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5 Ways to Improve Your Dental Hiring Strategy

By Heartland Dental

It’s no secret that hiring dental professionals has been difficult for quite some time, and the COVID-19 pandemic notably sparked a labor shortage for dental hygienists in particular.1

Operating your practice with an understaffed team not only makes it difficult to see a full schedule of
patients, but also may result in you and your practice manager being stretched thin as you focus more
on hiring than patient care.

The good news is, dental employment shows a bright outlook. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics, from 2020 to 2030, the job outlook is on track to grow faster than average for both hygienists
and dental assistants, meaning you could see a new surge of interest soon.

Looking to improve your hiring strategy to make the most of an encouraging employment outlook?
Here are five strategies to consider implementing into your recruiting efforts:

1. Be upfront about benefits and salary
In the current job market, applicants may prioritize benefits, such as healthcare or dental coverage, and
salary rates over scheduling and culture. In fact, Dental Post shows higher pay as the top reason that
hygienists, dental assistants, and front office staff are looking for a new role in 2022. This means
applicants may want to start the hiring process with a conversation about benefits and salary rather
than end with it. Offering a competitive package with clear benefits can help increase interest amongst

2. Get creative about appealing to passive candidates
Know that there are many clinicians who may not be actively job searching, but would be open to the
right opportunity! This requires thinking outside the box to find candidates, rather than simply waiting
for them to come to you. Consider using social media sites, like Instagram and Facebook, to reach
clinicians in your area and strike up a conversation about opportunities at your practice, or paying to
sponsor your job listings to increase your reach and awareness beyond your usual followers.

3. Invest in Sharing Your Open Positions
If you don’t already have one, add a career page to your website. Lean into key words and phrases like
“dental careers” or “hygiene job” so search engines can find your open positions and hiring information,
and amp up your job descriptions to impress someone who might not realize they’re stumbling into a
new opportunity. Because there’s so much competition for clinical staff, you can get more attention and
traffic to your listings when you boost your online advertisements on social media, Google, and more.
Taking this step to reach them is vital in getting your open positions out there!

4. Be prepared for the candidate to interview you
Interviews are a two-way interaction. Being ready to answer a few questions about yourself and your
practice could make a great impression. Candidates may bring questions about your practice culture or
what-if scenarios they’d like to know how you’d handle. Being prepared to answer these questions and
and speak to these scenarios can help you create a connection with your candidates and find the right fit
for your working style and practice culture.

5. Take your time and focus on fit
When you’re understaffed, it can be tempting to hire quickly to keep the patients moving through your
practice. However, finding a candidate that fits your practice culture and workflow style may be worth
the wait. Spending the time upfront to find a good cultural fit can lead to less turnover down the road,
even if the candidate doesn’t have much experience. With the right mentorship, a good cultural fit can
be an investment for the future.

Don’t want to miss out on the hiring opportunities ahead, but concerned about compromising time spent on
patient care? Take full advantage of the encouraging outlook for dental professionals and more by
affiliating with Heartland Dental. Our Recruitment team supports with marketing, recruiting, and hiring to allow you more time to focus on patient care and growing your practice. We prioritize assisting you to build your ideal team, in addition to supporting your day-to-day administrative workflow, while you retain your clinical independence and minimize your stress.


Interested in learning how Heartland Dental can help with your recruiting efforts?

Give us a call at (866) 929-0040 or request more information today.


The content in this article is for informational purposes and does not constitute professional or financial advice. You should not construe any such information or other materials as legal tax, investment, financial, or other advice. All content in this article is information of a general nature and does not address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. You and your designated financial/tax professional must assume the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any information contained herein before making any decisions based on such events.

Rappé, Jess, and Erika Hoeft. “Research Reveals Impact of COVID-19 on Dental Hygienists.” Ada.org, 2022,