Dental Recruitment vs. Dental Hiring

Robyn Reis is the Director of Hiring at All-Star Dental Academy and a Certified HR Consultant with Bent Erickson and Associates. The topic of discussion is recruitment versus hiring in the dental field. According to Reis, recruitment is a more strategic process that involves looking ahead and planning for future positions. Dental hiring, on the other hand, is reactive and involves quickly filling gaps that have been left by leaving staff. All-Star’s Hiring Service offers both recruitment and hiring services. Recruitment involves thinking about culture, brand, team, and reputation. It is an ongoing process that involves asking people if they have considered a career in dentistry, handing out business cards in the grocery store, and seeking out talent.


[00:13]  Dental Recruitment vs. Dental Hiring
[02:55]  Recruiting and Hiring Strategies for Dental Practices
[05:15]  Recruiting for People Capital: Identifying and Supporting a Cause
[07:12]  Recruiting for a Cause: A Conversation with Shelley Van Epps
[09:39]  Poaching Employees in Dentistry
[11:32]  Recruiting and Hiring Strategies for Dentists
[16:46]  Taking Shortcuts and Hiring a Dentist
[18:40]  Learning from Mistakes and Modeling Successful Recruiting Strategies
[20:34]  All-Star Dental Academy: Hiring and Recruitment Services
[24:29]  Recruiting and Retaining Team Members
[25:57]  Advice on Delegating Job Responsibilities and Keeping a Positive Mindset


About Robyn Reis

Robyn began her dental career in 1998 as a marketing and communications director for a large group practice, and instantly fell in love with the world of dentistry. She has spent every waking moment since learning, growing and collaborating with dentists and their teams utilizing her expertise in all aspects of dental practice management, marketing, communications, HR, continuing education, and laboratory sales. Robyn’s personal goals are to make a difference in someone’s life every single day and to give the best of herself to those around her.

About Alex Nottingham JD MBA

Alex is the CEO and Founder of All-Star Dental Academy®. He is a former Tony Robbins top coach and consultant, having worked with companies upwards of $100 million. His passion is to help others create personal wealth and make a positive impact on the people around them. Alex received his Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Florida International University.

Episode Transcript

Transcription performed by A.I. Please excuse the typos.


Welcome to Dental All-Stars. Our guest is Robin Reis. She is the Director of Hiring at All-Star Dental Academy. She’s also a Certified HR Consultant with Ben Erickson and Associates and Guest Faculty at the Panky Institute. She helps hundreds of practices with practice administration, marketing, hiring, HR, and team culture. And our topic is recruitment, dental recruitment versus dental hiring. Please welcome Robin. Hi Alex. So the way I look at it, Robin, is dental recruiting.


Dental recruitment is a more strategic process where you say, okay, here’s what my organization needs to look like, and I’m always hiring, I’m always recruiting because I have certain positions that need to be filled, but I thought ahead of time what they need to be, how my practice will run, okay, the ideal day. Whereas dental hiring, in the traditional sense,


the act of hiring, I just need to hire. And typically it’s reactive. I’m in trouble, I lost somebody, I gotta hire, I gotta hire, I gotta hire. And that means, okay yeah, job description, post and hire. It’s like, just get it, get it going. And our hiring service, we do both because there are many aspects of recruitment we try to encourage the dentist to think because the more you think, the more you have that clear vision and it…


expressed clearly in the job description and I can put a link to a prior podcast called the five steps dental hiring Where we go into those processes The better you do beforehand in terms of crafting in your mind and then into paper the better your result Does that make sense? Absolutely, and the idea for me recruitment is


all of the pieces and parts. It’s your culture, it’s your brand, it’s your team, it’s your reputation. That is part of your recruitment process because you are getting known in the community, you’re being known as a preferred employer. People are talking about you both as team members but also patients.


