Dental Recruitment

dentist recruitment in uk newzealand australia


I read a nice post on Linkedin by Chris Anders of Albior Financial Recruitment today and it really struck a cord with some discussions we had with one of our clients.


Chris had contacted a candidate about a great career advancement opportunity – fully expecting the candidate to jump at the chance to be considered. The candidate however declined the opportunity as they felt that they had “already reached the top”. In Chris’s own words “He wasn’t anywhere near the top, he would have needed binoculars to see the top”.


Confused, Chris wanted more information. They had realised that the work-life balance they had achieved, in combination with the flexibility and salary offered by their current job was exactly what they wanted. Any career advancement would compromise on time with their family away from work.


As dental recruiters, we’re often pushing a dynamic job spec, with promises of training and further development, opportunities to move away from clinical dentistry in to a management or mentoring role.


The client I had been talking to is able to offer exactly that sort of development opportunity to dentists keen to continue their professional development. But it’s here where the conversation changed course and struck a particular chord with Chris’s recent post. My client reflected that they were also eager to recruit dentists and other staff, who enjoyed clinical dentistry, but also wanted to achieve a better work-life balance as well.


Whether part or full time, flexible bank working, semi-retired or just keen to avoid a UDA target driven role, my client felt that there was space in their team for dentists at all stages of their career.


As Chris states in his post, everyone’s definition of  “making it to the top”  is different. Whether dentists are still striving to get there, have a long term career development goal, have visited or got close to the top and decided the view was better from part of the way up, there are still some great opportunities out there for dentists.


Luckily for them, my client has practices in wonderful locations throughout Cornwall which offers great schooling for children, lovely surf, fantastic walks and other wonderful outlets – including playing host to some of the best chef’s and restaurants the UK has to offer.


Wherever you are in your Dental career journey to your version of “the top”, we’d be pleased to hear from you.



As specialists in the dental recruitment market we’re always having conversations with clients here at Blue Sky People – keen to recruit talented, motivated dental nurses, support or practice management staff to their team.


It is fair to say that there is rarely a budget set aside for replacing a key member of staff in much the same way that there are rarely funds set aside for replacing high value capital dental surgery equipment when it fails.


If your sterilisation equipment for example needs replacing, it is unlikely that dental business owners search for hours for the lowest possible cost replacement on the internet, albeit they would clearly shop around the main agents. And yet, that is what so many will do when recruiting a key member of staff.


Most recently, one prospective client spent several weeks, looking through well over 150 CV’s they had confidently received through cheap online adverts, rejecting over 90% of them in the process. Of those that they did invite in for interview and by the time they had, three had already secured other jobs and two didn’t even bother to turn up for their interview.


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This is not a unique situation, we frequently see advice being given to “advertise on generalist job boards as you’ll get dozens of applications” – but do you really want to spend hours looking at irrelevant CV’s or schedule time out of your day to interview people who don’t bother to turn up?


As a specialist dental recruitment agency, we work through hundreds of CV’s every week – but then that is our job. We’re here to identify the gaps in CV’s, talk to the candidates and find out why they are moving or are out of a job. In short, we’re paid to sort through the less likely candidates, so that our clients don’t have to.


By no means am I suggesting that every time you need to recruit, you pick up the phone to a specialist recruiter such as ourselves (although it would be nice if we did hear from you), but certainly give sites such as the British Association of Dental Nurses job board a try first


At least that way you are targeting people who work in the dental market and are likely to be interested in the CV’s you receive.


Value your time and that of your practice management staff when recruiting. It is easy to think you’ve recruited a member of staff for £50, but if you actually consider the wasted man-hours, that is rarely the case. Even more costly is the decision to recruit the wrong person, but that’s a conversation for another time!


Happy to continue this conversation in person, just email..

Paul Holborn


Blue Sky People




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


I blame myself really. I was meeting with a business associate over a coffee and happened to mention that things were looking a little quiet in the lead up to the summer holiday. We discussed the possibility that Brexit might have also had a bearing and artfully both managed to avoid spending the next 30 minutes or so discussing the pros and cons for where we British now find ourselves.




Since that discussion our enquiry rates have risen by 35% this week with no additional marketing or advertising involved. Several enquiries are new enquiries from existing clients while a number are completely new customers.




Why the sudden upturn – just as admit I was planning a few days off in the sunshine myself?


The simple answer is that every one of the clients who’ve been in touch this week have a clear vision for their dental business and are simply working to their strategic plan. A couple confirmed that while other dental businesses were wondering which way their income was likely to head in the coming months, they were simply keeping up their momentum, acquiring more customers or expanding their operations.


Many have already invested in new capital equipment and dental technology this year and a good number are increasing their on-line spend – realising that their customers are tech savvy and actively looking for help and information on-line on an almost unprecedented basis.




I admit, as a director of Blue Sky People for over 10 years, I am extremely proud of the fact that our phone continues to ring. Clients are still keen to do business with us (yes, despite the perception of agency recruitment being expensive) when they want to attract the best talent in the UK dental market.


It’s great to know that forward thinking, innovative dental businesses are still in good health post Brexit and as we head in to the quieter summer period. We’re always delighted to help them recruit the talent they need to be successful.


Please contact myself or a member of my team if you would like to chat more about recruitment issues either by


Paul Holborn


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.

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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





We’re really looking forward to this week’s BDA Conference and Exhibition – one of the key dates in the dental calendar and living in Bournemouth myself nowadays, it’s always a great excuse to get up to Manchester and meet with friends and colleagues from the profession and have some fun.


Blue Sky People have a stand (A09) throughout the 3 days of the Exhibition and we hope to talk to dentists of all experience levels throughout. We have a significant client base of over 1000 dental practices who’ve recruited through us over the years, many of which are recruiting for talented dentists right now.

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With so many jobs for associates in particular being advertised direct by independent practices and corporates alike, many dentists question the logic of working with a recruitment agency, particularly when some seem to be advertising exactly the same corporate jobs.


Here at Blue Sky People we offer a wide variety of locum and associate posts with independent practices and small groups, who often don’t market their opportunities directly due to time constraints, or because they are looking for specific skills and attributes.


Often practice owners will work direct with an agency as they expect us to do the pre-screening of candidates on their behalf. If they are looking to recruit certain skills or are looking for individuals with specific attitudes or personality traits, an agency will assess suitable applicants as they pass through the process and minimize the time that the practice owner might spend reviewing CVs for inappropriate applicants.


At Blue Sky People, we work with NHS and Private practices throughout the whole of the UK, some British overseas Territories as well as with select clients in the UAE and Australia. Every client is recruiting for different attributes and skills depending on the demographics of their own client base so not every dentist is a fit for a specific job.


While we advertise our roles extensively through our own website, via Dental Jobs Group and occasionally through sites such as BDJ Jobs, where we are perhaps slightly different is that many of our jobs are filled without any external advertising.


We frequently find talent through our own database of CVs or networks of contacts, dentists we might have known for many years who are looking for occasional locum work or dentists who we’ve met previously at events such as the BDA conference, who’ve registered their interest in prospective opportunities and who we’ll contact directly when such an opportunity arises.


Sometimes the ideal or dream job doesn’t seem to be out there when you’re actively looking, but if we know what you’re after and we’ve got you registered with us, we can always let you know the minute something crops up to suit you. In fact, quite often we work with specific dentists or specialists who are looking for a particular opening or perhaps are re-locating – talking to our existing clients to see what sort of opportunities they might be able to create for talented and motivated professionals. Brilliant practices will often find space for terrific dentists and specialists where the business case is compelling.


See you at the BDA.