associate dentist jobs



Having thought that we would ease our way back in to work in 2017, how wrong we were.

Substantial demand for locum dentists – particularly for maintaining UDA contract delivery or catch up – has meant the phone was already ringing from the first day back.

With the Bupa acquisition of Oasis, prospective sale of Southern Dental and ongoing growth and acquisition strategies for many of the smaller group businesses throughout the UK, 2017 appears to be heading for another busy year within the NHS dentistry jobs market in particular.

The skills shortage continues with an ageing professional population (not just in dentistry) growing population base and simply not enough professional healthcare graduates to fulfill demand in the medium term.

In other markets a lack of balance between supply and demand rapidly leads to increases in salaries and contract rates as businesses compete for skills. With fixed price NHS contracts under the current UDA system, there are affordability issues as personnel costs increase. That said, locum rates are rapidly on the increase and experienced NHS dentists happy to travel can secure some excellent day rates in some parts of the country.

Observing the increased demand for locum and short term cover, we’ve already invested heavily in the latest rapid communications technology and systems to meet that demand as traditional advertising mediums become less effective.

Outside of NHS dentistry we continue to see strong demand for experienced and competent clinicians from clients with a solid private business model – generally led by increased patient awareness.

With great finance available and an appetite from lenders keen to lend to dentists, we see ongoing demand from dentists keen to take a step in to practice ownership. Through our 4dentists group venture we’re uniquely placed to support entrepreneurial dentists keen to buy a practice with an exciting platform of support services pre and post purchase all launching in 2017. It’s going to be a busy and exiting year.


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We work with a very diverse range of dental clients across the UK, from single handed private practices in the wilds of Cornwall, to NHS community services in locations like the Shetland Islands.


We don’t currently recruit for any of the 5 largest corporates – most have talented in-house teams to manage their recruitment – preferring to work with independently owned and managed dental businesses the length and breadth of the UK.


Historically, associate opportunities with independent practices were highly sought after within the profession, particularly those in locations with great family benefits, such as schools and amenities. The interest in private practice remains for those who have invested in their clinical skills, but practices with a degree of NHS income and lots of opportunity for developing a private book – either fee per item, or through development of a membership plan – have generally recruited quite readily in the past.


We talk to literally hundreds of dental professionals over the course of a month and interestingly, we’re seeing different questions posed by associates who are active in the job market, mostly due to the effect of corporate dentistry on the market.




More often than not (once the financials are out of the way) we’re now being asked whether the practices we’re recruiting for have things like air conditioning, rotary endo, intra-oral cameras, digital X-Ray, natural light in the surgeries and so on. What opportunities there are for mentoring and support for less experienced dentists are also a consideration.



Whatever your opinion of corporate dentistry, the modern surroundings, well trained staff and investment in high tech capital equipment for their surgeries is helping them attract and retain talented clinicians in a way that the market hasn’t properly acknowledged.


The dental industry is going through a significant modernisation in more ways than one. If your practice isn’t keeping up to speed with technological advancement and investment in staff training and development, you could find yourself struggling to recruit at all in the future.


If you need some advice and support in recruiting and retaining talent for your dental practice, contact us now for a confidential conversation on how we can help.




Blue Sky People


Business as usual post Brexit, not quite. It’s busier than that!


Today saw a very significant business acquisition in the IT sector. One of the worlds biggest companies Hewlett Packard, has just sold off a huge chunk of their profitable software business to dynamic British business based in Berkshire – Micro Focus.


Interestingly, while this IT sector deal has little to do with the dental market in some respects, it has quite a bit to do with us in other ways.


The CEO of Micro Focus started looking at the prospect of a deal with Hewlett Packard in February 2016 and has explained their appetite to acquire an established, well respected business didn’t weaken at all –despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit.


What Micro Focus does, they do extremely well. They take established but generally lazy, minimal growth businesses with a very loyal existing customer base. Then they offer those customers, innovative and modern solutions through their already strong relationships. Offering them better solutions.


And it is here where there are some similarities with Dentistry. Well run, well managed dental businesses attract a loyal customer following. Treat your customers well, deliver beyond their expectations and you can benefit from a lifelong business relationship.


We’re already seeing our dental clients looking to expand their clinical offering, invest in up to date technology and infrastructure and grow their staff, either in numbers or simply investing in improving their skill set.





Clearly we all lost a little bit of confidence following the Brexit vote as we saw investments contract, the housing market slow and our summer holidays perhaps get a little more expensive with the drop in value of the pound. But confidence is already rebounding rapidly and that feeds right through the dental market.


As a result, we’re busier than ever. Our dental practice clients are recruiting and in doing so are looking for the very best people out there.




Similarly our clients in the dental supply chain are looking to attract key talent and strengthen their sales and development teams.


Whether you’re looking for a new opportunity with forward thinking, high growth dental practices, or looking for a fresh challenge in training, sales or customer services within dentistry, we’d be delighted to hear from you.


And if you’re still not sold and are worried about the long term consequences of Brexit, we’re still recruiting dentists for Australia!






Blue Sky People

It is a common misconception that using a recruitment agent to recruit – is exclusively for the larger dental groups. In fact the larger corporates now have substantial recruitment and HR resources in house and in some cases are actually targeted not to use external suppliers.


Here at Blue Sky People we actually work with a very diverse client base from specialist referral practices, through to mid size multi-practice groups offering extensively NHS dentistry.




Some current clients include small single surgery private practices with an exclusive clientele in London’s prime locations, to 2-3 surgery NHS practices from Aberdeen to Penzance. We even have clients in the Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey and Shetlands.


Clients retain Blue Sky People to recruit business critical roles for any number of reasons including speed and discretion but by far the most specified reasoning behind retaining us for an agency search is time!


So many dental businesses are held back from hitting their peak performance due to a lack of time on the part of the owners or business managers – to invest properly in to the recruitment process. Frequently they lack the time to invest in putting together an accurate job description and practice profile in the first place. And, when they do get around to advertising, they often lack the time to devote to screening through applicants and getting them in for interviews in a timely fashion.


If someone is applying for a job you have advertised, rest assured that they fall in to the “active jobseeker” category. If that is the case, they’re not just applying to work at your practice, they’re applying for other jobs as well. If you don’t get back to the best candidates quickly someone else will.

SKILLS Tag Cloud (performance talent personal development goals)


Additionally, practices often run and re-run adverts across Indeed, Gumtree, and other platforms on numerous occasions and at increasing cost, before realising it is proving ineffective.


Recruitment cost is the barrier most often put up by dental business owners for not using an agency to recruit, but unless you specifically engage an agency to undertake a retained search, fees are only applicable if they successfully recruit a dentist, hygienist, therapist, practice manager or dental nurse for your business. All of the advertising costs and most importantly – the time spent on searching & screening for suitable candidates – is borne by the agency.


Where practice owners and their business managers truly value their time – the case for using a well respected, specialist dental recruiter is often easy to make.


If you would like more information on how to recruit a suitable candidate for your dental team please contact me either via email or call 01491 845511.


Paul Holborn