Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Immigration Options for Dentists

by Ken C. Gauvey

There are many associate dentist hiring cycles throughout the year. December through February is the busiest time of year for US-trained foreign nationals who will need to navigate the immigration process in order to work in the country.

With that in mind, we recently invited Ken Gauvey of to contribute. Ken has experience advising dentists and dental practice owners through the visa and permanent residency processes.

Dentists are placed in a strange position in U.S. immigration laws.  While being recognized as health-care professionals, dentists are precluded from applying for the same types of immigration benefits offered to other health-care professionals.  Therefore, with few exceptions, United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) treat dentists more akin to engineers than doctors.  However, there are exceptions to this treatment that dentists can take advantage of that can either shorten the time it takes to get Lawful Permanent Residency (LPR), known as a Green Card, and remain in the U.S.

We hope that this overview will answer questions and ease concerns of those preparing to seek sponsorship:

Temporary Work Authorization

The standard immigration process involves working under some form of temporary visa status before gaining LPR status.  This temporary visa can be one of several visa options for professionals and include the H-1B, TN, and E visa categories.

The primary temporary visa status for working in the U.S. is the H-1B visa. The H-1B is a visa limited to professionals requiring at least a Bachelor’s degree and who are working for a specific U.S. employer as stated in the H-1B petition.  The H-1B is approved for a period of three years, with one three-year extension permitted, unless an application for LPR status was filed 365 days prior to the end of the 6th year of H-1B status, in which case the H-1B can be extended until the LPR status is finalized. However, there are only 65,000 H-1B visas available every year.  These visas are used by everyone from models, to IT and engineers, to doctors and dentists.  There are an additional 20,000 H-1Bs available for those who received a Master’s degree in the U.S. In 2013, USCIS received 124,000 H-1B petitions within the first five days of the application period, which starts every year on April 1. The H-1B therefore is fairly dependent on timing and luck.

The H-1B process involves two steps. Once the employer wants to hire a dentist on an H-1B, the employer, through counsel, files a Labor Condition Application (LCA).  The LCA is filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.  The DOL then certifies the LCA within, typically, 5-7 business days.  The LCA is then filed with USCIS, along with the I-129, evidence and supplements, to apply for the H-1B.  If the application is filed on April 1, if approved, the dentist can begin working on October 1 of that same year.

H-1B transfers work in a similar way with one important exception.  An H-1B transfer occurs when the dentist is already in the U.S. on an H-1B and wants to change employers. The new employer must sponsor the H-1B transfer.  The LCA, I-129, evidence and supplements are still required.  However, the dentist can begin working for the new employer as soon as the transfer application is sent to USCIS, rather than waiting for an approval.  

Dentists from Canada and Mexico have additional options for working in the U.S. These dentists can work under a NAFTA visa as a TN.  The TN is a visa that permits certain categories of workers, including dentists to work in the U.S. for a specific U.S. employer. The TN can be renewed without limitation as long as the dentist is employed by the employer.

Dentists from Australia can enter on the E-3 visa.  This visa is essentially an H-1B specifically for individuals from Australia. Importantly, the E-3 has its own numerical limitation of 10,500.  The E-3 may be renewed every two years.

Lawful Permanent Residency

Once a dentist is employed in the U.S., there are several ways to remain in the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident.  The most used is the Labor Certification process, or PERM.  However, dentists and employers can avoid this lengthy and costly process in a couple of ways including demonstrating extraordinary ability or demonstrating acclaim as an outstanding researcher.

The Labor Certification process, or PERM, is the most often used avenue to Lawful Permanent Residency. In PERM, the employer engages in a specified three-month recruitment effort as dictated by the U.S. Department of Labor to try to fill the dentist’s position.  If no U.S. qualified applicants apply for the position, the employer then asks the DOL to certify the PERM application.  That certified application is then used to file for the immigrant petition and eventually Lawful Permanent Residency.  The entire process can take from one to ten years depending on how the DOL treats the PERM application and the country of origin of the dentist.

