The thought of bringing on your first clinician may excite you, but also frighten you at the same time. You may be a person who had a vision, from the very beginning, that you wanted to have a full group practice. But when faced with the decision to take next step to do so, you feel a sense of hesitation.
When I initially entered the field back in 2005, I knew that I would someday want to have my own thriving practice. At that time, I did not fully grasp the concept of all that might go into being an employer with employees. In my time, we went to school and got educated on how to be a good clinician; not on how to be a good entrepreneur or employer.
If you’re feeling hesitant, it may be from merely not knowing what the process is. Or it could be that you have some limiting beliefs that you may need to overcome. Here are some answers to the questions you may have when thinking about bringing on your first clinician. This will help you take your next right step in expanding your team and hiring your first clinician!
Am I ready To Hire My First Clinician?
If you’re finding that you are not able to fit more clients into your schedule, but there continues to be a demand, then the initial answer might be “yes.”
Some may say to build your practice and the clients will come. But if you want to set yourself up for success, knowing that there is a need will help to put your mind at ease when taking the next step. It will also allow you to start serving more people and increasing your practice income.
Something else to think about when asking yourself if you’re ready is to take a look at your business structure.
Are you set up as a solo practitioner? Or is your practice already set up as a group for tax purposes, as well as for submitting claims to insurance providers? If you are a solo practice and need information on changing your business structure to accommodate new employees, check out podcast #158.
Something that is so simple, but possibly overlooked, is space.
Are you currently renting or subletting? If you are, you may need to confirm that you would be able to bring on a new person. Also, would you have enough space to bring on a new clinician? If you only have one office, that can still be possible, as you could alternate the times in which you and your new clinician are using the space to see clients. If you happen to have access to more than one office, that will open the door for you to serve more people, as you can both, theoretically see clients simultaneously.
What Type Of Clinician Would Be Most Helpful
Within the field, as you most likely know, there are clinicians with an array of specialty areas, as well as license types. If you go with a clinician who is licensed, there may be a little less oversight involved. Whereas a clinician who is provisionally licensed and requires supervision in accordance with their license regulations.
Also, when thinking about “who” to hire, think about the mission of your practice and try to bring on a clinician who’s own professional values and mission are in alignment with those of your practice. You are essentially looking to duplicate yourself in order to serve more clients and grow your practice; therefore, having clinicians who believe in the mission of the practice, will promote a sense of connectedness within the practice as well as strengthen the practice’s brand.
It is also helpful to think about whether you want to have an independent contractor or a W-2 employee. If you want a practice where you have control over aspects such as the below then you want to look at hiring a W-2 employee:
- How your clinician provides treatment to clients
- The tools and supplies that your clinician uses, then you may want to look into hiring them as a .
On the other hand, if you do not mind or do not wish to have control over the below then having an independent contractor may be worth looking into:
- How your clinician treats their clients,
- And/or you are hiring a clinician on a short-term basis,You can check out an article about just that at
Where Do I Find My Clinician?
With the advent of the internet, hiring your first clinician can be a simple, streamlined process; especially with jobs sites such as Indeed. You can also look for a clinician via various online and offline classified sections. Including, but not limited to, professional sites such as Psychology Today or a professional association.
Though the above options can get your results, nothing beats word-of-mouth. If you’re connected to other clinicians, let them know that you’re looking to hire a new clinician! You never know who may be looking for a new position themselves. Or who may know of another clinician that is. It may ease your mind knowing that your potential clinician comes recommended and is connected to someone that you know.
Hiring your first clinician is a big step in creating your group practice. It doesn’t have to be met with fear or trepidation. Remind yourself that you have already taken the step to begin your practice. You also have access to resources to get you to your next right step in having a successful therapy practice!
Melissa J. McLean is a Licensed Counselor and Certified Professional Coach who is the owner of Morning Joy Counseling, a successful practice that primarily helps individuals dealing with anxiety and depression, as well as couples who want to rebuild or strengthen their relationships. In addition, Melissa helps other professionals move beyond the gap between visualizing their dreams and making it a reality by mapping out their next right steps towards having a successful and fulfilling business!