There’s one thing I understand very clearly:
If you can’t hire and hold onto great staff, practice success and life itself become so much more difficult.
Some practice owners say it becomes practically impossible! There’s just too much stress, too many blocks to growth, too many disappointments.
Where are the “black holes” in any hiring activity that create this difficulty?
- Potential clinicians, especially speech therapists, are aware their skills are in high demand. Therefore, they can sense you need them more than they need you.
- Educational institutions and career guidance staff mislead clinicians into expecting higher salaries than your market would bear. They do this to offset the price of education, leading clinicians to believe they can pay off student loans in two years with the right job.
- Clinicians expect a yearly raise of 3% to 5% based on length of employment at your practice with no commensurate increase in their productivity.
- Staff don’t fit into the culture you’ve created so carefully
- Some employees are unproductive and you may lack the skills to incentivize them. Plus, without the proper policies and procedures in place, they may not know the responsibilities and expectations of their jobs.
- Clinicians leave and open their own practices
Hiring the right staff can make or break your practice. It all begins with knowing how to attract the quality employees you want. There’s where marketing comes into play.
Where to Begin
There’s a way of marketing for new staff that will attract more good ones than the other type. Here are two steps you should take right away to clarify your hiring process so you end up with a recruitment message that really zings for the right kind of employee.
- Decide on the ideal attributes for the personnel to be placed in the position you’re hiring for. This should definitely include having a strong purpose to help others.
- Next, detail the distinctive characteristics of your private practice. What makes you unique? Why is your practice a more desirable place to work than others? (You might get some valuable insights from your current employees!)
With this information in hand, you can more easily create a unique identity for your practice and communicate that in your recruitment efforts. You’ll also be able to spot the best candidates to invite into your team when they present themselves.
Where to Find Good Staff
You will really save yourself some time if you cultivate the recruitment channels that are most likely to pay off and skip those more likely to be a waste of time.
It might surprise you, but here are the top sources of great long-term staff:
- Friends of your current employees
- Your patients and their friends
- Colleges teaching pediatric PT, OT and ST
- Recruiters and owners from other practices
- Contacts you develop via equipment salespeople and other vendors
How to Promote for Employees
You’ve defined your practice’s own unique characteristics and the kind of person you’re looking for; you know the primary channels to use. Now what? Now you get your message out.
Here are the channels you can use to get recruits interested in you:
- Google ads targeted to the local area
- Facebook ads
- Word-of-mouth campaigns via employees, vendors and patients
- Distributing recruitment referral cards or business cards
- Offering finder’s fees to your employees or vendors (payable after the new employee stays a certain period of time)
- Holding open houses (check for local health guidelines first)
Adding a Careers page to your website listing the positions that are open, qualities desired in new employees and opportunities for training and advancement
Recruit Before You Need to Hire
Never hire under fire! That’s why I tell practice owners to recruit before you need to hire. This is the key to never being blindsided by an employee’s move out of state, pregnancy or other life change. Otherwise, you might be forced to hire the next person who comes along just because they have a pulse.
Staff turnover is one of the most costly and disappointing aspects of owning a private practice. You can reduce turnover by hiring only those people who are a fit for your culture and practice.
Use the channels we’ve just discussed to keep a fresh and viable pool of candidates available with more leads coming in all the time. Constantly promote your culture on social media, such as Facebook and Instagram. Make a special file of the candidates that would be a good match for your practice and let them know you’ll be in touch when an opening occurs.
Then, as soon as a need arises, you can pull out that file and choose from the high-quality prospects you have accumulated. You won’t be scrambling to fill a sudden vacancy—what a relief that is! You’ll have plenty of resources to choose from to replace the employee who’s moving on or to expand your practice when you’re ready.
Your stress is reduced and your expansion is facilitated. Doesn’t get much better than that!
More Hiring Tools Are Available to You
We’ve got a book that can help you with your hiring: Keys to Private Practice Success. It’s got lots of tips to make your interviewing and hiring less stressful and more successful. Click here to learn more.
And for more help and techniques on managing your pediatric PT/OT/ST private practice, check out our free Lemonade webinar library.