Private Practice Hiring: How to Beat the Competition

The secret to hiring the best candidates for your practice is to arrive first and distinguish yourself from the competition. As soon as you locate a good candidate, get things started right away by reaching out to them the same day. 

If you’re not only in charge of your whole practice, you’re also in charge of human resources, you are going to have to be careful with your time to ensure you have the time to reach out promptly. 

Another key to acquiring great staff is beating the competition to this good prospect. How are you going to beat the competition and set yourself apart? Make these candidates feel more valuable when they talk to you than when they talk to any other practice.

Getting in Touch with Recruitment Prospects by Email

A great initial contact is through email. When I send out this initial email, it has links to a video that shows a day in the life at ABC Pediatric Therapy. There’s a YouTube video that shows a treatment session. That goes out right away. 

We also send a link to our website that communicates our culture. That page should express, “Look how much fun we have at work, check us out.” This first email is really fun and upbeat. Craft it carefully to make sure it represents the culture of your practice well. Then you can send it many times as you locate likely candidates. 

Show your candidates how much fun you have. Direct them to a page on your website that shows the fun. Show everyone out bowling or dressed in Halloween costumes. (Include these images when you post on a job website, too.) 

When you feature a therapist with a child, focus on showing the fun they are both having. That’s what your hiring prospects are looking for—fun and growth.

Contacting Recruitment Prospects via Video Call

As soon as a potential teammate reaches out to you, schedule a video call. Don’t schedule them for an in-person visit in two weeks because they’ll probably take another job by then. Get them on a call before anyone else can make them an offer. 

Create a friendly and pleasant atmosphere in the call. Remember, you’re setting yourself apart. Really draw them into the culture of your practice. Make them feel valued. 

If that video call goes well, immediately schedule a site visit with your Clinical Director and your team. 

The Site Visit with Your Employment Prospects

Schedule prospects to come in to observe multiple staff for at least two hours before they meet with the Clinical Director. The prospect has a chance to ask plenty of questions and your staff have a chance to share their opinion of the prospective team member. We use an internal instant messaging system where we can send each other notes like, “She was great,” or “Thumbs down.”

Before the candidate meets with the Clinical Director, make sure the CD knows about any red flags or subjects she should question the prospect about. I might tell my CD, “Here’s what’s important to her. Here’s what we need to play up.” 

I make sure our front desk knows the prospect is coming so that the front desk person says, “Oh, Whitney, hello. We were expecting you. We’re so excited that you’re here.” In how many offices do you think the front desk is going to know their name and be so excited that they arrived? Here’s another chance to set yourself apart from everyone else in your community.

Making Your Employment Prospect an Offer on the Spot

Here’s the steps to take if you, your CD and staff agree on this candidate.

  1. Make them a verbal offer while they’re there. Tell them, “We love you. Let me tell you, we would love to make you a verbal offer right now. Here is the salary… What do you think?” This makes them feel good about themselves so they’re thinking, “They made me feel so valuable. They really want me.” 
  2. I often add something like this: “We want you to feel valued. We want you to know, above any other place you might be looking, that we think you’re amazing.” 
  3. Most candidates are going to want to go home and talk to their spouses. Not many respond, “Yeah, I’ll take it.” But in their hesitation before answering, you can gauge their reaction. 
  4. You can even ask them, “Where else are you looking? Where else do you have interviews set up?” and let them tell you.
  5. Follow up the verbal offer with a written offer.

After Your Candidate’s Acceptance of Your Offer

For most candidates, there’s a delay between the time they accept your offer and the day they start. In this interim, be sure to stay in touch. Suppose you hire someone in June but they won’t start until August. You need to know what’s happening in the meantime. Are they taking a licensure exam? Are they getting married? Are they having a baby? Are they going on a trip of a lifetime to Europe? 

You, your staff and the CD should reach out frequently during this delay. Say things like “Good luck on your licensure exam. You got this. Let us know if you want any help studying. We’re happy to help. We’ve been there.” Let them know you care about them as a person. That’s important because we’ve had people accept an offer in June and withdraw in July. You don’t want that!

Whether you need help hiring, training or retaining staff, join in the conversation with other Private Practice Owners who are facing the same challenges you are!  Visit the Peds-A-Palooza Facebook page, share your stories and questions and start growing!. 

About Diane Crecelius

Diane Crecelius is a physical therapist and founder of a multi-million-dollar, multi-location practice with well over 3,000 visits per week and 200 staff! In the past several years, Diane has worked tirelessly to support the Peds-A-Palooza group and the success of Private Practice Owners. Diane has presented at nearly every Peds-A-Palooza live and virtual conference since the first sold-out conference in 2018. Her extensive knowledge derives from her decades in practice and from being trained and consulted by Survival Strategies, Inc. She uses this training to help Private Practice Owners learn how to thrive and expand while keeping their stress low.