So, you have decided to take the next step and hire your first clinician. How exciting! If you’re like me, you may have spent most of your time up until now focusing on client care with a side of business management. Unfortunately, school does not prepare us for the business side of things, which can leave us feeling stuck and overwhelmed when it comes to the logistics of growing our own practice. I have put together some steps that can help you in preparation of taking this next step, in hopes of helping you find the ideal candidate!
Step 1. Knowing Your Mission, Vision And Values
I have found that knowing my mission, vision, and values has been extremely helpful in the hiring process. Listen, there are a lot of great clinicians out there. If you go to post your job and get hit with a ton of awesome candidates (we all hope, right?), what is to set one apart from another? The answer? If they line up with our mission, vision, and values. I love when a candidate comes through and in their resume or interview they hit on values I have for my practice. It is a great feeling. This is a crucial first step and I highly encourage you take the time to explore this. Some of us may have this first step down, and if so, great job! If not, don’t despair. I definitely recommend checking out Jenna Fleming’s article on “Why You Need a Vision Statement” to help you get started!
Step 2. Determining Your Ideal Clinician
Bringing someone into our practice is a big deal! We are inviting another human being into something we have built from the ground up…our flesh and blood…our sweat and tears…okay you get it. But, seriously, it’s a big deal and I would encourage you to look at it this way. Determining the ideal clinician can save you a lot of headache in the future if you know what you are looking for and create parameters around this. So, what does this mean exactly? Some basic questions to ask yourself are:
- Who am I as a clinician? What am I passionate about in my line of work?
- Do I want a clinician that is like-minded or someone that brings something different to the table?
- What personality or characteristics sound most appealing in an employee? Maybe think back to prior work experience and determine what drew you to someone.
Spend some time really exploring what comes up for you in answering these questions. I believe it can provide you direction on the type of person you may like to hire.
Step 3. Determining Your Practice Needs
I imagine as a clinician it is easy to daydream about a beautiful partnership between yourself and your first employee, and I believe this relationship is totally possible. However, it is important to determine your needs prior to hiring. I find this important because, say you interview someone you really like. They are great personality-wise and the connection is there. However, they want to work 10 hours a week and only see couples. If you do not have your needs determined, it could be easy to make the mistake of hiring someone simply because it “feels right.” Here are some basic logistical questions to get you started:
- Do you want to hire a W2 or Independent Contractor? (If you are unsure of which is the right fit for you, I encourage you to check out this article!)
- Are there certain days/times you need filled in your office?
- Do you want a part-time clinician or full-time clinician?
- Do you want a clinician with a specific niche or specialty?
- Determining the needs of your community and possibly hiring based off these needs
Starting with these 3 steps can certainly provide more clarity and direction in hiring your first clinician. If you have further questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to be a support to you!
Angel Koenig is a Licensed Professional Counselor and owner of Mindful Counseling, PLLC in Denton, Texas. She loves utilizing mindfulness into her practice with her clients, emphasizing the importance of being here now and treating self with kindness. Angel has and continues to enjoy building her group private practice and helping others who are on the same path.