Business Team Building Practices

Group Psychotherapy Business Team Building Practices

Group Psychotherapy Business Team Building Practices

Building the right team will be crucial to your success as a business owner. You will want top talent thriving in their areas of competency with strong employee retention. Of course, your hiring process will be open to people of any ethnicity with equal employment opportunity practices. This will require guarding against unconscious bias and instituting hiring practices that attract the best candidates.

Hiring a team

Interviews, onboarding, and employee retention are all vital to the process, but no method is perfect. There may be times you must let someone go. These are the skills of a successful business owner. Therefore, in this blog, we will explore the following:

  • Determining who to hire and when to hire them
  • Hiring independent contractors, W-9 employees, or both
  • Methods to hire the best candidates
  • Onboarding new employees
  • How to let people go when necessary
  • Helpful next steps for your hiring process

Determining Who to Hire and When to Hire Them in Your Group Therapy Practice

The answer to when to hire people is straightforward. You need to hire people as soon as you decide to start a business. This will be a difficult mindset shift for some.

Often helping professionals are reluctant to seek help themselves. This could be for a variety of reasons. As a business owner, you bring your personal experiences into your business perspective, both positive and negative.

Suppose you struggle to accept help, ask for support, release control, or trust others. You will bring these same struggles into your business mindset.

However, you are not a jack of all trades, and you do not have talent in every area. No one is the best at everything. If your private practice is going to focus on clients, you will need assistance in areas such as:

  • Billing
  • Credentialing
  • Accountant and taxes
  • Administration and office work, i.e., phone calls and scheduling

Then there is your most crucial hire — the one you must make first.

Hire a coach first. Hiring a business coach/consultant/mentor should be your first hire. This will be the difference between creating an impactful, profitable business or simply having a hobby.

Hiring Independent 1099 Contractors, W-9 Employees, or Both 

Many private practice owners start out thinking they will be solo practitioners. This may change once your waitlist begins expanding. There may also be needs for bilingual practitioners or those with additional skills beyond your own. This is when you will need to start formulating job postings.

Your business model will determine your recruitment strategies for job candidates. In private practices, 1099 employees may be a good choice. For example, in a private therapy practice, 1099 employees allow therapists to feel a sense of independence. They can earn more money and feel like they are in control of how to see clients, serve them, and schedule them. 

The state laws vary regarding 1099 employees, so be sure you are following the laws of your state.

Methods for Hiring the Best Candidates for Your Group Counseling Business

There is no one method of finding potential candidates. Internet platforms for job seekers, such as Indeed, can be effective. Social media can be used in the recruiting process, and don’t dismiss word of mouth. Sometimes people will see your work in the community and ask to join the team because they like your vision. All of these methods can provide potential candidates.

Once you have your pool of candidates, it’s time to begin your selection process. This is a five-step process.

  • Know your candidates. The application process is a great way to get to know the person who will become your new employee. By hand-picking the prospect, you will be able to connect clients to the right practitioner. Here are some helpful practices:
    • Use personality tests
    • Conduct background checks
    • Confirm resume information and candidate experience. This is true for part-time, full-time, independent contractors, or employees. Not everyone is honest on their resume.
    • Provide potential candidates with a questionnaire to screen candidates.
  • The interview process. Schedule a 30-minute phone interview or zoom meeting. Your job interviews will be as good as your interview questions. Take the time to develop the right questions for your business. It is more than a discussion of the candidates’ job-related skill sets. You are looking for someone that matches your purpose, vision, and mission.
  • Schedule a second interview. Take the time to think and carefully consider the information you have gathered. Then schedule follow-up interviews with top candidates. In this interview, determine the candidate’s interest in the job, agree on pricing, further discuss vision, and follow up on any other areas of clarification.
  • Make the hire. Trust your gut and instincts and send a job offer. (Employee gets an offer letter, 1099 receives a contract) and connect with your HR department to set the new employee up with everything they need for payroll. 

Onboarding New Group Therapy Practice Employees

Onboarding new employees

It is essential that your new hires are clear on the expectations of their job description, understand your company culture, and fit well into their new work environment. This requires an effective onboarding process. Approach the onboarding of employees and contractors as equal to onboarding clients.

This is a two-step process:

  •  Get connected as a team member. Getting a new hire onboarding as a team member includes items such as:
    • writing a profile
    • professional photo for the website
    • human resources paperwork
    • credentialing
    • billing
  • Training. In the training process, make sure the following items are covered and emphasized:
    • Explain job expectations and responsibilities
    • Provide a copy of the procedure manual
    • Provide calendar dates
    • Develop a marketing plan for each practitioner which  promotes their specific skills

How To Let Group Therapy Practice Employees Go When Necessary

By implementing a solid hiring process and onboarding procedure, you are assured of drawing qualified candidates, making sound hiring decisions, and reducing employee turnover. However, no system or hiring manager is perfect. There may come a time when an employee is not fulfilling their responsibilities or does not align with your vision, mission, and purpose. It will be necessary then to let that person go.

If this happens, here are some things to remember:

  • It is not a reflection on you. Despite your best efforts, some employees will not work out. Do not put guilt upon yourself. Instead, deal with the issue at hand.
  • Investigate. Cover your bases, gather evidence, ask questions, and have difficult conversations.
  • Don’t give in to fear. Building a business requires you to take certain risks. You may feel apprehensive about these situations, but you must prepare to handle them head-on. You cannot have a fear of confrontation. You are a business owner, and if there are ethical issues or significant transgressions, you need to address them. Fear should not hold you back from the impact you want to have on the community and the work that you do. 

Learn from the experience. When you let an employee go, learn from what went wrong. This is an opportunity for improving your hiring strategies. Any time this happens, a SWOT analysis of your hiring processes can help. Evaluate your advertising, interview process, onboarding process, policies, and how you can be more clear. You can do a SWOT of your entire business, but you can also do one on specific business areas.


Soribel Martinez

Soribel Martinez is a Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist with dual graduate school diplomas, an MBA and MSW, with over 25 years of experience. She is the owner of SMPsychotherapy and Counseling Services, which has given her the hands-on business experience and know-how to help you reach your greatest potential.


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Helpful Next Steps for Your Hiring Process

Now that you are ready to grow your business through talent acquisition and team building, here is some help to guide your process. Download Sorbel’s Private Practice Start-up Kit today and get ready to build your multi-million dollar private practice.

For more on developing your life and business to live the life of your dreams, check out the new book, Unbreakable, by Soribel Martinez, LCSW, CEO of SMPsychotherapy and Counseling Services. It’s a story of one woman’s journey through adversity and how you can use her principles to build your successful life. Get your copy here.

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Every private practice owner’s guide to Bookkeeping, Money Management, and Investing so your private practice works for you.

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