I was presenting at an internal, annual kick off meeting in February where we were rolling out our 24 month strategic plan to about 300 leaders within the organization…Doctor Recruiting is so important to the business that it is one of our Strategic Pillars…returning from a break… I’m presenting next and have a slide similar to this was up on the screen…but it says Doctor Recruiting across the top. AV guy micing me up you know, running the lapel through my shirt and just says “Doctor Recruiting, tough topic”…I say “ yeah we never have enough docs and when we do, typically their shitty dentists”… why do you hire shitty dentists?... apparently they're the only ones that want to go to places like South Dakota and Idaho...the audience breaks out in laughter, “My Mic is on?”…clearly it was, and the AV guy says…”sorry about that, you might want to stop saying shit”!!! I tell you that because it was kind of funny and embarrassing, and yes I tripled checked my mic here today…but it actually sets the stage for the challenges that lead us in to today’s discussion.
It's about strategy - focused on bottom line results! Using data to help the organization get it! I don’t know how familiar you are but…Aspen Dental Management Inc. (ADMI), is a Dental Services Organization supporting a network of retail branded, independently owned dental practices in 35 states. And basically, like I told the AV guy, there is a limited supply and uneven distribution of dentists in this country The practices in the Aspen network are in rural and tertiary markets, many of which are federally designated health professional shortage areas. That’s good business…little to no competition, lower overhead costs and pent up demand from consumers that need services dentists provide…So… Faced with these challenges and the opportunities they present, it’s expected that the Talent Acquisition team perform at an extremely high level…
Ensuring that the team and the organization stay focused on the strategic outcomes requires a clear, objective method for measuring progress. So we turned to our data and developed a balanced scorecard, which I’ll show you here in a minute, but before we could build a scorecard we had to identify the right goals and the respective metrics for our business.
The planning process starts with a simple forecast to predict to the best of our ability what the hiring needs of the business are going to be and what we need to accomplish to get there Rather than reacting to what can be stressful, urgent situations. Large amounts of data are used in the forecast – turnover, active headcounts, budgeted headcounts, projected new growth of the network, and multi-year historical trends, I also use the forecast to calculate staffing levels, another important measure in my opinion
The goals for team have to be directly aligned w those of organization so I sit down one on one with our CEO. Start at the top, review with him, gain his perspective and intent…and his buy in. Also a good starting point for selling him on what resources I may be looking for in the budgeting process, and get a sense as to how much weight to put on the respective measure Once we agreed on the right measures, (hires, staffing levels, new office openings, temp / closed days) then I define the measures for clarity I should note here that our CEO had additional ideas for what could or should be included but luckily I convinced him that in order to stay focused we had to lock in on 3 or 4. He eventually agreed I looked at what the current level of performance was and then built out a draft of what the scorecard looks like inserting performance targets for each metric. Reviewed one more time with CEO and then took to Operational leadership to get their buy in… Explained to them how this translated our overarching strategy into operational terms impacting behavior on a day to day basis and what their individual roles were as leaders in motivating the recruiters to stay focused on what’s important. Also, described for them what some of those behaviors might be and how they could identify them. They had a few questions and some push back but we worked through it. Then took it to the talent acquisition team, massaged some of the performance targets based on their feedback and what they thought was truly attainable.
I delivered a final version to everyone with somewhat inspirational note and what they should expect in terms of ongoing communications on progress vs the targets. I review monthly with the recruiting team and operational leadership And quarterly w senior leadership to stay aligned. Usually this dialogue involves brief updates around specific initiatives that are focused on driving performance in a specific area.
The other thing we did as we put this in place was tie overall scorecard performance to the recruiters earnings, so half their incentive is based on scorecard results and the other half on EBITDA or profits of the territory they support directly. It created healthy competition amongst team…as you can imagine, I now have 20 type A personalities battling it out from month to month…acutely focused on their individual performance It also strengthened relationships with the business partners they support because they too now have clarity around the expectations for their respective Talent Acquisition Managers.
Here is the scorecard…As you can see there is nothing fancy about it… Simply measuring results consistent w what's important to organization. You an see on the bottom here the actual targets and the respective weighting. Describe SAT, OT, etc. On the top you see the actual stack rankings and the performance vs target identifying for me where to focus to continue driving results
For example…We measure closed days as a percent of total budgeted days….Closed days directly tied to production and profit. Temp and closed days down nearly 60% since implementation, conservatively at about $4000 per day in revenue and a 15-18% drop to the bottom line that translates conservatively into a pick up of approximately 1.5M in revenue and 250K in profit Careful development and agreement on objectives and measures, with buy in at all levels, followed by action planning moves the needle and ultimately leads to success. Thank you