Individuals who have a record of research and publication in highly ranked journals can avoid PERM. Depending on the level of publication, international acclaim, and accomplishments, PERM can be avoided through the filing of a National Interest Waiver or Outstanding Researcher petition.  The National Interest Waiver is a petition to USCIS to be relived of the PERM requirements because it is in the national interest for the dentist to remain in the U.S.  The dentist has to show that the dentist’s continued presence and work in the U.S. would benefit the nation as a whole.  The Outstanding Researcher has similar criteria.  In these petitions, the dentist must demonstrate that the dentist has risen to the very top of their field.  This is often done through awards, references to published works, and the like. Either the National Interest Waiver or the Outstanding Researcher petition would permit the dentist to skip the PERM process.

Dentists have a plethora of immigration options available to them.  As with any major legal decision, it is always best to contact an experienced attorney familiar with the immigration needs of health-care professionals before going forward. U.S. immigration provides very few second chances, so it is always best to know the pitfalls and hurdles that stand in the way.

For more information or to consult with an immigration lawyer, please contact Ken Gauvey at

Monday, December 9, 2013

What Does Your Interviewing Process Say About Your Company?

Grabbing the attention of top candidates can be challenging for employers trying to court their first picks in the executive, managerial and professional job market. These applicants are typically interviewing with multiple companies and have additional options at their disposal. Employer branding and a streamlined recruitment process are just a few of the strategies companies are using to make themselves more attractive in this candidate-driven market. While these strategies can help make the recruitment and hiring process more efficient, many employers forget to consider the subtle messages they could be conveying about the company, through the interviewing process itself. This oversight can create a lasting impression that turns candidates off before an offer is ever made.

With a shrinking talent pool and increased competition for top candidates, employers have to not only sell the company well, but also conduct an interviewing process that presents the company and its corporate culture in the best light possible. "When companies approach the interviewing process from the candidate's perspective, they are much more likely to create an experience that is mutually engaging and appealing to the 'A' players in their markets," says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork.


The interviewing process should be an opportunity for both parties to evaluate a professional and cultural fit with the company. Yet, consider as an employer that perhaps you are additionally sending out unintended messages about weaknesses in the company culture or work practices.

Have you reflected on the following?

  1. Is your process executed in an organized, seamless manner?
  2. Are the company representatives experienced at interviewing candidates, or are they just winging it?
  3. Are the interviewers polite and sincerely interested in learning more about the candidate's background, or are any of them annoyed that the interview is taking them away from their work?
  4. Does the company do its best to follow-up with top applicants and keep them engaged or do several days or weeks go by without any feedback from the interviewer?
  5. Is the interviewing process lengthy or is it respectful of candidates' time?
If you answered no to any of these questions, it may be time to re-evaluate what the company's interviewing and recruitment practices say about the organization. "Just as employers are concerned about making a bad hire due to poor cultural fit or lacking skillsets, candidates are equally concerned about working for companies that seem disorganized, unprofessional, unreliable or inconsiderate of their employees' needs," notes Romaine. "Even the slightest glimpse of poor work practices can send top candidates away from your organization and straight to a competitor."

At the end of the day, the interviewing process is as much about candidate discovery as it is about employer branding. It is therefore important for employers to evaluate whether their practices are attracting or detracting key talent from their organizations.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hiring an Associate Dentist – Experience vs. Potential

When we start working with a practice, we collect a lot of information about the owner, practice, and the position. Some details are quantitative, but many crucial points are open for interpretation. Most practice owners tell us they need an experienced dentist for their position. In most cases, that is the best option. In fact, over 90% of the doctors we place have over one year of experience in practice or residency. But what are the tradeoffs to experience? When should an office consider hiring a doctor a year or two out of school rather than five to seven years out?


  • Production: Dental School is just the beginning. It takes several years, lots of CE and thousands of chair side hours for most dentists to hit their stride. An experienced dentist should be better able to handle a full schedule.
  • Known quantity: A seasoned dentist brings credentials, a work history, and track record of past successes that will allow a new employer to project reasonably accurate results
  • Less Babysitting: With experience comes independence and the ability to handle

  • Malleable: While an experienced dentist will come to your practice with his or her own idea on how an office should operate or with a well-defined clinical philosophy, a less-experienced dentist will be open-minded and receptive to guidance.
  • Less up front needs: This is true of patient load as well as guaranteed income. While many recent graduates have huge student loan debts to consider, they typically have less expense in the rest of their lives. They also come to your practice without the burden of trying to reach previous income levels. They typically are better able to handle a growing practice than a dentist who needs to maintain a higher standard of living
  • Superstars are still available: Most practices would love to hire a dentist who is motivated, great with patients, can keep procedures in house and who will be a boom to the practice for years to come. Dentists like that are rarely available long. These are the dentists who are partners or practice owners within a few years of practice.

