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a blog by Chris Barrow

Urgent and Important - The Jobs War

Last night I had a Zoom meeting with client who has lost 2/3rds of her team since the beginning of the year - and I’m noticing this across the dental landscape.

Earlier this week a client informed me that 4 of 7 had gone in one week.

It's easy to rush to the assumption that maybe each of these is a rubbish boss in a lousy practice but that's not even close to the truth.

Let's look at why the 4 people mentioned have decided to move on:

  1. Deciding to travel Europe during the summer with a friend and has taken an agency job to earn more until she travels (also "sick of having to do other people's jobs for them");

  2. Had enough of nursing after 12 years, going to take her A-levels again and retrain as a paramedic - taking agency work for higher pay whilst taking exams;

  3. Upset because TCO job was offered to someone else, had enough of constantly firefighting;

  4. Trainee who says she is not getting enough support work for her course (disputed by her colleagues) and has taken a higher paid position in a nearby practice.

There is a labour shortage in dentistry for both clinical and non-clinical jobs.

We know the reasons:

  • Long Brexit;

  • Covid;

  • Burn out;

  • Historically low wages ("I could get this for stacking shelves at Aldi");

  • Lack of appreciation;

  • Lack of career pathway;

  • Lack of resilience.

Here's what I told my clients this week...

The simple law of supply and demand dictates:

  • Be ready to pay significantly more to attract new team members and to keep the ones you have;

  • Be ready to pass that straight through to the patients in fee per item price increases;

  • Make sure that every team member is offered a Personal Progress Interview EVERY MONTH;


  • Make sure you have added some extra benefits to the employed contracts - study days, bursaries for education, staff perks packages, pension and health cover.

It’s a simple employment war - impossible to avoid in the short term.

The battle goes on.

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1 Comment

andrew fennell
andrew fennell
Mar 18, 2022

good pal of mine is doing her paramedic training and looking forward to earning a wopping £27K starting salary...

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