When there are 80,000 PT ads on Indeed (like there currently are), it can be difficult to stand out from the rest and capture the attention of the best PTs. However, based on his years of recruiting success, Will Humphreys of Rockstar Recruiter has found the secret sauce that has helped many owners find the best fits for their practices and shares them with us in this episode.
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The Secret Sauce To Recruiting PTs With Will Humphreys Of Rockstar Recruiter
A good buddy, a friend of the program and long-time guest, Will Humphreys, is joining me. How are you doing, Will?
I am doing amazing as always. It is a pleasure to be on your show. I love the show and I love how popular it is getting. It is so cool to talk to people and be braggy and be like, “I know him.”
Thanks for joining me. Let’s get into it a little bit. If people have not heard my episodes with Will, you can go back to one of the first couple of episodes that I had of the entire show, 170 plus episodes ago. You have been on here and there throughout and a couple more. We have talked about a number of things. Number one, you have the billing company, In The Black Financial Therapy. You guys are working well with PT owners improving their financials.
You were the expert recruiter when we were partners in our company. You have leveraged your knowledge and expertise in recruiting and have started your own recruiting program to help PT owners. I want to talk about that and what you can share with owners out there who are desperate nowadays. That has not changed as the Great Resignation started. I want to share with the readers exactly what you are doing and how you are helping them become better recruiters. With that kind of promotion, where do you want to start?
I want to acknowledge the fact that you are a major impetus for me doing this because when I came home from Europe and was like, “I have got time. I want to create a billing company.” You were like, “Why would not you focus on recruiting? What is wrong with you?” The reason I wanted to focus on the billing was that there was this individual that you and I worked with who is doing billing on a totally different level.
I saw the opportunity to create a billing company that would allow me to coach and you and I had so many coaches. I love the idea of having a coaching company that was a billing company because anything we coach on, I already know your finances. It makes it easier to help on the billing side and then if you are working with someone like you who were partners with me then it makes it easy for you to coach them as well.
I went down that road but what I found was almost 100% of the people I coached were like, “Can you help me recruit?” Most of what I coach on is recruiting even through my billing company. That is one way people have been working with me but I got so into it again and I love it. For me, I looked at recruiting as like, “I want to be known as a recruiter.” It is not that. It is building dream teams.
When I wrapped my arms around that, I started taking notes. Not better notes of what I used to do but research on how to help my clients and sure enough, my clients started making hires in these remote parts of the country when they told me it was impossible to hire because they were Medicaid or whatever.
We started getting hires so I started creating a program. I hired another coach, which you and I always promote. I hired this master teacher on how to take the content and organize it into actionable terms and then I created Rockstar Recruiter. It is funny because I have put very little effort into it. I have not done any marketing or sales on it and people have kept joining it and now they are getting PT hires in areas that they thought were impossible. It has been one of the coolest things to share that information with the PT owners to see them start making hires again.
There are a couple of things that you noticed in there and that is, number one, you are a coach who has his own coach. I have my own coach. Although we are coaches to owners and business coaches, essentially, we have our own coaches who coach us on our businesses. We walked the walk. It is not like we are like, “You get a coach.” “I do not need a coach. We walked the walk.”
The second is you took your expertise in something and are now creating content for others to be successful at doing the same thing. What came so naturally for you and maybe it was not natural to begin with but what you became good at is something that now you are able to share with others and they are able to replicate those things and have similar success. For people who do not know our story, recruiting in Arizona at that time was difficult and recruiters would tell us that. Of all the states in the union, Arizona was difficult to hire for because there was always a demand for PTs at the time.
Not only that, we had some clinics that were outside of Metropolitan Phoenix where if PTs wanted to work in those clinics, they had to drive past a dozen or more physical therapy clinics to get there. We had to somehow justify them passing up all these clinical and positional opportunities to drive out to our remote locations.
We had to become good at marketing and we made that our goal. We were like, “We do not want to be at the effect of all the PTs that are not “there.” We wanted to be in charge. We want to be in a powerful position where we have this bench of PT players. From that germination, you and I started putting that recruiting plan together and then you put it into place and implemented it and we did over time develop that bench. Is that how you recall it?In order to recruit, the first place to start is to get clear on what makes you different and look at your competitive advantage. Click To Tweet
For sure and I would add that I was not naturally good at it. It was something that before you and I had remerged in terms of our businesses, I had been struggling. It was the biggest pain of my existence. Florence and Coolidge were where I lived and that is halfway for people who do not know between Phoenix and Tucson.
