2022 Hiring Trends
While Covid-19 has changed many things in our world, one thing that hasn’t changed is the national shortage of medical professionals in the eye care industry. The Health Resources and Services Administration estimates a shortfall of 6,000 Ophthalmologists by 2025. A combination of factors causing this include population growth in the US, the rapid aging of our population resulting in increased eye care demand, and the slower than needed growth of graduating Ophthalmologists. Between 1995 and 2017, the density of Ophthalmologists per 100,000 people in the US dropped from 6.3 to 5.68, while the ratio of practicing Ophthalmologists over the age of 55 increased from .37 to .82.
The shortage of Ophthalmologists will mean continued growth in opportunities for Optometrists and Ophthalmic Technicians as more responsibility and work load will have to be shared with these eye care partners. But with less than 60,000 Ophthalmic Technicians to support the more than 19,000 practicing Ophthalmologists, it’s estimated that the shortfall of needed Ophthalmic Techs is 20,000 to 40,000 nationally depending on how many Techs a practice prefers to employ per Ophthalmologist. The BLS estimates that job opportunities for Optometrists will grow by 9% between 2020 and 2030, or about 1,700 new jobs annually for ODs. It’s been estimated that unemployment of Optometrists is less than 1%.
Covid did cause an unexpected dip in eye care demand in 2020 as the national shut-down resulted in fewer eye exams and elective procedures. However, this just made everyone busier today as scheduling was pushed back resulting in a backlog that Ophthalmologists and Optometrists are still trying to catch up with.
Another factor that could impact eye care staffing is that unemployment across the entire US economy continues to drop. Unemployment in the US dropped from 14.8% in April of 2020 to 4.2% in the latest report from the BLS. The shortage of workers across all US industries will create new, and even more remote opportunities that could result in more eye care professionals leaving the industry to enter new ones. This could result in increased pressure on eye care practices to increase wages in order to compete and retain staff.
The purpose of our 2022 Hiring Guide is to help Ophthalmic and Optometric practices compete for talent in today’s changing employment environment. With nearly 15 years of staffing experience in the eye care industry, Local Eye Site is well equipped to provide tips and best practices. We hope you find this year’s guide helpful!
Brad McCorkle, Founder
Employer Brand Messaging
By: Brad McCorkle
In 2022, now more than ever, employers need to craft messaging that “sells” the unique strengths and benefits that make their advertised opportunity a great one. This is your employer brand, and this messaging is of critical importance as part of an effective job ad. Selling your job through this creative messaging will differentiate your organization’s opportunity, and drive interest from the best candidates.
Well in advance of the need to make a new hire, organizations should thoughtfully formulate messaging around the cultural advantages, benefits and unique qualities of employment opportunities in their company. That messaging should be the lead of every job ad, followed by detailed candidate requirements and other less compelling, but important ideas.
Finally, think of job ads the same way you would think about advertisements that target consumers or paying customers. When formulating business messaging, obviously company’s put a lot of thought into messaging that will compel consumers to become customers. In order to find success in recruiting, take that same detailed mentality to the creation of your job advertisement.
Follow this link to see a few questions that will prompt brain-storming around the development of your organization’s “selling” message that will help you recruit the industry’s most talented candidates.
What employees are looking for in 2022.
By: Bridger Costin
As we move into the new year of 2022, the only thing we can predict with certainty is change. Entering into the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic, many Americans are hopeful that we are on the road back to normalcy. While we can all remain optimistic, being an employee during these trying dimes is becoming more and more challenging. Not only is the future unknown, the job market continues to be mysterious as well. Despite there being many Americans without jobs, employers are quickly realizing that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to hire.
Considering trends continue to shift towards flexibility and remote environments, the eye care industry will need to shift its’ “normal” structure in order to remain competitive against other industries. Here are some of the top job search trends we can expect to see in 2022.
