How to Manage Employer Branding in the Dental Industry

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Q&A with Beth Gross, Talent Acquisition Manager, Spear Education, the largest dental education company in the world

To what do you attribute your company’s success?

Fantastic people and an unparalleled commitment to quality! The passion that each individual brings to work every day is special, and Spear values every team member. We humbly serve as the industry leader in continuing dental education and practice growth solutions. Therefore, we adhere to the highest standards of quality and service. The work that we do has a huge ripple effect throughout the community and the world. What we do is something to be proud of and each and every individual is vested in our success.

Why do you think Employer Branding is important?

Everyone that works at Spear or is in the dental industry knows who we are and that our mission is to help dentists and their team pursue and achieve “Great Dentistry.” Employer Branding gives us the opportunity to share our mission and culture with a wider audience. It allows us to share how great Spear is with the world!

How would you describe your Employer Brand?

Our employer brand is all about elevating and supporting people, from our clients to our team members to our community.  Our common purpose – making the world a better place by achieving “Great Dentistry.”

What do you do in your recruitment process that you feel differs from other companies?

We very clearly define each and every role before we even start recruiting. Rather than simply write a job description, we create a set of key outcomes that are clear and quantifiable. Before we begin, we define success. We then interview for the role specific skills and experience that someone must possess in order to achieve those outcomes.

Since our organization lives and breathes the Spear values, we interview to ensure that each and every person we hire has alignment with our culture. We offer an amazing week-long Immersion experience for all new hires to set team members up for success from the get go and then create a 30, 60, 90 day roadmap to ensure that success is sustained long term.

What inspires you about your company’s mission statement?

Dentistry has positively impacted the course of human history by reducing disease and extending lives. Spear plays a critical role in that by helping dentists pursue and achieve “Great Dentistry,” to know that what we do makes such a difference is extraordinary.  Not only do we make an impact here in the United States, we also reach underserved communities around the world through our Open Wide Foundation.  To know that what we do brings improved health to people, provides someone with their first toothbrush or makes someone happy and fulfilled in their life’s work, that is what inspires us.

What is one thing in the common workplace that you think needs to change in order for companies to achieve ultimate success? 

What is not often the case, but is so important for a company to achieve ultimate success, is that every individual feels that their contribution is important and impactful.

Here at Spear, we recognize and reward contribution through our Strive6 program.  This program allows our team members to nominate one another for making an impact through living our values.  The nominations are specifically tied to one of our values and announced in our monthly Town Halls so we can all celebrate one another’s contributions.

In February, we had over 70 nominations!

What is unique about your company culture?

Communication, hands down. We currently have 5 formalized mechanisms to listen to our employees.

  • Engagement and Satisfaction Surveys that are completely anonymous and are reviewed by our CEO, executive team and HR team at least twice a month.
  • Monthly Town Halls where executives share what is going on in the organization and we celebrate team member and client successes.
  • Monthly Executive lunches, a chance for small groups to get quality time with our executives and share their thoughts and ideas on how to make Spear better.
  • Weekly One to Ones with each employee and their manager.  This is quality time to talk through goals, obstacles and performance so you know exactly where you stand.
  • We also do annual benefits surveys to make sure we are providing for the needs of our workforce in the best possible way.

The really unique thing is that all of this communication is followed by action.  We listen and make changes when and where we can. Recently, the feedback overwhelmingly indicated a desire for a more casual dress code, we listened and just launched our new dress code app including casual dress for non-client facing team members!

Name three things you use to sell your company’s culture to potential employees.

First off, the people!  We are an organization of A players.  It’s fantastic being on a high performing team that loves what they do and are committed to constant improvement. There are so many ways to learn from each other and grow professionally here.

Secondly, it’s really fun to work here! From the beautiful facilities to the team building opportunities to the Friday afternoon Happy Hour. We have Spear-it week, an on-site gym and puppy parties! This is a great place to spend your time.

Lastly, we give back in some pretty special ways. Besides our Open Wide Foundation, we support local charities like the Oral Cancer Foundation, Phoenix Rescue Mission, and Maggie’s Place.  Last year, we raised more that $30,000 for our local community.  We also offer one paid day off each year to every employee for volunteer work.  We work hard, we have fun and we make the world a better place!

Explore career opportunities with Spear Education and learn more about their company culture.

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