And when we talk, when we think about recruitment, it’s an ongoing process, right? It’s always be hiring, always looking for that personality person, you know, handing out business cards in the grocery store, handing out business cards when you go to a restaurant and have a phenomenal experience, you know, asking people, have you ever considered a career in dentistry? So it’s always looking for the talent.


that you want to have in your practice. And it’s also paying attention to and investing in your current team so that they then become ambassadors out in the community and in the dental industry, at CE events, attending conferences, meeting people through networking, belonging to their own professional association, posting on Facebook, things like that. That is all part of the recruitment strategy.


when we talk about hiring, then we’re talking about, like you said, okay, now that I’ve lost someone or somebody just handed in their notice, now I need to look for their successor. And I like to say successor rather than replacement because people aren’t replaceable, they’re unique, right? However, we wanna have a successor and that really puts the tone on what…


you know, let’s keep repeating what went really, really well, and let’s avoid what may have gone wrong. And so we want to create this position and find the person that’s going to fit this position. And again, it’s that process of elimination. Hiring is the actionable step. Recruitment is all of the strategy that the practice is creating that makes them an attractive magnet to talented people and people that


send in resumes that say, I don’t know if you’re hiring, but here’s my resume, keep me in mind if you ever have an opening. And we have clients like that. We have clients that get resumes all the time that said, wow, I’ve met some of your hygienists at an association meeting and you really have the kind of practice I wanna work for. And so we also have practices across the country that have their vision board.


and their values clearly communicated. And that really does attract people when they’re looking. You know, it’s interesting, 91% of people who are looking for a new job, they change jobs for that work-life balance. So what does that tell you? That really speaks to culture, right? They want that flexible schedule, or they want an employer who’s understanding because they have a family, or they want a…


practice that, you know, likes to celebrate birthdays or likes to have, um, happy hours and team building activities together. And then there are practices that just don’t believe in that. And that’s okay. That’s who they are. But we want to find those people and connect them with the culture, the practice, the environment that’s going to make them thrive. I think of this concept of people capital, which when you’re looking at a business,


You have asset capital, you have resources, but people capital is powerful. And you look at the Fortune 500 companies, Google, Apple, and others, and what they do to find the right people, recruit them, and hold them, to retain them. And in thinking about recruitment, of course, hiring from within or elevating is part of that process. The other aspect,


is think about the word recruitment. I was looking it up. It’s interesting. Elements of the definition are to enlist, to support a cause, to support a cause. And I like that because when you’re hiring, you’re bringing in to support a position. But think about a cause. That’s what we love at All-Star Dental Academy. Together as a group of consultants, we all rally behind a cause of customer service, of training with integrity.


And that’s what made us very successful, that that’s our focus. And- It’s our belief system. It’s our belief. Absolutely. It’s our cause. So first you have to identify in the recruitment process and in your vision process, what’s my cause? What do I stand for? If you don’t stand for anything, nobody’s gonna be part of that or you’re gonna get a very inconsistent response. They’re gonna be the team members that are like, what are you paying me? And when do I go home? That’s what you’re gonna get.


But if you bring people in for a cause, that’s recruitment. And that starts with you in your practice and policy. One other point, I’d like to highlight one of our mastery coaches, great mastery coach, Shelley Van Epps, who I recruited her to be our VP of Business Development. And she’s got some great podcasts that she did. I’ll add one in the show notes to take a listen. Brilliant, I heard her. She worked at a dental office.


and still, and doing coaching. And I’m like, I gotta get her. And we did a great deal with her practice. We took care of it. It wasn’t like I’m taking people away unnecessarily, but she wanted to eventually transition out. And I said, oh my God, she’s so talented and I didn’t have the position. I didn’t even think of it because that’s the type of person that can make a difference in an organization. So that’s the idea, an example of recruiting. Always be recruiting. When you see somebody talented who can…


add to your cause. That’s why I like this word recruitment. Because helping our cause, I don’t even look like I didn’t hire her, I recruited her. Does that make sense? Absolutely. Gosh, I don’t even know if there’s any hiring steps I took. I didn’t even interview her. I just said, you’re great, you’re amazing. Be part of my cause. Okay, let’s do it. And then it’s a lot of badgering. Yeah, the greatest gift we can do is to recognize that in people and give them that opportunity.