- Flexibility/Remote Work: We have all been forced to adapt and have relied heavily on technology a lot over the past two years. We’ve learned that much of what was needed to do, could be done from the comfort of our own homes. This “work from home” movement has become more prevalent across the country and employees are capitalizing on this. We will continue to see more and more companies offering remote positions in the years to come. Industries that are unable to offer this “perk” are experiencing an even more challenging time finding and retaining good talent. What we’re seeing them do in lieu of this is offering shorter work weeks or extra paid time off to compete. The more customary this becomes, the more flexibility employers will have to offer to their employees especially in industries such as eye care as remote work isn’t as feasible.
- Employee Well-Being Programs: In addition to wanting flexibility in their work environment or hours, employees are also looking towards other benefits such as well-being programs. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of our health and mental well-being. Many companies are now offering fitness stipends, mental and emotional enhancement programs, financial assistance programs, etc.
- Competitive Pay: In addition to the many alternative benefits, employees are also looking to their paychecks. As we suffer tremendous inflation on top of an already costly pandemic, workers are seeking an increase in their own compensation to offset the rising cost of living. This sentiment pertains to not only attracting new talent, but also retention of current employees as well. As you’re reviewing compensation plans for the year and budgeting out for new hires, keep in mind the 4.9% – 6.2% inflation rate that’s expected for 2022.
- Value Match: Employees say it’s more important than ever for their companies values to align with their own. Roughly 80% say it’s crucial to have the same viewpoint on pay equity, workplace discrimination, racial justice, economic equality, LGBTQIA+ rights and over half of workers are ready and willing to quit their job if their company’s stance varied from their own.
- Personalization Opportunities: As the competition for hiring talent gets increasingly more difficult, employers are investing more time and money into their current employees career development. This is a win-win solution for many employers and employees. Capturing talent is time intensive and costly, shifting the focus from outside the organization to inside the organization has helped employers provide a benefit to their current employee while also being able to backfill positions within their own company.
By: Bridger Costin
Hiring in 2022 might look a little different than in past years. Navigating virtual interviews for over two years has been exhausting and changed the game. While we transition back to in-person interviews, these tips and tricks will help you and/or your hiring manager be in the best position possible to choose the best candidate as your next new hire.
Prior To the Interview:
- Do your homework: Trying to get to know a person in such a short period of time is challenging. Each minute is vital so taking a few minutes to brush up on their background will help you be able to make the best use of the time you have with each candidate. A quick peek at a candidate’s LinkedIn and brief overview of their resume will help you have a high level overview of their experience and skillset.
- Prepare Questions: Brainstorm with your team the main objectives for the interview. Be sure to consider the job description and duties itself when trying to narrow down top questions. While it is important to have a handful of questions that you ask each candidate, do make it conversational as well letting questions organically build. Doing so will help make the interview personal and help you get a better understanding of how they might fit into your culture.
- Think about the job seeker: While it may feel like the main priority of this interview is to see if the candidate is a good fit for the job, remember that they are also vetting you as an Employer. Be prepared to answer questions they may have about the Company, business plan, and job duties itself.
- Set the Scene: Kick off the interview by stating the purpose of this meeting and agenda. If your company is conducting a series of interviews with multiple people (as most do), state your role and what you specifically are looking for in a candidate. This should go for each person in the series of interviews to help the candidate have clarity around the process. For example, “Hi. My name is Erica and I’m the Director of Operations. I know you’ll be meeting with a few other people. The purpose of our conversion is for me to get a better understanding of your experience, skillset, and what your desired goals are to see if we’re aligned in regards to this position and your career development.”
- Pay attention to body language: Sitting with your feet towards the door, drumming fingers, and rubbing the back of your head/neck are all signs that you might be uninterested, bored, or just not engaged in the conversation. Be sure to give your undivided attention to the candidate throughout the entirety of the interview. In addition to your own body language, pay attention to the jobseekers as well!
- Red Flags: The common thing you should be looking for is intention. If a candidate cannot speak to where they would like to be in 5 years, have a genuine conversation about their weaknesses, or show up late, then they either don’t know themselves or might not be a very motivated/dedicated individual and might not be a good fit.
- What to look for: Assertiveness and confidence are great characteristics to look for in a candidate. While you’ll likely be driving the conversation, I think a candidate that isn’t afraid to jump in and ask the hard questions, shows their interest and motivation. Waiting to let the candidate ask about next steps is a great way to test this!