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Tech Training: Recruitment Tools

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Create a Job Description

A job description should include:

  • Job title
  • Main purpose of the position
  • Accountability
  • Supervisory responsibility

Main responsibilities of the job with a detailed breakdown:

  • Skills and education required
  • Importance of duties and frequency of tasks
  • Starting date and duration
  • Summary of the main conditions of employment, including salary range and hours of work
  • Date on which job description was last updated and approved; schedule for future reviews

Writing Techniques:

  • Use concise language in brief and clear sentences.
  • Use non-technical language so that the duties and responsibilities are understandable.
  • List all the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform the job; begin sentences with active words: always use present tense.
  • The requirements listed on the job description must support the essential functions and serve as the primary criteria for selecting/rejecting candidates.
  • Don't lock yourself into strict requirements that may prevent you from considering qualified candidates. Consider substitutions (e.g., four years of professional experience or a bachelor's degree).

Sample Position Descriptions

It is important that your job description be tailored to your particular work setting and job duties to ensure that it is accurate and complete.

Obtain the 2011 ATPO National Salary & Benefits Report

The Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology (ATPO®) conducts a national salary and benefits survey every two years, in collaboration with the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO®). The 2011 Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology, Inc. (ATPO) Salary and Benefits Report is now available through the purchase of an ATPO membership. Visit the JCAHPO bookstore for additional details.

Write a Job Advertisement

  • Make it enticing by using an attention-grabbing headline or introduction.
  • Briefly describe the work - don’t list all of the job responsibilities, just the general scope of the work.
  • Describe the skill requirements but include only the “must-have skills”. If you can teach some of the skills that are needed, it will increase the number of good applicants you receive. Also, the skills then become a ‘job benefit’ (free training) rather than a pre-employment requirement.
  • Describe your work environment and why an employee would want to work in that environment (e.g., flexible work hours, interesting and/or challenging work, supportive workplace).
  • Describe company benefits and perks such as free training, outstanding benefits package, tuition reimbursement, and anything that distinguishes you from the competition and helps you attract the best applicants.

Two examples of job-opening ads [PDF 56K] Editable Word File. Both are examples of advertisements appropriate for listing on the Internet for use in a newspaper ad.

Implement an Employee Referral Program

Employee referral programs can be a win-win for the clinic and the staff:

  • Current employees can be invaluable resources. It can be a morale booster because current staff is able to be part of the team that is shaping your practice. Organizations may provide an incentive to staff by offering a referral bonus or reward if the individual they refer is actually hired.
  • The clinic spends minimal time and money to gain access to qualified applicants. (Most staff won’t refer poor applicants.)
  • Staff retention rates may go up when staff are brought on board by current employees who can provide knowledge about the organization.

Before implementing an employee referral program, consider the following:

  • Determine what referral bonuses or rewards program will work best for your practice.  Make it worthwhile for your staff. The referral bonus or reward must be significant enough to be an incentive for your staff to spend time talking with people about the job opportunities.
  • Develop timeframes — An employee referral program can be a very cost-effective recruitment method if it reduces the amount of time it takes you to fill an opening, so it can be well worth funding. Many organizations break the reward into two payments by giving the staff person part of the reward when the referral begins employment and the remainder at a later date if the new hire stays for a certain length of time. This gives the referring staff person an incentive to ‘look after’ his or her referral and ensure that the ‘new hire’ assimilates well.
  • Give your program a theme that encourages all employees to participate, such as "Each One – Reach One". 
  • Promote your employee referral program to current employees and do it often.
  • Use your employee referral program in conjunction with other recruitment methods to avoid a perception of discrimination and ensure that job opportunity information is circulated widely throughout your labor market.

Plan the Interview

Staffing decisions are among the most important and challenging activities that physicians and administrators are required to undertake. A good selection decision promotes increased productivity, reduces your training costs, improves employee morale, builds effective teams, and helps you achieve your primary departmental goals and objectives.

