Strategic vision

The eye care industry, a nexus of health, style, and innovation, is at a critical juncture. Despite being a field ripe with opportunities, we are faced with a recruitment crisis. This is our clarion call to action, our moment to harness the latent potential within and address the pressing challenge of attracting and retaining a future-focused workforce.

Recruitment in Crisis: An Opportunity Cloaked in Urgency

It’s an unsettling paradox that such an appealing industry is grappling with talent acquisition. The crux of the issue lies in our short-term tactics and the perennial race against the clock, fulfilling the needs of today while the foresight for tomorrow remains blurred.

Why is this sector a beacon for aspirants? It offers a unique combination of compassionate healthcare services and the sleek sophistication of fashion, all underpinned by technological advancement. Yet, our outreach remains narrow, appealing only to those actively seeking employment rather than inspiring a broader, more diverse audience to join our ranks.

Our industry has been content with ‘Best Practices’, comfortably treading water in familiar territory. We’ve focused on those with resumes at the ready, failing to cast our net wider to those not yet contemplating the rich and varied careers in eye care.

How do we break free from the current paradigm that holds us back? By shifting our perspective from short-term, reactionary methods to controlled, long-term planning. Recruitment must be reimagined—not as a series of transactions but as a strategic endeavor.

Addressing the challenge of filling specialized roles like optometrists and opticians requires a multifaceted approach, particularly considering that these professions demand extensive education and training. While the power to expand educational opportunities often lies with educational governance structures, there’s a time-proven strategy within our reach: mentorship. This approach, far from being novel, has long been a cornerstone in the optical industry. Through mentorship, seasoned professionals can guide, inspire, and motivate those embarking on or considering these demanding career paths. It’s an invaluable tool for career development, ensuring a continuous influx of well-prepared professionals ready to uphold and advance the standards of eye care. By strengthening mentorship initiatives, we not only support individual career growth but also contribute significantly to addressing our industry’s long-term staffing needs. 

Imagine the transformation if, instead of competing for a finite pool of candidates, we joined forces to build the workforce of tomorrow. By leveraging advanced processes such as human analytics and behavioral science, we can align personalities with roles that not only fit but flourish within our industry.  

Collaborative Innovation: A Path Forward

What if our collective effort could create a talent incubator, nurturing the next generation of associates and eye care professionals? Examples abound in other industries where collaboration has led to robust talent pipelines and shared success.

We’ve witnessed industries pivot and thrive by adopting such collaborative strategies. The food manufacturing sector, for example, has united to spectacular results, with applications and retention rates soaring. We don’t have the luxury to be passive observers; action is imperative.

It’s time for the torchbearers of industry: associations, buying groups, professional circles, and leading companies to ignite this change. We need visionaries who can transcend traditional boundaries and initiate a movement toward strategic recruitment.

The Future is Clear—Let’s Shape It Together

Who will answer the call to reshape our industry’s future? It begins with leadership willing to invest in tomorrow, today. Together, we can cultivate an environment that not only draws talent but also empowers, retains, and celebrates it.

The future of eye care must be envisioned with clarity and courage. We have a responsibility to act decisively, crafting a legacy of innovation in recruitment that will sustain and invigorate our industry for decades to come.

TIM BRENNAN

is Chief Visionary Officer with Fit First Technologies Inc, the creators of Eyeployment, TalentSorter and Jobtimize.


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Do Resumes Help?

If you’re responsible for talent acquisition, you’ve likely muttered a few curse words under your breath a time or two. We’ve all been there – struggling through resumes looking for that shiny diamond. How often have you been disappointed by someone who had all the right credentials on paper, but fell flat on the job?

After all, resumes are an exercise in creative writing – crafted, re-drafted, updated by friends, built from templates, word-smithed and maybe even ‘embellished’ just a tad. Resumes are over-processed and stretched into an 8.5”x11” shiny but distorted image of the candidate.

Statistics show that only 1 in 5 hires is considered successful by both employer and employee. That’s an 80% failure rate – completely unacceptable in any aspect of business, including HR.

If you are asking yourself how this is possible, it’s because resumes should not be the primary driver for hiring decisions. The polished 8.5”x11” may outline education and experience (both of which are important), but completely miss the mark on shining a light on what is essential to success in a job.

Skeptical? The very smart people at Harvard Business Review found that prior experience doesn’t predict a new hire’s success, and found no significant correlation between the two. Looking back at what someone has done, doesn’t predict the future.

“Is it realistic to think that HR departments and hiring managers will stop screening for experience?
You can understand why so many organizations do it: Experience is easy to assess. Have you worked in sales for three years? Have you managed people before? It’s either a yes or a no. Past performance and existing knowledge and skills [including qualifications and licenses] are more difficult to figure out, especially if all you have is an application or a résumé. But today, when everyone is complaining about the skills shortage and the war for talent, companies can’t afford to knock out candidates who would do really well but don’t have the experience that someone has chosen to put in the job description. You want to expand the pool of people you’re considering.” –
Harvard Business Review

The talent acquisition space is very tough these days. You need every advantage you can get to attract and deliver quality applicants to fill all your vacant positions. Understanding if a person will fit with the company, role, manager, and culture is far more predictive of success, but those soft skills don’t shine through on a résumé.

It’s no surprise that those responsible for hiring are increasingly relying on technology. Fit First® uses patented psychometric technologies and predictive human analytics to uncover those hidden skills, unlock potential and expand the pools of talent available to you.

Let us help you measure what matters and find your next great hire.

TIM BRENNAN

is Chief Visionary Officer with Fit First Technologies Inc, the creators of Eyeployment, TalentSorter and Jobtimize.


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It is more important than ever to win the war for talent

The press lately is flooded with coverage of the talent shortage and hiring crisis, and it’s an ugly picture for any organization that runs on people. Until the robots rise up and free us all up to do higher value work, we still need a workforce to keep the wheels turning (literally).

All executives are abundantly aware of this crisis, but few truly know what to do about it.

Traditional recruitment approaches are dead. Truth is, they have been dead (ineffective, damaging, costly) for a long time, it’s just in our face more than ever before. Attracting qualified applicants requires a more strategic approach. You can weather the storm and win the war for talent – you just need to act differently than your competition.

The secret to hiring (and retaining) great employees is not what most people think it is.

Good hiring does not start with screening pools of resumes. Period.

If you (or worse, an AI in your Applicant Tracking System) are relying on the resume as the ‘admission ticket’ to decide who you’ll look at and who you’ll ignore, you’re missing out. Credentials, education, and experience may be non-negotiable qualifiers for a small handful of your open positions, but they are not reliable predictors of how an employee will perform for you or how long they will stay. The degree to which an employee is engaged in their job determines how long they will stay, how productive they will be, how happy your customers will be, and how much money they will make you.

So, how do you go about finding people who are going to be engageable? Well, you can’t mandate it or even ask for it. Engagement itself is the outcome of fit, and the best predictor of how engaged a person will be is fit across four different levels.

Fit between employee and their direct manager
This is self-evident and well documented, but most organizations pay little or no attention to getting it right, opting instead to throw people together and hope they jive.

Fit in their role
How much of an employees’ time will be spent drawing from their strengths, performing tasks that interest them and for which they have a natural affinity?

Fit with their coworkers, internal or external customers, and others
Will the employee enjoy interactions with key people, or will they find them stressful?

Fit with the company’s culture, values, and mission
Does the employee feel they are contributing to something worthwhile, and that they are in a place that’s right for them?

Here’s the real secret – if you don’t place a premium on (and invest resources in) getting the fit right, and if managers aren’t focused on using the tools at their disposal to build and nurture productive relationships with and between each of their people, you’ll never achieve and sustain the levels of engagement that are required to achieve your turnover, productivity, satisfaction, and financial targets.

Hire right, right from the start.

This post is sponsored by EyePloyment.com and Fit First Technologies

Learn more.

TIM BRENNAN

is Chief Visionary Officer with Fit First Technologies Inc, the creators of Eyeployment, TalentSorter and Jobtimize.


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Gone are the days when employers could decree when and how employees work. Employees control the narrative now. They demand more, they have higher expectations and when their needs aren’t met, they don’t roll over complacently. They change things. How does this dynamic play out in your practice?  

Changes in today’s workforce world are all employee-driven. While plenty of companies are jumping on board and meeting their employees in the arena as part of their team some are choosing to be on the opposing team.

