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ADA spotlights resources to help in hiring process

Association keeping eye on nationwide dental staffing shortage

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a voluntary reduction of the U.S. dental hygiene workforce by about 3.75%, or about 7,500 dental hygienists, according to updated research from the ADA and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. 

The new research is hard to ignore, said Allison B. House, D.M.D., chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice’s Practice Management Subcommittee and owner of House Dental in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

"The dental team is the foundation of your office and a reflection of how successful your office is,” she said. 

The ADA Health Policy Institute’s recent Economic Outlook and Emerging Issues in Dentistry poll shows that openings for all dental team positions are on the rise again. 

Whether it is a first hire, or the dentist is a seasoned expert, hiring can be more of an art than a science. 

But with the ADA’s help, there is a lot a dentist can do to improve the chances that a new hire can be someone likely to be successful in the practice and on the team.

"The hiring and interview process involves many steps and, in order for it to proceed smoothly, a clear picture of the person you want and what exactly their role will be needs to be made before each candidate comes in to talk about the position,” said Dr. House. “The ultimate goal is to find someone who will click with your current team and who puts patient care first. It's up to you to create a winning culture so your team can thrive.” 

A sampling of available resources for member dentists from the ADA include: 
Avoid the Top 10 Hiring Mistakes.
The dental hiring challenge (a Beyond the Mouth podcast episode).
ADA’s Guidelines for Practice Success: Managing the Dental Team (ADA Catalog).
• Dental Team Staff Recruiting: The Interview Process.
• The Members of the Dental Team: Position Overviews.
Recruiting: Working Interviews vs. Skills Assessments.
The ADA Practical Guide to Creating and Updating an Employee Policy Manual (ADA Catalog).
Dental Team training courses (ADA CE Online).

In addition to providing resources on hiring and interviewing and training staff, the ADA is addressing difficulties with the recruitment and retention of allied dental professionals at the federal level. 

In a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions in regards to its February 2022 hearing titled Recruiting, Revitalizing & Diversifying: Examining the Health Care Workforce Shortage, ADA President Cesar R. Sabates, D.D.S., and Executive Director Raymond A. Cohlmia, D.D.S., asked lawmakers to increase the authorized funding level for the Oral Health Workforce Development Program, part of the Public Health Act.

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