Hiring the right team for your PT practice is critical to keeping patients happy and growing your business. But, we all know too well the challenges of recruiting and hiring top talent that can enhance your existing team—and not disrupt the flow. Many practice owners also struggle with the time and dedicated attention needed to staffing. Already busy schedules and day to day pressures make interviewing candidates and observing interactions just another item on the to-do list.
So how can you set up a system for hiring physical therapy teams that works for your practice? Start by analyzing your current process—what works and what doesn’t. Then, explore HR and recruiting best practices to build a more robust system. Lastly, you should test and implement the changes to see the results. Solicit direct feedback from your staff and monitor new hire experiences to measure success. Let’s explore some easy tips to help you turn from hiring newbie to recruiting pro.
Easy Ways to Hire Top Talent for Your Practice
1. Determine which job postings work best.
Most practices post job listings on multiple websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor. Often, this could mean 30 minutes or more per posting, which translates into hours of work for one position. Instead, track your last couple successful hires. Which website did they apply from? Did you see better results with interviews from a certain site or group of sites? Start by posting only on these ones and save time up front.
2. Have job descriptions for every role in the practice.
As a best practice, you should have job descriptions for every position from physical therapist to administrative assistant. Keep these current and modify them to suit your changing business needs. You can easily copy and paste these into job postings, offer letters, onboarding materials, and compliance documents.
3. Send quarterly recruiting mailers.
Most practices only recruit new candidates when there is a need—someone left or your staff cannot keep up with demand. A consistent brand presence in the recruiting world helps potential candidates connect with your practice. Mailing quarterly postcards to recruitment lists promotes your practice and makes it easier to find candidates when needed.
4. Have a careers section of your website.
Most online job postings have a space to link to your website. It adds professionalism and credibility to link from the posting to a more detailed description on your own website. And, it allows potential applicants to explore your practice’s mission, About Us, staff bios and services. Download our free guide for tips on marketing your PT practice and getting more new patients
5. Screen out applicants before interviewing.
Some practice owners are worried about missing “the one” and decided to interview every applicant. If you only have a few responses, this might be the only solution. But, it is better time spent to interview two good candidates than 10 mediocre ones. If you can look at a resume and tell the candidate isn’t a good fit, don’t interview them. You will save time communicating, scheduling interviews etc.
6. Use a framework for phone and in-person interviews.
Especially if you have a lot of applicants, it can be hard to make comparisons across interviews. A framework can provide objectivity to the review and help identify stellar candidates. SOAR or Situation Obstacles Actions Results is a common framework that works well for both practical and professional questions. For example, as the candidate to describe a time when they disagreed with the doctor’s diagnosis and how they solved for the patient. Then, use the SOAR method to categorize their response. Look for key words like “coordinated, collaborated, advised” to identify leadership and solution seeking skills.
7. Decline unfit candidates right away.
There is no need to dangle the carrot in front of someone who is just not a good fit. It could be experience, behavior, attitude or references. But, if someone is not going to add value to your team then you need to politely let them know. A simple phone call or email with “Thank you for your interest, but we will not be pursuing you as a candidate for the role” suffices.
8. Keep top candidates around until you know the new hire works out.
For the most part, once someone accepts an offer, you will have a new staff member if 2-4 weeks. But, we have all seen this not work out. Accepted offers do not always equal new employees or ones that last. Too many practice owners let other good, viable candidates loose once anyone accepts. Instead, keep the candidates informed and let them know you will get back to them in a few weeks once some decisions are made. This gives you time to ensure the offered applicant passes all checks and meshes well with your team.
9. Get testimonials from new employees once they have settled in.
It makes it a lot easier to attract more great talent if your current employees are raving about working at the practice. Once a new hire hits the 30 day mark, ask them to review your interview process on whichever website they applied through. Positive reviews from newly hired, happy staff boost your recruiting strategy and professional outlook.
10. Introduce your new hire to patients and the public through marketing.
Once onboard, new staff members sometimes struggle to find their spot in the practice. Take the time to check in regularly during the first couple weeks to ensure they are getting the support and coaching needed. Also, have their bio and picture added to the website so that any prior patients can find them and come see you for care. Include a spotlight in your newsletter to let readers know you have a new team member. If they have certain skills or experiences that are interesting, readers may connect and be more likely to call and book an appointment for PT.
Hiring physical therapy teams that work for your practice is one of the toughest roles as an owner. You need to be confident that everyone on the staff is happy and representing your mission and brand to patients. For more information on physical therapy recruiting and practice management, Subscribe to the PT Marketing Blog and follow us on LinkedIn!