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[00:00:00] Hello, everyone. Welcome to The Testing Psychologist podcast, the podcast where we talk all about the business and practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment. I’m your host, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, licensed psychologist, group practice owner, and private practice coach.

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Hey everybody, here we are again, with a business episode. Today, I’m talking about writing a fantastic job ad. Why am I talking about this? You might ask. Well, I have had conversations with many of my consulting clients, as well as group practice owners around the country who are having a really hard time hiring over the past several [00:01:00] months. So I’ve talked about this idea of writing a fantastic job ad as a component in finding the right person for your job and wanted to expand on that a bit here in the podcast and share it with more of you.

Here are a couple of things that we’re going to talk about. I think this will be a relatively quick and hard-hitting episode where you can take away a couple of key action items to put into place if you’re looking to hire anytime soon. I’m going to talk about some reasons why we’re having a hard time hiring and why the typical ad just isn’t going to work anymore. I’m going to talk about a couple of components that can set your job ad apart from the others. And then I’ll do a little bit of a bonus recap about where to advertise your job in hopes of finding the best candidates. So, let’s go ahead and jump [00:02:00] to that discussion.

All right y’all, let’s get right down to it. Like I said, this will be a relatively quick business episode where you can just take away a couple of tips that will hopefully enhance your chances of hiring someone in the next few months.

There is a ton of business out there. Lots of practices around the country are just full, including our own. Our waitlist has grown longer and longer and I feel like we can’t hire staff fast enough. And this is a common problem from what I can tell in talking with my group practice colleagues, [00:03:00] as well as my advanced practice owners who are looking to hire in my consulting world. This is a big problem for a lot of us.

There are a few reasons that I think we are having a hard time hiring. One is just pandemic. Let’s just call it that. #Pandemic. I feel like people are burned out. People are a little overwhelmed. People are exhausted and they may just not be looking for jobs as much as they maybe were in the past, they’re dialing back or they might be looking for more stability like in a hospital or an agency or something like that. So, we’ll just call it #pandemic.

A couple of other factors though. 1) On the flip side, there is a big temptation to [00:04:00] go into solo practice right now because there are a ton of referrals. I mean, there’s a lot of business out there in most parts of the country. And like I said in the intro, many practices have waitlists miles and miles long, especially for an in-demand service like testing. I think we’re losing some of our potential hires to the temptation of solo practice and the allure and perhaps the illusion of making more money in solo practice. There are a lot of variables there that I’m not going to get into, but many folks I think are trying their hand at solo practice.

Beyond that, this is just bigger trends in the mental health world, there are a number of mental health startups who are coming along and hiring mental health clinicians, not so much for testing by any means, but certainly for therapy. And I think that [00:05:00] some psychologists might be getting sucked up into those funnels as well.

What does this mean for us as group practice owners who are trying to hire people?

I think what it means for us is that we have to go above and beyond to set our practices apart from all the other employment options that are out there. We have to go beyond. We have to set ourselves apart. You have to convince the applicant or entice the applicant into your practice and convince them that that’s the place they want to be.

I think that this is compounded just a bit as well because I think the cohort or maybe generation of early career psychologists or neuropsychologists who are a lot of [00:06:00] folks that we are… that’s kind of the generation where we’re looking to hire in many cases. A lot of early career psychologists are looking for a different work environment than some older psychologists. These individuals are looking for unique, almost like boutique practices or practice atmospheres that provide them an opportunity to really showcase their strengths and atmospheres or practices that feel more personal.

So, the typical job ad that many of us have been able to get by over the years just isn’t working. It’s not personal enough. It’s not unique enough. It doesn’t have some of those nuances that people might be looking for.

When I say the typical job ad, just to give an example of [00:07:00] what I don’t think should work or I don’t think is working anymore is the job ad that starts off with a description of the practice and then a fairly generic description of the position that says something like, “We are looking for a fulltime neuropsychologist to conduct psychological and neuropsychological assessment with children ages 5 to 18 for presenting concerns like autism, ADHD, learning disorders and mood disorder.” And then lists the job responsibilities, the desired qualifications, maybe the salary range, maybe not. And that’s it.

That’s kind of your typical job ad. And I just don’t think that cuts it anymore. We got to flip the script a little bit. We have to get a little flesh in our job ads. Here are a couple of things that I have found that [00:08:00] I think work well in doing that.

1) Restructure the ad.

So instead of putting the practice first, and when I say put the practice first, it’s usually, again, kind of a generic-ish paragraph where it says, “Colorado Center for Assessment and Counseling as an outpatient private practice founded in 2009 that specializes in so on and so forth.” We need to flip the script a little bit. We need to rewrite this ad with your job applicant at the center of the story, not putting your practice front and center, but putting the job applicant front and center.

There are a couple of ways to think about this concept.

One borrows heavily from the StoryBrand Framework. I’ve mentioned StoryBrand here on the podcast [00:09:00] before. It’s a framework. There’s a book, there’s a podcast, all coming from Don Miller. Great resources. I’ll put those in the show notes, but it’s really anchored into the StoryBrand idea that you want your job applicant to be the “Hero of the story. The architect of their destiny. The person in control of their life.”