It is an Indian reservation all the way around. It is hard for PTs to want to go drive 45 minutes from civilization to go be a part of the largest jail town in Arizona which is Florence. It is a totally different world. It was my heart but on the outside, it did not look very attractive. How do you compete with that? That is where I honestly struggled forever.
I remember being so thrilled when things would finally get balanced with hiring that when someone quit, it would devastate me because I knew my life was going to get turned upside down. I was going to be not involved in the kids’ sports or at least not have the energy to be the dad or father that I wanted to be.
Not knowing how to hire was what caused me to go into coaching and ultimately what taught me how to do it but I did not get it from PTs inside of our industry. I learned what I learned from almost exclusively outside of physical therapy. My favorite coach that I worked with from the entrepreneur’s organization was this guy who was the lead recruiter in the nation for oil rigs.
We both went there for a year in smelly conditions. You get paid well but goodbye to friends and family. You are uncomfortable. You are working crazy hours. Working with him was one of the people that opened up my eyes around, “There is a way to create an offering.” On this show, I want to make sure that we are helping the readers take some nuggets away to go get the PTs that need to be a part of their company.
Let’s talk about my program but ultimately there was so much out there that I did not know. More than anything else in business, honestly. It was like, “How to recruit?” There is so much behind it. Unlike other things that we can get through or figure out in our industry with the supply and demand differential, there is no figuring it out.
That shows in the way most PT owners feel, which is how you and I felt, which is like, “It is super hard to recruit in this rural area. We had lots of Medicaid. It is super hard to recruit for Medicaid. How do I get PTs to stay on once I have hired them?” If I am lucky enough to hire one, which is a horrible mindset. I was not good at all. It took a lot of work and time in Florence and Coolidge in figuring that out.
I am interested to know because what I am going to ask you is a share like where do you start your PT owners in your program? I am wondering what your answer is going to be because I wonder if it is any different than how we started, like changing into a good recruiting physical therapy clinic.
In order to recruit, the first place to start is to get clear on what makes you different. We have to look inward before we can look outward. The very first thing we do is look at your competitive advantage. More PT owners are humble. They are not self-aware. They do not understand what it is about their practice that special but every time I have talked to someone I have worked with, they have something that is unique about them.
That is something that they want to promote and message in the right way. For the most part, if you go look on LinkedIn ads, there were over 80,000 PT job ads posted on LinkedIn. Ninety-nine percent of them are identical. The 1% that is different are clients of mine because they are all the same. They are like, “There is no judgment in it. We were never trained to do that.”
The first step is we have to look at what makes us different. It always goes to culture or special nuances about the region, the specializations or whatever it is but it always comes out of the culture that we help pinpoint our right. This is something about you that makes you different than every PT practice in the country. No matter how small or big they are, there is always something to find.
That is a little bit different than what I expected. This is what I was thinking. Maybe you bring this up at a different point in your program. Where it started to turn as we were in Vancouver getting some training and I was talking to you and Michelle about recruiting and I said, “It is hard to recruit in Florence.” You and Michelle both turned on a dime serious faces like almost in an angry type of tone like, “It is not hard to recruit in Florence, Arizona anymore.” I noticed the change because of the mindset and having that type of mentality. Is that a part of that first phase? Is that another step?
It is the same phase. It is not different. What is valuable about us, we are changing our mindset. It is two sides to the same coin. On the one side of the mindset coin, one of them is acknowledging and identifying what makes you special, great and unique. The other thing is identifying any dialogue that goes against that.
We talk about that mindset piece in Rockstar as a foundational piece. You are dead on. I get this still where it is like in my weekly group coaching call where people are like, “You know how hard it is to recruit here.” I am like, “It sure is because you keep saying that.” When I train on in this training is this idea that like, “We do not have to say it is easy.” Although that is what we chose to do back in Florence and Coolidge, we chose to say it until we chose to believe it and then it became easy. It is not that just saying it is easy and believing that it magically makes it easy. What it does is it creates like, “What do I need to figure?” It changes my cause or effect.
It changes the questions that you ask yourself. When people say, “It is hard to recruit.” It is almost like you can stop the conversation now. Whereas if you say it is easy to recruit, I just need to find out who is the perfect fit that would be willing to drive out here and would love to drive out here in Florence, Arizona.
