Your team is one of the most important parts of running a dental practice. The way you choose to hire employees in your dental practice greatly influences the type of office you run and the quality of care you can provide your patients. One industry secret that dental practices are greatly benefiting from is introducing flexible employees to their current team..
Dental temping is nothing new — dental assistants and hygienists have been working temporary jobs practices around the United States for many years. The ability to have a healthy work-life balance, prioritize what matters the most and make changes according to current circumstances, are just a few ways temporary work is beneficial for all dental professionals.
Today, dental practice owners are also beginning to understand how valuable the gig economy is for their business. Think contracted work and temp agencies during this unprecedented time in our world.
Flexible Employees and COVID-19
The first time some dental practice owners hired flexible employees was in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was surging across the US. After being closed for several weeks, some practices were overwhelmed with appointment requests from patients who had been unable to attend prior appointments and were in desperate need of elective treatment.
To ensure all patients could receive the treatment they needed, while at the same time boosting profits after being closed for so long, dental practice owners reinforced their team of permanent employees with some additional flexible workers. Having extra dental assistants and dental hygienists available meant practices could treat more patients without having to rush appointments or provide lower quality care.
Most dentals practice owners expected to stop working with their newly-hired flexible employees after the temporary increase in demand for appointments subsided. But in most cases this didn’t happen.
Owners had discovered that the advantages flexible employees brought to the table were so diverse and useful that they’d continue to provide value far into the future.
How a Flexible Staff will Improve Your Practice
Flexible dental employees can do much more than help you treat more patients. Here are ten ways leveraging temporary dental professionals will boost your dental practice:
- Offer more complex procedures: Hire a temporary specialist dentist for complex procedures you’re unable to provide yourself to retain and attract more patients.
- Provide complete care: Instead of referring your patients to other dental practices for specialist procedures, you can keep all treatment in-house and avoid the risk of losing them to another dentist.
- Accept last-minute appointments: Accept patients in need of immediate dental hygiene appointments by hiring a temp RDH who is available for work at the last minute.
- Cater for custom appointment times: By having access to dental employees who are available around-the-clock, you can cater to patients who are only available for treatment when you’re normally closed.
- Have effective employee trials: Hiring temporary dental employees gives you the chance to get to know them and see how they work before committing. If they become a valuable asset for your business, you can offer them permanent work.
- Produce more creative ideas and solutions: Introducing new people with fresh ways of thinking is a great way to come up with innovative ideas and effective solutions for problems you may not been able to see with your own eyes.
- Learn more about dentistry: Working alongside people who are familiar with using different techniques and tools from what you’re used to is helpful for discovering new advances to improve your practice.
- Increase team satisfaction and productivity: By hiring flexible employees you’re reducing the workload of your permanent employees, helping them feel less stressed and being more productive as a result.
- Expand your business: If you want to open up a larger dental practice or a second office, flexible team members can help you do just that. They can help treat the additional patients without creating financial risk should the venture not succeed.
- Improve your reputation: All the above will help you provide your patients with better care and therefore improve your reputation, helping you gain even more patients and retain your current ones.
How to Get Started
Here are our tips to help you get started with flexible staffing and set out on the road to a bigger, better and more profitable dental practice.
- Inform your permanent employees first: Your permanent team members might worry about losing their jobs when you introduce flexible employees. Reassure them before you hire that you’re growing and adding to your team — not replacing current employees.
- Start small: Begin by hiring just one temporary dental hygienist to support your team. This will give you the chance to see if flexible employees suit your office culture, while also providing patients with an increase in dental hygiene services.
- Choose a reputable source: Find a highly regarded source of dental professionals with great reviews you can trust. Consider asking other practice owners in your area which employment agency they use.
- Treat all team members equally: Make your temporary employees feel part of the team by treating everyone equally; allow them the same breaks, check in with them and provide them with helpful feedback, etc.
- Make smart decisions: If you weren’t happy with the temporary employee, don’t hire them for additional work in your dental office. However, if they went above your expectations, provide them with positive feedback and offer them more hours in the future.
If you’re ready to take your dental practice to the next level, but you’re unsure how to achieve your audacious goals, start by adding flexible employees to your current team. Introducing highly skilled, experienced and hardworking dental professionals to your current team will improve your business in almost every way possible. In twelve months from now, when your dental practice is more successful than ever, you’ll be glad you did.
The decisions you make today either make or break your future success.
Today’s dental practice can be the most productive and you can have your best year ever!
Your dental hygiene department must operate at 30% of your total production or you are not running at peak performance.
Systems and processes with a team approach create success.
Your next step to optimize and BOOST your hygiene department productivity is participation in our Hygiene Department Challenge. Click to see an overview here of the 21 Day Challenge.
Call us (888-816-1511) or schedule a short coffee chat to learn more about the challenge for your dental hygiene department.