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Episode 187: Hiring With Ashely Cox of Sprout HR

Episode 187:  Hiring With Ashely Cox of Sprout HR

WITH Ashley Cox

  • Episode 187: Hiring With Ashely Cox of Sprout HR 00:00


Hey Group Practice listeners! In this episode, you’re getting a clip from last month’s expert training in the Exchange Membership where Ashley Cox of Sprout HR gives insight and tips on hiring strategies as a group practice owner.

In this episode we cover:

  • Common hiring experiences
  • Why our hiring strategies need to evolve
  • Hiring myths that need busting

This episode is sponsored by TherapyNotes. TherapyNotes is an EHR software that helps behavioral health professionals manage their practice with confidence and efficiency. I use TherapyNotes in my own group practice and love its amazing support team, billing features, and scheduling capabilities. It serves us well as a large group practice owner.

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Maureen Werrbach

Maureen Werrbach
It’s sneak peak time. This week, we’re going to be sharing a clip from one of our expert trainings in The Exchange membership program. What I love about these is that you get a really juicy piece of our training that you can listen to. And if you’re not a member, you get a sense of what the trainings are like inside of the membership. So enjoy. And hey, everyone, I am super excited. Today, we’re gonna be talking about something that I feel like is literally one of the biggest conversations that people are having. And so I’m excited to introduce Ashley Cox of Sprout HR, she’s going to be talking about–and as usual you’ll see me kind of mute myself and go away–hiring strategies for group practice owners how to stand out as an employer, especially during these times right now where it feels like it’s really easy to go solo. So Hi, Ashley, how are you?

Ashley Cox
Hi, Maureen. So nice to be here. Thank you all so much for having me today.

Maureen Werrbach
So as usual, for those of you who’ve been in here, I am going to mute myself and go silent so that she can jump in and take control. How would you like me to manage any questions come up? Do you want me to just unmute myself and ask you if it relates to where you’re at? Or do you want me to hold any of the questions that come to the end?

Ashley Cox
Yeah. So if I can see the chat box, I’m going to be taking questions throughout. And I would love to be able to just engage with everyone throughout the presentation. If you have a question that isn’t super relevant at that time, I might say, hey, let’s hold this one for the end. And then we can we can address it later. But feel free to engage, interact, ask questions all throughout the presentation. This is a conversation even though we can’t see each other. I want us to be you know, having some conversation in the chat box and really be engaged.

Maureen Werrbach
Awesome. So then you’re going to be looking at the Q&A. Okay, perfect. So I’m going to mute myself and I will let you pull your PowerPoint. By the way you said slide deck, which totally then aged me. I have to start saying slide deck. I never realized this until a couple months ago that that is the new terminology for it.

Ashley Cox
But yeah, I think it’s it’s a little more inclusive, maybe of all the different types of presentations. I use Google Slides. I know there’s people that use other platforms. So slide decks just kind of become the go to.

Maureen Werrbach
I don’t actually use PowerPoints. I use Canva to make my power points, but I still call it a PowerPoint. I love it. I love it. Enjoy everyone. I’m going to mute myself and put myself away and if you need anything from me before the end, just call my name and I’ll be right there.

Ashley Cox
I’ll do it. Thank you so much, Maureen. Yeah, thank you. Alright folks, let’s get started. I love this topic. I love this conversation. I really want for everyone to be as engaged and involved as possible because I really think The best opportunity to learn is by participating is by being engaged in the conversation. And so we are going to talk about some standout hiring strategies. Today we’re going to talk specifically about group practice owners, because I know that’s exactly who you are. And I want to make sure that today’s conversation is really relevant and timely for you. So not just a generic conversation, but there’s some strategies and philosophies in here that really apply across the board. But I’m going to be pulling in specifics about group practices to make sure that you feel that this is relevant for you today. So thank you all so much for being here, go ahead and say hi, in the chat box, or, you know, just let me know that you’re here. And we’re going to go ahead and dive in.

