Working hard will only get you so far in your practice.
I was raised on a farm and learned the value of hard work day in and day out.
This work ethic has been a huge asset to me as a business owner, starting not one but two practices from scratch simultaneously and seeing success from an early age.
It’s also one of my biggest detriments because I could only scale my practice as far as I could personally extend myself. I also sacrificed a lot of time that I would rather spend with my beautiful family since that’s my highest core value.
Something needed to change, and the most common way of allowing your practice to continue successfully without you is by hiring an associate chiropractor.
So many chiropractors flirt with the idea of getting an associate to double up on the efforts of growing the practice, while allowing more flexibility in their schedule.
But the financials don’t always make sense to go bringing in another doc into your practice, so I’m not saying this is a savvy business move for every practice.
Besides, we ALL know of an associate chiropractor horror story don’t we?
My associate doc took off with about 100 patient visits/week after refusing to sign a contract for over 9 months. She didn’t just set up down the street either… she set up in the building that I built!
She stiffed us for 4 months rent, and then set up down the street.
This is why we don’t HIRE associate docs, we RECRUIT them.
There’s a big distinction here…
Hiring is when we take the best available choice in a small window of time because we want to move forward as fast as possible. The shotgun approach to hiring is how docs end up with a hiring horror story of their own.
Recruiting is when you are crystal clear about the person you want to work alongside with, and the search doesn’t end until you’ve found someone who fits your specific criteria.
So let’s get recruiting…
4 Steps to RECRUITING a Great Chiropractic Associate
There are many more steps to attracting the best chiropractic doctor for your practice, but here are four steps you can begin to take today IF it makes financial sense to hire an associate.
Step 1: Clarify Your WHY
Why do you want an associate?
What’s in it for them?
What’s in it for you?
Particularly as it pertains to your business Purpose, Mission and Values.
Homework: make a list of 25 ways that having an associate supports your Purpose, your Mission, and your Values.
If you can’t come up with 25, I recommend you don’t even begin the search for an associate until the list is complete.
Step 2: Psychographics and Demographics
Who is this person that you want to bring into your life, because they will essentially be your extended family?
Are they male or female?
Are they new grads or experienced docs?
What school did they go to?
What technique do they practice?
Are they family people?
Do they have a specialty that supports or compliments to your practice style?
What kind of hobbies or sports are they interested in?
You want to be so clear about who this person is, that when they come into your life you can immediately recognize them.
Step 3: Outcomes Assessment
People inherently want to be great at their role.
But we find that most business leaders don’t make it easy for their team to know exactly what it takes to meet the criteria or overachieve in their role.
This document is designed to clearly outline how your associate is going to be great at their role.
Do you require your associate to show up early, if so how early?
Are they required to do team huddles?
Do they need to do quarterly reviews with you and your CAs?
Do they do intakes of new patients, if so in what style?
Do they do a Report of Findings, if so how?
How does the pre-checks and post-checks look in their adjusting protocol?
Teach this person what it’s going to take to meet your standards for a great chiropractic associate.
(and make sure when you find a candidate that meets your criteria in Step 1 and 2, that they agree to all these outcomes in advance)
Step 4: Mentoring
Are you going to offer mentoring for this teammate?
If so, how often are the trainings?
What exactly are you going to train them on?
The easiest way to organize a mentoring checklist is by breaking down your Outcomes Assessment.
Go through and decide which elements of the Outcomes Assessment are the most important and time sensitive to train them on.
Assign tasks with an A if they are to be addressed in the first couple days or weeks.
Assign tasks with a B if they are to be addressed in the first couple weeks to one month.
Assign tasks with a C if they are to be addressed in the first 1-3 months.
And assign tasks with a D if they’re cool ideas that you can address once the remaining pieces are nailed down.
Now decide if the training sessions are going to be once per week for two hours, or 3 times per week for a half hour, whichever fits best into your authentic time schedule knowing you still have a practice to run and a family to go home to (perhaps).
The more training you provide in the early stages, the more prepared your associate doc will be, and the more invested they will be in your practice (and the less likely they’ll be to set up shop down the street).
Bonus: Agreements and Accountability
Once you’ve gone through these steps and decided an associate is a great fit for you, you want to make sure you have the agreements in place ahead of time.
Having contracts and fair financial splits crafted ahead of time will save you from lawsuits and awkward conversations in the future.
Check out this video on associate chiropractor contracts and compensation to see if you’ve overlooked a piece of the puzzle.
We Created The Associate Doc Recruiting Program
…so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and HOPE that you attract a great associate.
I was tired of hearing about chiropractors that can’t make eye contact with another at an event because of a burnt relationship.
I was tired of hearing about docs that got ripped off and their associate stole patients and moved down the street.
I was tired of hearing about docs that get shoved out of their own practice because of a stronger personality coming in and taking over.
I’m grateful for learning the lessons that I did from being screwed over by my own associate so I could learn how to recruit great talent.
This allowed me to create and test a proven system for finding great talent within my own practice, my own coaching business, and many of my chiropractic coaching clients.
It used to be something that was kept private to our one-on-one consulting clients, but we’ve officially created a course to be able to offer this knowledge to the general chiropractic profession.
It’s a 16 step protocol equipped with all the templates, exercises, agreements and contracts that you’ll need to ensure you’re placing the future of your practice in the hands of a winner.
So if you’re unsure if it makes financial sense to even bring in an associate, we have a financial spreadsheet that will tell you whether it’s a savvy business move, or if you can’t afford it:
If you’re ready to start recruiting an associate so you can have leverage from your practice, and so that your practice is easier to sell down the road, find out more about our Associate Doc Recruiting Program here: