Excerpted from page 42 of the January/February 2022 edition of AOA Focus.
Where some optometric practice owners go awry is in crafting career center listings. Listings that incorporate a complete picture of what a potential hire’s life might be like tend to attract more quality applicants than those that simply lay out the basics of the position.
Bob Kehm, managing director of AOAExcel®, has overseen the AOAExcel Career Center—an online resource where doctors of optometry seeking new opportunities can connect with employers—since 2015. In a Q&A with AOA Focus, Kehm explains the qualities that help career center listings stand out.
1. An eye-catching headline
When it comes to career centers, the old saying rings true: You only have one shot at a first impression. Without a standout headline, your listing runs the risk of blending into the crowd with other listings.
While many employers are tempted to use titles such as “Optometrist” or “FT/PT Optometrist,” including a few of your practice’s most attractive attributes in the title is a great way to pull more views from qualified applicants. Some qualities applicants look for are signing bonuses, competitive salary and benefits packages, great location, four-day weeks, exceptional support staff and advanced technology.
The AOAExcel Career Center is a great place to view examples from other doctors who have eye-catching headlines for their positions.
2. Salary and benefits
Salary and benefits are at the top of the list of considerations for most applicants. It is important to include some mention of what your practice will offer to the person who is hired.
On the AOAExcel Career Center, listings that include the exact salary or salary range tend to generate a higher interest from seekers. Giving applicants an idea of what their salary may be helps them to plan for what their expenses would look like if they were to work in your practice. In the salary field on the AOAExcel Career Center, add a salary range that you expect your new hire will fall within, then add a note in the body of the post that the salary will be determined based on experience.
While applicants are certainly interested in knowing what the salary range for a position may be, there are several other benefits to mention that can help increase interest in your position. Does your practice have flexible scheduling? Four-day weeks? You also might mention what your practice will offer when it comes to retirement savings, vacation, signing bonuses, membership dues, performance incentives, etc.
3. Details about your community
Location is the next most important consideration for applicants, following salary and benefits. Highlight what makes your community special, particularly if you are posting on a nationwide career center. To make an applicant feel comfortable about relocating, they need to be able to envision what their life will be like in and outside of the practice. Is there a great music or arts scene? Is your practice located within a great school district? Some other attributes you might mention are low cost of living, hiking trails or other natural features, accessibility to metropolitan areas, community values, etc.
4. Details about technology and equipment
Many recent graduates and young doctors have had the opportunity to learn with the most advanced equipment and technology in the industry and look forward to putting their skills to use. Consider listing any updated or advanced equipment used within your practice, including technician-friendly, handheld tonometers, OCT angiography equipment, wide field photography equipment, corneal topographers with dry eye modules and contact lens-fitting software, digital computer screen eye charts, ERG/VEP equipment, and new technologies for early detection of AMD.
5. Practice and culture
To help applicants envision themselves as part of your practice, include details about your practice’s daily operations and what the new doctor’s role will be within the practice. Does your practice have specialty areas, or do you have a broad scope of practice? What is the culture within your practice? How involved is the support staff during exams? What types of patients do you see most often? Describing the day-to-day experience within the practice can help an applicant determine if they will be a good fit.
6. Your contact information for questions
Many career centers include fields for employer contact information, but these fields are not always visible to applicants. Include a sentence or two that welcomes questions from your applicants and advises them to contact you directly via your preferred email address or phone number. By inviting questions right in the listing, you may open the door to a conversation with an applicant who needs more information to feel confident in applying to your listing.
The goal of your career center listing should be to open a conversation with potential applicants and to help them envision their life as a doctor working in your practice. It is important to remember that a career center listing is your opportunity to promote your practice to the best of the best when it comes to applicants. Just as applicants should craft their résumés in a way that gives employers an idea of who they are and what experiences they bring to the table, it is just as essential that an employer takes the time to craft a quality listing to help potential applicants decide if the practice is the right fit for them.
Designed to support AOA members
Employers can post a position and gain access to the AOAExcel Career Center’s résumé database. AOA members are eligible to save up to 50% when posting with the AOAExcel Career Center and have access to personalized assistance from the AOAExcel team.
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