And also on the flip side of that is recognizing in people if it’s not a good fit and it’s letting it’s setting them free so they can pursue what makes them passionate. That’s right. And the cause that they can get behind, especially if it’s not yours. And that’s like you said, that’s that’s okay too. And I also want to distinguish between head hunting and recruitment. And the idea of head hunting is to aggressively proactively and and with.


with high intention to poach or, or pull someone away from a current position. You know, if they feel that it’s, it’s a great fit and, and there is great. Companies that do that. Um, in dentistry, I have found when practices have poached from other practices in their own community, it really doesn’t go well. Um, you have to have, um, you know,


a mentality that in a mindset for that that you’re okay with that. Um, and you know, if that team member is the better fit for you, that’s great. And it works. That’s wonderful. We again have found I’ve been in situations where it has not gone well and it’s really created some animosity amongst colleagues. And, um, that’s something that we don’t necessarily promote.


I’ve made calls and had conversations with currently, you know, employee team members that through the grapevine, maybe through a dental supply rep or somebody who knew somebody, who knew somebody, I’ve had conversations that way and we’ve determined whether, yes, it made sense to take the next step or no, actually, it’s not, you know, we’re not what they’re looking for or the position we’re hiring for is not what they’re looking for. So.


those things can happen and they can work well. Just be mindful of the consequences, especially if you’re in a small community. Dentistry is small, especially in communities, as well as dental consulting industry is small. And we have to all be careful. And it’s also not just careful, but yes, careful, but be good stewards of the community and keep the bigger picture in mind.


It’s not that the end justifies the means, it may for you, but there’s a backlash that can occur from that. And in another respect, dentistry is also large and how it’s large is that you can create, we have skilled development that we can do. In your podcast about the five steps to creating or the five steps of dental hiring, you talk about how you can train


for skill and higher for attitude. So that gives you a pretty much unlimited viewpoint of many positions. So we don’t have to think so small that I have to have that person, right? That you can train from it. This is why we don’t have to do head hunting. It’s almost like it’s very, it’s a mercenary. It’s like, I gotta get to the, again, focus on your cause and make sure you’re taking care of your current house.


developing within and then cast a wide net because dentists get stuck in the tactics. Dentists get stuck in the tactics, right? Hire, hire, this is gone, I need to fix it, I need to fix it because here’s the other point, the little secret behind or the little voice. Dentists don’t want to do this. They don’t want to hire. They just want it fixed. They want to get back to doing dentistry.


and whatever can just fix the problem, so I can go do my crowns and root canals and what have you, that’s what I wanna be doing. So it’s an aversion to recruiting, to hiring, to thinking, but you gotta do it right. Does that make sense, Robin? It totally makes sense to me. So first we have to get past the aversion and say, this is, if you’re listening to us now,


You’re sort of past it because you’re educating yourself on these topics. And the goal is to be strategic. Think about recruitment, not just hiring. Hiring is a part of recruitment. And align yourself with people that know, coaches, consultants, and services that can help support you in making the best decision. Because every decision you make, Robin, what’s the cost if you lose an employee? What’s the average cost from your research?


Well, it could be anywhere from 100% of the salary that you’re looking to hire for, but more importantly, and what you can’t put a number on is the emotional stress, the financial stress, because you’re taking people away from their core responsibilities to take on additional responsibilities. I mean, it’s two, three, four times.


the salary of that position that is open that most practices will end up spending because of all the added stress, the emotional, the financial, and the business stress. And I’m going to get this quote right because I’m looking right at it. John Wooden, he was a great coach, I believe football, correct me if I’m wrong, was he football? What was he? Anyways, so John Wooden, he said, if you don’t have time to do it right,


When will you have time to do it over? So there’s a diversion. I just need to hire somebody. Just whether I poach, headhunt, throw an ad out there, just get a warm body in the seat, we’re not gonna really train them. I just wanna get back to dentistry. That is gonna cost you a lot of money, as you mentioned, the cost of a failed hire or turnover, okay, versus let’s try to warm up to the topic.


And that’s where this idea of recruitment, it’s very warm thinking about my cause. What is my cause? What do I stand for? What am I looking to create? Assess my office, be prepared that in time, A, people will leave for a variety of reasons, or I’m going to let some people go because they don’t fit the cause. And I’m always going to be in that mindset of recruiting and then using the tactic of hiring to bring in the team.