Posted by Morgan Pace.

Morgan Pace is the Southeastern U.S. Account Executive and Senior Recruiter for ETS Dental. He can be reached at or 540-491-9102. ETS Dental is a Dental Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing General Dentists, Dental Specialists, and Dental Staff throughout the United States.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Is Your Quest for the Perfect Candidate Hampering Your Company's Recruitment Goals?

Until a few years ago, prospective Google employees had to endure a hiring process that could involve more than 10 interviews. The resulting length of the hiring process created a time-intensive ordeal for hiring managers, causing the company to frequently lose top talent to its competitors. Two years ago Google overhauled its process and limited each candidate to five interviews, recognizing that the longer candidates are on hold, the more time they have to get another job offer or accept a counteroffer.
While Google's previous 10-interview process is atypical, many companies employ a lengthy interviewing and hiring process. Some organizations recruit in this manner because of lingering practices developed during the recession when companies focused on filling only the most vital roles, incorporating lengthy interviewing processes to avoid making hiring mistakes. Other employers simply argue that their process has historically proven to be successful in ensuring great hires within their organization. In either scenario, these companies don’t realize that lengthy interviewing processes are no longer effective in today’s executive, managerial and professional job market. In this space, which is largely candidate-driven and where the talent pool is small, top candidates are being courted by several companies and have many options at their disposal. A prolonged search not only hampers companies’ ability to recruit the best candidates, it also keeps employers from seeing the potential of well-qualified individuals who may be missing some of the job requirements.

Employers frequent look to recruiters to help them locate talent that are a perfect match to job descriptions, however the purpose of all new hires should be not only to match job requirements but also to bring in people that have the growth and leadership potential to help companies move their businesses forward.

"It's important to learn to recognize potential in candidates who can become 'perfect' employees through guidance and leadership," advises Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. "Don't focus only on how closely they match your job description, but also consider whether they can evolve into the current role and beyond."
MRINetwork recruiters typically offer the following advice to companies trying to evaluate whether they should streamline their hiring processes:
  1. Determine if your interviewing process is time-efficient and considerate of candidates’ time. The best candidates are typically employed and are interviewing with multiple companies.
  2. Review whether you struggle to hire your top picks or if you are losing them to counteroffers and other job offers.
  3. Keep the lines of communications open. Explain each step of the interviewing process to the candidate up front. Provide feedback within 24 hours of the interview and explain next steps to keep them engaged in the process.
  4. Consider what your interviewing process says about your company culture and brand. A lengthy process could give the impression that there is always a lot of red tape with getting things accomplished or approved. It can also give the wrong impression that you are no longer interested in the candidate.
Adds Romaine, "The most successful companies realize that recruitment is not about finding candidates that perfectly match job descriptions." "It is about matching talent that have the experience, skills, maturity and cultural fit to impact the company and lead it into the future. Most job-related skills can be taught within three to six months, but intelligence and leadership skills are something candidates either have or they don't. It is up to hiring managers and highly-skilled recruiters to be able to discern whether talent have the potential to not only fit into a given role, but also become strong leaders in the company."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What Does a Graduating Pediatric Dentist Earn?

So you have done well in college and were accepted into dental school. During this time you have realized that you have a special talent and interest in working with kids. You apply and are accepted into a pediatric residency and spend a couple of more years earning your pediatric dental certification.

