The Dental Guide to the Employer Brand

You can't avoid employer branding, whether you shape it strategically or not. In order to keep talented dental professionals, it is crucial to invest time and energy into your employer brand strategy.

Dental Practices across the UK – and indeed, worldwide – are grappling with a mass exodus of talented DCPs; This includes plenty of decent, good employers that genuinely care about their staff. 

Whilst retaining nurses has always been a struggle for some, after a year of upheaval and soul-searching, many nurses are reevaluating their lives. Their current employers may not align with their “new normal” because they’ve recalibrated.

Some are heading for other practices, others are launching their own startup businesses, and a few are leaving the dental profession altogether. 

What is the best way for dental clinics to adapt to this paradigm shift? The most significant course of action for practices right now is to begin developing a strong employer brand.

What Is an Employer Brand?

An employer brand is best defined as your reputation as an employer. This covers the expectations you establish for both candidates and current employees and the experience you give to patients. It is the total of the employee experience you provide and what the general public thinks when they hear the name of your practice. It encompasses everything that distinguishes you today and what your practice aims to be in the future.

People want their employers to be genuine and transparent. They want their employee experience to be meaningful. You can distinguish your practice, re-engage your talent, and reinforce the reputation you want to develop by focusing on your purpose, vision, and employee value proposition and then sharing it with workers.

We can learn more about a practice’s value proposition through workshops and persona and experience mapping. Why exactly? Becuase the heart and soul of value proposition is people 

Creating an Employer Brand to Reduce Talent Loss

Clarity, conviction, and intent are required for developing your strategy and building your employer brand. The following recommendations might assist you in getting started:

1. When choosing your ideal reputation, focus on authenticity.

An employer brand comprises numerous components, one of which is your employer reputation. Although you cannot control or anticipate everything spoken about your practice, you may actively impact the dialogue. The idea is to choose specific characteristics for which you want your practice to be renowned and then purposefully represent those characteristics in your employer brand.

Don’t say anything evasive like, “We want to be the best in our industry.” What is it that you want? And a term like “best” isn’t concrete. Instead, consider what you want people to remember when they hear your company’s name. Do you want to be recognised as the demanding employer who makes hard work worthwhile by providing possibilities for advancement? Or the employer with a weaker upward trajectory but amazing people and passion? Consider what would be most beneficial to your entire business plan, concentrating on those characteristics rather than any generic alternatives.

2. Make a statement with your company branding concept and promise.

The brand you create should not be so vague that anyone and everyone can apply — volume without qualification is not your friend. It’s important to create an employer brand that has a “repel-compel” effect. Ideally, it should prevent the wrong people from joining your team and compel those who will align with it. 

Could you lose some applications if your practice brand appears to be overbearing or too distinct? Possibly. However, if your employer brand is ambiguous and straightforward, you miss out on the chance to create a robust and palpable culture that people are happy to embrace and ready to share on your behalf.

3. Enquire, Learn, Understand, Develop, Repeat

As you’re developing your employer brand, remember that you can’t buy your way out of employee-employer brand issues or avoid employer branding altogether. 

According to psychologist Edward Deci, “People have three psychological needs – to feel autonomous, to feel competent and to feel related to others,” he says. 

Payment, according to Deci’s research, does not fulfil these needs.

So how do we fulfil employees? Well, autonomy and competency can be harboured through training, but to feel related to others? – that is branding and the understanding of common purpose.

What is your common purpose as a whole practice? Why do you all do what you do? Are you all aligned in your vision? 

4. Measure your employer branding results.

It is critical to keep your ear to the ground to build and refine your employer brand. Choose metrics to track along the journey and make sure they are meaningful measurements.

For example, next time you recruit, find the percentage of qualified applications rather than looking at the total applications. A good employer brand is aimed at building quality, not quantity. 

I don’t know how many applications I see for “Qualified or Trainee Dental Nurse”. Quite frankly, what message does this send? Which one do you want? Are you seeking an RDN but on trainee pay? Are qualified nurses going to step forward in the knowledge that their skills don’t matter? Choose your wording wisely. If you want your patients to know you for your quality, you need to demonstrate this in your advertisement. If care and personality mean more than qualifications, demonstrate this too. Advertise only to the candidates that align with your values, and they will come to you.

Should you not get an influx of promising applications, it’s natural to feel like you should generalise. However, do the opposite. Make potential employees fall in love with your practice through quality branding.


Your current patients already have an opinion of your practice – so do your employees, many of whom are looking for a fresh start after a trying year. Is this, however, the impression you want people to have?

Use branding to regain control and pay close attention to your team. With a purposeful and robust employer brand, you can remind them why they’re vital to your practice while enhancing their work experience.

The result? You’ll rekindle their devotion.

If you’d like help crafting your employer brand, then get in touch with Kim Martin from Double Dot Design today!

The Dental Business Alliance (DBA) is a membership organisation helping dental professionals start, run, and grow a successful business by connecting and encouraging collaboration between companies and individuals that provide business and marketing support to dental professionals.

Keep an eye out for regular content on business and marketing from our members.

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