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September 2021 : Seeing Our Way Through the Staffing Challenge — What We've Learned

By Debra Seigel with contributions from Carissa Dunphy — OWA Communications and Website Committee
Seeing Our Way Through the Staffing Challenge

Hiring and maintaining employees has become today's business world challenge. We see it at favorite restaurants, stores, and even in our own industry. Many healthcare providers are faced with staffing issues and the support needed to run a business effectively. Lack of daycare, unemployment benefits, low salaries, and the fear of getting sick are some reasons for not seeking employment — not to mention those who changed their careers during the pandemic.

This nationwide struggle for recruiting quality staff members has become a topic of conversation in the optical industry. Here are a few examples of what ECPs are saying:

So how do we reset, move on, and begin to put the pieces back together in order to secure both a positive future for our businesses and a professional experience for our patients? Forbes Magazine1 offers 6 tips on how to overcome the struggle:

  1. Offer a back to work incentive.
  2. Increase worker wages.
  3. Get help with recruitment from a professional recruiter (it may save time and energy from placing the ads, reviewing, and qualifying candidates yourself).
  4. Play up your company benefits, i.e., 401k matching, quarterly bonuses based on performance. Those could also include perks like paid holidays or daily lunches.
  5. Offer flexible or remote working hours.
  6. Open up apprenticeship and career growth opportunities.

In addition to the above, ECPs have suggested offering sign-on bonuses to staff members who stay on past 90 days and including an offer of a free set of prescription glasses. Training is another great benefit for employees new to the industry, especially for non-licensed states like California. For example, training sites like host many online tutorials for opticians to help increase their optical knowledge; they also offer a no cost COPE-approved courses for doctors.

Hopefully, some of these tips will help you close out 2021 with a full staff and lead you to a more productive 2022! If you have any creative hiring ideas you've come across or that you yourself offer at your practice, please write and tell us: . We may list them in the next issue of the OWA newsletter!

1 Smartt, Nicole, "Six Tips to Overcome the 2021 Hiring Struggle" Forbes Magazine, June 17, 2021

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