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How to Attract and Retain Talent in Your PT Practice

Are you wondering how to find the best PT talent? Read this article to learn impactful tips on attracting and retaining the best physical therapists at your practice.

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Attracting and Retaining Talent

Being a physical therapist isn’t easy. Busy practice owners know that keeping staff happy and energetic with a difficult work regime can be daunting. Attracting passionate PTs who enjoy their work means practice owners can save valuable time by maximizing patient count and outcomes.

If only it were easy.

In a study conducted by Employee Benefits News, employee churn cost roughly $15,000 per employee—or 33% of their salary. So, how can prudent practice owner keep their employees and avoid the hassle?

In this article, we’ll outline the top ways to attract and retain premium PT talent at your practice.

Refine The Screening & Hiring Process

Every PT practice should have a well-defined screening and hiring process. This process will attract better candidates and help retain talent. If this step is glazed over, managers could bring in candidates who aren’t ideal, creating more turnover.

Start by screening candidates appropriately by using brief phone interviews and online job descriptions to ensure candidates have the following:

  • Required PT qualifications
  • Time in service
  • A professional resume
  • Excellent references
  • An understanding of the job and its requirements

After implementing a screening process, narrow the list using face-to-face interviews. The goal of interviewing a candidate—contrary to popular belief—is to ensure they’re a culture fit. Establish standards and transparency for better results and treat the interview process as a discovery phase.

Set a Robust Company Culture

When a practice owner’s values align with the rest of the staff, great things tend to happen. Leaders who establish and propel an excellent company culture build more satisfied teams.

Start with a guideline, a physical document (especially during onboarding) that teams can lean on to explain why. It should contain core principles stemming from the practice owner’s ambitions, beliefs and experiences. This guideline includes a concise mission statement and a vision of the future.

Use the company culture to shape daily decisions—especially when it comes to hiring. Hiring employees that believe in company values can strengthen the cause and rally teams around a unified mission.

Define Transparent Responsibilities & Goals

Establishing overarching goals is an excellent start, but what about the individuals within the organization?

PT and administrative staff should have an effective management structure to guide them in their specific job duties. If possible, put evergreen procedures in writing and give employees the proper tools to complete the task. Empower PTs through educational workshops and continuing education courses (CEUs) for more complex subjects—like maintaining excellent patient relationships.

It’s also a good idea to determine goals during performance reviews. These goals work alongside transparency to develop staff members into more confident, skilled employees. The result is better job performance, happier teams, and career longevity.

Produce Quality Work

As simple as it sounds, churning out quality work makes for happier patients and dedicated employees. People take pride in doing their job well. Besides, seeing patients recover is more powerful than a hefty paycheck. When a practice gets the reputation for being the best of breed, quality talent will come running.

PT practice owners who are looking to attract and retain top-tier talent don’t cut corners. They lead by example and incorporate the values established in their mission guidelines.

Pay Well and Regularly Access Compensation

Salary is essential to augment employee longevity and, for many employees, the most important factor.

In the retail space, companies like Costco, Walmart, and Amazon have increased their minimum wage to $15 or higher. And time and time again, they’ve generated robust profits, lower turnover rates and more productivity.

The same theory holds true in physical therapy. Often, especially out of college, PTs struggle with expensive student loans, taking care of a family and learning a stressful new position while earning a national average of $63,000 annually. This is an excellent wage for many Americans, but PTs are incredibly skilled workers who’ve dedicated many years of their lives to the profession.

Additionally, practice owners should regularly access pay levels and provide ample compensation to top performers. Most PTs will expect a yearly salary increase, but employers should consider performance-based raises—especially if PTs are learning new skills that bring value to the practice.

If practice owners pay what they can afford, teams will more consistently enjoy their role, put in the extra effort, and radiate much-needed positivity towards patients.

Grow Staff Through Continued Education & Coaching

Every PT has unique needs. Great managers understand this and often adjust their style of leadership to unlock an employee’s full potential.

Often, leaders can accomplish this through small nudges over time. If managers can pinpoint weaknesses in their routine (or resume), it provides excellent goal “fodder.” Using a mix of performance reviews, on-the-spot coaching (or shadowing), and CEUs can strengthen PTs while empowering them to make better decisions.

In 2019, according to Ladders.com, the average candidate prioritized career growth over salary by a small percentage—with younger candidates having an even stronger preference for career growth. The point being: ensuring employees accomplish their personal goals is a big win for job satisfaction, retention, and productivity.

The Bottom Line

Bringing in the best talent and keeping them happy is a challenge leaders must tackle. When the proper systems are in place before an applicant becomes an employee, it can significantly reduce the effort practice owners put forth managing expectations and driving results. Ideally, building these systems around the company culture will ensure employee longevity with the help of proper goal setting, practical wages, and a steady runway for career growth.

These measures will ultimately increase profitability and the quality of work if busy practice owners can separate from daily tasks to manage their staff effectively. If you find yourself too busy to put these measures in place—maybe it’s time for a change. Finding time is easier when mundane tasks are automated, communications are easy, and billing blunders don’t exist. With our all-in-one software, you’ll gain access to a powerful suite of tools made by physical therapists, for physical therapists. Check out our website to see how we can help your practice run smoothly or try our free demo today to see for yourself!

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