How To Find And Hire Dental Employees, Post-Covid

Written by Natalie Marinos

December 7, 2021

How To Find And Hire Dental Employees, Post-Covid

We at Local Dental Marketing genuinely enjoy working with dentists and dental practices. We interact with hundreds of fantastic dentists and office staff throughout the year.

We learn a lot from these conversations. They provide us with an opportunity to discover what dentists are dealing with when it comes to practice development and practice growth. 

In 2021, dentists and business managers all around the country repeated, “I cannot find employees.”

According to an ADA statement on dental recruiting during 2020 and 2021, the demand for hygienists and assistants has increased by 7%.

Really? Is that what is happening?

The Current Economic Situation for U.S. Companies Post COVID

The COVID pandemic has caused radical shifts in how dental practices hire, structure benefits, manage employees, and team member workflows. Only 6% of organizations employed workers from home before the pandemic. Today, that percentage has risen to around 33%.

Here are a few current statistics to help paint the picture of dental practice employment transition toward remote work.

  • According to a recent survey, nearly two-thirds (72%) of respondents want some combination of remote work and office employment. Slack
  • By 2025, 22% of the U.S. workforce will be working remotely.  ApolloTechnical
  • According to a survey of individuals in the United States, 77 percent of respondents felt that having the option of working from home would make them happier. OwlLabs
  • 50% of employees will not return to jobs that do not offer remote work! OwlLabs
  • One out of every two people would move if they could WFH (Work From Home). OwlLabs
  • 23% of full-time employees are willing to take a pay cut over 10% to WFH. OwlLabs
  • In March 2020, 27% of employees surveyed were primarily working from home; that number jumped to 44%. 
  • 72% of employees prefer hybrid work. Slack
  • Only 12% of workers want to work in an office all the time. Slack
  • According to the Interim 2021 Workforce Report, North American businesses anticipate that 19% of their staff will be entirely remote, up from 7% beforehand. Actions to Restore Stability  
  • Employees who have flexibility about work-from-home hours are more likely to stay with a company for long periods. According to a recent employee poll, 39% of respondents would quit their jobs if they could not do WFH. Bloomberg

A recent article by Bloomberg titled; Employees Are Quitting Instead of Giving Up Working From Home, says it all.
PwC recently posted results of the U.S. remote work survey. When 133 executives were asked, “How successful would you say the shift to remote work has been?”

Local Dental Marketing is a perfect example of this WFH shift. When COVID forced us to WFH, we terminated our lease and sent everyone home to work remotely. It took about one week for me to realize that it was the correct decision. 

Employees felt like they had received an immediate raise because they were not spending hours each week on the road. Their gasoline costs decreased, and food expenses went down. It also provided a sense of independence, greater power, and freedom.

Now our employees are located throughout the country. Before this decision, when an employee needed to relocate, we had to let them go. Now, we do not have to let them go, and the entire country is now our potential job market.

What Does the WFH Shift Mean For The Dental Industry?

Dental staff who were laid off during the epidemic have had a moment to breathe. Now they are taking this time to think and ask themselves, “Do I actually enjoy working in the dental industry?” 

Many employers are altering their work hours as a result of the increasing competition for talent due to the growing popularity of WFH.

Dental practices compete with employers inside and outside the dental industry who can pay more, offer better benefits, allow relocation, and WFH. 

I ran across this social media content, which may assist with understanding what is going through the minds of dental assistants and businesses searching to employ. I have removed the names because this is a discussion in a private Facebook group.

To dig deeper on this issue, I reached out to a friend, Shannon Pace Brinker, who runs The Academy of Chairside Assisting. Thousands of dental assistants from all across the world have enrolled in Shannon’s online school. If anyone understands what is going on with dental assistant hiring, it is her.

I contacted her and inquired, “Shannon, what is up with hiring assistants and team members? Can you shed some light on why dentists are having such difficulty finding staff right now?”

She responded;


I believe that dental assistants love their patients, but black and white, they are not respected. If you want to see it for yourself, watch the video I linked below: 

Dental Assistants, on the other hand, make around $12-$22 per hour. Most seasoned assistants can earn up to $25 an hour, although they may never make more than $32.

