As we all know, the physical therapy profession is always evolving. With PTs’ scope of practice continually expanding, we’re able to practice in more settings than ever—and use our skills to improve our patients’ lives more than ever before.
But, as fulfilling as patient care is, the physical therapy degree doesn’t need to relegate you to patient care alone. Life happens, and sometimes you want—or need—a change from treating patients in a traditional setting. Luckily, the experiences that we gain as physical therapists amount to transferrable skills that you can leverage in a number of non-clinical ways, including a particularly fulfilling and lucrative one: physical therapy recruiting. Ok, really, any form of healthcare recruiting!
Even if you’ve never considered a career in talent acquisition, don’t rule it out. The hours are flexible, you can often work from home, and the earning potential is often limitless!
Physical therapists are natural-born recruiters. Here are five reasons why we make great talent acquisition specialists:
What happens when a patient isn’t responding to one of our treatment plans? Why, we change it up! That’s what we do, and it’s how we were trained to think. That tenacity translates well to the recruiting industry, where you’ll be continually looking for the right fit to an employer’s staffing needs. One contact doesn’t seem to be a good fit? That’s OK, onto something else! That’s what PTs do!
Even the most action-oriented PTs have learned to be patient from their time in the clinic. Changes don’t always occur overnight, and you might not find the right match for an organization’s needs on your first try.
Years of seeing it all (and helping people through the worst of it) creates a sense of empathy that is unmatched by many other professions. When you’re working with people who are looking for jobs, that empathy will take you far. People can sense when you look at them as a warm body waiting to be placed in a job, and they’ll recoil in distrust. Your natural empathy will welcome trust and partnership with both employers and employees.
For better or for worse, years of flexing off and dealing with management changes, schedule coverage, and all the other unexpected surprises of patient care have made us into adaptable, go-with-the flow types. This mentality transfers extremely well to a field where things are always changing, and your hours shift around multiple time zones.
What’s the first thing you learned about documentation? How to set goals! Well, goals are at the heart of recruiting, too. If you’re able to set yourself monthly and annual goals for placement, you’ll be in excellent shape financially.
We speak the language
How frustrating is it to explain to someone why you don’t want to take a job where you see 24 patients per day? Especially someone who has never been in the rehab field? When PTs are the ones staffing healthcare professionals, things just flow. You’re able to understand job seekers’ and employers’ needs and speak their language, which enables you to address their concerns in a way that few others—even the most seasoned non-clinical recruiters—can.
Recruiting is a role where you’re making people’s lives better. You’re helping to match talented and eager employees to organizations that will take care of them. And what better way leverage those clinical and interpersonal skills than to make that happen, while making a good living along the way?
Want to get started with recruiting? Sign up for Relode and start recommending your friends!
Merdedith Castin, PT, DPT, is a former clinical PT who now runs The Non-Clinical PT, a site dedicated to helping Physical Therapists (and all rehab professionals) transition out of patient care in creative ways.