Leading Healthcare with Healthcare Leaders
Leading Healthcare with Healthcare Leaders

MSA Search BlogInsights from over 30 years of Healthcare Executive Search

The Forgotten Clients

By Denise Riebe, Business Development & Marketing Specialist, MSA Executive Search

What I’m referring to is our internal clients—our fellow employees.

This internal customer can be someone you work for as well as someone who works for you. At first, you may think that because they work for you, you might always be their internal customer. Wrong! While the support staff is dependent on the leader to get them the right information and training so they can do the best job possible, the leader is just as dependent on their support staff to assist with their responsibilities.

If we are truly committed to maintaining the highest level of external client satisfaction, people in all roles within the organization must understand how their work impacts the level of customer satisfaction. If we assist our colleagues with doing their jobs more successfully, our organization, as a whole, will be more successful.

No organization wants its employees to think that their only job is to do what others instruct them to do. Employees should be made aware of their coworkers’ and leaders’ roles, and how their own position affects the success of that role. With that knowledge, employees will have a sharper understanding of their importance to the organization and why their efforts are necessary. 

In the end, a simple, genuine "thank you" goes a long way in creating an atmosphere of team collaboration and contribution more than one could imagine. Even when an assigned duty is part of a person's role, tell them "thank you.” Let them know how much they are appreciated and how the work they do contributes to the overall success of the organization.

Social Media and Employment Matters: Developing a Positive & Professional Online Presence

By Kim Kueser, Senior Consultant, MSA Executive Search

Do potential employers make hiring decisions based on social media? How can you ensure your presence doesn’t harm your chances of landing your dream job?

Social media sites rank as the number one Internet activity worldwide. Several of the most popular social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Flickr, and YouTube. Approximately 70% of all US Internet users are active on one or more social media sites, up from a mere 8% in 2005. More than 65% of the US population uses Facebook, and Twitter is growing 80% each year.

What does this mean for you as a prospective candidate? Your potential employer is likely active on social media sites as well. Nearly 50% of recruiters state they have rejected candidates based on inappropriate content found through performing Internet research. See below for some tips on how to use this to your advantage.

WHAT NOT TO DO:

  • Post inappropriate pictures or comments—This includes information regarding drinking and/or drug use, profanity, and more. Instead, present yourself in a professional manner.
  • Write negative comments about previous employers—This will portray you in a bad light to a potential employer. Instead, keep it positive.
  • Use improper grammar—Poor communication skills result in a negative impression.
  • Share your opinion on controversial subjects—Strong views on politics, religion, or discriminatory remarks are terrible ways to exclude yourself as a candidate.
  • Contradict yourself—Be honest on your resume and social networking sites such as LinkedIn.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Your LinkedIn profile is of the utmost importance—Make sure your online presence presents yourself as someone who is knowledgeable, and up-to-date on industry trends and topics.
  • Research—Use popular social media sites to learn more about the hiring manager, recruiter, and anyone else you may be interviewing with. This will often allow you an opportunity to discuss common interests (sports teams, alma maters, etc.) or to compliment them on an article or blog they have published.
  • Google yourself—You may be surprised by what you find. Savvy recruiters can often uncover photos and comments from years ago.

Five Key Questions Hiring Executives Should Ask When Beginning a Search

By John Lenihan, Consultant, MSA Executive Search

How can talent acquisition professionals prevent candidate misfit scenarios (refer to Common Reasons for Candidate Misfits) from happening to ensure a successful hire and long-term placement? The first step is a thorough conversation with the hiring executive to understand as much as possible at the beginning before diving into the recruitment process.

 The following are five examples of questions the hiring executive should be prepared to answer when starting a search along with a tip for each.

Question 1: Why is this position vacant?

- Tip: As obvious as this question seems, the answer is not always so simple. Whether the predecessor was terminated or voluntarily left the organization, it is important to take a step back and examine the factors that led to this vacancy in an open and honest manner. 

Question 2: Whose input is most important when describing the “ideal candidate?”

- Tip: Have conversations with stakeholders immediately to obtain their input before starting the search. Ideally, there will be consistency in the feedback, but it can also be helpful to uncover any disharmony or gaps in perception between stakeholders.  

Question 3:  What will success look like for this position?

- Tip: Identify several goals and objectives based on the areas of first-year emphasis for the position and department.

