior Dentist Recruiter for ETS Dental, www.etsdental.com | mpace@etsdental.com | 540-591-9102

Friday, October 5, 2012

Employment Summary for September 2012


Total unemployment in the U.S. fell, according to the Labor Department, from 8.1 to 7.8 percent in September, while the economy added 114,000 jobs. Revisions to past months showed more than 60,000 more jobs were added over the previous two months than initially reported. The participation rate, which can create an illusion of falling unemployment rates when discouraged workers leave the workforce, in September actually grew by 0.1 percent while the number of discouraged workers fell by 42,000.

Total employment growth and unemployment are measured by two separate but closely related surveys; the household survey which surveys individual households and the establishment survey which surveys employers. While the establishment survey saw just 113,000 jobs created, the household survey saw more 873,000 new people reporting being employed and 456,000 fewer people unemployed. Nearly half of that growth was among workers aged 20 to 24, and about half of the total growth was in part-time positions, implying it may be part of a seasonal bump as college students seek out part-time jobs during the fall semester.

Of those with a bachelor’s degree and higher, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent, but participation grew from 75.5 to 75.9 percent, as 103,000 more people reported employment. For those with just some college experience or an associate’s degree, the participation rate grew from 68.3 percent to 68.8 percent as 196,000 more people reported employment. There was virtually no growth in employment for those over 25 with a high school diploma or less.

The professional, managerial, and related unemployment rate fell from 4.4 to 3.9 percent from September a year ago, while the unemployment rate for sales and office occupations fell from 9 to 7.5 percent over the same period.

On an industry basis, which is only reported in the establishment survey, growth was spread amongst service-providing industries with no stand-out growth aside from healthcare, from which almost half, 49,000 positions, of the reported growth derived. One variation seen in September was an increase of 13,000 state education employees, which was enough to grow total government employment by 10,000 during the month, the first time that sector has seen such growth since the 2010 census.

While the report was one of the most positive in several months, it is tempered by a variety of factors. The large rate of part-time employment growth means a relatively small amount of consumer buying power is being added to the market. Furthermore, recent revisions of the U.S. GDP rate showed an annualized growth rate of just 1.3 percent in the second quarter, meaning projections of up to 1.9-percent growth in the fourth quarter will likely be revised down. Perhaps most cautioning is a similarity to 2011, where we saw a strong second half of the year, only to be followed by disappointing numbers in the new year.

Longer Tenures Create Opportunities for Workers and Challenges for Employers

It’s become gospel in recent years that workers jump from job to job to job. Some reports say that the average person entering the workforce today will go through as many as 20 jobs in a career. It’s been cited as a symptom of a new crop of workers who avoid committing to a single employer more than a few years. Job hopping has become so mainstream that staying with a single company for more than three or four years now needs to be justified with evidence of accomplishments and career advancement, much in the way job hopping has had to have justification behind it. 

It’s a trend that was true of male workers from the early 1980’s through the late 1990’s. In that time frame, the current tenure of wage and salaried male employees over 25 years old fell from 5.9 years to 4.9 years. Since 2002, however, the median male tenure actually grew from 4.9 to 5.5 years. Over that same period, the median tenure of women grew from 4.4 years to 5.4 years—tenures of women had also grown in the decade and a half when male tenures were falling, but that is largely attributable to a change in the career mix of women which began to favor longer tenure-professions. 


“The 1980s and 90s was a period filled with tremendous opportunity, when employees discovered the power of being free agents and the salary advantages of changing jobs. Since the turn of the millennium though, the economy has been markedly less stable, and employees have been less likely to seek out unnecessary instability by changing positions,” says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. 

While consistent tenures of less than three or four years can still cause negative perceptions, being open to change careers in a slow economy like today can be an effective way to jumpstart a career. During the recession many employees took on added responsibilities without receiving a promotion, and those who did see promotion, often saw them in title only. The slow economy caused annual salary adjustments to stay in the low single-digit percentages, yet job changers who succeeded at adding value to their organizations throughout the recession can now find salary increases of 10 or 20 percent or more with new employers.

“In sectors of the economy that have reached, or even far surpassed their pre-recession levels, like technical consulting, accounting, or healthcare, rising tenure can mean even fewer experienced candidates are available for mid-career opportunities,” notes Romaine. “But, it also means that opportunities for those willing to change positions will be both more plentiful, and have more potential for reward.” 

Median tenure for the healthcare industry over the last decade has increased from 3.5 to 4.4 years, lengthening by three-tenths of a year since just 2010. Professional and technical services median tenure has grown even more—from 3.1 to 4.4 years since 2002. 

For employers trying to find top performers, workers staying in their positions longer means simply finding them becomes more difficult. The longer someone isn’t actively in the job market, the older and more out of date their discoverable footprints become. LinkedIn profiles go unmaintained. Resumes in databases grow so old they are irrelevant. 

