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.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Associate Dentist Job Interview – What You Can and Cannot Ask

Knowing what you should ask is important. Just as important is knowing what cannot ask. Here is an overview of lawful and unlawful questions commonly asked during the job interview process. This list is provided by Management Recruiters International.

U.S. Pre-Employment Inquiry Guide*
Please note: Lawful/unlawful pre-employment inquiries vary by country/region. Please consult local advisors.


Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Applicant’s full name.
“Have you ever worked for this company under a different name?”
“Is any additional information relative to a different name necessary to check work record? If yes, explain.”

Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Original name of an applicant whose name has been changed by court order or otherwise.
Applicant’s maiden name.

Address or  Duration of Residence

Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
“How long have you been a resident of this state
or city?”


Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Birthplace of applicant.
Birthplace of applicant’s parents, spouse, or other
close relatives.
Requirement that applicant submit birth certificate,
naturalization, or baptismal record.


Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
 “Are you 18 years old or older?”  
“Are you of a legal age to work?”

Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
“How old are you?”
“What is your date of birth?”

Religion or Creed

Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
You may ask about a candidate’s ability to work on weekends or holidays, if this availability is job-related.  However, you may have to accommodate candidates’ religious observances that conflict with your interview schedules, if it is not a burden to do so.

Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Inquiry into an applicant’s religious denomination, religious affiliations, church, parish, pastor, or religious holidays observed.

Race or Color  

Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Complexion or color of skin.


Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Any requirement for a photograph prior to hire.


Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Inquiry regarding applicant’s height.


Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Inquiry regarding applicant’s weight.

Marital Status    

Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Does this employer employ your spouse?  Has the candidate has ever been known by another name, in order to facilitate accurate background check.

Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Asking a person’s maiden name, gender, marital status spouse, preference for ‘Miss,’ ‘Mrs.,’ or ‘Ms.,’ pregnancy, family plans, or childcare arrangements. Requirement that an applicant provide any information regarding marital status or children. Inquiry as to the ability to reproduce or advocacy of any form of birth control.

Handicap or Disability

Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Can you perform the duties of the job in which you wish to be employed, with or without accommodation? You may inquire about the candidate’s total number of absences in the previous year.  

Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits all pre-employment medical inquiries.  Do not ask specific questions about diseases or illnesses, the number of days the candidate was sick in the previous year, workers compensation injuries or claims, mental health issues and history, past addiction, past illegal drug use or current prescription drug use.  


Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
 “Are you currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis for any employer?” If the applicant’s answer is “yes”, you may then ask “Will you now or in the near future require employment visa sponsorship (ie, H1B Visa)?” If the candidate’s answer is “no” to your original question, whether they are currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis, you may then ask what his or her immigration status is.  (To avoid discrimination claim based on national origin, these questions should be asked of all candidates, not just “foreign-looking” or “foreign-sounding” candidates).

Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
(Questions below are unlawful unless asked as part of the Federal I-9 process). “Of what country are you a citizen?” Whether an applicant is naturalized or a native-born citizen; the date when the applicant acquired citizenship.  Requirement that an applicant produce naturalization papers or first papers. Whether applicant’s parents or spouse are naturalized or native-born citizens of the U.S., the date when such parent or spouse acquired citizenship.

Military Status

Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
You may ask about job-related military experience or training. 

Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Inquiry about military status or type of military discharge.  Inquiry about future military commitments (e.g., reserve status) that may require time off work.

National Origin

Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Inquiry into languages applicant speaks and writes fluently.

Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Inquiry into applicant’s:
a) lineage
b) descent
c) national origin
d) descent
e) percentage, or nationality unless pursuant to the Federal I-9 process.
Nationality or homeland of applicant’s parents or spouse. Inquiries into how applicant acquired ability to read, write, or speak a foreign language.


Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Inquiry into the academic, vocational, or professional education of an applicant and the public and private schools attended.

Financial Status

Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
You may perform credit checks if you follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act Regulations. 

Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Inquiry into financial status (unless job-related), past garnishments or bankruptcy.  


Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Inquiry into work experience. Inquiry into countries applicant has visited.


Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
 “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” “Are there any felony charges pending against you?”

Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Inquiry regarding arrests, which did not result in conviction (except for law enforcement agencies).

Organizations or Activities

Lawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Inquiry into the organizations of which an applicant is a member, excluding names or characters which indicate the race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry of its members.

Unlawful Pre-employment Inquiries
Do not inquire as to a list of clubs, societies, or lodges; or about smoking, drinking or other legal activities that the applicant may engage in off-duty.  More than 1/2 of U.S. states protect smokers against employment discrimination based on smoking off-duty, and a growing number prohibit

*Post offer employment paperwork.  Many questions that are inappropriate at the screening stage can become legitimate after an offer is made and must be answered before employment begins.  This will certainly be the case in regards to reference checking.  Other examples of necessary information include providing a SSN for education verification (if a degree is a job requirement), date of birth, and work eligibility documents if needed to verify employment eligibility, process pay or perform a background check. 

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

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Reference Checks in Your Dental Practice

Reference checks are some of the most import calls to make when hiring new Dentists and staff. Here are six simple questions to use in your normal reference check conversations.

Question #1
"Describe how the candidate's accomplishments, actions, and attitude benefited the company, group, and/or you as a manager?" 
This questions may give insight into the candidates ability to work for the good of the practice or just his/her self interests.

Question #2
"Why does the candidate want to change jobs?"
The reference’s answer will serve as a check if you are hearing the same kind of reasons from the candidate. Sometimes the answer will reveal a motivation the candidate isn't consciously aware of but will respond to later in the placement process.

Question #3 
"In what areas did you review the candidates performance?" 
Production, patient load, quality of care, staff interaction, communication, etc.  

Question #4
"What motivates the candidate?"
Is it only money or is this candidate looking for a career opportunity that will increase his/her skill set and abilities.

Question #5
"How does the candidate show resistance to new ideas or policies?"
This can help you identify behaviors that indicate the candidate really is not going along with you even if they say they are in agreement. It will alert you early to probe to discover problems or concerns that you may not have otherwise recognized.

Question #6
"Has the candidate ever made a commitment he or she didn't keep and if so why?"
This will help you evaluate the likelihood of the candidate following through on commitments made to you. 

Written by Carl Guthrie, Western Region Recruiter for ETS Dental, www.etsdental.com | cguthrie@etsdental.com | 540-591-9104