Staffing Your Addiction Treatment Business: Expert Tips and Guidelines

Successful addiction treatment organizations begin with strategic recruiting and smart hiring. When you take the time to carefully make good hiring decisions, everything else becomes more achievable. Your business becomes more productive and more enjoyable to be a part of, but the critical factor is having the right people in place. When it comes to staffing an addiction treatment business, you need to hire people who embody your organization’s mission and values so that they can help it thrive and grow.

The field of addiction treatment and recovery is in the midst of crisis due to the fact that demand for treatment now outstrips the current resources available. One reason for this is that the current treatment workforce is insufficient and unprepared to meet future needs. With competition for top talent at a peak, reaching out to a recruiter is one of the best ways to access top passive candidates with the niche skills and expertise necessary to be successful in behavioral health.

Developing Your Addictions Treatment Workforce

When it comes to staffing an addiction treatment business, you need to hire people who embody your organization’s mission and values so that they can help it thrive and grow.

You may be opening a new addictions treatment center or if perhaps you’re currently facing a workforce shortage– you’re not alone. The field of treatment and recovery is part of a profession that is undergoing profound changes, as insurance coverage has been expanded to cover far more than ever before. Many treatment programs, government agencies and professional associates began in the 1970’s when the nation was just beginning to confront widespread drug abuse.

Today, counselor requirements have evolved as our understanding of addictions and recovery have changed and advanced. Additionally, laws have changed, new drugs have emerged and, with that, new treatments have been developed. As researchers have made advances in addiction science, the requirements for becoming part of treatment center leadership or a drug and alcohol counselor have become more demanding. For clinicians, the requirements are also more rigorous, as we now understand more about the complexity of addictions and how require a similar response compared to other chronic diseases. Clinicians must “learn all aspects of this bio-psycho-social illness, along with the fundamentals of effective individual and group therapy and other clinical skills,” according to a recent study by Partners of Recovery (PoF).

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Attracting Qualified Candidates to Work in Treatment and Recovery


  1. Understand the Problem

First,  analyze the current marketplace to gain an understanding of how the current economy, employment trends and your own organization might influence someone to accept or reject employment with your company. This means defining your organization’s mission, culture, leadership, salary levels, benefits packages, growth opportunities and management style.

  1. Attract Candidates and Make Good Hiring Choices

Next, you must research your target market of candidates. You must learn who they are, where they are, how they spend their time, what motivates them, what they value, and how they perceive what you’re offering. Candidates may have multiple options when it comes to employment, so you have to ask yourself: how is my organization differentiating itself from the rest? How can I offer this candidate something more than the next company. Oftentimes, there are ways to achieve this  beyond simply increasing salary.  

  1. Retainment and Process Refinement

Once you have the right talent in place, the final step is to develop effective ways to retain quality staff. It’s best to assume your staff are always aware that other (and possibly superior) opportunities are out there. That is why it’s important to consider what will keep those workers on the job. It’s not always possible to increase compensation to retain employees, but there are other ways to enhance retention, including offering opportunities for training, advancement, recognition, and mentor-ship to name a few. As you move forward, continue to refine your hiring process to improve outcomes.


Need Assistance? The Recruiters at HCRI Can Help

Perhaps the most important component of building a strong team is the recruiting process. Many treatment centers within the addiction and mental health industry fill their teams with treatment consultants with personal experience in recovery as opposed to training in professionals. Recruiting can be a roll of the dice if you aren’t sure how to access or attract the right candidates, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Candidate skills and personalities can vary greatly, while resumes can be overwhelming and difficult to parse through. At HCRI, our recruiters create a customized recruiting plan that is tailored towards each client’s unique needs. From intake to final offer, we manage the entire hiring process and ensure that only the finest talent is presented. We have over 350+ years of combined recruiting experience in the healthcare industry and offices all over the world. With our deep and unparalleled understanding of the complex nuances of the constantly changing addiction and recovery treatment industry, we are the best choice when organizations need a quick and highly effective way to hire top talent. While we focus on finding talent, you can focus on what really matters: running your organization and facilitating growth.

If you’re in need of a new addiction and recovery treatment hire, don’t hesitate to reach out to our recruiting experts today to get started.


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