Beyond Bitewings: How To Hire the Right Dental Staff

“I have to hire dental staff.” Hiring can be a challenging event for any dental office, and it may sometimes feel like a hit or a miss when it comes to finding the right staff. However, it doesn’t have to be such a burden or a guessing game.

In this episode of Beyond Bitewings, the Edwards & Associates team welcomes Linda Allen, a Management Consultant for dental practices across the nation. Linda focuses on helping dental offices hire the right dental staff and guides them in creating atmospheres and opportunities to help keep those valuable team members onboard.

Linda discusses the current challenges with staffing for dental offices in addition to specific issues that have arisen because of COVID. She also talks about what to look for in potential staff members to make the absolute best hire.

This episode features discussion on topics like developing great interview questions, the importance of a working interview, understanding how to lead a team, plus so much more. If you’re looking for ways to hire smarter and build a better team, this is the episode for you.

Have a question? Contact Edwards & Associates to get your question answered and possibly featured in a future podcast. Or contact an ADCPA affiliate at



Download the full transcript.

Hiring Tips

Whether it’s your first employee or the addition of staff to facilitate the needs of your growing practice, you want to make sure that you have your new hire complete the correct documents that you are required to keep on file.

Each employee you hire is required to fill out these important government documents for you. To ensure completion of these documents, provide the forms to the new hire at the very start of employment and have them fill out the forms before they begin any work.


  1. Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) – confirms the employee’s citizenship or eligibility to work in the United States.
  2. Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Certificate) – gathers basis payroll tax information and asks the employee how much federal income tax to withhold from their pay.
  3. State Withholding Tax Forms (if applicable)  

    The following is a list of documents that you are required to provide to new hires.

  4. U.S. Department of Labor Notice regarding the Health Insurance Marketplace – follow the link to the DOL site and choose which model notice applies.
  5. Notice of Workers’ Compensation Coverage – you must notify new hires whether or not your company carries workers’ compensation insurance. *Notice of Non-Coverage can be downloaded here: *Notice of Coverage can be downloaded here:
  6. Consent for Background Checks – if you have not already done so prior to hiring. These are typically performed prior to making a hiring decision, but that is not always the case.

Interesting items to note regarding Temporary Employees and the infamous “Working Interview”:

  • Temporary Employees that are hired directly by your practice are considered employees of the practice for all intents and purposes and are able to file unemployment claims once the work relationship has ended.
  • Consider hiring Temporary Employees through a temporary service. By doing so, the temporary service is the employer and they will handle any unemployment claims filed by these employees.
  • A “Working Interview” is considered to be an “interview” where the worker performs actual work for the company. This form of work for the company IS deemed “on the job” training or part of orientation to the company and IS viewed as work time. The worker expects to be compensated for this time and the company is expected to pay the worker at least a minimum wage for this time, obtain the required new-hire government documents (as listed above-Form I-9, Form W-4, etc.) and report the wages paid to the IRS and applicable State entities. The short story to this is….Working Interviews should be given a paycheck which is run through the company’s payroll system and has the appropriate payroll taxes withheld from it.

Jennifer Johnson