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Episode #471: The 5 Don'ts of Attracting a New Hygienist, with Rachel Wall, RDH, BS

the best practices show podcast Sep 12, 2022

An ad won't fix your practice. But with the right strategy, you can attract the right people. And to help you magnetize your future ideal team, Kirk Behrendt brings in Rachel Wall, CEO and founder of Inspired Hygiene, to reveal five important don'ts when attracting new hygienists. Money isn't the only thing that great hygienists value! To find out what they look for in a practice, listen to Episode 471 of The Best Practices Show!

Main Takeaways:

  • Be flexible and keep an open mind when hiring someone new.
  • Create an attractive culture that makes people want to stay.
  • Never create incentives that are only for new hires.
  • Avoid adding too many details in your ads.
  • Engage your team in the hiring process.
  • Highlight your unique perks.
  • Be creative.


  • “You want to create a situation that's attractive, bringing [new hygienists] into the practice, and then create a culture that really helps them want to stay.” (6:05—6:17)
  • “It certainly is not all about money. And I think there are hygienists out there that would be willing to take a little lower rate if they really and truly believe that the culture was healthy and strong. And you've got to, in addition to finding the right fit from a financial standpoint, find the right fit for a culture.” (7:47—8:08)
  • “You do need to keep an open mind, and don’t count somebody out right away. But also, the same goes for the employee. You've got to keep an open mind too and be willing to look at the practice and say, ‘Okay, they're doing things at a higher level. They're using digital scanning, and I don't have experience with that. They have a really thorough perio protocol, and I don't have experience with that. But I'm willing to learn and I'm willing to see, what is their philosophy, and what do they believe about these services that really brings a lot to their patients and brings value to their community.’” (8:40—9:15)
  • “You don't get what you don't ask for. But also, don't just expect because you asked for something that everybody’s going to hand it to you.” (11:17—11:24)
  • “You don't get what you don't ask for. However, you've got to be able to document your experience that is going to warrant you getting what it is you're asking for.” (12:19—12:30)
  • “Don't use only one or two methods when you're seeking a new team member. And it’s not just hygienists. This really goes for any position in your practice. I'm hearing things about Indeed. The latest I've heard about Indeed is there's not much coming from Indeed. But someone else may have a different experience. So, you've got to try multiple ways.” (13:06—13:30)
  • “Use Indeed if you've seen that work in your area. But you've also got to network. The best people come, often, from networking. They come from people that you know. Now, again, don't hire them just because you know them, or your neighbor knows them. But if they happen to fit your core values and they get results, then you also have someone that has some history with this individual, which is always super helpful.” (13:36—14:00)
  • “Get to know the leaders at your dental hygiene programs, even if they're not local, even if they're in another state. I moved to another state when I started practicing dental hygiene. So, hygienists are willing to do that if they are going into a practice that they really think they're going to enjoy, and it’s meeting their expectations as well.” (14:04—14:25)
  • “We created a recruiting deck for our clients to use. And so, [create a] video. One of our clients, we built this deck for him. We’re like, ‘You've got to have a link on this slide to your video on your site. And, by the way, you have 423 reviews in Google and they're five-star.’ Potential employees are going to be looking at that kind of thing, and you want to highlight that. You want to highlight what you can bring to the table because they're checking you out as well.” (17:59—18:36)
  • “Number two don't: don't put too many details in the ad. I reviewed an ad recently and it was great. It’s a great opportunity. Fantastic practice. I know the dentist personally, and it’s full-time. So, they're giving them full-time benefits, pretty much full-time pay, but it’s three days a week. But they put all the details of the scheduling. And honestly, if I were a hygienist, I would want to work different days than what they put in the ad. So, I'm afraid that if they put that much detail in the ad, it’s going to turn people off.” (19:01—19:34)
  • “Next don't: don't forget to engage your team. Get your team involved. Have your team there when you're doing this open house, when you're doing the tour. Maybe you have something fun happening. Maybe it’s a wine-tasting at your office, or you hire a band to come to your office for an afternoon and have drinks. And maybe you've got some new equipment that you want to share with everybody.” (21:21—21:48)
  • “Engage your team. Have your team share with you what are the things that they feel are great about working at your practice. Because there might be things that you, as the employer, don't even realize that are really important to them.” (22:08—22:22)
  • “Always, no matter how you know this person, do a background check. Always.” (24:47—24:51)
  • “I encourage you to have your team do videos. The iPhones now, you can do a pretty amazing video with an iPhone . . . because it’s their peer. It’s one thing for you, as the employer, to say you're great. But the team members should be telling others why it’s great to work there.” (26:01—26:22)
  • “Don't forget to include special, unique perks to your practice. Again, being paid full-time and working three days a week, that's actually a really cool perk. That's attractive to me. So, don't forget to include that.” (28:06—28:21)
  • “Don't offer things to attract candidates that you're not willing to offer to your existing team.” (30:56—31:03)
  • “As a leader, you want loyalty. Well, if your team feels like, ‘Gosh, they're trying to hire this hygienist and they're giving them a $1,500 signing bonus. But we haven't hit our number and we haven't gotten a bonus in six months. You know what? Maybe they don't value me as much as I thought that they did.’ So, you've got to be transparent. Because if you think your team members aren't going to see the ad, you're wrong. They are, because they might be looking too.” (31:57—32:28)
  • “We've had a lot of clients that have told us, ‘Look, I just went across the board and made sure that my hygienists were making the rate that I'm going to be offering to this new hygienist. And I gave everybody a “stay” bonus, ‘I value you. I would love you to stay, and I want to do the same for you that I'm willing to do with any new candidate.’ So, be very sensitive to that.” (32:33—33:01)
  • “It’s just like patients. We want all these new patients. But what are we doing to keep the patients that we have and make them feel really taken care of? Same thing applies to our team.”  (33:04—33:14)
  • “Once you hire the hygienist, what are the dos? I would say open lines of communication, and really see your team members as extensions of yourself as a provider. And I think most dentists believe this, is they want team members that they can collaborate with. They want team members that [they can say to], ‘What do you think about this case? You're the expert in the periodontal space. How can I support you?’ So, I would say empower your hygienists. Empower your team.” (34:22—35:02)


