5 Tips for Hiring the Right Fit Clinician for Your Practice | GP 57

Are you looking to grow your group practice and hire another clinician? What are the benefits of having a multiple-step hiring process? Why is it important to write your values down?

In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks about the 5 tips for hiring the right fit clinicians for your practice.

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In This Podcast


  1. Establish multiple steps in the hiring process
  2. Read The Ideal Team Player book
  3. Look for red flags during the hiring process
  4. Formulate a list of interview questions that cover all the bases
  5. Use your business values as a filter

1. Establish multiple steps in the hiring process

Through a more lengthy interview process, you will be able to see a potential clinician’s true colors and gauge how committed they are to working in your practice or are simply looking for a position.

  • Have potential clinicians fill out an application: this shows that you are vetting everyone against the same scale and keeps the process fair. This is also an interesting step to have because it allows you to see whether or not they can follow simple instructions and directions.
  • Initial screening: Layout the deal-breakers early on as this saves both your time and the clinicians time by stating what the role is and what the structure of the work environment is.
  • Have multiple interviews: Consider having at least two interviews. If you are having trouble deciding whether or not to hire someone, you can bring on a work assistant from your group practice to help you decide by sitting in on the second interview.
  • Check three of their professional references: When you talk to those references, see if what they tell you is consistent with what the clinician says in their interviews.
  • Do a background check.

2. Read The Ideal Team Player book

[in the book] they put this person through a hiring process to figure out if they are humble, hungry and smart so even if you don’t read the book as long as you understand these basic concepts it will be helpful to you.

  • Humble: someone who is the opposite of a narcissist, someone who is a team player and working well within the practice as well as working well as a therapist.
  • Hungry: someone who is willing to go the extra mile such as working to fill up their schedule, take training courses and learn more in their field.
  • Smart: This pertains to someone being emotionally smart, someone who has good interpersonal relationships with their coworkers, their clients, and is able to navigate conflict resolution.

3. Look for red flags during the hiring process

When you’re establishing those multiple [hiring process] steps, you’re really going to see how the person reacts in the hiring process, and if I have learned anything from being a therapist it’s that people are consistent, if they act that way during the hiring process they’re going to act that way once they are hired and working for you.

  • If a candidate is slow to respond.
  • If they overshare in the interview. This could indicate their relationship to boundaries and whether or not they have a strong or perceptive judgment around when it is appropriate or not to share personal details.
  • If they seem desperate to get out of their current work situation.
  • If they have not worked for long periods in the jobs they used to work at.
  • Ask if they foresee opening their own group practice. In five years is workable but if they are wanting to leave in six months, that could be an issue down the line.

4. Formulate a list of interview questions that cover all the bases

  • Ask about their clinical skills to see if they fit the niche of the practice.
  • Ask about boundaries and observe their clinical judgment.
  • Ask about organization and time management skills.
  • Ask them how they resonate with the values of the practice.
  • Ask them about their future career plans.

Some more specific questions you could ask to gauge these answers are:

  • What is your process for getting your work notes done?
  • A boundary question: a client calls between sessions with a crisis, how do you respond? Is it easy or difficult for you to set boundaries with clients?
  • Did you see the website, what do you think about the practice?
  • Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a co-worker, and what happened?

5. Use your business values as a filter

When you start your group practice, write down your mission, your vision, and your values.

You can use these answers to keep you on track and consistent in your group practice because when business opportunities come along, you can screen them accordingly.

Some of Alison’s value examples:

  • Open and honest communication.
  • Continual improvement and innovation.

The more clear you can be about your values and what you stand for and how those things are demonstrated in the work culture, the better you’re going to be able to attract the right people and repel the wrong people.

Useful Links:

Meet Alison Pidgeon

A portrait of Alison Pidgeon is shown. She discusses ways to grow your group practice on this week's episode of Practice of the Practice. Alison is a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a 15 clinician group practice. She’s also a mom to three boys, wife, coffee drinker, and loves to travel. She started her practice in 2015 and, four years later, has two locations. With a specialization in women’s issues, the practices have made a positive impact on the community by offering different types of specialties not being offered anywhere else in the area.

Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016. She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.

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