Dentistry is a rapidly evolving industry, with the job outlook of dental assistants and dental hygienists rising faster than the average occupation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a predicted 7% increase in job availability by 2029 for dental assistants and hygienists.
Last year’s COVID-19 pandemic made the industry adapt new staffing trends to continue to be a productive industry and provide quality patient care. And the industry continues to thrive, despite the pandemic setbacks. So, what is the dental industry doing now to remain proactive? Simply changing how you staff your office and staying updated on the latest dental trends can make all the difference. Let’s explore some staffing trends for 2021 to ensure your dental practice is thriving.
Over the last year, many practices had to lay off employees temporarily, or even permanently, to remain open for the long-term. Many offices are still recovering from unprecedented financial hardship, and some may not be able to return to hiring all full-time staff members yet. Hiring temporary staffing is a quick fix to ensure you have coverage for adequate patient care if you ever find yourself in a jam.
A temporary staff hire can lighten your workload without committing to benefits. Also, agency frequently hires temporary staff members. This means you can ensure that they are already qualified for the job and have passed a background check. When hiring a temp staff member through an agency, the agency carries liability for that staff member if there are any issues. On the other hand, if you were to wish to offer a full-time position to the temp-hire, it would be an easier process through the agency.
Prioritize Experienced Staff
Processes are normalizing since the pandemic, but businesses are not back up and running per usual quite yet. It is important to continue with trained, qualified staff members in your practice to provide a better patient experience. Team members who worked throughout the pandemic are familiar with new processes like telemedicine.
Training a new hire, for example, may be a new graduate and not be as familiar with new adaptations, and would need more training spent in this area. This could cost your dental practice valuable time and even revenue. If you need to hire permanent staff members, consider prioritizing and choosing the most experienced potential new hires. These can also be listed as preferred through a temp agency.
Learn New Skills
Learning new skills includes staying updated on the most effective infection precautions, the best dental procedural techniques and evolving with new technology. One of the most common new advances in technology that dental practices utilized over the last year is dental telemedicine. Teledentistry can be defined as a telehealth visit between a dental health provider and patient regarding an urgent dental health need. The need for telehealth has not only increased due to the pandemic, but it has also increased in use due to patient access needs. Rural geographic location, lack of transportation, and acute provider shortages have created serious barriers to patients receiving dental treatment. Telehealth can offer services to those being affected by these barriers.
Partner with Specialists
Many times, dental offices will refer patients to another practice if the patient needs specialist services. This can include services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Consider hiring specialists within your office to serve your current patient population and increase revenue. For example, do you often refer patients to another practice for orthodontic or periodontal care? Do you see many families with children?
Reflect on your current patient population needs. It could be beneficial for your practice to hire a dentist with a pediatric specialty or hire a part-time orthodontist to handle teenagers needing braces. Also, talk with your current team about furthering their own training to include a specialty. Your team may be interested in growing in their career, which would be beneficial to your practice, as well.
Outsource Hiring and Interviewing Processes
Now that your practice is back up and running, you want to focus as much time and energy as possible on running your business and providing patient care. That leaves little time to spend on interviewing and hiring new team members. Something to consider is outsourcing the process to a third party like Strategic Practice Solutions.
Uniquely, Strategic Practice Solutions meets with your team to find a candidate that will match your office culture. Once a pool of qualified candidates is organized, you will choose the candidate that fits your needs best. And the process is easy. The fine details are managed with your SPS partner representative. Time and money are saved, leaving more time to spend on other important aspects of running your dental practice. Consider outsourcing with Strategic Practice Solutions for your hiring needs, and call today.