It was a chilly January evening and the room was bursting with optimism as prideful families watched teary eyed as students became graduates.

Among the group were your future and very eager Dental Assistants & Dental Hygienists ready to join the work force. I was fortunate to be sitting on stage alongside the faculty and staff of a prominent career college that had invited me to deliver the commencement speech. I spoke about perseverance and strategies for the job hunt ahead of them. But while writing my speech it occurred to me that these new graduates will have a fairly easy time finding work.

For the last few years, the unemployment rate in the dental field has been extremely low, with more jobs available than candidates to fill them.

With that being said, I decided to share with the graduating class of 2019 some advice on landing the right job.  So in fairness I would like to share with employers some insight on hiring the right candidates for your dental practice in 2019.

1) Confirm you are compliant with the law

Employment laws in California have recently changed and dental professionals know it. Make sure you are up to date on these laws. We advise you work with your attorney or CPA to confirm compliance related to employment law and 1099 vs W2.

2) Make sure your pay & benefits package is competitive

The best way to get people to apply to your job is to be transparent about your pay and benefits in the job posting.  Here is a short guideline that we use at Direct Dental Staffing to advise our clients on starting pay range.

  • Dental Assistants: $15 to $18/hr
  • RDAs: $19 to $26/hr
  • RDHs: $45 to $55/hr
  • Dental Receptionist: $15 to $22/hr
  • Office Manager: $22 to $32/hr

3) Don’t be afraid to hire recent graduates

Most people overlook fresh talent because they don’t have experience.  But lack of experience means they are highly trainable without bad habits to break. Take advantage of the fact other offices aren’t calling on recent grads and hire yourself some great potential talent.

4) Use tools to help potential employees find you

Just like you need patients to find you easily, potential employees need to find you too! Make sure your have a presentable website and your social media content in updated and fresh. If candidates like what they see online, they will apply to your job.

5) Look at industry specific job boards to hire top talent

Industry specific and niche job boards exist for a reason. In dentistry you have online platforms that offer free job postings and enable you to view profiles and even request temps in real-time.  If cost is a factor, these new online services tend to be free or inexpensive to use. So when you’re looking to hire a specific set of skills or specialty experience it’s best to look for the job sites that match.


For more tips on hiring, check out – Is your hiring process costing you candidates?


Holli Perez is the Owner of Direct Dental Staffing and recipient of the “2019 Employer of Distinction Award”.  She is also CoFounder & CMO of, an online job matching platform for dental employers and dental professionals to connect for work in real-time.