job application

You’re offering a job, so why aren’t you getting applications? You need to figure out why dental job seekers are not applying to your ad or showing up to interviews.

These 9 problems contribute to a lack of dental applicants:

1. You are in competition with many other hiring dental offices.

You have to offer something they want. Does your ad sound like you have a great place to work? Explain who you are, and why they should want to work with you. Showcase your core values and who you are. Do you think your office is a fun place to work? Tell them! Our blog, How to Write a Job Description for the Covid-19 World, will help you write a better job description for the changing times.

2. Supply and demand: the job market for dental professionals is extremely tight. 

As of May 2019, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there were 0.8 unemployed persons per job opening. Since Covid-19, the medical field has only gotten more tight in hiring. Offer something special to attract a hire to beat out the competition. Also think about motivating those who already have a job, who could discover that your office is a more satisfying fit.

Learn more about this Post-Covid in our blog, So…Where Are All the Clinical Candidates?

3. Think about your audience: job seeking is exhausting.

Many job hunters have dealt with unresponsive, perhaps unscrupulous recruiters, so don’t add to their difficulties. Be prompt, be honest, and whether positive or negative, be responsive.

4. Maybe you are the problem!

Just as you should never send an email without spell checking, or with links that you have not personally double-checked, beware that one typo could turn your ad to toast. Review your job ad to be sure all the information, job opening, location, contact information, and any links are all complete and correct. 

5. Be a standout! Detail why your office is a great place to work.

Clearly explain what this employee will be doing, and how she or he will fit into your office workflow. Think a little more broadly than just a daily routine, what can they expect to accomplish professionally, and personally? 

How are you different? Highlight the perks that set your office apart. Vacation and medical benefits, of course, but what about other advantages, like flex time, training, continuing education, job sharing, new technology, bagels every Friday, or a mission statement that provides a key to your office culture, like community service or sponsoring a Scout troop.

6. Include relevant keywords.

Everything first depends on job hunters finding you via an Internet search, so make sure you are using the language they will be using to find you, for each specific job opening and for the dental industry.

7. Diversity solves problems faster.

Being able to attract employees with a mix of age, gender, and ethnicity means your practice can be all the more encompassing. We make this easy to do with SmartView, our blind screening tool that reduces unconscious bias in the initial candidate screening stage. 

8. Use an already vital office resource, your current employees.

They may know someone or know someone who knows someone, who would be perfect for the job. And they can be great cheerleaders, with firsthand knowledge of what your office can provide. 

9. Keep it simple!

You’ve probably visited websites that have blasted you with pop-up ads, surveys, or sign-up forms that were just dreadful and confusing to navigate. Don’t be that ad! If your job ad and application are too complicated, prospective dental employees will not apply, throw in the towel, and go elsewhere. Additionally, simple wording like terms and qualifications that are well understood for the particular position (certifications, etc) will help you tremendously.

Additional Tips to Stay Ahead and Be Competitive in the dental labor market:

A bad reputation will trickle out to the community, so don’t get a bad rep in the first place. Respect all your applicants. Keep them informed in a timely way. Don’t ever be so unresponsive or cavalier that your office is known on the job-seeking grapevine as a place you wouldn’t want to work. 

Don’t just brag about your workplace, support it with facts. A snippet of a testimonial, a list of recent awards or accolades, (a newspaper or industry magazine profile of your office or an employee? Voted “Best of” in your city magazine?) Or is there a potent fact or figure that can bolster your claims about a good working environment? 

Guessing is never fun! Tell me exactly what you want me to do to make this connection. Call, or don’t call. We’ll follow up with you, or you follow up with us in an email in 7 days. Include references and certifications, or wait until you get called in for an interview. 

Be flexible, and go the extra mile if you’ve got a good vibe about a candidate. Getting the right person for a job is a big investment for your office and for a prospective employee.  So if a job prospect looks quite promising, but already works a full-time job, make it possible to meet early, late, or on a weekend when it’s time for a one on one talk. 
Don’t lose a good candidate because it would take a bit of inconvenience to make a meeting happen.

Do unto others: You want answers fast, they want answers fast–with the job market so tight, you can’t dawdle. Be kind and respond!

Download our Dental Hiring Toolkit: We’ve created the Ultimate Hiring Toolkit to assist you in your search. Following our method and guidance, you can set yourself up for success and hire right the first time.

Updated February 25th, 2021
Originally published August 23rd, 2019

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