Because the end result, a more productive practice and a happier practice. Where you’re doing the dentistry you love. I have this wish, and I kind of joke about this. I wish for all of you to have a very boring practice. You go in, you love everybody. You love your patients and your team. You get to do what you love to do and you make good money. Boring, no need for drama. There’s other dramas you can do. Do sales training, lose half your staff.


Okay. Uh, spend $150,000 a year on some unknown consultant. Do it right. Do it right. For sure. One of my favorite sayings is experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want. Experience is what you get. There are a lot of practices out there getting a whole lot of experience when it comes to hiring. And it is so simple when there are


many resources out there that can help you in a very stressful time. Well, I would add, I want to add to that quote because it’s not just getting what you, you get a lot of experience when you’re boneheaded. Okay. And that’s code word from taking shortcuts, not listening to the people around you who know, not educating yourself and the arrogance. You think about it. I’m going to hire a dentist like


What do I know about hiring? What do I know? I’ve been trained in business, okay? MBA, law school, working for Tony Robbins. I don’t know much about hiring. I always go to you to help me because I will get in trouble either way. And I’m an attorney. So I know there’s also a quote, I’ve done it before. No attorney is dumb enough to represent themselves in court, pro se. I did it and lost, okay? That’s arrogance for you. So I hire attorneys when I need legal work.


Okay. And when hiring, I don’t, I mean, it makes sense. Right. So surround yourself with people who know more than you do and be humble. It’s arrogant to say, I have to do it on my own. And, and when it’s like, Oh, okay. There’s an expense to working with coaches, consultants, hiring specialists. What’s the alternative? Because if you bat, if, if one can bat, I don’t know, you use a hiring services, they’re, they’re 80% effective and you’re 20% effective.


Imagine the hourly production that you’re losing and all that time spent and waste that has gone on. Plus the knowledge you don’t know. You know in the dental industry, you know in our minds we’re trained to be fixers, right? Fix teeth, fix people. You know fix the problem and that’s kind of the mindset that people approach the hiring process with let’s just fix it.


Let’s find somebody, anybody, we’ll train the dentistry. And there’s pieces missing to that equation that I think that’s when practices get into some hot water, when they hire somebody without doing their homework, without putting all of those pieces together, and they think they’re solving the problem or they’re fixing it. And…


As we well know, it doesn’t always work. Can I give you an example? Yes, please. So you can ask my wife the last time she had me fix something important in the house, like a water heater or an electrical socket, how that worked, what else I’d damaged, and I had to pay a lot more to have somebody come back and fix my mistakes. What do I know about fixing a house? I can change a light bulb.


I can do a few, I can change batteries, but there’s some complicated stuff. Oh, I’ll just save money. I don’t want to spend it. And then there’s a few thousand dollars there for damage. Just perspective. She believed in you and your capability. She didn’t believe in me. She said, don’t do it. But I did it anyway, because I was one of the save money. And I’m just like, well, there you go again. She’s very bright. She’s like, I’m going to find the person who knows what they’re doing.


And I don’t want the cheapest one you found on Google. I want the one who has good experience that will get it done, because I don’t want to deal with the problems later. She knows quality. And also this reminds me of Tony Robbins, what he taught us, model the best. We can learn from other people’s mistakes, right? We can learn and by doing, and we can also not just learn from other people’s mistakes, we can also learn by modeling what other people have done successfully. And…


back to the subject of recruiting and hiring. What are the best businesses do? And also recruitment, think about the military, think about religious organizations. They are fantastical when it comes to recruiting. One’s recruiting for an army, one’s recruiting souls. The point is they have a very clear cause. And what is your cause? Think about it. What do you stand for? And then make that the…


driving force behind your recruitment process, and then have a detailed, clear hiring process. Tell me a little bit, Robin, about your hiring service at All-Stor Dental Academy, hiring and recruitment services. What is it like? What’s the experience? And also, lastly, why should a dentist consider working with you or a hiring service?


in lieu of doing it on their own? Great questions. As you well know, I love to talk about all-star hiring because it’s what we do and what we’re all passionate about. And we have an incredible team of hiring specialists that have all worked in the dental industry before. They’ve worked in practices. They understand the process that team members go through and they understand what it means, the burden that is given to the rest of the team when somebody is missing.


