Published on March 8th, 2023
Physical therapy has consistently been one of the most in-demand professions in the healthcare industry.
Due to a rise in the growing older population, a surge in chronic health disorders, and health insurance becoming more commonly accessible to an increasing number of individuals, the demand for physical therapists in the medical sector is on the rapid rise.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for physical therapists is projected to rise at a much faster rate than the average in the next ten years (source)
While high demand for Physical therapists is beneficial for businesses, failing to recruit appropriate staff can have detrimental effects in the long term. Finding the right Physical Therapist for your practice is essential for sustaining patient satisfaction and increasing your business.
So, what qualities help distinguish an excellent physical therapist?
First comes their ability to perform their job responsibilities.
Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who use their understanding of exercise, and movement to assist clients with injury rehabilitation, pain management, chronic illness management, and other issues.
They deal with an extensive variety of problems, including:
The role of a physical therapist is highly dynamic and patient-specific, with each day presenting new challenges and opportunities for growth. As every patient's injury and rehabilitation needs are unique, a physical therapist must have the ability to work closely with their patients to develop customized treatment plans tailored to their individual needs. This requires a broad range of skills and a deep understanding of the human body. While some physical therapists may specialize in treating specific types of injuries or conditions, all must possess a diverse skill set and a commitment to ongoing learning and professional development to provide the highest level of care to their patients.
Regardless of their specialization, a physical therapist's responsibilities will typically include:
Examining a patient's medical history, as well as records from other health providers.
Creating tailored plans for patients, describing goals, and expected outcomes.
Improving a patient’s health and wellness while preventing further injury by using exercises, stretching motions, and equipment.
Assessing a patient's progress and making necessary changes to the care plan.
Now that we've defined the primary role of physical therapists in the industry and their fundamental responsibilities, we can move on to the next critical step: the hiring process.
Recruiting a professional physical therapist is a crucial decision that can impact the quality of patient care and your practice's reputation in the healthcare market. However, finding the right candidate is not as simple as posting a job advertisement and waiting for responses. The recruitment process can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Therefore, it's essential to make informed hiring decisions that benefit your practice.
To help you in this process, here are nine strategies that can assist you in hiring highly experienced physical therapists for your hospital or private practice.
Crafting a comprehensive job description is a critical step when starting the hiring process for a physical therapist. A well-crafted job listing should contain a detailed job description and specific hiring requirements. Start the listing by providing an overview of your practice, followed by information about therapy specialties and patient demographics. Be transparent by providing a clear and honest list of all the responsibilities, requirements, and restrictions of the role. As with any medical-related job, it's crucial to identify and publish the necessary licenses, certifications, and degrees that candidates must possess. In the field of physical therapy, these credentials often demonstrate the completion of an accredited training program, making them essential hiring requirements.
When seeking to hire a physical therapist, practices may face the decision of whether to bring on a full-time employee or contract with a freelancer. The choice between the two depends on the specific needs of the practice and the type of facility seeking to fill the position. Outpatient clinics and hospitals, for example, may choose to hire freelance physical therapists on an as-needed basis when current patient demands exceed the capacity of their full-time staff. Smaller, office-based physical therapy firms may be more inclined to hire full-time physical therapists to provide consistent support for patient-provider interactions and ongoing treatment needs. Ultimately, the decision should be based on the practice's resources, patient volume, and the desired level of flexibility and continuity in patient care.
In today's competitive job market, it is crucial to have effective recruitment strategies when hiring medical professionals, including physical therapists. One popular method of recruitment is to implement an employee referral program. Your trusted internal physical therapy professionals are often connected with outside talent and can refer pre-vetted PTs to expedite the hiring process.
In addition to referral systems, there are several online resources for finding physical therapists. Online job sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and APTA provide a platform for recruiters to post detailed job listings and for therapists to submit their application details. These platforms enable recruiters to review applicant details and effectively screen unqualified candidates.
Social media accounts can be used to advertise job openings and provide a channel for interested people to inquire about the opportunity. A practice's website can also include a career portal, making it easy for potential physical therapists to apply for a position.
By utilizing a combination of these recruitment strategies, you can expand your search for the right physical therapist and increase your chances of finding the ideal candidate.
Screening applicants is a critical step in the recruiting process, as it is the initial introduction to potential candidates. This step allows you to identify highly skilled and talented individuals, as well as those who do not meet specific requirements for the position. When interviewing candidates for a physical therapist position, it is important to follow established procedures, including:
Verifying physical therapy licensure, certification, and prior experience. Asking about previous experiences or challenges in the physical therapy profession. Inquiring about how the physical therapist inspires and engages patients, as well as their approach to achieving therapy goals. Creating workplace scenarios to assess the physical therapist's ability to communicate and negotiate effectively.
