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It’s no secret that physical therapists (PTs), occupational therapists (OTs), and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are are in high demand. In fact, between 2010 and 2020, industry experts expect employment rates for physical therapists to increase by 39% (tweet this stat!)—that’s significantly higher than almost all other occupations. In other words, if you’re looking to hire the best in class from the next generation of rehab therapists, you’re bound to have some seriously steep competition. But that doesn’t mean you should just get in line and wait quietly until it’s your turn to recruit; it means you should start taking the necessary steps right now to ensure that your clinic is recruit-worthy and recruit-ready. Here are four steps to attracting top-tier therapy talent:
1. Whip Your Clinic into Shape
Start by taking a really critical—honest—look at the way your clinic is running. Is it streamlined and efficient or bloated and sluggish? Are you operating lean with a team of rockstars, or are you carrying some dead weight? Are your clinicians maximizing their time performing patient care, or is your team burdened by cumbersome administrative tasks—like paper charting and filing?
It’s okay if you see room for improvement because, well, there’s always room for improvement. And there’s no blame there. Look at this as the perfect opportunity to address these issues head-on—whether that means implementing educational programs to make sure your employees are performing at the highest level or adopting EMR so your staff is able to spend less time documenting, scheduling, and billing, and more time treating patients or attracting new business.
Regardless of which solution is best for your clinic, a thorough analysis of your processes and procedures will always lead you to ways you can boost your clinic’s productivity and organization. And the better your clinic runs, the more appealing you’ll be as a new employer.
2. Beef Up Your Benefit Package
Now that your office is whirring and purring, it’s time to evaluate your clinic’s benefits—and I mean more than competitive salaries and health insurance. It’s a no-brainer that to be competitive in the hiring market, you’ve got to offer competitive salaries, but benefits go so much further than that. Think about the intangible benefits your clinic offers (e.g., paid time off, flexible schedules, remote access to documentation, office iPads, team-building events, a collaborative environment) and jot them down. Got it? If you’re staring at a blank—or almost blank—piece of paper, you got some ‘splaining to do and some benefits to rethink. If you’ve got a great list going, that’s awesome! Now think about how you’re going to market these perks to potential candidates.
3. Get Your Head in the Game
You’ve taken the time—and the capital—to whip your clinic into shape and beef up your benefit package. Now, don’t just wait on the sidelines for top talent to come to you. Go find them! But first, make sure you know what you want. Take the time to consider your clinic’s culture and what traits the ideal candidate will demonstrate to be the right fit. In other words, nail down your job description. Then, start networking within the rehab community, partner with local schools to meet new and soon-to-be graduates, and book speaking engagements to demonstrate your leadership in the industry. Oh, and don’t forget to advertise. Whether it’s through traditional channels or social media, getting the word out about your clinic will increase brand awareness for prospective talent and prospective patients—double whammy.
4. Ask the Right Questions
Interviewing is a bit of a game—you and the candidate are on your very best behavior and it can be difficult in the span of an hour to really get to know one another. That’s why the right questions matter—specifically ones designed to uncover professional ability, natural intelligence, problem solving skills, and cultural fit. Don’t wing it. Prepare well ahead of time. Create a list of questions that feel right to you—or take a look at some of the expert interviewing advice out there. There’s plenty of it. Then, interview again—in a different setting, with different people. It’s always helpful to put your candidates in a less formal environment to really get a deeper understanding of who they are as people and what they’ll be able to contribute to the team. Also, remember, the interview process is a two-way street. If you expect potential employees to be honest in their responses, you best be honest, too. Otherwise, it’ll cost you both a lot of frustration—and money—if you find out later on that it wasn’t the right fit at all.
Now that you’ve read up on how to hire top-tier talent, aren’t you just dying to know how to keep them? You’re in luck! Stay tuned to the WebPT blog tomorrow for a post on how to retain top talent.
Have your own how-to-hire advice? We’d love to hear it. Share your tips in the comment section below.