Finally, after many years of study and devotion, you are a pediatric dentist! You are now ready to enter the market and find that first job and wonder what is fair and what you can expect to earn. You probably have heard figures from your residency director, co-residents and others in the specialty and the numbers may vary widely. Who is right? They are probably all correct in what they are telling you and the differences can be explained by understanding what they have experienced.
I am an independent recruiter who works exclusively with dental specialists and I spend most of my time with private pediatric dental practices and those looking to hire a pediatric dentist. I work nationally and see daily what practices are offering and new graduates are getting in different areas around the country.
What am I seeing? Nationally, on average, I see base guarantee of around $200,000 which is vs. a % of collections. Most practices pay on a % of collections rather than production since most are participating in a few PPO’s or discounted plans.
To break this down further, the daily guarantee averages between $800 and $1,200. The daily guarantee should become a moot point after one is up and running with a practice and it is there as a floor. With the guarantee, the practice is saying that they are going to have a schedule that will allow you to be productive and, if they do not for a particular day, you will still be paid for your time.
What % are practices paying? Typically it will be between 35% and 45%. A % approach is recommended rather than a flat salary because it allows the associate to be in control of their destiny and they know what they need to produce and then collect in order to reach a certain earnings level. With the % approach vs. a salary, practice owners are not wondering if they are overpaying and associates are not wondering if they are being underpaid and are incentivized to work rather than surfing the internet or other non productive distractions.
Why would one work for 35% when others are getting 45%? I see a good number of graduating pediatric dentists who evaluate a practice opportunity based on the % alone and anything less than 40% or 45% are not of interest to them. What they really need to look at is the nature of the practice to include the patient flow, whether they will be doing a good amount of restorative and the ability to do hospital dentistry and sedations etc. A pediatric dentist can do much better financially in a busy practice paying a lower % vs. a higher end, slower practice paying 45% where they are relegated to hygiene checks and little restorative dentistry. 
Location, Location, Location: That said, the biggest factor in what a new graduate pediatric dentist can and will earn is where they decide to live and practice. This is a simple supply and demand economics equation with some of the best earnings opportunities being in areas that you and I may have never heard of.
What I see is that most of the major metropolitan areas across the country tend to be fairly saturated with pediatric dentists and it can be more challenging for the new graduates to find truly good private practice opportunities. I recommend looking at areas where people are not going and take a position there for a couple of years. You can earn a great deal, gain very valuable experience and make yourself much more marketable and you will find it much easier to get into the market where you really want to be for the long term.
If you have any questions about earnings or the state of pediatric dentistry in certain areas of the country feel free to call me. I will be happy to share with you what I know.
Gary Harris is a nationwide Recruiter for Dental Specialists at ETS Dental. He can be reached at or 540-491-9115. ETS Dental is a Dental Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing General Dentists, Dental Specialists, and Dental Staff throughout the United States.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Balancing the Chaos - Ten Tips to Create a Better Work Life Balance

I feel like I should start a support group with this introduction, but…
Hi, my name is Tiffany and I suffer from horrible work/life balance.  I work full time, am taking classes online, and I am raising two kids.  Throw into the mix household chores, two dogs, Girl Scouts, viola lessons, marching band, and a plethora of other projects going on at any given time, and you have a snapshot of my life.   Just writing this down is making me nervous.  What am I forgetting that needs to be taken care of or done tonight?!
Crazy thing about my little chaotic snapshot above is I know I am not alone.  Life is crazy anymore.  Looking around my office, each one of us has a handful or two of other activities and responsibilities.  Chances are your office is the same way.  Life happens regardless of your title or position.
So, how do you balance it all?  Initially, I started looking for sites with tips, but I decided it was better to get real life answers so I took my question to my colleagues and Facebook followers.  Some answers were almost universal; some were a little more unique.  Here are some highlights….
Ten things you can do to create a better work life balance

