How can you hire people that benefit your practice? What should you specify in the job description? Why should you always listen to your intuition in the hiring process?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok answers your questions about how to select associates to make sure they are a “fit” at your practice
Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision
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In This Podcast
- Where is your business headed with referrals?
- Hire in line with the type of practice you have
- Be clear about the job
Where is your business headed with referrals?
When you look at your practice, is there a pattern to the people that you are referring out?
If there is often a commonality and people are coming to your practice with the same issue, and you keep referring them out because you do not work with that problem, consider hiring someone who can fill that niche.
So first, you need to look at your client base before you hire your next associate.
Second, as your practice grows, consider replacing yourself and the clinical role that you play in seeing patients so that you have more time to step into being a full-time business owner.
If I was the only one that was doing individual counseling with angry teen boys, that was going to make it very difficult for me to step back. (Joe Sanok)
Hire in line with the type of practice you have
If your practice runs on more independent clinicians, then hire people that suit that environment.
If your practice is more staff-orientated, then make sure to hire someone who likes to be part of a team effort.
Knowing yourself before you even enter into hiring associates is so important: what kind of practice are you building when you’re adding associates to your practice? (Joe Sanok)
Knowing yourself and what kind of practice you enjoy working in is important because you can use this information to surround yourself with like-minded people; building a team of clinicians who work well together.
Be clear about the job
- Be clear about what type of job it is
- What the benefits are
- What type of person you are looking for
- Which specialties you are looking for
Be specific about the role that you are hiring to fill so that you can filter out people who are applying for the sake of applying, and get to meet the candidates who are better fits.
With interviews, you must trust your intuition and instinct. Strengthen your internal work relationships by reinforcing and adapting your team culture often.
Useful Links mentioned in this episode:
- For $100 off, head to brightervision.com/joe.
- Check out Next Level Practice here and here
- Ask Joe a question!
Check out these additional resources:
- Live Consulting with Christy Pennison: How to grow a Practice | PoP 622
- Apply to work together
- Pillars of Practice
- Sign up for Next Level Practice
- Events – click on the event’s dropdown
- Sign up to join the free webinars and events here
- Podcast Launch School
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- Free resources to help you start, grow, and scale
- Apply to work with us
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
Thanks For Listening!
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This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 623.
Welcome to the show. I am so glad that you are here. I hope you have been enjoying just that live consulting we had. We have some more live consulting coming up in the lead up to Next Level Practice, which opens on November 8th. Next Level Practice is the premier membership community specifically aimed for you from that moment you think I want to start a private all the way until you’re ready to make your first hire. So we cover, we have over 30 e-courses within there that will walk you through different aspects of starting a practice. We have live events every single month that you get access to, including one that I host called What’s Working where I bring you all together.
We talk about what’s working and starting a practice. You learn from other people. You’re inspired. You get my live consulting in that group. And then every month we bring in experts. We’ve brought in experts like Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, Laurie Gotlieb, Jamie Masters from the Eventual Millionaire, really top level experts that we’re bringing in on a regular basis. And you get to go into a small group that is led by our accountability coach Dana. So high, high touch for the amount that you’re paying. So for less than the cost of one counseling session per month, 99 bucks a month, you get access to all of that. Plus you get a free logo, a free paperwork packet, so many tools that are going to help you get to that next level.
So if you want to join the next cohort of Next Level. Practice over at practiceofthepractice.com/invite, you can be on that early opt-in list and in just a week or so, you’re going to start getting some emails all about how you can get to the next level and join Next Level Practice on November 8th at 10:00 AM Eastern. You are going to just head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/door, and that’s going to have the countdown and it’s going to boom, let you in to purchase to be one of those first hundred people in.
