Where to Find the Best Candidates for Your Dental Practice

You’re ready to hire another person for your dental team. You know the position they will fill and what you can pay. You’ve planned how the new employee will fit into your daily workflow.

Your next step is to find the right person. You need someone who works well with your team and fits into your culture. Where do you find qualified candidates?

In this article, we’re going to cover the best places to find candidates for your dental practice. Use these sources when you’re ready to hire someone new for your team.

Ask for Referrals

Referrals are the most powerful recruitment tool, which is why we listed it first. They let you skip a lot of recruitment work and target potential candidates who have already been vetted by people you trust. This method also tends to save you time and money that you would normally spend on advertising and job listings.

The best referrals come from people who are in your position – other practice owners and managers. They have an understanding of what you’re looking for in an employee. They may have a colleague looking for work. Or they might have applications from qualified candidates.

Your current employees each have a network of friends or former colleagues you could tap into. Employees make great referral sources because 1) they know what it’s like to work in your office, and 2) they know the kind of person who would fit in with your culture.

How do you get referrals? Just ask. Put the word out that you’re looking to hire for a particular position and would love some recommendations. If you think it will help, consider creating an incentive program that rewards someone for a successful referral.

Partner with Dental Schools

When students graduate, they want jobs as quickly as possible, which means you can find eager candidates by partnering with local dental schools. You can secure a pipeline of job candidates by building relationships with any dental schools in your area.

Many schools partner with local businesses as part of a career services program or externship program. They will invite you to set up a table at their career fair, give guest lectures to students, and attend school functions. Some schools have job placement programs where they will actually send you a qualified candidate for you to hire right away.

There are two downsides to hiring employees straight out of school, however. First, in most cases, recent graduates lack a license. You’ll have to pay them to work on tasks that don’t require a license while they prepare for their practical or clinical examinations (part two of the National Boards).

Second, recent graduates are about as inexperienced as one can be. You’ll have to provide a lot of training to make them useful. But their inexperience also makes them inexpensive to hire.

Ultimately, whether it’s worth hiring a recent graduate depends entirely on the candidate. Contact your local dental schools and ask about their partnership programs.

Consider Past Candidates

Another easy way to skip to the end of the hiring process is to consider candidates who applied to similar positions in the past. You may have a stack of applications of qualified people who simply weren’t the best at the time, but we still make excellent employees. This is especially useful if you need an employee right now and don’t have time to go through the usual process.

Pull out your old applications and look for someone right for the role you are looking to fill. If you see someone you like, give him a quick call and ask them to interview for a new position that has recently become available.

Create a Careers Page

If you have a website for your dental practice (and at this point, you absolutely should), add a page for open job positions. Add a link to this page in the header or footer.

Why create a careers page? Because people use them. Candidates regularly browse the careers pages of businesses in the areas where they want to work. In fact, many highly qualified candidates explore nearby practices to see if better opportunities are available.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a complex page. Simply list your open positions with their descriptions. Add some images of your office and team or a video if you have them. Include a way to contact you to apply.

If you aren’t sure what to write for each job, check out this list of job description templates (dental jobs are in the healthcare section).

Post on Social Media

Social media can be a useful tool because it gives your followers an easy way to spread your message. They can share your post with their followers or tag someone they think would be interested in your opportunity.

You don’t have to get fancy with your social media hiring post. Explain the position you’re hiring for and include basic information that a job seeker would want to know, like the hours, duties, and responsibilities. If you’re comfortable sharing it, lay out the compensation package. Include your contact information and a photo of your team or a link to your website’s careers page.

Most importantly, don’t forget to ask people to share the job posting with their network. You want as many eyes on your post as possible in order to reach the best candidates. Check the post at least once per day for comments and questions.

Look Internally

If you have a large dental practice, the right candidate for a position might be working for you already. One of your schedulers may be willing to move to your billing team. A dental assistant might be close to getting her hygiene license. Or you might find a team member at one office who would be willing to move to another office.

An internal hire is usually an easy transition because you know their strengths and weaknesses and they already fit in with your office culture. They know how your office operates. They’ll only need to be trained on the specifics of their new job. Plus, internal hiring may mean retaining an employee who would otherwise leave your team to pursue a position elsewhere.

The only way to find out if you can fill a position internally is to ask your team. Let everyone know that you’re looking to hire from within if you can. (This is also when you should ask for referrals.)

List on Job Platforms

Posting on a job platform is the most traditional way to hire employees. These platforms allow you to create listings with everything job seekers need to know about your position at a reasonable price. Job seekers search the platform, browse listings, and usually use the platform’s contact feature to submit an application.

Which platforms should you use? It depends on what you’re looking for and your area. If you’re hiring a dental professional, use an industry-specific platform. But if you’re looking for a receptionist, biller, or other non-dental professional, use a general platform. There are some region-specific job platforms as well.

Consider posting on platforms for temp workers, such as Dental Career Connect. It may seem counterintuitive, but this method works. Many dental workers take temporary positions because they haven’t come across a part-time or full-time position that suits them. They temp to keep their income up and explore their options. After working at an office on a temporary basis for a while, they might be persuaded to work full- or part-time.

Attend Job Fairs

Local job fairs are great ways to meet hundreds of people in just a few hours. Attendees come with their resumes, so you can review and interview candidates on the spot. Jobs fairs are also opportunities to meet other employers who have similar needs. Network with them so you can refer quality candidates between each other.

Since many job fair attendees will explore dozens (or more) positions, make sure to bring literature about the position you’re offering. They’ll need something to review later. If possible, have interested job seekers fill out an application on your laptop or tablet. This gets the hiring process started so you don’t lose desirable candidates.

Free Download: Dental Practice Recruitment Process Checklist

Keep Your Eyes Out

We’ve given you several useful ways to find quality candidates for your dental practice, but there are probably others. Keep your eyes open at all times for potential hires, especially if you have a position open at the moment. You could learn of a potential hire anywhere – from industry conferences to dinner parties. You never know when someone great may be looking for a job!