 Question 4: What are the obstacles to success for this position? 

- Tip: Determine roadblocks that may exist that would hinder the interviewee’s ability to achieve his or her goals in alignment with the identified goals and objectives. 

Question 5: What do you want to stop, start, and continue?  

- Tip: This question asks us to look at the past, present, and future of a position. Use it to identify problem areas from the predecessor—areas in which the predecessor performed well that you’d like to see the successor continue, and new strengths you’d like to see the successor acquire.

Building Physician Leadership

By Rita Johnson, Vice President, MSA Executive Search

Today, physicians are going back to school to get their MBAs, and the pool of potential leadership candidates is expanding. And while that education is absolutely valuable, especially among individuals who may have never taken a business class as an undergraduate or graduate, the MBA does not guarantee success. In fact, personality is by far the number one predictor of leadership success. So, what are the personality characteristics that best predict success? 

  • Emotional Intelligence: It doesn’t matter how bright an individual is, if they are highly emotional, rigid, or difficult to work with, they will not be considered successful. To be a viable leadership candidate, people must enjoy working with them.
  • Ability to Function Independently: A leader must be able to make decisions independently, take on and carry out various responsibilities. Most physicians are trained to follow protocols, and as such, not all may have confidence in their ability to make decisions in situations where there is no established procedure or precedent. In managing a division, a physician leader must be able to lead, by taking risks in pursuing a strategy and getting others to follow suit.
  • Perseverance: A successful leader must have perseverance and “stick to it” in the face of naysayers, as there will always be resistance to their initiatives.
  • Political and Business Acumen: Most physicians do not possess a high degree of business acumen. But with the right education, business acumen can often be learned. Political acumen, however, is a little more difficult to acquire from a class. Some people are innately attuned to certain political concerns in their environment, while others are turned off by political concerns. Ultimately, though, a successful leader must have some degree of political acumen.

How does an organization determine which physicians are best suited for a leadership role? If the physician has never served as a leader, the only reliable way to evaluate his or her predisposition to leadership is a personality assessment that looks at the characteristics previously discussed. Even if the physician has some leadership experience, however, a personality profile can still be exceedingly helpful, revealing the individual’s core leadership competencies regardless of the organizational culture.

Using LinkedIn Effectively as a Candidate

Emily Perkins, Recruiter, MSA Search

Are you actively or passively searching for a new role? LinkedIn is a great resource for candidates and recruiters, and trust me, recruiters are using it daily to source! As a candidate, LinkedIn is the perfect place to sell your talents and skills, but so many individuals don’t complete the profile or simply don’t use it at all. LinkedIn is an excellent professional resource, and you should be taking full advantage of everything it offers. Below are some tips to improve your LinkedIn page as a candidate.

  • Complete your profile. This may seem commonplace, but making sure your profile is complete is essential when trying to stand out in a competitive market--some people don’t do it! Tailor your profile to suit your needs and include how you would like to be communicated with, what you’re interested in hearing about or who you’re interested in connecting with, and don’t forget to include a picture (read Stand Out from the Crowd with Your LinkedIn Profile Picture). 
  • Write a headline and summary. This is your time to grab recruiters' attention--use keywords and tell people who you are and what you’re good at. This section will be the recruiters’ first impression of you, so take time to write it well and make it count!
  • Update your Background and Experience Section. Showcasing your experience in this section is as easy as copying and pasting information from your resume. This section is important for recruiters to be able to take a glance and get a good sense of your work experience and accomplishments. While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues for a couple of recommendations--they’re nice to have.
  • Don’t be afraid to connect. LinkedIn is your platform to build relationships with colleagues across the country. Join and participate in Groups, and connect with peers, colleagues, and recruiters. Establish a relationship with a couple of recruiters, introduce yourself and get the conversation going. Even if you’re not interested in making a career move now, the perfect job might come up and the recruiter will remember you.

By making a few simple changes to your profile, you change the way recruiters and colleagues view your experience. You’ll show up in more searches, and be more attractive to recruiters and employers. Don’t forget that social media is huge in today’s world--peers and employers are looking through everything. Be sure to check your privacy settings and keep everything private instead of public; keep this in mind when posting and sharing information as everything should be considered when making sure you put your best foot forward.

