Judging by the volume of inquiries and applications to recent job postings, many health system CIOs are looking for better, different or new opportunities. The competition is strong, and knowing how to work effectively with a retained executive recruiter will help you in your career. In Part I, I discussed types of recruiters, how to get noticed and questions you need to ask the recruiter. Part II will help you understand your role and the recruiter’s role as you go through a search process.
Getting to know you
If you are interested in a new CIO opportunity, and have the capabilities to meet the needs of a client, several steps will happen that will need considerable time and commitment.
- Recruiter interviews
- Conduct one or several in-depth telephone interviews with the recruiter before arranging a face-to-face meeting
- Meet with the recruiter either by video or face-to-face, usually for an hour and a half
If there appears to be a match, the recruiter will present you to the client, which may agree to interview you in-person.
- Client interviews
- Determine dates, agenda and travel arrangements with the recruiter.
- Be coached or prepped by the recruiter before going to the client site.
Be cautious of any search firm that skips these steps.
In-person interviews will give you a chance to judge the client environment and culture while being assessed by the hiring organization. Your feelings and insights are very important, so communicating with the recruiter right after an interview is completed. Candidates may call from the airport on the way home or send a descriptive email with their feedback and observations. Your gut reaction, positive or negative, is important to share. Clients will usually wait to communicate feedback until they see all the scheduled candidates. In some cases, I do receive feedback right after a visit and will call and share with candidates.
Handling the outcome of an interview
Feedback about the candidates after the client interview can lead to several outcomes: a follow-on-visit, an offer, or a rejection. When you work with a recruiter, he or she will be the bearer of the good/bad news.
- Consider your and your family’s interest in the opportunity. If it’s not right, don’t waste anyone’s time.
- Work with the recruiter to schedule the next visit which may include your spouse. You may also attend a social dinner with the client and receive real estate information during this visit.
- Work with the recruiter on your realistic expectations which can include base salary, expected bonus, relocation and other perks.
- Ask your recruiter to provide assistance in negotiating terms, salary, benefits and other issues.
- Handling rejection can be a learning experience, and your ability to take feedback and move on is important.
- Ask about other opportunities and plan to stay in touch and remain visible with the organization.
Finally, the healthcare IT industry is going through a revolution, and highly qualified CIOs are being hotly pursued. Many of you receive calls from recruiting firms all the time. If you do decide to work with a recruiter, and build a long-term relationship, seek those professionals who have a well-established process and who subscribe to rigorous ethical and professional standards.