So we partner with practices and we become an extension of that particular client’s practice. So we get to know them very well. We understand their why, their vision, their mission. We have them fill out a questionnaire. So that certainly gives us all the data, the information that we know candidates are gonna ask us. And then we put together that job posting that’s going to attract the type of person that they’re looking to recruit. So once we put the…


Posting together, we do everything. It is full service. We post the ad. We review the resumes. We talk to the applicants. And we get them in front of the practice as soon as possible. It’s a three-part process, a phone interview, Zoom interview, and then in-person interview. And once that applicant gets in front of the doctor and they say, this is the person for us, we also help with the offer letter.


doing the due diligence, the background checks, the employment verification. And finally, we give an onboarding checklist to help set that new hire up for success as well as the practice. And we do that from A to Z for all of our clients. And why would they wanna choose all-star hiring versus trying to do it themselves? It’s the time savings, it’s the stress, it’s the ghosting that a lot of applicants do. It is taken…


the burden of the time-consuming steps of the hiring process away from the practice so that they get to devote their time and attention to what they love doing and that’s taking great care of their patients. So that’s why practices partner with us to do the hiring process for them because they know that they’re really great at dentistry and we’re really great at hiring.


That was a beautiful line. I love it. I’m thinking of Brent, by the way, one of your clients that works with you. And he’s brilliant. I mean, he studies all the books, he’s lectures on business and he knows all the steps to hiring yet he still hires you to help. And then also you have other dentists that are really struggling that don’t know anything and they then you help them too. So dentists that know and don’t know also choose to work.


with your division. So that’s a real testament. Absolutely, and they’re learning from us so that when they are confident in having a process in place and they are able to do it on their own, that’s wonderful for us. Like you said, it’s the biggest compliment we can receive. The recruitment process, vision for the practice, should be something that the dentists learn and hold tightly to build upon.


that they are considering it. Yes, they can talk with the hiring department about it, but that’s really an internal process and that they’re always recruiting in many fashions, recruiting and maintaining their team. That’s another aspect very important that we keep our team. That’s where they have to focus their attention. The tactic of hiring is best suited if you have a good company like yours that can take care of that tactic.


but then they used her time to recruit. I was talking with the doctor the other night, one of our mastermind members, and I said, her best use, she’s gonna be reaching out to you today, by the way, her best use of her time is taking care and coaching her clients, coaching her employees. That’s where she needs to use her time, is coaching her team. Not just retaining, but building them up. That’s where she needs to be.


Whatever else you can delegate, if you take insurance, delegate insurance, use a service. It’s very frustrating to get ghosted, and then you put a smile on your face. Your team’s used to the abuse. We would much rather them ghost us than the ghost, the doctor, or the office manager that had a stay after laid and things like that. So absolutely, we’ll take one for the team, anytime, anytime. And another part of our conversation I have with this doctor is, when you have good team members,


don’t want to put the job responsibilities or activities that are not fun to do. Because as you mentioned, if I’m there answering new patient calls and I’m helping the practice grow, why would you put me in charge of last minute cancellations or having to hire people or be ghosted or deal with that stress? You want to, am I saying


We were trying to create prima donnas in our practice, but we would like to support and keep it positive for the team. Focus on things that they’re good at, focus on areas that empower them, but to have them do activities that are very like drudging, like hiring, going through resumes, having to talk to people, getting ghosted, it can be taxing. We gotta put our mindset on positive and focusing on that.


And if we can delegate the areas that are, or not as skilled at and that frustrate us, we don’t want to, and I won’t be mind you, I’m not saying we abdicate our responsibility. No, I’m saying the drudgery. We have somebody else who’s good at it and actually likes it. Let them do it. And we focus on recruitment, outsource hiring, focus on recruitment. Robin, thank you so much for being on the podcast.


and we look forward to having you again many, many times. And for all of those that are listening, if you’re watching, subscribe on YouTube. If you’re listening, follow us on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and that will make sure you get the episodes right when they’re launched and will also help a lot of your friends be able to capture and enjoy the podcast and tell your friends about the podcast. We’d love to train all of you to be better business people. And until next time.


Go out there and be an All-Star.




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