As leaders, you make no more important business decisions than those around personnel. In most cases, you join a hospital or health system that has an IT team in place. Over time, you dismiss those who won’t buy into your system or adhere to your work ethic, promote those who do, and bring in new folks that, seemingly, “get it.” I say seemingly because no one gets it right 100 percent of the time. And, unfortunately, when the marriage gets off to a rocky start, it takes a lot of time and energy to set it right. If it turns out to simply have been a bad match, speedy divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences is the best solution.
Of course, divorces are time and resource consuming, so picking the right teammate is worth an even larger portion of your time than most devote to the process. There seems to be a temptation for busy executives to pass off the hiring process to HR, rather than truly partner with that department. Of course, everyone wants to enlarge their turf, so HR grasping for more control of the process is natural, though not beneficial. As the executive for whom the prospective employee will work, you will get as much or little out of them as you invest in their selection, so invest copiously and personally.
Though all employees can have an impact, it’s in the smaller organizations where one individual can make or break the enterprise. How can one be sure to get it right? Here are some criteria that make for an easy decision:
- You’ve worked with the person before
- They have experience with the exact type of work you’re asking them to do
- They work as well independently as collaboratively
- They have superior attention to detail
- You implicitly trust them in every way
- They have a stronger work ethic than you could ever hope to instill in them
- You are proud to have them on your team
I’ve been thinking about the principles that go into hiring and expanding one’s team because, after almost two years as the founder and sole operator of healthsystemCIO.com, I’ve done just that. I’m phenomenally pleased and proud to announce that Kate Huvane Gamble has joined the publication as managing editor. And, guess what — she fits all the aforementioned criteria, and then some.
You see, this the second time I’m hiring Kate, the first time being in January 2008 at Healthcare Informatics. By the time I left in January 2010, Kate had been promoted (as per my recommendation) to associate managing editor. From the first moment I conceived of founding healthsystemCIO.com, my vision for growth had Kate right at the center. Having worked in the industry, interviewed dozens upon dozens of hospital and health system CIOs, and embodied such an outstanding work ethic, there really was no other choice.
Luckily for me (and you as readers), the stars recently lined up making the reunion possible. Yesterday, her first day, is a significant day in my life, hers, and the growth of healthsystemCIO.com.
As much as I hope you do, I look forward to listening to her CIO interviews, reading her commentaries (Kate love sports analogies as much as I do historical ones), and seeing the overall positive impact I know she’ll have on the publication.
As I said, new hires can make or break your team. While there is no foolproof method for bringing on the right person, I can say with 100 percent certainty that Kate Huvane Gamble was the best, the only, choice for me. Welcome aboard Kate!