This is the second blog in the Hiring Your First Clinician series, for Part 1 Click Here. By now you’ve set up a timeline for the hiring process, identified your Ideal Clinician and their must-haves, figured out if you are hiring an Employee or Independent Contractor, and have lawyer-approved contracts for each to sign. You’ve also designed your job posting and are ready to advertise for your position. What next? Now you’re at the interviewing and actual hiring stage, and this blog has you covered with your next steps.
List Your Job
Decide where you want to post your job so that potential candidates can see it. There are many ways to advertise for your job posting, and here are a few popular ways:
- Share with your own professional network
- Social media
- In local networking Facebook groups
- Landing Page on your Website
- Local colleges/universities
To get great results from sites like Indeed.com or LinkedIn, you may want to consider paying for the job posting. However, make sure you exhaust all of your free avenues first so you’re not throwing money away.
Create Interview Guide
Now you’re ready to contact the great candidates you’re getting, but first you need to create an interview guide or questions. Go back to your original brainstorming session, and write down 5 top characteristics for your candidate to have. Then design questions around these characteristics, asking them to provide you with examples, stories, and past experiences. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, as you know, so you’ll want to really understand how your candidate has dealt with similar situations in the past. You can also search out or ask colleagues for common interview questions if you need additional help. If you want your interview to last no more than an hour, ask between 10-15 questions at the most.
Set aside 2-3 set times each week for formal interviews. You may not need to interview more than 3 candidates, but if you have the time open on your schedule it will be much easier than trying to find time at the last minute and coordinating your schedule with your candidates’ schedule. Offer them no more than 3 options for the interview, and then take your top 3-5 candidates from your pile (hopefully it’s a pile!) of resumes and cover letters. Start contacting them in order of who you’d most like to interview, and set up times to meet either in-person or virtually. How a candidate responds to your interview request will likely tell you a lot about how that person works, so if anything feels off to you during this process, pay attention to your gut feelings!
You’ve found your ideal candidate, and you’re ready to offer the job! Do you require a background check, fingerprints, or references? The time to do this is before formally offering them the job. Create your own process of how you inform them that you’re checking references and would like to proceed with their application and then of how you’ll offer the job. Will you do everything in writing, or verbally? Perhaps both? If you are checking references, do you know what questions to ask? How you present the job to your Ideal Clinician is an important start of your relationship with that person, so it may pay to be organized and thorough with how you do this.
Whew!! You’ve done a LOT so far. You are all set with listing your job, creating an interview guide, interviewing your candidates, and offering the job. But wait, you’re not quite done… now you need to onboard and train your new clinician, which is not an easy process either. Next month’s blog will focus on the onboarding and training aspect of hiring your first clinician, so keep your eye out for the last step in the hiring process!
Shannon Heers is a licensed professional counselor in Colorado. She owns the private-pay group practice Catalyss Counseling in the Denver metro area, focusing on helping adults manage their anxiety, grief, and trauma. Shannon is also an experienced clinical supervisor and manager and is just starting to offer business consultation services to other therapists. She balances working with raising her two young children.