Once the candidate pool has been narrowed through screening, it is recommended to conduct background checks to verify important details such as employment history, criminal record, and certifications. This helps ensure that the candidates you hire are qualified and trustworthy.
Physical therapists are highly trained professionals who have extensive knowledge of the human body and multiple treatment strategies. To ensure that your ideal candidate has all of the requisite job skills and expertise that they mentioned on their résumé or during the interview, administer a skill evaluation test before you select them for further rounds.
A skill assessment can provide significant insight into a candidate and could prove to be your most effective instrument during the hiring process. A skill assessment is a tool that can help examine a candidate's aptitude and skills to determine whether a job applicant has the ability required to carry out the various job responsibilities.
HireQuotient provides more than a hundred skill assessments for you to choose from. You also can customize your assessments according to your skill requirement and select based on your job preference and specialization.
Check out Hirequotient’s skill assessments or better? take a demo and see it for yourself!
The salary of physical therapists varies by state, and highly skilled candidates may expect higher compensation. However, offering additional benefits can make your practice stand out as an employer of choice. Do you have a competitive compensation package? When it comes to attracting top physical therapists, retirement contributions, medical insurance, paid time off, and sick leave can have a significant impact. Other benefits that can set your practice apart include flexible working hours, a positive work environment, and opportunities for career advancement. Providing these additional perks not only makes your practice more appealing to potential hires but can also lead to higher job satisfaction and employee retention in the long run.
In many cases, once an offer has been accepted, it may seem like a new employee will be joining your team within days or weeks. However, simply receiving an offer acceptance does not guarantee a new or long-term staff member. It is not uncommon for practice owners to lose sight of other qualified candidates once an offer has been accepted. Rather than letting go of other potential applicants, it is important to keep them updated and informed of the hiring process timeline. This will give you time to conduct additional screenings and ensure that the selected candidate is a good fit for your team. Communicating with candidates and providing updates on the process will not only help you in the hiring process but also establish a positive reputation for your practice.
As new employees join your practice, it can be challenging for them to establish their role and feel integrated into the team. To help with this transition, it's crucial to check in with them frequently during the first few weeks and ensure they receive the necessary guidance and support. Also, make sure to update your practice's website with their bio and picture, so that patients can easily find and connect with them. You may also want to consider highlighting their arrival in an email newsletter or social media post, as this can increase patient interest and engagement. By doing these things, you can help your new hires feel more valued and integrated into your practice, which can lead to better patient care and overall success.
When evaluating PT candidates, it's essential to ensure that they align with your practice's vision for both the short-term and long-term future. Your vision goes beyond just a framed document in your office; it's the values, actions, and processes that you utilize every day. It's where you want your practice to be in one, five, or ten years and the values you uphold to get there. Every team member in your practice must share the same vision and understand what they're working towards. Communicating this goal early in the hiring process helps lay the foundation for a successful and fulfilling relationship for both you and the candidate. It's also essential to evaluate the candidate's own goals and values to ensure that they align with your practice's vision and that they will contribute positively to the practice's growth and development.
Improved Patient Outcomes: A physical therapist can provide specialized care and treatment for patients with various physical conditions, such as musculoskeletal injuries, neurological disorders, and chronic pain. By working with a physical therapist, patients can improve their mobility, strength, and function, which can lead to better overall health outcomes.
Increased Revenue: By offering physical therapy services in your practice, you can expand your services and generate additional revenue streams. This can also lead to increased patient satisfaction and retention, as patients are more likely to return to a practice that offers comprehensive care.
Better Collaboration with other Healthcare Providers: Physical therapists can work closely with other healthcare providers, such as physicians, nurses, and occupational therapists, to ensure that patients receive coordinated and effective care. This can lead to better patient outcomes and improved communication among healthcare providers.
Reduced Healthcare Costs: By providing physical therapy services in your practice, you can reduce healthcare costs for both patients and healthcare payers. Physical therapy can be a cost-effective alternative to more invasive treatments, such as surgery, and can help patients avoid costly hospitalizations.
Improved Practice Reputation: By offering physical therapy services, you can improve your practice's reputation and differentiate yourself from other healthcare providers in your area. This can attract new patients and help you build a strong referral network within the healthcare community.
Recruiting and retaining the right people on your team is critical to the success of your practice. Before you decide on hiring an individual you should ensure that you have well-defined hiring strategies in place and the right kind of skill assessment tools to help you make the most effective decision for your practice.
Check out our website HireQuotient.com for additional material, learn the best hiring strategies, and marketing practices.
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