How do I find those people now that open up a lot of other opportunities that you can consider and allows you to brainstorm and gives you avenues to move forward through, whereas when you say, “It is hard?” That means you can wrap the bow on it, put it up on the shelf and you are done with it. Let it collect dust and you do not have to pay attention to the hard recruiting piece anymore. It also gives you an excuse if it is hard and my minimal efforts to throw and add up on, “Indeed it do not work,” then it is because it is hard.
This is the thing I want the readers if there is one thing they take out of this is that when you decide that it is hard and you do the bare minimum and you throw it up. As you said, “It is hard to recruit here.” The reason you are saying that is that you do not feel as bad as you do about not being enough for your company or your family. That is what it is about. I am too overwhelmed and busy. If it is hard to recruit in Arizona, for example, it is not my fault that I am not the dad I want to be when I go home, I do not have the energy.
It is not my fault when the company is so busy that I do not know what to do. I am comfortable in the busy, as much as I say, I hate it. That reality, I am hoping is painful for some of your readers and they realize the leadership they have in them because Rockstar Recruiter is about leadership. It is not about getting someone to hire. It is about becoming the person that everyone has the potential in becoming and saying, “They would be lucky to work here because I know what I could provide for them and I can figure anything out.”
I promise every one of the readers, there is a way to recruit that is absolutely like pushing a button and getting people on board. It is that easy. It is controversial but I say it every time it is easy to recruit. I do not care where your practice is. You have not figured out and that is okay to say. It is easy to recruit when I figure out how to present this amazing company to people but it is hard believing it is amazing and getting rid of that self-talk. That is part of that mindset.
It carries over into so many other things. I have multiple clients who are looking at stepping out of patient care and maybe they have got into a point but they have not taken the leap to say, “I am not going to see patients anymore.” They come up with excuses. They are legitimate concerns but they let these excuses paralyze them and say, “I do not know how I am going to keep another PT busy if I take off. I do not know what patients are going to say if I am not treating them personally. I do not know what the team is going to say.” That is an expense. “I do not know if I can afford.” Using those excuses similar to it is hard to recruit excuses allows them to stop the conversation.
It is your job and my job as coaches then to say, “You can handle them. Let’s talk through how can we handle it?” Let’s change the questions. Instead of, “My patients want me to see them.” Then maybe the question needs to be, “What do you need to do in order to get your other therapist to provide as the quality of care as you do?” Let’s talk about that.
If you are worried about the expense of a new provider coming on then let’s look at the financial numbers. How many patients do they have to see to cover their expenses and then make a profit for you? Usually, when you go down those roads, you can brush away all the concerns, yet it is still hard for them sometimes. Maybe you have experienced this with some of your clients with Rockstar Recruiter in the Black. Even as you brush away some of those concerns, you have addressed them and you see it for what it is, they still are not able to make the step. Have you seen some of that?
It is hard to look inward when you are so busy. What I have come to learn is that our physical therapy leaders are some of the greatest leaders of any industry. I have worked in and out of physical therapy in and out of healthcare for years. Physical therapy leaders are the least self-aware least, self-confident and most powerful people I have met.
The way it feels is like they are super busy. I hear it all the time, “I am not that good of a business person.” You have a successful company running a 20% margin. You are saying that because you do not know what you do not know around how to figure out your remaining problems. That is why coaching and getting help is something that you and I promote no matter what we are talking about. It is like, “I did not figure this out.”
I have a brother-in-law who owns the fifth largest pest control company in the country. He might be the only person I know who has not hired a coach, even though he has been hiring me. The point is, those guys are few and far between. Most of us who find the success that we find comes from help, getting a coach, joining a program, whenever that is.
It is part of that journey. Recruiting is a real big one because when you talk about asking the right questions, it is not a question of like, “How do I convince someone to be here?” A lot of PT owners are asking themselves whether or not they are conscious of it. It is like, “What can I do to get somebody here as quickly as possible?” Instead of, “Who is that lucky son of a gun who gets to be a part of what I am building here? I know for a fact that I do these things well. I am going to give them a chance of a lifetime.”Your values, purpose, and vision are always the beginning of what makes you unique always. Click To Tweet
Answer that question. How are you going to find that person? You will then get all sorts of ideas versus, “I am going to pay a company.” Maybe that is why I stay away from recruiting for so long. I never wanted to be associated with a head hunter company. That is what is different about what I do is that I teach people how to fish. I do not go fishing for them, hoping they got the right fish that they wanted. It is like, “I teach you how to build your pole.” It takes a little bit of time but once you learn to do it, you pull endlessly from the river.
