How To Hire New Optical Staff

We have all been there, shorthanded, and in need of a new team member or two. While this always seems like a daunting task for a small business owner it doesn’t have to be.

With a little preparation and a plan, your next hiring experience could be a good one.

1. Take Time To Evaluate The Position You Are Needing To Fill

Have a clear idea of what skill set you are looking for for the specific position. Do not go into this process with the mindset of just filling a seat. You are looking to fill a specific need, not just another butt in a chair.

Know what it will take to do the job well and hire according to that skill set. Do not settle.

2. Create Your Recruiting Strategy Create your recruiting strategy

You now know what type of person you need, so how are you going to get the resumes to your inbox? There are tons of options out there available for you to use.

Utilize your current staff to tap into their networks. Offer a bonus if their referral gets hired and makes it through the probation period.

Post your job opening online.

There are numerous options for you to choose from. Here are a few that stand out:

  • Monster Monster allows job seekers the ability to search by location, skillset, keywords, and job title. They have added new features to make classifieds stand out, such as video. Pricing varies on company size and hiring needs.
  • ZipRecruiter – Creating a hiring account is free. Their innovative matching tools help you find the right talent for your job posting. The one cool part is that all communications are managed right on the ZipRecruiter platform
  • Careerbuilder – This one has been around for over 20 years and provides resources for employees and employers. It offers a low posting price that is based upon the number of positions, you are hiring for. They claim to have over 80 million job seekers worldwide.
  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn has over 690 million users and multiple channels that can be used for recruiting. Basic job postings are free but they do charge for more comprehensive recruiting tools.
  • Facebook – Facebook is newer to the job market scene, but seems to be building fast. Job openings can be posted in their new Jobs bookmark on your company’s page. After posting a job, you will be able to track and review applications, contact applicants, and schedule interviews through Messenger.

Avoid unregulated websites like Craigslist as you may only receive spam emails and calls instead of quality job seekers.

3. Write Out The Job Description Write out the job description

Take some time to get with your team for input on this. They're often more aware of what is required to successfully fill the position. This buy-in will go a long way in team-building with the new hire and your current staff.

Your listing should match exactly what you need. Be very specific to what the role looks like and to the type of person you need. Being upfront with the challenges the candidate will face will build trust and help avoid turnover. 

List the salary – this will help weed out the over and under-qualified applicants. 

4. Post It And Start Going Through Applicants

You are now at the point of looking through dozens of applications and resumes. You are looking for a candidate for the position. Do not settle for the best candidate out of your applications.

If you haven’t found the right candidates to bring to the interview, take time to revisit the posted job description. Make some changes and repost. 

You probably are needing someone immediately, but investing a little time upfront can save you a bunch of time down the road if you hire the wrong person. Trust me I have been there too many times.

5. Set Up Some Interviews Set up some interviews

Give your candidates enough notice to make sure you get the best out of them. A good candidate will want some time to prepare and do some homework before an interview.

Never interview alone. Sometimes we see what we want to see and having a second or even third opinion is always helpful. Not too long ago one of my managers and I interviewed a prospect for a position and we did not agree. I was a solid yes and she had some reservations.

We took some time to discuss her concerns and in the end made the decision together to offer the prospect the position. The new hire has done a fantastic job and has a bright future with us. We could have missed a great opportunity if only one of us had interviewed. 

Your goal out of the first interview is to ask the questions and hopefully form a bond with the candidate. Your second round of interviews should be with those you formed a bond with. 

If the position you are hiring for requires a good amount of time on the phone, take a few minutes and do a short phone interview with the prospects. How do they sound on the phone? What kind of picture do they paint with their voice and mannerisms? 

6. Take Time To Follow Up With All

Make a formal job offer to the prospect you want to hire, but do not forget about the others. They need to hear back from you with a thank you and to know that you decided to hire someone else.

This is not just common courtesy but could pay dividends down the road should your new hire not work out. Burning bridges is never a good idea. The optical industry is rather small and well connected so having a good reputation is very important.

7. Extend The Offer Extend the offer

Once you complete the interview process, consult with your team and make a decision. If you have the right person for the job, don’t delay, go get them! Give them an offer that they can’t refuse. The good ones come with a price and are worth it. 

You will need to give them some time to think the offer over and to talk with family. 

If, for some reason, they don’t accept the offer and you don't have a good runner up: shampoo it. Lather, rinse, repeat until you find the perfect candidate for the job.

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