Kiera and Tiffanie are both on the pod — this time to talk about a topic many, many practices (and businesses worldwide) are struggling with: hiring. The following points are discussed:
Write solid ads
Have a solid culture
Use incentives that work (Kiera and Tiff give many ideas on these)
This episode covers perspectives from both a doctor and a team member, so everyone is covered.
Listen to episode 464, Break That Negative Morale!
Listen to episode 440, 3 Tips to Hiring Your Unicorn
Subscribe to The Dental A-Team podcast
Review the podcast on iTunes
0:00:05.6 Kiera: Hey everyone, welcome to the Dental A Team podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent and I have this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member's perspective, because let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives. I've been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner and I have a team of traveling consultants, where we have traveled over 165 different offices, coaching teams. Yep, we don't just understand you, we are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress and create A teams. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast.
0:00:51.2 Kiera: Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera, and you guys back on the podcast today is the one and only Tiffany Trader, one of my faves, she's hanging out in an airport and definitely opted to podcast, which I appreciate because otherwise, you guys just hear from me. So Tiff, I love having you, you just came off of an office hanging out at the airport, podcasting, what more do you need from your day today? That's a pretty solid day.
0:01:14.3 Tiffany: I'm telling you, I did a Zoom call at a coffee shop today [chuckle] a coaching call in the airport, it was fantastic because I love that I get to stay so connected. Yeah, actually it's been a very phenomenal day. Thank you.
0:01:30.1 Kiera: That's awesome. That's really great. It is funny, I do tell offices who work with us as a company, I say, You have to understand, we are a traveling company, so you will sometimes have a call at an airport, you will sometimes have us in our cars on the road. We will be fully focussed on you but we'll be pulled over in a parking lot. I have an office right now, I'm actually... We're debating, we'll see but I will be coming out of the hostel, we're staying at a hostel for one night while we're in Hawaii, 'cause our Airbnb is not ready, and I'm like, "Well, I will probably be awake early, but you will have to rise... "I will be coming out of a hostel, probably sitting in a car, but... Or Britney can just do the call solo, so you take your pick. I will happily be walking out of a hostel maybe in a pajama, we'll find out, but...
0:02:12.6 Tiffany: I love that. We do always give them the choice, alright? I always tell them, I'm totally open to getting on the call right now, but let me tell you where I'm at. [chuckle]
0:02:21.8 Kiera: It is one of those things I'm like, "You have to understand that this is part of who we are. So if you're cool with that and our style vibes with you, fantastic, we'll vibe well with you, but I also think it helps people see, we are very real humans, it's not some facade we put on like... Now we're walking out probably like Dental A Team on top, definitely pajamas on bottom. I'm not gonna lie to you and I'll definitely have blue light glasses on so you can't see that I have no makeup on. [chuckle] I think a hot topic Tiff that's been coming up right now is obviously hiring and something that you brought up. You brought up a really awesome topic that I wanna dive into is like, How can you stand out amongst other practices when we're trying to hire? I feel like we've gone back to dating 101 and we're having to stand out amongst other people to get people into our practices, so I know hiring is a hot topic, everyone's looking for dental assistants, everyone's looking for a dentist, everyone's looking for a front office. Today, we're interviewing somebody for HQ and I'm like, "Do you have a pulse? Do you show up for work?" If so, like you're hired, I don't even know if I need to talk to you, what else do I need to ask you at this point? I feel like my standards have gotten very... [chuckle]
0:03:26.7 Kiera: But Tiff, what are some of the incentives you've been able to see? Some things that we can make our offers more attractive, obviously really good ads, a lot of offices don't take this to heart, right?
0:03:36.8 Tiffany: They don't.
0:03:38.5 Kiera: A really good ad to actually get people to call you, that's first and foremost and even before that, have a really rad culture that people want to stay at, 'cause losing and turning over people costs a lot on the team, on the practice, it's a big cost. Make sure it's a great culture and I get it. We just had somebody hired in our company and it was our first time hiring this position, guess what, it was a test run. It did not work out. We left on great terms. It was awesome. I don't take that as a failure, we have a great company, great culture, it was just our first time with this position, so I get it, test run, we're gonna make it way better the next time, but at the same time, make sure overall, your culture's a rad place that people want to stay. They want to work and ask them what you can do to help them. There might burnout going on, there might be things that you could be doing, but take care of your team first and foremost, before we're always throwing out the fishing hook to get more people to come in. So I would say, get those pieces in check, but then beyond that, Tiff what are some of the things you're seeing that are incentives that might encourage people to want to come work in a practice?
