It did not go well. My attempt to hire an associate did not go well.
Much like your office, my office is busy these days—crazy busy on some days. I get home exhausted and not looking forward to coming back for more the next day. I need help and some days off.
I placed an ad online and received several résumés to review. For the most part, they were very nice résumés from some talented people.
I set up a few interviews. I liked a couple of the applicants and felt they might fit into my practice.
However, this is where it all fell apart. I won’t use absolute numbers since salaries vary by region. Let’s just say each candidate was asking for several hundred dollars per day or 25 percent of production—whichever is greater. This is a lot more than I ever made as an associate. Yes, I know times change, but I also was competing against a lot fewer dentists for many more available positions. It certainly is not that way now.
Interestingly enough, everyone asked for the EXACT same salary. I found that very curious.
I crunched the numbers. If I paid the applicants what they wanted, they would be making as much money as me! Yes, I would be paying an associate to come into my office so that he or she can take home more or less the pay that I make! Of course, they would have no employee headaches though, like payroll taxes, property taxes, etc.
My wife’s suggestion was for me to just sell the practice and find work as an associate. She figures she’d have a husband who is much less stressed, but bringing home the same salary.
Funny how that suggestion has remained stuck in my head.
As I crunched the numbers even further, I realized something else. Let’s assume overhead at 75 percent, a number that is generally used. Of course it varies, but let’s use that for our discussion. If I pay the associate 25 percent, my total overhead now becomes 100 percent. How much is left for me? What financial incentive do I have to bring them into the practice?
It would make no business sense for me to hire any of them. You often hear new graduates say they can’t find any positions. It’s a shame.
If you’ve recently hired an associate, how did you make it work? Or do you? Is my math wrong?
Andy Alas, DDS