San Diego, CA—
A new service wants to bring the staffing and hiring best practices from some of the most successful companies in the world to eye care.
is eye care’s first online job-matching platform. The company is offering an early access preview before its launch scheduled for mid-May.
The service comes from Matt Geller, OD, founder of OptometryStudents.com
; Ryan Corte, OD, regular contributor to NewGradOptometry.com; Brett Kestenbaum, DPT; and web developer Josh Geller.
“CovalentCareers started because optometrists say staffing is the biggest headache, whether it’s in private practice, corporate practice, or in an ophthalmology practice,” says Dr. Geller. “It’s a big headache. So much of the technology is outdated and based on old ways of doing things.”
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The company uses a matchmaking algorithm that analyzes data from both the employer and the prospective employee. The algorithm uses basic information such as location and position type along with more specific information such as personality, corporate culture, and specialty experience to find the right match for both parties.
Dr. Geller says the name came from the bond between two atoms and connects to the company’s main themes—bonding, stability, and sharing.
Next: Finding the right fit
Finding the right fit
Dr. Geller says CovalentCareers
is aiming to elevate everything about staffing by bringing some the staff and hiring practices from Silicon Valley and Forbes 500 companies to eyecare practices. It’s not just about finding someone to fill a position—it’s all about matching the right employee to the right employer.
“A lot of employees are taking the first job they’re offered or the highest bidder, and they’re finding it’s not a good fit,” he says. “Then they begin to resent optometry. They think that it’s the profession’s fault, when really, it’s not a good fit.”
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Dr. Geller says ODs are looking for the best employees—but they shouldn’t be going to job boards on sites like Craigslist to fulfill their staffing needs.
“You’re looking for great talent, but you’re listing on a place that doesn’t say anything good about the employee or employer,” he says. “Optometrists say they want the best, but they look in a place where they’ll find run-of-the-mill people. We should elevate candidates and put them on a platform where they can really shine.
“If you want good talent, you need to look where talent is elevated and not where you can buy a couch or a bike,” says Dr. Geller.
Next: The details
When setting up an account, an employee fills out the basic education and work experience, but she also select her ideal working hours, office environment, and areas in which she is interested in gaining more experience. Open to relocating? Employees can choose multiple cities to conduct their search. CovalentCareers
will then run their answers through the algorithm to identify their best matches.
“Employees need everything they can get to help them find a job where they can excel,” Dr. Geller says.
Employers fill out similar information, selecting what they’re looking for in an employee. When they log in, they will have access to matches. Certain factors are weighed more heavily, according to Dr. Geller, than others to provide the most accurate match.
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Employers can send messages to the matches they would like to interview to begin an open diaglogue, but employees cannot initiate the conversation. This gives employers the ability to control the hiring process without being bombarded with inquires and messages.
“Doctors don’t have time for that—they’re already being swamped with e-mails, people coming in, calling their offices,” says Dr. Geller. “They want to be able to manage their search on their own time when they’re ready. Why get messages from people they don’t want?”
Employers can also use CovalentCareers as their staffing hub—finding prospective employees, keeping track of whom to interview, and as a resource for answers to their staffing questions. The company has developed a series of videos on staffing and a podcast called Identity on the story of eye care.
Later this summer, Dr. Geller says the company will provide employers with background checks and an employment contract builder, which populates a legal contract. Also in the works are an onboarding document, office manual, and digital document storage for W2s, W9s, I9s, and other employee paperwork.
“We’re trying to bring that whole community in to have a home for employees and employers,” says Dr. Geller. “We can help you put your employees first so you can improve your business.”
Next: What's next for CovalentCareers
What’s next for CovalentCareers
More than 1,000 employees, employers, optical staff, and ophthalmologists have already signed up to CovalentCareers
. With a few weeks to go before the official launch date, Dr. Geller and company are already planning their next move.
The company has plans to expand into ophthalmology and then other areas of health care in the near future. With the help of Dr. Kestenbaum, Covalent Careers will expand to physical therapy later this year.
“We need to organize the desire and talent out there. Right now, it’s a big jumbled mess,” says Dr. Geller. “Covalent Careers organizes that and matches people together so they can pursue a common goal.”
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