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Avoiding the Pitfalls of Unicorn Hunting for your Aesthetics Practice.

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

unicorn, water, medical aesthetics recruiting

Over the years we have seen many practices evolving or expanding into the Aesthetics space and all too often we find they go Unicorn Hunting when hiring their staff. Trying to find an RN designation skilled with Lasers, Botox and filler (Scope of Work issues aside) who brings a client base and can generate new clients is a very tall ask. To start with, finding and capturing a Unicorn like this is virtually impossible. It is also very expensive and more often than not ends up badly for a number of reasons.

The majority of new aesthetic practices underestimate the time and costs associated with developing the business and the drive to offer as many services as possible with as little HR overhead as possible pushes inexperienced practice managers and physician owners to shoot for the moon. Unfortunately this consistently ends up backfiring for several reasons.

  1. There is a relatively narrow pool of RN designated candidates with significant Injectables experience and for the most part they cannot work independently and stay within scope of work guidelines which means you are often left sourcing an NP or PA at double or more the hourly costs.

  2. The vast majority of Pas and NPs with injectables experience won’t run your laser devices. In their mind they have paid their dues and will only spend their time on higher dollar treatments where they can use the skills they have paid for and trained long and hard to achieve.

  3. The injectable market is a seller’s market from the candidate point of view. Highly skilled injectors with 5 years or more experience know their value, understand they are in the power position and will demand top dollar and more to come to your practice. They will also be very wary of new practices who may not have the volume to keep them busy. If this happens they will be out the door and down the street in a heart beat and HR turnover is expensive.

  4. Top candidates will have an ability to do social media marketing and generate some clientele, but if you are expecting them to “drive” the marketing and sales process you are asking too much. You may even be crossing “scope of work “lines and you’ll likely be disappointed with the end results. So again, its very important to assess your own business volume, your ability to bring people in the door and close the sale before you leap into the high end of the market. The worst thing you can do is pay out big dollars to bring in the Unicorn only to have them leave because you can’t fill their time.

So what’s the answer?

We recommend you have a serious look at your business volume. Stick with an RN (or laser tech depending on your jurisdiction) and focus on volume laser treatments and customer acquisition as a place to start. As your practice evolves and demand for Botox and Filler starts showing up, a part time senior injector can work very nicely. But to make it work you need to stack your appointments so the Injector can come in for a half day or a day at a time and pump out good volume. Its also a great marketing opportunity for you to create a scarcity mentality…"If you want an appointment we will need to book it now and get cancellation deposit". Make sure your patients understand that Nurse X is a rare commodity and create the get it while its hot mentality.

Above all, we recommend you avoid Unicorn hunting as a new or burgeoning practice unless you are prepared to invest heavily not only in equipment, but marketing and HR at the same time.

OnCall is North America’s premier recruiter for Medical Aesthetics


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