Well today, we have a great question from Sabina Fisher who asks about when you’re bringing in associates, how do you make sure that they are a good fit for your practice? What do you think through? What do you do to make sure that they’re going to kind of match the culture, match what you’re trying to build? So the first things that I think the average business owner in their private practice needs to think about, big picture is where are you headed in regards to referrals? So are you going to stay in the lane that you’ve been in or are you expanding? So for example, when I started Mental Wellness Counseling, I helped angry kids, frustrated parents and distant couples. So when was looking at hiring my first associates, I was thinking through, well, what is it that are the referrals that are coming in that I can’t handle? So I started getting a lot of people that, there was people in the couple or as the parents that were dealing with addiction issues.
So my first hire was Steve who specialized in addictions. Then over time I noticed, well in general, kind of middle aged women, teen girls, they wanted to have a female counselor for the most part. So then some of my next hires were people that specialized in working with women in transition, teen girls and people like that. So thinking about big picture, who are you serving first is some of the first questions before you even get into who you hire. Then kind of the next phase after that is replacing yourself. So if I ever wanted to step down from doing as much counseling, if I was the only one that was doing individual counseling with angry teen boys, that was going to make it very difficult for me to step back. If I was the only one that was Gottman level two and there was couples that valued that that’s going to make it very difficult for me to step back.
So making sure that we do the things that are focused on our specialties is number one. Next I would say that you really want to make sure you have an idea of what type of practice you have. So is this a practice where you want to have it be like a family and you’re connected and you hang out outside of work or is this a, you show up, you do the work you get paid? For me at my practice, I knew I wanted to have a practice that primarily was, people could show up, they could paid really well, and then they could go home to their families. We weren’t looking to barbecue every single weekend. We weren’t looking to go out for drinks after work. I was a busy dad with little kids, and I knew that I wanted to come work and go home.
Now, does that mean that I’m going to be mean to people or not chit chat here and there? Of course not. We want to have that personalized nature. And there were downsides to it. There’s time when people on my team said I feel like we’re not very connected. I feel like we’re all kind of doing our own thing and we don’t have a unified vision. So I would start sending out a monthly email of here’s all the things that I’m doing to market the practice, here’s where we’re headed in the future months. Here’s some successes from the team. So I did bring that together when we had a team of 13 people or so to say, “Hey, here’s what we’re all doing. Here’s where we’re headed. Here’s what I’m working on. What are you working on? Let me know so I can report that out to everybody.”
So there is kind of a tight rope there, even if you want to have a practice where it’s not maybe focused on building that relationship between team members as much. Now that was an individual choice for myself. With practice of the Practice, it’s different. I feel like Alison and Whitney and Dana and Jess and all these people that are on the team are people that I’ve worked with for years and I’ve known within the team of Practice of the Practice, but then even outside of it. So there’s more of a personal nature there. Also I think that just for me personally being friends with my coworkers, when I’m living in the town, that I’m in the same town, working with them, it is kind of difficult for me. That’s just a personal thing I’ve recognized where I want to keep that kind of level of professionalism to be able to say you know what, here’s my work world and here’s my friend world. And that has pros and cons. So knowing yourself before you even enter into hiring associates is so important. What kind of practice are you building when you’re adding associates to your practice?
All right. So now we’re looking at when you’re actually interviewing people when you put up the job posts on Facebook ads, or if you’re doing it like Facebook jobs, or you’re putting it on Indeed or wherever you’re putting out this call to action to apply, to work at your practice, whether it’s a 1099 contractor or a W2, you want to be very clear about what type of job it is, what are the benefits, what type of person you’re looking for, what kind of specialties you’re looking for so that you get the right candidates so that you don’t get people that are applying for jobs that just aren’t a good fit.
Then I would say when you’re doing interviews with people really trust your intuition. The times that I went against my natural feelings, like I remember I wanted a play therapist really bad. We were getting a lot of play therapy referrals in the community. I was told there were not many play therapists. So I wanted someone with that specialty and I hired someone that in the initial interview, the initial meet and greet, I just was like, I’m not sure this person’s a fit for our culture. She wasn’t. She got really mad when people used her scissors and if someone used her printer, she asked for like 20 cents to pay for the ink. It was just this nickel and diamond and making drama where there was no drama. She just wasn’t a good fit a and so trusting yourself.
