How to Recruit Top Talent with Dr. Sabrina Starling

PTO 29 | Recruiting Top Talent

 

Sabrina Starling, PhD, PCC, BCC, wrote the book on how to find the top talent to join your team, literally. After noticing that recruiting and hiring “A” players was exponentially more difficult in rural settings she decided to write the book on it – How to Hire the Best (available on Amazon). She has worked with a number of physical therapy owners in the past and has recognized some of our pitfalls. She shares with us how we can get out of our own way and hire the most talented people to share our visions and join our teams. A number of factors are at play, and she goes through them all, greasing the wheels on capturing top talent will pay off in spades – productivity, culture, profits, stress (relief), growth, etc. Spend a few hours a week and the difference will be felt for years.

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How to Recruit Top Talent with Dr. Sabrina Starling

PTO 29 | Recruiting Top Talent
How to Hire the Best: The Rural Business Owner’s Ultimate Guide to Attracting Top Performing Employees

In this episode, I get the opportunity to talk to Dr. Sabrina Starling about recruiting and attracting top talent to your company. Dr. Sabrina Starling is known as the business psychologist and author of the series How to Hire the Best. She’s also the Founder of Tap the Potential business consulting. Dr. Starling’s How to Hire the Best series grew from a desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. She was a business coach in a rural setting and had small-town entrepreneurs looking for top talent. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming a world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses. It has earned Tap The Potential the reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating great places to work.

Tap The Potential specializes in transforming small businesses into such profitable great places to work that they celebrate by sending their business owners on a four-week vacation to celebrate their accomplishment. You can’t do that unless you’re leaving behind the top talent to run your businesses. With Dr. Starling’s background in psychology and years of driving profit for small businesses, she knows what it takes to find, keep, and get exceptional performance out of your biggest investment and that is your team members. She also does a weekly podcast called Profit by Design and she and her co-host, Mike Bruno, can bring you tips, tools, and strategies to grow a sustainably profitable business that allows you to live the lifestyle you deserve.

Take a read to this episode regarding recruiting top talent, A-players but follow-up on my next episode. I’m going to talk with Dr. Starling and Jeff McMenamy, a friend of mine, a therapist in Wyoming who is thriving and has multiple practices. Look out for that episode because we’re going to talk a little bit also about the support that a coach can provide a business owner, specifically, Jeff, in his case. He has been working with Dr. Sabrina Starling to improve his capabilities as a leader and owner of his physical therapy practices. In this episode, we’re going to focus specifically on Dr. Starling’s experience, her book, How to Hire the Best, which also has a corresponding website, and we’ll talk about attracting and recruiting top talent.

I’m talking to Dr. Sabrina Starling and I’m interested to bring her onto the podcast because of her insight specifically about attracting, recruiting top talent. Also, she’s an expert on it. She has a book about it. She will explain to us a little bit about that, but how that also leads to improving profits and improving lifestyle. Before we get into that, thank you for joining me, Dr. Starling.

Thank you, Nathan. I’m so excited to be here and talking to your audience about this very important topic.

All of us struggle with attracting and recruiting top talent. That might be the most important word, top talent. We can always find someone off Craigslist or something like that, but to get the top talent into our office and become a team member is essential. It’s something that I don’t think a lot of us focus on as physical therapy owners. We might hire out to recruiting firms or do our best with social media and Craigslist or something like that, but I’m anxious to bring you on to talk about how we can do it ourselves. What it necessarily takes to attract them and recruit those top physical therapists, top office staff or top executive team members. Before we do that, Dr. Starling, do you mind sharing a little bit about you and how you got into your profession, where you’re at right now and your experience with physical therapists?

I am a psychologist by training and I was working in a rural mental health clinic out in the middle of Wyoming where there’s more antelope than people. I got very burnt out in just delivering therapy services to severely mentally ill people. I thought “I want to work with people who are healthier” and that was years ago and that was when life coaching was fairly new. I started learning about becoming a life coach and I thought, “Here’s my path. I’m going to become a life coach and I want to help people with work-life balance.” I have a lot of clients seeking me out for work-life balance and the majority of them turned out to be small business owners. As I was taking into things with them, I was realizing they don’t have a work-life balance problem. They would love to be taking vacations and spending more time with their family. These are not people who I would have to twist their arms to do that. What they had is a team problem. They had the lack of the team that they needed and because of that, they were working hard in the business themselves.

