Hiring and Keeping Your Staff

By Stacy M. Menz, PT, DPT, PCS

Staff recruitment and retention are, arguably, the key to what makes practices survive and thrive. In 2016, Forbes and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) both noted that physical therapists were in the “top 10 hardest to hire positions” in the United States.1,2 As practice owners, we face both new and old challenges in this important equation—a shortage of physical therapists nationally, higher costs of living, large student debt being accrued in physical therapy school, flat to declining payment that leads to decreased profit margins—and being able to recruit and retain employees can become make-or-break issues for your practice. 

This issue of Impact looks at some of the various aspects of staff recruitment and retention. Steve Anderson and Lori Dillon write about finding the right person for the job. The interview process is an important part of finding that right person. Beyond finding the right person is also knowing what drives that person. Knowing that can help you to create a package that is enticing to them. Who said all our job offers have to look exactly the same? This definitely gave me something to stop and think about. 

Once you have hired that right person, Michael Vacon discusses incentive programs versus raises to reward your staff. He interviews a few companies that each go about this in a slightly different way. They have found the way that works best for them and their staff. This may be something that you continue to explore because as your company changes, your staff will change. When your staff changes, the wants and needs of your company and staff may also change. With that in mind, it is always good to review what you have in place and see if it continues to be the best fit. 

Michelle Collie provides six steps to help make recruitment and retention part of your marketing plan. Let’s face it, when we market, we are marketing to potential staff as well as to potential customers. So how have we been marketing to them? Is it working? 

I would love to hear the strategies you have found to be effective for not only getting the right people in the right seats on the right bus, but also your successes in keeping staff engaged and fulfilled in your practices and not looking for their next better option. 


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