Recruitment - important perspectives

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Recruitment in dentistry has reached a critical point.

If you've heard that it's hard to find suitable candidates for a dental vacancy, you're not alone. Over the past two decades it has become increasingly difficult to recruit the right people. This is a global trend. There are differences in the type of employees that are hard to find. But overall dental practices find themselves competing to attract employees at a level never seen before.

Based on a number of specific recruitment cases I have been directly involved in, I have chosen to write a series of posts on recruitment. In the coming weeks, I'll go in-depth on what dental clinics can do in 2021 to succeed in recruitment.

Among other things, we'll look at:

  • How times have changed and how that places completely different demands on the way we recruit.

  • Why so few show interest in job postings and what you can do about it.

  • How desperate methods you might face in the competition to attract talented employees (or just suitable candidates)

  • Why many new hires don't turn out as positively as expected.

  • Success stories we can learn from.

A historical perspective from Europe

To understand what we need to do differently today, we need to take a comprehensive look back in time. I apologize in advance if I generalize or do not report history 100% correctly. If we look back in time, history will often show us the way to some of the changes needed to be successful in recruitment in the dental profession today.

The challenges of recruitment are not a new issue. Since the turn of the millennium, all forecasts of dental care trends have pointed unequivocally to 2 challenges:

  1. Too few recent graduates in relation to the number of dentists, dental nurses or dental assistants leaving the labour market.

  2. A slow population growth, due to higher average life expectancy, which in turn places greater demands on the ability of dental clinics to deal with complex clinical issues.

Politicians have chosen to ignore the repeated warnings from dental schools and dental associations over 20 years. They have had the opportunity to exercise due diligence, but have chosen, across all parties, not to do so.

As an example of political ignorance I will describe the situation in Denmark. Over 20 years ago, a report by a major international consulting company formed the basis for a policy we have been able to follow in the development of Danish dentistry. In the report, the consultants recommended, among other things, solving the problem of the above demographic development by training more dental hygienists.