In speaking with Dental Practice Owners and Dentists who are seeking employment or other practice opportunities, we find ourselves, as recruiters and consultants, saying a lot of the same things.  ETS Dental’s team would like to share with you some top bits of advice.

For Dental Job-Seekers

  • Don’t compare your offer to your friend/colleague’s offer or contract. He or she will likely inflate or lie about it.
  • Don’t move to Southern California.
  • 4 out of 5 practices pay on collections. It’s just a fact.  Don’t limit your options based on this factor alone.
  • High compensation percentages are great, but always remember that 40% of zero = ZERO.
  • When considering geographic location, think about what you’re really looking for. Do you need to be in “x” (major city) everyday, or just have access to that major city?
  • Never pay to find a job, unless you’re a professional athlete.
  • Be responsive to potential employers when they reach out to you.
  • Keep track of the practices, groups, and companies to which you apply.  It’s embarrassing when you’re called and you don’t know who you are talking to.
  • The grass will always appear greener on the other side, but very often it is not the case.
  • Don’t pretend to be a contract expert.  Get advice from experienced professionals when needed.
  • Practices are not good or bad because they are “corporate” or “private.”  Individual office management is mostly the reason practices are good or bad places to work.
  • Do you want to be a little fish in a big pond or a big fish in a little pond?
  • What is more important to you? Location or opportunity?

For Hiring Practices/Practice Owners

  • Don’t hire an associate to allow yourself more time off or fewer days per week and expect to make the same (or more) money.
  • Great associates or partners are not found or hired in a matter of days.  It takes at least a few months.
  • Listen to your office staff when making new hires.  If your team can’t stand your prospective associate, it will not go well very quickly.
  • Don’t pretend to be a contract expert.  Get advice from experienced professionals when needed.
  • The best talent is not necessarily local talent.  Be open to out of town prospects.
  • Old dogs can learn new tricks. It just happens differently.
  • The hardest associate to hire and keep happy is your very first associate.
  • Hire the best for your practice, not the first available.
  • You get what you pay for.
  • Personalities can’t be changed, but clinical skills can be learned.

Posted by Carl Guthrie, Senior Dentist Recruitment Consultant with ETS Dental. To find out more, call Carl at (540) 491-9104 or email at

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