Hiring during the current labor shortage

Useful strategies on how to effectively deal with the current labor crunch and attract new hires for your dental practice.

Print & Go GuidanceFrom The McGill Advisory

Practice productivity is currently being hampered by the inability to maintain full staffing. Despite a record 8.1 million unfilled job openings, unemployment remains stubbornly high as potential workers remain hesitant to return to the workforce. Below we discuss how to deal with this labor crunch through reducing your practice’s labor needs and attracting new hires.

Companies of all sizes are struggling to fill jobs as surging demand and a reluctant labor force has resulted in a shortage of available workers. More than two-thirds of small businesses reported having a difficult time finding qualified workers, according to a recent Wall Street Journal survey.

While job openings are near record-highs, there are several reasons for the struggle to lure Americans back to work, including fear of becoming sick with or spreading COVID-19, lack of child care, and enhanced unemployment benefits that equal or exceed what they would be making at available jobs. Smaller practices are being hit hardest since they have fewer employees to pick up the slack and can’t easily match the pay increases, benefits, and other perks that larger companies are offering.

Here’s how to improve efficiency to reduce your labor needs, plus creative ways to attract new hires.

Reducing Labor Needs Through Improved Efficiency 

  • Reduce front desk labor by allowing patients to make appointments as well as complete medical histories and other new patient forms online.
  • Automate appointment reminders, recall notices, and postoperative communications to patients.
  • Increase use of monthly payment by automatic bank draft or automatic credit card charge to reduce bad debt, increase case acceptance, and reduce front desk labor spent on billing and collection activities.
  • Reduce front desk labor by implementing computerization in your clinical areas to allow patient billing, medical history, and electronic claim submission by the clinical team directly involved with patient treatment.
  • Cross-train your team to meet peak patient demand periods without requiring additional employees.
  • Schedule clinical labor based on the number of patients scheduled and utilize part-timers to meet peak patient demand.

Attracting New Employees

  • Target highly-skilled baby boomers (including former staffers) who’ve left the workforce but are looking to return.
  • Ask your friends, family, team members, and referring doctors to recommend potential new hires and provide an incentive bonus to your team for anyone hired.
  • Offer a return-to-work signing bonus or other perks to attract lower-skilled workers currently receiving unemployment benefits to handle lower-level duties.
  • Recruit college and high school students for part-time employment and internships to handle lower-level duties.


The above article was reprinted with permission from The McGill Advisory, a monthly newsletter with online resources devoted to tax, financial planning, investments, and practice management matters exclusively for dentists and specialists, published by John K. McGill & Company, Inc. (a member of The McGill & Hill Group LLC). Visit www.mcgilladvisory.com or call 888.249.7537 for further information.

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