What makes you an attractive employer?

Dentistry for a long time has been the preserve of a combination of low wages and mushroom management.

I imagined a Friday afternoon, somewhere near the end of Dental School, when budding graduates were taken into a dimmed room and the “secret” of successful employment was revealed:

“pay them low wages and keep them in the dark”

How times have changed (although sadly, not some principals).

Survey after survey reveals that the best employees count “money” as the fourth most important aspect of a job that they care about, with “appreciation”, a “sense of purpose in what they do” and “a career pathway” ranked higher.

A similar story around associate recruitment, with the mythology that associates are interested only in making the most money for the least effort.

My experience is that this behaviour manifests itself in the absence of

  • a strong brand that the team are proud of
  • effective leadership
  • robust marketing systems
  • concierge class customer service
  • modern brand standards
  • excellent physical surroundings and equipment
  • a future vision

Stephen Covey is often quoted:

“if there is a problem with your team – the problem is you!”

And I have had occasion to use that phrase many times – even in the last few weeks.

An unattributed phrase is that “a workforce is s group of people being forced to work together”.

I still get those “can you come and fix my team?” calls – and without fail, the conversation eventually focuses on what the employer needs to do to make the workplace a place worth caring about.

Do that – and the right people rise to occasion.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.