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How do you find quality job candidates?

Feb. 1, 2022
In today's competitive (yet short-staffed) environment, how does anyone looking for good help get a leg up? Learn three proven resources, including the author's "most successful strategy."
Jay Geier, Founder, Scheduling Institute

In "Recruiting: The key to attracting strong candidates to your practice," I explained why a passive recruiting strategy is destined to fail in today’s competitive environment. I suggested you identify someone on your staff with the personality to actively seek out quality candidates and sell them on the opportunities you have to offer. And if you can't find someone internally, I suggested not running job ads but rather marketing career opportunities in your business, as defined by your unique culture.

Here, I offer the three resources that have proven successful for my company as well as thousands of independent practice owners on the hunt for today’s top talent—including our most successful strategy.

Referral bonuses

About half of our new hires are a result of referrals, which take much less time and effort on the part of our recruiter. Candidates come to an interview already knowing something about us and why it’s a great place to work. They already want the job, which puts us more in control of the entire process.

Considering your people are your most successful source for finding quality candidates, you should invest the most heavily in this resource by offering meaningful referral bonuses.

  • Dollar amounts must be motivating and should differ by value to the practice; for example, $500-plus for a front desk team member, $1,000-plus for a hygienist, and $5,000-plus for an associate.
  • The bonus payout should be staggered; for example, give a portion to the referrer on the new person’s first day on the job, a portion after 90 days of successful training and performance, and the rest after six months or a year.

Given the price tag to place ads on employment websites, referral bonuses are virtually guaranteed to provide a better ROI and simultaneously build a better team and performance-based culture that yields additional earning opportunities for your people.

Employment websites and social media

As I mentioned in my earlier article, running an ad is not recruiting. Websites have made it too easy for businesses to ignore other important and far more successful strategies. Websites do have a place in your recruiting plan, of course, but not all websites are created equal. Your recruiter must learn to use each cost effectively and to full advantage.

  • LinkedIn Recruiter Light: This is a more professional site that provides a better candidate pool, especially for the more specialized positions. In addition to posting your opportunity, you can search for people with desired skills, evaluate their profile (e.g., photo, experience, location, professional connections), and initiate confidential contact.
  • Indeed, ZipRecruiter, et al.: These are easy but can be less effective than they were in the past because of the number of jobs posted nowadays, and they don’t offer the functionality of LinkedIn. Many employers on these sites offer large starting bonuses to get people to respond, which attracts money-motivated candidates instead of top talent.

Your recruiter can help team members earn bonuses by creating well-written social media posts for them to put on Facebook, Instagram, and other social channels. Sign up for and post opportunities on Nextdoor, a free social networking service for neighborhood communities. Leverage social media not only for job opportunities, but also to let people know the things you do for your patients, your team, and your community.

Our most successful strategy: Culture videos

Our most successful strategy by far is using videos to tell our story everywhere we market our opportunities. Whether on a website or in an email, a video about us and our culture is a way of introducing our company, the opportunities we have to offer, and why someone might want to work for us. Instead of using signing bonuses to attract people who are only interested in money, we use our culture as a recruiting tool to attract the kind of people we want on our team. We consistently receive feedback during interviews about how impactful our videos are in differentiating our company and our opportunities.

You may already have a video you can edit for this purpose. You could title it “Here’s What It's Like to Work for ABC Dental” or “A Day-in-the-Life at ABC Dental.” Be authentic, speak from the heart, and include team members. Mention culture elements like training and development, flexibility, charity work, and fun. This will have a huge impact by differentiating you from so many other generic ads for the same position.

The upshot? Do something different to get different results

You need good people—not warm bodies. But so does everyone else, especially in the health-care sector. If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting the same results. So do something different. But don’t waste time reinventing the recruitment wheel when you can implement proven strategies that will attract the level of talent you want on your team so you can deliver the kind of patient experience that will grow your business.

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