  1. Limit the amounts of time that you do work stuff at home or vice versa.
  2. Use a calendar!  Scheduling events makes it easier to know what is coming up and plan accordingly.  Google Calendar is a favorite for many of those that responded.
  3.  Create lists.  Do what must be done first.  Do what you do not want to do and get it out of the way.  Once something is completed, check it off and move on to the next.
  4. Turn off your alerts; do not be a slave to your phone.  Check your emails on your own terms; not with every beep, buzz, or blinking light.
  5. Take some time for what makes you happy: read a book, watch a movie, go for a run, exercise, or go out for a drink with a friend.
  6. Find some peace.  Pray.  Meditate.  Get a massage. 
  7. Get help!  This was a tough one for me, but there is no reason that my kids couldn’t straighten up the house while they are waiting for me to get home or wash the dishes from breakfast.  They even like starting dinner once in a while. 
  8. Don’t be afraid to let go.  One of my Facebook friends said it best, “When I was working full time, was a full time graduate student and a single mom I achieved balance by letting go of things that do NOT last-dishes, dust and laundry.  Instead, I chose football practice, school activities and a kid flick.”
  9. Say no.  I struggle with this one, but it is okay to not do everything all of the time.  If something is not important to you, let it go and focus on what needs your attention.
  10. Find what works for you.  Take advantage of the time you have; I study on my lunch breaks and can knock out a good bit of my reading without interruptions which helps me immensely.  A colleague wrote, “Having the opportunity to work remotely is a huge thing for me.  It helps me not to feel guilty about going to my kids’ activities (games, etc.) and I make up my time in the evenings when they are engrossed with homework.  Sometimes they will come and hang out in my office as they do their homework and we’ll all be ‘working’ together.” 
I guess I have some pretty smart colleagues and friends!  Of course this is only a small sampling of the ideas out there; what do you to do to make your own chaos work?  I would love to hear what works for you.    

"Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don't, and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it. 
-Harvey Mackay 


Tiffany Worstell is a nationwide Recruiter for Dental Staff at ETS Dental. She can be reached at or 540-491-9112. ETS Dental is a Dental Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing General Dentists, Dental Specialists, and Dental Staff throughout the United States.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Job Searching in a Saturated or Difficult Job Market

The Dental Associate job market is improving across the country. However, it is still competitive and often challenging in many larger metro areas in the U.S. There are not enough jobs available for the number job seekers in saturated areas such as Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Austin. At ETS Dental, we speak with dentists everyday who are having a very hard time finding opportunities.

Don’t Get in Your Own Way: The biggest disservice you can do yourself is to think you are the only qualified applicant for the job. In a saturated market you have to sell yourself much more than the practice has to sell itself to you. For example, I just posted a job opening in San Francisco, CA. I had 10 applicants within 2 hours. By the end of the week I will have at least 50 to 75. Your resume, cover letter, attitude, and the things you say have to express what you bring to the table to benefit the practice. What skills and experience do you have that will benefit the practice? What sets you apart? Can you speak Spanish? Do you love working with kids? Can you place implants? Can you bring new patients into the practice? Don’t move the conversation straight to how much they will pay you. You don’t even have the job offer yet, and this approach can cost you the job.
Expand Your Options: Most job seekers we speak with would much rather work for a private practice or small group practice. Corporate dentistry is a last resort or often not something they even want to consider. However, large group and corporate dentistry is growing and here to stay. These practices can offer you stable employment, great training, a guaranteed minimum salary, and benefits. If private and small group practices are not hiring in your area, don’t limit your options. 
Use an Independent Recruiter: A few dental recruiters, like ETS Dental, have contacts with practices throughout the U.S. Most often we are working on openings that are not advertised in any other channels. Our clients entrust us to locate the right talent to grow their practices. We speak with job seekers in order to understand their goals and experience. We have the ability to market strong candidates to practices with whom we have built relationships with over the years. Sometimes it’s who you know, and recruiters are good to know. 
Volunteer: Many new graduates can benefit from this in difficult areas. Volunteering can help build or maintain skills. It helps you learn chairside communication and build patient rapport. It can even help you connect with other practitioners, and possibly lead to an employment opportunity. Look for volunteer opportunities in free dental clinics or giving your time by participating in free dental care days that may be offered in your community. 
Shake Some Hands: Go to dental society meetings. Get online and join discussion groups such as Dental Town. Get on LinkedIn. Hand out business cards to every dentist you meet. Drop in and say hello to offices and leave a resume/CV. You can’t be shy in a saturated market. Let people know who you are, and let them know you are looking for an opportunity. 
Multiple Part-Time Jobs: Most saturated markets have more part-time openings available than full-time. You should definitely consider trying to get 2 or 3 part-time jobs if you need a full-time income.
Relocate:  It’s an extreme measure for many, but for some it can mean the difference in having a career or several short-term, part-time positions or nothing at all. Relocating expands your options exponentially. Just make sure you are not expanding your options of relocation to another heavily saturated area. Check out some earlier articles on this topic:

Written by Carl Guthrie, Western Region Account Executive and Dental Recruiter. Contact at or 540-491-9104

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dentists - What to Know Before You Accept an Associate Position

Finding a new associate position can be a daunting process for both new and experienced dentists. While making a good impression on an interview is important, it is equally important to learn as much as possible about the practice. Here is a compilation of questions from job seekers who I have worked with over the years. I hope that this list will make the decision process less intimidating.