0:04:35.6 Tiffany: Yeah, I do think hiring is tough right now, I know that every industry is experiencing it and I know this because everywhere I go, I see now hiring signs. Restaurants, grocery stores, everywhere has a now hiring sign so I know that it's all over the place, which also means at the same time that there's a lot of competition out there, so it seems like there's a very small pool of people that we're all choosing from, and there is a ton of competition.
0:05:02.1 Kiera: It is like we are on the Bachelorette right now. There is a lot of us wanting that one solo man or solo female and we're like all biting for them, it is like, "Oh, what do I have to do to stand out?
0:05:10.8 Tiffany: There's like three times the amount of men and women in the pool, and we are all just fighting for the same person I know, and that's exactly what it feels like. So I also think that the culture of work, just in general, not even your practice, not your business, but work culture and ideals have shifted and changed, I think we got a great... And I think we all realize, and I'm saying we because I think everyone realized on some level what it means to slow down and what it means to really truly have work-life balance, meaning, life is life, and we're not just working to live, we're actually living and we work with life. So I do think that that plays a key piece into some of the incentives that I've suggested to practices and things that I've seen work.
0:06:01.3 Tiffany: I don't fully believe that everything is about money anymore, while we do have team members or applicants asking for more money now than really they ever have in the past for these positions that we're hiring for, I don't think that it's necessarily the money at the bottom line. I think that they're valuing their time more than they ever have before. So the cost that they're willing to pay to give up that hour of time is higher than it was previously. They're not willing to accept the number that they were willing to accept before, that's my opinion. I do think that's why people are coming in higher than they were before, because they value their time more. With that said, I don't think it's the money that's enticing people necessarily to give up that time. I think that they want a place where they're respected, they're heard, they're understood, the culture is fantastic, and they get time back.
0:07:00.5 Tiffany: So things that I've seen work, incentives for... Bonus incentives, so sign on bonus, things like that always work. I think that that's an asset, it gives you a head start, but things that I have seen work and things I've suggested for a lot of practices recently, actually more relate to PTO and holiday pay or just getting more time off. I've seen practices starting to offer... Most of the time that check... Most of the time, PTO comes after a year of employment, it's like, "Hey, you've stuck it out with me for a year. Congratulations, thank you. Here's a week of paid time off." That's been the standard forever. What I've seen happening now though is offices and practices offering that at 90 days. So at 90 days saying, "Fantastic, thank you so much for sticking this three months out with me, for still being here, we value and appreciate you. Here's the PTO for your first year."
0:07:52.3 Tiffany: In all reality, my questionnaires doesn't really matter. Probably not if you're looking to hire somebody, you're gonna invest in them anyways, just freaking give it to them. People are looking for that time off, so at 90 days offering the PTO, offering paid holidays, and then team members who are currently with you keeping team members on, I don't think is... I don't think the bonuses and the money, the extra additional income is the sole thing that they're looking for anymore. I think, again, people are looking for more PTO, for the holiday pay, for time with their family. I was talking with a doctor the other day, and I was bringing these items to him and he is this brilliant, brilliant man, brilliant brand. And he said, "You know what? You're right," because he said, "Why not at least give them the option." He said "I can give my hygienist either a $130 or I could give her a half day of PTO. It's the same cost to me. Just if she's gone, obviously, we're not producing." Right. But he said, "What would be more valuable?" and I said "Exactly." So ask your team members too "What is it that is more valuable to you?"
0:09:04.9 Tiffany: Because I can tell you right now, personally, a $130, that's fantastic but if you tell me, if Kiera, you called me and you're like, "Hey, girl enjoy the rest of your day, go hiking, and you don't have to answer your phone, you don't have to talk to anyone." Heck yeah, I would take that because I spent $200 on stupid clothes on an Instagram ad a couple of weeks ago that I totally didn't need. So a $130, it's not tangible to me. $130, I'm like, I don't know what I'm gonna spend that on, but I can tell you what I would do with four free hours of my life, when I should be technically working. So incentives-wise for hiring, I think sign-on bonuses work. I do think that, but I also think maybe offering some PTO or paid-holidays, some sort of time-back, offering a time back to people earlier on in their employment is beneficial, and I do think that it helps, I'm gonna say lure, helps lure people in, that's kind of what they're looking for. And then keeping employees, keeping team members at your practice, I do think offering them the option, "So do you want a bonus or would you prefer working towards time off?"
