How to Make Your Next Behavioral Specialist Hire

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Last updated at 09-18-2020 11:41:33



More than 3,271 companies advertise 31,807 Behavioral Specialist jobs on SimplyHired and its partner sites each year. After analyzing job postings and salary information from these companies, as well as direct job seeker feedback, we’ve compiled a list of insights to show you how to attract and hire your next Behavioral Specialist most efficiently.

Hiring Process

In the past quarter, we’ve seen 8,511 job posts from 1,562 employers in the United States. This is a decrease of 14.1% compared to the previous quarter. On average, there are 70 Behavioral Specialist job seekers for every active Behavioral Specialist job, which shows that it is a job seeker's market.

Writing a Job Description

In the past quarter, Mental Health Technician, Behavior Technician, Case Manager, Behavioral Specialist, Customer Service Representative, Social Worker, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Administrative Assistant, Receptionist, and Direct Support Professional seem to be the most sought after jobs amongst the Behavioral Specialist candidates in the United States. This differs from the last six quarters, where the most popular titles were: Case Manager, Behavioral Specialist, Mental Health Technician, Behavior Technician, Social Worker, Customer Service Representative, Administrative Assistant, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Behavioral Therapist, and Counselor. If you use one of these currently popular titles in the job description, you'll likely be able to attract a lot more candidates to apply.

For the Behavioral Specialist candidates who are actively applying to jobs in this same period, we see that 6.5% of the active Behavioral Specialist candidates have less than 3 years of experience, 17.5% have between 3-5 years of experience, 33.3% have 6-10 years of experience, and 42.7% have over 10 years of experience. The average years of experience has shifted from an estimated 8.7 years to 8.4 years. If you're posting a job in today's market, expect candidates with about the same experience level to apply to your job compared to the last 2 quarters.

In the previous quarter, the most popular skills that employers are looking for include communication skills, childcare, data collection, experience with children, applied behavior analysis, bilingualism, autism experience, Spanish, developmental disabilities experience, and teaching. Demand for teaching, writing skills, computer literacy, Spanish, English, Microsoft Excel, leadership, customer service, organizational skills, and experience with children has significantly increased. If you are looking for a Behavioral Specialist with a similar skill set, be sure to follow industry best practices in skill requirements.

Job posts with salary information received about 2.1 as many applies as those without it. In the past quarter, less than 28.6% of the job posts displayed salary information. By adding salary information to your job posting, you could potentially increase the number of applicants by approximately 110.0%.

Example Behavioral Specialist responsibilities

  • Interviewing and assessing children and families
  • Conducting case reviews for reporting of abuse or neglect
  • Supervising children during visits with their parents
  • Presenting with parents, social workers, or case managers about social, emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges children face
  • Providing therapeutic services to children in their homes


Active Recruiting

When reaching out to candidates, it’s best to understand where to look. We’ve identified hiring trends in states as well as companies regularly hiring for Behavioral Specialist positions. This should provide a good place to start looking for qualified candidates. According to our data in the last quarter: California, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, and Tennessee are the states that have the highest demand for Behavioral Specialists. California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, and Tennessee are where most job seekers are searching for Behavioral Specialist jobs. If we look at the Behavioral Specialist to job ratio, Utah, Maine, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and New Jersey have the lowest number of Behavioral Specialist applicants per job. Tennessee, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Idaho have the most active Behavioral Specialist job seekers per job.

Passive Recruiting

While actively recruiting candidates for your role, you should also post your job to SimplyHired. By posting for free and paying only for the qualified applicants you want, your post will automatically go to a network of job boards to reach millions of qualified candidates. With SimplyHired, it doesn’t end with the post. You can track your applicants throughout the hiring process with our simple and easy to use Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Review Candidates

In the last quarter, we estimate there are 597,725 job seekers interested in Behavioral Specialist opportunities in the United States. That’s a 16.0% increase compared to the previous quarter with 515,066 active job seekers. Around 6.5% of the active Behavioral Specialist candidates have less than 3 years of experience, over 17.5% have between 3-5 years of experience, 33.3% have 6-10 years of experience, and 42.7% have over 10 years of experience. The average experience level of the available Behavioral Specialist candidates is 8.4 years. Active candidates in the Behavioral Specialist profession most commonly have bachelor's degrees, followed by master's degrees, high school diplomas, and associate's degrees. When setting education requirements for your position, aligning with the industry standard makes it easier to find potential candidates. Application rates indicate that Behavioral Specialist candidates are likely experiencing a market in which applicants have less negotiating power. From an employer perspective, you'll have a greater selection of candidates to choose from and may want to invest in automated screening tools.

Interviewing Candidates

Interview Process

*Self-reported data collected from 3,106 Behavioral Specialists from 1/1/2020 to 6/30/2020, via online employer reviews for companies including ACES (Autism Comprehensive Educational Services), 360 Behavioral Health, Center for Social Dynamics, Easter Seals, Intercare Therapy, Autism Behavior Services Inc., Autism Spectrum Therapies, JusticeWorks YouthCare, Innovative Services, Inc., and Merakey.

After analyzing post-interview data from Behavioral Specialist candidates in the last 6 months, we see more than 35.2% of the candidates self-reported being hired within 1 to 2 days. Around 84.5% of the candidates for this job reported being hired within 2 weeks. If your process takes longer than 2 weeks in the recent market, you'll likely lose these candidates to other employers. Most of the Behavioral Specialist candidates are expecting a on-site interview, background check, phone call/screening, and drug test. Most employers do not require a problem solving exercises or written test. If you are trying to hire your next Behavioral Specialist quickly, consider simplifying and streamlining the hiring process. As for the interview experience, more than 73.9% of the candidates had a good or great interview experience, and more than 41% of the candidates thought that the interview leaned more towards easy.

Example Interview Questions

  • Why do you want to work in this field?
  • How did you hear about this position?
  • Are there any possible conflicts of interest that will hinder your ability to perform the job?
  • Do you know anyone who works here or someone that graduated from here and if so who?
  • Tell us more about yourself.

Final Review and Offer

Reference Check

Checking references is a quick and easy way to check for any red flags that didn’t arise to this point in the hiring process. Great insights can be provided by former colleagues and employers.

Crafting an Offer: Salary and Benefits

The average Behavioral Specialist salary offered by employers increased for 2 out of 6 consecutive quarters in the United States. In the last quarter, we see a decrease of 10% from $57,634.62 to $51,923.82 compared to the quarter before, which is the biggest decrease in the past 6 quarters. For Behavioral Specialist positions, the most common benefits job seekers reported being offered by employers include: healthcare insurance by 83.6%, dental insurance by 76.5%, paid time off by 75.1%, vision insurance by 62.0%, a 401k plan by 56.8%, discounts by 25.4%, and stock options/grants by 3.8%. While still relatively rare, more and more employers now offer flexibility benefits, including paternity leave, mostly remote, fully remote, flexible working hours, somewhat remote, sabbaticals, location variety, and maternity leave, to attract and retain Behavioral Specialist candidates to their organization.

Background Check and Drug Test

According to self-reported job seeker feedback, 61.6% of the employers conducted a background check, and 26.3% of the employers conducted a drug test prior to the hiring of their Behavioral Specialist candidates.


When you’re ready to hire a Behavioral Specialist, SimplyHired is here to help with your next steps. Our Human Resources Information System (HRIS) provides onboarding tools and other essential HR tools. From document signing to time off tracking, our HRIS will help you seamlessly move a Behavioral Specialist candidate through the hiring and onboarding process.

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