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Hey y’all, welcome back to The Testing Psychologist. Today is a business episode, moving away from the beginner practice [00:01:00] launch series, which you can check out in the past 5 or 6 episodes.
Today, I am talking about a more advanced topic that we’ve touched on before, but continues to be a challenge, and that is hiring. Hiring in this current landscape. It’s been tough over the last year or two years to find particularly licensed folks. So, I wanted to dive in and share a few thoughts around how to navigate this and continue to grow your practice.
If you are an Advanced Practice owner with employees and looking to grow your group or help it thrive a little bit more, the Advanced Practice Mastermind is recruiting for the next cohort which will likely start in April or May. You can get more information at thetestingpsychologist.com/advanced and schedule a pre-group call to see if it would be a good fit.
Okay. Let’s transition to this discussion around hiring these [00:02:00] days.
Okay, let’s get into this. I think we can agree, hiring has generally been difficult. It’s been hard to find psychologists. It’s been hard to find licensed psychologists because the job market has slowed down a bit. I think it’s been a snowball effect or a trickle-down effect, I’m not sure which is appropriate there, but at least for early career folks, there was a lag there over the past two years of grad students getting good practicum experience, which I think translated into [00:03:00] more folks not getting internships or going to internships that may not be accredited, which then translated into less competitive post-doc applications.
So here we are, two years down the road, COVID and remote learning or remote testing or stoppage of services and graduate programs has created a little bit of a road bump. But then on the other side, licensed clinicians and people in general, the great resignation, folks are leaving their current jobs, going into private practice, and just making different choices in their lives. Moving to Costa Rica. They’re quitting. They’re citing something else is more important than working as much.
So a lot of factors are contributing to the trouble with hiring people these [00:04:00] days, but I think we can still look to the future and grow our practices deliberately and successfully. There are a few things that I’ve been thinking about to try and do.
One is just being more flexible with our plans for growth. I love bringing on licensed clinicians whenever possible. We have a really solid training program. And so on one hand, we need licensed clinicians to supervise our trainees, on the other, licensed clinicians can be more independent, certainly, and generally lend a higher quality of work to your evaluations.
I always love to bring on licensed folks whenever possible. I want to put that out there. [00:05:00] Lately, as I mentioned, it’s been a little bit tougher to find licensed clinicians. So, what do we do? Well, I’ve shifted my perspective over the past probably 6 to 12 months as the hiring market has been tighter to really focus on the early career folks and trainees as a really wonderful way to grow your practice.
And there are a few different ways that you can do this. You can start way back at the most basic level. Instead of bringing on a licensed psychologist, you trade a little bit of your own time and simply hire a psychometrist. This could be a graduate student. That’s typically how we run our practice when we have assistance. You could bring on a grad student who serves as a [00:06:00] psychometrist. That individual will allow you to free up a little bit of time that you would otherwise spend in testing and take on some more evaluations, which lets you grow your practice and reduce your waitlist, of course.
So you could go that route. Psychometrists generally require a little more hands-on supervision, of course. So you would trade some time and supervision, but it would allow you to grow your practice.
The next level up, which I really value and have really invested more time and energy into is the doctoral intern and Post-doc level. I’ve really started to look at doctoral interns and post-docs as a vital part of our practice in growing our senior staff.
Training has always been an important part of our practice. [00:07:00] I’ve had graduate students almost since the very beginning and have been part of a doctoral internship consortium for the past 4 or 5years, had postdocs for the past gosh, 7 or 8 years.
And so, training has always been a part of our practice, but I think especially these days, I have turned a lot of energy and focus to making this just a fantastic place for interns and post-docs. That’s the hope anyway. If any of my interns or postdocs are listening out there, please give me feedback about how wonderful of a place this is the work, but that’s the idea, to really create an awesome internship and postdoc experience with the hope that those folks will stick around in our practice and become senior staff and hopefully stick around past that.
And this is an idea that I’ve [00:08:00] talked about with one of my coaches, Ken Clark, and an idea that he has shared as well, which is really looking toward trainees and early career clinicians as a bit of a lifeline and a core part of your staff and shifting the focus from wanting to have all senior staff with tons of experience to creating just a really awesome training experience and early career experience for those early career clinicians, knowing that they may not stay with your practice forever by any means, but if you provide a really solid training environment and early career environment, they may stick around for three years, four years, seven years as the first position out of grad school. And[00:09:00] that’s a little bit of a shift for me. I traditionally have tried to bring on more licensed folks with more experience, and there are so many reasons to turn your attention toward more early career folks.
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All right, let’s get back to the podcast.
I think what you may give up in experience, you actually gain in vitality and energy and proximity to the latest research and the latest training. And those are incredibly valuable. I feel like our trainees and our early career folks bring a lot of those qualities to our practice.
Plus there is significant research around, the longer that you do something essentially the worse you get at it. And that’s another [00:11:00] reason that’s operating in the background of why I’ve been rethinking the licensed individual significant experience paradigm because frankly the research, again, I’ll just say that the longer you do something, the worse you get at it. And the worst you get at knowing how bad you are at that task. So that’s a little bit of subtext, but a not unimportant reason to turn your attention toward early-career hires if at all possible.
A couple of other factors in addition to who you’re trying to hire, I think that we are in a very competitive market these days and between mental health startups like BetterHelp, Talkspace, Headway, Alma, there there’s so many of these venture capital-backed mental health startups that are just [00:12:00] throwing money at new hires that we have to be super competitive in what we offer to folks.
One way to do that is to really amp up the specialness of your practice to really emphasize flexibility. The way I present it to folks is that working with us is basically like being in private practice as far as all the flexibility and autonomy, but without all the hard stuff. So we do the insurance credentialing, the billing, the admin support, the scheduling. We do all of that. You just come in, see your clients, enjoy the people you work with and have a good time.
So emphasizing flexibility, emphasizing culture, emphasizing the connection to other clinicians, the lack of isolation you might find in private practice. All those things I think can go a long way [00:13:00] toward creating a compelling offer for job seekers out there.
So there are a number of layers here. I’m not going to dive into where to find people. I’ve covered that in previous podcasts, but again, just really thinking about in your long-term vision, if you are having trouble hiring licensed folks, in particular, one, of course, making sure that you’re making a competitive offer, that the salaries are competitive, but that you emphasize the things that make your group practice stand out and that you may consider looking toward more early-career folks as a means to grow your practice.
So as always, I hope this has been helpful. There is plenty of literature to check out on some of the topics that I’ve mentioned today. This is a continually [00:14:00] changing market that we’re all going to have to continue to navigate I think for at least another year or so. And we’ll see how it shakes out.
In the meantime, if you are a group practice owner and you wrestle with some of these issues and others, I will be happy to have you in my next cohort of the Advanced Practice Mastermind group where we keep one another accountable, we build cohesiveness, we support one another and do our best to grow thriving practices. You can get more information at thetestingpsychologist.com/advanced and schedule a pre-group call if you’d like.
All right y’all, we will see where these business episodes go over the next few months. If you have any topics you’d like to hear about, as always reach out, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate you all. Thank you for listening. I’ll catch you next time.
The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologists 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 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 [00:16:00] seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.