Every rehab department wants to hire the best-of-the-best physical therapists, clinicians who will improve patient care, profits and the hospital’s reputation. As the healthcare industry becomes more competitive, however – and as skilled professionals grow in demand – hiring top talent is no walk in the park.
There are plenty of great PTs looking for jobs, but you’ll have to offer something special to attract and retain them. Other than salary, what do you have to offer employees? How will you help them grow professionally? If you’re not sure, consider these seven ways hospital rehab leaders can attract top talent.
1. Raise Your Standards of Care
Great PTs will elevate your department, but they don’t want to have to build it from the ground up. To attract quality clinicians, focus on honing the skills of the ones you already employ. Provide the same feedback, mentorship and continuing education opportunities to them as you would to the rock star PTs you plan to hire. As your expectations improve, so will your department’s quality of care – and other great PTs will notice.
At a minimum, you’ll want to provide quality, affordable health insurance and generous paid time off. Great healthcare professionals take their own health seriously, and these benefits go a long way in keeping them physically and mentally well.
There are also perks employees can’t put a price on, but that significantly improve the work experience. For PTs, these include remote access to documentation, flexible scheduling and team-building events.
3. Create a Therapist-Friendly Culture
Much of the PT industry is trending towards fast-paced environments, limited patient time and treatments tailored to insurers’ reimbursement schedules. The more you can do to curb these trends, the more inviting your department will be to therapists who truly care about their patients.
From flexible scheduling to cash pay options to hiring helpful techs, take measures that make it easier for your PTs to give patients their undivided attention. The more patient-centered your department becomes, the more inviting it will be to top therapists.
4. Market to Future Employees
You already market to prospective patients and the doctors who refer them, highlighting recovery rates, positive reviews and your clinicians’ specialties. You’ll need to be just as active in your talent search if you want to hire the best PTs! On job boards, in schools and at in-person networking events, make sure you’re consistently spreading the word about your department. An active talent search will require more effort on your part, but every communication you put out to prospective employees may also help you attract new patients.
5. Support Continuing Education
The best therapists want to keep getting better, and they’ll be searching for employers who support their professional development. An ample continuing education budget is a major draw, as is the freedom to spend it on a variety of courses, certifications and travel.
Mentorship is also critical for newer PTs’ development. If you want to attract and groom top talent right out of school, set aside times when they can shadow you or your senior therapists. Their learning curve will shorten dramatically, while their skills – and loyalty – will grow.
6. Invest in Equipment and Technology
Great PTs expect top-of-the-line equipment. From TENS to laser to ultrasound and more, make sure your modalities are up-to-date and easy to use. The same goes for your plinths, mobility aids and resistance training equipment. Your facility doesn’t need to be flashy, but purchasing high-quality, reliable equipment will demonstrate your commitment to patient care.
7. Search for the Right Fit
Finally, don’t just search for the “best” physical therapists. Aim to hire the PTs with the skills, experiences and personalities that are the best fits for your department. A clinician who thrives in one environment may struggle in another, and you need to have a clear picture of your ideal candidate.
Once you clarify the characteristics you’re looking for, design your application and interview questions accordingly. Any PT can talk about their skills. Aim to find out what drew them to the profession, what they like about clinical practice and what types of patients they want to work with.