How Healthcare Organizations Can Attract Top Executive Talent

Attract Talent
Cejka Search
November 25, 2020 03:08 AM (GMT-04:00)
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Healthcare organizations can boost their appeal to executive-level candidates, thereby increasing the likelihood of securing an ideal match.

High Demand for Healthcare Executive Talent

In a difficult time for the industry, healthcare executive leadership talent is in higher demand than ever. Across the industry, many professionals who would otherwise be prospective candidates are choosing to remain at their organizations to help their teams ride out the pandemic. Further, social distancing has halted in-person events, which often serve as prime networking opportunities for meeting interested parties. Moreover, in response to COVID, executives may be tempted to leave the healthcare field and turn to leadership opportunities within other industries.

With executive leadership talent in such high demand, it is critical now more than ever that healthcare organizations make a positive impression on potential candidates for their key leadership roles. Locating highly qualified candidates for a c-level or other leadership position can, of course, be a complex and time-consuming process for current organization leaders dealing with the fast pace of day-to-day operations compounded by the demands of the pandemic.

Obstacles to Attracting Top Executive Candidates

Health leaders who have filled executive leadership positions are familiar with the challenges and implications of the process and hiring decisions.

Methods for Attracting Top-Level Healthcare Executive Candidates

  • There is fierce competition for high-level executive candidates, and it’s not limited to other healthcare organizations: According to the Advisory Board Annual Healthcare CEO Survey, “Private equity firms, health plans, retailers, and technology companies are all vying with hospitals and health systems for physician talent and are fueling unprecedented competition in the market for physician partners.”
  • There is a need for new skills and roles among senior leaders “due to pressure of doing more with less, the rapid pace of mergers and acquisitions creating more and larger health systems, a rise in consumerism among patients, the increased focus on population health management, the increased complexity of insurance products and the rapid pace of advancements in healthcare technology,” according to the American College of Healthcare Executives’ white paper, What Healthcare Leaders Should Know About Recruiting Senior Executives: Lessons from Executive Search Firms.
  • Decision-makers and recruiters have found it challenging to engage effective leadership candidates, those who can “influence with integrity…demonstrate ability to engage staff…be a master of systems…and instill customer service orientation in the organization.” (ACHE)
  • An executive mis-hire can be a costly investment. A poor leadership hiring decision can be a drag on the resources, reputation, productivity, performance, value, and morale of an organization.
  • The executive search process can be time-consuming, and exceptionally so without the assistance of a skilled executive recruitment firm.
  • The hiring organization may not be making the best possible impression,. Busy leaders may not have considered how they can make the organization most attractive to candidates who can be an asset to the team and help lead the facility into the future.

Methods for Attracting Top-Level Healthcare Executive Candidates

Reflecting on key areas to ensure your organization is positioned as an employer of choice is a critical first step in the recruitment process. Here are some areas of focus healthcare leaders should consider for attracting best-in-class professionals and selling them on the strengths of the organization:

Tempt them with compensation and perks

  • Offer competitive salary and benefits, based on the most current compensation benchmarks
  • Implement incentive plans for raising HCAHPS scores, patient scores, market share, revenue goals (Health Leaders Media)
  • Prepare competitive packages for relocation, movers, travel, shipping, temporary housing, and/or realtors
  • Focus on the benefits of the location, including schools, entertainment, geographic features, leisure; if the location is less desirable, boost other elements of the hiring package
  • Communicate perks that improve work-life balance, such as wellness programs, gym, etc.

Appeal to their goals for professional growth and personal reward

  • Provide leadership support, training, mentorship, review, and feedback
  • Feature opportunities for professional development, continuing education, awards, accolades, and advancement
  • Focus not only on extrinsic motivators but also mission-based intrinsic rewards like caring for underserved populations, community involvement, etc.

Attract them by featuring the organization’s top assets

  • Highlight the organization’s strengths, such as low employee turnover, strong performance metrics, or standardized best practices
  • Describe the organization’s achievements in innovation and technology, or if lacking, convey the vision for the candidate to participate or lead in these efforts
  • Make a positive impression and convey pride when describing the organization’s vision, mission, brand, and culture
  • Share the organization’s diversity and equity goals and follow them when hiring at the executive level
  • Discuss the organization’s reputation, networking, relationships, and partnerships within the industry and community

Be clear and honest in conveying intentions and expectations

  • Maintain transparency, especially regarding the impacts of COVID on the organization (American Hospital Association)
  • Convey plans for growth, increasing revenue, expansion, mergers, acquisitions, or partnerships
  • Communicate common goal for aligned senior leadership (Becker’s Hospital Review)
  • Describe tools available to accomplish what is needed in line with the position
  • Review organization’s social media, website, online presence, and reviews, and polish, if needed

Top-level candidates are attracted to organizations whose leaders believe in the vision and convey that enthusiasm during interviews and meetings. With attention to highlighting these organizational facets and partnership with a skilled healthcare executive recruitment team, health leaders are much more likely to find just the right match for the job.

Get expert guidance and counsel throughout the full leadership recruitment cycle for your organization with Cejka Search.

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