Your practice is booming, patients are lining up down the street, and it’s time to hire another OD! You write up a quick job description, post it to Indeed, and move on to other tasks. How long could it take to find a new optometrist, anyway?
Longer than you’d think, actually. Optometry practices are currently having difficulty filling positions quickly: after all, 51% of optometrists are finding jobs even before they graduate, which means practices are competing for a narrowing field of candidates.
In CovalentCareers’s experience helping more than 5,000 practices hire optometrists, it takes three to five months on average for a practice to hire a new OD. Of course, different factors impact the time it takes an individual practice to hire, like desirability of location, compensation, and benefits—not to mention the amount of effort you’re putting into recruiting your new hire. That’s where the Time to Hire calculator comes in!
Our calculator is based on exclusive data from CovalentCareers’s audience of student, new grad, and established optometrists, specifically:
- Two surveys of optometrists we conducted in 2019 (the 2019 Optometrist Report and the 2020 Optometry Millennial Workforce Report). Respondents to the surveys had a median grad year of 2014, and the surveys solicited both quantitative and qualitative data about the desirability of optometry jobs.
- More than 5,000 optometrist job placements
- More than 2,000 current job postings in the CovalentCareers database.
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Tips for using the Time to Hire calculator
Identify “The Basics”
Where is your practice located and what kind of practice is it? Obviously, these aren’t factors that you can easily change—but they will have a major impact on how long it takes you to find an OD.
For instance, the data show that private practices have an advantage over corporate when it comes to hiring. The majority of optometry students (67.5%) hope to practice in private optometry, while a plurality of optometrists looking to change jobs (36.8%) hope to practice in private optometry.
The question in this section of the tool that deserves consideration is how many years of experience you want your new OD to have. If you’re in a complex setting that serves a very unique patient population, you might be looking for an OD with some experience under their belt—but don’t be so fast to discount the clinical education and professionalism of a new grad!
Compensation and benefits: think beyond the salary
Based on our 2019 survey of 1,181 ODs, the most important consideration for a job amongst optometrists was compensation. Unsurprisingly, compensation and benefits can go a long way towards helping you hire quickly.
But compensation is more than just salary! Factors like paid time off, parental leave, and health benefits can be very appealing to an optometrist. Not offering the right compensation package can also cause hiring difficulties down the line, as demographics shift. If you don’t currently offer a 401k retirement plan, you might want to look into it: 55% of optometrists born between 1992 and 1997 said they would not accept a job where a 401k retirement plan wasn’t offered.
Quality of life: from working weekends to hitting the gym
Optometry candidates aren’t just looking for a great salary—although that is, of course, the highest priority. Most young professionals also consider a variety of other factors that can offer a great lifestyle opportunity.
These factors include the obvious—will the position require employees to work weekend hours? How far is the commute? How many cafés, gyms, and other amenities are in the neighborhood near the practice? But they also include more intangible qualities, like how much your practice values a great work culture.
The answers to these questions will affect how desirable your practice is, and therefore how easy it will be to hire. According to a recent survey, the older an OD, the less likely they are to accept a job that requires them to work weekends, and the average time ODs were willing to commute was 41.6 minutes.
Marketing, advertising, and recruiting: you get out what you put in
The final section of the tool gauges how much effort you’re putting into recruiting your new OD. This can have even more of an impact than the culture of your practice or what the hours are like: after all, how will candidates know about that if you’re not communicating it to them?
If you’re strapped for time, you can hire a service like CovalentCareers to help you spread the word about your open positions. But even taking the time to post to multiple job boards, craft a compelling job description, and ensure that your website clearly communicates the unique culture of your practice can make a big difference.
So how long will it take you to hire an optometrist?
CovalentCareers has worked with thousands of practices to hire ODs, and we offer options tailored to what you need, whether that means job board listings, full-service recruiting, recruitment marketing, or any combination thereof. In today’s tight labor market, it’s important to start promoting your open position as soon as possible—both to keep costs down and to take advantage of the opportunities to reach both passive and active job seekers. Get started by scheduling a consultation with a CovalentCareers hiring specialist, and let us help you find your newest team member!
Run a More Profitable Practice with Our Handy Calculators
- Optometrist Time to Hire Calculator—See how long it may take your practice to find a new OD.
- Cost of Hiring Calculator—Determine the costs associated with hiring—or not hiring—a new OD.
- Frame Board Profit Calculator—Maximize the profitability of your optical with this handy tool
- Average Optometrist Salary Calculator—See how you or your employees' salaries stack up.