I’ve heard that complaint from many practice owners and managers. In some cases, the issue is that the applicants lack the experience and training required for the position. In other cases, the people that are hired do not work out. While management certainly plays a role in the success or failure of an employee post-hire, this article will focus on getting more professional and polished applicants.
When I hear from offices that are struggling to find good job candidates, I’ll usually ask to see their job ad. The majority of the job ads I review are written primarily, and sometimes exclusively, for the benefit of the employer. In other words, here are all the requirements and qualifications I need from you to be able to work for me! That approach works fine in a job market where there is a surplus of highly qualified candidates, but back to the original complaint – it’s hard to find good people!
My suggestion is typically to make the job ad more "attractive" for the job seeker. Let's consider that not everyone reading your job ad is unemployed. In fact, many people perusing job ads are currently employed, but the only reason to be scrolling through job ads is because they are dissatisfied with some aspect(s) of their current job. If your job ad looks like every other (boring) job ad and doesn’t sound any better than their current position, there’s no reason to apply. Let’s also consider that high caliber applicants are not just looking for a job, they are looking for an opportunity! These are the people you want to attract. Don't just advertise a job, sell it! Below are some tips for making your job ad sound more attractive:
Include more relevant information
I don't mean relevant to you, I mean relevant to the job seeker. When you are creating your ad, ask yourself, "Is this important to the average employee?" What year your practice opened and where you graduated optometry school might be interesting to you, but probably not of high importance to a job seeker. Some things to consider are compensation, benefits, family friendly hours (if applies), professional development opportunities, state of the art facility and equipment, friendly staff and great office culture. Sounds like a great place to work, right?
About half the job ads I review mention nothing of pay. You don't have to state a specific figure, but not mentioning pay at all (i.e. "competitive" or "excellent" pay) sends the message that pay must not be very good – otherwise, you would have mentioned it. According to CareerBuilder, failure to mention pay is one of the top reasons for someone not responding to a job ad.
Include the practice name and website in the ad
I understand that sometimes employers prefer to keep a job ad anonymous, but people are less likely to apply to anonymous job ads. Many people will want to know where they are applying for a job and some will even look you up online. That’s a good thing! Include a link to your website where the person can get more info about your practice and also see pics of your friendly, smiling staff. Not only will your practice sound like a great place to work, it will also look like a great place to work!
In short, if you want to attract more high caliber applicants, make your job offer sound like a better opportunity than the alternatives. In many cases, the alternative might be their current job.
Dr. Vargo serves as Optometric Practice Management Consultant for IDOC. A published author and speaker with more than 15 years clinical experience, he is now a full-time consultant advising ODs in all areas of practice management and optometric office operations. For questions or comments about this article, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.