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Building a Winning Team: How to Identify the Essential Soft and Hard Skills to Look for When Hiring

Building a winning team is crucial for the success of any organization, especially in the highly specialized field of eye care. The quality of care provided to patients relies heavily on the skills and expertise of the professionals involved. Therefore, it is essential to identify the proper set of skills when hiring eye care professionals.


In this Eyetastic Blog, we want to share the importance of identifying soft and hard skills in the hiring process of eye care professionals. Too often, we see posts about hiring for personality or hiring for skills. Well, moderation is always vital and depends on your practice and the position you are hiring for. You must ensure you can set your new hire up for success by implementing excellent and continuous training methods.


The Importance of Identifying Essential Skills in the Hiring Process

Identifying essential skills during hiring is paramount in the eye care industry. The right skills can significantly improve patient care. Soft skills like communication, empathy, and teamwork are essential for establishing a positive rapport with patients and ensuring their comfort and satisfaction. On the other hand, hard skills, including technical expertise and knowledge of advanced technology, are crucial for delivering accurate diagnoses and effective treatments.


The first step in the hiring process is to identify the needed or missing skills in your office. For example, after reviewing your profit and loss statements, data on the customer experience (NPS score), and critical product indicators, you may notice that your sales and customer service experience is not hitting the budget. Perhaps you have a few 1-star ratings based on being too busy and not accommodating patients promptly. In this case, you would look for someone with sales experience as an optician with interpersonal and time management skills.


Soft Skills to Look for When Hiring Eye Care Professionals

When hiring eye care professionals, it is essential to prioritize soft skills alongside hard skills. Soft skills are vital to patient satisfaction and overall success in the eye care industry. Some examples of soft skills to look for in candidates are:

  • Effective communication

  • Empathy

  • Teamwork

  • Time management

  • Leadership

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Conflict resolution

  • Adaptability

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Patience


Hard Skills to Look for When Hiring Eye Care Professionals

In addition to soft skills, eye care professionals must possess various hard skills to excel in their roles. Technological proficiency is essential in the modern eye care industry, enabling professionals to utilize advanced equipment and software for accurate diagnoses and treatments. Some examples of hard skills to look for in candidates are:

  • Project management

  • Data entry

  • Refractions

  • Slit lamp

  • Refractive surgery

  • EMR

  • Appointment setting

  • Troubleshooting

  • Dispensing

  • Front desk


Assessing and Evaluating Skills During the Hiring Process

Assessing and evaluating skills during hiring is essential to ensure the selected candidates possess the required competencies to perform the job. Besides conducting interviews and reviewing resumes, including practical assessments to evaluate the candidates' abilities to apply their skills in real-world scenarios is beneficial. References from previous employers or colleagues can provide valuable insights into the candidates' skills and work ethic. Additionally, conducting background checks and verifying credentials can help ensure the accuracy of the information provided by the candidates.


Training and Development Programs for Building Essential Skills

Building essential skills in eye care professionals is an ongoing process that requires continuous training and development programs. Organizations should invest in professional development opportunities to enhance soft and hard skills. Soft skills training can include workshops on effective communication, empathy-building exercises, and team-building activities. Hard skills training should focus on the latest advancements in diagnostic equipment, surgical techniques, and medical knowledge. Regular updates and refresher courses can ensure that eye care professionals remain at the forefront of their field.


Tip: We love Eventbrite or LinkedIn for professional webinars and courses that can help build your staff. The best part is to have them share their certification on social media loud and proud 💛


Building a Winning Team in the Eye Care Industry

Building a winning team in the eye care industry requires carefully considering essential soft and hard skills. Identifying candidates with the right skills ensures the delivery of high-quality patient care and promotes the organization's overall success. Investing in training and development programs further strengthens the skills of eye care professionals, enabling them to stay up-to-date with advances in the field and provide exceptional care to their patients.


Now that you understand the importance of identifying essential skills, it's time to start building your winning team in the eye care industry. Remember, a well-rounded team with the right balance of soft and hard skills can make all the difference in providing exceptional eye care. If you need help finding the best candidates for your team, call or message us today!

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