How Recruiting Became So Difficult

Most ophthalmic hiring fails. Searches take too long, or you endure a parade of candidates misfit to your practice. In some cases, you confront both. The point became piercingly clear to me when I was having dinner with a group of leading physicians at a recent American Academy of Ophthalmology Conference. Over coffee, they grumbled about their recruiting experiences.

“I never thought it would take so long”, bemoaned a principal from a leading ophthalmic surgery center.

“I thought the Internet would make it easier, not more difficult”, declared several highly successful surgeons.

“My staff found our last associate on a job board. The interview went quite well and I hired him. Even though he had great surgical skills, I had to let him go after six weeks because no one could stand working with him”, complained a prominent physician who leads a growing, progressive practice.

“I realized after I hired an associate that she was so fixated on making money that it dominated her every action… she just didn’t get what my practice is all about”, griped another.

Sadly, I’ve witnessed similar situations hundreds of times over 25 years. It’s no surprise the question I hear most is, “Why do so many of us get such poor results after spending so much time looking?”

They suffer from two problem types: internal and external. Internal problems have root causes within the practice; external problems remain those outside your control. The owner’s mindset and a weak recruiting process lead the list of internal problems.