How Do I Recruit An Associate Dentist?

A practice can operate laboriously in all facets of work and stride but will require a certain trait of culture to bring about valuable and long-lasting change and growth in the company. Principally in areas of customer service, proficient and selfless employees play a pivotal role in reflecting the morale of the company as they tend to be at the forefront of direct patient interaction and relations.

Dental practice owners are typically accustomed to recruiting a variety of personnel including hygienists and nurses, receptionists and billing coordinators, and even associate dentists. For many dentists who have a brilliant and capricious vision for a successful practice transition – a strategic transfer of ownership – hiring the right candidate for their dental practice can make all the difference.

And as expected, while structuring the work processes and limiting an unhealthy work environment is crucial to ensure the smooth steer of the practice, employees like associate dentists form the backbone of the practice. However, many practice owners struggle with even getting beyond the starting line, so to speak.

Combating this challenge means successfully finding and then integrating a new associate into the practice, thus giving your practice a competitive edge in the market. With reverberating transition spreading across the industry, only the elite and most competent businesses will manage to stay afloat. Make use of these smart tactics to help improve your job listings so that you can recruit only the most qualified associates into your dental practice.


At the very core, workplace culture manifests as assimilation of all the characteristics and personalities that drive the overall values, traditions, and attitude of the company, as well as what makes the business unique. Finding associates and retaining great ones can be a gamechanger for your business module and this begins with your job listing.

How Do I Recruit An Associate Dentist?
How Do I Recruit An Associate Dentist? 7

The number one rule for recruiting qualified associate dentists is this: always cast a wide net. By doing so, you’re ensuring that your practice is consistently seeing a good flow of highly qualified applicants. This, of course, will require a multi-pronged approach, with optimization of your hiring funnel being the centre focus of it all.

Define the ideal characteristics

The first step of recruiting an associate for your practice is to define the job and what characteristics the selected candidate must possess to organically fit into your company standards. Having more than one person helping with recruiting, screening, and interviewing can help the general population of the practice come up with a common consensus. This helps reduce friction and promotes better visibility.

The team should be able to identify the current needs of the company, what the position entails, and what kind of person would fulfil the requirements. This initiative not only helps employ a new and highly apt teammate into the practice.

The job description

Once you’re committed to transitioning your practice, the obvious initial step is to publish a grandeur job description that best brandishes your company values. Writing a comprehensive and detailed job description helps attract more candidates who will be willing to invest their time in applying. Even if you already have an employee manual, it is probably time for an obligatory update, especially if you have introduced new technologies into your practice.

If your practice has a lot of perks, it is best to share them upfront. Being transparent about the clientele you serve, the hours you operate, and any special areas of focus can help build trust and reliance on your company principles.

You should also consider  including details such as:

  • Scheduled days, hours and options for flexibility
  • Type of clinical setting
  • Practice specialities
  • Salary range
  • Compensation packages (signing, relocation, student loan assistance)
  • Vacation day allotment
  • Number of paid holidays
  • Visa sponsorship
  • Required certifications and licenses
  • Patient demographics (adults, juveniles, underserved populations)
  • Health and retirement savings benefits
  • Community outreach initiatives
  • Work/life balance perks
  • Mentoring, leadership and ownership opportunities
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • Extras or amenities

Advertise the position

Next, come advertisements. Unless you’re a large chain of dental practices, you will be compelled to rely on external advert media to help get the word around of a vacancy. If you can learn anything from large DSO’s is that they directly run their ads on major social media and networking sites that potentially harbour dental associates and new grads. A popular option for advertising associate dentist job listings is

Create an ad that explains the necessary job summary and qualifications and submit it to these professional networking websites. As CVs are submitted, candidate profile information can help you prescreen applicants and accordingly approve of or eliminate a candidate. While advertising, it is also important to be as dynamic as possible. State why your practice is a great place to work and why a new associate should be interested in your particular practice.

Publishing a good ad can have a major impact on your recruiting process. You may also make use of social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Google to post your ads.

The Application and Interview

The application process should be fairly simple. Including a cover letter with simple instructions can help the applicant save time and you, the recruiter scan through piles of CVs easier. The cover letter gives the candidates a great opportunity to showcase their writing and communication skills, as well as their personality. You may also ask for names and contact information for references.

Many practices tend to speak to the applicants by phone before deciding if they should be invited to the practice for a face-to-face interview. These screenings can help you weed out the candidates that do not fit your job profile on a professional or personal level. Characteristics like how personable or how articulate and fast-thinking they are can help you gauge your audience.

Referrals from your best employees

‘Birds of a feather flock together.’ This is especially true for recruiting top-notch associates. If you have great employees, it is most likely that they have excellent friends who are looking for positions. Start with your best, most qualified, best-producing dentists and some of the strongest candidates can come from this pool. In fact, some DSOs report that up to 50% of their associate hires are accomplished through referrals.

Try and leverage this avenue as much as possible. Have your top dentists share adverts to their Facebook or LinkedIn profile. Think of this as running a patient referral program but for the dentists. You can also offer referral bonuses to whoever gives X number of referrals or leads to an actual job offer.


Proper recruiting processes can help dental practices find the perfect team members. Whether this is your first time recruiting or the umpteenth time you have had to sift through CVs, successful candidates are typically a result of a thought-out, intentional hiring process. As a practice owner, you must take some preparatory steps in order to attract the most reliable, highly-qualified members into your team.