Finding and retaining talented dental workers is crucial for patient care and office efficiency. However, relying on temps can quickly increase payroll costs and administrative work.
For dental professionals, staffing agencies can be a great way to find temporary work opportunities that fit their schedules and skills. However, not all staffing agencies are created equal.
A well-designed dental staffing plan is critical to a successful practice. Not only does it help with patient care, but it also helps create a positive work environment for employees. However, a successful staffing plan is only possible when enough dental professionals meet patient demand.
When an employee calls in sick or leaves for a personal reason, the gap must be filled quickly so patients can still get the treatment they need. Using traditional temp agencies can take days or weeks to find and hire a new dental hygienist, assistant, or front office worker.
Unlike the traditional agency model, on-demand staffing platforms directly connect dental offices with temporary workers, like the temporary work for dental hygienists. These platforms have thousands of vetted dental professionals ready to fill the role. Plus, they can be hired in minutes – not days or weeks.
Unlike the traditional agency model, on-demand platforms also give dental professionals control over their hourly rate and do not charge high temp-to-perm fees (known as markups). Additionally, they do not constrain dental professionals with contracts or require permanent placement fees.
This allows dental professionals to make an informed decision about whether or not a staffing agency is right for them. If it’s not, they can move on to another staffing platform. Dental practices can save time and money and get the job done faster.
Dental offices often work with temp agencies to fill short-term gaps in their staffing. This can be due to vacation, sick time, or maternity/paternity leave. Temp agencies help to save money by allowing a practice to pay for only the hours that they need the help. This is especially important when they are busy and may need extra support for a few days or weeks.
However, staffing agencies have some important drawbacks for offices to remember. For example, the temp agency usually makes their money by imposing high markups on the hourly rate of the temps they send to an office. This can result in offices paying over the market rate for temporary dental workers.
Moreover, traditional temp agencies make it difficult for offices to contact the dental professionals they are interested in hiring directly. They also charge hefty placement fees on permanent hires. These fees can be a significant deterrent for some dental practices.
Staffing platforms are a great alternative to traditional temp agencies because they allow offices to connect with dental professionals directly and offer the flexibility of only paying for the hours they need the help. In addition, many of these platforms have safeguards for when a temp cancels at the last minute or calls out of work for personal reasons.
Dental Staffing Agencies
The employment of dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants is growing in the dental industry. More growth means more people vying for jobs and competition to find the best candidates. Hiring takes time and energy and requires a significant investment of resources to review applications, interview candidates, test skills, perform background checks, and onboard new employees.
A staffing agency saves time and resources by finding qualified candidates and delivering them to dental offices ready to work. This allows dental practices to respond quicker to changes in patient demand or staffing needs.
Staffing agencies are also adept at identifying the best candidates from the applicants. They know the right questions to ask and what types of answers to look for to find the perfect match. They also understand the legal and compliance issues surrounding hiring practices and can help avoid costly mistakes.
Temp agencies and online platforms are also great for filling short-term gaps in staffing due to sick days, vacation time, or unforeseen leave. Depending on the need, they allow dental offices to book help for a few hours or days and then quickly acquire the support they need without the stress of interviewing or searching through resumes.
However, knowing the difference between excellent and lousy staffing agencies is essential. Many traditional or “basement” staffing agencies charge too much markup on the hourly rates of their temporary workers and charge dental offices high fees if they want to hire a temp-to-perm employee.
Temping is an excellent way for dental professionals to fill in gaps in their careers and gain exposure to different dental practices. It can also give them a leg up on competition for permanent jobs since some staffing agencies will help them find permanent positions and pay them higher hourly rates than other offices. However, some things could be improved to temping in dentistry, especially with some agencies and platforms.
One of the most significant issues is that temps can be sent to office environments where the managers and dentists are rude or unhelpful, affecting their experience and morale. The other is that sometimes offices will expect the temporary dental professional to do work outside their scope of training or expertise, which can cause confusion and even burnout.
To minimize these issues, it is essential for both the dental office and the temp to communicate expectations and provide explicit instruction and guidance throughout the day. It is also helpful for the dental office to assign someone to assist the temp in the morning to get them acclimated and answer any questions they might have.
Another downside to temping is that many agencies and some platforms take markups on their hourly rates. In addition, they may charge high placement fees if the temporary professional is hired permanently. To avoid these fees, finding an agency that pays competitive rates and does not charge additional markups or fees is essential.