So we’re going to be talking about standout hiring strategies that will help you attract your ideal client, clinicians, and other team members, not just clinicians, but I know that that can be more of a challenge, especially when it feels like everyone and their brother is putting out their sign and starting their solo practice. So we’re going to talk about how to attract and hire the right team members without just having to settle for whoever happens to apply. So hello, hello, welcome, everybody. I love seeing you all pop up in the chatbox. Thank you so much. That just lets me know that I can see you as well. Okay, so I love a good interactive session, let’s make sure that we participate. I’m going to ask you questions throughout. I’d love to know the answers to the questions. It’ll help me tailor the conversation to you and your unique needs.
So we’re going to start off with this first question here. Does hiring ever feel like this? And you can go ahead and tell me in the chat box, does this feel pretty related to what it feels like to hire right now? Tell me some of the thoughts or some of the feelings that you have around hiring. I see Maureen say yep, sure does. Yes. From Paula, what are some of those feelings? How are you feeling about hiring right now? Are you uncertain? Are you confused? Are you feeling overwhelmed? What are those feelings that you’re experiencing, trying to hire now?

No qualified applicants, feels like a sinking feeling, roller coaster anxiety, uncertainty, feels impossible. Hopeless? Yes. Not sure yet haven’t hired but feeling apprehensive, totally normal. Imposter syndrome. Oh, speak to me about imposter syndrome, y’all. I do this for a living. And I also have struggled with some of those same feelings.

So first of all, know that you’re not alone, that this is very normal. As you can see from the chat box, everybody is feeling some sort of way about hiring. And they’re generally not positive things, right? We’re feeling apprehensive or nervous, we’re worried we’re not going to find the right people, we’re feeling maybe a little overwhelmed or feeling confused. Some of my clients have said, I feel like I’m on the verge of a breakdown. That’s normal. Okay. All of that is normal. I was nervous when I hired my first employee in my business. And I did this for a decade and corporate before I ever even started my business. And I think that it’s it’s twofold, right?
First, it’s just normal to be scared to take on that level of commitment. And it’s your business. You’ve built this business from the ground up, it is your baby. And now you’re bringing people into this business. And that can feel a little unnerving, right?

Confused, hard to build businesses when I refuse to settle. Yeah. And so I don’t want anybody to feel like you have to settle. So we’re really going to talk about that specifically today during our conversation.
So what leads me to be the person that’s talking to you about this today? Who the heck am I why should you listen to me? So just a really quick introduction. My name is Ashley Cox. As Maureen mentioned at the beginning of our call, I’m a certified HR professional, and the founder and CEO of Sprout HR, where we help business owners hire and lead thriving teams with confidence and ease. I am a hiring and leadership expert. I’ve got over 15 years of experience, I work as a subject matter expert for the world’s largest HR organization, SHRM, which is the Society for Human Resource Management. And I’m also the author of a book titled Transform Your Stories where I help you overcome the toxic stories that you’re telling yourself that are holding you back from becoming the courageous and confident leader you were meant to be. So this is what I do 100% of the time, all the time, every day, every week, week in and week out. This is not something I do off the side of my desk with a bunch of other business services. I focus on helping you hire and lead your team. And I want to make sure that you always feel that is the priority in our conversation.

So let’s talk now a little bit about maybe the thought that you’ve had around hiring. So a lot of times people will come to me and they’ll say things like, gosh, I thought that hiring was going to be easier than this. And that is such a such a valid feeling right? Or maybe it was easier in the past, maybe you’ve been hiring for a while and all of a sudden, it feels like things have changed, things are harder, things aren’t working the way that they used to, which has left you feeling even more apprehensive, even more nervous, even more overwhelmed by the whole process. And so I just want you to know that you’re not alone. I have several clients who’ve come to me over the past many, many months, who’ve been saying things like I’m struggling a lot. I’m struggling to find applicants, I’m struggling to find clinicians, I’m struggling with my Indeed postings, or, you know, my LinkedIn postings, they’re just not performing. I’m struggling to compete with what I can offer, I can’t offer health and health insurance benefits, I can’t offer as much pay as the competitors, I’m struggling. And if you feel like you’ve been struggling to please know that you’re not alone. And while your struggles are absolutely valid, something else is really a play here that I think it’s important that we talk about.