0:10:19.1 Tiffany: So with this doctor I talked to last week, he said "Well, what if she hits... What if your hygienist hits her monthly minimum, and she get's a half day off or if she does it for a quarter and maybe she can choose a day or two next quarter that she has off." So offering them the option, I think is valuable. It gives team members that autonomy, it gives them the power and the control over their own schedule and over what it is that they get, 'cause if they don't want the money, they can take the time off. If they're like, "No, I want money." They can take the money. And then win-win 'cause they're still producing.
0:10:57.3 Kiera: Sure, so I'm gonna play the devils advocate on you.
0:11:00.3 Tiffany: Go for it.
0:11:02.0 Kiera: 'Cause this podcast brings in the dentist and the team member's perspective. So I'm gonna pull on the employers side, 'cause employees side I'm like, "Heck yeah, totally see it." So I'm gonna ask a question of like from employers side, they're like, "Yes, but when I don't have people working, then production goes down. So yes, dollar for dollar, it's the exact same, but them producing is different." And I'm on your team on this one, Tiff, I agree with you. I'm just curious of what your stance but be, how do you get dentist or owners or employers to realize like, "Hey, this time off... " Because they're gonna say, "Yeah, but they could be producing and if they're not seeing four patients, yes dollar for dollar, I'm paying the same, but also at the same time, it's all those lost revenue of those four patients that I could have seen, which then diagnose into treatment, which is actually substantially more than paying out this bonus." So what's kind of your take on that? On the flip side of the coin.
0:11:54.4 Tiffany: Yeah, and I think that's valid. And what I told the doctor that I was talking with last week, 'cause he was like, "Oh, how do I do like... " It was kind of the same question worded differently, right? And I said, "Well, your overhead has to cover it no matter what. So build that into the goal. Period." If you're gonna bonus somebody, it's built into the goal. So if your bonus now is X amount because you're giving the time off, what does it take to cover that time off and pay for her or him. Right, so my suggestion was, if those are... If you're gonna offer somebody the PTO, that has to be accounted for in the goal. So what is the goal? And then what's your bare minimum, right. Your BAM, what is your BAM? And then what would it have to give this person this bonus? If they get to that, that's how they've just paid for it. So the bonus should never be a deficit, in my opinion, to the employer, to a dentist.
0:12:57.7 Tiffany: There are no practices, it shouldn't be a deficit to the doctor, it should be a bonus and so it's added on, it's just gravy on top. It shouldn't be a negative. So just build it into the bonus or into the... Excuse me, the monthly and quarterly goal. I think that's why a quarterly would be easier too, because you could say over the course of the next three months, if it's... If you want hygiene to produce $30,000 for a BAM, and we're like, Okay, great, in order to get these three days off, it's gonna cost the office X amount, so maybe instead of $30,000, they're doing $36,000 every month.
0:13:39.4 Kiera: Are you guys sick of trying to figure it out on your own? I know I am. When I'm trying to run a business, sometimes I just think there's got to be a better way to do this, and so for me, my answer has been to find someone who's done it and does it really, really, really well, like I'm talking the best of the best of the best. I want someone who's been in my shoes, somebody who understands what I'm going through. When I was looking for the consulting business, I found a coach who literally has run a consulting business. Well, that seems like the perfect fit. So you guys right now, we have a few spaces open in our platinum consulting, that is in the consulting where we actually come to your practice, we help you get systems implemented, we don't just tell you what system to implement, we actually implement them with you and for you. You guys, it is one of the best investments I've ever made is to hire a coach who understands the business I'm in, who's lived it, who's done it, and that's what we in the Dental A Team do, we literally physically fly to you.
0:14:38.6 Kiera: So if you're sick of trying to figure it out on your own, if you just want somebody who understands you, join our platinum, I'd love to have you, I'd love to have our consulting team come out and see you, be in your office, be with your team, and truly help you get on to the easy path of dentistry. It doesn't have to be hard. So join us in the Platinum, we'd love to have you.
0:15:00.6 Kiera: Right, and I think it's just matter of really breaking it down and seeing what this number actually is, we've been really smart on being able to figure out dollar for dollar, if you produce this amount, this is what it will be, build that into the overhead payroll cost for it, so it's just... It's thinking differently, which I actually think there's a lot of paradigm shifts around hiring, around incentives, and I also think the other question is, how is it fair for these new hires to be coming in because there's also salty feelings when the new person coming in is actually getting a better treatment than say, the person who's been with you for the last four years, that you're like, "They didn't get PTO until this point."
