Many dental practices worldwide are presently focused on handling the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations. They are dealing with the most pressing challenges, such as facilitating a safe and smooth return to the workplace, maximizing revenue, and closing gaps in the labor force.
However, looking beyond these immediate priorities, it is vital to consider how the virus could permanently impact staffing and other HR activities. What lasting changes can dental office owners, employers, or even the entire staffing industry look forward to, as we try to recover from this crisis?
Video interviews are becoming the norm
Social distancing and other limitations brought about by COVID-19 have led to most HR activities, interviews in specific, to be conducted virtually. Like face-to-face interviews, virtual interviews open a range of possibilities to connect with candidates remotely, evaluate their suitability for the position, and guide them along the hiring process with utmost efficiency.
For example, video interviews can be simpler, quicker, more convenient, and more cost-effective than in-person interviews, not only for the recruiter but also for the job seeker. But this doesn’t mean that face to face interviews and personal interactions will stop being relevant, they are still a fundamental element of the staffing process. However, anyone who has already benefited from the virtual option will likely carry on with it in the future.
Therefore, dental practice owners wishing to embrace modernity and fully implement the social distancing guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will need to come up with standardized systems for conducting interviews virtually. Common video conference tools like Google Hangouts and Zoom may not be perfect for every case. Sou may need to set up other more fitting digital apps to screen and evaluate candidates.
Temporary staff and contractors will become essential
Contract and temporary hiring have been a popular strategy within many dental offices during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing them to staff their businesses quickly and inexpensively.
In the foreseeable future, many dental practices will embrace flexibility in the form of temporary staff to make their operations more productive and resilient in an environment of continued — and unpredictable — change.
To capitalize on this current trend of the gig economy and contingent workforce, dental practice owners need to have an effective recruitment process, and know where to source qualified temporary staff and independent contractors.
You can opt to seek the services of a temp agency or digital staffing platform when it comes to hiring dental temps. However, a better choice would be to choose digital staffing platforms as they can offer you the option of engaging with dental professionals directly and instantly without the need for a middleman and the associated high mark-up of labor cost. This means as an employer, you can respond to market demands or staffing problems at the shortest notice.
Time to hire will definitely remain critical
The number of dental professionals currently seeking job opportunities is very high, after many were furloughed and laid off from their previous posts. The increased candidate volume may give dental offices more choice of talent but at the same time, also create a bottleneck effect on the hiring process as more candidates need to be reviewed.
In such circumstances, dental office owners first need to have a clear idea of what they are looking for, and what type of person will excel in the position that they’re expecting to fill. Secondly, they will need to be willing to shun the traditional, time-consuming approaches to recruitment. Modern technology has brought a sense of urgency to everything we do. Why waste time on redundant, costly, and obsolete recruitment methods?
Various digital staffing solutions in the market provide employers access to a readily available pool of pre-screened dental professionals. From these platforms, you can get the staffing support you need instantly, with the ability to flex and scale as your demands change.
Expanded employer responsibility as a social safety net
COVID-19 has augmented the trend of employers taking an expanded role in their staff’s physical, mental, and financial well-being. Post-COVID hiring will mean job seekers and employees will be more mindful of risks to their employment. Basically, they will demand more in terms of health insurance, unemployment insurance, paid sick leave, short-term disability insurance, flexible work hours, child care provisions, etc.
Prepare for this shift by coming up with a detailed strategy of how your practice will respond to a future crisis or pandemic. What protection can you offer your employees? In case of mass layoffs or furloughs, what safety net can you guarantee? Consider investing more in employee benefits as opposed to salary. As we move forward, this will matter significantly to many job applicants.
The future of dental staffing may look unpredictable, as public health concerns remain prevalent. However, dental offices that are keen to adapt to this novel landscape will likely succeed in times of uncertainty.
First, virtual recruitment will become a norm, and employers will need to assemble and maximize resources to make this new medium of interviewing and onboarding effective. Secondly, the era of only providing salaries is gone, and dental practices will need to go the extra mile and reinforce their employees’ safety net.
Lastly, and most importantly, every modern dental office should take advantage of digital staffing solutions. Besides being cost-effective, these platforms guarantee access to a pool of pre-screened dental temp staff, making the whole hiring process quicker and more efficient, which is something every office needs during this COVID-crisis period. One such industry-dedicated platform is Cloud Dentistry — a cutting-edge, web-based staffing solution that aims to resolve most of the age-old staffing quandaries. Cloud Dentistry eliminates the middlemen (temp agencies), providing reliable, high-quality staff to employers and on-demand roles to job seeking professionals who are looking for work within the dental industry.
As COVID-19 continues to change the face of life as we know it, consider these tips to procure an advantage for either staffing your dental practice, or finding a job that fits you and your needs.