“We’re Hiring”

April 26, 2021
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That was the subject line of an email sent to me by a restaurant chain.  It happens to be owned by Tillman Fertitta, and his Landry’s Group.  Some of you might know Tillman from his Golden Nugget commercials, some from his reality TV show, “Billion Dollar Buyer,” or as the owner of the Houston Rockets basketball team.

Obviously, YOU are not the only one having a hard time finding good employees.  But Tilman is using a strategy that most dentists won’t…but should.

Why did I get an email from them about their employment opportunities?  Wouldn’t Mr. Billionaire Fertitta think that I would think he was a loser, that he can’t keep staff and that his restaurants are mismanaged and must therefore suck?

That’s exactly what I hear from Dentists when I suggest that they look towards their 5-star patients for help finding employees.

And that’s only ONE of the objections.

“I need someone with experience” is the most common excuse I hear when I suggest looking at non-traditional employee sources.

Is that really true?

  • Is the experience someone has at another office relevant to yours?
  • Do YOU want the average results that most practices get?
  • Do you want to be among the 96% of dentists who cannot comfortably retire?

That’s what MOST dentists get…MEDIOCRITY.

So, if you don’t want to settle for mediocrity, why do what everyone else in dentistry is doing?  Why not follow what a successful Billionaire like Tilman Fertitta does?

Fertitta might own a Casino but I guarantee you, he doesn’t gamble with his marketing or his employee hiring or onboarding systems.

And how the heck did Tilman Fertitta know that I was a waiter or that I knew anything about the restaurant business?

Of course, he didn’t.

What he does know is that I frequent his restaurants, like Oceanaire and Morton’s because I am a member of his CLUB, where I hear about promotions and receive discounts.  He knows that I appreciate the good food, the ambiance and the excellent service.  He knows that I like the CULTURE that he has created and promotes.

This is just another reason to have a MEMBERSHIP PLAN but that’s another blog.

Tilman Fertitta knows that the most important “experience” is the culture of service in his restaurants.  And since I am a patron, I know something relevant about that.  That’s the experience that he feels is most relevant for a potential employee.

What do your patients think about the service and culture in YOUR PRACTICE?

Have you identified your BEST patients as Tilman Fertitta has?

And if so, why not enlist their help find people that they know can fit into the practice that serves them?

OK, so you haven’t segmented your list, or identified your BEST patients.

I wouldn’t ask BAD patients to refer other patients, let alone potential employees.  People tend to know and hang out with people like them.  So, identifying your better patients is also a good strategy for encouraging new patient referrals.


Here’s the list of requirements I had in my practice to identify 5-Star patients. Here are the 5 requirements.

  1. Accept my best care and follow all recommendations (maintenance, hygiene etc.)
  2. Come to their appointments on time
  3. Pay all their bills on time
  4. Are pleasant to ALL team members
  5. Refer other patients


Once you have identified your 5-star patients, why NOT enlist their help?

Let them know the challenges you face getting people who can live up to the standards THEY have become used to and that YOU demand on their behalf.  Let them know you care about them.

Stop moaning about not being able to find good employees and start doing something creative about it.

And, if you’re looking for resources that will help you train people who lack the necessary “experience and skills”, then look no further than HERE.


To your excellent clarity and success,


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Dr. Michael Goldberg is one of the leading educators on dental practice management in the United States.

Michael ran and sold a prestigious group practice in Manhattan and has been on Faculty at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Medical Center for 30 years including Director of the GPR program and Director of the course on Practice Management.

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