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How to Hire a PT Front Desk Superstar – Even if You Are Nervous and Know Nothing About Recruiting


David Stejdan, Empire Sports PT And Rehabilitation, NY

A Front Desk Superstar is a vital cog in your business. Someone who interacts with patients, is the first point of contact when a potential client gets in touch, and an individual who can be relied on.

Getting the appointment right is of huge importance. David Stejdan, of Empire Sports PT And Rehabilitation, NY, has taken the plunge and made his first front desk appointment.

There’s lots of great lessons to be learned – and adopted – from his story if you know that you need to hire a front desk and just aren’t sure where to start.

Read more to learn about how David set up the appointment process, how Venus has settled into her new role and what value she is already bringing to the business – and most importantly, how you can replicate this process in your own clinic.

Empire Sports PT is generally an outpatient sports and orthopedics practice that specializes in helping active adults and athletes get back the workouts, sports, and activities they love with minimal downtime.

David is in network with Medicare and the insurance plan that covers the NY state, but other than that the business is out of network or cash with all other plans and currently have about 60 visits a week.

With Venus, the business is now up to 2 full-time employees, while David’s wife will help with administrative duties.

The goal is for the front desk to be the most important person in contact with patients – playing the role of first contact on the phone and in person, doing follow ups and GAS calls, while assisting with sales of incoming leads. David says, “I want Venus to be the most trusted person in the office to my clients and she is well on the way to being that person after only 2 weeks.”

“It was a long process in deciding the right candidate to pick! I started looking for a patient success coordinator in August and was finally able to offer Venus the position in April, so she could start on May 3.

So I Have Decided to Hire a Front Desk… Now What?

David followed the process almost exactly that Paul describes in The Hiring Solution (and supplemented it by reading Who by Geoffrey Smart, which just re-iterates Paul’s process).”

“I started with an Indeed ad to a lead page which fed into an Infusionsoft funnel. That started with asking the candidate to read a blog, then write a letter to my Perfect Patient selling the practice, then went to the 7-minute video describing yourself, and then start the 3-interview process.

I had a lot of trouble finding candidates.

People would just apply on Indeed (the ad specifically said “Do Not Apply On Indeed”).

I did start to reply to them to complete the application on my website to start to get more deal flow.

Venus, Front Desk Super Star

Many wouldn’t read the blog or complete the letter, some letters were HORRIFIC (not a punctuation in sight or just completely unreadable), and then people were not completing the video.

So, after speaking to Simon, we decided to take the video out and put in an ‘easier’ task of telling me why you wanted to work at Empire and submit your resume and references.

More people made it through the process, but not a lot, which was good and bad. It was good because I really did not have the time to talk to a lot of people, but bad because it took so much longer to hire.

Venus flew through the process and into the interviews.

We spent time on values, past work experience and standards, even discussing accountability meetings and scorecards.

I wanted her to be 100% aware of what she was getting into.

While there were not many people who even made it to the interviews, I knew she would be a good fit and would be able to handle the position based on her past experience working at Massage Envy, where she was responsible for upsells, package completion of clients and follow up, as well as the discussions that we had regarding her past bosses’ strengths and shortcomings, and the value conflicts that she had with other employees that were just there for a check.

Before starting Empire, I had run offices for a few companies and have hired a whole host of employees, so I was confident that with Venus, I would not repeat the mistake hires that I have made in the past.

Venus is working her way through Paul’s Front Desk Superstars Program with the plan of having her complete them and start joining in on coaching calls. We have discussed the videos at length and will continue to discuss and role play.

Use Scorecards to Keep Your Staff Focused on Their Goals

Since Venus is the first employee, we are just starting to use scorecards.

However, we introduced scorecards at her interview and very early in her first week.

We also have an accountability meeting on the schedule on the off weeks that I am not on the Mastermind Progress Group call at the same time.

That means every Thursday either I am being held accountable or she is.

What Background Should You Look For and How Do You Onboard a New Front Desk?

Venus’s most relatable work experience was as a front desk staff and assistant manager at a Massage Envy, where she managed the massage therapist’s schedule, followed up with patients, and up-sold on extra packages and products.

As an assistant manager, she worked well with her manager (who gave her a glowing review) and was starting to be responsible for some of the numbers. All of which translated really well to this position.

When the Massage Envy location closed due to the pandemic, Venus began working at a pre-school, which was not what she wanted to do, but proved to me that she was someone who always wanted to be working and would take the time to learn a new skill: not just hang around and collect the free government money that so many others would.

The onboarding process is based on the hiring resources that the PG group has sent out.

I customized it to what we do specifically at Empire and added and moved it around as I thought it would work in our office.

Then I sent it to Simon on the Mastermind coaching team and we talked about if it was too ambitious/overwhelming for someone who is not currently in the business.

I know that we all are so used to doing a lot of these things automatically and being busy, so I wanted another set of eyes to look it over and make sure that I wasn’t going to scare her away on week one!

For the in-office onboarding, I decided to have my wife, Annamarie, come in and teach the front desk processes (as prior to the pandemic, she was coming in 3 days a week and helping by being the front desk, but we are now transitioning her out of the office and into some assistant duties in between her other endeavours).

I would emphasize the “why” of the processes and the higher-level strategy aspects, and she would teach the processes.

I felt that she would be a less intimidating presence and it would be easier for Venus to learn the steps, but Simon and I agreed that I am the only one who should teach the WHY.

What Should a Front Desk’s Typical Day Look Like?

Currently she spends most of her day at the desk answering phones, greeting and talking to patients, preparing for the next day to allow the smoothest flow for patient interaction in and out, and is starting to begin to follow up with patients.

Then 3 days a week, Annamarie will review the process with her, but Venus is picking it up extremely well.

If we have slow time, Venus will head into the breakroom and dig into FD superstars.

I try to set aside as much time as possible to introduce the next steps and follow up on what she is doing in between my patients, as well as answer anything that comes up in real time. I have an open clinic concept, so it makes it a little easier to see if she is struggling (which is not often!). Her role is expanding daily and already includes coordinating the schedule of a PT student.

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