And that’s the fact that hiring is evolving. And we must evolve with the changing times. That might mean that you consider doing things differently, such as eliminating old steps that are no longer working in your hiring process, or adding a new steps that will help you achieve the results that you’re looking for to hire those amazing team members, or even adjusting our expectations as to what hiring looks like in today’s market. Because at the root of it all, I believe hiring is actually really simple. But it’s not always easy. It’s not always easy, especially when the game changes. And sometimes hiring takes longer than we’d like. It requires more effort than we want to give or that we have time to even give. And it can be a really frustrating process when you think that you’ve finally found the perfect candidate, only for them to take another job.

So if any of this is resonating, let me know in the comments, like drop a one in the comments if any of that feels like really real for you right now. And that’s resonating with you. But there are some things that are the realities of hiring. And then there are other things that you can do lots of ones coming through. Yeah, I see, I see that I see you, I hear you, I validate these feelings.And I think that there are definitely things that can set us up for hiring success versus hiring stress. So my job is going to be to help you take the stress out of hiring, so that you can attract and retain those amazing clients.

So let’s start with a little myth busting. To get in the right mindset, I want to break down some thoughts that tend to come up around the hiring process and around hiring clinicians, before we dive into specific strategies today, so myth busting, number one, clinicians don’t want to work in group practice anymore. Okay, I’m going to bust this myth. Some clinicians don’t, but not all clinicians. And so maybe you’ve had an experience where you feel like everybody on their brother, everybody on their sister is starting their own practice. And they’re, and they’re, like, branching off on their own, and they’re hanging their shingle out. And it feels like there’s nobody to hire. But that’s not true. Okay, that’s not true. Not all clinicians are looking to start their own practice. And so what we want to do, and we’ll talk about this here in a little bit, so we want to focus on those people who are not interested in becoming business owners. Because as heavy as that might, as much as that might seem right now, there are so many more people who do not want the headache of starting a business and doing all the business things and only doing you know, 5% practice work, and 95% business operations, finances and accounting, and marketing and sales and all of the things that it takes to run a business. So this is our first myth, we’re gonna bust that right.

All right, myth number two, Indeed isn’t working anymore. I know, I’m probably going to get some flack for this one. I know that it’s like, there’s it’s very easy to say what’s not working and Indeeds not working, the algorithms on every platform are always working against me. I know, I go there, too. That is a very normal thing, a very human thing to kind of express our frustration through the platforms that we’re using. But have you considered that the market has changed drastically, especially over the last two years, and that can affect the way that people are interacting on the platform? It’s not necessarily indeed isn’t working. But the way that we’re attracting our ideal candidates has got to change because they have changed and we’ll talk about that really in depth here in a minute.

Alright, myth number three. I can’t compete with fill in the blank. A lot of times from group practice owners, I hear that I can’t compete with the the tech industry, I can’t compete with things like better health or, you know, these these mental health and mental therapy apps where people are having more access, but that it’s also feels like it’s drawing people away from your practice. Simply spoken you said, I can’t offer health insurance yet. Yes, I can’t. I can’t compete with that because I can’t offer health insurance. But do you know what applicants really want? Do you know what applicants really want? And I think you’re going to find some of the things we talked about today really surprising.

Maureen Werrbach
And that’s a wrap for this exchange training clip. Thanks so much for taking the time to listen. And remember, if you’re looking for the whole training, you can visit members dot the group practice exchange.com

Thanks For Listening

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.


Here are the resources and guides we recommend based on this episode

Recruiting & Hiring Your Ideal Therapist

Whether you’re a seasoned or a new group practice owner, one thing we all have in common is the overwhelming, sometimes painful process of recruiting, interviewing and hiring of therapists.

* I am an affiliate for some of the businesses I recommend. These are companies that I use in my own group practice, and make recommendations based off of my experience with them. When you use some of these companies through my links, I receive compensation, which helps me continue to offer great free information on my podcast, blog, Facebook group, and website.

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Meet your host


Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:


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The podcast is structured so that you get practice building tips in small doses, where an episode can be listened to (and a group practice building lesson can be learned) in a single car ride.

Episodes are structured into categories: coaching sessions where I coach a group practice owner on a specific topic, tips of the day by yours truly, real talk where you get to be a fly on the wall while an established group practice owner and I talk about the highs and lows of ownership, and trainings done by experts in the field.

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