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Article Date: 9/1/2012

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staffing solutions
staffing solutions

Do You Welcome Job Seekers?

Leaving a poor impression can sour highly qualified, desirable applicants.

Bob Levoy, O.D.

What kind of impression does your office make on job applicants? Has a poor impression ever soured a highly qualified job applicant from wanting to work in your practice?

Consider this problem: The recessionary climate has created a “buyer's market” for employers — leading in many cases, to rude behavior by interviewers.

A new study by The Talent Board, a nonprofit organization founded by human resource consultants, reveals negative comments by job applicants about the hiring and interviewing process far outnumbered positive ones among the nearly 12,000 candidates who were surveyed.

In another study by Beatrice Kalisch, Ph.D. a professor at the University of Michigan's School of Nursing, 10 R.N.s were sent as “undercover” nurse-job applicants to 122 U.S. acute-care facilities that had high-nurse vacancy rates. Among the findings: Just 43% of respondents said the interviewer seemed to be listening. Only 37% said the interviewer made eye contact with them, and just 36% said the interviewer was helpful.

Common complaints

A common complaint from job applicants I've interviewed concerned interviewers who were 30 or more minutes late for their interviews. The inefficient operation of the office, lack of professionalism and, worst of all, the lack of an apology for the delay was for many, a major turnoff.

One disillusioned job applicant told me: “The office manager conducting my interview was rude and unprofessional. She called me by the wrong name. Her tone was harsh, and she made several inappropriate comments after I answered questions. I have more than 14 years experience in this field and deserve more respect than I was given. I would never work at this practice.”

Staffing/consulting firm Robert Half International identifies five types of bad interviewers:

1. The “first timers” are likely nervous and highly scripted. Going off topic is likely to cause them anxiety.
2. The “silent type” gives minimal response and little interaction, so it can be difficult to elicit any information about the job or how the interview is going.
3. The “never-ending interviewer” can't seem to stop talking, even about irrelevant subjects.
4. The “intimidator” puts the applicant on the defensive, regardless of how good the response to a question might have been.
5. The “power-trip interviewer” conveys to applicants that they should consider themselves fortunate for even being considered for the job.

Impact on your reputation

Remember: Job applicants have a whole network of people attached to them: family friends, coworkers — all of whom are likely to hear the story of how they were treated (or mistreated) on interviews. The damage to a doctor's reputation is incalculable.

Action steps: Avoid the off-putting behaviors of poor interviewers. Make sure job applicants are treated with the same courtesy, respect and friendliness with which you want patients treated.

As the labor market improves, top candidates will end up with multiple job offers, and you want to make sure that your practice is at the top of their list. OM

BDR. LEVOY IS THE AUTHOR OF SEVEN BOOKS, INCLUDING 201 SECRETS OF A HIGH PERFORMANCE OPTOMETRIC PRACTICE (AVAILABLE AT WWW.AMAZON.COM) AND 222 SECRETS OF A HIRING, MANAGING AND RETAINING GREAT EMPLOYEES IN HEALTHCARE PRACTICES. E-MAIL BLEVOY@VERI IZON.NET, OR TO COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE, E-MAIL OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.


Optometric Management, Volume: 47 , Issue: September 2012, page(s): 63

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