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Here’s what you need to know about your millennial dental team members

They grew up in the 1990s and the 2000s, and sometimes they get a bad rap. But now that the United States’ millennials are adults, the working world is welcoming them with open arms. Businesses everywhere are seeing the benefits of working with—and getting to know—the newest generation of US workers.

At eighteen to thirty-five years old, millennials are now a huge part of the US workforce. The US Census Bureau says the millennial generation accounts for more than a fourth of the US population. That’s why employers everywhere are interested in learning more about how these young workers think, work and look for employment.

Because they make up such a large portion of the workforce, millennials’ characteristics affect every sector. Dentistry is no exception. The millennial way of thinking and lifestyle even affect dental staffing trends. If they understand the millennial workforce, dental practice leadership can benefit in many ways. Here’s what practice leaders should know about their millennial team members and millennial job seekers.

They value results over formalities.

When it comes to getting the job done, millennial workers don’t seem to have been harmed by helicopter parenting and participation trophies. In fact, they value results and a job well done. If their results are good, they see no reason to suffer through busywork and hard-and-fast work schedules.

What does that mean for dental practice management? Millennial workers see themselves more as team members than as employees. This can be great for a dental practice because they care about the practice’s success. Dental leadership may have to change their thinking in some ways, though. Explaining the rationale behind office procedures, sharing the reasons for policies and acknowledging excellent results can help reach this group and improve performance.

They value flexibility in their work and from dental leadership.

As a large percentage of the workforce moves from full-time, permanent work to gig-style employment, dental professionals are doing the same. While dental workers have always used temp agencies, the millennial generation finds more flexibility in working for themselves. Part-time and temp work are still valuable, but the way millennials find it has changed.

Millennials value being in charge of their own careers, and it’s changing the way dental staffing works. They’re leaving the temp agencies in favor of Cloud Dentistry, which provides them with an online profile and tools that allow flexibility in scheduling. The platform gives professionals the ability to be in charge of their own careers (rather than answering to a staffing agency).

This may not make a huge difference in the basic temp and temp-to-hire concept. Dental practices will continue to hire workers on a temporary or temp-to-hire basis. What will change is the tools the practices use. Workers who crave flexibility use cloud-based tech to find it. In fact, that same technology makes hiring more flexible for practices. Looking for help where the top workers are improves the hiring process.

They’re not all in it for the long term.

In contrast to the in-it-for-life attitudes of the baby boomers, many millennials see jobs as short-term gigs. They look at jobs as stepping stones in their careers, and they’re not offended if their employers see them in the same light.

Those that look at each job as a piece of a greater puzzle don’t feel particularly attached to a single dental practice. Like any professional, they’ll stick around when they have a good thing, but a job has to be beneficial to command their loyalty.

This is where dentistry trends are in line with the career goals of many millennials. Practices often staff according to their needs, hiring part-time or temporary staff to match demand. For many millennials, this is an ideal arrangement. It’s a win-win.

They want to grow as dental professionals.

The millennial generation was raised to value effort. Like everyone else, they want to learn and grow in their careers. Most have goals that matter to them. Some want to develop leadership skills in dentistry. Others want to pursue expanded functions, specialize in a niche or just learn to provide the best possible care.

If you’re a dental practice owner or hiring professional, this is great news. It means high-quality workers who fit the niche you need to fill. Workers who are passionate about your field, want to learn from your practice and feel dedicated to your mission will do excellent work for you and your patients.

Success in this area starts with hiring the right person, and it continues with a mutual commitment—your commitment to helping your dental staff grow and your dental staff’s commitment to doing great work for your practice.

They’re digital natives, taking advantage of new dental staffing trends.

Unlike previous generations, the millennial generation grew up online. So it only makes sense that the first place they turn to look for work is the web. But it takes more than a site with a few job postings to attract this group. They value high-tech tools that save time and get better results.

To attract the best millennial dental professionals, dental practices have to go online. Dental temp agencies and old-fashioned job boards are quickly becoming obsolete. A growing number of dental hygienists, dental assistants and other professionals have set up profiles on Cloud Dentistry. The cloud-based platform gives them the tools they need to find the best dental jobs.

Understanding your millennial dental team members can give your practice a boost.

The fact that so many top dental hygienists, dental assistants and other dental staffers are moving to Cloud Dentistry to take charge of their careers is great for dental practices. By making the switch from dental staffing agencies, dental practice owners can find the best workers while saving time and money.

Of course, hiring is only the beginning. By understanding millennials’ goals, values and ways of thinking, dental practice leadership can improve their staff relationships. Millennial employees can be among the best in any practice when they understand how they can contribute and how the job is mutually beneficial. They also appreciate a worthwhile challenge.

The millennial generation is critical to the US workforce, and it’s equally as important in the field of dentistry. Dental practices that put effort into understanding, hiring and working with this group will see the benefits.