Further, recruitment is becoming increasingly complex as human rights legislation, collective agreements, and other human resources policies, procedures, and strategic planning objectives have a direct impact on the staffing and selection process.  Knowing how to prepare for an interview, conduct an interview, and evaluate candidates are the keys for creating successful matches:

  • Prepare a set of core questions based upon the required and preferred skills and qualifications. Applicants will respond differently based upon work history and related skills. Therefore, when asking the questions, listen carefully, and allow applicants to respond and ask questions. The primary objective of the interview is to determine if candidates can perform specific duties. This process allows you to objectively identify the competencies, behaviors, thinking and decision-making styles, as well as the technical skills that are common among top performers and required for the position in question.
  • Develop selection criteria to decide how to determine what levels of education and experience are necessary, and what competencies are required in order to successfully fulfill the job requirements, then determine which candidate meets your required qualifications. A scoring tool will be needed to ensure that all candidates are treated consistently. Selection Criteria [PDF 59K]
  • Review the position description including duties and responsibilities of the job, individual qualifications, work history, relevant experience, training/educational background, location of the job, travel requirements, equipment used, operational hours required, attendance and performance expectations, and on-the-job training.
  • Ensure that EEO principles are applied in the interview. Questions should focus on skills, experience, career plans, aspirations, behavior, and technical expertise. If it is a panel interview, at least one member should be of the same gender as the candidate.

Interview Questions

When preparing to hire an individual into an organization, it is important to ask questions that are informational, behavioral, and introspective. Informational questions gather detail and facts and are most useful in gaining depth about the experience, job skills, knowledge, and education of the candidate. Behavioral questions ask candidates to describe incidents or situations from past experience to show how they demonstrated a behavior and are most useful in gaining insight regarding the personal qualities of a candidate. Introspective questions ask candidates to assess themselves and their preferences about certain job situations, giving you an opportunity to learn how people are likely to behave in a job situation.

The following link includes a combination of these three types of questions: Interview Questions [PDF 107K] Editable Word File.

Conduct the Interview

Active listening is the most important skill for an effective interview. It is most important to understand what the candidates are expressing to your regarding their work experience and job skills. Taking notes is key if you’re going to make an objective evaluation and decision. A good interview needs an agenda — a written plan to follow. The following is an example of a typical interview sequence:

  • (1) Introduction to the meeting Break the ice with friendly small talk as you greet the candidate and introduce the selection committee members. Outline the agenda and briefly explain how the interview process works.
  • (2) Explore the candidate’s background Establish candidate's understanding of the position and how their background relates to the position. Determine the candidate's reasons for wanting the position. Review education and training. Explore paid and volunteer responsibilities, reasons for leaving previous positions, gaps in work history. Interview Guide [PDF 113K] Editable Word File
  • (3) Encourage candidate to ask questions — The key to an effective interview is having clearly defined selection criteria with related interview questions developed before the interview begins.  
  • (4) Close interview Explain next steps and timeframes in the selection process.

Stay Legal

The factors listed below are topics that are personal in nature and not relevant to the job. Federal and state laws prohibit prospective employers from asking certain questions that are not related to the job they are hiring for. Questions should be job-related and not used to find out personal information. 
Age • Personal affairs
• Religion • Race or color
• Disabilities, handicaps • Ethnicity or national origin
• Gender • Marital or family status
• Sexual orientation • Physical appearance
• Political beliefs • Health condition
• Military history not related to the job • Worker’s compensation history
• Economic or financial status

 Reprinted from The Ophthalmic Executive’s Resource Guide: Interviewing to Hire Smart

Evaluate Candidates

Determine the evaluation format you will use prior to conducting your interviews. Two useful formats to consider:
  • Narrative Evaluation Format – What you are writing is a summary of the highlights you found about the candidate and how he or she measures up to the position. 
  • Critical Factors Evaluation Format – Establishing a scale for evaluating each candidate by rating several categories and totaling up the score can provide a systematic means for summarizing how well the candidate matches up to the job requirements.Identifying Critical Success Factors [PDF 113K]

A good evaluation is factual and objective in nature. Minimize the use of adjectives, as they tend to make evaluations more subjective.  As a rule of thumb, for every conclusion made, have factual information written that explains your rationale.
This section is reprinted from The Ophthalmic Executive’s Resource Guide: Interviewing to Hire Smart.

Reference and Background Checks

Always check references of your top candidates, regardless of your impressions of their qualifications. Reference checks can reveal information about an applicant's behavior with prior employers that could be critical to your decision, regardless of the applicant's skills, knowledge, and abilities. Failure to check references can have serious legal consequences. Advise the candidate that you will be checking references and ask whether it's okay to talk with their current employer. Reference Check [PDF 63K] Editable Word File.

Things to remember: When calling an applicant’s references:

  • Identify yourself immediately
  • Explain the position for which the applicant is being considered
  • Gain as much information as possible, but only ask for information that will be used in your hiring decision
  • The most important question to ask is whether the previous employer would rehire the applicant you are considering. 

Employment Resources

Internet sites offer an abundance of resources for employers and job seekers.

Tech Training Index: 

New Ways to Think About Recruitment
Job Applicant Sources and How to Find Them
Recruitment Tools
Ophthalmic Educational Training Resources