We asked VisionWeb's Human Resources Manager, Erin Koop, to offer advice to optometrists and managers to make the hiring process go smoothly. Here's what she had to say:
Having the right people in place is the foundation of any business. You want to make sure you hire people that have the right skills (or at least the aptitude to learn the skills needed) and most importantly, the right personality for your team. Making a bad hire is a costly misstep. You not only have to pay for the job postings or recruiting fees, it also means you or someone in your practice is having to work even more to make up for the open position. Bad hires can also create morale issues for the rest of your employees, and that can have a lasting negative impact.
Human Resources Guidance for Optometrists
Make a List of Needs
The first step in having the right people in place is to figure out what qualities you are looking for in a team, and what skills set you need to successfully run your business. If you do not know what you are looking for, you will not find it.
If you are already running a practice, think about who you already have on your team. What do these people do well? Are there any knowledge gaps or areas where they do not excel? If so, you will want to find someone that fills those voids. Similarly, if you are just starting your practice and are ready to make your first hire, think about your own areas of weakness and what you need help with the most.
Be Prepared for Interviews
When you are ready to start recruiting, you want to create job descriptions that fully outline what you are looking for and what is expected of the person you hire. You should interview the candidates based off the job description. Make sure you ask open-ended and situational questions to get a sense of whether or not the person actually knows how to do the required duties. You should also give the candidates the opportunity to ask you questions about the role, the requirements, and the culture of the practice. Setting job expectations up front with whomever you interview will help with retention once hired. It also gives the candidates the opportunity to know if this is really the position and practice that is best suited for them.
Involve Your Staff
You also want to hire people that will gel well with you and your team from a personality standpoint. This does not mean that everyone should have the same personality! You want personalities that will complement each other. To help achieve this, I suggest allowing the employees that will be working closely with the new hire to have a chance to interview or at least have an informal conversation with your candidates. This is particularly important in small practices where people spend a lot of time together and will be interdependent on each other to run the day-to-day activities for the business.
Giving your employees a say in who they will be working with tells your employees that you care about their input, that you are a supportive leader that will listen to them about things outside of hiring, and that having a team that works well with one another is important to you. The candidates will see those things as well and will appreciate the opportunity to meet their potential colleagues ahead of time.
While recruiting and hiring for your practice, keep in mind that the hiring process is a two-way street. You want to find the person best suited for the role and for your team, and you want the person you hire to feel that they are making a solid career move with a practice they are excited to join. Having this recruiting process and hiring talent with the skills and traits that will complement your team will create the solid foundation you need to build up the rest of your practice.
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