Thursday, November 20, 2014

What to Look for in a Reference

A lot can go into a hiring manager’s decision of whether or not to bring you on as their next employee, including your skill set, work experience, personality, and professionalism. While a lot of emphasis and focus is often placed on the above items, sometimes the deciding factor may come down to how effectively your references portray you as the best fit for the hiring manager’s need.

Here are some guidelines to follow when providing professional references to a potential future employer:
  1. Follow the employer’s instructions regarding references – Many job applicants often wonder if they should always include professional references on their resume or application. A good rule of thumb is if a job posting doesn’t request references, then don’t list any references on your resume. When a posting does require references, follow the instructions exactly as listed on the job application. Adhering to an employer’s instructions is always the first step to showing you’re a competent and detail-oriented applicant.
  2. Choose references wisely – Obviously the most important step to selecting a good professional reference is, well, selecting a good professional reference. But which individuals from your work history would make the best references? Your professional references should all have the following qualities:
    1. Genuinely want to see you succeed and do well in your career
    2. Able to answer tough questions about you on-the-fly
    3. Witnessed you demonstrate both hard skills (specific, teachable abilities) and soft skills (interacting effectively with other people) in a work environment
    4. Well-spoken and able to clearly communicate your strengths, expertise, and professionalism in detail
  3. Avoid workplace conflict – If you haven’t announced to your current employer that you’re looking for a new position elsewhere, carefully consider who you list as a reference if any of those references work with you currently. Make sure your coworker can be trusted to keep your search confidential until you decide to make the announcement in your own time.
  4. Ask for permission – Reaching out to your professional references before listing them on a resume or application is not only a polite professional courtesy, but also gives you the opportunity to briefly update them on your recent work history and goals. While most individuals you consider as a reference will be willing to help you out, have a few extra potentials in mind in case one of them politely declines or expresses hesitation. Never make someone feel obligated to serve as your professional reference – their hesitation might be interpreted as negativity when your interviewer gives them a call, skewing your chances of landing the job.
  5. Get updated contact info – Be sure to get updated contact information for all of your references, and verify their information is up-to-date before submitting your resume or application. For each reference, include the person’s name, job title, relationship to you (co-worker, manager, etc.), company name, address, and contact info (at least one phone number and an email address, if possible). Going through the trouble of lining up the perfect reference is wasted time if they can’t be reached.
Occasionally check in with your references and make sure their contact info hasn’t changed. If you know a professional reference you listed has been contacted by your potential employer, it’s OK to thank them with one quick email or phone call for their willingness to help you out. Doing so will reiterate your professionalism and will leave your reference with positive feelings toward you that could potentially shine through in their next conversation with a hiring manager.

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

Friday, November 7, 2014

Looking at the Job Interview through a New Lens

Most companies conduct job interviews as a series of one-on-one conversations between pre-screened candidates and key decision makers. The goal is to gain more details about the depth of the interviewee's skills, and assess whether they will be a good fit for the role and the company culture. However, when you consider the efficiency of this method in the executive, managerial and professional space, there may be a better approach. If your company operates through more of a collaborative, team approach, that same methodology can be used to ensure you make a good hire.

FFP November 2014 
Click to enlarge.

So what is a team interviewing process and what does it look like? "A team interview operates under the premise that top candidates typically excel during one-on-one interviews because they know all the right things to say," observes Nancy Halverson, vice president of global operations for MRINetwork. "They're well prepared and they're great under pressure. Putting them in a group setting turns the tables a bit, presenting a scenario where only individuals who have the ability to work well in a team will excel. Further, a team interview provides the opportunity for the company to conduct routine business exercises, such as brainstorming or planning sessions, where the candidate is asked to contribute to the group's discussion on anything from the development of a strategy, to shaping the required steps for execution of an upcoming initiative."

Unlike panel interviews, team interviews do not focus on rapid-fire questions from multiple stakeholders that can create a stressful situation for candidates. Instead, team interviews let decision makers subtly observe candidates in a seemingly more casual environment.

Halverson offers the following advice for why employers should consider bringing in the team to evaluate candidates:

A team interview helps employers quickly weed out candidates who are not a good fit. Great candidates who don't have the collaborative skills needed to succeed in the organization are eliminated at this stage, thereby expediting the interviewing process. A swift interviewing process is critical in the candidate-driven professional space: it means a faster hiring process for the company, which in turn increases the ability to keep top performers, who have several job opportunities at their disposal, engaged in the process.

