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If you’re working through a dental staffing agency, chances are you’re not making as much money as you could. The service may be helping you find jobs, but those jobs don’t pay what you’re really worth. While you’re not paying the placement agency directly, the agency’s fees do ultimately come out of your pocket.
Here’s how that happens and what you can do about it.
Still working for a placement agency? You could be earning more.
Temp agencies are known for assisting dental operators in finding help. They’re also known for assisting dental professionals in finding work. They pair practices with the dental auxiliary staff they need. The dentist supporters they serve include dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental nurses, dental therapists and alveolar consultants. But agencies don’t make placements for free. All agencies charge fees to the dental practices they serve.
That’s money that could otherwise be in your pocket. You see, when a dental practice owner makes a budget for staffing, there’s a certain amount they can spend on temporary or temp-to-hire workers. When you’re hired through a dental temp agency, a portion of the budget that pays for your services goes to the agency. That leaves less for you.
Dental hygiene placement agencies also charge permanent hire fees. Since these fees are also part of the staffing budget, that’s even less money available for you. Permanent hire fees might also serve as a deterrent, keeping a practice from hiring you for a permanent position. If you’re in the market for a steady full- or part-time job, these fees can be a huge problem.
Dental temp agencies don’t pay competitive wages.
When you work with a dental assistant temp agency or a dental hygiene placement agency, you aren’t earning as much as you could. This is especially true if you have specialized expertise or a lot of experience, but it still applies if you’re new to dental hygiene or dental assisting.
Dental temp agencies decide how much you will be paid. When all of the power is in the agency’s hands, your pay may not be determined by the local market. Instead, your pay is decided by an employee of the agency.
Let’s do the math: The money a dental temp agency takes from your pay - indirectly?
Usually, the agency’s fee arrives in the form of markup to the dental office for which you are working; thus, you may not even know the exact amount the employer is paying. For example, if you are making $18 an hour, the dental office might be paying $28 an hour to the temp agency for every hour you work. This translates to a 50% markup.
Typically, markups range between 25%-100% of the dental employee’s salary. In some instances, the employer might also pay an additional fee to the dental temp agency for filling the position, besides the regular percentage.
So, bearing that in mind, have you ever asked yourself what would happen if employers didn’t use the services of temp agencies? Practically, and most likely, employees’ pay would increase. Let’s say in our case, from $18 to at least $24!
Again, you may ask, why would temp agencies charge dental practices that much? To answer this question, let’s look at the model they (temp agencies) employ. Take the usual agency fee they charge, for instance. Since it is entirely outcome-based (i.e., time is charged when and if a successful placement is made), dental temp agencies usually believe that they have to charge a higher fee, as most of their efforts might go unrewarded! See, they have measures in place to have even the least of their effort recognized.
Your dental assisting and dental hygiene expertise counts for less than it should.
Temp agencies tend to keep all of their employees at or around the same rate. While they may make minor adjustments for experience and expertise, their scales don’t always match those of the current market.
If you’re particularly versed in a specialized area that’s in demand, you’ll likely make the same rate as someone who has no particular expertise. Dental staffing agencies often don’t have the time or resources to consider skills and experience when assigning jobs. That translates to uniform rates for every dental assistant and for every dental hygienist. Professionals with expertise in a particular, in-demand field could be making a lot more by not working with an agency.
Things a dental temp agency will never tell you
Yes, there are things temp agencies will hide from you. Much like how there are issues that you wouldn’t inform an interviewer or employer. But having a hint of what they are hiding can get you a step ahead. And most importantly, help you weigh your options carefully.
So, what are they not telling you? What exactly should you look out for? How can you keep away from unnecessary career missteps?
Some dental offices pays more
If you are hunting for a job and you are somewhat desperate to resume the working ranks, you may even be willing to accept a low paying position. Temp agencies and dental practices know that, and it is that information that gives them the advantage in negotiations. You may get an offer for a specific amount, whereas the dental office round the corner may be willing to pay you significantly more. But just don’t wait for anybody to tell you that.
They are making a lot of money off of you
Temp agencies get paid when they successfully fill positions. They provide a service that brings them a cut, and they don’t want job seekers worrying about how much they are making off of them. Besides that, there are commissions linked to their paychecks as well. And usually, those commissions are tied to the hourly pay you are earning. Like we mentioned earlier, you would be shocked to learn that you are earning $18 per hour while the temp agency you are working through is getting paid $65, 000 annually for your services. But can they let you know the truth?
The job you are getting yourself into sucks
Sometimes, if an office is having difficulties filling a position, there might be a good reason behind that. At times, the job may not be living up to the notions candidates have about it. In other words, you may be biting off more than you can chew. However, remember, the more positions temp agencies fill, the more revenue they make. So, they are not going to fill enough positions if they are truthful about jobs that suck.
The dental office hiring you is nearing its deathbed
Another piece of priceless information a temp agency may withhold is that a dental office is in its death throes. Well, you can always find out yourself by doing a little research; however, don’t expect anybody to furnish you with that information upfront. Even offices in dire need require employees, and it is challenging to attract top talent when in that situation. Unless they want to miss their revenue target, no agency will tell you something like that?
Fortunately, there is a solution—a cloud-based helper to boost your career.
If you’re a dental professional who’s working for a temp agency, you’re probably wondering how you can increase your wages. The answer is to work for yourself instead of for a staffing agency. As a dental professional, you can manage your own placements. This removes the caps that agencies place on your salary and career advancement.
Ditching the temp agency is probably simpler than you think. The answer lies in cloud-based technology. Dental staffing trends are moving away from temp agencies and toward cloud-based staffing solutions. This is great news for dental professionals who want to control their own rates, schedules and work locations.
Cloud Dentistry is the premier online dental staffing solution, helping both dental practices and dental professionals. The platform removes the middleman, saving dental practices (and therefore dental professionals) both time and money.
Earn professional wages.
When dental practices aren’t paying exorbitant fees, they’re willing and able to pay fair, professional rates.
What is fair and professional? Ultimately, that’s determined by supply and demand. Rates for dental assistants, dental hygienists and other dental professionals vary from place to place. The amount dental practices are willing and able to pay is a huge factor. So is the amount dental professionals are willing and able to accept. When you cut out the middleman and let rates match the market, both dental practices and dental professionals benefit. Cloud Dentistry lets professionals set their own rates, and practices are willing to pay competitive wages.
Build your own brand and take charge.
When you create a free profile on Cloud Dentistry, you gain control of your career. Not only can you set your own rates, you can advertise your services and build your brand online. That means that if you have a particular interest, specialty or skill that makes you more marketable, that can translate into higher earnings and better work environments for you. Excellent performance can bring you higher earnings; too, because reviews of your work help you advertise your business.
It’s time to stop working for the dental placement agency and start working for yourself.
As a dental professional, you’re an educated, skilled worker who is an asset to any practice you work for. It’s time you were paid like it. Although they won’t say it, the placement agency puts a cap on your earnings by dictating your rates and charging high fees.
When you work for yourself, you remove that cap. You may not be paying an agency’s fees directly, but ultimately, you do pay to work for that agency. Fortunately, the way out is in your hands.
Written By Reza Sanjar