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Episode 28

Recruitment Struggles with Jo Pereira Founder of Purpleberry Jobs

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About this episode

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the Treat Your Business podcast.

Joining Katie in the studio today is Jo Pereira.  Jo is the founder and director of Purpleberry jobs.

Now many of our listeners are struggling to recruit in our industry right now, they are they are putting ads out there, they’re not getting much response, or they’re getting a lot of response from people that aren’t perhaps appropriate, and they’re struggling to write good job adverts.

So by the end of this episode, with Jo’s help we’ll be clear on why we’re seeing this challenge in the industry, and hear some great advice of what you can do if you are in a position where you are ready to recruit, or you are looking to bring somebody into your business.

Key points Katie and Jo discuss in today’s episode:

  • What are some of the challenges you’re facing as a private clinic?
  • How do you make your job ads stand out from the rest?
  • How to use your website to promote your business.
  • Why are you passionate about your business?
  • Work-life balance vs income-driven.
  • What was your aim when creating the platform?
  • How time wasting is a problem for the job seeker and the recruiter.
  • The importance of hiring slowly and firing quickly in your industry.

Jo Pereira Resource Links


This podcast is sponsored by the team at HMDG


  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:02:19 – What are some of the challenges you’re facing as a private clinic?
  • 00:04:50 – How do you make your job ads stand out from the rest?
  • 00:09:21 – How to use your website to promote your business.
  • 00:11:53 – Why are you passionate about your business? Why is it succeeding?
  • 00:13:34 – Work-life balance vs income-driven.
  • 00:17:45 – What was your aim when creating the platform?
  • 00:21:13 – How time wasting is a problem for the job seeker and the recruiter.
  • 00:24:18 – The importance of hiring slowly and firing quickly in your industry.


You’re listening to treat your business with Katie Bell, the podcast for health and wellness business owners that want and need to give their business the treatment plan it deserves and needs so that you can create more time back in your lives to give you the income you deserve and work hard for and to create more freedom and flexibility in your lives to enjoy the things you love to do. Whether you are a physiotherapist and osteopath, a sports therapist, or maybe a Pilates studio owner, I’m determined to share with you bite sized episodes full of tried and tested tips from my own real experience of growing a successful physiotherapy and wellness clinic and from working with many businesses to do the same. So if you’re tuning in and feel like you’re on a hamster wheel of patients admin, life constantly juggling working and being with the family, and feel like you’re doing a rubbish job at both not making the income you thought you would by running a business and generally feeling overwhelmed with everything that you have to do, then keep listening. Hello, and welcome to this episode of the treat your business podcast. I am super excited because I am joined today by Jo Pereira, who is the founder and director of purple berry jobs. Now many of our listeners are struggling to recruit in our industry right now Joe, they are they are putting ads out there. They’re not getting much response, or they’re getting a lot of response from people that aren’t perhaps appropriate. And they’re struggling to write good, good, sort of job adverts and everybody we seem to be talking to her and we seem to be we’re coaching, having this reoccurring theme of I can’t get the right person, what am I doing wrong? Why is it so difficult? So thank you, Joe, for joining us and hope hopefully, by the end of this episode we’ll have we’ll be clear on kind of why we’re seeing this challenge in the industry right now. And maybe some great advice to our listeners of what they can do if they are in a position where they’re ready to recruit, or they’re looking to bring somebody into their business. So do let’s start by let’s really dig into why is it that we’re seeing a real challenge in terms of recruitment into private clinics at the moment?

Jo Pereira: 2:19

Well, I think Katie, we really didn’t need to go back probably three years, when the challenge is properly set in. And that was obviously COVID. You know, as as clinics, we will have to shut down. So we had a very challenging time financially then, to start with. And I think that this, that healthcare workers felt safer in the NHS, at that time, and maybe, you know, still feel that safety net of the NHS. So I think that’s a problem that we’re facing as a private clinic owners. On top of COVID, obviously, with that Kate has come cost of living issues and then more recent cost of living issues. And again, making that that that leap over into private health care, I think might be one that is stopping some one to two year postgraduate candidates coming out of the NHS and feeling that it’s a safe leap to come out. So I think that those are definitely issues that we’re facing. And we’ve had a massive migration of staff as well, haven’t we. So they’ve the Brexit has caused a real issue for us with with workers, generally in healthcare. And so we’re seeing a really, really challenged private setting where we’ve got lots of very well qualified candidates, but possibly not wanting to take the risk of what they see private healthcare might be.

