Finding and keeping the right people for your optometry practice makes all the difference in the success of your business. When there are more open opportunities than skilled professionals to fill them – as we are experiencing now in today’s candidate-driven market – it becomes critical for practices to step up their recruiting game if they want to win the “war for talent.” They must present themselves as an employer of choice with exceptional optometry workplace benefits.
Optometry is undoubtedly a growing market, and the competition for hiring in optometry will increase right along with it. The BLS predicts 18% growth for optometrist jobs and 15% growth for optician jobs between 2016 and 2026. Just under 6K new optometry jobs were added to iHireOptometry in December 2018 alone, and we expect that to increase in 2019 with the traditional hiring surge that occurs at the beginning of each year.
So how can a practice that’s hiring optometry professionals attract, recruit, and retain qualified employees for their team when the competition is so fierce? What workplace benefits really matter to optometry job seekers?
We went right to the source to find out.
iHireOptometry sent an anonymous survey to optometry professionals, including optometrists, ophthalmologists, opticians, and optometric technicians, posing the following question:
As an optometry professional, what workplace benefit matters most to you?
Respondents could select one item from the following list of optometry workplace benefits, with an “Other” option and text box for inserting their own custom response:
The responses showed some clear frontrunners. Let’s break down the top three desired optometry workplace benefits.
26.5% of the optometry professionals who took our survey chose health/medical insurance as the most important workplace benefit. The takeaway for employers currently hiring in optometry? Ensure your health/medical coverage is rich and comprehensive, as it may be the first thing potential new hires consider before joining your team.
It should come as no surprise that money plays a big role in an optometry job seeker’s decision to join a new practice. And in this tight labor market, you can’t afford not to offer competitive wages. When hiring optometry professionals, do your research and be prepared to offer them what they’re worth.
Work-life balance – especially among millennials – is a must for many professionals today, and flexible working arrangements are a major component of achieving that balance. Find a way to offer flex hours and schedules that works for your practice. This will not only help you hire new team members but also improve the satisfaction of your existing employees.
What about “other”?
10.8% of our survey takers chose “other.” While several people typed in some form of “all of the above,” a few additional workplace benefits were mentioned:
In addition to providing other benefit ideas to consider, these responses should also inspire you to perform a close examination of your current work environment and culture. A great company culture isn’t traditionally listed as a workplace benefit per se, but it still plays a big part in hiring the type of talent you want for your practice.
Just like you put a concerted effort toward attracting new patients and retaining your existing ones, the same amount of research and planning should be done for hiring and keeping optometry employees. The results of our survey give some fresh insight into what your optometry workplace benefits package should look like, which specific perks should be emphasized in your job ads, and potential additions or improvements you can make to recruit successfully.