Hiring a Dental Associate Costs, But Not Hiring One Could Cost Even More

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Last updated on August 30th, 2023

Hiring a Dental Associate Costs,

But Not Hiring One Could Cost Even More

You’re deciding whether to hire an associate or to continue working more hours than you’d like. On the one hand, there are the obvious costs attached to finding, hiring and employing an associate. You’re already working extra hours, and now you’re going to spend the time to find a quality associate.  Is it really going to be worth it? It’s a good question, but have you considered how much not hiring an associate is costing you? Aside from the costs to your practice and the wellbeing of you and your staff, there are concrete financial costs, and the amounts may surprise you.

An associate who is able to generate $300 an hour producing 36 hours per week would generate $10,800 a week in billing. That’s $43,200 per month. Assuming the associate’s salary and the variable costs run around 40%, you’re losing $26,000 per month from the bottom line. And if your current staff is already maxed out, that’s money you’re just not going to get in return.

On top of that, you also have very real opportunity costs. If your office is heavily booked with few close-in appointments available, how many patients — especially new patients — are simply going to book with another practice who can see them faster? Now, how many referrals are you getting from your current patients, because you’re also going to lose the potential referrals from these new patients who book elsewhere.

Now you’re convinced, but how to find the right associate?

Even if your office staff can do some of the initial legwork — making calls to schedule interviews, collecting resumes and references — you are going to make the final decision. If you’re producing $500 per hour, spending just 40 hours finding, interviewing and recruiting an associate will cost you $20,000 in lost revenue.

In addition, your specialty is in dentistry, not recruiting and making a poor hiring decision could cost you even more than not hiring someone. ANYONE. You’re already stretched thin. Will you have (and take) the time to go over each candidate’s resume, background and references carefully enough to uncover any red flags? Some industry economists peg the lifetime value of a customer — the number of visits they will attend during their time with the practice plus the number of visits from patients they refer — at about 12. If you assume the average bill per visit is $300, then a bad associate could cost you up to $3,600 for each patient who decides not to return because of a poor experience.

That adds up quickly, and it doesn’t account for the damage to the reputation of your practice and the loss of revenue that it can cause.

So, now you know that not hiring an associate is costing you money, but also that spending time pursuing associates could cost a significant sum and carries substantial financial risk as well.

A solution many practices have found effective is to work with a recruiter that specializes in the dental industry. That’s where PRODENT SEARCH comes in – to hire for your dental clinic or DSO. To find the best candidates, you need to cast a wide net, and that takes time. Also, the specialized recruiter will have an established network of contacts who may be able to suggest candidates or who may be candidates themselves.

Not all recruiters, even specialized recruiters, are the same. Beyond being able to reach a wide pool of potential associates, the recruiter should have a rigorous screening process that allows them to reject associates that don’t fit the opportunity. And not just because of a flaw in their background. The potential associate needs to be a good fit in terms of the practice location, size, specialties and culture. A good recruiter can pick up subtle clues from their conversation with the candidate that — in their experience — are indicators of how the associate would perform in your practice.

Considering all these variables and solutions in hand, it is time you take the leap and finally get the associate you need. How may we assist you with Dentist & Specialist Recruiting? Contact PRODENT SEARCH

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