For years I just accepted, we’re in a small town, this is a rural area. Because we’re in a rural area, we can’t get good help, we can’t attract good talent. We just have to make do. As a psychologist, a lot of my clients were asking me to help them coach their team members, to take their warm body team members and make them into top performing employees. “Surely, we could use some good psychology on them, Sabrina. Make them work harder and be more engaged and be more excited about work.” That was like pushing a boulder uphill. The results that we got from that effort were so negligible. It was not worth it. Here’s the other thing that I saw going on is I saw business owners passing on growth opportunities and that hurts me at my core. I’m an entrepreneur at my core, I cannot pass on a growth opportunity.

Bringing people in and experiencing turnover is a slow kiss of death for a small business. Click To Tweet

Tell me about that a little bit. Number one, it’s amazing that you’re here, that you spend all that energy. You have this background in psychology and you’re trying to help these people improve and that was like pushing a boulder up the hill of these very sluggish people. I want to note that for the audience, here’s a trained psychologist that was trying to get people who didn’t go anywhere to go somewhere. It didn’t work. Tell me a little bit about some of the opportunities that you noticed were being missed.

I saw business owners looking at, for example, a physical therapy business. I’ve outgrown my space. I have the opportunity to grow, but that’s going to mean that I have to hire people. If we take on more, I’m already working 60 or 70 hours a week myself. If we grow and I can’t get the team that I need, then it’s going to be me doing that work and now it’s all on my shoulders. Now, I’m working 90 hours a week. That’s not sustainable. Instead of growing, they would choose to stay small. It was when I woke up and you have those thoughts as you transition from sleep to wakefulness. Sometimes you have bright ideas and I happened to have a bright idea. That moment this question went through my head of, “What if it’s not true?”

I was thinking about, “What if it’s not true that because we’re in a small town in a rural area, you can’t get good talent? What if there are business owners who have top talent in their business and they’re in rural areas? If those people exist, maybe they know something. If I interview them, maybe I can find out what they know, and I can share it with all the business owners I’m trying to help.” That put me on a quest like, “I’m going to figure this out.” I started looking around. I went to books. I love to read so I started looking for business books. Are there any books out there on hiring talent in small business? There are books out there on hiring talent, but they’re geared to corporations, larger entities, businesses that have an entire HR department. They’re not there for the small business owner who’s still wearing a lot of hats themselves in the business. I thought, “There’s no book out there. Maybe there are some business experts I could interview who could point me in the right direction.”

One after another, I interviewed entrepreneurial thought leaders and they kept saying, “It’s a need out there and no one’s addressing it.” That’s when I thought, “I’m going to solve this problem. I’m going to figure this out.” I started talking to small business owners who had some great employees on their team and nobody told me, “I’m happy to talk to you. I know exactly what I did, and I want to share it with you.” They all said to me a variation of this, “I’ll talk to you if you need to talk to me, but I have no idea how I got these people on my team. I’m grateful I have them. If you find out the solution, the answer to this big question, please come back and tell me because I don’t know what I’m doing either.” I thought, “I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. I’m not going to be able to solve this problem.”

As I interviewed one business owner after another and I asked them to tell me the story about this great team member that you have on your team, they all kept giving me a variation of the same story. It came down to good networking. I thought, “Isn’t this interesting? We all are doing this good networking, but no one is claiming it as a system. No one’s looking at putting a system in place in their business to attract more great team members like the couple that they have. What would happen if we got more intentional about this and more systematic about it?” That’s how my book, How to Hire the Best was born.

That’s cool to hear because you don’t talk a lot about networking to find your top talent, but when you think about it, the A-talent out there, the top performers, they hang around each other. When you have a lot of B and C-players on your team the A-players won’t stick around. They’re feeling like they’re getting dragged down or they’re not meeting what their expectations and their performance as well as the company’s performance. What a great perspective to come from is that if you can tap into those A-level performers from a networking standpoint, they’re going to be able to direct you to other A-performers.

