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Episode 131 | Poaching Clinicians



  • Episode 131 | Poaching Clinicians 00:00


Poaching Clinicians

Hi Group Practice Listeners! In this episode, we’re talking all about poaching clinicians: to do or not to do?

In this episode I cover:

  • what poaching is
  • why people do it
  • alternatives to poaching

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Maureen Werrbach

There was a topic recently in my Facebook group that talked about whether it’s okay or not to poach clinicians from other group practices, or other nonprofits or other places of employment. I thought it was a really interesting question and brought up some stuff for me that I thought would be great to share in the podcast.

So the question was, if it is okay, and how do you feel about poaching a clinician who might be working at another group practice?

The question was phrased around this person or these people working at other group practices. And it got a slew of responses from, you know, it’s not poaching, it’s recruiting and other industries do it. There’s a really great perspective on patriarchy, and sexism, and how our mainly female dominated industry views it as poaching, where in other more male dominated industries, it’s viewed as recruiting, right?

So I was thinking about the topic and my views on it, and what the industry standards are and what other people feel in our industry about this. And one of the things that comes up often is the idea that, at the base of how we make our decisions is: does it go in line with our values as a person and as a company? And that’s how I broach every decision that I make for my business. Is that decision is in line with the values of my business as a whole?

And for most of us, we have some set of values, whether they’re written out and very clear, or whether they’re kind of in the back of the brain never fully formulated. So I would suggest thinking about that first, because I think we would all have a really good grasp on how we feel about reaching out to people who might be working elsewhere to say, hey, I’d love to have you.

But I think it plays down to how we go about it, and how it would feel to have that poaching experience happen in your group practice.

And I think we forget often to look at how we would experience that same thing that we’re thinking about doing happening to us, or being on the receiving end of that. So while I don’t think that it’s the greatest practice to poach, I do think that it’s smart to market yourself as a business that is unique and stands out in some sort of way that makes people want to come work for your business.

At the end of the day a big portion of people that are working in your group practice worked somewhere else first, right? And so whether you poached or didn’t, that person was looking, and that person was looking to leave and find another place of employment for whatever reason. I think how we look at bringing in new clinicians into our practice has to align with how we position ourselves in the community, how we view ourselves as a practice and what our values are.

I’m not in the market for going out and finding people for poaching.

Or finding people at other people’s group practices and asking, Hey, we can offer better we know that you only make so and so. And we can offer, you know, $5 more an hour or 5% more, or we have more benefits. But what I do do is I make sure that my team is cared for that they love where they work, and that they let other people know, right? If I work at a great place, and I have a colleague or a friend that I would love to work in my with me at the practice I’m working at, I’m going to tell them about it. So I focus on the business, on ensuring that I’m creating a space that people want to come to and want to stay at. Then the work kind of does it on its own, right?

It’s something we’re thinking about, I think there’s a negative, really negative view on the just the word poaching, because it feels like you’re stealing.

And I don’t necessarily think that even if you were to you had a friend who worked at someone else’s practice, to say, hey, you should totally come work at my place, here’s what I have, here’s what I have to offer. You know, I don’t find that necessarily to be a negative thing. Because if you’re connected to them, you’re probably talking to them anyways, right? It happens in all industries, you know, the teacher having friend working at a different school, who then says, hey, position opened up in our school, I know you mentioned you didn’t really love the school that you’re at, you should totally apply here! Right? Happens all the time.

I just think it’s the intention and the way you go about it, that can kind of sour the experience or the view of that experience, from the perspective of another business owner. And so I would shift the focus on looking at how the world sees your place of employment, and ensuring that it’s visible to the outside world, what your place of employment is like, and that will breed that.

I’m not a huge advocate, and it’s not something I would do.

I’m not a huge proponent of the idea of actually poaching and reaching out and sending out letters to clinicians and other people’s group practices–that I find to be not…you’re not putting good Juju out into the world, if you’re doing if you do that.

I do think that if you present your practice in a way that really reflects your values, and the world can see how you treat your team and what your team gets for being employed in your practice, and people come because of that, then you’ve built something really good, right? You’ve presented it to the world in a way. So I would shift, if this is a question that is coming up for you, because there’s other practices or other clinicians working elsewhere that you know, are nearby they would love to have on your team, etc.

Instead of looking at how you can reach out to them and get them to move over to your practice I would look at:

How is your community seeing your business as a place of employment? How are they becoming aware of it? And how can you shift focusing inward internally on your processes? How you present yourself so that those people that you’re wanting (that are working in other agencies or other places) see? And then can make that informed decision for themselves to come over to you?

That’s my perspective. What’s your perspective on it? I’d love to hear it. Let me know.

Thanks For Listening

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

* 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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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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* The content of this post is intended to serve as general advice and information. It is not to be taken as legal advice and may not account for all rules and regulations in every jurisdiction. For legal advice, please contact an attorney.

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