Commercial, Clinical and Fashion Awareness

dan 30/05/2019 0 comments

The two main potentially conflicting aspects of working in optics are the balance between the clinical and commercial.

I’m going to throw a third area into the mix, Fashion.

In what other industry does the Fashion, Retail, and Clinical needs of a client/ customer/ patient be met in a boutique/ store/ practice?

And the language above speaks for itself.

I have definitely heard the response IT’S A PRACTICE when a trainee consultant accidentally and innocently called an independent owners business a store. Clearly passionate about the clinical service they provide.

I have been in meetings with corporate clients when they are so determined to hide the fact they are looking for Optoms with good Sales skills, we have followed the evolution of the word “Sales” to “Commercial Awareness” then to the much easier on the ear, “Communication Skills”.

I don’t know any other industry that has the triforce mix of Fashion, Retail and Clinical mix as Optics.

The best thing is everyone working in the industry has a unique balance of these 3, and where they are happiest.

Every Customer has their own mix of these 3 needs to be met.

Every Business has its own focus and balance of these aspects.

There are so many factors to take into account when looking at happiness at work and if you are looking for a new role, you might be really focused on money, location, benefits, working hours etc.

We always get a feel for where an individual sits commercially, clinically and fashionally? (probably not a word, but you know what I mean) and make sure that the mix is right when looking at new opportunities.

Hospital/ research work might be the exception here, but I think every retail Opticians needs all 3 to function as a business.

Is this something business owners take into account when employing staff?

How important is it to professionals?

Am I talking Sh*te?

Where do you sit on the scale?

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Employer Branding

dan 30/05/2019 0 comments

War on talent

The jobs market for Optometrists is becoming increasingly competitive, the differences between companies and different areas of Optics is becoming less clear. Salaries, benefits and working conditions are becoming more aligned across the market.

The employers that have a well-defined employer brand are winning the war on talent.

Having a clear EVP (Employer Value Propositions) and telling your story is a key way of nurturing a potential talent pool.

Most Optometrists are happy in their current roles, and will only change roles when the pain (read: frustration, annoyance, crap boss) of being at their current company AND/ OR the pleasure (read: excitement, interest, awesome company/ career) of a new opportunity passes the action threshold.

If you are not telling the market about you or your company, the only “force” acting on the candidate is their desire to leave, and that might be because they are unhappy at work/ underperforming, only want more money/ hate their boss and maybe these are not the best reasons to hire someone.

Cast a wide net with a specifically crafted recruitment campaign that will highlight the reasons why an Optometrist would want to work for YOU. Most job adverts suck as they give potential employees zero insight as to what it’s really like to actually work for your business.

BlackSquare can help you create and promote your employer brand.

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Why you should look for a new job when you are happy

dan 04/01/2019 0 comments

The grey bar across the centre is a solid colour

EVERYTHING is relative

Our perception is affected by our surroundings.

Most people decide to look for a new role when they are unhappy at work, and fair enough, if you have let yourself reach a point where you are genuinely unhappy, you should get out. The risk here is that when comparing a new role to your current position, it’s probably going to look better than what you’re doing now. Is your perception potentially skewed? Will anything look better than the role you hate? Probably.

If you are happy at work and performing well, it’s going to take a truly exceptional position to improve your current situation. To have an excellent career you need to make a move to these positions when they are available, not when you’re unhappy.   Not only that, companies want to hire the best people, the best people are performing well in their role and if you’re performing you’re your normally happy. All of this helps when it comes to negotiations later in the process.

Contact one of our professional consultants today for an in-depth consultation. 01268928060.

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Introducing the Independent JVP, exclusively to BlackSquare

dan 25/06/2018 0 comments

Get a slice of the pie

We have opportunities for Optometrists with an interest in business.
Owning, leading and growing your very own business is considered by many to be the pinnacle of your career as an optometrist.

Here is how it works, start working in an independently owned opticians as an employee. They will develop and mentor you towards directorship – owning some or all of the business you have been working in.

You will have clear goals and timescales and a black and white career path.

With this hybrid model, you can get the benefits of being an employee whilst working towards owning the business you have been helping to grow.

You can have your cake and eat it.

We are the UK’s only Optical Recruitment Agency that works as a business transfer agent.
This has enabled us to develop a unique opportunity for Optometrists that would like to own their own business.

To find out more, contact us today on 01268928060
or email

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Retail Optometry

dan 13/12/2017 0 comments

Finding the right environment within Retail Optometry can be tricky as whilst on the surface the role of Optometrist is relatively similar in most Opticians. There can be a number of small differences between each role and practice that add up to creating a massive difference in job satisfaction and work-life balance.

Ioana Stan was relatively happy in her role although when looking at new roles found that there would be compromises; if you had a nice working environment with excellent career development opportunities, it was normally at the expense of work-life balance.

Looking at the whole picture BlackSquare was able to negotiate on Ioana’s behalf, finding a company that increased her testing times from 20 to 25min, invested in her clinical development and provided a nice working environment with good equipment and well-trained colleagues.

She has continued to develop as an Optometrist clinically,  and now has the opportunity,  if she wishes, to progress into management or take some time out of the testing room to train colleagues.  With a well-trained team, she knows her clinics will run smoothly and she can focus on providing the very best level of care to her patients. With multiple generations of the same family visiting her, she loves to the continuity of care that retail optometry provides.

With a new role closer to home, more flexibility with her days off, Ioana is able to enjoy her passions outside of work, travelling, and enjoying the great outdoors.

The compound effect is greater than the sum of the parts, lots of small improvements at work and work-life balance mean with a bit of searching you can have the best of both worlds in a high street environment.