Seventeen of my dental assistant trainers make $18 an hour. Yesterday they all moved on to work for manufacturers: Invisalign, Itero, SDI, Ultradent, Candidpro, Phillips, Care Stream, Digidoc. A dental assistant’s unique perspective on dental practice processes makes them a great candidate for a dental manufacturer salesperson. They are all making 45K to 100K now. Many have doubled their income.

The assistants who are in the field for more than ten years have likely found a home or are in good practice, but the younger assistants, making minimum wage:

1. The education is terrible- 500 plus pop-up schools for assistants in the U.S. alone!

2. No work ethic!

3. They are talked down too and treated unfairly by most dentists.

4. We are not paid what we are worth, but the dental practice cannot run without us!

There is an honest answer, watch my Youtube video: I speak from experience!

I Get It! People are Leaving Dentistry, What Now?

The fact is that employees have more alternatives today. We are seeing firms all across the country raise their minimum wage in an attempt to attract employees. A dental practice must realize that the greatest workers will not return to a dental office at pre-covid compensation, with poor working conditions and limited benefits. To compete for the finest employees, most dental offices will need to improve their company culture and benefits packages.

The good news is, this will raise expectations of employment. When hiring, be sure to consider how you might improve the case acceptance process, improve patient experience, and increase overall patient billing. Dental clinics will offer higher-quality employees, pay them more, show them greater respect, and expect the same in return.

How To Find Great Employees with Dental Social Media

We give dentists and their staff, social media content, to assist them in promoting themselves and finding new patients on social media. One of the more underappreciated benefits is how successful social media for dentists is in attracting the right sort of employees.

Social media, when correctly executed, will attract staff that fit on your dental team. 

Before a potential employee schedules an interview, they’ve interviewed your practice. How is this possible? This graphic from SociallyRecruited, an A.I. employment ad company, explains what I mean:

Everyone, including your patients, community, and potential employees, have the power to learn about the culture of your dental practice in a matter of seconds, thanks to social media. 

Assume your social media posts, internet reviews, and website do not foster a culture of honesty, openness, and care among your employees. In that case, very few if any would submit resumes when seeking employment.

If you don’t think potential workers check your online reviews before deciding to work with your practice. Consider again!

Potential employees are also looking and researching your social media accounts before they submit a resume.

I Need A Dental Assistant Now; What Do I Do?

I recalled a discussion I had three years ago with Dr. Eric Roman. He was the owner of several lucrative dental clinics in North Carolina.

He needed new people regularly while he was growing. To discover these individuals, he didn’t hire head-hunters or run advertising. He had a list of potential employment candidates who had reached out, saying, “I want to work for your practice; call me when you have a position open.”

Stop Chasing Employees, Let Them Chase You 

Dr. Roman recognized the value of social media as a recruiting vehicle rather than as patient acquisition. His marketing manager created interesting, uplifting, and engaging content across various platforms. 

The majority of the applicants on this list were able to find employment through social media postings. They wanted to work for a firm they felt would value their contributions and had a great corporate culture. Many vital employees, front office workers, associate dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants sought jobs through social media postings.

Attracting the best talents is a simple equation: employing sophisticated social media to create a culture of excellence which attracts people who want to work in that environment.

If your social media postings look like this:

You have a problem. 

Here are some examples of how dental practices are using social media to find employees:

Some Great Tools For Attracting Dental Employees

It’s challenging to come up with great content. If it were that simple, we wouldn’t be in business. The truth is that excellent ideas necessitate time and imagination, which most dental clinics do not have enough of. As a result, we’d want to provide some free resources to assist you out.

We’ve put up a dental employment social media kit to assist you in producing excellent social media content that will attract the right kinds of employees.

Wrapping Up Hiring With Dental Social Media Posts

Natalie is an expert dental marketer and a key member of the dental marketing team at My Social Practice. My Social Practice is a dental marketing company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Natalie is passionate about helping dental practices grow. If you’d like to book one of the members of My Social Practice’s speaking team, you can do that HERE. Interested in learning more about the benefits of SEO for dental practices or our dental websites service, you can learn more here. Also please read our Google My Business reviews.

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