My career advice

“Applicants need to be committed to a truly high standard of eye care”

Zach Hughes, recruitment marketing executive at the Hakim Group, explains what those applying for jobs at the company should know

Zach Hughes

What role do you take in the hiring of new staff members?

My role is to attract the right talent to our family of independent practices at Hakim Group. I’ve also been involved in helping the team ensure that we provide our candidates with the best experience possible both during, and after, the recruitment process.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in the Hakim Group?

They need to be committed to a truly high standard of eye care. Many of the independent practices within Hakim Group operate longer testing times, offer the latest technology and have an ongoing programme of professional training.

Independents often have multi-generational loyalty with their patients and building a positive relationship with the community is just as important as giving them the level of care that they have come to expect of their local practice.

Building a positive relationship with the community is just as important as giving them the level of care that they have come to expect


What’s the first thing you look for when shortlisting candidates?

We look for people who are joining the team for the right reasons. As a values-driven business, it’s important to us that the people we bring into practice are honest, ambitious, kind and hardworking, with attention to detail.

How important is the cover letter?

Cover letters are a good opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd. We see many applications, and there needs to be something in there that really stands out and makes it memorable. Optics is all about people, and we’re genuinely interested to get to know you: what gets you out of bed in the morning? What Netflix show are you binging on right now? Are Jaffa Cakes biscuits?

What’s the biggest mistake someone can make in an interview?

Turning up to an interview without doing your research is pretty high on the list of interview faux pas. It only takes a couple of probing questions to figure that out. Likewise, not asking questions and not showing a genuine interest is a mistake. The interview is your chance to give the practice a grilling as well. Don’t forget that recruitment is always a two-way process.

A new employee is preparing for their first week at a Hakim Group practice. What are your tips for a successful start?

Start to connect with your new team mates. We’re a friendly bunch, so this should be easy enough. Also, don’t hesitate to connect with me or any of my colleagues at HQ – there is a lot of support available to those who join our independent practice teams.

What steps does Hakim Group take to ensure that the hiring process is fair?

All of our candidates are pre-screened by the recruitment team before they get to interview at a practice. Our team is very experienced and is constantly reviewing feedback to ensure that our assessment criteria is fair and balanced.

We also do our best to ensure our independent practices are prepared for interviews. We support them with our knowledge, providing questioning tips or even sitting in on the interviews if they would like us to.

So far, we’ve had a near 100% success rate with our Joint Venture Partners, with little to no attrition over the last 10 years. Once our partners join, they simply don’t leave – which is testament to the relationships that we build and the time we take to ensure that we get the fit right for both parties.