It is a recruiting program that perpetuates. I can see myself in that situation. PT owners are like, “I have no clue what sets me apart.” The scary part is when you say, “I am the leader that someone would be lucky to work with.” I am like, “I do not know if I am that leader or I am that guy.” That is scary. Then it is easy to throw up an ad on Indeed, LinkedIn or wherever and say, “Here is a physical therapist job description in my area.”
What we started doing back in the day was highlighting our values and almost challenging people. If you think you are an amazing worker, we need you. We want you. We only hire rockstars. It is cool that you used the word rockstar in your program because that is what we used in our ads back in the day on our Craigslist ads. Do you still recommend that highlighting values? Do you go more back to the uniqueness of your practice?
Your values, purpose and vision are always the beginning of what makes you unique. Adding them to an ad is better than what most people do but knowing how to add them into an ad that will attract them is a huge thing. I am going to give some big picture stuff and then I want the readers to walk away being able to go make some real changes.
They need recruiting that will be more effective. Here is the big key, the secret sauce to becoming a physical therapy owner who has an endless supply of A-players is becoming a thought leader in your space. It is a unique way of building your network. As you always promote on this channel, your network is your net worth.
Network recruiting is always the most effective. It is always the quickest. They have done studies on this. Indeed has done studies that if you hire someone who knows someone, if you are in a network, you know them directly or they know someone who knows you, we call those people connectors. Those hires take 86% less time to bring on board and stay on the team three times longer than an average hire.
How do we do that? We create a network or become a thought leader. How do you do that? There are steps to that. There are layers to it and it is not hard. Anyone can do it when it comes to taking all that information and going to the ad. Here are some tips I tell people is, “You want to have your values and purpose be in that second paragraph.” I call that the value-based company description but the first paragraph is a hook.
Psychologically, we need something. The tone of our ad should always be in the you form. Ninety-nine percent of those ads, “Here at Will and Nathan’s Physical Therapy. We are looking for a physical therapist. Our company culture is all about quality care. Come be a part of our amazing team and here are some benefits and pay,” versus, “How would you like to be a part of a team that always has your back?” Depending on what your unique offering is, which is something that we developed as we helped create the actual offer, which is huge. How would you like to treat your patients and be debt-free?
Student loan debt is a huge trigger for these new grads coming out. The whole point of the first two sentences of a job ad is to make them read the whole ad. We do not want to be tricky about it but we want to ask questions which engage a different part of the brain. We use it in the you form that makes it stand out.
It is like, “How would you like to be debt-free and treat your patients without worrying about that? How would you like to live in one of the greatest countries on Earth while you are balancing family at home?” I would love that. You then go right into the values, purpose, vision and how you fulfill on that hook. It builds from there. There is a call of action at the end that drives them to you. Many of these ads do not even have calls to action. “Send your resume if you are interested,” versus, “We have got two openings.”
I feel like I am going off. I do this with recruiting but another concept we talk about is we want to use SUE stands for Scarcity, Urgency, and Exclusivity. What helped that rise was we stopped acting and believing that we were trying to get enough people to hire to where we did not feel like we were losing our freaking minds.
We started acting like, “This was a huge opportunity and we only have two openings.” It was such a big difference in perspective. There were two openings in our company and we never meant. It is like playing the game because we want to win versus playing the game because we are afraid to lose. You can only recruit successfully when we want to win.
What I will tell people is that when they show up that way on their ads or in person, that is how they stand out from all the masses of PT owners who are suppressed right now running around and so upset that they can’t hire. Is that if you are that one person who is like, “I only have two more slots open to hire and I am going to fill those by the end of this month.” I sure hope that this aligns with your act now because you sound like, “I would like to work with you.”
That is much more attractive than being like, “I need to find two people as soon as possible. We need someone now.” There is your urgency but who are the lucky two when you phrase it in such a way that, “Who are the lucky two people who would be so fortunate as to work with our company?” It puts it in a completely different frame.
We have to remember that desperation and urgency are not the same things. Desperation is our urgency. The urgency of what we are talking about is for them to feel the urge to do it. One of the things that we did and I remember that was so powerful, as you know, we would email the state board list, which is something I teach how to do in Rockstar.
