Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blowing Smoke

We all know the effects that cigarette smoking has on a person; it has been shown for years in the media.  We have seen the yellowing teeth, bad breath, wrinkles, and probably know individuals that have had even more detrimental health issues stemming from the activity.  More and more, smoking is being banned in public places and employers are following suit.  So what does this mean for your practice?

Can I legally not hire smokers?
A number of employers have gone on record announcing that they will not hire smokers.  And, while this sounds as if it the company is promoting a culture of wellness, it can be construed as discrimination.  In fact, there are twenty nine states and the District of Columbia that have protection in place for smokers; below is a list of the states as reported by the American Lung Association. 

District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

If you are hiring in these states, it is illegal to base your decision to hire, or not to hire, simply on if the candidate is a smoker. You can, however, choose not to hire a candidate based on other, legal, factors.   Frankly, you may miss out of some great talent by limiting the pool based upon if the candidate smokes as the single factor as the CDC found that 19% of all American adults were smokers in 2010.
What can I do as an employer?
As an employer, it is within your right to ban smoking on your property.  While this will not stop the smokers completely, it will deter the activity on company time and in front of your patients.
It is also worthwhile to look into cessation plans for your employees.  If your dental practice currently offers an EAP (Employee Assistance Program), look into the benefits that it provides and encourage your staff to take advantage of the services. 

Another option to consider is a having cessation program available. The American Lung Association endorses its own program, Freedom From Smoking, as an option for employers to provide to their staff; it allows the employee different options to cater to their own lifestyle such as online support, a hotline, and one on one support.  For more information, check out this site: Freedom From Smoking.
With the right resources and encouragement; you can make a difference in promoting a smoke free workplace while retaining quality staff.  Monitor the results of your efforts and listen to the feedback of the staff members.  It is possible to have a happy, healthy staff.  A happy staff is a productive staff; and that is not just “blowing smoke.” 

Contributed by Tiffany Worstell, Dental Staff Recruiter- Nationwide. To Contact Tiffany, call 540-491-9112, or email at

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sequestration's Effect on Professional Employment

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment report for January, it also released revisions to data for all of 2012, revisions that were remarkably more positive than what had been previously reported. In total, 647,000 more jobs were created in the United States last year than BLS reports had indicated. While that is only about 0.41 percent of total U.S. workforce, it significantly alters the estimate of year-over-year growth. As of January, before the adjustment, total employment year-over-year was up less than 1.2 percent. With the adjustment, average growth in 2012 grew to more than 1.5 percent, in line with the 40 year average, and well above the 20 year average of 1.1 percent annual growth. In fact, in the last 10 years employment has only grown an average of 0.3 percent per year. By these metrics, 2012 was at least an average year for employment growth and in recent history was actually above average.

This year, however, is already presenting new challenges and changing dynamics. The debt crisis in Europe has backed off from the cliff, putting a pin back in one of the largest potential economic grenades on the horizon. Yet, the cost-cutting effects from sequestration appear increasingly unavoidable and will in the coming months have measurable consequences across the military, military support, research, education and other sectors that rely heavily on government support.

While the cuts will have a rapid near-term effect on employment, they may also create a temporary talent acquisition opportunity for employers. Many of the positions affected are filled by highly trained people in disciplines that have continued to experience increasing talent shortages in recent years.

"In layoffs like these, that have nothing to do with job performance but rather fallout from much larger issues, highly qualified and capable people end up entering the job market," says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. "It means a short window of availability for private sector employers to scoop up experienced professionals in disciplines like engineering, IT, accounting, and project management."

Total employment in the U.S. shrank by more than 6 percent during 2008 and 2009. Yet, despite comprising more than 20 percent of the U.S. workforce, employment of those in professional and related occupations remained essentially flat during those years and has since resumed its pace of growth.

“Historically, government layoffs in sectors like defense have had only a short-term impact on employment because the types of people who are laid off are inherently highly employable,” notes Romaine. “While these cuts will be reaching far beyond defense spending, the principle still applies for many of the industries that will be affected, which points to an opportunity for employers.”

This isn’t to say that sequestration will be a big boon for the U.S. economy. Many economists project sequestration will remove as much as 1.5 percent of GDP from the economy in 2013 and blame it for the sharp decline in GDP growth during the 4th quarter of 2012. Private-sector activity, however, is rebounding, and in the 4th quarter was enough to counter nearly a 15-percent drop in government expenditure and keep total GDP growth virtually flat.

“There was such a shortage of experienced talent before the recession that even with the sharpest economic decline in more than a generation, professional employment levels didn’t decline,” notes Romaine. “While the economy may slow again by the end of the year, we shouldn’t expect that to lower the demand for professional talent nor affect the availability of experienced professionals.”

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Financial Planning for a Better Future with Glen Weaver

Time and again we speak with dentists whose careers were significantly impacted by financial decisions outside of the practice. Many were impacted for the worse, but those with a clear plan and the guidance of financial planners are significantly better off for having done so. With that in mind, we recently invited Glen Weaver of Capital Financial Partners to contribute. Glen has experience advising dentists and dental practice owners and so has a good perspective on the questions dentists should be asking themselves and their advisors.
Here is his summary of the important questions dentists need to be asking:
Every business professional generally thinks about the following:
  • How can I grow and protect my business?
  • How can I take care of and provide a rewarding future for my employees?
  • How can I build wealth and protect my assets so I retire on my terms and leave a legacy for my family?
  • How can I protect my principal from the volatility of the market?
  • What financial strategies can I implement so when the market crashes again I don’t lose any money?
  • How can I get guaranteed tax-free income for life?
  • Did you know that over 450 banks across the US have failed since 2008?  How is that possible?
  • Do you know who the best financial managers in the world are and have proven it through various depression eras over the last century?
  • Do you have a Variable Life product?
If you do not have these answers then you need to speak with someone who does.

Keep in mind, rising inflation and tax rates can quickly erode retirement savings. You will need more money during retirement to purchase the same things you buy today. Tax rates are rising with plans in Washington to raise them even further. Do you have a plan that allows you to pay current tax rates, grow your money tax-deferred, and then enjoy tax-free income for life?

I am frequently asked, “How can I plan for my kid’s college that does not involve poor performing 529's? With higher education tuition rising at nearly 9% every year, how can I get more aid/grants/scholarships from colleges/universities for my kids education simply by moving assessed assets to non-assessed buckets?”

Did you know with the right plan your kids could attend a private school at or better than the price of a state school?

Regardless where you are in your practice and career if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  One of the greatest motto's for success is: Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan!  You have objectives and goals for the future that fosters the professional, personal and economic growth of your business and staff members, but do you have a defined plan to get there?  Don’t kid yourself. Most people don’t.

Henry Ford had an 8th grade education. He also had an incredible belief that an 8 cylinder car was possible. He surrounded himself with a team of engineers, advisors, and together went to work on their plan. As we all know and see everyday on the roads, Ford created enormous wealth and legacy for generations.

Consider adding a financial planner to your team. We have the skill, experience, and resources to weather any market situation to keep you on the path of financial growth and prosperity for generations to come. With good people, like Morgan Pace at ETS Dental, we can plan a very rewarding future together. A simple no obligation phone call, email, or connection on Linkedin is all it takes to continue the journey.

For more information, contact:

Glen Weaver
Financial Services/College Planning Advisor
Capitol Financial Partners