You don’t want to put the practice front and center and put the practice as the hero of the story, because again when someone is looking to join your practice, I think they want to see themselves in that role. They want to have some agency in that role. They want to know that they’re going to be the ones making a difference. That they’re sort of taking the reins of their career. And so, putting the applicant front and center at the top of the job ad is a great way to do [00:10:00] that.

When I say put them front and center, what does that actually mean?

Let’s take a quick break to hear from our featured partner.

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[00:11:00] All right, let’s get back to the podcast.

So that means almost writing the job ad as if you were speaking to your ideal client. Instead of putting the practice details first, you might say something like, “Are you a motivated, energetic Neuropsychologist who loves diving deep and helping families get the resources that they need? Are you passionate about your work with adults?” So on and so forth.

So, asking questions, really speaking directly to the applicant to communicate that you:

1) Know exactly what kind of applicant you’re looking for that really helps paint the picture of the applicant that you’re looking for, but it [00:12:00] also helps them identify with that position. It just makes it more personal. It makes it easier to anchor into so that they can really see themselves in the story, and the story of course is working at your practice. So the first thing is to really flip the script and write the ad with the applicant as the hero of your story.

Then when you do talk about your practice, instead of just a generic description of your practice, “Outpatient, private practice, Neuropsych Evals, kids, adults, whatever,” really put some time into describing your practice values and bringing those practice values to life. I’ve talked about values on the podcast before. I think that values are a huge driver of workplace culture and it really helps [00:13:00] set your practice apart from others who may not have as well-defined values.

So, when I talk about putting them in your job ad, you don’t have to go overboard, but instead of that fairly general description of your practice, speak directly to your values like, “We are a practice that highly values having fun and being kind to one another. We love being authentic and living with intention in our practice. We try to invest in ourselves and we will support you in an inclusive environment.”

I’m just kind of pulling values out of the air there. Some of them are some of our values, but you get the idea. Really try to bring your practice to life [00:14:00] when you’re talking about your values. Describing your values in such a meaningful way will help the applicant figure out if those are values that they have too. Think about it. A generic description is just that. There is nothing to anchor onto. There is nothing to identify with. That person could be working at any practice in the country and have no idea what it’s about. So this is your chance to help your practice elevate and rise above the other jobs ads out there.

Now, if you don’t know your values, that’s okay. There are several ways to define values in your practice. If you are just trying to throw something together for the sake of writing a [00:15:00] job ad, I don’t know that it’s going to come across as genuine and it might not be easy. I’d advise you to spend a little bit of time actually defining some values in your practice before you sit down to write this job ad. And you can do that in any number of ways. If you have a bigger practice with multiple clinicians, you could do something like the Jim Collins Mission to Mars exercise, I think is what it’s called. That’s what we used in our practice to help define values. You could simply do a search for values and figure out what words you identify with and build values around that.

So there are a few ways to explore and define some values, but I think it is worth it to go through that process. Whether you’re hiring or not, that’s going to be very valuable, but especially in the context of hiring, having solid values drives your [00:16:00] hiring decisions and it drives your workplace culture. And it really provides a nice north star for your business as you continue to grow.

So those are just two very simple but actionable tips for rewriting your job ads. The last thing that I will say is I think we are in a time when we have to advertise salaries. In the past, I’ve seen job ads that give a range, or actually I take that. Giving a range is fine. If you’re giving a range for your salary, I think that’s totally fine.

The job ads that I think are less desirable are the ones that say competitive salary and benefits or something like that, or competitive compensation and benefits. Everybody thinks their compensation is competitive, but you’re not going to know that unless you actually put the numbers out there. [00:17:00] And this day and age, people look at the salary right off the bat and need or want to know what that looks like. So don’t be afraid to put your salary out there.

All right. A little bit of bonus content here with where to advertise your job. I’ve done podcast episodes on where to advertise your job. So I’m not going to go into great detail, but just to recap, I have had really good luck with indeed.com, especially with a sponsored job post. So one that you pay for and not the free version. You don’t have to pay very much, $200 or $300 a month has been very successful for me.

I’m hearing really good things about a site called wizehire.com. People in the mental health world, other practice owners are saying really good things about that site. [00:18:00] LinkedIn jobs can be helpful. There are any number of other resources to post your jobs. I think the best job applicant is still a warm referral. So check with your network, look into the friends of friends option to find your next applicant. And that just cuts through a lot of the mistrust or vetting that you might have to do with a cold applicant.

All right. So a few quick tips and ideas to get you thinking about rewriting your job ads to find folks that are a great fit for your practice. I hope that this has been helpful.

If you are looking to start or grow your practice, I am recruiting for the next cohorts of the beginner and advanced practice mastermind groups. You can get more information and schedule a pre-group [00:19:00] call at thetestingpsychologist.com/beginner or thetestingpsychologist.com/advanced, depending on what you’re interested in.

Okay. That’ll do it for today. Let’s wrap this up. Y’all take care. I will talk to you next time.

The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologist website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here, and similarly, no [00:20:00] supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.

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