How the Latest Health Care Innovations Will Change Who You Hire

 Your Next Superstar May Not Be From Health Care

While reading the article about the Health 2.0 showcase in Europe I was reminded of a conversation I had earlier in the day with a health information technology sales executive. She told me that the health information management solutions on the market today will be completely different in two years.  That will require new blood, new thinking, and a different kind of health technology sales executive.

The old saying “You can’t keep doing things the same way and expect a different result” comes to mind.  Just recycling the same sales people from competitors will only move a sales team further behind the curve.

“That will require new blood, new thinking, and a different kind of health technology sales executive.” (Click to Tweet this)

I am already seeing this in other areas of health care, especially in care management.  Movement away from traditional care models is creating a need for non-traditional skill sets.

Sales competency is and will continue to be important. Also important will be the ability to transcend traditional ways of thinking and selling.  Organizations will need to look outside of the health care for their next sales stars.

Health 2.0 Showcase Article

Click here to get more ideas about finding your next superstar.

Search | Care Management Director

Are you a “roll up your sleeves and get it done” kind of leader?

An innovative, strategic and high impact Care Management Director can join one of the largest health care organizations in the US. Based in the mid-west, our client has been serving the Medicaid population for decades. They continue to be recognized as an innovator and one of the most admired companies in their state.

Listed as one the top places to work, employees enjoy a full range of comprehensive benefits, competitive salaries and bonuses, as well as community involvement and diversity. The company’s continued leadership in Medicaid creates significant opportunities for career advancement and personal and professional growth.

The High Risk Care Management Director will be the primary representative of the company in their city.   As the leader of this new program, the first responsibility is to further develop and implement the program. This includes creating partnerships with community based resources, presenting to organizations, and working with the Manager and field staff on a regular basis. In addition to program development, the Director will create and oversee a new staff development program. This will involve team and individual training across a wide variety of staff positions. Both the staff and program development responsibilities will result in this high risk care management program becoming the model for the industry. Additionally, the Director will also use their strategic and problem solving skills to assist the Vice President in special projects.

Care Management Directors with strong experience in program development are the first choice for this position. Expertise in care management protocols , experience in staff development, and experience in project management are equally prized by our client. This position is open to an RN, MSW, Clinical Counselor, or licensed Psychologist. Advanced business degrees or experience is also a plus.

Apply now to be considered. This kind of high-profile, career building position does not stay open very long!

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Step 1 of 4: High Performance Teams

Farmer plowing in Fahrenwalde, Mecklenburg-Vor...

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Make recruiting a process that is structure and tracked

What would you think of a farmer who decided to skip all the plowing and sowing and jump right into harvesting?   You’d think the farmer was deluded and crazy?  How can a crop be harvested if the seeds were never sown?  How can crops grow if the soil isn’t plowed and watered?  It would be insanity to think a farmer could go straight to harvest without doing all the things necessary to cultivate their crop.

This is how many organizations approach recruiting.  They have a critical opening and suddenly they want to harvest top talent.  Like the farmer they too need to cultivate the talent pool and sow their employment brand long before they start to harvest.  This means that recruiting has to be a process that is incorporated into the overall company culture .  It has to be an ongoing activity that is measured and tuned.

Here are some simple ways high performing organizations sow seeds and cultivate a healthy crop of top talent:

  • Promote their company as a highly desired place to work
  • Create relationships with potential employees as early as high school
  • Advertise their jobs to attract top talent rather than screen out applicants
  • Profile key jobs
  • Establish an ongoing relationship with a niche search firm

Of course, there are variables specific to every organization.  But the faster companies begin to cultivate their talent pool, the faster they’ll have the right people to hire.


Hot in the Shade

Have you ever experienced a day of 115 degree temperatures?  That’s how I spend the past weekend while at a national lacrosse tournament in Towson, MD.  The combined heat and humidity created a heat index in excess of 115 degrees!  To say it was miserable would be an understatement.  It’s a wonder more players didn’t collapse on the field.

The experience taught me two things; 1) the human body’s ability to produce perspiration is endless and, 2) no matter how many tents, shade trees, umbrellas, misters, etc…. you can’t escape that kind of heat!  As the day wore on the heat began to impact the quality of play on the field.  Players started to make decisions out of expedience and fatigue rather than skill and experience.

This is also how a lot of hiring managers approach their open positions.  The heat of the open seat becomes so hot that they make poor decisions.  If their bench strength is shallow or if they don’t practice the habit of always looking for top talent, the heat will beat them down.  The hotter it gets the more likely they will compromise their judgment and instinct.   This is exactly how “miss-hires” happen.  The overheated urgency to find a body, anybody, causes short circuits in the hiring process.

Managers can provide some always present shade when they approach recruiting as a process and not as an event.  This is especially important today as the search, and need, for top talent is getting hotter.  Managers who have a system to constantly identify and attract top talent will avoid the oppressive heat caused by open seats.

83% of People Say…

It’s common knowledge that referrals are the best way to build a successful business.  An online survey at Financial Advisor Magazine found that client referrals were cited by 43% of practitioners as the source of their best new clients. On-line networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook as well as blog sites like Word Press see an influx of individuals seeking adivce, connections, and referrals on a daily basis.

People feel more comfortable going into a business relationship with an unknown party if a friend or colleague has already begun to bridge the gap. In a study conducted by Forrester Research in 2008, they found that 83% of people would trust the opinion of a friend or acquaintance who has used the product or service. This statistic can transfer very easily into client referrals.

Health Career Professionals has recently launched the new Client Referral Program. This program is designed to encourage and reward those individuals who offer client referrals. Is there someone in your network we should be speaking with about jobs at their company? Has someone told you about a hard to fill position they are responsible for? Do you have a colleague in a new management position who is trying to build their team?

