a community of practitioners
I am in the process of expanding my studio into additional locations and have a fantastic business model for any therapist looking to become an independent contractor with the ability to build a clientele in rapid speed. I provide EVERYTHING (equipment, linens, supplies, receptionist, CLIENTS, etc.) yet somehow finding the right therapists to fill the spaces I have (or will have) has proven to be a HUGE challenge! Besides Craigslist, what suggestions do you all have for reaching out the the massage therapist community to find the people? PLEASE HELP!
Why is finding QUALITY massage therapists so hard these days???
1. They are too busy marketing? Just kidding.
2. To be blunt a large percentage of quality massage therapists who have a modicum of marketing ability prefer to go it alone and keep all of the money they earn instead of giving a cut to a manager or boss. Especially in a sporty yuppie area like Denver where finding clients is pretty easy if you have training in Rolfing or sports massage. I worked in Boulder for a couple of years and had all of the work I could handle.
3. I know that before Cortiva bought up most of the schools in the Denver area were pretty good. You might want to talk to the Cortiva schools and their vocational contact.
4. The definition of a "QUALITY" massage therapist is highly subjective. Are you the only one who is taking the interview massages? If so, perhaps a 2nd or 3rd opinion would help.
5. I was going to say post in the Colorado Massage Therapists group but I saw that you did I think your going to be fine.
We are an independent lot, which makes it more difficult to get experienced people. How are you promoting your system? Ask yourself why a good Therapist would be interested in sharing with you rather than continuing Outcall or working from their home.
While it's true that Denver and Boulder are highly populated with CMT's, that doesn't make finding the right team any easier. I am often contacted through AMTA with other massage opportunities. Also, Ezekeil has a lot of good points; we live in a state that values alternative health practices, as well as supporting small businesses.
Things to consider:
1. Make sure you're staying true to what an IC status truly is.
2. Consider commission scales based on experience, cont. ed, etc.
3. Keep talking to therapists about their work pros/cons. You can get really great ideas for improvements, and innovations when you listen!
You aren't alone. We have trouble finding people for FT Employee positions with benefits
You might want to revisit your structure -- providing everything to an IC is a slippery slope with the board of labor in your state. Best to consult a contract and labor atty to make sure you steer clear of any trouble in this regard.
CL and Schools are probably the best way to go. While it may seem bleak at times, in 10 years we have learned that there are more than enough MTs out there that before too long you will find the right one(s), but recruiting is an on-going task.
I'd recommend finding local massage schools and try to recruit through there. While new grads are inexperienced, if they do have proper training, they'll be ready to work! Plus, they won't have developed any bad habits (ie poor body mechanics, etc). Recent grads are so excited to start their career, they can't wait for the opportunity to start. I know its risky, but you could always meet up with the instructors and ask them to recommend their top students.
Also, the search engine simplyhired.com often has MT listings. Maybe post there?
*commiserating laughter* I know exactly what you mean. Ran a clinic in CA, interviewed literally hundreds of therapists in 6 months time... most couldn't pass my verbal interview, and those who did would often utterly fail the physical interview. Some even failed walking in the door. We had 6 schools in the area, you'd think I could find someone with decent skills. Found 2 with good hands and potential, but who weren't ready for the clinical end. I place the blame squarely on schools. They can control who they accept, and who they pass, they just don't bother. Some actually think 200 hours is an acceptable level of training for a therapeutic massage. The students don't get squat for hands on palpation training, there is a lot of rote memorization, and when they graduate, they're told they can list 6 modalities after a 740 hour course. Utter crap. I don't expect a new graduate to have my skillset, but if you walk into my office with a resume claiming that you are a Trigger Point specialist and yet you can't even tell me who Dr. Travell was, you fail. When you do your physical interview with me, you get to document it afterward. If you can't, you fail. If you can't answer a phone, I can't use you. If you wrinkle your nose and tell me you dont' want to work on anyone old, guess what? FAIL! Most of them have no concept of smooth. If I could find one of those, who had a strong interest in the clinical, but wasn't ready for it yet, I could have started them in relaxation, and gradually trained them in the medical end. The one I wanted to hire had really good hands, but was choppy as hell. She got upset when I told her I didn't have the time to train her in that, everyone told her she was good, so what was my problem? I told her to get on the table, and I showed her. She got what I meant really quick, and her attitude changed. I told her she had great hands, and excellent potential (which is a HIGH compliment from me) and that I'd like to hire her, but she wasn't ready enough. I suggested that she work on smooth for 3 months, and come back. She never came back. I would have hired her too. *grumble* Some think I'm being a bitch, but my clients know what level of skills & service to expect from us, and asking them to pay the same rate for someone whose skills are sub-standard is not acceptable.
i hate hate to say it but have you looked at what people did before massage? I have a BS in biochemistry so I have a leg up on understanding and communicating with the medical community. Many of my skills from reserach and industry translate into being a good therapist. Excels at presenting research to various peer groups in achedemia, long term and same day juggling of multiple projects, sucessful in group settings, willing to do work that is unpleasant ie dirty, repeative, uninteresting, or taking out the trash (seriously people its just the trash, you do it at home.. well lets hope so). Anyway I think you need to figure out what other clues you can look for in peoples background and experience.
". I provide EVERYTHING (equipment, linens, supplies, receptionist, CLIENTS, etc.)" Sounds awesome, too bad i'm not where you are.
also list an ad on indeed.com and give some type of info about your bussiness please. I really hate bare bones craigslist ads. It has to have something to it. I would really like to be able to look up the bussiness before sending my resume to anywhere. Is that really too much to ask? seriously I can't see your website, like the ones the clients see and you want my resume? !! sorry very off topic there.
At least you have some good schools in your area with which to increase your chances of finding a qualified and competent therapist. I have an outcall based massage business down in South Jersey and I have been looking for another therapist for over a year now. The massage therapists coming out of the schools around here are so bad! I actually stopped looking for another therapist a few months ago because the massages I was receiving from prospective therapists were painfully bad.
The responses I've read here were all helpful though. I like the idea of going directly through the schools and finding a therapist that is eager to work, even if it means I will have to spend time with them to help them polish their skills.