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a blog by Chris Barrow

Recruitment, Retention and Remuneration - a storm ahead

In my first 48 hours back at work, the #1 issue facing clients has become very obvious, hence the title of this morning's post.

Some examples from my inbox this week:

  • The Dental Therapist demanding 50% of all fees collected before agreeing to join a practice;

  • The client who has lost 3 senior team players, all of whom have been headhunted by rival businesses;

  • The micro-corporate who have advertised for associates in 3 locations and, so far, have had just 2 CVs submitted, in spite of registering with 3 agencies;

  • The owner who is worried that her 60% NHS fulfilment target cannot be achieved because her associate is abroad visiting unwell family, cannot get back and will have to self-isolate when back;

  • Multiple examples of team members taking maternity leave, leaving the profession for similarly-paid jobs with less onerous working conditions and following partners and spouses who have changed their career pathway;

  • Dental nurses choosing to leave full-time employment with one Employer and sign on with locum agencies.

Unlike previous years, it isn't going to be so easy to replace team members by zipping off to recruitment fairs in continental Europe - Brexit has put paid to that.

Whilst away, I noted a thread on Linkedin suggesting that 5,000 dental nurses have deregistered during the pandemic, representing a loss of almost 10% of the UK nursing workforce - and they are not being replaced.

The available supply of associates, nurses, hygienists, therapists and associates is, quite simply, drying up.

Referring back to my secondary school economics - that means that the cost of hiring will increase - wages are going to go up.

Never more important, therefore, to start with retention - what do you have to do to keep the good people you already have - then recruitment - how do you attract ideal team players?

Tomorrow morning I'll be releasing my July tutorial in The Extreme Business Academy and I'll be focusing on the answer to those very questions. I'll be looking at good ideas to keep your existing team in place and to be viewed as a preferred place to work.

All of my existing clients (and all of their team members) will have immediate access to the tutorial from tomorrow.

I predict this to become the most serious challenge that we will face in the next 6 months.

Remuneration across the board will have to rise and it is essential to pass those increases in variable and fixed costs on to patients in the form of price rises - otherwise your profit margins will be eroded.

So we are going to have to come up with some language to explain to patients why prices are going to go up again - that will be my next job.

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andrew fennell
andrew fennell
04. Aug. 2021

Chris, the GDC regularly update the number of dental professionals on their register here:

In fact, there are slightly more nurses registered in July 2021 (61878) than in July 2020 (60829). In July 2019 there were a handful more (62222).

Nevertheless, nurses are hard to find now (job ads returning 1 qualified nurse CV vs 10 in years past) and there are no temps available.

Why? I would love to hear what you think. My thruppenceworth is

1 clinics are doing more hours to service increased demand

2 the Pingdemic , lots of nurses having to take a week off

3 hygienists mostly won't work without a nurse now (the opposite to pre Covid)

4 employees all have rollover…

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