This is not a fight that you want to lose, it will be violent and catastrophic.

Quiet Quitting and Burnout
If you are on any social platform, you’ve probably seen “Quiet Quitting” trending recently.

Suddenly, it seems everyone is talking about it. Quiet quitting isn’t about employees leaving their jobs; it’s about them setting boundaries to prevent burnout or reclaim their lives. This is often done as a response to being expected to work longer hours and take on more work.

Employees are tired. They are fighting back against employers who expect them to do more. Some employers may think this is unfair pressure or underhanded tactics as they face a hiring crisis of epic proportions at a time they are short on staff.

However, loading your current employees up with more work may make your situation worse. You may cause even more employees to leave while gaining a reputation for overworking your staff.

Work-Life Balance, or Life-Work Balance?
Instead of fighting your employees tooth and nail, consider what they are asking for, and how providing them with the balance and the boundaries they crave could boost productivity and be beneficial to your organization.

You may be used to having employees who dedicate themselves to long hours and spend time socially with colleagues outside work hours but that has all changed. And in hindsight, was their work truly better?

The pandemic shifted at a foundational level how people view work as part of their lives, and it isn’t about work-life balance anymore, where ‘work’ takes pride of place. Instead, people are turning to life-work balance, re-imagining and re-engineering how work fits around their lives rather than their lives fitting around their work.

With the state of the labour market right now, with demand far outstripping supply, employees have the power to do this. Across North America right now, there are more than 12 million jobs that need to be filled. It’s a seller’s market and if an employee feels like their boundaries are not respected, they will simply choose to take their talents elsewhere.

Like all of us, they want to spend time with family and friends, improve their physical and mental health, and lead balanced lives where they can very happily work hard in the allotted time, and then move on to other things, guilt-free.

If they cannot do that while working at your company, they’ll be out the door faster than you can say “but…”.

Working With Employees
Those of us who are of a certain age may still hear our fathers’ voice ringing in our ears: “you should damn well be happy to have a job. You don’t have to love it. Suck it up and get on with it”.

That was a common paradigm a generation ago. One that, for better or worse, has gone the way of the dinosaur.

It’s time for a new paradigm to emerge, one where the power is no longer master-servant, but more balanced. When someone feels an affinity with their role because it fits them, where they feel respected and where they can contribute satisfyingly, they will naturally be much happier, more engaged, and more productive during working hours. This results in higher quality work, a better work environment, and overall better engagement among employees.

Engaged employees with set boundaries don’t need to work extra overtime hours to get things done because they can complete their work during working hours.  

By respecting boundaries and allowing your team members to manage life-work balance, you create the kind of environment more people want to work in. Your associates feel respected and satisfied, their quality of work reflects this, and you get the reputation of a great employer. Suddenly something that started as a scary trend doesn’t seem so bad.

This post is sponsored by EyePloyment.com and Fit First Technologies

Learn more.

TIM BRENNAN

is Chief Visionary Officer with Fit First Technologies Inc, the creators of Eyeployment, TalentSorter and Jobtimize.


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Fact or Fiction?
Not everyone needs to be a top performer. We need some ‘steady Eddies’ or we’ll spend all our time trying to satisfy everyone’s career expectations.

Don’t confuse performance with pressure to offer promotion opportunities.

Many people who are at the absolute top of their class want nothing more than to be left alone to do what they do best, day in and day out. Top performers are top performers because they love what they do, and they do it exceptionally well.

All too often we convince ourselves that it’s okay to have a normal performance curve where 70% of the workforce is just ‘average’. We too easily accept the notion that average is okay and doesn’t hurt our practice.

Wrong.
The truth is average is awful.  Average in most organizations represents an opportunity cost of 23% or more of payroll – money that gets paid out with zero return.

In most organizations, and eye care practices are likely no different, 23% of payroll represents a substantial sum of money that if used elsewhere in the business could materially improve the practice.

The most valuable competitive advantage for any business is to staff with star employees who perform better and stay longer.

That’s the Fit First philosophy.

Fit First Philosophy starts with this premise. Hire for Fit, and then train as needed.
Save yourself time and money.

This post is sponsored by EyePloyment.com and Fit First Technologies

Learn more.

