MediCruit - Why using a specialist recruitment agency could be cost effective

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Why using a specialist recruitment agency could be cost effective
In the event recruitment is not an ongoing process (eg, for small practices), in-house recruitment is likely to be an additional task and potentially a burden to practice managers and their core job. For small groups of practices, using a recruitment agency can be the best way to access pools of dental professionals, including those not actively seeking new employment. So, here are the key reasons why you should use a recruitment agency.

Knowledge of the market
The best recruiters will have their finger on the pulse regarding the dental industry, and can give the employing managers an insight in to what is happening. They should know the available talent, where they are and how to reach out to them; salary rates; career expectations; available skill-sets; and current employment complexities.
If other practices are struggling to find the same people as you they should be able to advise on alternative solutions. The best will act as partners and an extension to the current practice team, and should be your eyes and ears in the industry.

Talent reach
Some candidates are very hard to find. They may be passive or they may be particular with the position they require. If they aren’t responding to job advertisements, don’t see themselves as part of your ‘talent pool’ and are too busy to search full time, then the chances are that they may have relationships with trusted specialist recruiters within the dental industry.
Even if they aren’t currently active, there’s a strong chance that a good agency will know who they are and how to reach them. Agencies have many networks – each consultant, candidate, client or partner has the potential to leverage their networks to help connect you to people with a range of skills and experiences, many of who would be off the radar of an in-house team or employing manager using traditional media/online methods.

Candidates, not applicants
A lot of vacancies are aimed at attracting applicants, whether they are responding to an advert, applying on spec, or through your website. A lot of these people may not be good matches for the role, hence a lot of time will be invested in filtering, assessing, matching and communicating with them.
When we talk of a bad candidate experience, it’s normally an applicant experience that we are referring to. Time, resource and poor recruitment teams may not be able to run a thorough matching process. Using a proven industry-specific agency should mean that you see only candidates who have been pre-selected to match all the criteria that you are looking for and who are worthy of consideration and interview.

Time and money
Money and resources are two of the biggest concerns for most practices, but when budgets tighten recruitment agencies can prove particularly valuable – searching for candidates on your own uses valuable time and resources that could be better spent; but an agency can filter through the applicants for you, meaning you’ll only have to interview the very best.

Nothing to lose
Ultimately, you have nothing to lose. There is no initial outlay, no marketing costs to absorb, and the best agencies offer a rebate so, if the candidate who is placed isn’t the right fit, you’re given a full/partial refund of the fee paid, depending on how long they have been in employment or in some cases a free replacement can be sourced very quickly. This gives peace of mind that there has been no waste of expenditure during the process with a fee only due on a successful placement.
Practice One
Practice Location
- established for approximately 40 years, this practice was purchased by the current principal in 1982 as a going concern. It is located just outside of a large town centre area and benefits from good transport links, resulting in easy patient access.

Type of practice - the practice is predominately private and occupies a converted residential property with four surgeries. There is room to add an additional two surgeries on the first floor, if required by an incoming buyer. The freehold premises, valued at circa £350,000, were sold alongside the practice.

Financials - annual turnover of £550,000 is derived from 13% capitation, 12% NHS and 75% fee per item income. The NHS contract is made up of 3,000 UDAs resulting in a below average UDA rate of £21.66. No specialist treatments are carried out at the practice, creating an area for growth, which could be explored by an incoming buyer.

Buyer Appetite - the practice was marketed to our general market buyers and generated significant interest. Full sales particulars were distributed to 460 buyers, with 6,000 buyers viewing the practice via our website and 12 viewings taking place.

Reason for sale/incoming purchaser - the vendor was looking to retire and was open to negotiation with regards working at the practice post-sale. The incoming purchaser was a first-time buyer looking to work within the practice full time.

Price achieved - £1,000,000 for the goodwill, equipment, fixtures and fittings and freehold.
Practice Two
Practice Location
- this expense-sharing practice is owned by two principal dentists and comprises two discrete sites within a large city. The first site was acquired 30 years ago with the second site purchased 10 years later.

Type of Practice - the practice is predominantly NHS and has 13 surgeries across the two sites, with plenty of room for future expansion. Both premises are held on a leasehold basis with a combined annual rental of just £36,000, helping to drive up the net profit margin. Private fees have not been maximised at the practice to date. The outgoing principals deliver circa 12.5% of the income, alongside seven associates, one therapist and two hygienists.

Financials - annual turnover is just below £2,000,000 with £1,450,000 income delivered through two NHS-GDS contracts. As well as a small capitation scheme, additional income is delivered through the training of foundation dentists at each site, as well as some ‘outreach funding’ secured through a local education programme.

Buyer Appetite - this practice was sold to one of our Premier Tier buyers. The location within the country and high NHS contract value attracted a high level of interest and multiple offers were received.

Reason for sale/incoming purchaser - the partners were looking to retire and did not wish to continue working at the practice post-sale. The incoming purchaser owned multiple practices and was looking to implement an associate-led model.

Price Achieved - £2,988,000 inclusive of goodwill, equipment, fixtures/fittings. The asking price was paid in full on completion with no deferred element.
Practice Three
Practice Location
- located within a city centre suburb, this practice was set up from squat by the current vendor in 1993. The freehold premises are purpose-built and include a free patient carpark. There are a number of other amenities in the immediate vicinity, as well as a dense residential population.

Type of Practice - this is a two-surgery NHS orthodontic practice. The practice holds a PDS contract, which has one year remaining; however, the local area team have indicated that they are prepared to extend the PDS contract for a further year. Income generation is split between the owner and an associate who both work part time. There are growth opportunities available at the practice, through an increase in private orthodontic treatments to maximise chair time.

Financials - the NHS contract of £196,000 is delivered through provision of 3,000 UDAs creating a UDA rate of £65.33. The remaining income of £26,000 is generated through private fee per item work. Staff costs at the practice are efficient with just one full-time dental nurse and one full-time receptionist.

Buyer Appetite - the practice was sold on our general market tier with over 675 buyers viewing the opportunity via our website and six viewings taking place. This represents a strong level of interest given that the buyer audience for PDS contracts is significantly lower than for GDS contracts.

Reason for sale/incoming purchaser - the outgoing principal was looking to retire; however, they agreed to stay on at the practice during a transitional period to finish all outstanding cases. The incoming buyer was an orthodontist looking to work within the practice post completion.

Price Achieved - £450,000 inclusive of goodwill, equipment, fixtures/fittings and freehold (circa £180,000).
Posted by: Phillip Barker on
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