Being mindful of not having a team full of warm bodies. My saying about that is if you have warm bodies on your team, you might as well be spraying A-player repellent all over your business because they don’t want to come and hang around. If you are intentionally working on creating a great place to work, all of a sudden now you’re positioning the business to attract A-players. If you intentionally network and you have a great place to work, all of a sudden what felt like it was this impossible problem to solve, how do you get talent to your team? All of a sudden now you have a steady pipeline of people who are waiting for the opportunity to work for you and that’s the ideal place to be.

PTO 29 | Recruiting Top Talent
Recruiting Top Talent: Having these core values in hand as you start to recruit is absolutely essential because one of the things that many PT clinic owners do is they go looking for skill set.

 

When you have A-team players waiting on the bench to come and join your team. The type of people who say, “If you ever have an opening, please let me know,” then that’s the ideal situation. From our personal experience, my business partner, Will Humphreys, focused on recruiting some physical therapy schools and the students coming out of there. He spent a couple of years honing that and improving the business at the same time so that once he got a couple of those A-type students, those top of the class students to come and join the company, they invited their closest friends to come join the company as well. It changed the dynamic when it comes to recruiting. In that we’re able to create a culture and develop a network. By doing so, hiring those A-players and fulfilling our promises led to them spreading the word and getting other A-players that were coming out of school to come and join us as well.

Then it all starts to flow, and I want to give a shout out too because when I wrote my book How to Hire the Best, I wrote it for small business owners in rural areas and I was working with different small business owners. One of them is a physical therapy owner and we were trying to figure out. He was struggling, and he needed to recruit some PTs and OTs. In a rural area, there’s no college around within an easy drive where they are pumping out students. What do you do? How do you get these folks? We had to get creative and that’s where I started to learn myself thinking about recruiting talent. Just like you think about marketing to attract your patients to your business. If you do a spray and pray marketing approach, you’re going to get patients of all different varieties. They’re not going to put in the best patients. You’re not going to enjoy working with them. They’re not going to succeed. They’re not going to do their exercises and the follow-up that they need to do to recover. To grow a successful clinic or multiple clinics, you have to have a focused marketing strategy. The same happens when it comes to attracting talent. You need to have focus on it, intention, and strategy behind it, then systematize.

Can you share with us a couple of strategies that you’ve used in the past to recruit?

First off, just like marketing, when you’re trying to attract patients, you have an avatar of a type of patient that your company is best suited to serve. When it comes to recruiting, we want to have an avatar of our ideal employee. If you look at the team members that you’ve had in your business or that you’ve had in the past who have worked well and fit well in your business, what qualities do they have? What are they like? Understanding that typically just like in marketing, the patients who are most drawn to you and who want to be a part of your business and work with you, they’re coming because they have core values in common with you. There are some common threads. That applies when it comes to recruiting also. If you look out at your best team members, what are those core values of yours that they share? The core values are the glue.

For some business owners, we’re starting at the ground level in identifying what are those core values because those are the foundations of your culture in your business. Your personal core values as the business owner are what drives the culture. Sometimes business owners will say, “I don’t know what my core values are. Maybe I’ll have a team meeting and I’ll ask my team what our core values are.” Please don’t try that approach, especially if you have warm bodies on your team. This is a self-reflective approach. You have to reflect on your core values and make those into the immutable laws of the business. If you have readers who are just starting to think about this, a simple way to start identifying your core values are two questions. What’s made you proud lately in the business and what’s ticked you off lately in the business? The things that have made you proud point to your core values.

When we’re proud of something, it’s because they align with our core values. My daughter went with into her school and they helped out at the food bank. I am proud of that and that’s one of our core values at Tap the Potential, be a gift from your gifts. We use our gifts to serve our clients and in our greater communities. I feel proud of her because she’s being a gift from her gifts. That’s one way to identify core values. Then the next way is to look into what’s ticked you off recently. One of the things that ticks me off is poor service and I experienced poor service from a business. I think, “They’re not doing what they said they were going to do. They told me they were going to do one thing, they did another.” My number one immutable law is, “You can count on us. We do what we say we’re going to do.”

Notice this is all in my language because I’m talking about my business. These things I’m saying may resonate with you, but you may have a different way of expressing those things. You want to narrow down your core values into your own language and use common language and common phrasing. Then at that point, you go to your team and say, “Here’s the core values I’m coming up with for the business. Tell me how do these relate to you and how do they hit home for you?” Then just watch around the room as you share. Some people will be smiling, eyes lighting up, leaning forward in their seat. Other people leaning back like, “Really?” arms crossed, that’s not a good sign. They’re probably not going to be with you long. What you’re doing is you’re calling out they’re not a good fit, and now it’s becoming obvious why they’re not a good fit.

