Dr. Scot Morris OD, FAAO, has done his fair share of hiring.
As the founder of Morris Education & Consulting Associates, LLC, he has played a key role in helping eyecare practices grow, in large part by helping them choose the right employees. From optometrists to support staff, he estimates that he has hired thousands of healthcare personnel over the years.
Dr. Morris sat down with the CovalentCareers team at VisionExpo 2017, and he shared his top three tips for hiring the right people for an eyecare practice.
1. Hire the personality and train the skill.
“You can’t teach nice,” explains Dr. Morris. He doesn’t believe that nice = flamboyantly outgoing, either. “Nice” is the way you interact with others, and this means treating them with respect and kindness. Someone in the billing department can be a genuinely good, nice, person, though he/she might be an introvert and shy away from attention.
“You have to hire the right personality for the job you’re trying to fill,” says Dr. Morris, adding, “You can’t fix a personality.” He strongly advocates for teaching technical skills to the right person rather than trying to make a technically skilled person learn how to treat others.
2. Hire good communicators.
As a practice owner/manager, if you can educate, train, and promote, you’re in good shape. You don’t need employees to waltz into your practice, ready to flawlessly perform on the first day. It’s your job to train these employees.
But in order to do your job well, you need to hire a good communicator. If someone is confused, frustrated, or overwhelmed, you’ll only know if they’re wiling to share that with you. And if they’re eager to take on more responsibility, you need to know that, too. Hire someone with stellar communication skills, and you’ll be in good shape.
3. Hire people who want to learn.
A good employee is open to new experiences and sees a job as an opportunity to grow. The last thing you need, whether you’re hiring a receptionist, an optician, or an optometrist, is someone who is stagnant and disinterested in professional growth. Dr. Morris is especially passionate about this one, saying, “If you don’t want to learn, I don’t need you."
Last, but certainly not least, Dr. Morris believes that harmony trumps all in the workplace. “We have a saying,” he quips. “Get along or get gone.” Think about your favorite work environments, both clinical and non-clinical. Didn't everyone get along fairly well?
He really has an excellent point.