A New Way to Hire for Your Eyecare Practice

a new way of hiring employee assessments eyecare hiring practices hiring assessments Jul 18, 2022

Tapping into the strengths of the overlooked candidates is the new way to hire.

Managing angry customers at Kohl’s department store trained Kate for her role as a clinical coordinator at our practice. 

Some practice owners might have overlooked her. 

She was young. And her resume showed zero experience in the medical field. But she did have the strengths and talents I knew the clinical coordinator position demanded. Clinical coordination isn’t just scheduling (and rescheduling) patients, procedures and running the clinical team. It’s more like moving mountains, getting a group of people to do something they often don't want to do. 

There’s a reason for high turnover of entry level positions in your practice. You’re an Optometrist and practice owner, not an HR manager. You're outstanding at one and learning at the other.  Your office coordinator probably isn’t an HR expert either. So, you hire based on a resume.  

You look for someone with experience in the medical field. Or you look for someone who at the very least expresses an enthusiasm for starting a career in the medical profession. 

But resumes are smoke and mirrors—inventions of what a job applicant thinks the practice wants or exaggerations of skill sets. Many of the applicants entering the health care space are young, and don’t truly have the experience they claim to have. 

If they do have experience in an Optometry practice, chances are they  were either unhappy with their environment, or the practice wasn't happy with them. You can be certain there’s likely a reason they are seeking a job at your practice. And the bad news is, the bad habits they developed at the previous practice, they’ll likely bring to your practice. 

The interview process might discover the truth, but many candidates can charm their way through an interview. They give off a good vibe. You feel some chemistry. They say they are eager to learn the job—and will learn the job quickly. That they work well under pressure. That they’re a team player. That they’re a people person. 

But are they really? 

A New Way to Hire 

The odds of you actually discovering who the applicant is in front of you during a traditional interview process are slim to none. 

Time tells the whole story. 

They join the team. You train them. But within months they are overwhelmed by the position’s demands. And the position is open…yet again. 

It took me years to figure out a new way to hire and it all started when I was part of an executive coaching group. Every other executive in the group used assessments to find the best talent for their open positions. Optometry practices aren’t trained how to hire in Optometry school. You wing it! 

Assessments reveal what resumes work hard to hide. You are given tools to assess each applicant’s strengths and weaknesses in the context of what the job requires. Questions are designed to measure stress tolerance, how well they work in a team, how well they will perform with patients, how quickly they learn and adapt. All of that is measurable. Not fantastical. 

It all started to make sense. When you begin viewing positions with strengths in mind, you begin to realize why certain workers are miserable. You asked them to do B when all they know how to do is A. They're not wired to do B. We can beg them to change. But it's not possible. 

When you bring in somebody who's naturally gifted at accomplishing what you want them to accomplish during the workday, they do it naturally. They don't see why it's special. It's a cinch for them. 

My experience has proven that it doesn't matter what an applicant’s background is. If they have the right strengths for the job, they learn their job in a fraction of the time that it often takes people who do have experience. 

My receptionist is an example of this. She has a music degree and is an ultra-marathoner. On paper, her lack of eyecare experience would cause most Doctors to overlook her. But the assessment demonstrated she’s extremely detail oriented, handles stress well, and is spectacularly personable. Also, it goes without saying, you don't get to run a 50 mile race without personal discipline. She's never been late in multiple years at work. She keeps our front office running smoothly and our patients happy.  It's a perfect match…and based entirely on strengths and talents…not resumes.