Find Success With Dental Temps

by | May 23, 2024 | Dental Office, Temporary Hire | 0 comments

Summer is here. And you may have some employees going out for vacation soon. Or you are still short staffed like everyone else.

Whatever the case may be, if you need a dental temp, we want to make sure you are successful with them. Here is how.

Step 1: Find your temp

DirectDental has temps nationwide. However, in some markets we are still growing. So whether you are posting your temp job with us or with another agency here are some tips to help you find a temp to fill your open shift.

Make sure your temp assignment is competitive

Some of you wont like me for this, but… supply and demand, baby.  With a shortage of dental professionals comes an increase in their hourly rate. 

Below are the current hourly wages for all positions in California.  

Dental Hygienist: $55 to $65/hr

Registered Dental Assistant: $25 to $30/hr

Dental Assistant: $18 to $24/hr

Front Office: $18 to $24/hr

Office Manager: $25 to $32/hr

Since March, 2020 we have seen a $5 to $15 increase in hourly wages in all positions.  

Now I am not saying you have to pay this, but if you want to get your temp job filled, those are the rates I would recommend using.  

Be aggressive BE-EE aggressive 

The glorious thing about DirectDental is that you have total control in staffing your office.  No more calling a temp agency and then patiently waiting and hoping they fill your job for you.  And if they do, then just hoping it is someone decent.  

With DirectDental you post your job right away, search our temp database and pick the ones you like based on what you see in their profiles.  

Our search algorithm is designed to show you the most active temps on our site.  These are candidates and temps that frequently log on, update their availability and reply to their messages.  You can read more about that here

Here is my recipe for success when I request a temp.  

  1. Post your job as soon as you know you need it filled.  I find I have the most success when I post my job 4 days prior to the shift I need filled.  
  2. Send your request to as many temps as possible.  You can use the “Request All” button at the top of your search results page.  The more people  notified the better.  
  3. Keep an eye out for applicants.  Temps you didn’t request for the job can still apply to work it.  Keep an eye out in your dashboard for those applicants and call them right away if you want them to work your job.  
  4. If after 48 hours the job isn’t filled, clone and post again.  No you aren’t bugging our temps, you are reminding them you have work for them.  Oftentimes they see your request, go to check their calendar and get distracted.  Pinging them again usually gets your job filled.  
  5. Call them as soon as they accept your shift.  Make sure pay is agreed upon and you inform them of any info they may need (attire, parking, your Covid protocols, etc.)

This video here will walk you through how to do a temp request in 82 seconds. 

Know where else to find temps

Eventually, DirectDental will have hundreds of thousands of temps across the United States, but until then, there are other places we can find temps.

  1. Your local dental temp agency.
  2. Facebook Groups – Search “Dental Hygienists” AND “Your Location” And then click on groups. This will show you the dental hygiene groups in your area and you can post your temp job. You can do this for dental assistants and front office dental personnel as well.
  3. Ask your coworkers/employees or colleagues in your study club if they have anybody they can suggest for a temp.
  4. Post a permanent job on DirectDental for a temp. It will go out to all the major job boards to help you find some temps quickly. Just make sure to include in your post it’s for a temp shift.

Step 2: Make sure your temp has everything they need

Once you find your temp, reach out to them to confirm all the details of the shift. Here are the items you need to discuss:

  • Day(s)
  • Start and End time
  • Address
  • Parking info
  • Attire
  • Any additional info you need from them.
  • They bring the necessary licenses and certifications for their position.
  • They bring 2 forms of ID so you can add them to payroll.
  • They have the skills you need to properly assist you.
  • Their rate of pay.

Step 3: Set your temp up for Success

Once they arrive for their shift follow these tips for a successful day!

Have them fill out paperwork first

There is nothing worse than trying to get this all done at the end of the day. Or worse, they leave and you didn’t have them do any of the paperwork. Here is the paperwork most states require your temp to complete.  But check with your local labor laws and make sure you have everything.  

  • Verify Certifications/licenses are current and make copies
  • I-9  
  • W-4  
  • State tax withholding  
  • Emergency contact information  
  • Job description  
  • Handbook  
  • Confidentiality and Non-disclosure  
  • Paychecks/direct deposit  
  • Wage Notice (if applicable in your state)  
  • HBV declination (if applicable)  
  • Sick Leave Notice (if applicable in your state/county/city)

Find our complete Temp Onboarding Checklist here.

Office tour and review the day

After the paperwork is complete, make sure to give them a quick tour of the office.  Spend an extra moment to show them the operatory/operatories they will be working in and make sure it is fully stocked or they have easy access to any items they may need.

Introduce them to your team, and if possible, have your team wear name badges so your temp can quickly identify them.

Make sure to review the schedule closely with them and let them know exactly what is expected of them for the day.  Give them an insight into problem patients so they know how best to make them feel comfortable.

And let your patients know there is a new face in the office who is assisting temporarily.  Some patients don’t like to see an unfamiliar face. Acknowledgment that there is a new person in the office is usually all that is needed to put the patient at ease.

Make sure they are aware that if they have any questions, they can ask anyone on staff.

Make them feel the love

If steps one and two were followed, your dental temp is most likely feeling rather comfortable and fitting in nicely with your practice.  But, if they are a temp you want to return to your office, these extra little steps will really help.

Tell them they are doing a great job.  Everyone loves to hear it, so just say it.

Thank them for their help.

Make them feel included:  If you are bringing in treats, make sure you bring enough for the temp to enjoy as well.

Tell them you would like them to come back and will be reaching out to them as soon as you need a temp again.

Lastly, make sure they get paid correctly

At the end of the day, make sure to quickly meet with them to review the exact hours worked, their rate of pay, all payroll docs are filled out correctly and signed and ensure their check is accurate.  Not sure how to pay a dental temp? Reach out to the labor board in your state. If you are in California, we already did that for you.

Please NOTE: This is NOT legal advice, this is a suggestion.  Consult with your HR specialist or employment lawyer to ensure you are compliant in your city and state.  Don’t have an HR specialist?  We recommend HR for Health

Step 4: Keep them coming back

If you liked your temp, favorite them on DirectDental or save their number. Run any future temp dates by them and see if you can lock them down. If they can’t come back, ask them if they have any friends they recommend who can come help out. They usually do!

And make sure to ask them if there is any way you could improve your office for future temps.

I hope this post helps you find success with dental temps! If you found a temp you love on DirectDental and you want to hire them, go for it! We don’t charge placement fees.


Holli Perez

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