Strategies for hiring Ophthalmic Techs in 2019

The first step to recruiting Ophthalmic Techs in 2019 is to recognize that we are operating in an employee or job-seeker market.  There are more job opportunities than there are trained and experience techs.  Therefore, employers must differentiate themselves if they want to compete for the best and the brightest.  Here are three ways to differentiate your organization to hire the best technicians available.  

  1. Culture and Employer “Brand”: The most important step towards positioning your organization for tech recruiting success has to do with the culture that exists at your workplace. Just like consumer products, hiring organizations have a brand as an employer. The culture you cultivate is what defines your practice’s employer brand. Successful organizations very intentionally cultivate a culture that educates and motivates their technicians. Here are some ways to do just that:

    1. Talk to your techs and find out what kinds of benefits and / or organizational adjustments might make their working environment more motivating.

    2. Recognize them for their efforts.

    3. Offer creative benefits that differentiate your practice from others. Perhaps offering gym memberships will not only be a well-received benefit, but it also may help improve overall staff health and, therefore, reduce costs associated with sick time and health insurance.

    4. Know the average compensation level for techs in your region. Make sure you are offering a competitive wage, or perhaps an above average compensation package. The ROI on good technicians is easy to calculate, and is in real dollars.

    5. Offer to pay for additional training, certification, and educational endeavors for your tech staff. This is another area with a real ROI that is easy to calculate.

  2. Good recruitment advertising: If you decide to advertise a job-opening, here are a couple of points to consider.

    1. Put similar effort into your job ads that your organization places into patient ads. Too often, job ads are an after-thought that don’t make a compelling case for your practice. Job ads should be carefully crafted and thought of as a marketing piece. If your organization has focused on work place culture (please refer to the section titled “Culture and Employer brand”), then, not only share that story with potential applicants, but lead with it! Job ads must lure the applicant.

    2. Consider pro-active recruitment advertising. Waiting until your staffing needs are acute is a likely way to put your clinic behind the “8 ball” and lead to less than ideal results. Recruit and build relationship with other experienced techs, even if you don’t have current hiring needs. This way the next time a tech moves away, you’ll be prepared with a list of techs to call immediately.

3. Community outreach to promote the field: Bridging the gap between the number of available trained techs, and the greater demand is going to take the efforts and cooperation of many in our industry. Every town has young, capable people graduating from high schools looking for a career path. Not every person can afford, or wants to attend a four-year college. Many of those individuals are looking for a trade, and probably don’t know about the wonderful and rewarding opportunities that being an Ophthalmic Technician provides. Does your local high school, or community college provide career days where your practice can exhibit to promote the field? Can your practice create a training program, and/or offer summer jobs / internships to young people? These are some great ways to connect with the future of our industry, and find some hidden gems.

There are just a few ways that can help your organization more successfully recruit quality Ophthalmic Techs.  The bottom line is that the demand for technicians exceeds the supply of qualified techs, so your organization needs a strategy to compete for the best and brightest!  

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