As of release version 3.5 we completed a major update to our Rate Selector, the method for choosing your hourly rate when submitting offers to work a temping shift.
At TempStars, we genuinely care about helping all dental professionals. Despite being founded by a practicing dentist, we do not "cater to" or favour dentists more than the dental hygienists and dental assistants we serve.
In this COVID environment and ever-changing dental job market, things have been a bit of a rodeo, to say the least. The speed with which we have responded to the ongoing feedback and information to adjust and optimize our service is unprecedented.
Our whole team is always listening to feedback - from dental offices, dental hygienists, and dental assistants so that TempStars remains the best temping and hiring option for everyone.
A Quick Video the change here and if you want to read more you most certainly can!
To pre-emptively address those few members who might be tempted to see these changes and think, "Oh, TempStars just cares about dentists and is making changes just to favour them.", here are some facts about TempStars and changes we've made in 2020 to support and provide the best possible temping experience to our dental hygienist and dental assistant members:
- Our placement fee is only $47 +tax per shift, which is the lowest in the industry - and we purposely keep it that low so that offices do have extra wiggle room when considering hourly rates, because they know they're not paying us an outrageous amount for helping make the temping connection.
- Our Job Board has No Hiring Fees - meaning we don't charge dental offices any fees to hire any TempStars member, so that offices aren't hesitant to interview and hire our best members for fear of a ridiculous "Finder's Fee"
- Introduced a Short-Notice Cancellation Policy which requires dental offices to pay 50% of a shift if the office cancels a shift with less than 24hrs notice
- Introduced a PPE/Infection Control Policy in the Post-COVID environment ensuring that, if a hygienist or assistant who arrives at a shift to discover inadequate PPE or COVID protocols that prevented them from working safely that day, they would still be paid for that day.
- Introduced AGP and non-AGP shift posting protocols for dentists to clarify and confirm exactly what PPE and systems are in place to ensure they comply with guidelines
- We remove any office that has a pattern of providing poor temping experiences - there's no room for dental offices that aren't providing experiences for our members that strengthens our reputation.
Unfortunately, it's the Few that Cause the Most Problems
And while we feel very strongly about preserving an open market that allows dental hygienists and assistants to choose their own hourly rates and leave it up to the dental offices to accept or decline the offers - there's a disturbing trend of a small but significant sub-segment of our members taking unfair advantage of the COVID situation.
By this we mean, there are offers being submitted by some members with ridiculously high rates that fall clearly outside the realm of reason and sensibility.
And the argument could be made "Well, let them submit high rates, and it's up to the office to accept or decline, and if they're desperate enough they'll accept." I actually agree with it, but it's just not working that way in real life.
What's happening is, these attempts to offer excessively high rates are affecting TempStars by giving us a reputation of trying to take advantage of dental offices. And even though we haven't been influencing the hourly rates (and our fee is the same, no matter the hourly rate), it still reflects poorly on our service and there's the risk that dental offices will stop using TempStars because they just assume the temping hourly rate is going to be too high.
And while there have been some who have received short-term gain by offices being in a tight spot and accepting excessive rates, this is causing overall damage to our membership and our community. It's truly an office that might "bite" on that high rate one time, because they're in a jam, but they'll just stop using TempStars after that one shift, which leaves fewer shifts available for great members who are offering reasonable temping market rates.
The Offices Where You Want to Work Are Thinking of Moving on From TempStars
And it's some really good dental offices that are voicing their concerns, in a professional way. These are offices that provide good temping experiences, pay good rates, pay on time, and respect and value dental hygienists and assistants. But they're getting very frustrated that they feel they're being taken advantage of and have indicated they love our service but can't justify using it and being taken advantage of.
And luckily, they value using TempStars enough and we have built such strong relationships, that they'd rather have meaningful conversations to help us improve, instead of just stop using our service.
So we just can't have that. As we've done so many times in the past years, we have to adjust our service for the benefit of all our members. By managing the hourly rates to ensure they remain within a fair range - which allows us to keep those thousands of great offices in our membership, and allows our 1000's of diligent, professional, and reasonable members to have the empowerment to still choose their own hourly rates and the flexibility of many shifts to choose from and book.
The rate selector still allows a lot of flexibility for selecting your own rate. The range remains wide and is based on our database of 1000's of completed temping shifts and the actual hourly rate offers accepted in each geographic area.
We've introduced a "Recommended Rate" in the selector to provide guidance to the rate that is most likely to be accepted by that office for that shift.
- We introduced a colour scheme to provide visual indicators of what is Reasonable, A Bit High, and Out of Range. And you can still actually choose the "Out of Range" rates for the most part, but anyone selecting those rates will know they're asking for a rate which is far out of the range of accepted rates for that area.
- Pro and Elite status members (those who have established a proven track record of keeping shift commitments and receiving great feedback) can still unlock higher rates. NOTE: Our Pro/Elite status membership system is still a work-in-progress that we'll be revising in the coming weeks.
We're Always Listening and Responding
As has always been the case, everything great about TempStars comes from feedback, questions, and insights from our members. So please keep the lines of communication open. And we know this change may end up being off-putting for those few that have been submitting those high rates and getting those offers accepted occasionally, but please realize if you're one of those people, this habit and pattern have been at the detriment of your fellow members and colleagues.
Our entire team has discussed this change and it does ultimately boil down to the fact that we care about our entire community of members (dental offices, dental hygienists, and dental assistants), and we have to make decisions that allow the overall greatest good for our members so that our community can flourish and keep the level of service and flexibility they deserve while still earning great hourly rates. Thank you for understanding 🙏
~James Younger, DDS