• Mastering the Challenge of OT and PT Recruitment

    October 18, 2020 | Ed Hershman
  • The single most important aspect of developing a high-quality, efficiently-run physical therapy clinic is the hiring of qualified therapy staff. Finding the right OT and PT staff requires tenacity, time, and discipline.

    What challenges do physical therapy recruiters face?

    The demand for qualified candidates, particularly in some parts of the country, is far greater than the supply of them. Add to that the fact that the large regional and national physical therapy chains have entire recruiting departments that scoop up these individuals in inordinately high numbers.

    Pitfalls to ensuring a good fit

    As a result, we physical therapy recruiters are faced with the temptation to grab the first therapist that responds to our ad. To that end, discipline is paramount, to ensure candidates have the experience, education, and recommendations to ensure a successful hire. We must weigh the aspect of the industry in which that recruit as worked against the needs of the open role. Efficiency and productivity in an outpatient environment is quite different than an in-patient setting. The discipline of time management for, say, a Home Health Therapist of 20 years is far greater than in hospital post-surgical therapy.

    Effective PT recruitment is not only about their performance in your clinic, but also the fulfillment of your new hire. For example, recruiting for a fast-paced outpatient PT clinic is probably a poor choice. An outpatient PT will have a difficult time adapting to an in-patient environment, as the patient follow up is generally very short and they never have the reward of treating the patient through to resolution.

    Steps to effectively conduct PT recruitment

    So, how does one go about recruiting a physical or occupational therapist? Enlisting with an advertising source is always a good start. Additionally, addressing the need with current staff may yield some candidates by recommendation. Ask current patients if they every had therapy elsewhere and who their therapist was. If your clinic has time available to train a new graduate, pursue local PT/PTA school programs around graduation time. Become a resource for student clinical rotations as a recruiting tool, once they have obtained their credentials.

    Good luck! We hope you find the perfect new employee.