November 14, 2022
EXPLODING VS IMPLODING
2020 brought changes the world has never seen, and we are confident we will never see again!
But the facts of 2022 and into 2023 are, and will be overwhelming in the hiring difficulties and
lack of resources/human capital!
Every difficulty always presents an amazing opportunity! (someone said I’m sure)
The past two years have seen a great many changes happening worldwide as individuals and
companies alike responded to the pandemic and the fallout that came with it. Problems such as
staffing shortages and stressful working conditions at first appeared to be superficial with the
annual resignation rate peaking at 42.2 million in 2019. The difficulties appeared to have
lessened when the 2020 resignation rate declined to roughly 35.8 million as people chose to
stay at their places of work due to the uncertainty and financial fears brought on by the covid-
However, the work from home phenomenon soon stabilized and created its own challenges within
the employment field. With the immediate dangers of covid-19 having all but disappeared in the USA,
the resignation rate rose to an alarming 47.2 million in 2021 and rising.
Staffing shortages are challenges and one of the major problems faced within the dental
industry. Practices saw an overwhelming rise in demand for both health and cosmetic services
as soon as the pandemic began to let up, leading to an estimated 25% shortfall in dental
staffing. Organizations that refused to take note of, and act upon employment issues, were the
hardest hit. This contributed to the estimated 1.4 million workers in the healthcare industry
who voluntarily quit their jobs. While this widened the resource gap, it has proven to be a great
opportunity for practices and individuals to “shake things up” and adopt changes that were
needed by the dental industry, just not yet embraced. (Ironic how a pandemic became the
mother of necessity.)
Remote/Virtual Team Members
One innovative and welcome change is the global expansion of the current resource pool to
include highly skilled/educated workers based in different geographical locations through what
we have termed as “insourcing”. SupportDDS has leveraged the university educated, “Queens
English” speaking resources in Zimbabwe Africa, to make a true global impact in the dental
Insourcing is our proven method of solving open/under-resourced positions in the dental
practices and DSO organizations who might otherwise still be reeling from team member
shortages that have been exasperated during the past 2+ years. It serves as a channel to update
traditional working structures to a more innovative/progressive and cost-efficient format that
other industries have utilized for decades. Insourcing focuses on getting the right people, in the
right seats, working on specific tasks that have been under-resourced by internal teams who
can now focus on high priority tasks and duties. This “elevates” your team to focus on the roles
that render the highest ROI and guest(patient) care.
Organizations now have the option to streamline their operations having pre-trained/qualified
individuals tackle the tasks they were best suited to perform. This is a welcome change to
absorb tasks like Insurance verifications, EOB’s, billing and collections, scheduling, hygiene re-
care, accounting/bookkeeping, and our all-time favorite is the Director of First Impressions
(new Guest/patient calls).
Insourcing brings the ability to find immediate trained and qualified team members, (from
initial call to start date in as little as 5 business days), while reducing the overhead and
associated compensation costs estimated at up to a 60% savings. This is even a greater
savings/percentage when you factor in office space, IT equipment hard costs, healthcare costs,
leave time, vacation, etc…
Opportunity for Upgraded Culture
Many factors encouraged more progressive practices to review the work from home
environments. Dental practices that had traditionally hired team members to report physically
to work, now embraced remote options. These organizations became more attractive to team
members who may have otherwise left for more flexible working conditions.
Apart from virtual work, hybrid working conditions such as those including partial work-from-home
scheduling also lessened the stress and pressures that were causing some of the voluntary resignations.
These events make one thing clear: traditional working setups no longer work as well as they
did in prior decades. People now demand greater flexibility from their employment options,
while exercising their power to get the best work-life-balance possible.
The great resignation has served to clarify the misconception that money solves all. Skilled
workers want to be remunerated in accordance with their qualifications, but many other
factors influence their choices; family, stress, faith values, and how short life really is are just a
What’s the way forward?
Workplace flexibility and willingness to use technological solutions such as remote/virtual
teams, (again think “insourcing”) can be used to offset the rising costs and staffing shortages
Time will tell which organizations will rise above the “great resignation” and turn it into an
opportunity to leverage growth and elevate their teams.
J.W. Oliver is Managing partner for SupportDDS.com which is part of ZimWorX.com