The Love Letter

Recruiting and hiring is a hot topic among physical therapists, doctors and many other professions. It’s hard to find great candidates. It’s even hard to get people to apply. What to do?

A typical job posting reads like this. You can probably imagine this for a number of other job titles and descriptions, as well. And my apologies to those who posted these actual, real job postings. Remember, though, I’m here to help.

Physical Therapist

A Private PT owned and operated Practice in [insert city & state here] is looking to add a Physical therapist to their team. This physical therapy team’s primary focus is helping people discover how to lead their lives with less pain. This clinic believes their role in the recovery process is to help their patient’s regain strength, relieve their pain, and return them to daily activities as completely and as rapidly as possible.

The clinic fulfills its goals by providing care for their patients, and financial stability and security for their staff. They also gain satisfaction by having a clinic that is well known for its care of all ages because all ages should have…

What is special about this “team” or this position? Don’t all Physical Therapists want to “help their patients regain strength, relieve their pain, and return them to daily activities as completely and as rapidly as possible”? It talks a lot about the clinic, but does it connect on an emotional level?

Here’s another that moves a little bit in the right direction.

Physical Therapist

We’re seeking top-caliber Physical Therapists to join our growing [insert state name here] team!

As a multidisciplinary and integrated practice we offer an impressive and unique interdisciplinary approach to rehabilitation incorporating the partnership of physical therapists, chiropractors, physiatrists and athletic trainers to achieve optimal patient outcomes. We’re looking for someone that works well within a team of various specialties and has a history of providing a great patient experience and outstanding outcomes! The clinical work environment is designed and organized by our Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Directors. Our Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Directors want the best for their patients and our providers and have created an excellent working and treating environment that create an excellent clinical experience.

They are “unique” and even tell a little bit about how. They are looking for someone who works well on a team. But then it goes into who organizes the work environment? What about that is interesting, impressive, or unique? What details have they provided? As my children’s elementary teachers say, use more flowery words, and paint more of a picture for your reader.

“There is no sweeter sound to any person’s ear than the sound of their own name…” – Dale Carnegie

Too often we are writing about us and not about them. Writing about us may be fine, especially if you don’t think the people reading the posting know anything about you and your business. But writing about the how and the what are probably not that compelling for someone reading through a bunch of job openings.

Simon Sinek reminds us to “Start With Why“. That is also true in these types of job postings. Why does your business exist? If you can lead off with your business purpose for existing and maybe your vision for where you are going, as long as that, too, is inspiring, start with that. Then you can move along to how you deliver on your promises to your clients and staff. Maybe you get into a little bit of the what you do after that. But presenting in that order, 1 why, 2 how, 3 what, will help to better connect with the right people.

Ernest Shackleton was an explorer who went to Antarctica several times early in the 20th Century and is famous for not losing any of his men, even under horrible conditions.

This is fabled to be his job posting.

What kind of candidates do you think applied? I’m betting this posting weeded out many would-be adventurers. Team selection was likely a huge contributor to the survival of every crew member. Setting clear expectations allowed those who weren’t sure to be clearer about what they were getting into. And it probably appealed strongly to the true adventurer who wanted to test his mettle against the forces of nature. But note that this posting is about the person applying and not about Shackleton or the ship.

As part of our job postings at San Francisco Sport and Spine Physical Therapy, we just added the following: You will love being part of our team if you love working hard, caring deeply for your patients and want to work on a truly collaborative team. We don’t have room for giant egos or passengers. Everyone contributes and pulls their weight and helps the other members of the team as much as they can whether it’s in their job description or not. Nothing is “not my job”.

Maybe this isn’t appealing to you. We hope it is to someone. It’s truthful and describes a bit about the ideal candidate while also sharing a bit about our values and what we think is important.

If this content puts someone off, then that’s probably a good thing. If we’re not a fit, then we want to know that as early as possible. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time; there is so little of it. And by putting this out there, we may have just saved us both some anguish, too.

So, maybe it’s not really a “Love Letter”, but we’re working to connect with the people we want to work with and convey what it is they will be entering into by joining our team. We hope when the “right” person reads it, they will get chills and be excited to apply and learn more about us.

For more about finding your fit, check out Sooki, The Saggy Baggy Elephant. (Really!)

The Saggy Baggy Elephant


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