In last week's blog post, I gave an example of how a dental clinic had successfully designed its entire recruitment campaign to attract the right candidates.
This week, I give an example of how a job ad in a rural part of the country can be designed to attract the right candidates and be credible at the same time.
I would like to point out that I am a big believer in honesty and transparency. It is generally a really bad idea to write and do something that is not in line with reality. It's understandable that you might want to do that in desperation. It just feels wrong to everyone, just as it has been shown countless times throughout history that lying and deception will always come back to haunt us at a later date. So my best advice for that is very simple: Don't!
Dental clinic in the outskirts
Some time ago, I read two fabulous job postings.
One was a posting that was super targeted at recent dental graduates. In fact, it was so good that I wrote an email directly to the clinic, just to commend them on their written communication (I think we need more praise and recognition in our industry. So when the opportunity presents itself, I try to react on it)
The second posting stood out by "selling" all the great benefits that were in the area. In particular, it highlighted the magnificent scenery and all the experiences that individuals and families would gain from settling in the area. The "marketing" of the clinic was fabulous. Very niche orientated and therefore eye catching, for the right candidate.
Niche-oriented job postings
I do not know the clinic or the clinic owner. So the following would be my recommendation for a job interview. Because I'm sure the clinic will get an applicant or two, with the good job posting - even though the clinic is very far from any highway.
A niche-oriented job ad makes more demands on the job interview. There should be a good connection between what is promised in the job advertisement and what the applicant experiences during the interview.
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The Recruitment Experience
It goes without saying that you have to put more effort into the whole recruitment process if you have a clinic in an area with recruitment difficulties. It's not just about the job advert itself, but the whole experience. So let's see which touchpoints could be relevant here:
Personal interview - content
The framework of the interview
Vision and structure of the clinic
Onboarding program and process
Integration into the community
The job advertisement
Last week I went through in some detail how to work with your job ad. Follow the link here if you want to read or re-read the blog post.
When the main message of the job advertisement is about the great local environment and the many fantastic opportunities in the outdoors. Then it's important to maintain your integrity throughout. This doesn't mean that every email has to contain a lot of detailed descriptions of the nature in the area. Of course, the communication should also include other questions and answers relevant to the position.
However, I think you should make sure to keep the line of the job advertisement and add a little twist to your emails that smells a bit of the positive elements from the job advertisement. Optimally, each touchpoint should shed light on a new angle or reveal an unknown little detail. It's a bit like children opening a new window in their Christmas calendar.
As in the e-mail correspondence, it is perfectly ok to talk a lot about professional themes, equipment, expectations of each other, let the applicant describe his/her strengths and weaknesses, with the different methods available for this, etc. etc. It is also important, again, to weave the main "selling point" into the conversation. You should ask what prompted the applicant to respond to the job advertisement. This will probably lead naturally to the main theme of the text. In this case, the unique local environment and stunning scenery.
Personal interview - framework and content
Of course, when an applicant comes for an interview, it is important to show off the clinic and talk about the job itself. Through prior correspondence, some insight into the professional qualifications, job expectations and personal preferences is obviously gained.
Personal preferences are particularly interesting to note. This is where the personal relationship can be developed. It strengthens the possibility of finding the good (or bad) chemistry between employer and employee. So assuming the clinic owner him- or herself thinks the local environment and nature is fantastic. Knowing that the applicant enjoys hiking in nature. You should then take the opportunity to invite them to a walking meeting - possibly in hiking boots. A short stop at one of the locals for a chat would be a good idea.
Staged? Maybe. But it's just as much this part of the job that an applicant for such a position is interested in. Why leave it to chance whether the applicant gets the right experiences in the local area after the interview? The employer is familiar with the area and therefore has all the prerequisites to introduce the applicant to the area in the best possible way.
Visions and structures of the clinic
4 weeks ago, I wrote about the 4 prerequisites for an ideal recruitment process. If you didn't get to read that post, you can follow the link here and gain insight into this crucial part for a good hiring process.
Onboarding program and process
All major companies train their employees before they are unleashed on the company's customers. One of the only places this doesn't happen is in the dental industry. Here, a new employee is typically introduced to his or her workplace, the most necessary tools and a cursory introduction to colleagues.
After a few days of needful "over the shoulder" chaos management. It is expected that the new employee can manage on their own. Of course, in line with the manager's vision and the culture of the clinic, which no one has told them about. (Feel free to disagree with me in the comments section at the bottom of the page if you disagree😊).
Experiences from other industries
A European partnership with ClearCorrect gave me the opportunity to spend an evening in the company of the head of Scandinavian telephone support at Straumann. He told me that a new member of the support team undergoes an intensive 14-day induction course. They are then allowed to first observe how customers are handled on the phone, before being allowed to take care of the simplest tasks over the phone themselves. Of course, with 100% supervision and support from an experienced employee. A new employee is only expected to be 70% self-sufficient after 6 months and only after 12 months of training is the employee expected to be able to handle his position completely independently. It is the same in the best hotels, in the airline industry, in luxury shops, etc, etc. Why is this so? Because the big players have already found the negative impact untrained employees have on their business. They know they will be loosing a lot of customers and revenue if their employees don't live up to the standards of the business from day one. Try to compare this with the average dental clinic...
So it pays to train your staff well before throwing them into their tasks. Even if they are tasks that they should be able to handle on paper. A good introduction to the job means happier staff, happier customers, a less stressful working environment and a more profitable business.
Integration into the local community
When I had a practice in Skagen, I was active in 2 different business clubs and in the tourist association. These were the two places I could see that I could contribute most positively locally. In a development committee across the tourist board, the trade association and the port (Skagen's largest workplace in terms of revenue), we worked to find solutions to the obvious recruitment challenges all businesses faced in the town.
With 8,000 permanent residents. Tourism and fishing, as the predominant industries and with major logistical challenges of land transport. On paper, it could be quite difficult to find jobs for 2 university graduates. Just as the demographics, history and culture of the city did not facilitate the integration of highly educated people.
A possible solution to a major challenge
In a joint initiative, the city's business community succeeded in establishing networks that worked to help each other integrate new high-skilled arrivals. It soon became clear that it was a hundred times easier to attract and retain skilled workers if they were quickly integrated into the local community. It also turned out to be difficult to keep a voluntary coordinated effort active over time.
The conclusion is that if a clinic is located in an area where it is difficult to recruit, working with your local network can be a really good investment. In some areas of the country, good integration into the local community accounts for almost half of the success in retaining the staff we recruit. Last but not least, we must also recognise that commuting 50+ kilometres each way is unrealistic. (There are examples of this. But they are rarely sustainable)
Of all the 9 touchpoints I have described. Leadership is the most influential. Across all industries, 90% of managers, top executives and business owners believe they are practicing good leadership. When you ask employees, it's closer to 20%.
Leadership - or rather competent leadership - is a sought-after commodity. Just as systematically applied management can lift any clinic to what the clinic owner wants - granted: in some areas, it can take longer to realise one's dreams. Nevertheless, it is possible (in about 95% of all cases).
This was the 6th blog post on recruitment. I hope you found them useful. If there's anything you think I'm missing, get around. Please feel free to write to me. You'll find my contact information at the bottom of the page.
Next week will be about something completely different, which can have a huge impact on clinic productivity. If you want to be sure to read my blog posts, sign up for the blog. Then an email will come every week with a link directly to the latest post. To sign up for the blog, click on "login" in the top right corner and follow the prompts.
See you next week.
Many kind regards
Jesper Hatt DDS
P: +41 78 268 00 78