How do you Determine the Salary Range for your Dental Employees?

Dovetail Salary

Salary negotiations can be a tricky affair and they’re often the least liked part of the hiring process. Most people are not very comfortable or even good at negotiation. Candidates and hiring managers have their own constraints within which they have to work. Employers are generally concerned about overpaying versus not getting the right hire. Candidates are concerned with getting the right salary versus losing the job altogether.

Determining the salary range for each and every position in your office is pretty crucial for attracting good talent. Set the bar too low and you lose out on great candidates who won’t settle for lowball offers. At the other end of the scale, you are at the risk of overpaying the candidate for the next few years!

Pay Rate vs Pay Range

How often have you seen positions being advertised at X dollars per hour? This is a very common practice but it may actually work against you as an employer. Putting out a single number is a good idea on the surface since it sets expectations from the get-go. However it also has disadvantages. You might have noticed that large corporations work within a pay range as opposed to a single number. Is it really better and if so, why?

Setting a salary range has a number of benefits. First of all, it allows you to attract a larger pool of candidates. You are not eliminating people who want just a little bit more than your lowest offer. You also include room for candidates who exceed your preferred qualifications since they know you can pay them accordingly. A salary range signals that there is room to negotiate based on the candidate’s experience and qualifications. It allows you to hire someone with less experience but who has the potential to be the best fit for the position.

How to Determine the Salary Range for Your Employees

The obvious first step is to do some research. But where do you start? Unless your practice is brand new, it is likely that you’ve already hired for this position before. Go through your employee records and note down the salary numbers. Notice the historical trends – are the numbers going up or down? Is it in line with employee expectations? Has anyone left citing low salary? This should give you a good baseline to work with.

Compare your numbers with fellow practice owners, colleagues or even friends who may work in HR. There are many websites that show salary expectations for various job profiles. Take these numbers with a pinch of salt since they’re contingent on people reporting their salary honestly. Certain jobs in your clinic are not exclusive to healthcare such as receptionist, office manager or the IT person. You can find out what these positions are paying in other businesses and not just dental care.

The third source of data is industry organizations and federal agencies. The Labor Department puts out statistics for various industries and jobs periodically. While it may be a bit out of date, the data is more trustworthy than surveys on the Internet. Professional networking groups can also provide insight on the salary expectations of professionals as well as what businesses are paying them.

Once you have all the data, it’s not very difficult to come up with an appropriate pay range for all positions in your clinic. Don’t scramble at the last minute to come up with the salary and benefits package. The next time a job opens up, you should have all the information you need to advertise for it. So go right ahead and start hiring!