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Leadership – Recruitment – People don’t always work for you for the reasons that you think

In professional services, including health care, recruitment has been tough.  You can’t just put an ad on LinkedIn or Seek and expect a line of people knocking on your door.  This has been the same for our organization just as much as for other organisations.

At the moment we are at a point that we need to hire another physiotherapist into our organisation.  I have written and re-written the ad so many times over the last 12 months, but know that it’s not as effective as it should be in getting the attention of the right, potential candidates.

I asked the last junior physiotherapist we hire what would get his attention in the ad.  He completely re-wrote the criteria and main points in the ad.  The ad was just not speaking to the target market to what they wanted to hear.

The main criteria were the following:

Recruitment  1) – Mentoring and step-by-step development plan

The most important point and criteria was mentoring and the development plan.  For our organization, the development of physiotherapists into high quality clinicians was a basic standard of what we do.  If we did not invest time and effort into the development of junior clinicians, we know that the customer service will suffer.  We would not achieve the desired outcomes for the clients and our brand would lose its reputation.  So, our aim with our training program is to make recruited physiotherapists into great, independent clinicians to make good clinical and customer service decisions.

From the eyes of the junior physiotherapist, the training and the one on one time with a senior staff member was the most important reason they joined and stayed with the company.

This aspect is now point number one on our recruitment ad, not further down the dot point list

Recruitment 2) The ability to have peer discussions

Every Thursday, we get together as a group of clinicians and discuss difficult or complicated cases.  It has been our way for many years now.  We will sometimes spend fifteen minutes discussing, thrashing out ideas and arguing about the management of a particular client, where things are just not going right.  This is something we do for better customer service and outcomes, but I never thought this was such an important point for junior staff physiotherapists.

The ability to participate or even be present for such meetings is a great learning opportunity for junior physiotherapists, that they really value.  It is a demonstration of not only how other clinicians think.  But a display of how professional colleagues can have differences of opinions and professionally debate the approach to a client’s situation in a respectful way.  A show of staff character, not just customer service.

Recruitment 3) The gradual build up of clients

Very few junior staff members want to be thrown in the deep even from the start.  It’s easy as experienced clinicians to forget how much thought is required when seeing the same clients when you are junior.  You have not developed the skills, routines and clinical know how to easily see clients and be confident of the outcome.

It is always a tight balancing act between giving junior clinicians enough clients so that they are stretched and learning the skills and not too much so that they are burnt out and overwhelmed.

However, just the fact that you have a process in place and are considering their development and stages of learning in structuring their workload is a major point that makes your organization stand out.

Join the discussion on recruitment and have your say?

If you want to further discuss leadership in your health practice

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