How long would it take you to hire 10 new therapists? Would you do it in one month? What’s the hiring strategy that allows you to find the exact and best-fit people for your private practice?
In this bonus Seven Figure Practice Series podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about hiring 10 people in a month with Melissa Schneider.
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Meet Melissa Schneider
Melissa Schneider, LCSW is a double group practice owner and consultant for mega-practice planning and scaling. She opened Resolution Counseling Center in Jersey City, NJ in 2019 and now has a staff of 60+ therapists across 3 offices. In 2023, she launched her second practice Cultivate Therapy, a specialty practice connecting her strongest therapists with the clients they most love to serve. Melissa earned her masters in Social Work from Columbia University in 2006 and lives in Jersey City with her husband and twin first graders.
In this Podcast
- Deciding to become the boss
- Hiring assistants and other clinicians
- Hiring 10 people in one month!
- The hiring process
- Melissa’s advice to private practitioners
Deciding to become the boss
Melissa Schneider used to work as the on-site therapist for a big investment bank and was one of their top therapists.
After almost two years without a pay increase, she went to speak with her boss, but they weren’t able to give her any increase.
It made her think about her future, and where she would go if she was going to be if she was underpaid for her efforts.
It was the first time in my career where I was like, “Huh, why am I working for other people if they think I’m good at what I do but they don’t have anything to share with me”, right? (Melissa Schneider)
Melissa made a huge spreadsheet of her skills and passions and tried to figure out what would be next for her, which was becoming a solo practitioner.
I did that in January 2019, I left my job in the city … by August, the phone was ringing off the hook, and I was a mom, you know, I didn’t want to see couples at 10pm … I was like, “I think I need to hire people that can work the weekend”. (Melissa Schneider)
In August 2019, Melissa had a great conversation with someone who inspired her to become a practitioner and start a group practice. On November 1st, 2019, she opened officially and looked to start hiring. It went fast once she allowed herself to go all in!
Hiring assistants and other clinicians
In a way, “blissful ignorance” is what spurred Melissa to hire so many people in such a short space of time.
I did a terrible job with my first cohort. I didn’t call references, I did like one interview … I have learned a lot since then! But I think because I had the confidence that I knew what the numbers would look like when I hired eight people … I had an assistant three weeks into the practice, like, “I need help [because] I’m trying to book 100 clients for these people I hired!” (Melissa Schneider)
Having one assistant was a huge help and took a massive amount of work from Melissa’s shoulders so that she could continue hiring and structuring the business.
These two decisions led her business to grow quickly, and well.
Hiring 10 people in one month!
When Melissa was working on the practice’s plan for 2023, she and her team knew how many people they could staff at each location.
We have four sites, two that kind of merged into one building, so we know it’s 16 [people] times four, right, so we know how many openings we have at any given moment. And so, we realized at the beginning of this year that we had 43 employees and we were like, “Oh, for us to get full this year, our goal is to get to 64 hires”, and so we were going along trying to hire people but it was a really tough year to find licensed professionals. (Melissa Schneider)
In June, Melissa and her upper management team had a summit to figure out what was going on because it was so quiet with hiring new people to fill their available positions for therapists.
Melissa’s team worked with someone to outsource hiring support, and things started to change once they were upping the numbers.
They were dedicated to hiring great therapists to cater to the needs of their clients as well as to be able to pay for the benefits that they had committed to offering their staff and therapists.
And so we were able to [then] hire a lot of people in a short period of time which put way too much strain on our admin team, we’ve learned from that … Now that we know, we can turn up the recruiting energy … But yeah, we brought in 10 people that started between late August and mid-September. (Melissa Schneider)
The hiring process
1 – Learning about the company and asking about their experience:
The first interview is more about the candidate learning about the job and more about the company to find out if they’re still interested in coming to the second interview, as well as about their experience.
2 – References and information: candidates who are still interested are then to send their references and more information to the practice. During the second interview, they talked through the operations and expectations, including benefits.
3 – Case study talk-through: In the second interview, they also talk through two case scenarios that they prepare ahead of time.
We’re not as interested in what you can do on the fly, we’re more interested in what kind of plan you would put into question, so we’re looking for people that bring folders, that have two pages of notes, that have made charts, that have gone to the DSM to make a great treatment plan, and that has helped us tremendously. (Melissa Schneider)
Melissa’s advice to private practitioners
A seven-figure practice sounds crazy, but it’s not. It’s about six or seven great hires who support you, and it’s fully possible, as long as you feel comfortable being a boss and establishing the necessary systems.
Sponsors Mentioned in this episode:
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Useful links mentioned in this episode:
Email Joe at [email protected] to suggest guests for the show
Check out these additional resources:
Apply to work with us — a decision-making matrix for your next steps
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 who are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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