Despite “Dentistry” being removed from the skills list – potentially removing the opportunity for Dentists to apply for Permanent Residency in Australia – there are still a range of exciting opportunities for UK qualified dentists to live and work in Australia.
Alongside our Australian partners, Blue Sky People is recruiting UK dentists for a number of posts in particular throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
We currently have opportunities for UK graduate dentists who have at least completed their VT across a range of great locations including Canberra and the Sunshine Coast, QLD.
Opportunities exist within both the public sector as well as with well established and growing private practices.
Dentists up to the age of 30 are eligible to apply for a working holiday visa – which can entitle you to work on a temporary contract for 6-9 months. This type of Visa can be suitable for dentists who are happy to work within the Public sector – as opportunities within community dental hospitals are frequently available on a temporary contract basis. This is particularly well suited to dentists who want to work whilst in Australia, but who may opt to use the remaining time to explore the continent.
For dentists who are interested in a longer term commitment or who are 31 and over, we are able to offer via our clients – sponsorship for a 457 visa. The 457 Visa is tied to the sponsor – hence in the majority of cases, requires a professional commitment to the employer for a minimum period of 12-18 months.
We currently have clients throughout coastal Queensland, ACT and some locations in New South Wales – who will gladly sponsor UK graduate dentists with a minimum of 1 years post graduate clinical experience.
Dentists can work under a sponsored visa for up to 4 years in which time they can further explore avenues for permanent residency if their long term goal is to emigrate to Australia on a permanent basis.
Much like the UK market at present, Australian universities are offering more places on their dental courses, but there remains a genuine skills shortage for experience, motivated and ambitious dentists – happy to work outside of the Sydney and Melbourne catchment.
So, whether you are looking to take a trip out to Australia on a short term basis and fancy working for 6-9 months in a community setting, or whether you have a long term objective to experience the Australian lifestyle – the door is still open.
We’d be pleased to hear from any UK qualified dentists who might like to experience life and work in Australia.
Blue Sky Peopl
Dentistry is an analytical profession and at practice level it is right and correct that clinical decisions are made based on appropriate evidence and generally conservative in nature.
In business operations however, it sometimes pays to make quick decisions, particularly in attracting and retaining quality staff.
When recruiting, we all like to work to an ideal of say half a dozen or more applications, arrange perhaps 3-4 interviews and end up with two good candidates – the best of which is offered the job and accepts.
The reality for many practices is more likely that they receive 25 CVs, 20 of which are wholly unsuitable. 5 are okay but only 2 are worth interviewing – one of which has accepted another job by the time you ask them in for interview. Sound familiar?
If you are looking to recruit, it helps to have a plan in place to enable you to respond to any quality applications that you might receive. If you work with a good agency, they’ll work with you to discuss appropriate timescales for receiving/reviewing CVs, arranging interviews etc. But if you’re recruiting directly, make sure you have time available to bring candidates in for interview and you’re not off on holiday for 2 weeks just at the adverts go to press. Even better, why not include suggested interview timescales within your adverts.
If it is appropriate to do so, speed up the decision making process at interview stage as well. If you know you’ve found a cracking candidate you’re really keen on don’t let them get away. They could well be going to other interviews, so why not discuss potential packages and possible start dates with them at the interview. You don’t have to make an offer there and then (although you could), but you could certainly gauge their interest and assess whether they’re likely to take the job if they were offered. At the very least you should conclude the interview knowing whether they have got other interviews/offers, when they could start, when they might be looking to hand their notice in and with a very good idea of whether they would accept an offer at a salary/package which you can afford.
There is nothing more wasteful than investing time, money and effort in to the recruitment process to find a great candidate and enthusiastically offer them the job after you’ve interviewed everyone else – only to find out they’ve found a new job elsewhere.
Blue Sky People
We’ve recently undertaken a number of recruitment assignments with dental practices or small groups specifically undertaking searches for business management & marketing expertise from outside of the dental sector.
Clearly there are significant changes going on within the dental market at present with greater consolidation, on-line marketing and social media and with the recent acquisition of DPAS by Weslyan, changes are also taking place within the Private/Plan space.
I took the time to have a conversation with Kevin Rose of Rose & Co about some of the challenges facing dentists and what they’re doing to meet those challenges.
Q Paul – Kevin, it’s well documented that dentists are facing what to some might seem like a perfect storm of increased regulatory burden, staffing/HR issues and overall business costs at the moment, what’s your view on some of the biggest challenges faced by dental practices today?
