Ultimately, smart staffing results in higher profits through stellar customer service, better retention, and fewer expensive mistakes. On the flip side, a staff that is not right can cause a practice to lose money every day. If the employees aren’t properly focused on merchandising the right product or delivering a customer service-oriented model, the net income of the practice and its owner will undoubtedly be affected.
Still, savvy staffing is no easy task. Where can eyecare professionals find quality employees? And how do they keep them engaged and inspired to stay? There are several key points to consider as you look to build a winning culture.
1. Savvy Hiring
The best time to look for a new employee is when you don’t need one. Preparation is essential; otherwise you are at the mercy of the marketplace in the moment. As a result, you may not necessarily bring in the best people for your practice. Many ECPs keep a lookout for potential candidates at trade shows, professional meetings, and state conventions. Talented, service-orientated employees outside the optical industry are also excellent candidates. Ensure you cast a wide net to increase your chances of success, but remember, your time is valuable. Review the resumes you receive beforehand to weed out unqualified candidates and save yourself time during the interviewing process.
2. Focus on Attitude
It’s best to look at three areas when hiring, including: 1. Attitude, Culture, and Chemistry; 2. Skills, Abilities, and Talent; and 3. Ability of the Individual to Learn and Grow. The area that is most important for hiring however, is Attitude, Culture, and Chemistry. Today, in many organizations, people are hired for their experience and skillset but are eventually terminated because of personality and attitude. To increase your chances of staff retention, look for a positive attitude and similar values that fit in with your company culture.
3. Collaborative Recruitment
Sometimes the best source of quality talent is in the networks of your existing staff. Staff are unlikely to recommend a candidate they don’t trust or dislike working with. This can help your practice find a team member that fits within your existing culture and helps your team feel a part of the hiring process. Additionally, think about incorporating your team into the hiring process. You’re not the only one who will be working with the new employee and your current staff may have a unique perspective that can help you better identify quality candidates.
4. Optimize Your Interviews
In-person interviews are the best method for finding the right fit for your practice. This way, you can more easily connect with candidates and better determine how they might work with your team compared to your typical phone interview. Although, you should make the most of your interview time. Most candidates are prepared for commonplace interview questions. Get creative and ask unique questions that help you better understand how your candidate thinks and how they might perform on your team. This doesn’t mean you need to avoid standard questions, but instead choose to build upon what’s already in place to gain deeper insight into your applicants.
5. Keep Expectations High
Your practice is important and deserves the highest quality candidates. Secure the best by contacting the references of your applicants and conducting a background check before extending an offer. If warranted, take the extra step by requiring your applicants to provide a drug test. Most importantly, don’t settle! Deciding to hire low quality assistance can led to low quality work. Save yourself the future headache and make sure you’re confident in your hiring decision, even if that means putting more time than expected into the hiring process.
6. Don’t Be Afraid of a Trial Run
Even after following our tips, you might be unsure who the right candidate for your practice is and that’s okay. Conduct a trial run to truly understand how your top applicants will perform on the job. This will help you understand if they have the skills to adapt to your environment and work well with your team. This also gives the candidate a chance to decide if they like the job you’re offering. If they enjoy the work, they’re more likely to perform their best if you do choose to hire them. During the trial period, provide your best support to give your applicant every chance to succeed, ensuring they have the opportunity to see the value of the position and your practice.
7. Intelligent Retention
Treat your employees as you would your best customers so that they don’t want to leave. To do that successfully, keep the stress level low, treat people fairly, give them good management, and make sure they succeed. If you can, offer your employees additional training and education to assist in their growth and development.
These tips will help you build a stronger staff and a solid bottom line. We hope you find it to be a useful resource for your business. Visit cvoptical.com to learn more about ClearVision’s own winning culture.