Practices are finding it almost impossible to hire staff currently and the profession is facing a recruitment problem. From the perspective of Luke Elias, managing director of Vivid Optical, recruiting for the sector is indeed challenging. He’s found that ‘due to both the pandemic and socio-economic factors, the market is in a very strange place and candidates who are open to moving have the pick of the options.’
Competition for talent is fierce and that means candidates can be more particular in terms of where they are prepared to work. Elias says that to compete and get the best available candidates, ‘businesses must be prepared to be flexible and offer flexible working patterns and bigger packages than they previously would have.’
Similarly, Sarah Joyce, superintendent optometrist in the optical compliance team at Asda, has seen the pandemic bring about change. She says that ‘uncertainty in the industry has led to a lot of locums and self-employed look for employed roles to get some security.’ Joyce adds that Asda has many optometrists looking to go part-time, which the company is happy to accommodate, but notes that ‘it does make recruitment harder and we are having to find two or three candidates for each role.’ She says that the company has opened up more mobile roles and is ‘allowing professionals to work over various stores while still having the security of employment.’
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