5 Ways to Land the Dental Hygienist of Your Dreams

In the aftermath of the emergency-only dental care, practices near and far are experiencing a backlog of patients. Additionally, there’s a lack of readily available Dental Hygienists to care for those patients in national and local markets.

The question is: Where are the Dental Hygienists?

Early retirement, distance learning schedule accommodations, venturing out of clinical into management or transitioning out of the industry all together are reported contributing factors.

Either way, the dental profession now finds itself in the midst of the largest shortage the local and national markets have experienced in over a decade.

Gone are the days of interviewing Dental Hygienists. Dental Hygienists will now be interviewing you.

Follow these 5 steps and you will be hiring your next best candidate in no time!

1. Refine Your Practice Appearance and Team Culture

When a note-worthy candidate walks into your practice we should ensure that they immediately feel welcomed by the atmosphere and team.

Do you have a friendly face of the practice to happily welcome their visit to the office? Have a visitor walk in and provide feedback on what they see and feel.

Do you have a cohesive and positive practice culture? A candidate can sense uneasiness or a “happy vibe” within minutes of a first interaction with a team member. Which emotion will the potential candidate pick up on?

2. Provide Necessary Tools for Success

A Dental Hygienist wants to be assured they will have access to the best tools for their future success at your practice.

Therefore, providing top notch armamentarium, latest technology and an ergonomically friendly op set-up will be advantageous for attracting a new hire.

A few examples include:
• Cavitron/Piezo
• I/O camera
• Laser
• Digital scanning
• Sharp/new instruments
• Interoffice communication system
• Hygiene specific burr blocks
• E-forms
• Organized ops and/or double/triple monitor set-up

Demonstrating that you take pride in investing in their future success, may be the clear ticket for an acceptance from your offer!

3. Have Periodontal Programs and Standards of Care in Place

Some questions to ask your team before a candidate’s first training day:
• Is your current team diagnosing and treating periodontal disease?
• Can a new hire refer to your standard of care manual for the Dental Hygiene department?
• Where are the expectations for frequencies, procedures, and appointment flow located?
• Can you effectively train on a de-briefing during an exam with the Doctor?

Your future candidate would rather not be thrown into the unknown of what the philosophy of care is for the Dental Hygiene team. Take time to invest in these systems to ensure a successful and transparent training approach!

4. Have a Beautiful Online Presence

Your dental practice’s online presence is more important now than ever.

If a potential patient is searching for a Dentist, the first thing they do is search the internet for outstanding practices from their online appeal. Potential candidates research dental practices the same way by reviewing:

• Websites
• Google Reviews
• Social Media Platforms

If your practice is lacking in one or all of the above categories, then it’s time to shine up the approach to demonstrate how incredible your team and the dental care you provide is!

5. Consider a Performance Based Compensation Model

With rising PPE costs, longer appointment times, and increased overhead all around, you may be left scratching your head wondering how you can ever afford to keep up with the rising demand of wages.

Create an attractive compensation model, give your Dental Hygienists the tools for success, and send them on their way.

High performing Dental Hygienists have the healthiest patients assuming they are practicing within ethical guidelines. Provide a reward for the comprehensive patient care they are providing with each visit.

After all, you wouldn’t pay your Associate DDS an hourly rate, would you?

Bonus tips
1. Schedule interviews at your potential-hire’s convenience, not yours.
2. Call AND email to contact your potential-hire in case one isn’t accurate or the email is marked as spam.
3. Write the offer letter as soon as possible and make the offer attractive with benefits and compensation the Dental Hygienist can’t pass up! They will most likely be comparing the offer letter with another practice.

Reach out to Crown Staffing for more information about how to attract and retain your next Dental Hygienist. After all, we do have over a decade of experience and more than happy to share our best practices with your hiring team!

About The Author

Shannon Snell // President at Crown Staffing LLC

As a Dental Hygienist practicing in over 40 offices early in my career I identified a need for smooth practice operations that stemmed from employee engagement, patient care and effective leadership. After 10 years in the industry practicing as Dental Hygienist, managing a highly productive private practice, consulting with various local firms, and running one of the most successful professional staffing and recruiting companies in Minnesota I identified the dire need of a local resource to help Dentists own their practice, time and future.