Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Don’t Do This on Your Next Interview

Interviewing for any job requires a few steps, and most of the time the early steps in the interview process determine if you continue to move forward.  While many of the dentists I speak with understand that they need to “sell” themselves, others jump right to questions or make statements that will leave me or any potential employer wondering if we should even waste our time moving forward.

Here are some common examples of things that end your chances of moving forward in the interview process with a Dental Practice.

1. Not showing a spark of excitement and interest.  You have to do more than say things.  A great attitude and personality will get you everywhere.  Monotone and uninterested will end it before it even starts.  Everyone is saying they have great patient rapport, strong communication, and that all their patients love them.  Skills can be taught, personality and attitude cannot.
2. Trying to negotiate compensation during the phone interview. While many dental companies, groups, and practices may have set compensation models, I assure you that if you are really worth it, they will be willing to negotiate the package.  However, they will not and cannot do this without first meeting you in person and thoroughly understanding you and how you may fit into the organization. 
3. Leading with a list of 20 questions regarding the practices history, current staff tenure, compensation model, if they will pay for interview travel, copy of fee schedule, etc. The point of the phone interview is threefold: Make basic introductions, share a summary of the practice opportunity, and communicate why you should be interviewed in person.  Phone interviews lead to face to face interviews.  Face to face interviews are where all the details are shared with you.
4. Complaining about the poor ethics or criminal acts of your current/previous employer(s).  We have all had poor experiences at some point in our careers.  However, you have to craft a professional response as to why those previous employers were not right for you.   I recently interviewed a general dentist who stated ethical concerns he had with his past 3 employers.  It is hard to believe that he won’t use that reason for the next.  We start to think the problem is the doctor and not the practice.

5. Making your current economic situation the practice’s problem.  Interview for the job.  Help the practice owner understand why you are the best dentist for the practice by focusing on your skills and how you will benefit the practice.  Don’t tell the owner you need a job because you need money.  That does not show long-term commitment.  It just shows you need a paycheck to get by right now.
Written by Carl Guthrie, Search Consultant for the Western U.S.  Carl can be contacted at, 540-491-9104.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Expectations of Dental Associateships


Associateships begin and fail all the time. Why do they fail so often? The simple answer is that either or both sides failed to meet expectations.  Specifically, the expectations were never laid out to begin with, so one side was letting down the other and never knew why or how he/she was doing this.
Some common feedback I get from owners when I ask them about their previous associates is that it didn't work because the associate could not produce enough, the associate did not want to buy-in, or the associate needed more mentoring than the owner was willing or able to provide.
Upfront communication during the interview process could have helped a lot of associateships succeed or simply never start in the first place. It is better to find the right person rather than hire the wrong person and have to repeat the interviewing and on boarding process over and over again.
What the owner/practice should lay out upfront:
(simple examples, not comprehensive)
·         Production goals (even private practices have them)
·         Required schedule
·         Transition plans
·         Associate's leadership role in the practice in relation to staff
·         Compensation
·         Whether the associate will have any say so in equipment, office systems, and staff management
·         Insurance accepted by the practice
·         Particular cases or situations that must be handled by the owner
·         What must be referred out
What the associate prospect should lay out upfront:
(simple examples, not comprehensive)
·         Income goals
·         Transition or practice ownership goals
·         Skill sets
·         Comfort level with various cases and patient types
·         Length of time willing to commit to a practice/area
Remember not to rush into hiring an associate or becoming an associate when you still have a lot of questions or uncertainties.
Related articles by ETS Dental you should check out:
Carl Guthrie is a Dental Recruiter with ETS Dental. He covers the Western U.S. Region. Carl can be reached at or

Monday, July 8, 2013

Employer Branding: The Key to Recruiting Star Candidates

There are jobs and there are dream jobs—the roles at organizations that you aspire to join. Maybe they make a product or service that you love, maybe they have an amazing corporate culture in which you know you could thrive, or maybe they have a mission statement which you could really believe in. If given the opportunity you would drop everything, move across the country and even take a pay cut just to get your foot in the door—and as an employer there is no better position to be in.

    Google is already one of those places—ranked as the best place to work by FORTUNE magazine in four of the last seven years—yet even they have turned to what some would call extreme means to further that devotion to their employer brand. A recent movie, The Internship, which takes place at Google headquarters, showcases the company’s legendary Mountain View, CA campus and corporate culture, complete with hazing, scary managers and wild goose-chasing pranks. While the movie makes light of the highly sought-after Google internship, it was seen by executives as a good way to further expose the company's "do-no-evil" culture and get more potential candidates interested in technology, computers, and ultimately becoming “Googlers." That such a highly sought after employer still sees the need to go to such lengths highlights the need for branding to attract top candidates in today’s economic climate.

    Locating exceptional talent continues to be an ongoing challenge, particularly in the executive and managerial space. Growing companies recognize the necessity of expanding resources and leadership to remain competitive, however the talent pool is competitive among mid-to-high-level executives and top candidates often need to be recruited out of current roles. Although recent unemployment data suggests a slow rebound of the overall U.S. economy due to an employer-driven market, the unemployment rate for this sector is considerably lower than general unemployment— 3.5 percent versus 7.3 percent in May. In May of 2012 those rates were 4.0 percent versus 7.9 percent, indicating that the job market in the executive recruitment space is increasingly employee-driven, making branding essential to entice A-players.

    "When it comes to post-recession recruitment efforts, where companies are focused on finding the best candidates, branding is more important than ever in the search process," says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. "A concerted effort to communicate clear messaging about the company’s culture, mission, products and services, both internally and externally is key in attracting the right people. Essentially, recruitment begins well before positions are even posted."

    Considering Google's market recognition in the technology arena, its participation in the movie underscores the organization’s insight into the technology talent pool where unemployment is lower than in other industries and the number of star candidates for potential hire is smaller. "Google’s awareness of the value of employer branding proves that even large, renowned companies must be tireless and innovative in their efforts to create, maintain and promote a corporate culture that is appealing to multiple audiences including exceptional candidates, investors and the public," says Romaine.
Since 2003, he notes, employment in the IT industry has grown by 37 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), during the recent recession, the industry lost only 1 percent of its workforce in 2009, but otherwise maintained employment. By 2010, employment had recovered and was higher than it had been in 2008.

    How should companies develop branding initiatives and maximize these efforts for recruitment purposes? “First the organization has to be honest about its corporate culture and create brand messaging based on this premise, not the brand that it aspires to be," says Romaine. "Second, the company should identify and promote differentiating factors that separate it from industry competitors รข€“ qualities that will not only be attractive to the general public or investors, but incoming talent as well. Third, the business must constantly assess whether public perception of the company matches the corporate imaging and messaging that are being communicated."

    At the end of the day, employer branding and recruitment must go hand-in-hand to attract impact player candidates. Whether it’s for an internship or a senior-level position, company imaging and messaging are increasingly major components of the hiring process, helping ensure that employers locate talent that will not only fulfill job requirements, but will also be a good match with the company culture.