A leadership vacancy is costly in all areas of your organization. When you are in need of a new executive, there is a tendency to value speed over all else; organizations want to get new leaders in place as quickly as possible to mitigate their cost and their risk. While this philosophy is understandable, it can lead to additional challenges.
Whether you have a leadership vacancy because of turnover or you are simply expanding your team, there is a critical process to follow before you begin your recruitment. Bringing candidates in the door quickly may seem like the ultimate goal, but laying the groundwork for success before you jump in will ensure your new leader adds value to your organization.
To put your team on the right path, ask these questions:
1) How does this role fit into the long-term goals of the organization? If a leader has vacated a position, it is tempting to look for a new executive to simply step into that role. And, when adding a new position, it is common for organizations to use existing leadership job descriptions to create their new role. Both of these practices bring serious pitfalls. Before you draft a position overview, job description or post an open position, look at the big picture and figure out how this role fits into the organization. How will this leader get you closer to your long-term strategic goals? How can you improve the scope of this position to better support the organization? Once you have a clear picture of how this executive will fit in, you can craft the role specifically to add the most value.
2) What are our needs versus our 'like to haves'? A lengthy resume and a list of accomplishments may be impressive in a candidate, but if you don’t know what you are looking for, you can’t identify which accomplishments are actually relevant. Before you begin, narrow down what skills, experience and leadership style you want in a candidate; set your standards for what you will must have and where you are willing to compromise for the right fit.
3) What are the soft skills this leader should bring? Soft skills are quickly becoming a necessity for healthcare executives and it is important to know what would add value to your team. Considering your organizational culture, your goals and the make-up of your current leadership team, you must identify which skills would compliment what you have in place and which skills can help take you where you want to go.
4) How will the success of this role be measured? This step is crucial for both the candidate and for the role going forward. Establishing clear goals, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) for the position ensures the leadership team and the new executive all measure success in the same manner. These tools can also aide in recruitment by painting a clear picture for perspective candidates about the scope and expectations of the position.
5) How will we support the goals of this role as an organization? Retaining talented leaders is vital to the long-term success of any healthcare organization, so it is critical to build support into the framework of the role to help your new executive thrive. Plan a structured on-boarding process, identify checkpoints for training, create avenues for the new leader to learn about the culture and ask for questions and feedback frequently. These steps will help to create a true partnership between the new leader and the organization.