In December 2023, when the American Dental Association (ADA) published its Health Policy Institute Economic Outlook and Emerging Issues in Dentistry report, recruiting challenges emerged as a top issue among dental practices. “Staff out” emerged as the number one factor preventing dental practices from 100% appointed scheduling. To address this issue, let’s explore how to recruit and retain strong staff members who truly want to come to work.

Questions to Ask When Recruiting

1. Does our practice offer the latest in dental technology to attract top talent?

Modern dental professionals are looking for employers who stay at the forefront of technology. 3D Scanning X-Rays, for instance, are preferred over traditional X-rays for their advanced capabilities. Showcasing your commitment to a wider arsenal of imaging technology than CBCT alone can also be a major draw.

2. How do we demonstrate the ease and efficiency of our practice to potential hires?

Prospective team members often seek work environments that streamline their duties. Ensure your practice has systems in place to simplify tasks and improve diagnostics. The Scheduling Institute may be a good place to start.

3. In what ways can our practice’s work environment stimulate engagement and excitement?

Make sure your practice has a culture that excites and involves your team. Ideally, the whole team wakes up wanting to come to work. If that’s not the case, explore with the team what strengths and weaknesses permeate the culture, and then align on how to close any known gaps.

4. What continuing education opportunities do we provide?

Ongoing learning is a critical component of job satisfaction. Consider whether your practice supports continuing education to keep the team apprised of industry advancements. No need to limit CE interactions to in-person or live online events only. Recorded webinars and video training can be a good beginning.

Questions to Ask for Retention

1. How often do we upgrade our technology to maintain an edge?

Beyond ensuring all mission-critical team members are well trained on practice technology, initiate a regular assessment to update technology. Working with technology providers on support and training will keep your team working with the best tools available in the industry and engaged in the practice workflow.

2. Do we have a support system in place for our team to ensure their duties can be performed with ease?

A supportive work environment can reduce stress and improve job performance. Be sure every job function has a written job description and every team member has a standardized quarterly performance review. Also ensure every position in the practice has a documented set of standard operating procedures to keep operations running smoothly if an employee takes short-term leave, needs long-term leave, or exits.

3. What strategies do we have in place to keep our team engaged and excited about their work?

Reflect on the initiatives you implement to maintain a vibrant workplace. Celebrate achievements and encourage innovation. To that end, be sure your practice offers competitive pay and benefits as well as a reasonable work-life balance.

4. Is there a system for regular feedback and open communication within our team?

A feedback-rich culture leads to improvements and increased satisfaction. Refine how your practice gathers and implements feedback, especially regarding technology and workflow processes, to retain employees for the long term.

In the aforementioned ADA study, 32% of respondents were hiring dental hygienists and 36% were hiring dental assistants. Yet 81% agreed it’s “challenging” to hire dental hygienists right now, and 55% said it’s “challenging” to hire dental assistants in today’s job market. Take some of the challenges out of the process by bolstering technology, culture, and processes.

Invest in your practice to better diagnose clinical issues, increase revenue, and bolster production dollars. To learn more about how CBCT technology can support expanding services and billings in your practice, call us today at 855-PREXION or find a product specialist in your area.

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