The interactions that your patients have with your team - whether it's your front office staff or the optometrists themselves - will dictate their experience with your practice. In this day and age, the consumer has choices, and with online review sites making practice reviews a few clicks away, making a great impression is essential!
Most practice owners understand that their staff members are incredibly important to the success of their business. Yet, they allocate the least amount of time and resources to hiring and retaining great talent. For this reason, I'd like to share the 4 most common mistakes that I've seen practice owners make when hiring.
Mistake #1 - Starting the hiring process too late
If you were looking to buy a house, would you start looking after you had already sold yours? No - obviously, you would have been looking for months before you knew that you were going to have a need.
The same tactic should be used when hiring. If you start looking for an employee when you have a need, you will be forced to make a "reactive decision," rather than a "proactive decision."
Being proactive will not only allow you to decrease your vacancy time (which is potentially a huge cost to your practice, depending on your revenue per patient, and patients per day), it will also help you hire the right person. Finding the right person will be the best long-term investment you've ever made, but finding the wrong person, well, that may be the most costly decision for your practice.
Mistake #2 - Not having a hiring process
Just like you have a process to intake your patients, and then dispense your glasses, you should have a formal hiring process. You created a process inside the office so that you could predict how events will transpire from the moment a patient enters your practice.
But one of the biggest optometry hiring mistakes is losing site of processes when it comes to hiring. Practices that don't have processes in place for hiring are just asking to make decisions based on emotions, rather than facts. This can lead to communication breakdowns and, even if a candidate has already signed on with your practice, it could leave that candidate with a bad taste in his/her mouth before they have even begun working for you.
Mistake #3 - Expecting candidates to appear out of thin air
If you were incredibly lucky when you started your practice, patients just flooded in the doors and you were all booked up from day one. Likely, that wasn't the case, however. More likely is that you struggled to find your patients, or relied on insurance companies to provide you with patients at the cost of receiving a lower revenue per patient.
Moreover, you likely had to market and advertise your practice, by attending local events, posting online and paper advertisements, and, in the more modern age, by using social media. The same goes for finding employees. They need a medium to know that your job even exists. Social media, search engines, job sites, networking, LinkedIn... You are in the business of selling your job opportunity, and are investing in your future.
There are absolutely ways to find a great employee without spending any money on advertising, but they're going to require you to take action (roughly 4 hours dedicated to sourcing talent per week).
Mistake #4 - Writing a job description that does not capture the right audience
Your job description will be your first impression for candidates looking for your practice. Think about this. Would you like a resume that has all sorts of grammatical errors, or no attention to detail?
Job seekers think the same way. They also think about the context within the job description itself. If you want someone who is the best, then you must have the best job description. Spend time crafting an incredible job description and it will make all the difference. Fail to do so, and you'll attract the equivalent - half-baked, lazy candidates who don't take your practice seriously.