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Dental hygienists and assistants: This is why you need to be agile-employment ready.

Dental hygienist and dental assistant jobs are about more than just assisting the dentist; these professionals focus on helping people. That may be one reason these careers (and others, such as dental nursing) are so popular—those who work in dentistry are true helpers. Of course, to really make a difference, you need a job.

It’s one thing to become educated in a dental field. It’s another thing entirely to land your ideal job. For those looking for work, it’s important to keep in mind that dental employment trends are changing. Today’s dental assisting and hygiene careers look a bit different from the daily nine-to-five of a full-time, permanent job.

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In truth, the career landscape is changing for everyone (not just those in dentistry). There’s been a massive shift toward contract, independent and traveling work. Some people are moonlighting, taking on work outside of their normal jobs to supplement their incomes. Others are putting together a full-time schedule by piecing together temporary or jobs with shorter hours. Dental professionals, in particular, are traveling among practices—sometimes among different cities or states.

At the same time, employers are embracing this trend. Many choose to advertise temp or tem-to-perm positions in place of permanent jobs. For employers, agility is the word of the day. Dental offices are hiring accordingly.

What is agility in dental staffing? Agility is a hot topic in business right now. With roots in agile software development, agility is all about people, functionality, adaptability and collaboration. When you think about it, you’ll see that agility has always been important in the dental industry. Dental practices have to adjust to their patients’ needs, changes in scheduling, workflow interruptions and emergencies. Dental professionals have to be able to make last-minute plans and then change them at the last second. It comes with the territory.

When it comes to hiring practices, today’s dental practices want to be as agile as possible. Every practice has busy times and down times, and being staffed appropriately maximizes revenue. They also need to staff to meet variable demand and fill gaps.

What does agile hiring mean for you?

In the past, dental practices would turn to dental staffing agencies to help them fill short-term and long-term gaps. But this practice was less than ideal. It took a lot of time and money to fill vacancies through dental temp agencies.

That’s changing fast. Now, Cloud Dentistry offers low-cost, quality job matching without the need for a placement agency. Employers now have the ability to fill their staffing needs in minutes. So what does agile hiring mean for you, the dental professional?

It means being online, using the platform that hiring practices prefer.

It only makes sense to make yourself available to the businesses you’d like to work for. Cloud Dentistry assists the dental operator in finding exactly what he or she needs. As dental practices are turning to Cloud Dentistry for dental assisting and dental hygiene help, so are dental professionals.

It means having a reliable, easy way for practices to contact you.

A major problem that comes with working through a temp agency or a job board is communication. When you sign on with a placement agency, you don’t always get to communicate with the practices you’ll be working for in advance. (And you often don’t get much say in who you work for.)

Dental practices that are interested in your services should be able to contact you without hassle. When you’re more accessible, you’re more likely to get hired. Keeping a profile at Cloud Dentistry will give hiring practices an at-a-glance look at your availability, rates and reviews. It’s also a way for practice owners to get in touch with you when they need your help.

It means building your own brand online.

Your dental hygienist or dental assistant career should be just that—yours. Cloud Dentistry provides tools that are perfect for helping you build your brand online.

When you create your free profile, you’ll be able to set your own rates, post and update your availability and advertise your credentials to hiring dental practices. You’ll also be able to communicate directly with those practices to learn more about them and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job. It puts the control where it belongs, in your hands.

It means keeping your options open.Maybe you want to be a part-time dental assistant. Maybe you have your sights set on a permanent, full-time dental hygienist position. Whatever your ideal career, the shift to agile hiring makes it important to be flexible.

That’s not a bad thing—agile hiring can work to your advantage. Agility-focused dental practices are more willing to provide short-term jobs. This is great for dental professionals who want more flexibility and more control in their careers.

Here are just a few examples of agile-ready professionals taking charge of their careers:

  • Jacob enjoys working as a dental assistant, but he needs to set his own schedule to accommodate his family’s needs. He puts together a schedule that allows him to pick up his kids from school and take his mother to her weekly appointments.
  • Laura wants to take on expanded functions in various offices to increase her skill set. She identifies two dental practices that will help her grow professionally and arranges to work with them both.
  • Michael is tired of finding dental assisting work through a temp agency, where he feels undervalued and has no say in where and when he works. He leaves the agency to choose his own workplaces and set his own rates based on the local market.
  • Danielle is an experienced, talented hygienist who feels she could earn more by advertising her skills directly to dental practices. She highlights her experience and qualifications on her Cloud Dentistry profile, attracting dental practices that need her particular skill set.

Agile hiring practices are here. Are you ready?Great dental hygienist and dental assistant jobs are out there. Adapting to the shift to agile hiring will help you land the job that’s right for you. Agility and dentistry are a natural fit. By targeting dental practices with agile hiring practices, you’ll outpace your competition. You’ll also put yourself in charge of your career.

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This is part 2/2 of our miniseries on agile dental staffing. Click here to read the first part about agile dental staffing for dental practices.

About the author

This article is written by Sarah J. Foster. Sarah has a masters degree in linguistics and arts from the university of North Texas.