How to Get Lots of People to Apply to Your Dental Job Listing
-Written by Dr. DeAngelo S. Webster
In a market when local dentists in my same area get 10-25 applicants when they post a job listing for a dental assisting job opening, I get over 400 applicants when I list an add. In a market when local dentists in my same area struggle to get even a single dental hygienist to apply for a job, I’ve gotten multiple hygienist resumes within the first 24 hours of making an ad.
As modern dentistry evolves, the demand for skilled professionals in the field continues to rise. From dental assistants to hygienists, practice managers to front desk coordinators, finding the right fit for your clinic can feel like an elusive treasure hunt. However, the secret might be simpler than you think: casting a wider net.
You can not select the right person, if you do not first have an opportunity to meet the right person.
Why a Wide Net Matters
The wider the net, the more fish you catch. This age-old adage holds true even in the contemporary world of dental recruitment. As dentists, we’re sometimes tempted to make our job listings as specific as possible, thinking this will help weed out unqualified candidates. But in doing so, you might be unintentionally filtering out some incredible talent.
Example 1: Imagine your clinic is in a bustling city center, and you specify in your listing that applicants must have experience working in similar high-paced urban environments. By doing this, you might miss out on a candidate who has only worked in suburban areas but possesses excellent skills and adaptability.
Example 2: Let’s say you set a minimum wage in your job posting. A potential applicant with vast experience might see that rate, assume there’s no room for negotiation, and move on. Had you been vague about the pay or indicated that it’s negotiable based on experience, that candidate might have reached out.
The Risks of Over-Specification
Limiting the Applicant Pool: While it might seem counterintuitive, overly detailed listings can drastically reduce the number of applicants. This reduction not only limits the quantity but also the quality and diversity of potential candidates.
Dissuading the Willing: Even if an applicant is willing to compromise on certain aspects (e.g., work hours, responsibilities), they might be dissuaded from applying if they feel they don’t meet every criterion listed.
Closing Doors on Negotiation: Sometimes, potential candidates see a job listing as the final word. If you appear too rigid in your posting, you may lose the chance to negotiate terms that could satisfy both parties.
Crafting a Broad Yet Effective Job Listing
Generalize the Essentials: Instead of saying, “Must have 5 years of experience in pediatric dentistry,” consider, “Experience in pediatric dentistry preferred.” This opens the door for candidates with 3 or 4 years of experience to still consider applying.
Highlight Flexibility: Emphasize that some terms are negotiable, whether it’s pay, hours, or benefits. This not only attracts a wider range of applicants but also projects an image of your clinic as accommodating and understanding.
Focus on Core Values and Culture: More than the specifics of the job, highlight what your clinic stands for. Are you patient-centric? Do you value ongoing education and training? This can attract applicants who align with your values.
Example: Instead of writing, “Need a dental hygienist willing to work weekends for $X/hr,” you could say, “Seeking a passionate dental hygienist to join our patient-focused team. Flexibility and benefits available based on experience.”
The Power of Opportunity
In the realm of dental recruitment, remember that every job listing is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to find that perfect fit, that ‘diamond in the rough’ who could elevate your practice to new heights. By casting a wider net, you’re not just increasing your chances—you’re creating more opportunities for your clinic and potential candidates.
By embracing this approach, you position your clinic as a welcoming, flexible, and forward-thinking place, attracting talent that aligns with your values and vision. Remember, the right fit might just be one broad job listing away.
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