Then also there’s so many great work assessments that you can do, whether it’s the Enneagram or the how to fascinate quiz from Sally Hogshead. That’s a really good one. Looking at personality types in figuring out what is needed on your team, what are some strengths, what are some areas of gaps that you need some people. So I remember when I did the how to fascinate quiz and I bought it for the whole team. It was like 30 bucks a person. There was this one counselor, Tara, who for years I would bring up a new idea and there would like kind of push back or say like, “Why are we doing this?” When she took the quiz, we found out that she was, I forgot the exact name, they give it like fancy little names, but she had kind of the inclination to want to be a traditionalist, to want to have things stay how they’ve always been.
If she knew the information as to why we were changing, then she was a huge supporter of it. So when I learned that as someone that was leading the company, it was a lot easier when I had a new idea to say to Tara, “So Tara, here are the reasons why I’m moving this direction. Here’s the analytics of it. Here’s the thoughts that have gone into it. This isn’t just a like willynilly decision. This is something that I’ve taken some time to think through.” When I figured that out about her, she was such a supporter of any new initiatives. So when you can figure out those different elements of the team, it’s really important, to just be able to help you get to that next level.
I would say also continuing to reinforce and adapt within your culture. So for example, when we had our team meetings I quickly early on realized that if I let other people explain their wins to have a teaching moment that went so much farther than if I did the teaching. So for example, I remember one time in December of a year, Steve, who did a lot of our work around substance abuse, he went and he met with a bunch of attorneys that represented people when they had got a DUI in December, knowing that unfortunately, a lot of people make poor decisions around Christmas and new years. And it’s a high time of the year that people often get DUIs in Northern Michigan, at least I’m sure it’s true or else too. So he talked through how he got those meetings with attorneys, how he sent emails, how he reached out to them, how he, even the weekend before new year said unfortunately we know that this coming weekend is going to be one where there’s a lot of DUIs. It’s part of the Michigan rules, you need to work with a therapist. If you get a DUI that’s my specialty. He filled up his caseload in that January,
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So by him speaking through what he was doing, it created the culture of, Joe’s not the only expert here, that we are all experts. We all have ideas. We all have ways that we enter into growing our side of the practice. This is how Steve did it. And let’s give him a round of applause for teaching us that. Now let’s talk about how we’re going to apply that personally to our own way that we’re going to market ourselves in the community. So it became a very effective way to kind of connect the dots for people because the way I view kind of the culture and the hiring and all of that is that, that individual especially because they were 1099s, it’s a little different with W2s but with a 1099 they’re out in the community, making sure people know they work for Mental Wellness Counseling. And then I’m out in the community, making sure that Mental Wellness Counseling is known as the premier place to refer to.
And even if you have W2 employees, you want this to be that you are focused on the branding and the big picture marketing because if you’re just focused on the individual then that individual leaves and then your brand isn’t as strong. So you, as the owner should really put most of your effort into building the brand of your practice, building the image, building the connections of the practice to other people so that as people come and go, it’s the practice that they’re referring to. And then the individuals, W2 or 1099, you want them to be out in the community so that people know them and they’re using their own network of connections to bring folks into your practice.
So that’s kind of the first round of advice of what I would give when you’re looking at adding associates to your practice. Keep those questions coming in. We have so many questions coming up for the solo shows that are every single Wednesday. So the Ask Joe show is going to be on Wednesdays. So every Tuesday and Thursday, we have a longer interview show. So for example tomorrow we have a live consulting that is, should I sell my practice or start a group practice? We have live consulting there and other live consulting after that. So there’s some really awesome shows coming up.
So thank you so much to Brighter Vision. Brighter Vision is the premier place to get your website done for a low monthly fee. You can get your website, you get all your IT, all of your hosting, all of your analytics, all the SEO, all that in there for one low price. So head on over to brightervision.com/joe so that they know that this podcast is working to drive traffic and new customers to them. You’re going to get some awesome deals by following that. So again, that’s brightervision.com/joe.
Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day. I’ll talk to you soon.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it. And this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.