A Kevin – I think that we could be heading towards some kind of ‘super regulator’ such as that we have seen in financial services. The implication will be that smaller independent dental practices will have to outsource large areas of their supervision and regulation to third parties. We have seen how well this can work and I don’t think it’s anything to be scared of. In the meantime, remember that a regulator has to deal with the lowest common denominator who in turn will always try and find a way around the regulation. My advice is to lead and run your business in a way that is congruent with your own values and integrity. It may be that you will then have to fill more forms in to prove that you are on the right side of the regulation, but at least it just be confirming your position rather than requiring a fundamental U turn in the way that you operate.
Q Paul – Given that there is so much going on in the Private Plan sector with Denplan looking to move in to practice ownership, Bupa acquiring aggressively and recent acquisition of DPAS by Wesylan, do you have a view on where things might be heading?
A Kevin – We are seeing all of the signs associated with a market that is maturing and by that I mean the small and independent practice. You have a choice to either differentiate away from the corporates or try and compete directly. This reminds me of how we have seen independent retailers wiped out by high street chains. For many it has been too much to handle and yet we are now starting to see independent retailers thriving in the high street again. The formula seems to be to focus on differentiation rather than to compete on price. Competing on price is a downward spiral to failure.
Q Paul – While there is no one size fits all solution, what do you think practice owners can do to take control of their own destiny in the face of a still challenging marketplace?
A Kevin – You are right, there really isn’t a one size fits all solution and often I think that searching for one can send dental practice owners along the wrong path, where misguided quick fixes do at first look tempting but rarely work in the long term.
I think that we have to brave enough to ask bigger questions. For example, at a local level I hear loads of dentists asking how they can get more patients and sell more treatment plans and to a point I understand this, but in doing so they risk not asking the bigger question. The bigger question is to look at overcoming the memes and prejudices that people have about seeing the dentist. How come we hear phrases like “I have never met a poor dentist” and yet many dentists are searching for answers to “fill white space’. Something doesn’t stack up. We have to look at the cause of this problem first and great business owners, great leaders, apply this principle in all areas of their businesses, recruitment, marketing and planning for example.
Q Paul – Finding the right staff continues to be a challenge for practices particularly in urban areas and we appreciate not every practice wants to retain an agency to recruit. Can you lend an opinion on staffing and retention?
A Kevin – Well, unless you have the time and resource to recruit yourself why wouldn’t you outsource this? It is a specialist role within any business and not something that you can do in a hurry. If you get it wrong once or twice then you have a recruitment issue, but if you keep getting it wrong then you have a leadership issue. Think about why somebody would want to work for you and again focus on differentiation not money. Then think about recruiting for talents not skills. By talents I mean those ineffable qualities that set apart the good from the great within your team.
Q Paul – A number of our practice owners would consider selling their practices but are often cautious to market their practice – despite many potential buyers out there?
A Kevin – When I have bought and sold businesses in the past, I think it is always attractive to see that the business had a plan and then is able to demonstrate how they measured performance to that plan. This allows a purchaser to understand in what direction or trajectory the business is heading.
If you would like to discuss any of these matters with Paul or Kevin they would be delighted to hear from you.
How comfortable are you really talking about your dental practice?
Todays dental practices are often modern, well equipped, air conditioned, with digitised surgeries, staffed by experienced, qualified dental nursing and support staff – many of whom benefit from ongoing training and development well beyond the minimum expected for their CPD cycle.
When advertising for staff, particularly for Associate Dentists, practices frequently have a fantastic story to tell about their working environment, the contract on offer, access to great labs and materials. But like the majority of dental business out there, the job specs which are being advertised all tend to blur in to one another.
With huge numbers of associate jobs being advertised across the web, significant numbers of jobs are simply ignored as the pattern is so familiar. Even if the job spec is highly detailed (which many aren’t).
With more graduates coming out of our dental schools, surely that should have had some bearing on a practice’s ability to recruit high calibre, enthusiastic associates – even if they are less experienced?
And yet, vast numbers of jobs are simply being ignored by younger dentists in rural or semi-rural locations in favour of city or town based opportunities. Someone even told me recently that a practice was “too far away” for them to consider. As it was only 25 miles from their home address, what they really meant was it was “too far out of town”.
Where we believe you can significantly improve your chances of recruiting the right people, is to spend some time communicating what your practice really has to offer. And we don’t mean how many UDA’s or the new digital x-ray system.
Where is the practice? Is it close to a train station, making it easy for people to use public transport for their daily commute.
Are you surrounded by coffee shops and other local amenities. What about the people who already work at the practice? Do they get on with each other socially and organize any out of work activities (for example – one of our clients actually has a 5 a side football team that plays).
Do you attend international conferences and reward your staff by taking them along?
Is the annual staff bbq or Christmas do well attended because you’re such a great place to work.
It may all sound trivial, but some thought given to who you are as a group of people and the community in which your practice thrives, could – if accurately described – be the difference between you hiring your next associate or not.