Within the rehabilitation industry, the aging of the baby boomer population has created a large demand for therapy services. However, the high employment rate of therapists makes these positions difficult to fill, especially in rural locations. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), physical therapists are now experiencing the best employment conditions since 1997, with just a 0.2 percent unemployment rate. Wanted Analytics, a company that tracks wanted ads to determine demand for talent, estimates that in 2011 there were only two potential physical therapists available for each online job opening. The normal ratio for healthcare providers is 9 potential candidates for each job opening. With the increase in job openings, human resource departments find themselves in heated competition for a physical therapist’s attention.

To address this shortage, your human resource department needs to use different tactics to fill therapy openings than it does for it’s other job openings. Most therapists give a 2 week notice, however, finding a new therapist in that time period is unrealistic. If you have a position that has been open longer than 4 weeks, one of the following conditions may be a factor:

  1. Does it take a while for your HR team to compile candidates for an interview?
    Recruiting hard to find professionals requires building up a network of therapists within the area, so that your team can call on them when there is an opening. This is a practice known as Passive Recruiting. Recruiters use different tactics for passive vs. active job seekers. Passive recruiting enables your facility to reach out to an existing network of therapists in the area who would change jobs -under the right circumstances.
  2. Does your HR team hold lots of interviews but still can’t seem to find a candidate?
    This can mean one of two things: either you are attracting the wrong candidates or your compensation package isn’t competitive enough. A competitive job market requires your facility to include something in your pay package that makes your organization stand out from the crowd. In addition, make sure the job description and candidate screening are completed by the right people, rather than by HR teams who might not know the specifics of your opening.
  3. Does your HR team use social media to research candidates and look for referrals from current employees?
    If not, you could be missing out on a goldmine of potential candidates. Word of mouth and referrals will always be the best way to find new employees and social networks are just an electronic version of these age-old tactics. Learning how to use social media effectively is time consuming, but these days, social media is the number one way that recruiters fill their database.
  4. Has your HR team considered using outside resources for hiring?
    Some human resource departments see an outside agency as unnecessary, or a sign that they are not doing their job well enough. However, an agency like PT Solutions can be an extension of your HR department, not a competitor. PT Solutions specializes in networking within the therapist community, and may be able to cut your fill time significantly. Most agencies will send blind resumes of candidates who are available for your positions without a fee or commitment, giving you more options to consider before settling for a therapist who might not be a good fit.
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Using a variety of recruiting resources guarantees that your therapy department team can be filled with some of the top talent in the country. For more information about partnering with PT Solutions, please contact one of our therapy staffing specialists at careers@myptsolutions.com.

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