I remember this one email garnished one hire on its own fast. I sent out this email and I said, “We have twenty provider openings. We only have one opening right now. Would you like to know why we only have one opening? I would love to tell you about it. I will have to tell you why people love being a part of this team.” What I never did was I never lied. I never tried to make Florence seem like, “Don’t you want to come work out in the middle of nowhere? It is amazing.”
You were not trying to sell it like Paradise Valley.
When I go tell people about the distance when I am in an interview, they would be like, “Where are you?” I am like, “Florence and Coolidge. It is amazing out here.” I would tell them the truth. I would say, “These are small communities where you get better exposure to multiple diagnoses. A culture of people that you can’t believe.
Everyone knows, likes and trusts each other. What that means is the gym floor is so fun. You have to come out this far to get that experience.” That is 100% true and to this day, I do not drive through those cities without getting emotional because I still believe that Florence, Coolidge and Maricopa are three of those areas that you are so lucky to get to work in because of that cultural experience of a small town.
I have people like that. They are like, “Who would want to work out here in the middle of the sticks, come to these small towns?” It is in those small towns that there are a lot of cool opportunities. They may downplay it but being in those small towns might put you closer to nature. It might allow you to be a part of the community and have familial relationships with community members that you do not get in larger towns. There is not a stale feeling or corporatized, if you will, when you are in those small towns. There is a difference and allows for those owners to stand out if they take advantage of doing so.
It does stand out. I have two types of clients at Rockstar. Most of them are clinic owners in rural areas. I have three clients that are large companies. They have 100-plus employees. In one case, 100-plus PTs specifically and the recruiting angle is so different on both of those because what they offer is so different. I do not even think it is better or worse.
One of our clients in a small town when I was working with her, I was pointing out how she provided specialization in a way that I had not seen before and mentorship in a cool way. Once she was able to believe in it, change your mindset and then message it. She started hiring people. We have to recognize that you are right. Most people are not going to want to come work for you and that is a good thing.
We do not want to hire anybody. That is part of that scarcity mindset. We got to get excited about knowing that for every 100 PTs, there are only two that we want to hire. How do we talk to those two people? Those two people do not mind moving to rural or whatever because they want to learn what you have to give them.
It is almost having that mindset that, “If I know there are going to be two yeses out of every 100 people that I talk to, it is a matter of filtering through the 98 noes, knowing that eventually I am going to find 1 or 2 yeses.” It sounds like that mindset.
It is and there is a technique to it. The first thing we work on is a mindset. The second thing I talk about is who. The three components of the program are who, what and where. Who should you be talking to? After you define your competitive advantage, who should you be talking to? Who do you want to hire? Who is your avatar? We define this person. We give them a name and oddly amount of personal detail because we want to get in their heads to generate their fears, hopes or desires. Most PTs start with the what. They go put an ad out or hire a headhunter.
They essentially post the job description. That is all they are doing. Do you know word? Have you worked with BMRs? Do you have a license? Those are basics. That is what gets you a job.The secret sauce to becoming a physical therapy owner who has an endless supply of A-players is becoming a thought leader in your space. Click To Tweet
If you know who you are talking to then when you go to the what. You then go create the job offer then you go create the job ad. You create it using this formula that I was talking about. You could create the job ad. By the time we put the job ad out, we are standing out and talking to our avatar in a way to where when they see your ad, it is like, “They are talking about me.” It is almost like we have to realize, “We want to create an offer or they look at the opportunity to come over to you, they would be stupid not to take that job offer.”
That is how we have to create that. That power of clarity but then once we know who we are looking for and what we are going to say then we go where. Where do we find our avatars? Where are the watering holes congregating ad? We want to gather, not hunt. What we are doing is we are going to places where our avatar is already congregating online.
Certain Facebook or LinkedIn groups, you go there and you start creating thought leadership. I have this whole messaging technique where you hook them into an individual discussion. You go to the gathering halls. It is like a lion sitting out the wild, watching all the gazelles come, you go over and you pick the one that looks the most delicious. All those gazelles that are hanging over here and most of the lions are out there running around the desert going, “I can’t find anyone.”
It is because you are not at the watering hole.
You do not know where they hang out. You do not even know who you are looking for. Maybe those lines are eating rabbits. You have got to know it. It is getting weird. Is it just me?