Katie Bell: 3:53

Yeah, I think that’s really interesting, isn’t it that the perception of private health care is that it’s not it’s not stable. It’s not secure. I

Jo Pereira: 4:02

think it is a perception though. So like you I’m a physio I’ve been qualified almost 30 years. And, you know, I didn’t do a leap immediately from the NHS into private, it was a gradual one, where I took on a few hours privately, and I think possibly the, the candidates aren’t aware of that, I think they might think it’s an all or nothing. So that might be something that we could get the message out to candidates and hopefully, you know, the NHS support that this as well. That there is a gradual process where you can, you know, do a few hours outside of your, your main job and build up your private experience at the same time to certainly how I did it, and possibly how you did it. Katie, I’m not sure.

Katie Bell: 4:50

Yeah, and I think there’s this actually links back to how clinic owners portray themselves in in our sort of multilayered visibility strategy, we need to be stuck Finding out we need to be building that level of establishment and that our ability to get recommendations referrals, because actually to the outside world, when people are looking for a job, you’re absolutely right, Joe, they’re looking for safety. They’re looking for security more than ever we’re seeing in our clinic, people are looking for the employed roles, more than the freelance and self employed roles, which 558 years ago, most people in our industry were self employed. Totally.

Jo Pereira: 5:29

And that was that was the that was the draw. I think then rather than not, whereas that I think the tables have turned. I think what workforces in all industries now are have greater expectations of their employers, there’s been a massive shift. You know, we’re looking at having to really look at flexible working patterns for employees or associates and working with that, which I think is absolutely fair enough. But you know, it causes challenges. We’re looking at, you know, offering as good as in service training and mentorship that you might find in in, you know, an NHS setting or military setting, for example, where you’ve got lots of staff around you to support career progressions, you know, we need to be able to offer these for, for staff, just as much as they get in any other environment. I’m not saying that these are easy, easy things to overcome, but there are things that we have to face as private clinic owners. And obviously, the smaller the clinic, the greater the challenge, but you know, there’s things that you can do perhaps with local other clinics in the area and team up for CPD, you know, team up if you’re also team up to share a locum team up to share. And associates, it happens. I know, I was approached early on when I bought this clinic to share an associate and I absolutely considered it because as long as it’s, you know, it’s not going to impact on your business, then then why not? There are lots of ways around these issues. And it’s just about exploring them with with local local practitioners.

Katie Bell: 7:13

Yeah, amazing ideas. And you think, Joe, this, this kind of leaks into when we when we’re putting our job ads out there. What what things you’ve mentioned that CPD career progression, you know, in service training, what things do we need to be putting on our job adverts that are going to mean that those ads perform well for us, and we get the right candidates actually applying for that

Jo Pereira: 7:40

you’re thinking absolutely those, those those issues that we’ve just mentioned, all those those attractions that we’ve just mentioned, don’t assume that your candidate will know that and will go to your website and look up, you know how marvellous you are, you’ve got a shout out about it on your ad, and shout out about it at the top at the top of your ad. So your job description is something that is really important to get right quickly, to stand out above others, for your candidate, so we can help with that. So that’s something that I you know, we’ll go on to that a bit later about how purple berries wants to be involved with these sorts of things and not just, you know, an email that gets lost in the ether of if somebody’s struggling, you know, I’ve we want to be able to be contactable and and I want to be contacted if people are struggling with what to write on their their their job ads. You know, I’ve talked to lots of employers now in private clinics and, and they’ve asked me these very questions. And so I’m starting to get, you know, collate these problems and try to deliver a solution for them and offer them you know, information about how to how to improve their job adverts and to stand out, because we’ve got to offer these benefits to the candidates because that’s what they’re expecting, you know, they can they can look us up on Glassdoor, and they can find out what kind of employers we are. You know, we never had this 10 years ago. So you know, things are transparent now. And so we’ve got to keep abreast of that and ahead of it and make sure that that our candidates know that.

Katie Bell: 9:21

Absolutely. And I think this goes back to the confidence in for the business owner. I remember when I was very first reading my clinic eight years ago, and I was needing to employ quickly, you know, we were trying to meet the demand. And I remember writing these job ads, Joe thinking, how can I sell myself, I’m just me in a clinic in Sheffield. I’m just a physio, we’ve got we’ve got a nice community of people. I’ve got a really nice bathroom and a great kitchen that people can make a cup of tea in a toaster, you know? But then it’s like how was I ever going to sell what we do and really kind of bring that Passion out of why why we do what we do, why, why it’s important that we, we have our business and you know why we can help our clients, but it was trying to get that across so that people would read my ad and be like, Yes, I also believe that and I also want, you know, I want to be a part of Absolutely.