A-players are hardly ever unemployed. Click To Tweet

Having these core values in hand as you start to recruit is absolutely essential because one of the things that many PT clinic owners do is they go looking for skill set. If someone has the degree, they’ve passed the round one of qualification. That’s not right. What we do is we want to hire people who are a great fit for our culture. Then look at do they have the qualifications for the job because if someone has the qualifications but they are not a good fit for your culture, they’re going to become a cancer in your culture. That’s going to be the person that you interview. They look good on paper. They talk a good talk. Talk a good game in the interview, but you get them in your business and a few weeks later you’re going to be beating your head against the wall because they drive you crazy with the choices and the way they do things. It’s not about skill set. The first criteria needs to be fit with your culture.

That’s the conundrum of physical therapy owners that are in small towns is that it’s hard enough to get someone to come to your town because you’re in a small town. When you narrow it down to someone that needs to have a PT license and they are willing to move to a small town, then you’re thinking, “They’re at least willing to come here. They’re a warm body. That helps me change some temporary goals.” Can you speak to the loss that’s incurred when you get a poison on your team?

It costs thousands of dollars of your time, your effort to interview, to recruit them. You get them on. You train them. You start investing that way. The turnover, the best thing that can happen to somebody only stays a week, the worst thing is they stay three months and then the rest of your good employees get totally frustrated. They start losing faith in you and so you risk losing your great employees too. Bringing those people in and experiencing turnover, it’s this slow kiss of death for a small business to do that. You mentioned small towns. You’re in Alaska, I used to live in Wyoming. There’s a phenomenon that goes on. You get a guy who wants to move to Alaska or he wants to move to Wyoming because the great outdoors and all the fishing and the hunting, but the wife not so much. You sell him hard to come and it’s a great place to live. He is going to be totally happy, but if you don’t take into context his entire life and if he’s bringing a family with him, he’s not going to stick. He may be a great fit culture-wise for your business. He may have the skill set, but if he’s leaving in a few months because his wife is miserable, that’s costing you a lot too.

How do you overcome that?

It goes back to one great strategy is recruiting from schools and developing those relationships with the academic departments. As you’re doing that, being clear about the culture and your workplace and what makes your business unique compared to all the other options that students have. You just want the right people to pay attention and you want to say enough about what makes you unique and what your culture is like so that the wrong people just say, “I’m not interested,” and don’t even take up any of your time. The problem is when we’re desperate to hire, we are out there trying to sell our business to somebody and make it sound like, “It’s the best place ever and you’re going to love it for this reason or that reason. I know your wife, she wants the shopping malls. There’s one an hour and a half from us.” Just being straight up honest, “This is probably not going to be a good fit for you,” and then go onto the next person and talk to the next person. Don’t keep trying to sell somebody because ultimately, if you create a great culture and a great place to work around your core values and you attract like-minded folks, your turnover is going to be low. You are not going to need twenty applicants a year for two positions. You are just going to need two or three applicants for each position and then you get to pick.

You talked a little bit about intention and I want to know your thoughts about the intention when it comes to recruiting and hiring. What do you mean by intention and how do you explain that?

Most of us, business owners, don’t start thinking about hiring until we’re desperate. We put it off as long as we can because we know it’s going to be a long arduous process and at that point, it’s already too late. We’re having to resort to desperate measures. If you start at the point where you have a steady lead generation in your business. You’ve figured that piece out like how do you get lots of patients coming through the door, how do you get those referrals going from the doctors and how do you get the right doctors referring the right patients to you? You’ve got all that figured out, the next thing that you’re going to be looking at is a capacity issue.

PTO 29 | Recruiting Top Talent
Recruiting Top Talent: When we work from our strengths, we are 900% to 1200% more productive than when we work from our Achilles heels.

