Shaz Memon, founder of Digimax dental marketing agency shares a great recruitment tip that he came across by accident.
If your birth year starts with a 19, you will likely remember a world where no one would bat an eyelid if you told them you work all the hours available and make your life ‘fit around work’. It is what I had always seen growing up and something I did without questioning (even though my body often told me otherwise).
What changed? We tasted spending proper time with our family, exploring our minds, learning new skills and going on walks we would otherwise never have done. Outside of dentistry, the pandemic brought a gift for the introverted (or sluggish). The gift of making working from home ‘normal’ for many industries such as I.T.
For me, I realised there is not much more important in life than to be able to be there for my young daughter beyond just about bedtime (if I’m lucky) or on the weekends where I am scraping the barrel for fresh energy.
Undoubtedly a change in beliefs around working has affected the challenges in recruiting associate dentists. Challenges are to be seen across all positions, particularly nurses. The Health Foundation reports a worrying drop in nurses registering from overseas to less than half.
Young associates are also looking for far more than just a steady income when considering joining a practice. They are acutely assessing flexible schedules, the standard of equipment, mentoring, training support and encouragement, practice standards, leadership, culture, wellbeing, morale and growth opportunities. A priority has been placed on mental health and true work-life balance, which ultimately translates to happiness or contentment within a stressful profession.
We have to accept this is how it is now, even if some of our elders who walked 18 miles and then climbed four mountains to walk to school, laugh at this new approach to looking at work. The recruitment crisis is no laughing matter for practices struggling to meet high demands.
So, what is this hack I found by accident? At Digimax, the world’s highest-rated dental marketing agency, our primary focus is building powerful dental websites for dentists which rank high on Google and are backed by memorable branding. As a pro-active leader, my ears are always on standby to alert me to new sounds in the work environment. A few times I overheard in meetings, “It’s bizarre, since the launch of our new website, we have been getting a lot more job applications to work for us; is this normal?”.
It was normal to hear this about patient enquiries but not so much about job applications. Our answer was honest; we haven’t done anything notably different. As I started to hear this more from clients, and then in person at trade shows from existing clients, I began to investigate further. Did we do something on our websites to help with recruitment and we didn’t know about it?
After speaking to new associate dentists, practice managers, TCOs and nurse recruits, I discovered how we design websites made the practices look like a great workplace. Most practices are terrible at getting across how amazing they are in their marketing. Of the practices we come across 99% sound like incredible practices when you speak with them on the phone or in person. Still, when you see how they have been marketing themselves and their websites – it was easy to see why so many of them were frustrated at being left behind by less experienced, less equipped practices popping up and appearing ‘better’ than them.
As creative marketers, it is our job to represent the practice accurately. You can’t put an unrealistic spin on practices in dentistry, as it is a regulated and ethical profession. A great marketer doesn’t necessarily spin your USPs (unique selling points) – they make sure in a noisy world that your genuine USPs are not missed – and this is what we did.
We realised that the way we design websites lends itself naturally to making them appear the best place to come for dental care for patients; however, this also HUGELY benefited team recruitment. So when something is working well, I always want to take it further to see what we can do now that we know this information. So, what will help our clients or any dental practice to accelerate chances of improving their recruitment challenge?
We started to make fully-fledged sections on our websites for recruitment only. When we build a website, we ask many questions to ensure we build the best possible website for our clients. Therefore, recruitment is now a big part of the fact-finding process.
You can apply this to your practice, too. Write down the following:
- Describe your company culture
- Why should someone work for your practice? (Include championing, career opportunities, leadership, training – anything to make you stand out).
- What perks do employees receive?
- How do you stand out from your competitors? (Where potential candidates may also be considering applying).
- Where do you see the practice in the next five years?
Once you have the above, formulate it into a recruitment section on your website. A potential candidate will be impressed that you thought about them and is more likely to be drawn to working for your practice.
Shaz Memon is the founder of Digimax the world’s highest-rated dental marketing agency. An astute business leader, designer and award-winning digital and dental marketing expert. Author of Instagram for Dentists. Shaz has been featured in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Huffington Post, MSN, Forbes and most leading dental industry publications. Shaz is also founder of Wells on Wheels, the Water Wheel charity.
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