Jobseeker Plans in 2024

Part 2 of Team Retention and Hiring Insights from DentalPost’s Annual Dental Practice and Salary Survey

During August through mid-October 2023, DentalPost conducted a combined dental practice and salary survey, receiving responses from:

  • 534 dentists
  • 1,802 registered dental hygienists
  • 547 dental assistants
  • 413 dental practice managers
  • 85 dental billing specialists employed by dental practices
  • 86 other front office team members

Salary survey results, including mean and median incomes for each dental position, are available for download here. In this article are key trends and takeaways from some of the hiring and retention questions DentalPost asked in the survey. See Part 1 for additional insights.

The January job season has already started.

Based on DentalPost’s 2024 Annual Salary Survey, the first half of 2024 will be a more active job application period than the second half. The most active job seekers will be practice managers and billing specialists, followed by front office associates/receptionists, and dental assistants. 

Percentages of Respondents Who Definitely Plan to Apply for New Jobs:

1st Half of 20242nd Half of 2024
Associate Dentists5.23%  3.93%  
Dental Hygienists2.99%  2.22% 
Dental Assistants6.65%  6.48%  
Practice Managers9.43%  3.99%  
Billing Specialists11.95%  6.89%  
Front Office Associates/Receptionists7.55%  5.09%  

In addition to those with definite plans, others reported they might apply for new jobs and are looking at job postings:  29.6% of RDHs, 21.7% of DAs, 6.8% of practice managers, 18.9% of billing specialists, and 31.3% of front office associates/receptionists. As alarming as this may be, keep in mind that not everyone who applies for new jobs will decide to make an employment change. For example, one year ago, 31% of RDHs were considering a job change but 19.35% actually changed employers, and 37% of practice managers were considering a job change but only 7.77% actually made a change.

Where do dental practice employees look for jobs?

Knowing where dental professionals look for new jobs is beneficial to hirers. According to DentalPost’s survey results:

  • Over 70% of all survey respondents look for job opportunities on both dental-specific and non-dental-specific online job boards. 7% more look on dental-specific job boards than on general job boards.
  • Over 30% of associate dentists additionally work with recruiters.
  • 25% to 35% of RDHs, dental assistants, and front office staff additionally look for jobs on the social media accounts of other dental practices in the locations they would like to work.

What are employees looking for in a new job?

Across positions, increased income will be the pervasive driver of new job decisions. Some dental workers are willing to sacrifice some benefits of their current job to make more. For example, multiple dental hygienists commented they need to cover the college tuition of their children and they were willing to leave the patients they love to make more money at this stage in their lives. 

Many front office and clinical team members seeking “higher income” commented they wouldn’t change jobs based on income alone but the possibility of higher income was enticing them to search. 

Many dental hygienists and dental assistants bemoaned the fact that their 2023 raise was only a cost-of-living percentage and did not reflect their years of experience and loyalty. Some commented they were on the cusp of a big decision like going into temping, going back to school, or changing careers. 

Top Motivations Driving Job Applications in 2024:*

Associate DentistsCareer advancement, a better work environment and higher income
Dental HygienistsHigher income and a better work environment
Dental AssistantsHigher income
Practice ManagersHigher income
Billing SpecialistsHigher income
Front Office Associates/ReceptionistsHigher income and a better work environment

*Included are the motivations selected by 30% or more of the respondents.

Don’t wait to post your open position or begin your search.

Over 50% of dental practice employees will be actively searching or passively looking at open positions in 2024. DentalPost is designed to help both hirers and jobseekers meet their goals.

HIRERS: Because jobseekers are looking now and because the January jobs season has begun, now is the best time to craft a stellar job posting that authentically showcases your great work environment. To get started, you may want to read The Art of Writing a Great Dental Job Ad | DentalPost and The Ultimate Dental Hiring Guide [Ebook] | DentalPost.

JOBSEEKERS: Register on www.dentalpost.net to receive relevant job listings, search for jobs, and use DentalPost’s assessment tools. Begin by reading The Ultimate Job Seeker’s Guide » DentalPost and download The 2024 Annual Survey Report.  

Coming Up: In Part 3 of this series, more survey results will be discussed in the context of how to best retain and recruit team members by understanding their likes, dislikes, and priority needs.

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DentalPost is the dental industry’s premier and largest online and mobile job board.
We connect and educate more than 900,000 job seekers in the U.S. and Canada to build better places to work through teams that excel.
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