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Referral scheme

dan 31/08/2016 0 comments

There is nothing better than the feeling of landing your dream job.

If you help your friends have that feeling and we are more than happy to share our placement fee with you.

All you need to do is let us know the last 4 digits of your friend’s mobile number.

If we don’t know them and they are in an area that’s difficult to recruit in, we can pay up to £1,000

If they are in an easier recruitment area, we can pay up to £250

If we know them, but are not actively discussing opportunities with them, we can pay up to £100

If we are actively working with your recommendation, we will let you know and you can try another.

Referral fees are paid once the candidate has successfully completed their probation period and we have been paid. You are responsible for our own tax payments.

Call us today on 0208 1234 609.

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We have a secret…

dan 27/07/2016 0 comments

It’s hard not to tell people when you know a secret.

BUT we are very excited and need to let you know.

One of our clients, a lovely client, that we have worked with for years, and are their top supplier has given us an exclusive opportunity to go outside of their current salary brackets.

In certain areas of the UK, they will be trialing MUCH larger basic salaries.

They have given ONLY BlackSquare this opportunity (so we need to keep it a secret)

This is for Newly Qualified Optoms through to experienced Optometrists.

For more information call BlackSquare on 01268 928060

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Fear of the unknown

dan 26/07/2016 0 comments

Do you think fears might be holding back your career?

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies.

I know there have been times in my life when I have been, when the fear of the unknown has held me back. When I have made up illogical arguments in my head. Arguments not based on reality, but on what my stupid brain can think up.

This is especially true when it comes to progressing in our careers.

We could be relatively comfortable in our current position, pretty happy.

But wondering about that move to a new company…
How do you know you will like your new job, the patients, the people you work with?

You don’t.
Chances are you will. Chances are you will make some great new friends and have lovely patients/ customers and a great team. Not to mention developing your career and be earning more money.

Think of a time when you really developed personally or professionally, chances are you had to push yourself, you had to move out of your comfort zone, there may have been doubt.

Will I pass this exam?

But you did it, by overcoming your fears, your life reached new levels of success. You passed the exam, you took the next step in your career.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Take a shot, make the move, conquer your fear of the unknown and your life will be all the richer for it.

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WE LOVE Optometry. North East focus.

dan 29/06/2016 0 comments

WE LOVE Optometry. The North East.

Optometry is changing.

Our clients are changing.

Salary is changing.

Now is the time for you to make a change.

BlackSquare Recruitment, Optical and Audiology specialists, are focusing on the North East of England this week. With loads of new and exciting vacancies, up to £65k-£70k DoE OTE FTE, now really is the time to consider your options!

Including a Clinical Director / Joint Venture Partner opportunity in Gateshead Newcastle, as well as normal clinically orientated resident roles throughout Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.

Flexibility is key with these positions. With the option to consider flexibility on weekends, days and times off and longer/shorter days, better work life balance is something you can definitely achieve with my clients in the North East.

If you still need convincing BlackSquare are the UK’s number one Optical Supplier of staff, give us a call. Let our consultants do the hard work and let us prove to you we can improve on nearly everyone’s situation.

We are BlackSquare. We build amazing teams.

We are number one. 

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Ever Considered Domiciliary?

dan 01/06/2016 1 comment

More and more Optometrists I speak to are considering Domiciliary as an option, but for those of you who haven’t researched this sector of the industry before, what does it actually involve? Well, be prepared to have all your questions answered and find out why you should consider domiciliary for your next career move.

Some of the reasons domiciliary is becoming so popular is because of the flexibility it gives to the Optometrists, Dispensing Opticians and Support Staff who come to work there. It has given some of our candidates the time to spend with their children at the weekend, as no weekend working is EVER required. Moreover, with the option now to work more days in the winter and less in the summer (so you can enjoy the lack of good weather we get!) and the option to chose one’s day off during the week, domiciliary clients are getting more and more ahead of the pack regarding flexible options for GOC registered professionals.

The vast majority of Optometrist we speak to also want to spend more time with their patients and is precisely something domiciliary can offer to Optometrists. Within a domiciliary environment, testing times are longer and thus you get to spend more time looking after the patients eye health accordingly. In a normal day you would see roughly 8 patients a day and because most of the patients you will be seeing will have past eye health problems (past cataract extraction, AMD etc.), it’s typical that most patients will require glasses – ultimately meaning you improve on the patient’s vision and day to day life!

Some of the more main reasons that more and more Optometrists are considering a domiciliary position can be found below:

  • Variation of your working day  – it’s rare to have two days that are the same
  • Being ‘out and about’ – being out of the testing room is something that really appeals to a lot Optometrists we speak too. Many Optometrists who work in domiciliary environment see towns and villages they would otherwise never of visited and get to be out in the fresh air – rather than being stuck in dark, dull and cramped testing room!
  •  Your day is fully planned – with a dedicated team planning your day for you, from location to the patient you’re seeing, all you need to do is navigate there!
  • Flexibility – all domiciliary positions include absolutely no weekends! Something that is rare to find in the optical industry. Also, as discussed above, the ability to work full time or part time, and chose your day off in week is imperative to many
  • Low Vision – many patients will have reduced and low vision. Optometrists working in a practice environment often have limited exposure to low vision, but find this type of work rewarding and varied

As you can see from the above reasons, choosing a career in domiciliary is a route that requires a vast amount of learning and it’s normally a steep learning curve for most Optometrists. However, the benefits and variation that can be obtained within a domiciliary environment are second to none!

If you are considering a position within domiciliary, or just want to have some more information regarding your career, please call the team on 0208 1234 609. Please ask for Tom Peppiatt, our Principal Consultant who will be able to guide you through the process.

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