0:15:37.1 Kiera: So I also think it's wise when you're bringing these incentives in to not burn the people who have helped you grow to this far, so maybe it is that everybody gets more PTO. That could be a thing. I remember working at Midwestern and I was... I'm still jaded. Guys, it's been like six years since that day, but remember I worked my buns off at Mid-Western, I was making... I think I was at $12 an hour. I took a $6 an hour pay cut, this was... We're talking 2015. Excuse me, 2012, actually, because Jason and I got married in 2011. So 2012, I took a $6 an hour pay cut to work at the college making $12 an hour, which is insanity now thinking about that, they're probably gonna pay $25 an hour now, but I worked my booty off and they made all these accommodations, they got me raised up, I think I got like a $10 raise because I worked my buns off but then they hired a new girl, and because my job had moved up to that level, the new girl came in right at my exact same pay her first year, and I'm still bugged about it, it chapped me so much, 'cause even though I got what I wanted, I felt like it was very unfair.
0:16:41.9 Kiera: I had to sweat, bleed everything out, and then somebody else comes in, hasn't had to put in any work, making sure that you don't burn them, so that's kind of my take on a tip, do you have maybe any thoughts on it or an opposing side of your perspective, 'cause I don't think my perspective is the only right perspective, I think it's a fun topic for us to discuss together, of like how you can make sure you don't burn the team members with you while trying to lure in other people.
0:17:08.8 Tiffany: Yeah, well, I think number one, number one, that sucks, and I am so sorry that that happened to you. That is definitely something that sucks.
0:17:10.8 Kiera: [laughter] It is okay, it was great. I mean, I shouldn't be having salty 'cause honestly, I literally got exactly what I wanted, I was just bugged someone else came in at my exact same pay.
0:17:21.2 Tiffany: Yeah, but it sucks, it's still you, so it sucks, So number one was that, and I think I'm huge on communication, openness, transparency, clarity with your team, and I think most doctors who listen to our podcast probably are on the same page with that, they're not kinda secretly hiding things, and I'm not saying transparency that everybody needs to know what everyone makes, because then I am fully against. I do not think that that should be a discussion or an issue in practices at all but what I do think needs to happen is clarity and communication and strategy with the team on bringing on new hires. So I don't think that the team should know obviously what people are coming in at, I think that it stinks for people who have been working, who are in practices, who are great culture fits, love where they work and aren't leaving because it freaking sucks right now, people are coming in higher than we did, people are coming in close to what you're working for now, and you've been working there for six years.
0:18:32.5 Tiffany: It stinks. Right now, it is just a crappy period of time, but the point is, or the bottom line is, we need people, we need people who know what they're doing, and if we don't hire these people at this pay rate, guess what? You're doing it all by yourself, so salty egg or not, it just is what it is. So on one hand, team members, it just freaking sucks right now, and I'm so thankful and grateful that you are here with your doctor and that you are willing to put in the work and that you're still here because...
0:19:02.1 Tiffany: It's totally valuable and it just freaking sucks right now. So on the one hand we just gotta live with it, we gotta just deal with it or you know what, pray that the grass is greener on the other side. It typically isn't if you're happy where you are. Just freaking stay and just know that it sucks that they're coming in close to what you're making, but just as a reality. Number two, if we're bringing in people and we're saying, "Hey, at 90 days, they're gonna get PTO." Have that conversation with your team and just say, "Listen, we are looking for ways. We're looking outside the box creative ways that we can bring in some really quality team members. This is an idea that I have, I just want you guys to know." And maybe there are people on your team that you've hired within the last year and they're waiting for their year mark to get that PTO, give it to them, right? Don't hire someone today and say in 90 days you get your PTO, but then I've got Julia over here who's only at eight months, who is waiting for those four other months to get her one week, right? So give it to them that day. But have that conversation with your team and then maybe offer to your senior ones who have been there for a few years or whatever.
