Founder's Reflections on 10 years of Local Eye Site
I started building the first version of Local Eye Site in late 2007. I was in Ophthalmic medical sales at the time, and I could see first hand the difficulty Ophthalmic/Optometric practices were having hiring eye care professionals. As a person with a lot of relationships in eye care, I was often asked by administrators or doctors for help finding a Technician, Optician, Optometrist, or other ECPs for their practice. I knew that if they were coming to me for help, that must mean the traditional recruiting solutions weren’t getting the job done. So, I decided to make Local Eye Site a full time endeavor on April 11th, 2008.
In creating the business model for Local Eye Site, I certainly aimed for something that would be profitable, but I also desired to create something that would benefit our employees, eye care professionals, and the eye care industry more broadly. I wanted to help people find meaningful work, but I also wanted to positively impact the medical care itself through support for education, scholarships, and the trade groups and associations that were already serving our industry. Rather than sitting back and allowing huge, generic job boards with no ties to our industry take millions of dollars in revenue from eye care practices and organizations without giving back, my goal was to provide an effective online recruiting option that would also benefit the eye care industry as a whole.
To celebrate 10 years, here are 10 ways I believe we’ve made a positive difference over the last decade:
- Providing a platform for almost 200,000 professionals to find jobs. Meaningful work is one of the most important things in a person’s life. We’re thrilled we’ve been a part of helping people find good jobs.
- I believe the work we do has an actual impact on the healthcare that is provided in the Ophthalmic and Optometric clinics across the country. When we match up experienced ECPs with busy clinics, the patients of the clinic benefit as well.
- We formed formal partnerships with associations like the Opticians Associations of America (OAA) and the Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology (ATPO), as just two examples. These partnerships provide an online recruiting tool for association members, but we also share revenue with the associations. The revenue we share ultimately supports education, and advancement of careers for member ECPs.
- We’ve used a portion of our revenue to provide educational scholarships for Technicians and Opticians. We partner with the JCAHPO Educational Foundation to sponsor scholarships that help Technicians seeking certification pay for materials and testing. We’ll soon be announcing similar scholarships for Opticians through the OAA.
- Celebrating the positive impact to healthcare of sometimes under-recognized allied health positions like Technicians through our “Outstanding Technician” awards.
- Being an employer ourselves. We’ve provided a home for dozens of young people to learn about entrepreneurship and running a small business. I’m really grateful for that opportunity and the resulting relationships with our employees. It wouldn’t be fair to mention just a few by name because they’ve all made really important contributions.
- We’ve worked with thousands of eye care employers, encouraging all of them to be better employers. We stress the importance of differentiating themselves through the intentional development of their “employer brand.” This helps these organizations better compete for the limited pool of talent, but it also creates better work environments for ECPs, and that ultimately positively impacts the care they provide.
- We’ve used a portion of our revenue to financially support local and national charities such as Prevent Blindness, the Lucy Daniel’s Center, CEENTA Cares, the YMCA’s We Build People campaign, and others.
- The Local Eye Site team has used business hours to serve Habitat for Humanity projects.
- We use our blog to publish original content that helps ECPs advance professionally.
I’m grateful for these last 10 years, and the opportunity to work with so many great people in our industry. At the end of the day, we are just a small company, but I hope we’ve answered a calling to operate in such a way that we’ve not only earned a living, but have also helped people become better at what they do professionally. Ultimately, we believe this has had a positive impact on the quality of care and attention that is provided in our customers’ clinics. Here’s to another great 10 years!