“Finding top talent that isn’t trying to be found requires constant surveillance and proactive network-building. There is nothing automated about the process and it’s challenging for an internal recruiting apparatus to proactively build a pipeline for key positions that a company may only be hiring for every few years,” notes Romaine.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Snapping On the Job

I know what you are thinking; this blog is geared at the dental field, not our postal service.  You are correct, of course.  But the “snapping” that I am referring to is of the camera, not a mental break.  Today, more than ever, smart phones are commonplace.  In fact, according to a study from Pew Internet & American LifeProject, 46 percent of all Americans are using a smart phone.
I recently had a client that had an individual on site for a working interview; the candidate showed staff members pictures that he had taken on his phone from other offices that he had worked in or interviewed with that he considered “very dirty.”  First, it never reflects well to bash former employers.  Second, the fact that he had used his cell phone to take photos of employers meant he could do the same to them.  This was just an interview.  What could have happened if this person was hired? 
Most offices have rules in place regarding the use of cell phones for phone calls and texting, but are you effectively protecting yourself with regards to the camera?
Camera phones leave individuals and companies open to multiple risks.  However, I want to focus on two main topics: the invasion of one’s privacy and theft of company information.
Camera phones enable one to take pictures of surroundings, coworkers, and patients, with great ease and in a variety of intimate situations.  Today’s smart phones allow pictures to be distributed quickly through various outlets which opens the door for espionage and harassment.  Some states have gone so far as to make improper photography a felony.
As a dental practice, you must ensure that your information and your patient’s information are safe guarded.  Your computers and file cabinets contain sensitive information which could easily lead to identity theft if it lands in the wrong hands. 
What can you, as an employer, do? It may be time to update your cell phone policy to specifically cover the camera phone issues.  Make sure that all of the staff is aware of the policy and why it is needed.  I would suggest limiting the areas that cell phones are permitted and requiring staff to ask management before taking photographs.  And, of course, with any policy, you will also want to have in place consequences for those that do not obey the policy.
Contributed by Tiffany Worstell, Dental Staff Recruiter- Nationwide.  To Contact Tiffany, call 540-491-9112, or email at tworstell@etsdental.com.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dentist- Tips for a Successful Skype Interview

The best associate dentist for your office may be practicing out of area right now. This is a common obstacle in all healthcare recruiting but it is now easier than ever to connect with that talent pool. Video or Skype interviews have begun to replace or supplement in-person interviews.  The technology reduces travel and other expenses associated with conducting interviews in person.  The following are some tips to help both the interviewer and the candidate make the best first impression.

  1. Be familiar with the technology you are using—download the program ahead of time, and do a test run with a friend.  Skype is one of the more common software programs being used, but as with any technology, it’ll be much better to work out the technical kinks on the front end before starting the interview.
  2. Make sure you look into the camera.—if you are looking at the screen, you are not making direct eye contact with the person with whom you are communicating.  This can be just as damaging for a video interview as it would be if you were sitting across a table from someone.
  3. Be mindful of your background and lighting—put yourself in an area with little to no background noise, and be mindful of potential interruptions.  Also be aware of what the person will see behind you.  It is best to avoid stark white walls and busy backgrounds.  Test the lighting in the area where you will interview ahead of time to make sure it is flattering. 
  4. Adjust the camera ahead of time—you want the camera to show your head, shoulders, and hands.  You need to be able to communicate fully, so this includes being able to transmit and receive nonverbal cues.
  5. Dress for success—dress for a video interview the same way you would if you were meeting the person at the office.  Dark colors with a touch of color are the safest and look best on camera.
  6. Username—the same rule that applies to email addresses applies for video interviews.  Make sure your username and profile picture are professional.
  7. Have a script—having notes in front of you can prevent awkward silences and keep the conversation on track.

These are just a few of many tips available on the web for successful interviews. 

Check out the following websites for more information about nailing your next video interview:

For Job Seekers:




For Interviewers:




Contributed by Morgan Pace, Senior Regional Account Executive/Dental Recruiter.  To Contact Morgan, call 540-491-9102, or email at mpace@etsdental.com.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Associate Dentist Job Interview – Questions to Ask Your Next Associate

Most dental practices are small businesses where the difference between adding a great associate and a bad one can mean a huge swing in revenue. This is why interviewing is so important to the process. Not only is this your time to impress the potential associate with the quality of your opportunity, but this is when you are most likely to uncover red flags and issues that will affect the success of the hire.

This blog is broken into two parts. In our previous blog, we covered what you can and cannot lawfully ask a job candidate (link- http://dentalrecruiterblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-associate-dentist-job-interview.html). In this section you will find a list of sample questions that you may wish to consider asking as you interview a potential associate. You will likely have other questions that are more particular to your own office but our hope is that this will serve as a good starting point.

