Private Practice Hiring
Let’s talk SOPs and private practice hiring. If you are new to private practice or even new to business, this may be a unique term for you. I learned it because my husband is in the military so he’s been talking about SOPs for a long, long time. SOP stands for standard operating procedures and I’m going to give you three ways they can help you hire in your private practice.
- They can help create a culture of excellence in your practice.
- They force you to learn the job well enough to hire it out successfully.
- They can help you beta test multiple candidates so you know you are hiring the best candidate for a job, whether it’s for your front office staff or for a new therapist.
Why do private practices fail?
Hair salons have got it going on. When they want to hire folks, they create high energy videos with music and testimonials from the technicians who are talking about why they wanted to come and work for that particular salon. The video actually creates a positive work culture that is in direct opposition to water cooler complaining.
Private practices often fail because the owners are in a constant battle against a negative office culture. When you have standard operating procedures that are engrained into the culture of your practice AND you communicate that through your policy and procedures manual, your orientation, and maybe even a video, you can end that uphill battle. New hires understand the energy in your practice, the comradery, and the expectation of excellence.
How can I improve my private practice?
Hiring and keeping good people is critical. It’s also critical that you understand the jobs you are hiring out. SOPs force you to learn the job. We’ve all done this before. Let’s say you post a job opening for a social media marketing manager. The problem is, you don’t understand what a successful social media marketing campaign looks like. What is better: Engagement? The number of impressions? The CTR (click through ratio) to your website? If you are expecting their expertise to increase your income but you haven’t learned the job, it’s going to be really, really hard to tell if they’re doing a good job or a bad job.
Developing specific deliverables and KPIs (key performance indicators) as part of your SOPs will help your front office staff understand what you expect their conversion rates to be and why they saw ‘not meeting expectations’ on their last evaluation. KPIs will also help your contract and W-2 therapists understand that if you explained in your job posting that they are expected to maintain a caseload of at least ten direct hours every week, and you taught them in orientation the SOPs for marketing, but they’re not delivering, then you will follow through on your progressive discipline plan and they could be fired.
How do you know if you are hiring the right person?
In the past, I got very frustrated with new hires. I thought I created good SOPs for a job and my contract employee didn’t deliver what I needed. Here are two things I learned. First – SOPs must always be revised; there is no perfect SOP and your new hire can help you create better ones. Second – I learned good SOPs can help me hire the best candidate for a job.
Step 1: Create a SOP for a job you need to hire out.
Step 2: Go to Upwork and hire three people to do the SAME job using your SOP.
Step 3: Hire the one who can follow the SOP and deliver.
Standard operating procedures are the keys to private practice hiring. They can help you create a culture of excellence and identify KPIs and deliverables that indicate success. Create some today and go get the best person for the job in your private practice.
Blog post by Kate Walker Ph.D., LPC/LMFT Supervisor
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