This is a very busy time of the year for both candidates and practices. Graduations are in full swing, residencies are nearing an end, and contracts are coming up for renewal. As a search consultant, we specialize in helping practices hire the best Associates and candidates in finding the right opportunity. Here is some advice to ensure that both hiring practices and candidates don’t lose out on a great situation.

When conducting a search for a practice owner, we screen and present to them qualified, interested doctors, then the interview process begins. The time lapse between when we present the candidate to the owner and the owner making contact with the candidate is very important. With each day that passes, the candidate will begin to think that the owner isn’t interested in them, and they will start looking for other options. Showing interest or intent to hire isn’t enough. If you want to attract the top talent, you need to be prepared to act quickly. Create a clear, documented plan for bringing on a new Associate and have a sample contract ready that can be easily tweaked to your needs.

On the other side, candidates who are actively pursuing opportunities should understand that time is of the essence, as well. When you receive an offer from a potential employer, please take the time to review it carefully, but don’t take too long. Once you reach the offer stage, be prepared to move quickly. We recommend that an Associate be ready to accept or decline an offer within a few days. Your actions speak louder than words. An owner may view your delayed response as a show of indecisiveness and they may begin to wonder if you really want the position, in turn making them question their desire to hire you.

In the past two months, we have seen over a dozen practices miss out on hiring great candidates because they failed to act in a timely manner. We have also seen many great candidates miss out on excellent opportunities because they took too long to make a decision. You’ve heard the expression, “snooze you lose.” We hope you don’t miss out on that exceptional candidate or that fantastic position!

Written by Marcia Patterson, Account Executive/Recruiter for ETS Dental. You can reach Marcia at (540) 491-9118 or Find out more at

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