The Need for Innovation in Dental Recruitment

The Need for Innovation in Dental Recruitment

by Pacific Dental Services in News 08/10/2017

The hygiene department is a key factor in the success of a dental practice. The demand for dental hygienists remains high, but the hygiene job market is oversaturated. This creates problems for both the job-seeker and the dental practice.

Candidates who have recently received their Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) license have to face off against their experienced counterparts. Hygienists may also find it a challenge to enter or continue into a niche they prefer, such as pediatric dentistry.

Hygienists have two large-scale, job-finding avenues: online job sites and staffing agencies. However, the recruitment process at these providers isn’t streamlined, which poses problems for the hygienist and the practice. This is where dental support organizations (DSOs) are of great benefit to dental practices and candidates.

Here’s how:

      1. There is seldom a mechanism in place that empowers dentists to quickly vet candidates from the agency and pick one who aligns ideally with their requirements. Lack of profile matching also affects the candidate who has to choose between contracting for a practice incompatible with their professional desires and seizing the opportunity in a crowded, competitive market. With DSOs, practices are able to connect with the Recruiting team who has an ongoing relationship with the practice and better understanding of what type of candidate is best-suited for the practice.
      2. Job sites charge exorbitant membership fees that can hit dental practices’ budgets quite hard. More so for start-up practices that may need a part-time hygienist until they are ready to scale up and accept a qualified professional in a full-time position. When rates are not feasible, the solo dentist may have to spend about 25% of his/her time performing hygiene procedures. By partnering with a DSO, owner dentists can rest assured knowing they have on-hand support in case they need to fill a position in the office.
      3. Many DSOs work to find candidates who seek full-time employment with an individual or multiple offices, depending on the offices’ needs and candidates’ availability. Candidates are matched with offices according to their potential for long-term success. Dental staffing agencies and online job sites usually advertise contract jobs. This traps dental practices into a continuous hiring cycle. As hygienists are contract-bound, dental practices are only left with the option of ‘buying the candidate out’, which is once again, an expensive proposition.
      4. Due to the ongoing relationship between DSOs and supported practices, the recruitment process often only becomes more efficient over time. The recruiting team and dental practice adapt processes that work best for all parties involved. However, with agencies and online job sites, beyond time and money, weak techniques that don’t entirely satisfy the job-seeker or the dental practice only cause each more frustration.

In a modern business landscape where ‘customer is king’ and ‘client-centric’ attitudes have seeped into the culture of most industries, dental staffing providers have a lot of ground to cover. The administrative desk of a dental practice may also handle recruitment, but it is almost always a burden that should be shifted to a third party who can focus on the recruitment function of the practice. While job sites and agencies continue holding on to a traditional model that does not benefit either party they serve, DSOs are able to provide a more personalized experience that benefits all parties involved.

Recruitment is one of the business functions where DSOs excel and are able to provide support for the practice. By partnering with a DSO, the dental office is able to focus on what they do best: dentistry. Candidates also have a better experience by working directly with recruiting professionals who are able to find the best-fit practice for them and connect them accordingly.

To find opportunities with offices supported by Pacific Dental Services®, visit