BUSINESS: dba Doing Business in Optical’s Local Markets By John Sailer Monday, April 15, 2013 12:00 AM The ways in which two regional optical groups switched from traditional promotions such as yellow pages and flyers to more up-to-date methods, including search engine advertising and social media, are featured in the current edition of dba: Doing Business in Optical’s Local Markets. While MyEyeDr in the Washington, D.C./Virginia/Baltimore area relied heavily on the consumer review website Yelp as well as daily deals offered by Living Social, Graystone Eye in North Carolina turned to a company that specializes in placing paid text and display ads on internet search engines. Both techniques resulted in a substantial increase in converting those searching online for eyewear and eyecare to scheduled appointments. Also featured in this month’s edition of the dba e-newsletter are interviews with eight regional optical retailing leaders about how they handle patients who return with scratched lenses and whether they treat it as an expense, a way to generate revenue or a customer service opportunity. A profile about Katzen Eye Group’s recent exponential growth and an article by Jay Binkowitz, president/CEO of GPN, about how to ensure that your staff reacts to typical customer service challenges consistently across multiple locations, round out the April edition of dba. To view these articles, visit www.visionmonday.com/dba, and sign up for your own e-mail subscription while you’re there. ■ firstname.lastname@example.org Recruiting Online Saves Time, Money and Targets the Right Candidates NEW YORK—Online recruitment has revolutionized the way employers in the eyecare industry attract and hire qualified employees. For organizations that need to hire quickly, online recruitment strategies offer scalable, cost-effective solutions for managing the challenges of recruiting. With more and more people looking online for employment, eyecare organizations are moving away from costly, traditional forms of recruitment and shifting their concentration to recruiting online. The benefits associated with online recruiting are many. For any organization, hiring new staff is often an expensive and complicated process. This especially holds true for small and medium-sized organizations, which in the past haven’t had the resources to conduct full-scale hiring initiatives in-house. However, relying on outside firms to hire on their behalf means paying a premium for those services. A 2011 Wall Street Journal study showed the average cost per hire for midsize U.S. companies was $3,632, whereas small firms paid $3,665 on average, including costs for recruitment firms and the like. Through online recruiting, however, these costs can be alleviated, since the average cost for posting a job online may only be a fraction of the cost associated with hiring through a third party recruiting firm. Effective recruiting amounts to effective marketing, and when it comes down to it, it’s all about the art and science of being in the right place at the right time. With online recruiting, the level of exposure an organization can achieve is virtually limitless, provided the messaging is clear and the right avenues are being utilized. By posting your ad in the right place, your job opening can instantly reach thousands of qualified professionals in your field. Even search engines and other technologies allow targeting of specific types of users based on their online activity. This allows employers to identify and target the kinds of potential applicants they want, for a relatively small expense. As opposed to more traditional recruiting practices, online recruitment offers a quicker turnaround time when it comes to attracting, interviewing and hiring an employee. When an employer posts a position online, that position is immediately visible to thousands of potential applicants, and it will be available to them anytime, 24/7, even on a mobile device. Once an applicant finds a position they’re interested in, applying is as easy as uploading a resume. This nearly instant response can turn a qualified applicant into a new hire relatively quickly, thus making online recruitment a fast, clean and mostly painless way to acquire new talent online. Overall, the growing demand for a quick and cost-effective hiring method has transformed the way small businesses recruit and hire in almost every industry. The glory days of newspaper advertisements, “Now Hiring” signs in the front window, and word-of-mouth referrals are no more. The digital age is here, and it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon. ■ — Steven Squires Marketing director at Local Eye Site in Raleigh, N.C., Steven Squires is a marketing strategist, social media manager and career blogger. Additional editing was provided by Alex Slater, director of operations, Local Eye Site.