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  07.01.05 Issue #173

Dull, Dry Ads Make for Dull, Dry Applications

Sally McKenzie, CEO
The McKenzie Company

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You may be a fantastic clinician, the best dentist for 200 miles, but if the quality of your employees is “average” patients perceive the quality of your care to be just so-so as well. Like it or not, your success hinges on the caliber of people you surround yourself with, making it all the more critical that when it comes to hiring staff the focus is on building the team and the practice and not on just filling a vacancy. To do so, you need a strong pool of candidates, and that requires planning and preparation.

First think about the type of applicant you want and target your message to appeal to that audience. Consider their employment needs and desires – not just your own. Dental auxiliaries, for example, have five primary objectives when job hunting: salary, benefits, location, hours, and status . Set your practice apart by highlighting all of those in your advertising.

Most hygienists are paid hourly or daily rates. Advertising a guaranteed base that is 33% of your average monthly hygiene production, excluding the doctor's exam fees, plus a 15% commission for all hygiene production over the average is certainly different from what the dentist down the street is doing, and it is likely to attract those who see themselves as effective producers . In addition, hygienists are often attracted to treatments and advanced equipment advertised. Clinical assistants aspire to do more than just pass instruments. They are looking for progressive offices that delegate tasks and offer opportunities to work more closely with patients.

Your ad should be descriptive – no abbreviated terms – and use active verbs as often as possible. You want even those who are just browsing to stop and take notice. Consider this approach:

Experienced Dental Assistant needed to join our team! If you're a self-starter with excellent communication skills who enjoys presenting treatment plans to patients, this is your opportunity. You'll learn to use our cosmetic imager and other advanced technology in this state-of-the-art, restorative/cosmetic practice. Excellent benefits, 34-hour week. Fax confidential resume to 341-8458. Or email to

Use wording that appeals to the reader on both professional and emotional levels.

Get paid to learn a valuable new skill!
If you would like to pursue an exciting career in the healthcare field and learn how to become a dental assistant, we will teach you. You'll receive an excellent wage, between $6-$8/hr, and you'll learn how to assist with patients and doctors in a professionally rewarding and challenging environment. Fax resume to 341-8458. Or email to

List a dental business employee position as “Administrative Assistant” and run it in the “Clerical” section of the classifieds. You'll generate much wider interest if you consider applicants without previous dental office experience. While professional training is essential, applicants are less likely to bring preconceived notions of how a dental practice should operate.

Self-starter with strong organizational and communication skills sought to manage patient and business activities in a progressive eastside dental practice. No prior dental office experience required. Professional training provided. 36-hour week. Excellent benefit package. Fax confidential resume to 341-8458. Or email to

Evaluate your advertising from the prospective applicant's viewpoint . Have you conveyed a sense of opportunity and professional growth for the applicant or is the ad focused primarily on the needs of the practice? Have you communicated a sense of team or will the prospective employee feel like just another cog in the wheel? Have you noted earning potential and general scope of the duties or is the text cryptic and evasive?

Be sure your ad gives clear instructions on how to apply and offer the option of faxing, mailing, or emailing a resume and calling to inquire further about the position. Emphasize that all inquiries are confidential as most employees do not want their employer to know they are looking for another position.

The goal of your advertising and recruitment efforts is to develop a pool of solid applicants from which you can make a quality hiring decision. Dull, dry ads attract dull, dry applicants. Use your classified ads to sell the job to prospective candidates and you'll be far more likely to have “buyers” lining up for a chance at your position.

If you have any question or comments, please email Sally McKenzie at

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McKenzie Management's Seminar Schedule
2005 Location Sponsor Information Topic Speaker
July 21-24 San Diego, CA IA of Comprehensive Aesthe 702-341-7978 Peak Performer Sally McKenzie
July 28 La Jolla, CA Southern CA Ortho. Symposium 619-656-4646 Top Issues Sally McKenzie
August 13 Topeka, KS Delta Dental Plan of Kansas 800-733-5823 Breakdown Sally McKenzie
Sept. 9-11 San Francisco, CA California Dental Association 916-443-0505 Successes Sally McKenzie
Sept. 22 El Paso, TX El Paso Dental Society 877-777-6151 Breakdown Sally McKenzie
Sept. 23-24 Griffin, GA Endo Magic Root Camp 877-478-9748 Top Issues Sally McKenzie
Oct. 14 Riverside, CA Riverside Implant Study Group 951-279-7847 TBA Sally McKenzie
Nov. 18-19 Griffin, GA Endo Magic Root Camp 877-478-9748 Top Issues Sally McKenzie
Dec. 1 Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati Dental Society 513-984-3443 Breakdown Sally McKenzie

McKenzie Management
A Division of The McKenzie Company, Inc.

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La Jolla, CA 92037

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