Did You Think It Would Be This Crazy?

This week our firm took on a project for multiple hires with a health system that we have not worked with before (it’s always exciting when taking on new clients).  This new client, like many healthcare organizations across the country, has been and continues to embark on very ambitious projects.  This organization has an unarguable track record of fantastic accomplishments.

Like most organizations, they have what they thought were pros and cons to their organization (of course more pros than cons).  As we were going over what the organization is like to work for (the culture), one of the leaders of the IT organization said to me,  “How do you tell people this place can be like insanity?”.  My response was,  “You tell them this place can be like insanity!”  The person laughed because we both knew he was looking for a more attractive way to express something that could be interpreted as a bad thing.

I asked him how his team felt about working there.  He told me the average tenure of his team was 7 years and he thought they were happy and found it a great place to be a part of.  I asked him if he thought his team would describe the organization the same way.  He felt for the most part they would.

In my opinion, he should share his exact thoughts of the organization with the words that came straight from his gut. This position was going to report to him and the person he hires should know exactly how he would describe it!

A GREAT hiring process is not only about finding and attracting the “right” people to your organization, it’s also about ELIMINATING the “wrong” people from joining your organization.

With demand picking up for certain skills in the market, some organizations are so thrilled to find a person with the right skills and a good level of interest that they become a bit tentative on saying something – anything – that could diminish the interest of a viable top performer.  The definition of a “successful”  hire is not just getting someone to accept your offer, it’s keeping them as a valuable part of the team years down the road.

Saying things that will “scare” off the “wrong” person need to be integrated into different parts of your hiring process (so if they didn’t hear it once they won’t miss it additional times).  MOST people know this in concept, but fail to execute.

Now don’t get me wrong, you certainly have to discuss what’s great.  The hiring manager and the team members should share why they joined the organization and what keeps them there.

If a candidate asked this hiring manager, “What is your company like to work for?” and the hiring manager responded with, “Well let me tell you, at times it can be like downright insanity around here,”  the right person may laugh and say something like,  “Well I am sure used to that!” and will ask follow up questions looking for additional information.  The wrong person will either ask follow up questions and rule the company out or won’t ask any follow up questions.

What are your thoughts?

Has anyone been hired at a company where the true culture did not come across accurately during the interview process?

What do you think could have been different?

About the author

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David Kushan

David Kushan is the President of Healthcare IS and has spent the last 18 years of his career working in the Healthcare Information Technology industry assisting over 120 healthcare organizations nationwide. Visit www.HealthcareIS.com for Dave’s company blog, articles, podcasts and more.

2 Comments

  • I think everyone at one time or another has been hired into a company that has “sugar-coated” the environment or, maybe they were oblivious to the environment? Sometimes you’re hired into a great environment and shortly-there-after the company experiences Mgmt changes and your environment completely changes. The best thing to do when dealing with these types of situations is to take some time and seriously evaluate the your level of discomfort…. are you uncomfortable because you’re a “newbee”…and you need to figure out your place? Are you uncomfortable because you’re outside your area of expertise and need to ask for guidance? Or, are you uncomfortable because the culture is not a match for your moral or ethical standing? Your course of action will depend on the answers to those questions. Giving yourself some time to adapt to a new environment is important, but if you have noticed things that aren’t in line with your moral and ethical beliefs, its probably best to cut ties and find a new position.

  • Hi Cherie,

    I think your suggestions are right on the money. Since management changes are something that most people are going to have to deal with at one time or another, the questions you list are a great starting point for evaluation.

    Thanks for sharing….

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