-Employee or Independent Contractor?
-Employee at will?
-Is the doctor open to restrictive covenant in case of future ownership?
-Is the doctor going to stay on PT for some time or can he, if needed (After purchase)?

Type of Practice 
-How the practice is set up (family, Pedo, or dentures)? Pedo: what age?
-Age of the practice?
-When/what do you refer out?
-Place or Restore Implants? Which system?
-# of operatories
-# of Hygienists. Hrs of operation?
-# assistants
-Will the associate have their own assistant?
-How much is the practice overhead?
-How long has each employee been there?
-What does the practice do to market itself?
-How many FT and PT staff?

-What is the patient pool like?
-Have the number of active patient records been reviewed?
-Is the practice growing or declining in number of patients seen, new patients attracted, and young patients?
-Average number of cancellations per week?
-Average number of patients seen by associate per day?
-How far ahead is the doctor book filled?
-How far ahead is the associate book filled?
-How far ahead is the hygienist’s book filled?
-Discounts/Bartering/payment plans?
-PPO type of insurance? Insurances: accept all kinds or just selected ones?
-How much is the discounted price of the PPO compared to the fee schedule?
-Medicare or Medicaid acceptance?
-How much of the practice relies upon capitation programs, PPOs, HMOs, Medicare or Medicaid?
-What percent is FFS, cash and discounted PPO?
-When was the last fee increase?
-Are the fees low, high or average for the immediate area?
-Do you offer patients credit?

-Days, hours, on call, etc.
-How many office hours and days per week is the office open?

-Job description (separate document) or general description
-Is the associate expected to check hygiene of other doctor’s patients? If yes, will the associate be compensated for it?
-Will the associate be expected to perform hygiene/prophy?
-Does the doctor do any procedures other than regular general dentistry?
-What were the most of the cases being done by the associate?
-Will the associate be placing Implants for the practice?

-Supplies, equipment, support. Etc
-What type of PMS (Software) is used?
-Implant surgical set up? Who finances to get that set up if NOT already in place?
-What is the square footage of the office? Can it be expanded?
-Average age of equipment?
-Is the practice left-handed, right-handed, or ambidextrous?
-Do you have a confirmation system for appointments?
-How do you deal with NO Show?
-Digital X-ray?
-Intraoral Digital Camera?

Term of contract 
-How long?
-What is the required notice period should either party wish to terminate the relationship?

-Is there a guaranteed salary, draw, daily rate or hourly rate?
-Is commission determined from collections or production?
-If collections, what is the collections rate in the practice?
-What percentage of production/collections is used to calculate income?
-Is there a chance to increase compensation in the future?
-Is the associate responsible for my own lab fees and expenses?
-Taxes withheld?
-How will the associate be paid? (Weekly/bi-weekly/monthly)
-How much on average was the last associate making?
-What was the average associate production per day?
-Does the associate production include hygiene exams and x-rays?
-Can I get a fee schedule of the practice?

-Medical Insurance: health and dental?
-Malpractice insurance?
-Disabilities insurance?
-Required CE courses? How much and for how many hours a year? Are they paid for/reimbursed? Is there a stipend?
-Sick days…….. # allow per yr…..
-Personal days/vacations…..# per yr allow……
-What benefits are given to the staff?

-Define, list, when paid, lab, etc…..
-What Lab do you use? Use different lab for different lab orders?
-Will the practice support the acquisition loan (in case of future ownership), pay the overhead expenses and can afford a reasonable income?

Other Questions and Notes:
-What is your practice Philosophy and Goals? For the Practice and with new pt’s tx?
-% of implant surgeries
-Have you had associate before? How many? How long they stayed? What was the reason for the associate resignation?
-How do you advertise?
-Will most dental insurance dictate pt’s Tx plan??
-Do you deal a lot with EMERGENCY pt? Separate operatories for that?
-Average number of emergencies per week?
-Will I be doing hygiene/prophy when I don’t have pt?
-Who determines how long I have when spending with new pt/initial exam and record?
-Do I have a separate apt to do comprehensive exams and record, or do I perform the TP when pt comes in for cleaning?
-How long does a hygienist spend on their recalls?
-Is there a particular doctor in the area who is your main competitor?
-Who sees the patient first (Doctor, hygienist, associate)?
-Why was the partnership offer turned down by an associate (if applicable)?
-Will I be able to visit the office during regular working hours?
-Does the doctor have a report showing how much treatment is treatment planned?

