In December I was at the ASHP (American Society for Health Systems Pharmacists) midyear meeting in Anaheim, CA. Over the years, their track relating to Pharmacy IT and Informatics has really expanded.
In between one of the sessions, I was in a conversation with a Director of Pharmacy and a Manager of Pharmacy Informatics. Both of them were talking about the technology initiatives their organizations had in place that were related to pharmacy and the medication management process. Once the discussion evolved into specific project plans and the specific go live dates, the conversation moved towards having the right people in place…both full time employees and consultants. Of course, it doesn’t seem like you can have a conversation about hiring healthcare IT employees without someone saying how hard it is to find the right people. So when both of them started telling me how hard it has been for them to find the right people, they were both a little shocked with my response…my response to them was, “Good people are easy to find.” I paused for effect and when they both stared at me like I was crazy I then said, “Good people are easy to find, they are just very hard to get hired.”
They both laughed as if I was stating some sort of a joke but after I elaborated they both realized that they fell into a bucket that many organizations are falling into today. Both of them had interviewed these “hard to find” people, which means that they were able to “find” potential candidates. But neither of them were able to get these candidates hired.
What these two hiring managers are beginning to realize is that there are plenty of good people willing to look at their positions…. but they have options. As we have all heard time and time again, there is a shortage of experienced people in the Healthcare IT marketplace. There are predictions that the industry will need up to an additional 50,000 people for the work that is projected to take place over the next 5 years.
Because of the many options Healthcare IT employees have today, organizations that truly want to compete for the experienced people have to have a plan. The first part of that plan is to create a job that candidates are going to find appealing. Most organizations create a job based upon the skill and experience that is necessary to get tasks accomplished within a certain role. Along with this, thought and design has to be given to making the position appealing for the people you are trying to attract.
If your organization is interviewing people only to find that they are accepting offers from other companies, your organization is not doing as good a job as the others.
Generally speaking, when making career decisions, candidates evaluate opportunities in 6 broad categories:
Challenge – This is the degree to which the candidate will feel challenged in the position. The question here becomes, how to find someone that is qualified to do the job without having them have to do the same job they have been doing for an extended period of time.
Location – The location of the position can range from whether or not someone is willing to relocate to how long a commute will be on a daily basis.
Advancement – This comes in two forms. One is the ability to advance into positions higher up in an organization. For others this can simply mean advancing in their overall knowledge and experience within the same position.
Money – This is different for everyone but covers salary, bonus potential and the variety of benefits that can be offered.
People – This includes culture of the organization, but more specifically, who the candidate will be working with and who they will be working for. Studies have shown that the main factor for candidates in accepting a position is directly proportionate to how they feel their relationship will be with the person they will be working for.
Security – This is directly tied to the stability of the organization as well as the position. This is very important in today’s marketplace given the amount of layoffs that have taken place over the last two years.
The next time your organization has a critical position to fill, review the six categories above and decide where you can offer something that other organizations cannot and, if necessary, make adjustments so that your opportunities will stand out. By looking at these areas and making adjustments prior to beginning your interviewing process, you can turn very average looking positions into positions that will be very appealing!