6 minutes reading time (1146 words)

How to attract talent to your practice

Emma Anastasi - Diamond Dental Staff Founder

Zoe Close speaks to dental recruitment specialist, Emma Anastasi, about ways to recruit top team members in your practice… One of the many ways in which COVID-19 has changed our world has been the impact it’s had on workforces worldwide.

I don’t just mean a shift to working from home for those who can or operating under stricter safety measures, although that has been a huge change to grapple with. But the pandemic has also led lots of people to question their priorities when it comes to their working life and even what career they really want to pursue.

A combination of these factors has led to a massive recruitment issue, not just in dentistry but in industries across the board. It’s such a big problem economists have coined it ‘The Great Resignation’.

To find out more about why this is the case and what you can do to plug your vacancies with the right people and recruit talent in your practice, I spoke to Emma Anastasi from dental recruitment specialists, Diamond Dental Staff.

ZC: Why is there a recruitment crisis in dentistry at the moment?

EA: From feedback we’ve received, it's clear that perhaps there's been a lack of leadership from certain practices during the pandemic and employees didn't feel like they had much support.

It was a time when no one really knew what was going on so, as a leader, it would've been very challenging and difficult to advise on something you had no control over.

Family commitments have changed in terms of childcare arrangements. Many people said that they're not looking to commute for longer than an hour to ninety minutes on public transport and they're looking for a local practice.

Many have said that they're looking for more flexibility and also that their priorities are changing; they want to spend more time with their family. It might be that they've considered a completely different career path altogether and have used this time as an opportunity to concentrate on their own goals and dreams outside of dentistry.

Now, pay wasn't the top of that list. Although pay is a massive thing, it's not everything. The team culture, what the practice can offer in terms of wellness, team training and support is important. A happy staff leads to a more engaged and proactive workforce. So, if it's not been your focus now is the time to start thinking about your employer branding.

ZC: What is ‘employer branding’ and how do you use that to attract the right talent?

EA: Employer branding is all about what you can offer your employees, your Employee Value Proposition.

It’s no longer enough to just say ‘I’m looking for a dental nurse’. Prospective employees want to know who you are, what the team is like, the career opportunities that will be available to them at your practice, etc.

For example, 82% of job seekers in the UK rated a company description as important information to see in a job description.

94% said working days and hours were important and 83% rated the work environment as a key detail that they want to see in job adverts.

Be as honest and as detailed as you can about what working in your practice is like. If you’re now working an 8am – 8pm shift pattern with flexibility to work either early or late shifts, say so. You might find that kind of flexibility is appealing to particular applicants.

Try and be as inclusive as possible in terms of what your team structure and the working environment looks like e.g., ‘we have three clinicians, two receptionists and you’ll be supported by our practice manager’.

ZC: What should you include in a job advert to attract the best person for the role?

EA: When structuring your job advert your format should include an introduction to the practice and team, the location and what you are offering – that Employee Value Proposition which is so important.

Essentially, why should they come to you? There’s big competition out there, especially when it comes to dental nurses, so you really need to make it as attractive as possible.

Is it a modern practice? Are you due to have a refurb? What's the locality of the practice? Are there good transport links? Are there lots of parking spots? Is there a nice park in the local area that you go on lunch breaks to? Really try and paint the picture to sell it to them. So, it’s less of a job description now and more about attracting the person.

We receive a lot of feedback that our applicants want to feel part of the team; they've got additional skills but they're not able to utilise them and that there's no career advancement.

There’s a fairly staggering statistic that 40% of employees with poor training leave their jobs within the first year. You can use this to form part of your Employee Value Proposition – are you able to offer good training opportunities? Are there other in-house roles they can train towards?

Have a real emphasis on upskilling and offering people the opportunity to grow within your team and talk about that in your job advert.

The only way that we can overcome the recruitment crisis is by making time for your team members and providing that structured training. One of the reasons we're facing a shortage in dental nurses is because in the peak of the pandemic when practices were working with reduced teams, they just didn’t have the resources to offer training or induction for new dental nurses coming into the practice.

Understanding what your team member is looking for and being able to introduce that to the practice, is key to attracting (and retaining) staff. And it’s not just in terms of pay, training and career goals, as I said at the start, people’s priorities have changed and you need to consider what other employee benefits are attractive to candidates.

ZC: Thank you Emma for a great discussion on such a pressing topic.


If you’d like to work with a membership plan provider who thinks about your needs and supports your business, helping you to find solutions to the things that matter, why not have a chat with Practice Plan on 01691 684165. To find out more, visit their website.


About Emma

Emma is a founding Director of Diamond Dental Staff – a company that helps recruit dental staff and which is now extending its services to train owners and managers in how to implement their employer branding and build an employee value proposition strategy.

About Zoe

Zoe Close is Area Sales Manager at Practice Plan, the leading provider of practice-branded dental plans. Zoe has over 30 years’ experience in the dental sector, including working as Group Business Manager for a corporate group, Dental Nurse, Head Receptionist and Practice Manager.




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