Prepare for the ‘September Surge’ at Your Physical Therapy Clinic With Hiring Advice From MEG Business

The season between Labor Day and Halloween is known as the “September Surge”. It’s a period that marks a significant uptick in hiring and recruitment activity. As a PT clinic owner, you can also take advantage of this hiring opportunity to find the best clinicians and staff for your practice. To help you hire smarter, MEG Business is offering some best practices for making the most of the hiring boom this Fall.

The Secret to Hiring Top Performers 


Understand Their Intrinsic Desires

Many PT Clinic owners make the mistake of throwing more money at clinicians to solve their staffing problem. However if you hire someone who is solely motivated by money, they are more likely to leave once they find a better offer at another clinic. Modern PT professionals are no longer just looking for a paycheck at the end of the month. They seek autonomy, flexibility and continuous learning.  Delve deep during interviews to understand your candidate’s professional aspirations and their intrinsic motivations. This will help you gauge if they’re the right fit for your clinic’s culture.

Highlight Ongoing Training and Certifications

When attracting employees, emphasize regular workshops or certification programs your clinic offers. Showcasing your clinic’s dedication to continuous learning can be a compelling draw for potential employees. For instance, seminars on advanced spine care or pediatric physical therapy can appeal to a wide range of PT professionals who value their craft.

Jason Waz, a client of MEG and the clinic owner of Competitive Edge Performance, has been using training programs to attract top talent at his clinic in Florida. 

“It all starts with clinical education,” Jason commented. “After their first year, every one of my clinicians becomes a certified clinical instructor.”

People that apply to work at CEP want to grow in their careers. This is the primary reason CEP gets so many applicants compared to other clinics. Jason has established a culture of learning and growth, therefore his employees see a clear path forward within CEP.

“We get the best applicants because we’ve developed CEP as a center of excellence,” Jason explains.

His testimony underscores the importance of cultivating a strong educational and training environment to attract top talent and promote long-term growth within your clinic.

Switch to a Performance-Based Compensation Model

By implementing a performance-based compensation model, you can address the common challenges faced by PT clinics. People who are paid based on performance tend to become “intrapreneurs”, self-starters and overall better employees. This compensation model can also increase your clinic’s productivity and can serve as a more financially viable payroll option.

To implement performance-based compensation, you’ll need to reward employees based on how many people they help along with the quality of their care. You can measure these aspects of their performance by tracking how many patients they see each week and how their patients rate them using a Net Promoter score.

Always Be Recruiting, Outside and Inside of Your Clinic

In today’s ever-changing economic landscape, it can be detrimental to wait for a vacancy before hiring a new employee. Instead, use a proactive recruitment approach to ensure your clinic is always staffed with the best talent.

Adopting an “always be recruiting” mindset means you are continually on the lookout for potential hires, even if you don’t have an immediate opening. At CEP, Jason has been implementing this principle for 20 years by regularly interviewing potential candidates that are both qualified and share CEP’s ethos. 

“I’ve had candidates create jobs for themselves that didn’t exist,” Jason commented. “We started my clinic director on a per diem, part-time and by the end of the month he had a full schedule.” 

This approach has dual benefits: it reduces the time and stress involved when a position suddenly becomes vacant, and it allows you to truly focus on finding the right person, not just the “right-now” person.

If you are struggling to hire the right candidate, another option would be to hire from within, or internal recruiting. This practice can motivate current staff members and assure them of growth opportunities. Such promotions not only boost morale, but can also save you time on training since the staff member is already familiar with the clinic operations. 

Hire Based On Character and Personality 

While credentials are crucial, the personality of a therapist plays a significant role in patient satisfaction. A cheerful demeanor and the ability to form connections can be more valuable than academic achievements or field experience. 

When hiring, look for a candidate’s soft skills. To evaluate soft skills during the hiring process, consider these questions:

  • How does the candidate handle unexpected scenarios or challenging questions during the interview?
  • Do they actively listen and respond thoughtfully, indicating a deeper level of understanding and empathy?
  • How do they perceive and handle feedback? Are they defensive or open to growth?
  • What is their approach to handling a patient who is challenging or non-responsive to treatment?
  • What are their hobbies and interests outside of work? (Often, these answers can give insight into a candidate’s character and how they might connect with patients on a personal level.)

Identify Your Clinic’s Unique Working Proposition

As a physical therapy business owner, you probably already know that it’s important to have a unique selling proposition to attract clients. The same concept also applies to attracting potential employees. You have to create a unique working proposition

In other words, why would a top performer want to work at your PT clinic?

Perhaps, your clinic is renowned for their tuition reimbursement program or maybe you’re known as the clinic of the future. To develop a unique working proposition, you have to identify what is most important to your potential candidates. 

For example, at Jason Waz’s clinic, he’s established CEP as a progressive practice that utilizes technology and training programs to provide the most comprehensive and efficient treatments. Employees choose to work at CEP, because they want to become a part of an progressive institution with state-of-the-art technology.

Know When to Outsource vs. Hire

Many positions like front desk or admin do not require a dedicated employee. Innovative services, like virtual front desk, are disrupting the traditional PT clinic roles. The progressive PT clinic knows when to outsource tasks vs. hiring new employees

Outsourcing can be cost-effective for short-term needs or specialized skills, such as website development or PT billing, offering immediate expertise and flexibility. It’s crucial to weigh immediate needs, costs, long-term goals and cultural alignment when choosing between these options. Often, a mix of both approaches offers optimal results.

Recruit a High-Performing Team For Your Physical Therapy Practice

Navigating the complexities of hiring and managing a PT staff can be challenging, especially with the fluctuating hiring landscape. However, it’s important to remember that your employees determine the success of your clinic so hiring the right people is critical.

For more tips on hiring and managing your team, check out MEG Business Academy to access in-depth tools, strategies and support tailored to your PT clinic. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to elevate your clinic’s operations and patient experience. 

MEG Academy - Physical Therapy Business Training

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