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What Dental Staffing Agencies Won't Tell You

When dental professionals first start working as RDHs or RDAs, they often look to job boards to find work. The same is true for new practice owners. When getting ready to launch their dental office, many first-time owners contact dental temp agencies to help them find auxiliary staff. While it might seem like a good solution at the time, working with a dental temp agency is a terrible choice for practice owners and professionals for a variety of reasons.

To help save owners and professionals time, money and headaches, here are some things that dental temp agencies don’t want you to know.

Things dental temp agencies don’t tell practice owners

It takes a long time to hire anyone

If your dental hygienist has called in sick the night before her morning shift, don’t expect dental temp agencies to help you fill the gap. It can take days or even weeks for them to send someone to your practice to fill in a shift. This long, drawn-out process is only helpful if you know someone is going to be unavailable in advance, such as if they’re going on vacation or maternity leave

You don’t get to choose who you hire

Your dental practice has a reputation to uphold and you want to provide your patients with the best possible care. To do that, you need to know you’re staffing your practice with top quality talent. But when you use a dental temp agency to staff your practice, you don’t get to choose the people you hire. Instead, the agency sends over whoever is available.

You can’t talk to potential employees directly

To be sure you’re hiring the best person for your practice, you need to be able to chat with them directly. But you can’t when you use a dental temp agency. The agency acts as the middleman for all communication and you rarely get to speak to the person that you’re hiring before they show up at your practice ready for work.

There are frequent hidden fees 

Dental temp agencies are so much more expensive than you think. Not only do you pay the hourly rate for the professional sent by the agency, but you also often have to pay an additional fee for each shift.

It gets worse if you decide you want to take on a member of staff full-time. Permanent placement fees can be as much as 20% of the median salary. This is enough to put you off hiring someone permanently, even if they’re an amazing asset to your practice.

Things they don’t tell dental professionals

You don’t get paid as much as you think

When you find work through a dental temp agency, you don’t get to decide how much you earn. Instead, the agency decides your rate and then takes a percentage of that in the form of fees. After putting in months or even years of hard work without being truly valued or appreciated as much as you should be, it’s easy to stop giving your work your all.

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You get no say where you work

Dental practice agencies don’t care if you don’t want to work close to home or you want to work in a certain type of dental practice. They’ll assign you a working position in whichever dental practice is available. The best case scenario is that you’ve got a lengthy commute to work ahead of you. But the worst case scenario is that you end up working in a dental practice that is a terrible fit for you.

You can’t set your own schedule

While working as a dental auxiliary is meant to come with freedom and a great work-life balance, this simply isn’t true when you work with a dental temp agency. Instead of setting working hours around personal commitments, the agency dictates the hours you’re going to work according to what’s available.

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It’s unlikely you’ll get hired full-time

If your goal is to turn part-time work into a full-time job, you really need to avoid dental temp agencies. Agencies charge dental offices huge chunks of money to hire temp workers full-time. The rates are so high that many owners will totally avoid hiring full-time workers to save money.

What’s the alternative?

Now that you understand exactly how dental temp agencies work and how they take advantage of practice owners as well as dental professionals, you might feel a bit lost. Practice owners still need to hire auxiliary staff to treat patients, and dental professionals still need to work to earn money. Where are you meant to go?

Stay away from old, tired dental temp agencies and embrace the many benefits of modern cloud-based solutions. Cloud Dentistry provides dental practices with all the tools they need to hire the top quality dental professionals your patients deserve. It’s completely free to browse the profiles of 1,000s of dental professionals. When you’ve narrowed down your search, you can sign up for a package and message the potential candidates directly.

Live schedules mean you can see exactly when professionals are available, and you can then hire them within hours of needing their services. The best part is that if you find a dental professional who is such a great fit for your practice that you want to take them on permanently, you can do so without paying any permanent placement fees.

However it’s not just practice owners who can benefit from Cloud Dentistry — there are many advantages for dental professionals looking for work, too. As a dentist, dental hygienist or dental assistant, you get to set your hourly rate and your schedule. Practice owners will contact you directly with job offers — there’s no middleman involved. You can chat with potential employers to determine whether you’d be a good fit for the practice before accepting the job. 

When you work this way, you’re in total control of your career. You decide how much money you earn, the hours you work and the practices you work in.

It’s time to take back control

Dental temp agencies have far too much control over practice owners and dental professionals. Make the best move for your business or personal brand and stop working with dental temp agencies. There are plenty of better options out there that will help you grow and be more successful.

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