Ready to Recruit?

Get ready for growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that optometrist jobs will experience 18% growth and optician jobs will experience 15% growth (from 2016 to 2026)—a much higher rate than the average of 7% for all occupations.

“When there are more open opportunities than skilled professionals to fill them—as we are experiencing now in today’s candidate-driven market—it becomes critical for practices to step up their recruiting game if they want to win the ‘war for talent,’” advises career-oriented platform iHire, which recently asked optometry professionals which workplace benefits they value the most.

Here are the top three to keep in mind when scouting for talent:

  1. Health/Medical Insurance (26.5%)
  2. Compensation/Bonuses (19.6%)
  3. Flexible Scheduling (11.8%)

—Kerri Ann Raimo

VSP to Open Retail Shops

VSP Global is getting into the retail business, opening three brick-and-mortar Eyeconic locations in the Chicago market this year. The stores will be an extension of VSP’s e-commerce site, , and will offer products, services, and an on-site VSP network doctor, the company says. Each store will be wholly owned and operated by VSP with a sublease model for network doctors.

The push into physical retail locations will help answer benefits managers’ calls for more substantial retail locations, VSP says. Market selection was strategically focused on regions that have shown high numbers of out-of-network claims at optical chains and mass retailers. For more information, visit . —Susan Tarrant

Shopko Attempts Auction to Save Optical Center Jobs

Though it’s had to shutter 236 of the 360 department stores it operated in 26 states, Shopko is hoping to save its optical centers. Wisconsin-based Shopko Stores Operating Co., LLC, filed for Chapter 11 in January and will close all but 124 stores in 11 states.

However, it’s been planning to relocate more than 20 of its optical centers into free-standing stores and open several additional locations this year. This investment in its optical centers is based on the success of four free-standing stores the company opened last year (all in Wisconsin).

At COT! presstime, Shopko announced a desire to auction off its optical centers in order to save as many as 700 jobs and retain the value of the optical business. —S.T.