When it comes to millennials, you may need to change your approach.

They grew up in a high-tech world. They quickly adapt to changes in the economy and culture. They seek flexibility and a good work–life balance. They’re the millennial generation, and according to Pew Research, they’re currently the largest generation in the US workforce.

Because millennials make up such a large percentage of workers, there’s been a lot of talk in the corporate world about hiring and working with them. Dentistry is no exception. Hiring professionals and dental practice owners want top-performing employees, and that means getting to know this generation of young professionals. It means understanding what they want, knowing how to communicate with them effectively and looking in the right places for recruiting and hiring.
Freelancing among young professionals
A large number of people born in the 80s and 90s have joined the freelancing world. In fact, many young professionals have known nothing but freelance work. In their 2016 survey, Freelancing in America, Upwork and the Freelancer’s Union report that 43% of people aged 22 to 34 are freelancing. For the 18 to 21 age group, that percentage is 47%.

A number of factors have contributed to the trend in freelancing. As this group of workers came of age, the economy was changing. The Great Recession of the early 2000s left employers looking for ways to save money and caused unemployment to double. At the same time, social networking and cloud-based technology were on the rise. Young adults increasingly turned to the internet as a source of income. The sharing economy came into play, giving life to a new way of finding work.

With the changes in the culture and economy combined with the millennial generation’s desire for flexibility and a healthy work–life balance, it’s no surprise that this group is drawn to freelancing.
Millennials in dentistry
Every dental practice owner and HR professional wants to find the best person for the job. Because so many qualified dental workers are millennials, it’s important to know where and how they look for work.

While it’s not often called “freelancing,” the concept is extremely familiar to dental professionals. Dental assistants, registered dental hygienists (RDHs), dentists and specialists are all represented in the freelance world. Whether they work as temporary workers, traveling workers or independent contractors, the general concept is the same. Dental professionals often choose to manage their own careers, piecing together long-term and short-term gigs to suit their schedules.

Like other millennials, dental workers of this generation seek flexible scheduling and control over their careers. Unlike members of older generations, they don’t have a strong loyalty to any one employer and are willing to change jobs frequently. For these reasons, freelance-type jobs are attractive to them.
RDHs and other dental workers find work online
One of the biggest markers of the millennial generation is that they’re digital natives. According to the new platform for dental professionals, this is one reason RDHs are especially drawn to high-tech, cloud-based platforms.

But it’s not the only reason. As highly qualified professionals, registered dental hygienists want professional rates and the opportunity to manage their own schedules. Today’s online job-matching platforms, such as Cloud Dentistry, provide online profiles that help professionals find work. Through these profiles, RDHs can advertise their qualifications, rates and availability directly to dental practices. RDHs can build their own brands online.

This is good news for dental practice owners, who rely on RDHs for a large portion of their practices’ production. With today’s cloud-based platforms, hiring an RDH is simpler and more affordable than it was in the past. It also gives the dental practice or hiring manager more of a say in which RDHs come to work for them.

Because of their importance in dental practices, RDHs may be the most highly sought dental professionals. Of course, no practice is complete without a full compliment of staff. Other dental professionals, including assistants and dentists, also look for work through online job-matching platforms.
What about temps?
Temp agencies have always been popular among dental practices and dental workers. They’re a great way to connect dental practices with assistants, hygienists and dentists. At first glance, job placement agencies may look like the best place to find employees.

Hiring staff on a temporary basis can be a good way for dental practices to fill gaps or get to know several professionals before making a permanent hire. Job placement agencies, however, are no longer the best approach. Today’s job seekers and hiring professionals are turning to cloud-based job-matching platforms because of the many advantages they offer.
Where millennials look for work
Millennial dental workers are drawn to cloud-based platforms because they fit into their lifestyles. They also align well with the desire for flexibility and control. Instead of relying on placement agencies to build their schedules, dental professionals who use such platforms take matters into their own hands. The concept, based largely on social networking and the sharing economy, is attractive to young dental professionals who want to set their own rates and schedules.

Dental practices and HR managers are attracted to cloud-based platforms because of the cost savings and time savings involved. Of course, the big draw is the talent. It’s important for dental practices to meet their potential employees where they are.

Getting to know the largest generation in the workforce is increasingly important. By understanding millennials’ motivations and taking advantage of today’s technology, hiring managers gain access to larger numbers of highly qualified candidates.

Author's Bio: 

Chief editor here at Billboard Health, wife and Mother of 1, Nutritionist, Financial Analysist and goal getter