Standing out. The How (and the Why).

In previous blogs, we have explored the rapidly growing number of job advertisements for physiotherapists across Australia. I have highlighted the problems associated with homogeneity on the Jobs4physios platform and the difficulty that poses for jobseekers..

I thought that it might be helpful to unpack this a little bit more for you. What follows is some of the “How” and of course the “Why”.

If you have established an organisational purpose. Start with the WHY. Even if you have not formalised your purpose, you are still likely to have one. Why did you start your practice? Why do you come to work? Why do your employees come to work for you? Why do your patients come to see you? Why do your referrers refer to you? Take a couple of minutes and write down everything that you can think of and then, ask others and write that down too. Use this as a basis for your advertisement. It is unique to you.

Example: (Stock/ standard)

We are an established Physiotherapy practice looking for someone to join our dynamic team of professionals.


Would you like to come to work everyday and be part of a team that makes a difference to the lives of others?

Aim for emotional, warm and genuine language as if you have the person in front of you and you are telling them about how amazing your practice is and why it is like that.

Below is an example of how values can be integrated into a job advertisement.

At verybusy physio practice, our patients come to see us because we care, we listen and we empower. We help our patients to have the courage to meet the challenges of recovering from an injury, illness, or disability. Our referrers trust us to use an evidence-based approach to our treatments. We ensure that we stay true to this with our patients. We work as a team to help each other and our patients achieve their potential. We are focused on being part of the solution for our patients. We pride ourselves on our creative thinking to achieve outcomes.

Then an invitation:

Are you looking for a Physiotherapy position where you come to work, are well supported in a high-performing team, with a focus on making a real difference in people’s lives?

Values-focused advertisements can be followed up with a values-based interview.

There are standard expectations of a Physiotherapist. Consider whether the list of requirements is really necessary for your advertisement. For example, every practice expects people to have excellent communication skills. You will have other means during the recruitment process to find out about verbal and written communication skills. You may find out from the cover letter?

There is a professional expectation that Physiotherapists will have good clinical reasoning skills. This can be discussed at interview, possibly via scenarios.

Do you think that a Physiotherapist looking for a job would read an ad and think, “Oh, blast, I cannot apply for that job because I am not organised and I do not like to work in a team?” Is it necessary to talk about time management skills and professional behaviour? Many Job ads can look like deterrents at the worst and vanilla at the best. What will make a prospective employee take notice? Had you thought about doing something completely different such as a short video on Linkedin, highlighting the special features of your practice?

The ideal would be for everyone that reads your ad, to apply. There will, of course, be caveats if your practice has a particular focus, special interest or you require a physiotherapist with a specific skill or level of experience.

Beyond the “why”, I recommend that you highlight the special aspects of your practice. If you work in a multi-disciplinary team, expand on the benefits of the team. This might include features such as the opportunity for learning from each other, making a contribution to an overall outcome, or a sense of belonging

If you have a particular focus in your practice, emphasise your “why” rather than just the what. For example, if you are offering Pilates talk about how a focus on active treatment helps to empower your patients and gives them confidence by helping them to become fitter and stronger.

When outlining benefits such as work/life balance, give a specific example. Do you offer early and later starting or finishing times? Is there the opportunity to work, four and half days and have half a day off or a day off a fortnight or month? Being specific will let the candidate know that you are genuine about work/life balance or a flexible work environment.

Again, rather than listing that you have generous professional/ personal development benefits, like everyone else, try narrating your why. You might attach it to one of your values about being ahead of the evidence and integrating it into practice. You might attach it to practice culture, being one of support, helping the individual to reach their potential. It might be about shared learning and team. or mentoring opportunities either to receive or to give.

Be specific and more narrative. Focus on the important parts of your practice culture or service delivery. Remove anything that does not tell the prospective employee anything useful. More is not better!

If you are wanting to know more or would like someone to talk to about your recruitment or job ad, send me an email:

Good luck!

Dianna Howell MIML Certmgr MAPA

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