We are taking this analogy in different ways because now we are talking about killing gazelles.
We are going to murder and eat.
For those sazelles, watch out. For those people that are working with you, most of them are in need. They need PT. Do you have to temper their desperation by going through some of these steps first? They are like, “I thought you were going to tell me how to recruit so I could put something up.” Do you have to temper them down and like, “This takes a little bit of effort first?”
There are things that we can do that are quicker, that do get results. There are different actions that most people think of that get them something. I created a module in my program called Hiring SOS. When people come in and they are freaking out, I am like, “Here are easily the most powerful thing,” and this is all backed with research.
It is not what we did, I did or have been doing. It is like a weird passion. I was never this way about studying muscles and bones. I am so passionate about this thing called building a dream team and it is called recruiting, which I do not love. It is like the, “Who we worked with?” It was the greatest highlight of my career.
When I look back, the patients are right below them. It was finding that team that created this company that served all those patients that were more meaningful. The point is that I go research these things. When someone comes to me and they are desperate, I will start them on certain modules based on where they are stuck. I do have a percentage of my clients who come on that who are like, “We are doing it. It is not just doing great.” I will start them at the very beginning and then ramp them up. There are things we can do to help get people going but there is some tempering of expectation.
Marketing is easier. I am going to say something controversial on your program. The greatest skill, in my opinion, that an owner can have is recruiting. If you know how to find talent, you can apply that skill to solve any problem you have. If you are not a good leader, go hire a CEO. If you are not a good marketer, go hire a marketer.
In our case, we were homeschooling our kids and we did not want to put them back in the system, I used our recruiting skill to create an avatar to hire a part-time teacher in our house. It is like if Mary Poppins and my mother, we are putting into one person. It would be our avatar. We hired this woman from England who even sounds like Mary Poppins. It is bizarre how the process works and our kids love this experience. It is like as leaders, if when we can know how to hire people, there is very little else we have to learn to do.
It changes things so much when you get clear about who you want to work with and who that ideal person is and they have aligned with your values and they bought into your purpose. That becomes fun and then growth and productivity are subsets of that. We are naturally doing what we want to do, love to do, productivity and efficiency. It comes from that. It is a result. Going to the source of finding who is first ends up in this result of a productive, fun and efficient business.
It is so powerful because if you think about it, our biggest headaches and problems come from the people side of our business. Our greatest joys, wins and successes came from the people side of the business. Mastering this is everything. It literally is everything. There are tons of things I still recommend learning. I do believe the greater leader we are, the better we attract people. I am not saying I will but if we were going to rank things in terms of urgency and importance, learning how to attract and hire the right people and then build.
We want to not punch the target. We want to punch through it. We are not done when we hire everybody. Recruiting is a weekly effort. I recommend 1 to 2 hours of recruiting per week no matter how fully staffed or how big your benches are. Every week, 1 or 2 hours of developing thought leadership, making new connections, building the network, which becomes our net worth as a weekly cyclic thing but we do not know as PT owners how to do that and where to start.
That was going to be my next question. You have people who are coming to you and they need physical therapists to join their team. Maybe it is not physical therapists because this could branch out into, “I need a new office manager, tech or a front desk person.” I was going to ask you. What are your next steps as they continue to recruit?
Maybe they do not have as much attention or do not put as much time into it to recruit but what you are recommending is that they continue to do so at some level because we were always hiring, doing group interviews for the high turnover positions, tech and front desk. We always kept our ad out on Craigslist for PTs. We were always taking resumes. You were always going to the schools and talking to the schools, presenting at the conferences, that stuff. I am assuming this is part of what you are talking about. Even though you hire those people and you are “fully staffed,” you are continuing to recruit going forward.
Always. Honestly, I would even say you put the same urgency on it. People are so used to sprinting with recruiting that they do not realize it is a marathon that you never finish. If you are doing it constantly, you can lightly jog and you can go indefinitely. It then becomes like, “I know what to do. I know what works.” There are challenges sometimes. When we got to that cultural place where people loved, it came from our employees knowing on some level that they were replaceable.
That is something you and I always preached is that everyone in the company can be replaced especially us as owners. Which ended up happening and ultimately, when we are out there recruiting, our team always knows that we are constantly talking to amazing people. Eight players who are the only people we want to hire love that. They love knowing the exclusivity.
