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Don’t Delay, Hire Today

May 29, 2015
by Tim Tolan
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Many in health IT are delaying interviewing great candidates and sitting on offers like it's 2008. Bad move.
Tim Tolan

I recognize that over the past seven to eight years most employers have enjoyed the luxury of being highly selective with candidates in the interview process, often controlling the timing of deciding on the finalist and actually making the offer. In addition, employers have also enjoyed the economic advantages of making ridiculous low-ball offers and loading new hires down with more responsibilities than they signed up for. That was then…and “my-oh-my” how things have changed. And suddenly; I might add.

The HIT market is definitely heating up and search firms are typically a leading indicator of the improvements in the market. This being measured by the pace of hiring and the number of new assignments they are working on, compared to the YTD activities of same period last year and the year before. It’s definitely much busier without a doubt. Here’s the problem, there are still hiring managers that don’t get it. Yes, there are still laggards that are delaying interviewing great candidates and sitting on offers like its 2008. Bad move. Really bad move. Here are several drivers that could hinder your efforts to hire great people, or if you want to capture, and hire the best talent for your team in 2015, and beyond:

SPEED: The market for HIT talent is very strong and both hospitals and software vendors have increased their hiring. It will only get harder to find great people if you don’t adopt a better process for evaluating candidates. While you are taking several months to hire – your competition is streamlining their process down to a few weeks.

LOW OFFERS: Stop trying to ask a candidate to change jobs, adopt a new culture and walk into the abyss for the same salary (or even worse – a lower salary) than they earn today. This strategy is broken in so many ways. I seem to think it’s a practice that was adopted circa 2008-2009 that is still relevant to some, but not to the masses. The market has changed. Get real.

PASSIVE CANDIDATES: To find someone who is happy with what they do, and comfortable with their career path, and income, and then convince them to take a chance on a new role where there are plenty of unknowns, requires a different way of hiring. If you are using a search firm or an internal recruiter, you have to understand these candidates are not unemployed and it takes some selling on your part to get them in the boat. Make the candidate experience noteworthy.

JOB HOPPERS: Before the market crash, the terrible events of 9/11 and the dotcom debacle in the early 2000-2001 timeframe, all of us avoided interviewing candidates with short stays at their last 1-2 career stops. Those candidates deserve a closer look on your part - and in many cases there is a real explanation for the short hops. You could be passing on a great candidate if you make assumptions before you interview them to learn more. It’s not always their fault that there was a reduction in force or organizational changes where they were negatively impacted. Be open. 

TALENT SHORTAGE: We’ve all seen the studies about the boomers retiring at a rate of 10,000/day and the dire predictions of a shortage. In March of 2015 over 500,000 high tech jobs were still open and unfilled. Those numbers will only grow over the coming months and years so by all means pay attention to the metrics and adjust your hiring strategy accordingly. Again, I’m sure your competition will be making aggressive changes to win the war on talent. Be ready to change.

Our industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the course of the last decade and the forecast for continued growth is exciting. To take advantage of that growth, don’t forget about protecting and growing one of your greatest assets. People.  

Tim Tolan is senior partner at Sanford Rose Associates-Healthcare IT Practice. He can be reached at or (904) 875-4787. His blog can be found at