Partnership/Buy in/Sale
-What is the time frame for an associate position before we can talk about partnership/buy in/buy out?
-Is there an option for future ownership? Are you considering a move out of state?

Restrictive Covenant

Posted by Morgan Pace.

Morgan Pace is the Southeastern U.S. Account Executive and Senior Recruiter for ETS Dental. He can be reached at or 540-491-9102. ETS Dental is a Dental Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing General Dentists, Dental Specialists, and Dental Staff throughout the United States.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Gaining a Competitive Advantage as an Employer of Choice

As the economy rebounds and more employers adapt to filling executive and management positions in the candidate-driven market, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to distinguish themselves as employers of choice, to attract top candidates. The most recent Gallup annual Work and Education poll revealed that only 47 percent of American workers are completely satisfied with their jobs, indicating employers are better positioned than ever to attract candidates who are ready to move out of current roles. So then how does a company become known as an employer of choice that attracts star talent and makes employees never want to leave?

"In today's job market, aggressive salary and benefits packages that will potentially beat out counteroffers are not enough to lure top performers to new companies," says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. "Employers have to develop unique ways to attract candidates into their companies and away from competitors."

To accomplish this, employers have to connect with their employees, find out what is most important to them and then provide programs and services that will be of value to the entire staff. This entails providing career advancement opportunities, ongoing training and continuing education programs, atypical benefits packages and employee perks that will make any employee think twice about leaving. Some companies have gone to great lengths to achieve this, providing unlimited sick and paid time off, flexible work schedules, game rooms and employee appreciation days where catered lunches, massage services and field days are brought in-house for staff enjoyment.

SAS Institute, a North Carolina software company, became the employer of choice in its industry by providing its employees with workplace amenities like an on-campus gym, no limit on sick days, company gates that don't open until 7 a.m. and close promptly at 6 p.m., and maybe most importantly – free M&Ms. These perks resulted in a turnover rate 16 percent less than competitors.

So what strategies can companies use to establish themselves as employers of choice? "It's important for companies to realize they can't become an employer of choice overnight," says Romaine. "It takes a collaborative effort from multiple teams within the organization, focused on developing and implementing strategies that attract star candidates and retain key employees. Each department has to look at what they can do in their respective areas to contribute to this process."

The following are steps companies can take to become an employer of choice:
  1. Know the company culture and the type of employees the company hopes to attract.
  2. Develop a sound employer branding strategy that is focused on distributing consistent messaging about the company culture and mission to clients, investors, employees and candidates.
  3. Conduct periodic employee surveys to determine employee satisfaction with the company. This provides staff an opportunity to express their feelings on everything from benefits and career opportunities to a variety of company-wide practices, while identifying areas that can be improved.
  4. Review the feedback from employee surveys and develop strategies to improve areas of concern.
  5. Look for unique ways to create the "ultimate employee experience", reasons that make employees never want to leave, including anything from on-site cafeterias, gyms or daycare to parking and transit privileges.
  6. Submit a company nomination for an Employer of Choice or Best Places to Work award in your industry. These awards invoke employee pride and bring increased credibility to the company brand.
While hiring managers may not always have the authority to implement the above strategies, there are things they can do to help retain employees. They can create career tracks for each position, so employees have a clear path for advancement in the company. They can also provide ongoing training, development and mentoring opportunities. Managers should additionally create an environment where creativity and outside the box thinking is encouraged. Finally, managers should reward employees for a job well done via company announcements and awards, or performance-based bonuses, promotions and raises.

Retention of happy, top performers is the most critical strategy for companies to become employers of choice. This is where the status of being a choice employer begins – promotion of the company's values through the ambassadorship of employees.