Jo Pereira: 10:18

And, you know, there’s, there’s no, I don’t think there’s any issue in putting a link to your website, on your job ad. So that goes direct to it. And somebody can can see what what what you’ve got to offer. There, you can promote, you know, maybe in a video style and say, have an interview with one of your other associates and say, you know, what, what is it that you like about working in the clinic, show the clinic show where you are, speak to a patient, you know, all of these different kinds of things you can bring in to attract the right person, to your team, because it has to be the right fit for everybody. So they want to see how nice it is in your clinic, and you want to attract them to start the, you know, the chat from there, don’t you?

Katie Bell: 11:00

Yeah, I love that idea, Joe, because that’s a great way of, kind of, you’re not having to feel like you’re selling yourself, but asking other people to really kind of promote why they love being a part of your clinical, you know, why they attend your clinic, let them substitute,

Jo Pereira: 11:14

you know, word of mouth is the most powerful, promotional tool, and we need to be able to make it possibly a little more personal, other than just saying, our clients think that, you know, that’s easy to say, well, we’ll interview them and you know, make it short and snappy, and make it real.

Katie Bell: 11:33

Yeah, just that in itself. Jerry is a way that can totally transform your, your job advert,

Jo Pereira: 11:39

write it as though you’re talking to somebody write it as though your your practice, so sell it for why you started it, sell it for why you want somebody else sell it for why it’s busy, and people will buy into you.

Katie Bell: 11:53

Yeah, and why? Why are you regrowing business? Why you’re wanting to take that next step? What that type of person that you’re looking for? And do you think, Joe, that when you’re writing a job ad, it has to bring out your values as a business? So the person reading it

Jo Pereira: 12:09

aligns? Undoubtedly, and I think that’s that’s the personal note that I’m saying, you know, why are you passionate about your business? Why is it succeeding? Why is it growing, and draw on those things that you know, work, and that should attract the right people with the right ambition. And with the same work ethos and patient care? That you do? You don’t you know, as they were wanting to attract people that, that want to buy into the business and stay in the business and support the business and not move on quickly. So you want people that, you know, want to be there and want to be there for a while, you know, offer them, career progressions offered them management structure, if they want to start helping in that way, you know, you there’s lots of ways to retain your staff as well, as well as as, as you know, attract them.

Katie Bell: 13:00

Yeah. And I think that’s really important, Joe, isn’t it? I know that certainly we have to quickly look at that. In our business when we when we aren’t, you know, in total transparency, we didn’t have it in with employee number one. Absolutely, absolutely did it, you know, but we quickly needed to get it because we needed to look at, they wanted to know where they were going. And I think I get totally mixed up with Gen X, Gen Z or Gen Y, who whoever the latest people are. They, they I we are seeing quite a big shift in what’s important to them. And when I was newly qualified, and I worked in private practice, I was very, very income driven. Because I wanted to, I wanted to be the best physio I could possibly be. But I knew that the more hours I worked, the more money I could make. Because I was working for somebody else in their private practice. And actually, sort of however many years is since I was doing that 1012 years. It really feels like it shifted. People are much more about work life balance, as you’ve said them much more about flexible working patterns.

Jo Pereira: 14:10

And we’ve got to move with those times and and holy respect them, you know, and I like you I think I was income driven to to begin with. But you know, now I work the hours I want to work. I’ve I’ve managed to, I recruited and have retained a fantastic associate because I respect it and I value her and she has the work life balance that she wants. And you have to be able to provide that nowadays. And it’s fair enough, absolutely isn’t just all about work and money. It’s about being valued at work and then it’s about what you want to do outside of work as well.

Katie Bell: 14:46

Yeah, and I think that value value messages really important is the job that needs to reflect that within your business. They will be a valued member of the team and this is how they will feel like that you You know,

Jo Pereira: 15:00

and I think some of the some of the clinics that I come across in my, in my promotion of the of this new websites, you know, the ones that are doing well are the ones that shout out about themselves and and say, look at how wonderful we are. And you know, we’re not very good at doing that. As British citizens, I think generally, I think we’re learning we’re learning. We’re a steep learning curve. And it might not feel very natural at first. But you know, nobody’s going to know you’re there unless you tell them. So you’ve got to say, this is why we’re great. And I’m going back to the get other people to tell tell tell your your candidates why you’re great as well. Don’t just make it don’t just shout out about it yourself, because that could become disingenuous.

