Rebuilding your recruitment strategy
Lisa McCusker explains how to get the best recruits for your team.
It is no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the employment landscape dramatically. Within highly impacted industries such as dentistry, the reality is that some businesses will continue to find themselves furloughing or laying off staff. Others will be scrambling to scale up their workforce in order to accommodate an influx of patients seeking treatment. This is unchartered territory for many dental practice owners, especially those who have had to make difficult decisions in the face of uncertainty. With practices adapting to a new state of ‘normality’, now is the time to reassess your recruitment goals and make any necessary adjustments based on recent changes in the market.
No matter whether you are freezing, stabilising or ramping up hiring, a sound recruitment strategy is essential to ensure you have the right team at your back – both now and in the future. This is particularly important given that you are likely to be among the many businesses looking to bounce back quickly from the Covid-19 crisis. As such, if you lack the appropriately trained staff to support the increased demand for dental services, you and your team could easily become overwhelmed, overworked and unable to provide the high quality care that patients expect. When it comes to rebuilding your recruitment strategy, there are some key factors to consider.
Mind the skills gaps
The first step is to identify the roles you may have lost as a result of the pandemic. These roles will need to be filled both in the short and long term, so it is crucial to have a clear view of the skills within your practice team and the skills you will need in the future as the economy begins to recover. As with any other business strategy, an investment in talent requires you to have a complete picture of your current workforce before making any decisions. Skills gaps may have changed since the pandemic arose, meaning you might need to focus on hiring staff with more soft skills – such as the ability to adapt or collaborate effectively – rather than simply screen for hard skills and past experience.
Furthermore, changing ways of working could influence skills gaps, especially as some practices are beginning to offer remote working arrangements – whether to perform patient consultations or monitor treatment, for instance. Therefore, you may need to screen for remote working skills such as strong time management and communication. Some businesses have also launched an internal mobility programme to fill the skills gaps that have appeared since the Covid-19 crisis unfolded. This means that if a member of staff has transferrable skills or characteristics, they could take advantage of lateral career advancements or transitions between different areas within the business, which can help to further protect their role.
Maintain an active candidate pipeline
Once you understand the skills gaps within your business, the next step to rebuilding an effective recruitment strategy is to screen for the right skills and, consequently, hire the right candidate. The consequences of employing the wrong person for the job can go beyond turnover costs, which is why it is vital to avoid rushing the process. Taking a wrong turn on the recruitment road could delay recovery efforts and put your business at a competitive disadvantage. Of course, with the added turbulence of the current employment landscape, competition for exceptional dental talent will be more intense than ever.
To increase your chances of attracting the best candidates, take this opportunity to ensure your candidate pipeline remains as active as possible. The goal is to ensure individuals remain engaged with the recruitment process so that – when you are in a position to hire – you have access to the most suitable applicants. If you are ever unsure where to start, it is always worthwhile enlisting the help of an expert team, such as Dental Elite, who can help you find the best candidates for both locum or permanent positions. They can do the leg work to check the background of candidates – including whether they have the right compliance – to ensure their suitability for the role. This affords significant time-saving benefits with regard to the overall recruitment process.
Very few industries have been left untouched by the economic fallout of Covid-19, which has various implications that are being felt across the entirety of the dental profession. However, the challenges of the past year have truly demonstrated that people are a company’s greatest asset. Regardless of whether hiring is currently on your to-do list or not, a sound recruitment strategy is an essential component of rebuilding a stable, supportive and efficient workforce that can weather any storm. This is the opportunity to re-evaluate your hiring strategy in order to position your business more competitively in a recovering job market, which will help ensure the survival and success of your practice in the post-pandemic era.