"What makes a company a great place to work for some people will not be great for others," advises Romaine. However, a company that is an employer of choice will recognize this in the hiring process and give as much consideration to the candidate's fit with the organization as it does to experience, qualifications and talent. They will additionally recognize the value in providing a collaborative, company-wide approach to not only attracting, but also retaining top performers that will move the company forward."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Inside Scoop from the Recruiters at ETS

We decided to take an internal survey and look at some of the most common things we hear regarding associate dentist candidates and hiring practice owners in our searches.  Whether we were looking at positions for General Dentists, Dental Specialists, or support staff, we all seem to be hearing or saying the same things:

  1. What message do we repeat to dental practice owners the most? The number one answer was the importance of feedback.  Whether emphasizing how feedback will streamline the process of finding their next great associate or stressing how it keeps the interview process moving to reduce the risk of losing a great candidate, timely feedback is crucial to us being able to do the best job for you.  
  2. What message do we repeat to associate dentist candidates the most? When asked about the other side of the process, there were three common responses.  First, how can we make you, the candidate, stand out from the other candidates I am presenting to my client?  Second, the need for realistic expectations, whether with regard to salary or comparing different opportunities, arises often as well.  Last but not least, we constantly have to encourage candidates to look outside of major metro areas for work.  Chances are, if you’re looking for a job in a major metro area, that area is already saturated, and you’re better off trying to check out an area at least an hour outside of that metro.
  3. What is the number one response from practice owners as to why a candidate does not get an interview?  Lack of experience seems to be quite common.  It seems like people of all walks of life run into the cycle of “how to get the job to get the experience if you can’t find a job to get the experience.”  Find other ways to set yourself apart.  Additionally, we get feedback from practice owners that a candidate didn’t show any interest in what the practice wanted, or they were selfish. In other cases, owners may not give an interview based on an assumption made by looking at a resume.
  4. What is the number one complaint we hear from practice owners today? Candidates are too worried about themselves, and they are not motivated to work hard to be successful.  Practice owners give us all sorts of insights as to what they feel is lacking in a candidate pool they are interviewing.  We hear a lot about how new graduates, especially, want things their way and don’t want to work hard to add value to the practice.   This feedback shows up in everything from unrealistic salary expectations, unwillingness to work evenings or weekends, and even in the commitment they show the hiring doctors with responsiveness.  Most of our client practices want a long-term addition to their office who understands the work that went into building a successful practice and wants to add value.
  5. What is the one way associate candidates who are great set themselves apart from candidates who are just “okay?”  Attitude, people skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, professionalism…call it whatever you want, it’s PERSONALITY.  As one of our recruiters put it best, “Skills can be taught.  Personality cannot be taught.”  Make sure that anytime you’re getting ready to start your next job search that you remember to put your best attitude in front of the potential employer.

Posted by Chante Smith

ETS Dental is a Dental Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing General Dentists, Dental Specialists, and Dental Staff throughout the United States.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Guide to Interviewing an Associate Dentist Candidate

Adding an associate can be a daunting process. Here is a quick step-by-step overview including helpful links to more detailed information.

Before the interview:

Sample Interview Questions
  • What attracted you to my position?
  • Where have you worked?
  • How long have you been in each position?
  • What would your current boss say that you do well?
  • In what areas would he/she say that you needed to improve?
  • How often have you been late over the last year?
  • In which insurances did you participate?
  • What was your average production at that office?
  • What lead you to look for other positions?
  • 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 are your clinical strengths?
  • What do you prefer to refer out?
  • In what areas do you have interest in further training?
  • How would you describe your practice philosophy?
  • What days are you available to work?
  • Are you interested in eventual partnership or ownership? How soon?
  • What are your income expectations?
  • What motivates you?
  • 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?
  • Which of your strengths and achievements do you feel best distinguishes you from other candidates I may speak with?
  • What do you like the most about this position? Least?
  • Now that we have spoken are you interested in pursuing this position further?
Be sure to explain what the next step would be and when they can expect to hear back from you.

After the interview:

Other factors to consider when writing up a contract include:


Posted by Morgan Pace.
Morgan Pace is the Southeastern U.S. Account Executive and Senior Recruiter for ETS Dental. He can be reached at or 540-491-9102. ETS Dental is a Dental Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing General Dentists, Dental Specialists, and Dental Staff throughout the United States.