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New Study of Physical Therapists Reveals Surprising Job Perspectives

July 30, 2012

Employee communications research firm Peer Group US, a division of CKR Interactive, has released major findings from the 2012 National Physical Therapist Survey, which explores the job perspectives and employment preferences of today’s physical therapist population.

The survey, executed in partnership with healthcare marketing firm Katon Direct, was conducted online May 8 through May 31, 2012. The two firms were motivated by a lack of existing research regarding physical therapists, such as their willingness to change jobs, preferred employer attributes, media habits and job search behaviors.

“There’s a wealth of available data regarding the physical therapist shortage and its related issues,” notes Peer Group US Director Kendra Van Nostran. “But there wasn’t much in terms of what matters to physical therapists regarding their work experience—information that is crucial to employers seeking to recruit and retain PTs.”

Among the survey’s major findings:

  • A facility’s reputation and brand awareness are extremely important to physical therapists. When asked to rate the importance of a range of employer attributes, “reputation as a great place to work” and “reputation for medical excellence” earned the highest ratings, ahead of even pay and vacation.
  • Very few physical therapists are actively pursuing new opportunities. In fact, only 4.1 percent of the survey respondents say they are currently looking for a new job. The majority of respondents either won’t consider a change right now or would have to be approached directly in order to consider a job change.
  • Physical therapists are most likely to turn to their friends and colleagues if they were to conduct a job search. Other job search tools identified as important include the company career site and professional/trade magazines.
  • In terms of staying updated on their profession, PTs still favor print resources, including Advance for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine, Today in PT, APTA Physical Therapy Journal and PT in Motion.
  • While physical therapists are regular users of social media, they’re ambivalent about whether or not employers should reach out to them regarding job opportunities via social media.
  • Several trends were identified when responses were cross tabulated by age and gender. For example, younger PTs are more open to exploring job opportunities with another employer and to rely on their colleagues and friends when searching for a job. PTs between the ages of 36 and 45 were more likely than their counterparts to be working on a part-time basis. Male PTs are more likely to be self-employed and to exhibit a greater willingness to relocate for a job.

Katon Direct Managing Director Marc Weissman observes, “The survey results reinforce Katon Direct’s strategies for healthcare companies recruiting hard-to-find healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists. If you’re going to be effective in connecting with this talent, you need to focus on direct marketing and sourcing strategies.”

More than 300 physical therapists from across the country completed the survey. Employers can review the 2012 National Physical Therapist Survey Fact Sheet for additional information. Download the fact sheet here:

About Peer Group US
Peer Group US is a division of global recruitment marketing agency CKR Interactive that helps employers solve their most challenging workforce communication issues through custom research and consultation. Located in the Bay Area, Peer Group US leverages its expertise across custom primary research, employer brand consulting and Employer Value Proposition (EVP) program development to guide clients across all industries in their efforts to improve communications with current and prospective employees. In addition, global client needs are met by the research division’s affiliation with Peer Group in the United Kingdom.

About CKR Interactive
Founded in 2001, CKR Interactive is a global recruitment marketing agency delivering comprehensive services to today’s employers. Focusing on interactive solutions, the firm’s areas of expertise also include research and planning, creative development and marketing communications. U.S. offices are based throughout California, New York, Ohio and Florida. The award-winning agency’s growing list of clients represents a range of industries, including healthcare, biotech, information technology, government, energy, finance/banking and hospitality.

About Katon Direct
Katon Direct is the foremost provider of personalized micro-marketing solutions that build relationships with healthcare professionals. Whether working with agencies or healthcare organizations, a single hospital or a nationwide chain, Katon Direct is a trusted partner that’s committed to the client’s goals and success. Katon Direct enables clients to form personal relationships with their prospects of interest by facilitating multiple conversations in unique and personal ways. Combining the largest, most trusted database of licensed healthcare professionals with a suite of personalized communications, Katon Direct forges powerful bonds of trust between an employer and potential employees. Even though Katon Direct excels at developing special connections between clients and their prospects, the firm is measured by its invisibility. All campaigns, creative, and copy are completely branded to the client.

Kendra Van Nostran
Peer Group US
(408) 517-1400

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