There is a tremendous need for qualified health IT workers for provider organizations and vendors. The new 2013 HIMSS Workforce Survey gives a wonderful overview of Health IT hiring practices. What I am seeing at provider organizations are a few obstacles in the path of hiring.
Below are some tips on avoiding these challenges as well as best practices in hiring great IT leaders for your organization.
Job descriptions and salary
A well written job description or position specification can go a long way toward attracting qualified IT staff. Consider this a marketing document. You need to sell individuals in this competitive marketplace on your organization. When you are hiring a director or above position in healthcare IT, include these key sections in the job description:
- Overview of the organization, including mission, values, key facilities, etc.
- Position summary describing the key components of the job
- Description of the IT department and key technologies and vendors
- Reporting relationship and description of staff and key peers
- Responsibilities and qualifications for ideal candidates
- Specific goals and objectives for the first 12-18 months
- An overview of the merits of the local community (include web links)
- Contact information for applying
Seek current research on salaries. Health IT leadership positions are highly competitive, especially in the areas of clinical IT, business intelligence and data analytics; it’s critical that the salary falls into the appropriate range.
The hiring process will vary depending on whether you use an outside recruiter or the HR department, but either way, you want to treat all external and internal candidates to the same screening process. Let an applicant know quickly if he/she is not qualified. Use phone screening as a way to determine the candidate’s viability for the position. Ask key questions like:
- Why are you interested in this position?
- Are there any relocation issues?
- Describe your responsibilities and give examples of key accomplishments and how they compare to the goals and objectives for this position.
- What title do you report to and how would you describe your organizational structure?
After identifying potential candidates, move on to in-person or video meetings to further qualify the candidate. Verify education and employment and checking on three to five business references.
Attracting top talent in this competitive healthcare IT industry can be frustrating. The pool of qualified individuals who are willing to move for a given salary can be small. Once you have a slate of qualified candidates, move quickly to schedule on-site interviews, since other opportunities and offers can draw top candidates away.
Good luck in your hiring this fall!