 

That’s where if you start at the point where you have good conversion, lots of good patient flow coming through the doors and then you start thinking about, “If my business grows at the pace that it’s been growing, how many team members am I going to need in the next year to three years?” Then start being intentional around how you’re going to recruit those team members and put just as much priority on that as you put on marketing. Then you’re going to be in a much better place. You’re not going to be at a point of desperation trying to just take anybody that will sign on with you.

This is a common problem I’m sure you see across the board in that the small business owner, in our case, the physical therapy clinic owner maybe doesn’t take the time to look one to three years ahead. Is that a common issue? 

You’re wearing so many hats and you’re juggling so many responsibilities and then thinking about recruiting, it feels like, “That’s just one more thing I’ve got to think about.” In reality, it doesn’t take a lot of effort from week to week as long as you are intentional about it and you recognize it is a priority. “I need to be starting to think through who are our ideal employee is going to be and where are we going to get them from, what pool?” Every physical therapy clinic has a pool of places to get their ideal employees from, you just have to discover it.

If a physical therapy clinic owner came to you and they’re in a bind. They’re a small business and you’ve been through this before. They need to bring on a physical therapist, but they’re in a small town, their backs against the wall. I’m working 60 hours a week. What’s the first step? How do you coach them to take the first step to move along in the process?

It goes back to identifying the qualities that you need in a team member and your values. The piece that I haven’t spoken enough to is the qualities that you need in an ideal team member. You have to identify the roles that you’re going to need to fill in your business in the next one to three years, the key results from each of those roles that will drive the profit of the business. What does each position produce and how does it relate to profitability? Then you want to think about what qualities, what personality strikes does someone need to have to produce that result exceptionally well, day in and day out? A prime example of this is someone at your front desk, they deal with a lot of people and they manage a lot of details. That is somebody who needs to be a people person who’s detail-oriented. They need to be energized by dealing with people.

If you put an introvert who’s great at managing details and who’s smiling and can be friendly. If you put them at your front desk and you need consistent, exceptional performance from them day in and day out, they’re going to be flagging a bit, burnout because they’re not operating from a strength. When we work from our strengths, we are 900% to 1200% more productive than when we work from our Achilles heels. Somebody who needs a job and they’re an introvert and they want your front desk position, they may tell you, “I like people. People are great,” but every day they are going home from work and they’re zoning out in front of the TV because they are totally wiped out by all that interaction. If you hire an extrovert who’s great at managing details, now you have the right person at your front desk. They’re energized by that work and they’re getting more and more productive every single day because their energy goes up from what they’re doing.

They want to talk to people and that goes back to what is the ideal employee? Because when we post an ad or when we throw it out there on social media, we just typically list the bare minimums. If you can type, if you know how to work in Excel, if you can schedule a patient, then you’re qualified and you’re just checking off the boxes. Instead of putting an ad out that says, “This is the personality type that we want, and they’ve got to be energized by talking to people. They’ve got to be excited about meeting people and disappointed when people don’t show up. They have a belief that what physical therapy is doing is the thing that they need to do in order to attract the patients back in and make the difficult calls.” Putting an ad out like that can filter out a lot of the candidates pretty quickly to get you to the ideal candidate.

A-players are a joy to lead and manage. They're enthusiastic about the why of the business, the vision, and the mission. Click To Tweet

When someone reads it who is not a great fit, they need to read it and say, “I would hate that job,” so they don’t even apply. Then you’re saving yourself a lot of time, but the other reason that identifying the personality strengths that someone needs to do the job exceptionally well, day in and day out. The other reason why that’s so important is that when you’re networking and let’s say you’re at a party like the holidays are coming up. You’re at a Christmas party and you’re talking to somebody that you’ve just been introduced to. You’re telling them about your clinic and you say, “I am looking to be introduced to someone who is outgoing. They love people and they’re great at managing details. Who do you know who’s like that who comes to mind?” All of a sudden now real faces are popping into that other person’s head. Notice I did not say, “Who do you know like that who is looking for work?”

Because the other thing is that A-players are hardly ever unemployed. Our traditional way of finding people to fill the roles in our businesses is to put an ad out there, to post on Craigslist, Indeed or Monster and just assume that the right people are going to show up, but A-players are not out there looking. They’re working elsewhere. When you’re networking, you want to ask, “Who do you know who’s like that,” and give a good description and say, “Would you be willing to introduce me to them? Would you make an introduction?” You’re not even talking about that you have a job opportunity in your clinic. You’re just saying, “Would you be willing to make an introduction?” That’s how you start to build your network of A-players for the different roles in your businesses. Back in the day, we would have Rolodexes. You would imagine you would take that name down and put it in your Rolodex file and that went away for the next time we have a front desk opening, I’m going to call them.

