Don’t Settle When Hiring Clinicians

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Don't Settle When Hiring Clinicians | Image showing a handshake between two mental health clinicians | Hiring Clinicians to Your Group Practice | Practice of the Practice

The Key to Hiring Clinicians to Your Group Practice

Whether this is your very first interview or your 40th, always remember that you shouldn’t settle when hiring clinicians. It’s so easy to hire the first, second, or even third person that you interview – even though they don’t have everything (or even most things) needed in a new hire.

Patience Promises the Right Clinician

It’s tempting to compromise your ideals and hire someone who is available and ready to start now. You have referrals coming in, and a wait-list, so you needed a new therapist on board yesterday. It’s so difficult to be patient, to tell candidates who aren’t ideal “no, sorry”, and to wait for that perfect someone to come along. But if you do, in the end, you will have your wonderful-fit therapist and the wait will be worth it!

The Thin Line Between Picky vs. Settling Too Quickly When Hiring Clinicians

Conversely, you also don’t want to be so picky that you don’t leave room for growth with a new hire. Walking that thin line between not settling and being too picky can be challenging. It takes time and experience to figure out. If you haven’t already in your career, you’ll make at least one bad hire. Look back and ask yourself, where did I go wrong? What warning signs did I see but ignore at the time? What expectations did I not make clear? You can take your bad hire experience and learn from it. You will need to so that you don’t make the same mistake again.

The Right Candidate is Out There

You know what or who you need, and you have a vision of how this new therapist will fit into your practice. But it’s just seeming like what you want isn’t out there. You’ve spent a few weeks posting free ads, maybe paying for a few, and all you’ve gotten are people who don’t meet the basic position requirements. Hold steady, the right candidate for you at the right time is out there and looking for just the right practice to work with.

In the meantime, while you wait, how can you be creative with meeting the needs of your demand or waitlist? This is a wonderful opportunity to make connections with other therapists in the community who aren’t full and refer a few clients their way. Maybe they can return the favor in the future! Or you can start up a group and serve 6-10 people in the same time that you serve one person doing individual therapy. Group therapy isn’t a replacement for individual therapy, but it can certainly be effective and useful depending on the topic, and helps you meet the demand for your services.

Don’t Ignore Red Flags When Hiring Clinicians

How a candidate interacts with you during the interview process says a lot about how that person will be to work with. If they are professional, on-time, and with few demands, you can expect to hire a low-maintenance therapist.

However, if there are multiple instances of canceling and rescheduling the interview, silence when you email that person for more information, or a general lack of respect towards you, that is what you can expect to see when they become a contractor or employee with your practice. It’s so easy to explain away or ignore things during the hiring process because you want someone so desperately. It is far easier to ignore your gut instinct and hire the best of your candidates than it is to say, sorry, this isn’t going to work out and to continue the waiting game. But if you do choose to wait it out, you will save yourself a lot of headaches down the pike.

If this is your first time hiring a new clinician, it will be more difficult still to not settle on the first few candidates you get. I wish for you that the very first person who applies to work with your practice is your great fit therapist, but if that doesn’t happen, don’t despair. The right candidate is out there, just waiting to hear about your practice, and will work hard for you. You can do this!

First Time Hiring Clinicians?

Find out more about hiring clinicians if this is your first time hiring, and read through Shannon’s 3-Part hiring process where she shares her top tips:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Shannon Heers

Shannon Heers is a licensed professional counselor in Colorado. She owns the private-pay group practice Catalyss Counseling in the Denver metro area, focusing on helping adults manage their anxiety, grief, and trauma. Shannon is also an experienced clinical supervisor and manager who offers business consultation services to other therapists. She balances working with raising her two young children.