Work History
• Where have you worked?
• How long have you been in each position?
• Why did you switch jobs?
• Describe the general environments in which you have worked
• In which insurances did you participate?

Goals/Motivations
• What motivates you?
• What attracted you to my position?
• Why are you looking for another position?
• In what way do you hope to develop over the next 1-3 years? 5-10?
• Are you interested in eventual partnership or ownership? How soon?
• What are your income expectations?
• What do you like the most about the position with my practice? Least?

Clinical Philosophy
• How would you describe your practice philosophy?
• In what areas do you have interest in further training?
• Are you comfortable working with amalgams?
• Do you have an opinion on [amalgams, sedation, implant dentistry, influence of insurance companies on dentistry, benefits of group practices, future of clinical care, etc.]
• How do you present treatment plans? What is your success rate?
Competencies and skills
• What would your current boss say that you do well? In what areas would he/she say that you needed to improve?
• What was your average production at that office?
• What are your clinical strengths? Are you comfortable with [molar RCT, surgical extractions, implant placement, seeing children, full mouth reconstruction, etc.]
• What do you prefer to refer out?
• What CE courses have you taken recently?
• What journals do you read?

Uncovering future issues
• Will you need to relocate for this position? If so, who else will be affected by your move? Are there factors that would make either area more appealing? Will you need to sell a house?
• What is an acceptable commute time for you?
• How often have you been late over the last year?
• What kind of notice period do you have to give?
• Do you have a restrictive covenant that would keep you out of this area?
• Are you right handed or left handed?
• Are you familiar with the equipment used in this office?
• What days are you available to work?
• Will you be able to provide references from other dentists or specialists? Former employers?
• Are you willing to undergo a background check and drug test?
• What resources do you need in order to be successful?
• Now that we have spoken are you interested in pursuing this position further?

Sorting the best from the rest
• If you have ever been in an office with a light schedule, what did you do with your free time? What did you do to help fill the schedule?
• What do you use to measure your success?
• Which of your strengths and achievements do you feel best distinguishes you from other candidates with whom I may speak?


Contributed by Morgan Pace, Senior Dentist Recruiter for ETS Dental, www.etsdental.com | mpace@etsdental.com | 540-591-9102

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Recruiter Survey Shows an Increasingly Candidate-Driven Market

Employment markets are most often measured by unemployment, a quintessential macroeconomic indicator. Yet, on the microeconomic level -- the level that all companies work on -- it is an indicator that is far from representative. In today's economy, the headline unemployment number is perhaps less representative than ever before.

For many sectors, and more importantly, for many skill sets, the high unemployment of the last several years remains stubbornly in place. But those industries and skill sets are being countered by others that are adding positions and exhausting the talent supply. Looking at the macro trends, the labor market seems to be at a standstill, with talent supply perhaps even loosening. Yet, at the micro level there is a strengthening undertow.

In a recent survey of MRINetwork recruiters -- who work primarily with the professional and managerial segment of the workforce - 67 percent said they would characterize today's talent market as candidate-driven, an increase of 13 points from a year ago.

"In technical areas, there is a severe shortage of talent and salaries are going up," said one recruiter in the survey. Another respondent noted that, "Great candidates are increasingly more difficult to locate. While technical candidates remain sparse, the issue has become more widespread and now includes areas such as HR specialty, accounting, and marketing."

The level of demand for talent in professional occupations, though, doesn't mean full employment. In the most recent report from the Labor Department, the professional, managerial, and related unemployment rate was 4.4 percent. Before the recession that rate was as low as 2.1 percent, but various factors continue to keep it higher.

"The message from [the] C suite is 'do more with less.' There's no room for marginal players," as one recruiter put it. While employers are hiring, recruiters note more and more of those searches being for "white tigers," with lists of requirements that screen out almost all possible candidates.

"Employers remain too focused on finding a candidate who has every bit of experience on the company description. Employers still feel that plenty of people are available because of erroneous news reports about unemployment," noted a recruiter.

Once the right candidate is found, the need to act quickly has become more urgent. According to the survey, 60 percent of accepted offers were made less than four weeks after the first interview, and 47 percent were made after two interviews or less, a 10 and 19 point increase from a year earlier. Yet, that is an urgency many employers still don't recognize.

As one recruiter recounted about the situation, "Employers ... are afraid to make the wrong hire. Before the recession, we were hearing things like, 'We know he doesn't have that one thing we were looking for but everyone liked him and we are going to make an offer anyway.' Now we are hearing things like, 'everyone liked him and he has everything we are looking for but we've decided we now also want this.'"

The headline numbers for some time will continue to show a labor market where unemployment is high, job growth is low and people remain ready and available to work. In some segments that is true, but using that philosophy in other parts of the market will result in top candidates turning down offers, and critical positions being left unfilled.