In today’s post, we’ve broken down the process of hiring your next staff member into 3 stages – finding, interviewing, and hiring applicants - and we’ll show you what steps you need to take in each stage to make sure you hire a good fit for your practice.
A Guide to Staffing Your Optical Practice Team
Stage 1: Finding Applicants
Write an Attractive Job Description
Writing a killer job description will help attract the right applicants before you start the process of reviewing resumes and cover letters. Think through the responsibilities, tasks, and role you want the new hire to take on and define them in the job description. Will they be working with other team members? Is familiarity with eyecare software and equipment needed?
However, you should avoid listing overly strict prerequisites. These usually require large amounts of experience in doing exactly the job that is being considered. The best applicants avoid such positions because it may seem to offer little growth and variation in tasks.
Use Previous Hiring Experience
Take a moment and walk yourself through the last hiring process. Is that previous hire still working for you or did you regret hiring that person? Use this to help guide your next hiring process. For example, did your bad hire not actually possess the skills stated on their resume? If so, it’ll be a good idea to incorporate checking references in the hiring process.
Stage 2: Interviewing Applicants
Utilize a Practical Test
You want your next hire to not only be able to talk the talk, but walk the walk! It's easy for some people to talk their way through an interview, but you'll still want to be able to determine if a candidate has the knowledge and skills necessary for the position. You will either need to use a structured interview with questions that have been validated as good performance indicators, like, "what would you do in this scenario" type questions, or set up a “hands-on/on-the job” interview where candidates have to demonstrate or apply their skills in a practical and realistic situation.
Stage 3: Hiring Applicants
Hire a Personality Fit
We know that your practice can get busy, and you need someone who is able to do the job fast. But on top of just possessing the skills to do the job, having a team of employees who get along will go a long way. A bad hire can disrupt the team dynamic and cause a divide between your staff members. So if you come across a candidate that might not fit all of the qualifications that you're looking for, but is a great fit with your current employees, it might be a good enough case to make the hire! Try getting at least one other staff member to be involved in the process, preferably someone who is familiar with your practice's culture. If you are a practice owner, an office manager would be a good choice for this role.
Set a Trial Period
Once you decide on your next hire, it’s not a bad idea to have a probation period to make sure that you like them and they enjoy working with your team. Depending on what you can offer, a signing bonus can be a good motivation for your new hire.
For more tips on managing the HR needs of your practice, download our eBook!