Katie Bell: 15:46

Absolutely. So Joe, you are a physio. And you have created this, this brand new business people very jobs. Clearly for me, because there is a massive, massive need for it as an outside person looking into this and I came across you didn’t on LinkedIn, we connected through LinkedIn. Because I was thinking, Joe has created something that all my clients are struggling with. And this is just brilliant, and I wanted to speak to you. So Joe, what what made you go into what we’ve made you start purple berry jobs and kind of change tact almost from being a physio,

Jo Pereira: 16:23

is from my own personal experience of wanting to build my team, and maybe take a slightly more back seat in my clinic, which is always a difficult thing to do, because you’re the one that started it. And and people have bought into you as a physio. And so handing them over to another physio is very challenging, and getting the right person, it has been massively challenging for me. And I’ve used various methods to try and recruit over the years, and they’ve been, you know, paper journals that we have, that you’ve been agencies, or I’ve thought about agencies, and they’ve been other platforms, whether they be big or small. And we have a variety of those online. And I’ve found myself time and time again, getting very frustrated with the process. I’m not a big clinic. And so the person that comme ca has that I can take on is only going to be given a few hours. And so I’ve got this challenge of getting somebody local. And you know, what was the point in putting something you know, out on a National Journal where somebody up in Scotland is reading this. So it’s very unspecific. So I’ve really, I haven’t managed to find that second pair of hands. Well, I did. And then COVID came, and she had to go and get a full time job because she couldn’t afford obviously not to work. And so I sat down time and time again to write job ads either didn’t have any replies, or had replies from unsuitable candidates, sometimes from overseas people looking for sponsorship, and I hear them I feel for them. But that’s not something that I can offer, not for eight hours a week, for example, or people that weren’t qualified in the skills that I was asking for. So we can’t stop these kinds of speculative applications that they’re not that it’s impossible to stop them, but we can try to reduce them. And that was my aim was to try and create a platform, a that was a multidisciplinary platform. So just try and bring allied health professionals together to make it a an umbrella platform so that we didn’t have to die out here all in Africa, because a lot of our clinics are multidisciplinary. Not that I am but I know that many are. And I thought wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to go to four or five different places if you’re recruiting for speech and language therapist and a podiatrist and a physio at the same time. So that was part of the reason for that thinking. I wanted to make it a platform where we I had clear filters to offer. Because some of my job applications actually didn’t even come from physios sometimes. I saw we’ve got to be able to filter this down a little bit better. It has to be specifically discipline related. So I made it exclusive for HCPC disciplines, plus stos and Kairos. Because they are regulated. I wanted to make sure that it was a regulated platform of therapies. So I’ve filtered those those therapies into seven different disciplines. And then those disciplines are filtered out NHS and private. So again, we’re filtering down and then filtering even further into banding type or salary type. So if it’s banding, obviously that’s NHS, but actually some of the bigger clinics use that banding as Guide. So you’ve got that option. Or you can just use the, you know, go into the filter of contract type. So rather than have to filter, or have reams of jobs that are all part time, full time, evening weekends, you can filter that down as well and be it be specific. And then we’ve got regions as well. So if you don’t want to have jobs that are based up in the north of England, if you live down in the south of England, because if you’re not going to relocate, why do you want to have to search those, so we’ve got banded regions as well, regions and counties, so you can go SE and then hone it down to barsha. I’m only using those two because that’s where I come from. And it’s easiest top of the head. So unlike other platforms, you can, you can filter like this, and you won’t get any of the other disciplines creeping in, because they just can’t, then it’s not possible on the platform for that to happen. So I’m not going to name names of any other platforms, but some some platforms, you can put in a job. And actually, after the first page, you’re not in physio, you’re in psychiatry. And you know, how how time wasting is that for us? For both of the job for the job seeker? And and obviously for the job, the recruiter as well, because they’re not then the the can’t the right candidates aren’t seeing the right jobs.