This scenario provides more objectivity during the interviewing process. Having multiple team members interact with candidates in a group setting and observe their behavior, is much more effective than just evaluating candidates from the perspective of one interviewer.

The sharing, cooperative aspect of team interviews caters to the work environment that many Millennials seek. This will become increasingly important as Millennials become the majority of the 2020 workforce.

A team interview can help companies avoid wasting time and money on a bad hire. Just because a candidate is talented and skilled, doesn't mean he or she would be right for your organization.

As the executive, managerial and professional labor market becomes increasingly candidate-driven, companies have to look for every way possible to shorten their hiring processes and keep their top picks from accepting other job offers. Team interviews expedite the recruitment process by replacing several individual meetings with key decision makers and condensing them into one group meeting. Halverson concludes, "A team interview is a great way to gain deeper insight about candidates' collaborative and interpersonal skills, while also giving them a glimpse of the company’s culture and approach to work. Job interviews should be a two-way exchange. If played well, this experience could be the thing that makes "A players" want the job opportunity as much as your organization wants them."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Checklist and Timeline for Graduating Dental Students

Graduation from Dental School is an exciting time, and there is a lot to do. We’ve put together a checklist and timeline of things to consider when working on your job search. We hope this can help you avoid any delays in kicking off your career as a new dentist.

Checklist for Graduating Dental Students
  • FIRST! Set your personal career goals by determining your ideal practice setting and financial needs. Try to plan for the first 2 to 5 years of your career. Trust me, this plan will look completely different in 1 to 3 years.
  • Resume: sample
  • Cover Letter: sample
  • Proof Book or Look Book
    • Contains case presentations, before/after photos, letters of recommendations, testimonials, production date, etc.
  • References
    • Needs to be professional, academic, or any non-family member
    • Three is plenty
  • Interview Preparation: complete list of tips
  • License Applications
    • States vary so make sure to learn what they require, especially what Regional Board exams they recognize
  • Other permits: DEA, state controlled substance permit, sedation permits

    Other helpful links:
    Timeline: You will need to budget your time and understand factors that may delay your expected start date with a practice. Ideally you need to plan on not starting with a practice for at least six weeks after graduation. Here are some dates or blocks of time to consider.
  • Graduation Date
    • Late May or Early June
  • Board Scores
    • Take your regional exams as early as possible in order to have your scores prior to your graduation
    • Many employers won’t show interest unless you have passed your regional board
  • Job applications
  • Telephone Interview
    • Plan for this to take place within one to three weeks after you submit an application or resume
  • Face to Face Interview
    • Plan for this to take place within one to six weeks after your telephone interview
  • Licensing process
    • Takes 4 to 6 weeks
    • Fingerprints: We recommend doing this as early as you can per the state boards’ rules. Sometimes it takes weeks to mail off your fingerprints and wait for your receipt that must accompany your license application
    • Background and credential verification: Some states (notably AK, NM, WY and several others) use a third party service for credentialing that will add 30 to 60 days to your license processing time.
    • It’s very important to learn which states require applicants to submit their licensing applications in conjunction with state board meeting dates. For example, AK only meets quarterly, and requires applications to be in the office 45 days before that meeting.
  • Insurance credentialing
    • Once you have the license, the job, and a start date, you may still be delayed on production if you must wait for insurance or medicaid credentialing processes. This could take a couple of weeks to several months depending on the state and the insurance companies

Typical Timeline for a New Doctor to Start Employment
Build resume, cover letter
February 1, 2015
Start submitting applications to practices
February 1, 2015
Telephone interviews done
February 28, 2015
1 month
Face to Face Interviews completed
April 20, 2015
Receive offers
May 1, 2015
2 months
Accept Offers
May 9, 2015
May 23, 2015
License application completed and submitted
June 1, 2015
3 months
License issued
July 1, 2015
Start employment
July 6, 2015
4 months
Insurance/Medicaid credentialing completed
August 17, 2015
5.5 months

5 to 6 months from starting your search to reaching full capacity as a newly employed associate
Other timeline factors to consider:
  • Job search is in rural areas or across the country: Add weeks or months to your search since timing of interviews will likely be determined by your ability to travel and breaks in your school schedule
  • Spouse or significant other’s schedule
  • Kids’ schedules
  • Delays in your clinical requirements completion
Written by Carl Guthrie, Senior Account Executive/Dental Recruiter at ETS Dental. For more information, contact Carl directly at 540-491-9104 or