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Published: Jun 20, 2023 13 min read
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Whether it's to provide an extra level of care, complement the work of a physical therapist or even offer an alternative option for pain relief, a chiropractor can be a great fit for many health care businesses. However, the process of hiring a qualified chiropractor can feel as intimidating and complex as the job itself.

In this guide, we'll help you understand the different types of chiropractors, provide sample interview questions, give you tips on how to attract the right candidates and prepare you for posting your job opening on a job site such as ZipRecruiter and hiring the perfect chiropractor to fit your needs.

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What is a chiropractor?

Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and other connective tissues. They manipulate and adjust the spine to treat a wide range of physical ailments.

What does a chiropractor do?

Chiropractors specialize in treating musculoskeletal issues with an emphasis on manual adjustment of the spine. Chiropractors use a variety of manual manipulation techniques, as well as exercise and lifestyle advice, to treat issues including headaches, neck and back pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder causing jaw pain, sciatica and other musculoskeletal problems.

How the chiropractor hiring process works

Hiring a chiropractor is similar to hiring any other medical professional. First, you must understand the different types of chiropractors, identify which type you want to hire and decide whether you're hiring for a full-time or part-time job. Then develop a detailed job description, attract qualified candidates and conduct an effective interview process.

Utilizing an applicant tracking system (ATS) will help streamline the entire process, making it easier to find and manage qualified candidates. Review the best practices for using an ATS, such as creating an effective job posting and automating candidate communications for a smoother workflow.

Understand the different types of chiropractors and which one you want to hire

Before you begin your search for a chiropractor, understand the different types of chiropractors so you can decide which is the best fit for your job opening. Some chiropractors specialize in treating sports injuries, while others focus on providing general care.

Here are the most common types of chiropractors:

  • Pediatric chiropractors specialize in treating children from birth through their teenage years. They typically focus on providing gentle, non-invasive adjustments to promote healthy development as kids grow.
  • Sports chiropractors typically have a background in physical therapy or exercise science. They're trained to assess, diagnose and treat athletes with an emphasis on injury prevention and treatment, performance optimization and recovery.
  • Forensic chiropractors work with the legal system to provide expert testimony and evidence. Attorneys and insurance companies often consult them in cases involving personal injury or medical malpractice related to chiropractic practice.
  • Family chiropractors provide care to families and individuals of all ages, from newborns to seniors. They treat a wide range of conditions, such as headaches, back pain and stress-related issues.
  • Neurological chiropractors specialize in treating nervous system conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Besides the standard education and training required for all chiropractors, neurological specialists must complete additional courses in neurology and gain certification from the American Chiropractic Neurology Board.
  • Occupational health chiropractors specialize in treating work-related injuries or conditions. They typically focus on ergonomic assessments and workplace injury prevention and rehabilitation, as well as helping to develop workplace health and safety regulations.

Decide if you want to hire a full-time, part-time, or freelance chiropractor

Once you understand the different types of chiropractors, decide if you want to hire a full-time, part-time or freelance chiropractor. Full-time and part-time chiropractors require more commitment from you, such as providing office space, equipment and salary or hourly compensation.

On the plus side, full-time and part-time chiropractors can integrate into your organization more comprehensively than freelancers, develop long-term relationships with clients and have a vested interest in helping your business succeed.

Freelance chiropractors, on the other hand, have more flexible schedules, can work on a contractual basis and provide their own equipment. However, they may have less of an emotional investment in your organization and a higher turnover rate. Before you make your decision, consider the costs and benefits associated with each option so you can determine which is best suited to your needs.

Write a chiropractor job description

Create a job description that outlines the requirements and expectations for your job. Include information about the duties, responsibilities and qualifications for the position. This is also your chance to stand out and make a good impression on potential hires by highlighting the unique aspects of your practice and emphasizing what makes it a great place to work.

A comprehensive and accurate job description will help you attract the right candidates and ensure they have a clear understanding of the job. Some sites, such as ZipRecruiter, have handy chiropractor job description templates which can save you time and effort.

Credentials and qualifications

In your job description, include a list of credentials and qualifications required for the job. For example, most chiropractors must have a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from an accredited program and be licensed by the state. Depending on the type of chiropractor you're looking for, additional qualifications may be necessary. For example, a forensic chiropractor should have extensive experience working within the legal system. A neurological chiropractor needs certification from the American Chiropractic Neurology Board.

Skills and experience

Outline the specific skills and experience required for the position. Be as clear and specific as possible. If you're looking for a general chiropractor, include the ability to perform patient intake assessments and examinations, skeletal adjustments and soft tissue treatments. If you're looking for a specialty chiropractor, list skills related to their specialty like the ability to perform ergonomic assessments or develop workplace health and safety regulations.

Job responsibilities and duties

Provide a clear outline of the job's day-to-day tasks and responsibilities as well as any long-term goals or projects. Depending on their role and specialization, chiropractor responsibilities can range from patient care to administrative duties.

