Perspective and Support to Overcome Hiring and Team Challenges in Your Dental Practice

Oct 26, 2022

“Quiet quitting” or the post-COVID pandemic worker shortage — either one (or a combination) creates hiring and team building challenges for your dental practice.

No doubt, it can feel like you’re forced to adapt. 


  • Career choice and change
  • Career priority shifts

An ADA (American Dental Association) Health Policy Institute study revealed the state of hiring in dentistry.

”As of March 2022, one in three dentists reported they were short staffed, with the majority noting hiring was a major challenge.” 1

The problems associated with that challenge can lead to a stressful workplace. And without a long-term strategy the problems multiply.

Gaps and panic-hiring

A staff departure or opening can create gaps in your dental practice. Appointment pace slows, patients sense the tension, team members feel the stress of overwork.

The solution seems obvious…

Hire more dental staff.

That’s a good idea until you and your practice manager react out of scarcity. Instead of being more strategic with your hiring process you begin to make snap decisions to fill the gaps.

It’s time for a better approach to hiring dental staff and one that includes creating a more supportive practice culture using technology (more on that in a moment).

What about more intentional and intuitive hiring?

Locating, interviewing, and ultimately hiring staff isn’t solely an HR task. It’s time to expand your thinking about how you hire. 

A more intuitive and intentional strategy includes stepping away from the common, traditional hiring practices.

  • Look outside of the dental industry for qualified candidates who have transferrable (trainable) skills. 
  • Expand hiring tools to include social media (LinkedIn), college and university networks, and membership associations.
  • Create a two-way interview process, one that encourages questions and culture fit rather than a primary focus on skills. 2

 According to a related article from Spear Education, the ease of traditional staff and hiring methods makes it difficult to consider alternatives.

A “more thoughtful” approach is encouraged, one that narrows the type of information collected from candidate searches and resumes.

”For example, most dental practices will advertise for someone who is used to working in a ‘fast-paced environment’ but just about every company describes itself that way.

Instead, the practice may target individuals who ‘managed X number of client accounts,’ regardless of industry.

That helps them pare down the number of candidates to those who show empirical evidence of handling that practice’s specific volume.” 3

Another practical and intuitive hiring strategy encourages the use of software to gather “granular-level analytics.” This provides the perspective and understanding unique to your practice persona.

  • Data about your patient volume
  • Value-driver data and other metrics

This can help you narrow your search around candidates that align with your dental practice culture and have the potential to become long-term team members. 4

Support your team while you build your team

Watch for and deal with burnout

Stress can often be traced to the task burden you and your team experience. Administrative tasks tend to stack alongside patient care.

  • Charts
  • Paperwork
  • Billing and insurance
  • Marketing
  • And more…

Patient interactions also create an amount of stress and burnout potential for your clinical and front-office staff. 

  • Scheduling
  • Treatment planning
  • Communication, follow-up, and reminders
  • Payments, invoicing and collections

Awareness helps address the burnout you and your team can experience. Acknowledge its potential and focus on solutions to help reduce or eliminate team stressors.

And speaking of solutions…

Use technology to lighten the load on your current (and future) team members

Automation is a game-changer for supporting your team’s daily tasks and workflows.

  • Secure, online patient portals give patients access to their oral health data. Availability and access can help reduce related call and messaging volume.
  • Online scheduling provides patients the opportunity to pre-qualify their time and availability without initially involving your front-desk staff.
  • Dental dashboards can help your teams track vital patient data, create reporting templates, and assist with billing and claims filing.

Consider this a short list of technology advantages you can implement. And keep in mind that using automation and other digital technology solutions can also increase your appeal to potential team hires. 

Support your current staff and create a culture that appeals to potential team members. The following resources provide useful insight into how you can better equip your team and appeal to those you seek to hire: 

How to Rally Your Dental Staff Around Technology Implementation

Test Drive: Software Simplifies the Business Side of Dentistry

Consider data analytics technology and tools a compelling part of your staff benefits “package”

The Jarvis Analytics platform helps assure that you’re tracking the important metrics and staying on track with your goals as your dental practice or DSO grows and expands

Experience Jarvis in action. Request a demo today!


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