I am often asked what qualities to look for when hiring an ophthalmic technician. Because experienced technicians are at a premium, many employers hire techs with a verifiable work history. They think whatever made them leave their former job(s) will be different at this practice. And that often is the case….for 90 days.
When hiring experienced technicians, I recommend having the candidate perform a work up on a coworker. This sets the stage to know how well they actually perform, and identifies any areas that need improvement. And, if they claim to be certified, call JCAHPO.
It is becoming increasingly more common to hire someone with an interest in the job and train them onsite. Whether the candidate has been in the field for years, or is just beginning, there are several traits to hope for:
- Personality, but not too much. S/he should seem genuinely interested in what you have to say without sharing a lot about her own life.
- Team player. Does she discuss her current work (or school) situation as “I” or “we.” Keep in mind there is no I in TEAM.
- Self starter. Will she look for something to do during “down time?:
- I hope she can admit to having made mistakes…and learned from them.
- Intellectually inquisitive. I would want her to question what she is looking for, what an abnormal finding might indicate and what the OCT test showed.
In addition, the ideal candidate will be literate, articulate, detailed oriented and flexible because no day in most eye care practices ever go according to plan. Perhaps one of the key traits to look for is that the candidate makes eye contact with everyone s/he meets. After all, we are in the eye business!