Hiring for your Behavioral Health Practice

Understanding practice dynamics and employee motivations.

As any successful business owner will tell you, employee churn is costly. It isn’t any different in a private behavioral health practice setting, either. Finding the best possible candidate for a needed role in a private practice ties as much to the quality of care provided as the preservation of the practice’s bottom line.

However, it isn’t simply a cut-and-dried matter of choosing the candidate with the strongest background or sharpest skillset; the right person for the job has to be a cultural fit in addition to satisfying role requirements. But before practices can gain an understanding of an applicant’s compatibility in a cultural sense, they must account for how their own dynamics relate to a candidate’s motivations.

Private practices have a unique set of qualities depending on their sizes. Generally speaking, the smaller a practice is, the more clinician-focused its qualities are. Candidates that gravitate toward a small practice are usually hoping for some of the following benefits:

  • Flexibility – Providers in a small practice generally have more control over their schedules and caseloads.
  • Pay – In a small or solo setting there are typically fewer expenses to account for. There is generally a little more flexibility in the budget for human resources, should the need arise.
  • Individual merit – Providers in a small or solo setting have more direct control over the patient experience. The quality of care is more attributable to the merits of the provider, which can be very gratifying.

On the other hand, it is pretty normal to see that when the practice gets larger it becomes more structured and collaborative. As the dynamics shift, some of the benefits of working for a small practice are no longer as readily available, but other qualities emerge.

  • Stability and affiliation – Large practices tend to be well established. In general there is a stronger sense of permanence, and the practice builds a reputation in the behavioral health community to which providers feel an affiliation.
  • Collaboration and mentorship – Larger practices means larger staff pools. Providers come from unique backgrounds with unique qualifications, which creates an ideal work environment for behavioral health professionals hoping to further develop their industry knowledge and skills or come together to solve a complex problem.
  • Mission-oriented – Large practices emphasize collective goals over individual accomplishments. Being part of something greater can be a point of pride.

These two sets of attributes aren’t perfectly representative of all private behavioral health practices, but most will fall on a spectrum between large and small and take some qualities from each. Practice owners will need to be mindful of where their practices exist in this space in order to best understand how the dynamics of the practice align with a candidate’s motivations during a job interview.

Understanding how the practice relates to a potential new hire in a cultural sense will go a long way in smoothing out the hiring process. Choosing the best possible candidates will equate to a reduction in organizational costs resulting from high employee turnover.

Valant published a webinar explaining in depth the fundamentals of hiring and retention for private practices. Click the button below to watch it.

 


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