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It's a common theme in CEDR's HR Solution Center -- hiring is difficult, and the last year has made finding great employees even tougher on dental employers than ever before.

To get a better idea of the challenges business owners and managers are facing right now in that regard, we polled the members of our private, professional Facebook Group, HR Base Camp, on the subject. Here's what we learned:

  • 96% of employers said they were having trouble finding qualified applicants.

  • Of those who said hiring was a challenge, more than half (58%) suggested it was harder to find good people now than in the past.

  • Only 4% of respondents said that applicants were either more qualified or about as qualified as usual.

  • Most of the trouble seems to be with filling open clinical positions; hiring for front office staff does not appear to present the same challenges.

Given the stark nature of these responses, we thought it a good idea to compile some step-by-step hiring guidance here for easy reference.

The Job Ad

This piece of content is less like an actual job description than it is an effort to attract the right kind of applicant to your business. Think of it as a piece of marketing material with the goal of attracting qualified employees instead of patients.

There is a list of technical items that should be included in any job ad (like pay range and necessary qualifications), but you’ll also want to make sure you’re highlighting elements of your company culture that set your business apart from other employers in your area.

You can find more on writing a winning job ad here .

Dental Job Posting Tips

The Interview

It may surprise you to hear this, but it’s a good idea to think about the fact that your business is being evaluated by top applicants as you consider them for future employment. And the best candidates are likely to have multiple job offers to choose from. This is why we always recommend that employers take some time to prepare for applicant interviews just as you would expect those applicants to come prepared for their interview appointment.

Think about the impression you want to make -- prepare your questions in advance, make sure they can all be asked and answered inside the time you’ve set aside for the interview, and structure them as behavioral interview questions to ensure that they are getting you the information you need to make a decision.

Finally, if you were intending to hold out on making a decision until you were able to perform a working interview with one or more candidates, think again -- though not uncommon, the way that most employers conduct working interviews is actually against the law!


Making an Offer

Take it slow when it comes time to offer one of your candidates a position. Make sure your initial offer is contingent upon your chosen candidate’s ability to pass a background check and be careful to keep your business’ at-will status intact throughout the hiring process and on through your new hire’s employment with your practice (except in Montana, where employers enjoy at-will status only during an employee’s first six months of employment).

Once you’ve offered the position to someone, alert the remaining contenders to the fact that they weren’t chosen, but ask to keep their info on file in case something comes available soon. After all, you never know when you’ll need to look into hiring all over again, or what might happen with your new hire.

Dental Job Posting


Even after your new hire has signed all of their paperwork and is on-site for their first day at the office, there is still one very important step left in the hiring process.

Though often overlooked by employers who prefer to throw their new employees into a “trial by fire” situation (aka, “on-the-job training”), onboarding is a key component of your new employee’s experience of working for your business. In fact, employing a structured onboarding process for your business has been shown to increase long-term employee retention by as much as 58% while also making new hires 50% more productive.

To maximize the value of your new employee’s first day, make sure your onboarding process includes the following:

  • Have them fill out all new hire paperwork.

  • Have them read their job description and your employee handbook in their entirety and sign both documents to acknowledge their understanding.

  • Have them refresh their HIPAA Training.

  • Introduce them to the team and provide a peer mentor to help them get comfortable with their coworkers.

This is not a comprehensive list of everything a successful onboarding process should entail, of course, but it’s a good start.

For a complete onboarding checklist you can use to structure the process for your practice as well as additional guidance on each step in the hiring process, download CEDR’s Free Hiring Guide here.

Plus, get free HR software that can help make all team management processes from onboarding to corrective actions and terminations easier. Unlock HR Vault today for free and keep it for the life of your business.


This article was sponsored by CEDR HR Solutions. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of DOCS Education. If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to CEDR HR Solutions. 

The information contained in this, or any case study post in Incisor, should never be considered a proper replacement for necessary training and/or education regarding adult oral conscious sedation. Regulations regarding sedation vary by state. This is an educational and informational piece. DOCS Education accepts no liability whatsoever for any damages resulting from any direct or indirect recipient's use of or failure to use any of the information contained herein. DOCS Education would be happy to answer any questions or concerns mailed to us at 3250 Airport Way S, Suite 701 | Seattle, WA 98134. Please print a copy of this posting and include it with your question or request.
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