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Inside Dental Technology
August 2017
Volume 8, Issue 8

Recruit, Develop, Retain

Strategies for managing and fostering a strong workforce

Brian Forman

Talent management is an integral part of the foundation for attracting, developing, and retaining the most skilled candidates. For dental laboratory owners, this means identifying the skill set that will produce the most advantageous outcome for the company. The competition to attract the most qualified candidates involves many variables, and building out a strategic roadmap to reach that outcome involves several qualifiers.

Recruitment is a two-way process which involves candidates evaluating the kind of environment they see themselves working in, so fostering a positive company culture is a big factor in attracting top talent. From the company’s perspective, ensuring that the candidate is the right fit for the position is a major factor in the hiring decision, but their fit into the company’s culture should also be a consideration. It is vital to be aware of your company’s reputation in the industry along with the type of culture that is promoted. In order to attract top talent for your company, there needs to be a sensible plan in place to ensure that decision makers are doing everything possible to differentiate themselves from the competition. Being able to offer competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits is only a part of the total package. Company culture is having a greater influence on where candidates—especially younger ones—decide to take a job. It is important to keep in mind that company culture is not a qualifier that an external source can control. Only companies can control this factor; it’s a variable that can be managed depending on the company philosophy. One way to attract the best candidates is by offering a stimulating, friendly, collaborative, and even fun workplace culture.

There is a cost associated with recruitment, and the avenues that are pursued impact time and results. There are many recruitment agencies that specialize in identifying the most talented candidates available based on region. In searching for dental laboratory technicians or general office staff, using these agencies could provide you with a number of candidates to select from, but identifying top-tier candidates can be a process. Generally the more technical the position, the greater the need is for utilizing the services of agencies that specialize in dental recruitment. Alternatively, posting employment opportunities on social media platforms and other Internet-based sites, as well as via word of mouth, is an inexpensive and useful peripheral strategy to gain talent.

Setting Expectations for Success

After you have identified the best candidate with the right skill set who is the best fit for the company and you've reached a mutual agreement with them, the process for keeping that employee begins immediately. Cultivating the new employee begins on the hire date. A clear and well-defined job description outlines not only what the employee will do on a daily basis but also taps into expectations of their full potential by identifying and assigning projects that may be slightly above their present skill level to stimulate and develop their talents even further. Taking on additional tasks outside of the job description maximizes the strength of the employee which leads to further monetizing the business. For example, if you hired a talented dental laboratory technician who exhibits both speed and accuracy, recommending involvement in new processes and/or procedures can impact the growth of the laboratory in a meaningful way. Encouraging employees to share information and collaborate is key to a successful culture and motivates everyone to work together for the common good of the business.

Employee Development Is an Ongoing Process

Hiring the best talent is the first step to accelerating a business. Ongoing development through engaging the employee and utilizing their skill set to be resourceful to the business is equally important. Employees want to contribute as much as possible to the success of the company; this provides them with a sense of purpose and value. Creating an environment that is welcoming and exciting makes a significant difference in the overall morale of the company. Recognize and elevate employees that exemplify significant contributions to the growth of the business. Having a comprehensive in-house training program in place or bringing in outside vendors to train employees on advances in the field are other ways to further develop employee talents. Strategizing the development phase should be well thought out and tailored uniquely to each employee based on their skill set and knowledge level.

Retention is one of the most critical steps in the talent management process. Being able to successfully retain key talent and avoid costly employee turnover are vital in today’s market. High employee turnover impacts the business not only in terms of employee morale but also the financial and time costs associated with recruiting and training a replacement. Employee retention is a challenging task, especially when it involves top talent. However, if a business plans and executes well, then employees will have reasons to stay rather than reasons to leave. Finding the perfect fit to expand and grow the business must be a mutual agreement so that both sides reach an optimal outcome.

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