How To Find Talented Psychologists in a Hot Employment Market

People manage mental health issues both at home and on the job. According to the Mental Health at Work Report, 60% of respondents reported symptoms of a mental health condition, and 20% willingly left a job due to related reasons. It’s no wonder then that the need for mental health professionals is steadily on the rise.

Psychologists work not only in hospitals and private practices; they also work in settings such as schools, universities, businesses, and government agencies. Quite a few psychologists opt to work for themselves and are self-employed.

As a hiring manager or practice owner, recruiting competent and qualified psychologists is a must. But the number of job postings has shot up by nearly 30%, so how do you attract the best applicants? Consider the following tips for a successful hire.

Know What You Need

The first step is to identify why you’re hiring a psychologist and what you hope to accomplish with the addition to your team or company. Determine the essential needs the new hire must meet, and let that information guide your search. Perhaps, you want to serve a particular demographic such as an age range or cultural background. Or maybe you want a clinician on duty for additional times of the week, like evenings or weekends. Likely, you want to assist more patients, but you must consider the needs of those patients based on your location, industry, or specialty. 

The job outlook for psychologists touches on several growth sectors, which may align with your ideal hire. If you are recruiting for an educational organization, you’ll likely need someone suited to work with students. An effective psychologist will need experience with war trauma or military-related stressors to serve veterans and military members. Psychologists also can meet the needs of the elderly and aging, and those positions are expected to rise considerably over the next ten years. Pinning down what you need is directly related to who you serve or plan to serve. 

Know What You’re Looking For

Once you know what you need, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking for in an ideal candidate. Perhaps the most important qualifications are education, licenses, and certifications. Most psychologists need a doctoral degree, while some school-based psychologists need an advanced degree coupled with certification or licensure. Those in industrial or organizational fields likely need a master’s degree with some type of specialization.

Most states require licensure to practice or use the title of “psychologist,” but the laws vary by each state. Many practitioners must complete an internship and supervised professional experience. They must pass specific exams and complete continuing education. Specialty certifications also exist in particular fields of practice, and while not necessarily required for employment, they add to competency in those fields. 

Employers should look for someone with the following:

  • appropriate education and state licensure
  • knowledge of various diagnostic assessments
  • the ability to work well with colleagues and patients
  • discretion to honor patient confidentiality.

Other important qualities for psychologists include the following:

  • integrity
  • analytical skills
  • patience
  • problem-solving skills
  • observational skills

While these may seem like minimum requirements, they’re crucial to identify before sending out a job posting. Clearly define the qualifications, experience, and skills you most want in a candidate, and you’re ready for the next step.

Post A Well-Written Job Ad

Now that you know what you need for your practice and what you’re looking for in a practitioner, it’s time to send out the call for applicants. Professional networks can be instrumental in finding qualified candidates, but you’ll want to compose and circulate a well-written job posting to advertise your opening. 

To find the right professional, compile your specifications into a posting that lists the minimum requirements, non-negotiable qualifications, and relevant details about your practice or organization. Your job posting will also guide you in eliminating certain applicants and passing others to the next stage of the process. Your position advertisement can then go out to your professional network, career websites, and social media. 

It goes without saying that you’ll need to circulate the opening on the right sites in order to reach your target audience. is the leading job board site for mental health professionals and boasts the most comprehensive jobs database in the industry. Posting a job is easy whether you’re self-employed or hiring for a large healthcare system. And it’s free to view complete resumes to make sure candidates are ideally suited for the job.

The Takeaway

With the number of job vacancies and postings rising every day, follow these tips to narrow your search and attract the most qualified and competent mental health professionals. But don’t leave the process to chance. Use to make the right hire – faster and easier!