You want to have some database that you’re keeping when you’re collecting information about these people. You want to get into conversations with them and say, “So and so told me about you. They spoke so highly of you about how you love people and how great you are at managing details. I just wanted to share with you a little bit about what it’s like to work for us and not necessarily now, but maybe sometime in the future if you’re ever looking for an opportunity, you want to circle around to us and see what we have available.” Then you’re also doing a little bit of screening in that conversation because you’re gauging their energy level.

You might share a couple of stories about your values and see how they respond and see if they are resonating. If it’s all checking out, you’re saying, “I would love to stay in touch with you. Would you mind if I add you to our newsletter, so you can learn more about our clinics and when we have openings we’ll be posting it in our newsletter?” Now you have a way of staying in touch with them. They’re curious. They’re so flattered that they’ve been referred to you and you’ve connected with them. You’ve started to build a relationship and now you’re starting to create a system for staying in touch with people so that you have a steady pipeline of A-players when you have positions to fill.

That takes so much stress off of the owner. When someone turns in their two or four-week notice, whatever it might be you say, “We’re going to start. I know where to go first. It’s not like you’re starting from ground zero. I’m going to start making the calls.” Hopefully, you’ve got one or two people in line for whatever position it is, and that’s the ideal situation. It is to get to that point so that hiring and recruiting is like the pinnacle of your company because it leads to so many other things. I’m glad you brought it up that it all ties back to profitability. Each position has a product that lends to profitability. That goes to show when you get A-players and have a system in place for recruiting and attracting and retaining A-players that all suddenly leads to improved profitability.

Payroll is the biggest expense in a small business. If you have warm bodies on your payroll, you have a lot of expenses. That’s a big profit bleed like money’s just going out the door, but if you have a lot of turnover, that’s impacting the profitability of the business. If you can nail it down to, “These are the results that I need from the roles that I have,” and then you bring in people who have the strengths and can deliver on those results, you will see the profit in the business going up and up from that. I am a firm believer in it’s not about revenue, it’s about profit. It’s not about what comes into the business. It’s about what the entrepreneur gets to keep and how that entrepreneur is rewarded for their risks that they’re bearing as an entrepreneur.

We talked about profits. What are some of the other benefits to that? They’re self-evident, but what have you noticed in your experience as you’ve helped people improve their recruiting and attraction methods?

PTO 29 | Recruiting Top Talent
Recruiting Top Talent: Offering internships is a great way to screen people. You pay them relatively low and you get to see firsthand how they perform and how good of a fit they are.

 

Going back to my story that I told about how I got into this. I didn’t start out wanting to be the small business hiring expert. That’s where I landed, but it was by accident. What I was trying to do was help some of these business owners take a vacation like they’re so overworked. I would say, “You’re so fried. Just take the weekend off, you need a vacation,” and they would all give me a pushback, “I cannot. Who’s going to get the work done if I’m not here? I need to be in the clinic. I need to be doing the emails myself because if I don’t do it, who’s going to do it?” The biggest benefit of hiring great team members is that you, the business owner, have people that you can trust to handle things in your absence. When you combine great team members with strong systems in your clinics, you don’t have to be the one in there doing all the work yourself. You can be away from the business, things can run in your absence and you can have some peace in your life.

That’s one of my biggest concerns when I was starting off as a physical therapy owner in the beginning years. I remember telling all my friends and family, they say, “How’s the business going?” I said, “I love doing the physical therapy, I just hate managing the people and all that comes with managing the business.” I found that as we attracted and hired more people and helped them with the systems and train them appropriately, things became a lot easier. Now as I go back to treating, I don’t get as much fulfillment from that unfortunately, but I get excited about creating something bigger. 

