In speaking to business owners around the world over the last 12 months and even before that, one of the key challenges they faced was attracting and recruiting the right staff. Having had many of these conversations, I can tell you that there is a huge range in the quality of the recruitment programs in place.
Some businesses are absolutely rocking it and have been able to recruit several team members in the last 6 months and are happy with the people they have brought on board. Others have recruited but are either concerned they might not have a good fit or have had new recruits leave after 3 months because they were not a good fit.
In this article I want to talk about the two key challenges in recruitment:
- Attracting a large pool of motivated candidates
- Recruiting the right candidate for your business
So often I hear “there are just no good physio’s out there” or “I have been recruiting for 6 months and had 2 applicants” or “people just don’t want to come and work in my area”. But I believe this is just a sign that the business is not doing all the right things in their recruitment process. Consistently we see businesses in difficult times/locations successfully recruit. So, what are they doing?
Market, don’t advertise
One of the things that is clear is that we cannot just put an advert on a job site and expect 20 high quality applicants. Yet this is what we still see all the time. People posting a link to a job site with the title ‘We’re Hiring’. It is lazy and we must do better.
If we want to attract top talent to our teams then we need to attract those candidates. What is it about your business that is different? What can you offer them e.g., mentorship, support, training, social?
It is not enough to have an advert along the lines of; “if you are a dedicated, highly motivated physiotherapist looking for a new challenge…” I have seen it too many times and it simply is not an interesting proposition.
As part of our International Private Practice Graduate Programme, the clinics we work with create a recruitment video. This is used as part of the campaign to attract new staff. It can focus on the team, the training, the location, the facilities etc. It is there to follow the age-old marketing principle of AIDA; Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. I would suggest that if you do not already have one in place that you look into creating one.
If you have in place a training and mentoring programme, then speaking to local universities and either getting in front of new recruits or taking students on placement can often be a good method of finding talent. Yes, there is some work involved to bring them up to speed clinically but in our experience, they are motivated, keen to learn and will mould to your way of working often quicker than someone who has more experience.
LinkedIn is a great platform for advertising and using paid messaging can often be a more effective and targeted way of advertising for your position. Using this method, you can target people with a specific amount of experience, particular locations and often people who work or have worked in particular companies (useful if you can provide a clear point of difference to where they already work).
It goes without saying that having a bigger pool of candidates makes the process of interviewing easier. But it does not guarantee that we will get the right person on board. Therefore, here are three things to think about when going through the interview process.
Do Something Different
Too often we see owners (not just in our profession) doing the same thing. Phone interview, formal interview with clinical and non-clinical questions. Questions like; “where do you want to be in 2 years’ time?”, “what are your strengths and weaknesses?”, “Tell us about an experience where you had to …” etc etc. It is easy to prepare for this type of interview and for the candidate to say what you want to hear.
So, try something different. For one clinic I came across everyone had to ring a number to register their interest in the position. This number had a pre-recorded message that said, “to register your interest in this job please leave a message with two reasons why we should employ you”. You can imagine unscripted and honest answers that you can receive!
Richard Branson talks about when he used to collect people from the airport for interview with him dressed as an elderly chauffeur. He says it said more about the candidate the way they treated the chauffeur, than anything they did in the interview. I am not suggesting you get dressed up, but you can see then point!
Why not try a personality profile for your second stage interviewees. Something like the xxx can be very simple to implement and help you to see if the candidate fits with you and your team.
Continuing the theme of trying something different, why not get someone to map out a pathway on a blank sheet of paper for a patient based on case study. Or perhaps get someone to treat a real-life patient with 5 minutes to review their last set of notes but observed by a member of your team.
In summary, I think that there is a lot (like most areas of our business) that we can do better when it comes to recruitment. We all know the time, effort and cost that goes into it and in particular the problems it creates if we get it wrong and have to repeat the process a few months later.
Therefore, focus on marketing your business to potential candidates, standing out from the crowd and then ensure that you do something different to take candidates out of their comfort zone, so you get to see who you are really giving the job to!