TIM BRENNAN

is Chief Visionary Officer with Fit First Technologies Inc, the creators of Eyeployment, TalentSorter and Jobtimize.


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Fact or Fiction? Investing in employee satisfaction makes good business sense.
Sounds reasonable, right?

Many organizations believe that satisfied employees are profitable employees, so they invest heavily in things they think will show appreciation – elaborate cafeterias, games rooms, group outings, on-site concierge services, and other generous perks. That’s pretty sweet, for the employees.

These companies will spend exceptional amounts of money continuously surveying “employee satisfaction” and then ponder over the results to discover new ways to enhance it.

But, Where’s the Proof?
Surprise: The truth is, there is no documented relationship between employee satisfaction and business performance. A happy workforce is not necessarily a more productive one.

The factor that is a predictor of performance and productivity, and it is in fact the most reliable predictor, is something called engagement.

Engagement is all about how focused and committed your people are to hitting and exceeding your shared objectives.  e.g. How much sweat, effort, and creativity they are willing to put in of their own free will.

The best part is that engagement doesn’t cost you, the practice owner, much. But you must set the stage for it by paying attention to the leading indicators of fit.

The formula is simple in theory.  Find employees that fit the job, fit the practice values and fit and other members of the team, and, you will have a committed and engaged staff that is more productive and profitable for your practice.

The most valuable competitive advantage for any business is to staff with star employees who perform better and stay longer.

That’s the Fit First philosophy.

Fit First Philosophy starts with this premise. Hire for Fit, and then train as needed.
Save yourself time and money.
This post is sponsored by EyePloyment.com and Fit First Technologies

Learn more.

TIM BRENNAN

is Chief Visionary Officer with Fit First Technologies Inc, the creators of Eyeployment, TalentSorter and Jobtimize.


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Fact or Fiction? Low turnover is a good sign we’re doing things well. Why rock the boat?

Low turnover can seem like an employer’s dream, but is it hurting your business in the long run?

The important question here is – how many people are we keeping?
The far more valuable question is – what is the quality of the people we are keeping?

All too often, organizations, including professional practices, find themselves in a rut where people aren’t leaving because they are comfortable. And they are comfortable because their job is easy, standards are lax, and mediocre performance is tolerated.

Comfortable employees can choke a business.

If you raise your standards, you will scare off those who crave comfort and attract better performers who share those same higher standards.

The Wrong Kind of Turnover
If you maintain the status-quo, you may well have turnover, but not of the right kind. Those leaving may well be the ones that thrive on a challenge and take price in being on a high performing team.

The most valuable competitive advantage for any business is to staff with star employees who perform better and stay longer.

That’s the Fit First philosophy.

Fit First Philosophy starts with this premise. Hire for Fit, and then train as needed.
Save yourself time and money.
This post is sponsored by EyePloyment.com and Fit First Technologies

Learn more.

TIM BRENNAN

is Chief Visionary Officer with Fit First Technologies Inc, the creators of Eyeployment, TalentSorter and Jobtimize.


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Fact or Fiction?
The best way to gain an advantage over my competition if to hire away their top performer.
Their loss = my gain (or so the thinking goes!).

Bad idea.

True, high performers share a set of characteristics and core attitude, but much of their performance is tied up in other factors that are external to them.

The factors can be summarized into four primary categories:

  • Fit with the manager/practice owner
  • Fit with the critical aspects of the role
  • Fit with the people around them, and
  • Fit with the practice culture and systems.

Most often, poaching talent results in three losers – you, your competitor, and the fallen star.

The fact that they are a consistently top performer in another practice,  even in a similar role, is not a guarantee they will achieve the same results in your company.

A far more effective strategy is to identify people who have the capacity (and Skills) to do well in the reality you present.

When you find candidates who are at their best in the management climate you offer, who are drawing from their natural strengths and talents in the role you offer, who engage easily and productively with the rest of the team and your customers, and who are proud to contribute to the organization … you have a winning combination.

And it might not be the person you think it is.

The most valuable competitive advantage for any business is to staff with star employees who perform better and stay longer.

That’s the Fit First philosophy.

FICTION: More often than not, hiring away the competitor’s star performer results in a three-way loss: For you, the competitor and the individual.  It will also not ingratiate you in your professional community, and eventually you may need each other.