Katie Bell: 21:30

Yeah, it just sounds such a wonderful platform, Jared, I keep thinking of all these, all these clients, and all these people I’ve been talking to recently, we’re having such a challenge with recruitment. And I think this is just going to be so useful. So for people listening, Joe to this who are buzzing away, completely destroying their job ads and ripping them off and putting them in the bin because they realise everything that they’re doing wrong. How, how can they connect with you, Joe, if they need some more help with them,

Jo Pereira: 21:57

they can contact me directly via the website from the contact form. Or they can call me as well. So my mobile number, the Business mobile number is up there. So I’m not stopping people contacting me, I will do my very best to help I have helped a couple of clinics write their their job ads. I’m drawing on experience for myself, and I’m looking at what is making other job ads stand out. So I’m learning as I’m going. But I aim to help. So if you’re struggling, getting contact, absolutely. One thing I wanted to say as well is that the process of actually uploading your job literally takes five minutes, because you’ve got all these filters, it is a drop down drop down list. Oh, it’s that one? Oh, it’s that one. So you don’t have to write reams, you’ve got dropdowns that you can click on. So that I think is really helpful. The other thing I wanted to mention is that, that what I’ve found frustrating with other platforms or, or methods of writing ads and getting ads out there is that the pricing structure, a might be a little high, might be a bit out of reach for some of us smaller clinics be, I think can be rather confusing on some platforms. So I’ve made mine a one fee. And that is what you pay. You don’t pay any add ons or nudges or boosts or features, you place your ad and that’s what you spend. And our start off for 30 days is 50 pounds plus fat, you’re not going to pay any more, we make sure that your job won’t fall to the bottom of the list. So we put the jobs on a rolling basis. So I know other platforms asked you to pay extra to bump yourself back up to the top of the list. Well, I didn’t I didn’t think that was fair for people that happened to have placed their job 28 days ago. Why should that happen? So I made it a rolling feature. And that was something that I worked with the web designer with time and time again, because he found it difficult to do and he and but that was something that was very important for me to make it fair, fair and transparent. Yeah. I don’t want you know that I just didn’t want any gimmicks and I didn’t want any. Any any surprises for anybody. Yes.

Katie Bell: 24:18

And I think that really solves problems that our our industry are facing in terms of complicated ways of of advertising, using platforms that that don’t work for them that are expensive, that have all of these hidden extras that you’ve got to end up pay paying and a lot as you’ve said, a lot of people haven’t got the budget to go and spend huge amounts of money to but they need to find that right person and one of my favourite sayings that I talk to my clients all about is about hiring slowly and firing quickly. So when you are thinking about hiring, you know you need to give yourself that time to write a good essay active job ad you need to work with somebody like you, Joe and publish it. So that you’re not, you’re not in this kind of rat race to get the wrong person in and you making those decisions too quickly, it needs to be a nice sort of planned process doesn’t I

Jo Pereira: 25:15

think so. And, you know, as the as the reputation grows, hopefully this year. So it grows for that for the quality candidates, as well as the recruiters as well, so that the candidates know that actually, the jobs that they’re going for, are with clinic owners and clinics that that really want to look after them. And vice versa. The clinic owners know that these candidates are professional, they’re going to do their job well, and they’re going to value their patients. And if we can build on this reputation, then we’re going to link these two parties together seamlessly without any middlemen. You know, taking a cut, I It wasn’t about that it was about making the process simple and clean and, and easy and transparent. For both parties.

Katie Bell: 26:05

To it’s, it’s brilliant. And I knew as soon as I saw you on LinkedIn that I wanted to connect, because I feel like what comes across as the your, your kind of real need to want to solve a big problem that’s out there from experience. But also you’ve developed this product, which is, you know, incredible for people in our industry who are really struggling right now with recruitment. So underneath this episode, Joe, we’re going to have all the show notes, and they’re going to be links in there about how people can connect with you and reach out to you. Lovely, Joe, thank you so much. For speaking to me today. It’s been wonderful to chat. And I hope everybody listening to this gets behind purple berry jobs and really supports you in the question to solve this problem with recruitment that is in our industry, and just make sure that we’re getting the right people and we’re really putting it putting ourselves out there and standing out in the world for approval.

Jo Pereira: 26:56

Yeah, absolutely. Here’s to 2023. Thanks so much. Thank you, Joe.

Katie Bell: 27:06

Thank you for listening to treat your business with Katie Bell, the podcast that tells you what you really need to hear. And now when it comes to running a successful business in the health and wellness industry that gives you the time, money and freedom you are wanting for access to our free workshops on how to get more clients in your business, how to make more income in the next 30 days. And to get more time back in your business and life. Head to our free Facebook group today. Treat your business or head over to thrive dash business All of the links are available in the show notes

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