Be as detailed as possible in this section to give applicants a realistic idea of what the job entails. Remember to include important information such as the hours, location and benefits to give potential hires clear expectations and set them up for success.

Search for qualified chiropractic candidates

Now it’s time to start looking for qualified candidates. Post your open position on one of the best job posting sites, add it to your business's career page, utilize recruitment services or tap into your existing networks.

Look for chiropractors with the necessary educational background and certifications as well as the kind of chiropractic experience you need. Common chiropractic degrees and certifications include a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree, a state chiropractic license, and a certification from the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

Interview your top picks

After you've narrowed down your list of potential chiropractors, it’s time to start the interview process. During this step, look for candidates who demonstrate strong communication skills, sound clinical judgment and a commitment to providing quality care.

Ask questions about candidates' past experience and their approach to treating patients. Here are examples of questions you might ask during the interview:

  • What do you think sets you apart from other chiropractors? — This will help you understand the candidate's unique skills and experience in the field as well as what they can bring to your practice.
  • Describe a challenge that you faced in your work, and how did you respond? — These types of behavioral interview questions help you learn about the candidate's problem-solving skills and their ability to handle difficult situations.
  • How would you treat a patient suffering from lower back pain? — Questions like this can help you gauge the candidate's knowledge of chiropractic techniques and treatments.
  • What do you believe is the most important part of chiropractic practice? — This question gives you insight into the candidate's priorities and core values. It also helps you determine if the candidate's beliefs align with those of your practice.
  • What do you think is the biggest benefit of chiropractic care? — This question can reveal the candidate's passion for their profession as well as their understanding of how chiropractic care can help patients.

Hire a candidate that best fits the role

The final step in the hiring process is to select a candidate. Consider not only their qualifications and experience but also their personality and communication skills. Ask yourself if the candidate would be a good fit for your practice, as well as the type of patient care you want to provide. In some cases, you'll need additional interviews with top contenders to make a final decision.

Check your top candidate's references and use one of the best background check sites that offers consumer reports to make sure they're the right fit for your practice.

Once you select the right candidate, give them all the necessary onboarding documents they need to get started. Provide a detailed orientation in which you discuss their role and expectations, as well as any policies and procedures they should be aware of. By investing upfront in the hiring and onboarding process, you'll be more secure that you hired the right chiropractor and be able to retain your employees.

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Where to find chiropractors for hire

There are several resources you can use to look for qualified chiropractor candidates. As mentioned above, online job boards can help you cast a wide net for potential applicants. You can also search for qualified chiropractors in your area through professional organizations such as the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Chiropractic Physicians. Consider reaching out to local chiropractic schools for potential candidates, and ask any chiropractors in your network for referrals.

Physical therapist vs chiropractor: key differences

Both physical therapists and chiropractors specialize in treating musculoskeletal conditions without the use of medication or surgery. Chiropractic work is centered around adjusting the alignment of the spine, joints and other bones to address underlying musculoskeletal disorders and injuries.

Physical therapy, on the other hand, focuses on developing strength and mobility to improve the function of the entire body through exercise, stretching, posture correction and other rehabilitative techniques.

Chiropractor FAQ

How much do chiropractors cost to hire?

As with any other professional or specialized position, the costs associated with searching for, interviewing and hiring a chiropractor vary based on the specific requirements of the role, your location and the methods you use to source potential candidates. Depending on these factors, hiring costs can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

How much do chiropractors make?

Chiropractic salaries also depend on factors like experience, location and the type of practice. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for chiropractors was $75,380 or $36.24 per hour. Most chiropractors make an annual salary of $52,750 ($25.36 per hour) and $100,320 ($48.23 per hour).

Are chiropractors doctors?

Chiropractors are not considered medical doctors because they do not have medical doctor (M.D.) degrees. However, they do hold a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree and possess specialized knowledge that makes them a qualified medical professional and a valuable part of a healthcare team. Chiropractors often work with medical doctors, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care for patients.

Can chiropractors write prescriptions?

Chiropractors cannot write prescriptions. Only a few types of health professionals (e.g., medical doctors, advanced practitioner registered nurses, dentists and psychiatrists) are legally allowed to write prescriptions for medications and other treatments.

Do hospitals hire chiropractors?

Yes, some hospitals and healthcare systems employ chiropractors to provide patient care as part of an interdisciplinary team. In addition to providing general chiropractic care, hospital-based chiropractors may also engage in research, teaching and other clinical activities.

Summary of Money's how to hire chiropractors

Hiring a qualified chiropractor may seem like an overwhelming task, but the resources and tips outlined in this article will help streamline the process to ensure you find the best candidate for your practice. Whether that means using the best recruiting software, connecting with professional organizations and local chiropractic schools or tapping into your personal network, there are plenty of ways to find the right chiropractor.

Refer to this guide to develop a comprehensive job description, prepare a series of in-depth interview questions and establish criteria for evaluating potential candidates fairly and consistently. Follow these steps, and you should have no problem finding the perfect chiropractor for your practice.