  • 0:00 Introduction.
  • 2:55 Rachel’s background.
  • 4:28 Be creative and flexible when hiring.
  • 6:52 Keep an open mind.
  • 10:36 You don't get what you don't ask for, but . . .
  • 12:38 Don’t 1) Don't use just one or two job listing sites.  
  • 16:58 Create a recruiting deck.
  • 19:00 Don't 2) Don’t put too many details in your ad.
  • 21:21 Don't 3) Don't forget to engage your team.
  • 22:47 More good advice for your hiring process.
  • 27:04 Don't 4) Don't forget to include special, unique perks to your practice.
  • 30:56 Don't 5) Don't offer special incentives just for new hires.
  • 33:02 Dos after hiring new hygienists.
  • 39:06 More about Rachel’s Hygiene Growth Roadmap.

Reach Out to Rachel:

Rachel’s website: https://www.inspiredhygiene.com/

Rachel’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InspiredHygiene/

Rachel’s social media: @inspiredhygiene


**Mention this podcast for a promotion on Rachel’s Hygiene Growth Roadmap!** [email protected] 

Rachel’s Hygiene Growth Roadmap: https://www.inspiredhygiene.com/growth/

The EOS Life by Gino Wickman: https://bookshop.org/books/the-eos-life-how-to-live-your-ideal-entrepreneurial-life/9781637740132

Traction by Gino Wickman: https://bookshop.org/books/traction-get-a-grip-on-your-business/9781491583500

David Harris, Prosperident: https://www.prosperident.com/

Healthy Heart, Healthy Brain by Dr. Bradley Bale and Amy Doneen: https://bookshop.org/books/healthy-heart-healthy-brain-the-personalized-path-to-protect-your-memory-prevent-heart-attacks-and-strokes-and-avoid-chronic-illness-9780316705554/9780316705554

Rachel Wall, RDH, Bio:

Rachel Wall, RDH, BS, coaches dental teams to build highly productive hygiene departments by implementing systems for high-quality periodontal care, enrolling restorative care through hygiene and letting go of negative mindsets and old beliefs while managing the logistics of a high-performance hygiene department.

Drawing from her 20-plus years of experience as a hygienist and practice administrator, Rachel delivers to-the-point clinical speaking presentations around the country. Her interactive teaching style coupled with a workshop environment creates a learning space where dentists and team members are compelled to get to the heart of what’s held them back and are inspired to reach for more for themselves and their practices.


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