Common Reasons for Candidate Misfits

John Lenihan, Consultant, MSA Executive Search

We’ve all seen it happen before. An organization has a vacancy in a key leadership position and the hiring executive demands that recruitment to find a replacement begins immediately. The talent acquisition department provides several strong candidates, but for some reason, the recruitment drags on with no end in sight—either due to candidates withdrawing or the organization feeling like the candidates aren’t a good fit. Why is that?

Common reasons for candidate misfits:

  • Candidates may possess the minimum job description qualifications, but lack important knowledge, skills, and abilities that can’t be gleaned from a resume.
  • Candidates may be an ideal match from an experience standpoint, but their personal style and approach may not be a good fit for important stakeholders involved.
  • Candidates don’t feel they are given an accurate representation of the organization, the position itself, and the challenges they would face. The feedback from them would be that the opportunity was not advertised correctly and they ultimately decide not to pursue the position.
  • There is considerable disconnect in messages heard by candidates during their interview process that creates some concern—for example, opinions regarding the department or job responsibilities, which are vastly different from others in the organization. 
  • There are stark differences in feedback from those on the organization-side of the interview process—for example, one candidate connected strongly with the hiring executive but didn’t fare well with the staff. 

Any of the above examples can cause a stall in the search process. So, how can talent acquisition professionals prevent candidate misfit scenarios? Stay tuned for my next blog post, which will include key questions hiring executives should ask when beginning a search to ensure a successful hire and long-term placement.

 

I Am an Executive, Not Just a Candidate

By Jane Groves, Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor, MSA Executive Search

I have spent twenty three years of my career in healthcare as an executive search consultant, and another fourteen years before that in healthcare human resources leadership. I have sat on “three sides of the desk” in the area of executive recruiting--as the hiring executive, as the executive candidate, and as the executive search consultant. Although each seat requires a different set of skills and approaches, there are some common truths that I believe exist for us in each “seat":

  • We each have something to learn from the search process--neither party is actually in the “drivers’ seat." There should be mutual respect from the beginning that includes timely responses, advanced preparation for calls and interviews, full disclosure, and truth-telling.
  • Neither one of us should do all the talking.
  • A poor job profile can be as problematic as a poor resume in getting off to a good start in the executive search process.
  • Neither one of us should be on a pulpit with something to prove.
  • As an executive, a candidate, or a search consultant, it is our ability to communicate clearly, which makes a difference in a one- or two-hour interaction.
  • Whatever is “out there” on social media is a part of our story. No matter what seat we are in.
  • The more self-aware we are, the better we will be at determining if there is a good match.
  • This is executive work, requiring executive competencies, executive presence, and the highest standards of professionalism. 

In the end, no matter which "seat" you're sitting in right now, there are some commonalities for all involved--hiring executives, executive candidates, and executive search consultants. Recognize the role you play and the necessary steps to take in order to make it a smooth and successful process. 

Common Reasons for Candidate Misfits

John Lenihan, Consultant, MSA Executive Search

We’ve all seen it happen before. An organization has a vacancy in a key leadership position and the hiring executive demands that recruitment to find a replacement begins immediately. The talent acquisition department provides several strong candidates, but for some reason, the recruitment drags on with no end in sight—either due to candidates withdrawing or the organization feeling like the candidates aren’t a good fit. Why is that?

Common reasons for candidate misfits:

  • Candidates may possess the minimum job description qualifications, but lack important knowledge, skills, and abilities that can’t be gleaned from a resume.
  • Candidates may be an ideal match from an experience standpoint, but their personal style and approach may not be a good fit for important stakeholders involved.
  • Candidates don’t feel they are given an accurate representation of the organization, the position itself, and the challenges they would face. The feedback from them would be that the opportunity was not advertised correctly and they ultimately decide not to pursue the position.
  • There is considerable disconnect in messages heard by candidates during their interview process that creates some concern—for example, opinions regarding the department or job responsibilities, which are vastly different from others in the organization.
  • There are stark differences in feedback from those on the organization-side of the interview process—for example, one candidate connected strongly with the hiring executive but didn’t fare well with the staff.

Any of the above examples can cause a stall in the search process. So, how can talent acquisition professionals prevent candidate misfit scenarios? Stay tuned for my next blog post, which will include key questions hiring executives should ask when beginning a search to ensure a successful hire and long-term placement.

 

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