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a blog by Chris Barrow

Welcome to February - trends and recruitment opportunities

1st February - how did that happen?

January lasted forever and 2023 has relentlessly picked up the pace.

What is this year looking like so far?

In the department of spotting trends:

  • Practices pulling the trigger on conversion from NHS to dental plan. It amazes me how many times I've heard about a formal 3-month notice being served to a LAT, resulting in a quick acknowledgment and no further communication. Some plan providers are reporting a 35% uptake on a Big Bang conversion - do the math;

  • Associates contacting me for advice on buying a practice or buying in to the practice at which they work (my post last week on this clearly touched a nerve);

  • Practices (my clients) who have increased their prices by 20% (then held their breath) and report "patient eyelids batted - zero".

  • Some slowdown in treatment plan uptake as patients think more carefully about cash flow and consumer preference (what will I spend my money on - my dentistry or something else?);

  • Recruitment remains a search for needles in the haystack.

On that last point, yesterday Tesco announced the acquisition of the Paperchase brand (although not their stores or people - that's another 800 people potentially looking for work).

Tesco also simultaneously announced the redundancy of 1,750 "Team Managers" nationwide as they cut payroll costs.

I've been very impressed with former retail managers (e.g. Debenhams) who have joined dental practices as Managers and TCO's, arriving with a strong work-ethic, tech savvy and, as Patrick Lencioni would say, "hungry, humble and people-smart".

So this morning I wonder how many of those Tesco Team Managers could fit into our landscape - and how best you could go about identifying them?

Perhaps a patient newsletter - "is there anyone you know who has just lost their job in retail?"

Or social media posts explaining that you are hiring?

It's far too easy to join the mob and fall into the narrative that "recruitment is impossible at the moment".

Keeping your eyes and ears open (as well as your mind) is a better approach - narratives are usually excuses to resist change.

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