Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Four Signs it’s Time for a New Job

With spring in the air and a long winter finally behind us, many find this time of year to be a season of fresh beginnings, new adventures, and personal growth. For some, however, the daily grind of traffic jams, long lines, and eight hours in a less-than-fulfilling workplace never seems to change.

Hopefully this doesn’t describe you or your current employment situation. If it does, though, there is something you can do about it – as a matter of fact, you’re the only one who can do something about it. Moving to another practice or starting a practice of your own is a serious decision that involves planning, strategy, and forethought, but the benefits of such a decision, as one might expect, can be life-changing.
If you’re thinking it might be time for a new job, consider these four warning signs and see how many apply to you:
  1. You’re Always in a Bad Mood: While work may not be the most exciting highlight of your week, a day at the office should not leave you feeling disgruntled, defeated, or depressed. Having a negative emotional connection with your workplace can spill over into other areas of your personal life if you’re not careful, so it’s important to pay attention to how you’re feeling as you walk out of the office every evening.
  2. You Do What You Do Out of Obligation: If you feel like your job is what you “ought to be doing” instead of what you “want to be doing,” you’re probably not going to enjoy going to work every day. Being in a practice environment that motivates you is the key to finding long-term career satisfaction.
  3. You Don’t Feel Challenged: Too much stress at work, as most of us know, can be a bad thing. Too little stress can be just as bad, if not worse. If you feel like you’re not being challenged daily or that you’re capable of more, it might be time to start looking elsewhere.
  4. Your Co-Workers Are Driving You Up a Wall: The people we work with play a larger role in our lives then we can imagine – after all, it’s likely you spend more time with them during the week than anyone else. If you’ve tried to resolve issues with your dental team but still find yourself counting down the minutes until you can get away from them, consider looking for career opportunities elsewhere.
While most of the above issues can be addressed through alternative means, in some cases getting a new job could be the best option. The most challenging part of any job change, of course, is in the details.

Whether you’re looking to take on more responsibility, start your own practice, or relocate to an area that better suits your needs, ETS Dental is happy to help make that transition as smooth as possible. Feel free to give us a call and get started today!

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

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Finding an Associate Dentist Job - It’s not Just What You Do, It is How You Do It

Dentistry is a highly technical field requiring extensive training to hone clinical techniques and skills, yet it is often not these technical skills that determine who get the best jobs after dental school. Generally, the “soft skills” are what will make or break your chances of landing an ideal associate position. To separate yourself from other associate candidates, it is important to recognize what these skills are and why they matter.

What are “Soft Skills?” Soft skills, or people skills, are what inspire trust from patients. They make someone an effective communicator and a productive part of a team. There are many soft skills needed to be an effective dentist, but here are the leading soft skills requested by the practice owners for whom we consult.

Communication skills

Patients will take it for granted that the “Dr.” in front of your name means that you are qualified to drill a tooth or seat a crown. They do not become long-term patients because your margins are perfect. They come back to you because you are a pleasant person who understands your patient’s apprehension and takes the time to answer his or her questions. When interviewing a potential associate, a practice owner will look for these characteristics to determine the quality of your communication skills:

  • Clear articulation: Can you convey ideas so that others easily understand?
  • Expressiveness: Do you use voice inflection and descriptive language to avoid sounding “dry?"
  • Empathy: Do you inspire trust by accurately reading the emotions of others and respond appropriately?
  • Confidence: Do you exude self-assurance in your abilities?
Attitude and Outlook
Practice owners need their associates to be an asset to their practice. Most genuinely want the associate arrangement to be a “win-win” arrangement where everyone profits. Hiring a clinically exceptional but emotionally-taxing associate will not be sustainably beneficial to the practice. To avoid this, practice owners will look for the following:
  • Positive Attitude: Are you generally optimistic or are you overly critical? Will it be fun to work with you?
  • Willingness to learn: Are you accepting of feedback and helpful criticism or do you become defensive?
  • Flexibility: Can you adapt to changing circumstances and new challenges?
  • Work ethic: Will you exceed the minimum expectations? Will you go above and beyond for your patients when necessary?
  • Motivation: Will you continuously strive for improvement? Do you set challenging personal and professional goals? Will you be satisfied if you fail to achieve those goals?

Even the freshest new dental school graduate is a doctor and so has earned the respect of the dental practice staff and the larger community. With this respect comes the demand of maintaining a professional demeanor. Beyond that, you are a highly compensated professional with a public profile. You are a pillar of the community who will be a leader in the office. Can a practice owner trust you to maintain this esteem? Here is what he or she will look for:
  • Time Management: Can you be trusted to be ready to see patients as soon as the practice opens?
  • Team Player: Will you be cooperative and respectful when working toward greater group goals?
  • Leadership: Will you lead the office staff by example? Will you avoid petty squabbles? Will you have the courage to address problems and work towards solutions?
  • Problem Solving: Will you apply your training in a creative manner to drive innovation and improvement?
  • Work under pressure: Can you be trusted to maintain decorum under deadlines and through difficulties?
The more of these skills you display, the more comfortable a practice owner will be in choosing you for his or her practice. Remember - it is not what a practice can do for you, it is what you can do for a practice.
Posted by Morgan Pace, Vice President and Senior Dentist Recruitment Consultant with ETS Dental. To find out more, call Morgan at (540) 491-9102 or email at

Friday, May 2, 2014

How Well Do You Know Your Employees?

Winter storms may have caused employment to be a bit sluggish, but as we move into spring, job growth continues to accelerate. Staff retention is becoming a top priority in 2014 for employers, as confidence builds in the economy and job market, making companies more vulnerable to losing key talent. Organizations will have to ask themselves tough questions about how attractive they are to candidates and employees, and whether they are doing a good job of communicating career development opportunities that have the potential to mitigate costly staff turnover.

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According to many recent surveys, employee turnover is projected to rise significantly as the job market improves. This means that employers will need to place greater emphasis on employee retention to complement their recruitment strategies.

"While companies can develop and deploy a host of retention strategies focused on engaging staff and strengthening employee morale, one simple thing they can do is assess their employees' perception and awareness of internal mobility or career-tracking programs," says Nancy Halverson, vice president of global operations for MRINetwork.

The recent LinkedIn Exit Survey reveals that there is a considerable disconnect between employer and staff awareness of employee mobility programs. According to the survey, HR and talent acquisition professionals overestimate employee awareness of their internal mobility programs by more than 2X. Further, respondents in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and India overwhelmingly say it is easier to locate an open position outside of their company, than to be promoted within.

Halverson provides the following tips for building awareness of internal mobility programs:

  • Brainstorm how your organization can develop an internal mobility program, if one doesn’t already exist
  • Begin discussing internal mobility programs during the onboarding process
  • Leverage and publicize internal mobility programs through employee referral programs to raise visibility
  • Communicate internal promotions through multiple internal and external channels to create stories about employee advancement within the company
  • Routinely assess employee awareness of the organization’s internal mobility program and adjust communication channels accordingly

Employee mobility programs have always been a great tool to encourage staff retention. Now they are increasingly important as companies face growing talent shortages due to skill gaps, and more workers begin to feel confident about seeking other job opportunities. Halverson adds, "Ultimately, internal mobility programs should be built into the company culture and employer branding efforts. Current and future employees should not only have a clear understanding of the career opportunities available within the company, but also see that there are viable paths for advancement."