As little as six months ago, the world of healthcare information technology (HIT) was a veritable well of consulting jobs, and the well was filled to the brim. Now the well is running dry; there are a lot of reasons for the drought, but we won’t concern ourselves with those reasons right now. At the moment, what matters is that the well is running dry.
So how are HIT consultants responding? They’re digging new wells left and right without paying much, if any, attention to where they dig, or whether they should be digging at all.
If a well dries up, do you just start digging another one in the hope of hitting “pay dirt” again? Not at all! You need a strategy to find where the best place to dig the new well is — a strategy of how to dig the well, how to draw from the well efficiently, and how to keep the well as productive as possible. This type of digging takes more brains than brawn. The industry won’t need 100 people with shovels randomly digging, but a few companies that know how to find that prosperous well that will lead the way for our industry.
In the next few years or even months, the ones who can find the good wells are going to continue to hit “pay dirt” while others who relied on randomly digging in the past are going to come up empty. This industry is getting away from the model of hospitals looking to firms. Now firms are strategically aligning with hospitals and fighting to prove themselves as valuable commodities in the industry and, in particular, to that hospital.
If your company hasn’t begun this process, you may be left without a shovel. Hospitals don’t want just a contact at a firm anymore — they want someone they can rely on. As recruiters, success is going to come down to getting much more involved at your firm, so it is time to pick up a shovel and help find where to dig. Monitoring the pulse of this industry by speaking with candidates out in the field, we can help determine where a well needs to be dug, when it needs to be dug, and what the well will produce. Likewise, we can also keep an ear out for when a well has dried up and a move to another well is needed.
The shift away from 100 percent recruiting will be an adjustment for some, but a necessity for all. Stepping up and getting a lead for your sales staff is going to make or break your firm in this evolving industry. When I say “lead,” obviously the more information you can obtain to pass along the better, but I am sure sales will take what they can get. Recruiters will need to not only know the industry but the trends in the industry as well. It will no longer be enough just to know the applications on the financial and clinical side of an EMR, but also who has bought a particular EMR and even who is looking to buy what EMR.
You will fall short as a recruiter if you just focus on your next call and hope they will be a fit for your open position. It is time for recruiters to be viewed as industry experts and be relied on for more than just supplying talent. They need to be a guide to sales teams on where to dig in order to help the firm place talent where they are needed. This will involve asking the tough questions of candidates while making them aware that this is just the trend of the industry right now. Getting information from them will help you both in the long run. Knowing what project they just finished, what projects they have been on in the past, where they have interviewed, where they have been submitted, and, in general, their insights on the industry rumor mill will be necessary information. Everyone will not be willing participants, but asking the questions, getting the information when you can, and passing it along to your sales team will help your firm know where to dig and find that next well. We all have to keep in mind that as the industry evolves, the firms supplying hospitals with the right people will have to evolve right along with it.