Remember, scarcity, urgency and exclusivity. They like knowing that they are a top dog in an organization that not anyone could qualify for. When we talk about how do we retain better, we think about bonus programs. We think about all these different systems and I even go into that. The truth of the matter is that retention begins with who you are talking to in the first place.
If you get the right who and you can build a bench of who is, your retention is going to stick because people know it is special. Once they know it is special, it becomes way more special that even you would rise became something so much nicer and more special than you and I had even hoped it would be, right? Is that fair?
We were talking about this last time. There are so much about it that people that are employees are made of it. That was much more beyond you and me as the owners and much more than we ever dreamed of. It became something completely different, greater than the collective.
It was the Michelle’s, Stacy’s, Stephanie’s, Tony’s, Taylors’ and the directors. It was all these people who created it. We had something big to do with it but the most important thing that we did was get coaching on anything that they needed. It started with the right who because if we get the right who, the right who will be willing to work with the owner on building the machine.
I think that is what we found is we did not find people who we needed. If our avatar, if we could go back in time and define that person, it would be this person who could see the vision of the company and believe in it. I want to put and not put up with all the mistakes but I want to be a fixer. It has its brand and flavor to it. That is what we ended up doing and that is why it works so well.
We found a bunch of problem solvers. The quote that comes to mind is, “The best way to get rid of a bunch of A-players is to tolerate C-players.” If you want to bring down an A-player who is like, “I am kicking my butt and I am willing to do it and my productivity is at this level.” You then have got the C-player who is being tolerated in 50% efficient and getting similar treatment and is allowed to stick around. I am going to slow down. I am going to ramp down my productivity and efficiency because it does not matter here. Eventually, they are going to get burned out because they are not being fulfilled.The greatest skill that an owner can have is recruiting, because if you know how to find talent, you can apply that skill to solve any problem you have. Click To Tweet
How would you define a C-player?
A C-player is someone who listens but they won’t make changes. Maybe a C- or D-player is someone who will speak up negatively in front of the rest of the group if something is presented. Maybe a C-player is more of the person that does not speak up in front of the group that is thinking that we will do it behind their backs, not implement anything and they could be productive. They could see the number of patients that they are supposed to see but they are not making any changes or not following up with new programs. They are going to keep doing things the way they do them.
I love that description. It is so cool. I am sure you have seen this with coaching clients when someone is having a holiday party, doing a charitable event or some soccer sponsorship, the C-players are the ones who are like, “There is no way I would ever be a part of that.” The A-players are the ones that are like, “That is awesome. You know what else we could do,” and they want to show up. I remember holiday parties being rough until we found A-players.
The C-players are like, “We are getting paid for this 5K run then I am going to run it as low as possible.”
Totally. That was the worst. I remember that was our reality too. It was like, “That is what it is like owning a business. Why should they care?” That is in retrospect like what was at the end where the team is like, “We should do as a 5K. I am going to go early to set up,” and then they all stay later and they all clean up afterward. It is like, “I never got used to that.”
It was almost uncomfortable. You are like, “What is the ulterior motive here? Why would you care so much?”
I do not care as much.
They cared more than we did which is funny.
About company but will say we did care about them as I think we were supposed to be. That was probably what made it work. It was still funny that they cared so much.
It is in those situations are like, “You guys were awesome. Can I give you another $1,000 for being awesome?” Even though they did not ask for it, they are like, “You do not need to pay us anything,” and we are like, “Yeah but I want to show some gratitude somehow.” They are like, “You do not need to. We are good.” I am like, “Are you sure?”
They probably made us better leaders. That is the coolest thing about bringing in the right people. There was a degree where you and I had to believe that the company and even we. We were able to provide something super special. We had to get them on board but the reality was is that the only way that we ever realized our potential as leaders were because of the service that they did for us when we were the type of leaders that were smart enough to go get them, find them and bring them in. They helped us become the best versions of ourselves, which is almost like this self-fulfilling prophecy. We are going to create this amazing experience for you and then we find these people who believe we can do it and then we start becoming that person.
They helped us create that amazing experience. It is cool because I noticed about those people. They made it easy for us to fire the C-people as we started talking to those leaders who were A-players on our team. I remember talking to someone in particular and she was not necessarily a leader at the time but I told her, “I am going to let go of so-and-so. I want you to know what we need to do in that clinic in order for that not to be a big issue and who we are going to talk to about fulfilling her responsibilities that need to be addressed.” She was like, “I already know what to do,” but she did not need a day or a week.
