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Attracting Talent by Offering Scalability

May 4, 2011
by Jennifer Prestigiacomo
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One key to a great IT team is to grow talent from within
In today’s fast-paced environment with new mandates and requirements for meaningful use, accountable care organizations, and now value-based purchasing raining down on the industry, attracting the right IT talent is key. Beyond competitive compensation, healthcare organizations are providing candidates with scalable opportunities according to healthcare IT recruiters.

“The jobs that are offered in this competitive space that we have, need to give people the ability to scale their current skill level,” says Tim Tolan, senior partner at Sanford Rose Associates Healthcare IT Practice. “People always want to grow.” In addition to being our resident career columnist, Tolan’s “Career Paths” column in Healthcare Informatics recently won the Best Regular Column award from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE). [For more, see Tim Tolan’s HCI Podcast]
 

 

Linda Hodges, SVP and Leader of Witt/Kieffer's IT Executive Search Practice, agrees that offering candidates opportunities to grow in this high stakes industry has never been more critical. “The other thing that some organizations are doing pretty aggressively to grow talent is to develop talent internally by putting in mentoring programs, and in some cases putting in training programs for people that are interested in transitioning from the clinical into something more IT-related,” Hodges says. [For more, see Linda Hodges’s HCI Podcast]

These shortages for top-ranked clinical informaticists and other healthcare IT leaders are why we’re convening these two recruiting leaders, as well as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center CMIO Dr. David Artz for a dedicated panel on this subject at the Healthcare Informatics Executive Summit. We at HCI also want to do our part to identify and share the success stories around clinical informaticist teams, which is why we are presenting the IT Innovation Advocate Award, in cooperation with AMDIS, at the Summit.

As you might have noticed, we’ve been offering short podcasts on our website from a variety of health IT luminaries like Tolan and Hodges. It’s just another way for us to provide you with the latest industry success stories from folks like Seth Foldy , M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC Public Health Informatics and Technology Program Office, David Riley , CONNECT initiative lead contractor and Owner of Enaptics, and Tina Buop, CIO, Muir Medical Group. Subscribe to our iTunes feed, to stay abreast of the HIT developments.


 

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Comments

Jennifer,
Great post. I have learned a lot from Tim over the years and join in on congratulating him on the well deserved recognition.

I've recently worked with Linda and her organization on a CMIO search that I think is very telling about "Attracting Talent by Offering Scalability." The punch line is that smart talent will be attracted by the presence of strong project management.

The reverse is also true. If it's clear that, for example, a CMIO role that needs to be filled because it was previously vacated for lack of project management, that position is clearly not scalable. Talented candidates will often look at your organizational structure and recent history and break the code in seconds. Scalability requires explicit, visible attention to the team. Trust, responsibility, and results follow team chemistry. Or, at least that's what Tim has pointed out to me!

Jennifer,

You are welcome. And, yes, the Summit is outstanding.

The talent, skills and time to program manage all of the projects within a multi-hospital system lead most organizations to form a PMO, a Program Management Office.

Establishing and maintaining relationships over the dozens of months involved in an enterprise implementation is a related but separate job and has an independent risks. Putting both jobs on one CIO or CMIO is a recipe for failure.

Staffing for success can cost more up front.  It's critical for talent to scale.

Thanks Joe for that explanation!

Joe: Thanks for your comments! Question- are there special HIT PM positions or is project management rolled up into the CIO or other senior IT role, and what types of organizations have a dedicated PM position? Hope you're having fun at the HCI Executive Summit this week!

PaddleWheel: I totally agree with you about always looking for growth. That's definitely what has been the main reason for me leaving previous roles.

Jennifer, I encapsulate Tim Tolan's remark, "People always want to grow." I am a student in the HIT world (transferring over from a different field), and I will be looking for not only a company that compensates well, but one that will stand behind their employees and work with them to give them the keys to success. Not a company or organization which has a good facade but not the backbone to uphold it. If there is not the potential to grow one's skills, one gets stagnant.

Jennifer Presti...