When you refer a new client and a person is successfully placed in a job at their company, Health Career Professionals will award you a $500 gift certificate or donate $500 to your favorite charity in your name.

Visit site for more details and to refer someone today!

Most Job Descriptions are Turn-Offs

Have you read any of the jobs posted on job boards or company career pages?  Most of what I see doesn’t really describe the job at all.  What is does is describe the person the company wants to hire.  There is a real problem with this in that often times the person you really want to hire won’t fit the description!

Strategic Employers need to set a goal of only hiring high performance employees.  To maintain competitive edge and profitability they have to attract, select, and retain the best people.   With or without a recession, it will be getting harder to find these people.  One reason is the labor pool of top talent is shrinking.  Another is that top talent is rarely looking for your jobs.  They will not see your job description and, if it is like most of the stuff posted, it will not entice them to respond.

A Strategic Employer attracts superior people by defining superior performance – not a set of selection criteria.  Results, which should be the main concern of a Strategic Employer, comes from performance, not skills and qualifications.  You want to find people who are competent and motivated to get the results you want.  They may not always match the skills and qualifications you list.  Ask yourself if you’d rather have a person who can get the job done with superior results or would you rather have a person who matched a set of skills and qualifications?  If you must compromise, do so with the skill match not on the performance.

When you write a job description to attract top performers, write about what they get to do.  Write about the performance expected.  Don’t focus so much on what they need to “have”, focus on the “results” they need to get.  Top performers will not want your job because they match the qualifying criteria.  They want the job because they get to do new and challenging things and achieve a higher level of results.

Strategic Employers know that they can’t attract, select, and retain the old way.  Attracting top talent means being focused on performance instead of qualifications. When you change to this approach you’ll increase the quality of talent you attract.

Retention Starts with Selection

Our firm is often called in when there is a hiring or turnover crisis.  Key positions in the company are going unfilled.  The domino impact of unfilled, key positions leads to lower productivity and to higher cost.  As productivity drops and costs start to increase, managers become more desperate to find a solution.  Unfortunately this desperation leads to making hasty and uninformed hiring decisions.  They will settle for “good enough” instead of the best.  This, then, starts the cycle all over again.  Poor hiring decisions lead to employee dissatisfaction.  This results in another vacancy in the job and on and on.

Too many employers look to recruiting as the sole response to retention.  “If only we could recruit better people then we wouldn’t have this turnover” or so the logic suggests.  I say – WRONG!  The solution is not always better recruiting, the solution is better selecting.  Only after you have a solid process to select the best will you then begin to address your retention problem.

Here’s an example.  I met with the senior executive at a medium size hospital system.  The executive easily recognized a retention problem, citing more than a 50% annual turnover in their hospitals C-level ranks.  A quick calculation found that this was likely costing the hospital system approximately $8 million annually in both hard and soft costs.  They were already throwing twelve separate recruiting firms at the problem, finding more people was not solving the problem.  Their recruiting contracts are such that they actually discourage firms from referring the best candidates.  Still they were able to attract some “good enough” people.   The retention problem could have been reduced somewhat  IF the company knew how to assess the candidates.  Although their recruiting strategy could use some work, the more immediate issue was in how they selected people to fill the ever-rotating positions.

Their selection process went something like this: After receiving a resume of a presumed “fit”, a quick telephone screen was conducted by member of the senior management team.  If the candidate sounded good, they were flown to company headquarters and met several other members of the senior executive team.  Afterwards the candidate returned home.  The top executive then asked those who met with the candidate what they thought.  As long as these five minute conversations were generally positive the company made a decision to hire the person!  Given the total costs involved, the impact of this decision was probably $400,000.

Each person who met the candidate had their own set of pet questions to ask.  Interviewers had likely first viewed the resume only a few minutes before the meeting.  Feedback from these interviews was anecdotal at best.  Does this sound familiar?  I’ll bet there was more consideration given to choosing a paper supplier than in hiring a new hospital CEO.

Structured selection does not have to be an onerous, over-engineered process.  What it does need to be is a consistent process, benchmarked against a standard set of criteria, and strictly followed by all involved.  The selection process must include, at a minimum, the following three elements — Objective Assessment, Credential Validation, and Cultural Consideration.
The Objective Assessment should be first benchmarked before any interviewing starts.  Only against an established benchmark does any objectivity enter the process. Either there is an objective fit or there isn’t.  Behavioral interviewing and assessment testing are tremendously powerful tools to create an Objective Assessment.

Credential Validation proves the resume and checks for candidate integrity.  This involves standardized reference checking, background screens, and other forms of validation.

Finally, Cultural Consideration allows the interview team to assess whether the person will blend into the organization.  Remember, you never want to blur someone onto the team.  They must understand the culture of the team and the company and it must be one that allows them to thrive.

Don’t throw resumes at your retention problems.  It is important to have a solid recruiting strategy, but that is not the only way to attack chronic turnover.  It is equally important to have a selection process that identifies the right person who is best for the job.  This will eliminate hiring desperation and introduce objectivity into the process.  If properly structured and implemented a selection strategy means fewer positions will need to be filled.  Begin to examine your selection process.  Is it objective?  Is it structured?  Does everyone on the interview team use the same methods?  Is your assessments bench-marked against a standard? If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions then you’ve got some work to do.

Richard Yadon, CPC, CERS, is the President and CEO of Health Career Professionals, LLC, a health care executive search, selection, and retention firm. To implement any of these strategies, please contact Richard at 866.371.0687 x.110.