A-players are a joy to lead and manage. They’re full of energy, they are passionate. They’re enthusiastic about the why of the business, the vision, the mission, and it feels like we’re all in this together. We’re working towards a larger goal. Then I can teach the business owners and the managers in the business some coaching skills and it’s like dropping a tomato seed into fertile soil. The tomato plant grows and it produces a lot of tomatoes and you just had to put some water on it. It wasn’t a lot of effort. If you are trying to do that same amount of effort with a bunch of warm bodies, it is draining. For your audience who are feeling like, “Nathan hit the nail on the head. I like treating. I don’t like dealing with and managing people. I just want to treat all the time.” Look around at who you’re trying to manage and be honest with are they A-players? Are they the type of team members that I want and is that the problem?

I love the question not to backtrack too much, but the question that you put out in the very beginning, what if it’s not true? When we have these fixed ideas, what if they weren’t true? What if recruiting in a small town isn’t difficult? What if you just flipped in there and said, “Recruiting in a small town is easy because there are tons of people who would love the small-town lifestyle, especially in the wilderness of Wyoming or Alaska, you name it.” What if it’s not true? Then when you asked that question, and I’m sure you’ve done it millions of times as a psychologist, it unlocks a lot of thoughts and ideas that can come forth at that point and lead to further action.

I want to throw out one other little ninja strategy that your PT owners can take advantage of and that is offering internships in your clinics. Because what better way to screen people than pay them relatively low and they come and work for you and you get to see firsthand how they perform and how good of a fit they are. It’s also a great opportunity to woo them if they are a great fit because now, they’re making connections and friends in the clinic and they want to stay.

A lot of the more successful physical therapy clinics out there, even from my own experience in my graduating class, 75% of the people that had jobs, were jobs that they had from the internships that they did. It makes it so easy and you have no commitment to them. That’s why if they don’t work out then we’re obligated to let you go.

Those department heads, when you successfully employ their students over and over, it makes them look good because they’re able to say, “We’re able to place X percentage of our students in jobs and they stay in those jobs. They’re happy.” That’s creating a win-win situation.

Everyone has something that they can contribute that further somebody else on their journey. Click To Tweet

Dr. Starling, what’s the name of your book?

How to Hire the Best.

I’ll have people reach out and look for that. Is it on Amazon?

It is available on Amazon. If you want to get my masterclass, which is a free masterclass where I go more in-depth into how you build your A-player attraction system. You can get that at HowToHireTheBest.com.

Can they also order the book there?

You can order the book from Amazon.

If people wanted to reach out to you directly, what’s your availability there?

The best place to find me is at my coaching company, TapThePotential.com.

Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

If you want to hear more about building a sustainably profitable business to support you and the lack of style you desire, we have a podcast called the Profit By Design podcast. You can find that ProfitByDesignPodcast.com or whatever platform you listen to podcasts on.

I was a guest on it. It was a lot of fun and I love it. I asked you beforehand, how you describe your podcast and it’s all about building a sustainable, profitable business to allow you to lead the lifestyle of your choice essentially. As small business owners, we’re all looking for that.

I love bringing on guests like you, Nathan, and hearing their stories and just learn from each other as entrepreneurs. Everyone has something that they can contribute that further somebody else on their journey.

We’re going to have a follow-up podcast here with you and one of your clients from the past. I invite all to look out for another podcast where Dr. Starling and I are going to talk with Jeff McMenamy of Teton Physical Therapy. He’s someone that’s worked with Sabrina in the past and share his experience in working and growing from a small business that was having a lot of the small business issues that you were talking about and now being completely successful, profitable, and living a lifestyle by choice.

I’m looking forward to that conversation.

Thanks for joining me. I appreciate it.

Thank you, Nathan.

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About Dr. Sabrina Starling

PTO 29 | Recruiting Top Talent

Dr. Sabrina Starling is known as The Business Psychologist™ and author of the series, How to Hire the Best, and is the founder of Tap the Potential business consulting. Tap the Potential specializes in transforming small businesses into highly profitable, Great Places to Work, then celebrates by sending business owners on a 4 Week Vacation to celebrate their accomplishment.

Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses, and has earned Tap the Potential the reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work.

With her background in psychology, and years of driving profit in small business, Dr. Starling knows what it takes to find, keep and get exceptional performance out of your biggest investment — your team members.

Tune in weekly to the Profit by Design Podcast as Dr. Sabrina and her co-host, Mike Bruno, bring you tips, tools, and strategies to grow a sustainably profitable business that allows you to live the lifestyle you desire.

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