This may be your year for investigating a new CIO opportunity, as new or replacement CIO roles are opening up across the country. The “healthcare CIO” role continues to expand and change. The titles, responsibilities, and reporting structures will vary for each different CIO position. If you have not been part of a search process recently — or ever — what can you expect? Here are some navigational tools to help get you through the CIO search process.
Are you qualified?
Applying for a CIO job posting or sending in your resume to a recruiter or hiring organization is usually the first step in the process. There will be specific requirements and qualifications that the recruiter or hiring organization will be looking for. Request the full position description; do not rely on just an ad or posting to understand the key criteria. If you meet most or all of the qualifications, you may be able to move to the next step. If not, leave a great impression, ask to be notified of any future opportunities, and consider it a learning experience. Ask for feedback on why your background did not meet the criteria.
Speaking with the recruiter or hiring organization by phone is the next step. It can take from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. There will be specific questions about:
- Key accomplishments
- Management/leadership style
- Staff and areas of responsibility
- Reasons why you left previous employers
- Reasons why you are interested in the position
The conversation should end with a decision as to whether you move forward to the next step. If there is no decision, your candidacy may be pending further discussion and there may be a waiting period.
Preliminary interviews and verification
Great news, if you have been asked to advance in the process. Additional information will be needed from you, such as:
- Education and employment verification by an outside service
- Business references, at least three to five names of bosses, colleagues, or staff
- Video or in-person interviews will be scheduled
- Preliminary phone interviews at the organization may be scheduled
After passing this step, expect to be presented to the hiring manager or selection committee. Onsite meetings will then be scheduled.
Interviews and negotiating
Getting to this step is your goal in the search process. What can you expect at this stage? Up until this point, the steps may have progressed quickly. Do not expect swift movement now. The complexity of scheduling onsite interviews with key executives can take weeks and even months. Prepare yourself in the meantime.
- Research the organization, key executives, and locations
- Ask for organizational charts and benefit information
- Practice your answers to the key questions
- Stay in touch with calls and emails to express your interest
- Understand what you would do in the first 60 days
After an initial interview, ask for feedback, and share your feedback. Be sure to thank your hosts. If you are one of the finalists, expect to be asked back for a realtor visit, additional interviews, and perhaps a dinner. Be ready to discuss salary expectations, start date and relocation needs, and other onboarding needs.
If you do not go forward in the search process, consider it a valuable learning experience. Be proactive and ask for feedback, and review your goals. You will be able to enter the next search process better prepared and ready to take on a new opportunity.