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5 Tips For Staff Recruitment In Physiotherapy

in All Physio Blogs, Physio Business/Marketing
9 May 2017  |  1 Comment

There are several of factors to consider when recruiting a physiotherapist.  It can be a daunting process for all of us at times.  The added pressure on our time makes it all the more difficult. The below addresses 5 tips for you to consider when recruiting for your business.

1. Identify the current position of the business
There are a series of questions you should be able to answer to recruit effectively.  Understanding your current position is crucial.  A recruitment strategy ideally ties into an overall business plan designed to deliver the outcomes you seek from your business.

Good questions to start with include:

  • How are we performing relatively to our business plan?
  • What competencies do we currently have in our business?
  • Where are our competitive advantages as a business?
  • What are the strengths of our existing team?

Know your business – your numbers (turnover, profitability, seasonality); and your potential (opportunities for new revenue streams).

2. Identify what would fit your business

The above ties in neatly to your next point – what skills would complement your current capability?  Before finding a specific employee, you should know clearly what your team can and can’t do.  In light of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and your business’ limitations the range of skills or specialities that could take you to the next level should be clear.  Make a list of them.  When assessing your candidates, match them to this list.  You are unlikely to cover all bases, but this should support a good decision when identifying your next team member.

The question to ask:

  • Are their gaps in the existing skills of the team that if filled, would create a competitive advantage for your business?

Know the existing clinical strengths and weaknesses of your team.

3. Identify who will fit your team

What will fit your business and who will fit your team are two different questions.  It is important to take a step back from the inner workings of the business and see the bigger picture.

When recruiting, we can be attracted to qualities that we ourselves possess, but these qualities are not necessarily the attributes that would fit within your environment. For example, it takes leadership to run a business, and leadership is a desired quality, but so is taking direction and implementing strategy. With the wrong personality mix, differing opinions can be a source of tension.

Although you may have the desire to delegate some of the leadership in your business, it is also important for your team to have flexibility. A good leader is not necessarily a good follower and it is important that your staff are able to follow your direction when given.

More important than skills and experience, is attitude.  Willingness to help others, patience, genuine care and concern for clients and staff, creativity and enthusiasm will all go a long way in helping your business to thrive.  Consider the environment you are trying to shape as a key consideration.

  • What are the existing personalities in my team (positives and negatives)?
  • Are you happy with your team dynamics?
  • If this is a replacement position, are you happy with how that person worked in the team?
  • How do you want the employee to connect with the people around them?

It is very important to establish the attributes that you are looking for in your new team member.  Whilst a high skill level and clinical reasoning is important, don’t discount the importance of the relationship within your staff.
Know the kind of person you want.

5. Find the right person

There are a range of sources you could consider for finding new people – on-line recruitment, social media, direct to university careers advisers, your existing network or paying a recruitment agent.  Even if you are paying a recruitment specialist, don’t just assume they will get it right.

When considering a shortlist of potential candidates, the information provided in a CV can be quite different from the impression you receive a face-to-face.  It is very important to have an in-person interview.  The way in which a person responds to your comments, shares information with you and their body language when they interact with you are all important components.  Remember, this person is representing you in your business. The way they speak to your clients is crucial - the tone and the language can either put your clients at ease and fill them with confidence or make them feel foolish.

Establish the level of the candidate’s knowledge and manual skills, but be mindful of the points above – will they complement your team, can they connect with clients, are they able to follow your lead, learn and grow?
If you believe you have decided on your final candidate, invite them in to treat a couple of your clients before making an offer.  The feedback from your client will be crucial in determining whether the applicant will be a good fit for you.  It will also give you an idea of their approach to treatment, manual skill level and clinical reasoning.
Finally, don’t rush it.  Do it properly.

It is better to wait for the right person, than fill a need with a clinician who won’t be an ideal fit for your business.  Not only do you risk the satisfaction of your clientele, but your staff morale and team dynamics can also be negatively affected.  It can be a costly and difficult process trying to repair damaged relationships and to win back clients who have lost confidence in your business.

It is better to communicate with your staff and your clients about it being a busy time.  Inform them that you are taking the appropriate measures to engage the right person.  But let them know that your primary concern is that whoever comes into your business will be worthy of your clients and existing team.

As a final point, do it properly.  In Australia, we have minimum standards for employment of all staff.  Contact the Fair Work Ombudsman to ensure your terms and conditions on offer meet the minimum requirements and you aren’t creating a problem that you could have easily avoided.

About The Author: Sophie Halsall-McLennan is Physiotherapist who has a special interest in treating back pain in the Geelong region of Australia. She is also the owner of Fresh Start Physiotherapy, has a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from Charles Sturt Physiotherapy, and over 12 years of clinical experience as a Physiotherapist and is registered with AHPRA.

Sophie Halsall-McLennan

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