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Develop a Competitive Salary Structure for Your Dental Practice

Every dental practice knows it: It is HARD to find employees these days. This means your salary package must be more competitive than ever, and if you manage a dental practice, you have to make sure your dental practice compensation structure enables you to find employees who want to work for you.However, creating a salary structure for your dental practice can be difficult, as it involves various important questions: What is fair to your team? How and when will you increase salaries? How will you track hourly rates? Fortunately, at HR for Health, we're here to help, and we have several resources that can help you answer these important questions. 

Where to Start

There are many factors to consider when creating a salary structure for your dental practice. Good starting points include:

Develop a Competitive Salary Structure for Your Dental Practice

  • Your overall financial status, including revenue, expenditures, and financial trends. This is vital — after all, there is no point in setting a salary that you cannot afford.
  • Salaries at similarly situated medical or dental offices in your area, keeping in mind that different locations have different levels of living and different demands.
  • Overall salary trends in the area where your practice is located and where you work.
  • The difference in the various positions that you have in your practice, with a clear understanding that some roles will be paid more due to their inherent value.
  • What factors will cause an employee's pay to increase, including their relevant experience, education, or certifications. 

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The Ideal Dental Practice Compensation Structure

The ideal dental practice compensation threads a difficult needle. On one hand, it pays your employees fairly and ensures they will want to continue working for your practice. On the other hand, like any other medical practice, your dental practice has an obligation to stay financially solvent, and this means ensuring you aren't overpaying for employees. Furthermore, you’ll need to keep in mind that your state may have a variety of laws and regulations regarding compensation, including equal pay laws. 

The idea of creating an ideal compensation structure is complicated by the need to simultaneously compensate employees fairly, while also acknowledging that some employees may be in higher demand and thus qualify for higher pay — even in the same role. In these circumstances, it's important to explain why you have different pay rates. Examples may include: 

  • Varying levels of experience
  • Differences in performance
  • A candidate may negotiate better during the interview process
  • Different staffing needs and pressures at the time of hiring

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Communicating This Information

There are many ways to communicate this information and ensure that your employees know what they will get paid, when they will get paid, and the circumstances under which they may be paid more. You should obviously communicate this information verbally, but also put it in their contract. You must then store this contract in a secure and easily retrievable way. Incidentally, HR for Health can help you store this information via our cloud-based documentation functions.

Develop a Competitive Salary Structure for Your Dental Practice

You can also provide general salary information in your employee handbook. The information here can include circumstances under which employees will receive raises, including when they take on additional duties or when an employee earns enough experience to qualify for a raise. Putting this information in your handbook — and having your employees acknowledge they have received the handbook — can help protect your dental practice from potential claims that you gave certain employees raises over others in an arbitrary way.

Knowing When to Update Your Salary Structure

You certainly want to update your salary structure before losing employees to other practices or from the industry in general. Indeed, if employees frequently leave your practice — and they are citing salary as a reason — it seems reasonable to assume that you should update your salary structure and increase pay across the board.

However, there are other times when it may be necessary to update your salary structure. These include:

  • Inflationary pressures — like the ones we are experiencing today
  • Workforce shortages
  • Response to industry-wide trends that are driving prices up

Tracking the need to increase salary can be difficult, particularly if you are a dentist or dental practice manager and already extremely busy. In instances like this, turning to outside experts — including companies like HR for Health — to make recommendations about your salary structure can be beneficial. 

How HR for Health Can Help

As you now understand, creating a salary structure for your dental practice can be difficult. Creating a dental practice compensation structure that is fair to you and your team involves extensive research and communication, but when done right, it can go a long way toward keeping your employees happy.

With HR for Health, you can use our software to track employees' hours of work with our timekeeping system. However, that's not all: Our all-in-one software solution has various important features. For example, we can help you track different rates of pay for things like training time and travel time. 

You can also use our system to track secondary compensation for employees who perform different roles at different compensation rates. This doesn't even touch on the extensive benefits offered by our other features, which include cloud-based documentation storage, hiring and firing modules, and more.

Interested in learning more about how HR for Health can serve your practice and help create a fair dental practice compensation structure? Contact HR for Health today to schedule a demo.

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