When I said, “What is that?” She has like, “I am going to step up and I am going to start doing these. I am going to give those responsibilities. So-and-so is going to take on these responsibilities and then we can talk this person over here.” I could then go to that person and like, “You are fired because we have got everything handled,” because I had those A-players who knew how to solve the problems. They saw it themselves. They knew where things were falling through and not getting addressed. When you knew you had those A-players on your team and you approached them about how we are going to address a situation, they come up with solutions.
For the first time, we are no longer alone in those moments. That was the other piece of our team. Is that when you finally get your dream team, it is no longer about you and that is hard. Believe it or not, a lot of PT owners do not realize how they get their own way because no one can treat as well as I can or that kind of attitude.
What they realize is that when they are willing to give up and surrender to the power of what could be if they brought on the right people. The burden gets lifted where you are no longer alone, which is often our experience as entrepreneurs that we are on this island. We have a team of people who are equally invested in our win as well as their win and we are all focused on that experience.
Then the problems are not nearly as hard because you have multiple brilliant minds working on them. As you said, you have many hands for lighter lifting and that is when freedom accounts. You then get this bonus called I love the people I work with. It does not have to be like we are best friends. They have that either. It is this mutual respect and appreciation and then recruiting becomes super easy.
At that point, recruiting becomes so easy because I can go out there and say, “If you do not join this team, you are missing out and go meet them.” If you are not even in Florence. “What is out there? Do you know where those people are?” “That is where they are,” and then you go meet that team and then they would go, “That was special.” I’m like, “Yeah. I have got one more open slot. Do you want it? I do not want you to want it.” When we get to that place of reality, recruiting is effortless.
We covered a lot of good stuff. Thank you for taking the time.
I appreciate the chance to talk about it. I am honored by what you are doing every time I am honored to be a part of the show.
We have talked a lot about Rockstar Recruiter. Are you going to share with us how people can get into the program? Do you want to save that for some other time?
Let’s say it. I want to grow this because I want to create a movement where the right PTs are willing to listen to your show. The right PTs were willing to surrender to what can be if they hire their dream teams. I want as many people of those people I get to help as possible. Rockstar Recruiter is an automatic program but here are the three components of the program. The first is a group coaching call that is every week for six months. You then get the Facebook group where we live daily. People will post their job ads for group edit. It is an exclusive group. It is important that we share that with each other.
We better each other’s company and then the third component is these online modules that are the pride and joy of my professional career. I have poured my heart and soul into research into them. Between those three components, people spend about an hour a week working on recruiting. Two hours if they are part of that group call. That is what they do. They can sign up. What I am willing to do for anyone who is reading this episode is that I will provide an hour of free coaching with me directly into their coaching situation for the first five people who sign up. I need to mention that they heard about it from the show.
Do you want to share the website as well where they could go to if they want to check it out?
Yes but I do not have it off the top of my head.
It is UnlockHBA.com/TheRockstarRecruiter. People can go there and get into the program right away. Can people be part of the Facebook group without joining your program?
That is the exclusivity of it.
You will get all the pricing information on there, which is I am literally doubling my prices. That is not me trying to be exclusive. We have fifteen companies that have joined this program and they are hiring. The feedback on this has been one of the most validating things of my professional career is the other people build their dream teams and we are adding new layers of value to it. We are looking at adding a virtual career fair component to this, getting students and new grads in front of my partners. It is going to be changing in the next six months.
This is March or April of 2022, so put it on your calendar and make sure people get in as soon as possible. Thanks for joining. I appreciate it.
It has been a pleasure. Thank you.
About Will Humphreys
Will Humphreys is a Physical Therapist Entrepreneur and Business Coach and over the past 15 years, he has hired and helped hire hundreds of medical professionals.
His greatest passion is helping entrepreneurs build their dream team.
As Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Will was responsible for hiring all physical therapists for a company with over 26 locations…and rarely did a location go without finding a physical therapist fast.
From Alaska to Florida, Will has helped physical therapy practice owners discover the unique advantage each company has to offer no matter how “hard” the owner thought recruiting was.
Will is the only Physical Therapy Coach in the industry helping owners create their own systems for building teams. Most of Will’s clients are actually very skilled at recruiting. They just haven’t been taught the tools, tips, and tricks of how to generate the right leads.
What makes Will’s program different is that he wants to teach his partners how to fish…so that they never need him again.