Your 2019 Marketing Plan Must Address The Emotions of PT Travelers

Mar 12, 2019
6 min read
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The job market has evolved and learning how to properly reach prospective candidates is the first step to success in the new arena.

Your 2019 Marketing Plan Must Address the Emotions of PT Travelers (Matt).png

Remember the last time you saw a generic job ad? It most likely included phrases like “results-driven” or “detail-oriented,” some poorly chosen capitalization, and was accompanied by stock photos of amazing city skylines and promises of a perfect work-life balance. The most glaring issue with these ads is that they start to blend together, and even promises of high earning potential can’t help distinguish one lackluster job ad from another.

Advertising a position should be more than posting it and then seeking candidates. It must involve actively engaging your intended audience, and this means a full recruitment-marketing strategy.

The number of new physical therapists is growing, and even conservative estimates project that the supply will not meet demand until 2024 or beyond. This means PT staffing companies must invest in their marketing strategy. CovalentCareers not only helps travel companies source PTs, but since we also provide recruitment marketing, we know how important it is to market to these travelers in a way that speaks to them.

Last year CovalentCareers ran a survey of 1,691 people in the physical therapy field (656 students and 1,035 practicing PTs) to get a sense of the experiences and opinions of the next generation of physical therapists. Part of our survey focused on what motivated PTs to pursue a career in travel therapy, and we found that interest in travel PT is expected to continue growing. This increased interest, combined with the shortage of PT graduates, means candidates will have more power than ever to decide who they want to work with. So what can you do?

Interested in seeing more of our survey data? You can download the 2018 Physical Therapist Survey for free!

Get to know your candidates

You already know your industry. You know where PTs like to travel to, the average salaries that candidates are looking for, and even the types of candidates that practices are typically looking to bring on board. But what do you know about your candidates as people? What drives them? What worries them? Of the PTs that we surveyed, we found that, for many, the most exciting prospect of working as a travel PT is the experience of traveling itself. Almost 49% of PTs are excited about travel for the sake of it, so while a high salary may be enticing (34.3% of those surveyed indicated salary was what excited them the most), being able to experience new locations is most important.

On the flip side, there are intimidating aspects to travel PT, and many are directly related to the experience of being in a new place. Our respondents said that the three things that scare them the most about being a traveler are not enjoying moving every few months (23.1%), not being able to maintain relationships (20.3%), and the possibility of not having a mentor (18.3%).

Based on all of this information, we can start to get a sense of who our travelers are on a much deeper level, and what we can do to connect with them. Moving into 2019, recruitment-marketing must take the form of telling a story that actively engages theses candidates as individuals.

Tell a story

Through both our survey and communicating with candidates directly, we have learned that marketing to candidates has to go beyond photos of exotic locations and job descriptions that indicate high-income potential. By offering case studies of real PT travelers, leveraged through platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you can tell deep stories of real people that are truly unique and engaging.

Telling a story about travelers’ journeys is key to attracting new PT travelers, but telling the story of your company is just as important.

Sharing an in-depth look at your team and the core values of your company is essential because candidates care deeply about who they are interacting with. In fact, 75% of candidates research a firm’s reputation and brand before they even apply, and 69% of candidates won’t accept a job with a firm who has a bad reputation, even if that means they won’t have a job (TalentLyft, 2018).

As the gap between supply and demand increases and candidates have more power to choose who they are working with, it is up to you to rise above the crowd.

Your company needs to embody your mission through each and every stakeholder. The core values of travelers should be the core values of your company’s recruiters, and that mission must be expressed clearly and directly in your 2019 marketing strategy.

What stories can my company tell?

Based on our survey, we now know that PTs believe that their graduate school program prepared them fairly well for clinical work (with an average rating of 7.15 out of 10), but there is still a great deal of room for improvement. With that knowledge, you can decide how to advertise what travel work can do to supplement those skills and what your company can do to help!

Maybe you want to drive your marketing strategy using high-income opportunities as the focal point. Keep in mind that just stating this opportunity won’t garner much attention. Using this as a storytelling device, however, can go a long way. For example, we know that student loans are a massive pain point for PTs, and our study shows a confidence level of 6.44 out of 10 that a PT will be able to pay off their loans in ten years. As a physical therapist staffing company, your marketing must help candidates connect the dots and choose to work with you over a competitor.

Stories like these can be told through a variety of media outlets, and different channels can be used to target different audiences. When you’re trying to attract a candidate to a position, consider that video content is fifty times more effective in driving organic search results than plain text (Omnicore, 2018). You can potentially achieve a massive boost in visibility, simply by shifting your storytelling strategy to a different media format.

Determine what you do best

Get started now by gathering data that reflects the lives of physical therapists: their passions, their concerns, their goals, etc. From there, choose one or two key data points and craft deeply engaging marketing initiatives around these concepts. You can download our survey below to get the ball rolling!

It’s important that after you’ve done your research, you stick to one or two key concepts. Any more than this and you risk not going deep enough. Remember, you want engaging storytelling and deep use of social and video mediums. When we recommend recruitment-marketing strategies to our clients, the CovalentCareers creative team insists on a narrow focus on just doing one or two things well, rather than trying to cover the entire industry.

If you want to ping your ideas off me, no problem, just email me at matt@covalentcareers.com, and I’d be happy to chat!

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About Matt Geller, OD

Dr. Matt Geller is an entrepreneur with a track record of developing successful online platforms to solve problems in the healthcare space. Matt is the co-founder and CEO of CovalentCareers and NewGradOptometry.


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