Fit First Philosophy starts with this premise. Hire for Fit, and then train as needed.
Save yourself time and money.
This post is sponsored by EyePloyment.com and Fit First Technologies

Learn more.

TIM BRENNAN

is Chief Visionary Officer with Fit First Technologies Inc, the creators of Eyeployment, TalentSorter and Jobtimize.


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Fact or Fiction?  – There’s no point in investing time in Millennials and Gen Z employees. They are too disruptive, demanding and won’t stay for more than a year anyway.

Sure, the workforce has changed over the last 30 years, but the answer is not to find more people your age to staff your business.

The challenge is to help managers figure out how to create a workforce that harnesses the energies and talents of employees, including younger ones, and converts those energies into profits.

Contrary to popular belief, the young people entering the workforce are generally not flighty and do not want to skip from job to job every year or two.

In fact, research continues to show that, just like the rest of us, the younger workforce wants nothing better than to find an employer where they can do meaningful work, see the value of their contribution, learn, and grow.

That said – the younger generations do have less tolerance for bullshit and are not likely to put down roots with an organization that treats them as less valued employees because of their age.

There’s no point in investing time in Millennials and Gen Z employees – FICTION

The most valuable competitive advantage for any business is to staff with star employees who perform better and stay longer. Even the young ones!

Fit First Philosophy starts with this premise. Hire for Fit, and then train as needed.  Save yourself time and money.
This post is sponsored by EyePloyment.com and Fit First Technologies

Learn more.

TIM BRENNAN

is Chief Visionary Officer with Fit First Technologies Inc, the creators of Eyeployment, TalentSorter and Jobtimize.


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Being an optometrist isn’t easy as there are so many things to look after, primarily when you are subleasing and don’t have control of the optical staff. Subleasing has plenty of benefits to offer, including having trained staff who work under your wing and assist you in your daily operations via your contract.

So, what happens when your staff makes errors and makes it difficult for you to run your practice? Such errors include not collecting payments on time from patients.

This isn’t beneficial for your practice and can result in significant losses. So, what should an optometrist do in such a situation? Let’s find out:

Collect Payment Before Treatment
This practice may not be allowed in some jurisdications, which is why it’s crucial to check before implementing . When you collect payments from your patients first, it can help you have clarity whether the patient has paid or not.

If your optical staff fails to collect payment from the patients after the treatment, you’ll be looking at a loss. You would have provided quality treatment to the patient and would note  even get paid for it. See if you can collect payment first.

Hire Your Staff
When you sublease space to run your practice, you will likely have to work with the existing staff. However, it can become problematic once the optical staff makes enormous mistakes. I

In such a situation, you should hire your staff. You can interview yourself to see their potential. When you have the right people for the job working under you, you’ll experience fewer errors and more ease.  Interview potential candidates thoroughly before appointing them, and have a much smoother experience at work.

Set Up Online Payment
If your staff forgets to collect payment from the patients, one thing you can do is ask them to call those patients, apologize for the oversight,  and ask for the payment.

Since your staff made the mistake of collecting payment, they should be the ones who make the call. Also, another suitable way to collect payment would be to set up an online payment option where patients can pay before getting the treatment. This way, you’ll receive the amounts, and your staff wouldn’t have to go after the patients regarding payments.

The Paper Trail
There should be paperwork for everything, including collecting payments from patients. You should have access to the invoices stating that the patient has paid a certain amount of money to receive a particular treatment.

Once you have all the documents, you’ll have proof that the patient has paid, and your staff didn’t forget to ask for the required money. Also, if there’s an invoice missing, you’ll immediately know that your employees failed to fetch the payment.

Do it Yourself?
This isn’t your job as an OD, but if your staff is not on top of things, you’ll have to step in. If you want to ensure your patients pay you the money you’re entitled to receive, you should collect it yourself at the end of the treatment. This way, you won’t have to run after optical staff to do so, and you’ll have your dues as well.

MARIA SAMPALIS

is the founder of Corporate Optometry, a peer-to-peer web resource for ODs interested to learn more about opportunities in corporate optometry. Canadian ODs and optometry students can visit www.corporateoptometry.com to learn more.


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