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Forget What You Heard… about Recruiting for your Optometry Practice

09/19/2018

We have all been there. You spent what felt like 1,000 hours recruiting – posting the job online, reviewing resumes, speaking to candidates, getting feedback from interviewers, making a job offer. Your new employee comes in and within 48 hours they are completely different than you expected… and not in a good way. You are asking yourself, “What happened to the funny, charming, experienced person I spoke with a few weeks ago?  Can I have them back please?!”. 

No experienced recruiter or manager has not experienced the situation above. Some people are skilled in interviewing but not so great at showing up with results in the end.  For that reason, and so many more, hiring is not most people’s favorite part of managing their business. Usually, it is sparked by the loss of an employee and replacing an experienced employee feels like a burden instead of a new opportunity.  Because you aren’t recruiting all the time, hopefully, you may feel like having to hire adds ONE MORE THING to your plate. I don’t know about you but I am looking for ways to reduce my workload not increase it!

Hiring does require work - there’s no doubt about that. Because of that, you might be trying to make a bad thing work with an imperfect fit. However, if we address hiring as a strategic opportunity instead of a box to check on our to-do list, we will have the best opportunity to avoid hires we regret! It doesn’t have to be a bad experience, I promise!

To make recruiting work for you, you must be smart with your time and resources!

  1. Create a smart plan

    Ever heard “Fail to plan – plan to fail”? When you are recruiting, you should first create a plan for yourself and the team. The plan should have two parts: Role Specifics and Interview Format and Involvement. 

    Role Specifics:

    Figure out the details: what the responsibilities will be, how soon you need this person to join the team and who will train them, you will have a better understanding of the employee you are seeking for this specific role.

    Interview Format and Involvement:

    Determine the steps of your interview, phone interview, in-person inv you will determine what staff members will need to be involved and how long the interview is going to take. You can use this to establish a timeline for your candidates and yourself.
  1. Write smart job postings

    Less is not always more, but when we need to focus on passive candidates and mobile optimization, it can be!

    Passive Candidates:

    When it seems difficult to recruit because of the market, we become more reliant on the passive candidate. A passive candidate is working and may be relatively satisfied at work. They don’t have their resume posted for active search but might be receiving updates from the job sites. They also could also not agree with changes made by their current employer, have had a bad day at work or are considering making a change for personal reasons. None of these are surefire reasons to leave a job but they are reason enough to look at what else is available! These candidates will not spend as much time browsing the details of your posting. If it catches their interest, they might apply. If it’s too much information, they are more likely to skip over it and move on to the next thing.

    Mobile Optimization:

    Concise ads help with those applying for jobs on their mobile phones, too! Your posting on mobile will not look the same as it does on the computer. To ensure all the important information is available, succinct information and mindfulness of the space available creates the most success.

    For your ad, break down your ad into sections using these tips:
  • Creative Title, starting with the role, no more than 5-7 words
    • Optician, commission and no weekends
  • 2-3 sentences about the practice MAX and a link to your Facebook or website
    • Alvarez Eyecare is an established community partner. Open since 1985, we focus on the best care with the best available products. Check out our recent post on Facebook: facebook.com/Alvarezeyecare.
  • 5-10 short phrases in bulleted format that outline the specifics, responsibilities or requirement
    • Prioritize a great experience for every patient, start to finish
    • 2 years’ experience, medical reception
    • Answer phone calls, make appointments, check insurance coverage
  • 3-7 short phrases in bulleted format that outlines some of your best benefits
    • Optical discount available after 90 days
    • M-F schedule, no weekends
  1. Ask smart questions

    No matter what – even if you do all the above, you must thoroughly screen every candidate you are considering. Screening can be conducted in several formats – assessments, observing actions and asking questions.

    Employee assessments can be a non-bias screening tool to help in the interviewing process.  It will work to determine cognitive skills and help determine their fit, for the role and with their peers. Observing actions can be done in 2 formats. First, a realistic job preview (job shadowing) will allow you, and other key decision makers, see how this person acts when they are not “on” answering questions in a traditional interview. It also gives the candidate a real idea of the role, versus their impression of your description. Second, any action the employee takes during the interview process can show their character – following up on an interview, showing up early, showing up dressed appropriately, etc.

    Most of the interviewing process is asking the candidate questions. Use a structured interview – same questions, in the same order, every time. If you are comparing multiple candidates, a structured interview creates as accurate a comparison as possible. It also makes sure you don’t forget to ask the important stuff.

Questions you shouldn’t forget to ask:

  • Are you available the hours the practice is open?
  • What other opportunities are you considering now?
  • Situation-Based: Tell me about a specific time you dealt with an upset patient.
  • Situation-Based: Tell me about a specific time you gave great customer service.

Like any other activity, practice makes perfect. Push yourself to learn more about recruiting by seeking learning material – both literature and training seminars. Don’t be afraid to make a change to your plan if something isn’t working. Just like a disappointing hire, we can’t try to make a bad thing work if we want to see growing levels of success.

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AUTHOR

IDOC Optometry - Color Bar
Amy Alvarez

Amy Alvarez

Amy Alvarez, MS-HRM, joined IDOC in February 2018 as Human Resources Consultant. Amy has experience in Human Resources in healthcare and retail, Management in big box and specialty retail stores and Physician Recruitment. Through these roles and training, Amy is well-versed in recruitment and hiring strategies for “hard to fill” roles, dealing with low productivity, helping encourage employee engagement, on-boarding, training, day-to-day management in a retail setting, employee relations, and so much more.