0:20:07.5 Tiffany: Number one, if they don't have PTO give it to them, number two, kinda just see what they think, what do you guys think about that, how do you feel. Call the team, if you've got a great culture, most of the time they're gonna be like, "Please do whatever you can to get the right people in here." I don't think a lot of times it's gonna be salty. If it is salty now you know and you can say, "You know what, I hear you. These are all valid. I'm gonna come up with a plan." And then go back to the drawing board and say, "What can I give my team members who are already here?" Maybe it's an extra day of PTO for the next year, because I love and value that you guys are still here. I'm not sure it could be as simple as that, but I would say never assume. So don't assume what your team is going to think, ask them, have the conversations. If you've got team members on board that have not been there for a year or they have not worked up until they get their PTO, give it to them before you give it to the new hires, and just make sure your team understands this is for the betterment of the practice. And ultimately, if I don't find a good hire you guys are still suffering. So I'm trying to do whatever I can, I'm trying to find the most creative ways I possibly can to get the right people in here, so that you guys have an easier life.
0:21:28.8 Tiffany: I want you to go home at the end of the day and be with your families not stressed out about the work, about the office, so that's my opinion. If a team member is salty on it and wants to be negative, because you hired them out a certain thing, then give them the choice. I can hire this person at a certain rate and a certain PTO or whatever, or I cannot hire anybody and you can continue on the profit earning and you're my only Dental Officer.
0:21:49.7 Kiera: Right.
0:21:50.2 Tiffany: I think that's kind of a situation we're in it's... It's choose your heart. It's Bernice choose your heart. What's harder, dealing with somebody's pay or dealing with everything by yourself.
0:22:00.5 Kiera: Well and I also think on this, just to wrap it all up is ask your team, have them co-create it with you. Because a lot of times people get frustrated because it was a surprise versus them creating it. Your team might realise like, here's where we're at. Like, what do you guys suggest we do? What would be fair? And then also ask your team, like you mentioned before, what do they actually value? 'Cause I've noticed with a lot of practices, myself included, that we sometimes think like, "Oh, they want... They want money, or they want this, or they want to... " Ask your team what action would help. Because I was thinking, okay people are wanting more time off, maybe you bill it into the budget next year and say, "Okay guys, let's actually take four weeks off next year." But we're just gonna block this time off, you can have it paid, you cannot have it paid, whatever you choose to do, and maybe it's two weeks. But before you roll this plan out that you think is amazing, check with your team to make sure it actually is going to get the results that they want. And you can do anonymous surveys, that's a great way to do it. We do R suite, Typeform, there's Monkey Survey. But poll them, ask them like, "Hey, if you had... Would you rather have a bonus, would you rather have time off or do you have another suggestion if we're hitting our office goals?"
0:23:09.4 Kiera: There are a lot of ways to get feedback from your team so that way people aren't frustrated, people don't get salty, and then have them also create offers for new people that we're hiring because people are smart, they love their job, they want to make sure it succeeds. And I also say that make sure you take care of the people who have made you great. Like take care of those team members, look at them, listen, ask them what they need, and really hear what they're asking for versus assuming all the time. So Tiff I think we touched on so many topics, I hope people took so much out of this, it was a fun podcast to navigate.
0:23:38.1 Tiffany: Yeah, it was, it was. I think it's a huge topic right now, and I think really just getting creative and like you said, elicit the help of your team. I mean, they're human beings too. What do they think is gonna work and have them maybe help you write your ad. I do have one of my all-time favorite doctors, he's now in Rhode Island. He had his Dental Assistant help write his ad, and they have found some incredible Dental Assistant. So help your team help.
0:24:04.6 Kiera: Seriously, they are... I say it all the time, who's got the biggest pain point. Dentist and owners, I know you want to place all your ads, but I guess with that Dental Assistant who's dying every single day 'cause there's no assistant, you better believe they will call assistants after hours, they will pick up the phone, they'll do whatever they've got to do. So don't be afraid to utilize their help because they're the ones who are in the pain point, not just you. Awesome, Tiff I love it. I know you're about to take off on a flight, so thank you for your time, thanks for making this happen today. I hope you get home safe. Always cheer you on, thankful for your time. [chuckle]
0:24:35.5 Tiffany: Thank you.
0:24:37.1 Kiera: Of course. All right, you guys try it out, get creative on your hiring, elicit the help of your team, and if we can ever help in any way, please email us hello at the dentalateam.com. And as always thanks for listening, we'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team podcast.
0:24:52.3 Kiera: And that wraps it up for another episode of The Dental A Team podcast. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you next time.
If you are a dentist or dental practice team member, this podcast is for YOU! Join Kiera Dent, CEO & Founder of the Dental A Team as she shares first hand knowledge on what it takes to create a wildly successful dental practice!
Make sure to subscribe and tune in every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for a NEW episode!