Technology continues to evolve bringing new challenges and opportunities to dental practices. The role of the practice manager in particular has changed considerably, and now requires candidates with increasing knowledge of IT systems[i].
Taking on younger candidates can be an ideal way to meet the changing demands of the job and usher in the sort of diversity that is required. Many companies welcome young employees, while others tend to avoid them, opting for more mature and experienced individuals[ii]. However, while there are advantages and disadvantages of recruiting from either age group, the changes dental practices are and will continue to face favours the younger generation who are more readily able to understand and apply technology into business.
Good dental practices operate on a hierarchical system with patients’ interests and the dentist at the top and other members of the team supporting them to enable the practice to run to its optimum capacity1. The manager has to help deliver the most efficient service possible and contributes significantly to the smooth running of the business. With the increase in laws and regulations in recent years, there has also been a huge rise in administrative work, which the modern day practice manager must complete in a timely manner, along with their other duties. Implementing new IT systems and advanced technology can reduce time spent on mundane tasks, allowing the manager more time to provide support and direction to the team.
Having young employees can bring in fresh perspectives, providing new ideas and solutions to enhance workflow and meet the changing demands. They are often more adaptable, have an abundance of energy and a natural thirst for knowledge, which can inspire colleagues around them and invigorate the workplace. Hiring a young person can also give practices the opportunity to have a greater influence in the kind of employee they become2.
Youngsters can provide an inexpensive way to grow the workforce, particularly when taking on an apprentice. In recent years there have been significant improvements made to the UK’s vocational education and training systems, as well as an increase in government funding for apprenticeships, especially in England[iii].
Through well-developed pathways, apprentices can learn the skills in the workforce that go beyond general employability. The schemes allow individuals to gain essential experience in the workplace by learning from real professionals and thus acquiring industry-specific knowledge. Senior staff will be able to work with the new recruit to encourage common values and good ethics from the outset, giving them a chance to truly understand the practice. Having learnt from current team members, the practice manager will be more able to deliver a high performance in line with the practice’s strategy, goals and values3.
Currently, practices can benefit from offering individuals the Apprenticeship in Dental Practice Management. Barnet and Southgate College is a lead provider of the scheme and offers intake for the programme periodically throughout the year, with the next start dates on: 4th May, 6th July and 14th September 2016 with other dates to follow. Find out more today about this exciting scheme and start building your business for tomorrow.
For more information on the Apprenticeship in Dental Practice Management, please contact Barnet and Southgate College:
0203 764 4333
[i] Gorman, S. (2007). Vital guide to dental practice management. Vital, 4, 19-20.
[ii] Creative & Cultural Skills. Why hire a young person? Available online 20th August 2013: https://ccskills.org.uk/careers/blog/why-hire-a-young-person [Accessed 31st April 2016].
[iii] Apprenticeships that work: A guide for employers. Available online February 2012: http://www.cipd.co.uk/NR/rdonlyres/86EA8E62-F078-4B3D-9B90-4BE6562E7E6A/0/5733ApprenticeshipGUIDEWEB.pdf [Accessed 31st April 2016].