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  • Writer's pictureJohn Kiernan

5 Tips to Improve Executive Search Outcomes

Updated: Jan 10, 2019

Healthcare organizations seeking to hire their next “star” are facing challenges. High performers are in demand, and they are evaluating new opportunities with heightened caution and scrutiny. The rapid change in healthcare has influenced the candidate mind-set and the degree of risk healthcare leaders are willing to assume related to career decisions. Industry consolidation, market uncertainty, and a rebalancing of priorities have become counter-incentives to career change. Retention efforts by employers are also on the rise and can derail a successful recruitment process.

As a hiring organization, what can you do to improve the results of your search?

  1. Get your CEO and senior leadership involved early. Rethink the traditional approach of reserving the CEO meeting as a final step for the candidate. Feedback from candidates has revealed that the CEO is frequently an organization’s most effective recruiter. Establish this connection early and it will impress and deeply engage your candidate.

  2. Create the Ideal Candidate Experience. Once you’ve identified and pre-qualified a strong potential candidate, make certain the next step builds a positive impression. Take simple actions to set a welcoming tone: Forward directions and an interview agenda to the candidate in advance of the interview and designate a point of contact; Greet the candidate upon arrival; Prepare, organize and focus your interview team; Encourage transparency in your discussions with the candidate.

  3. Manage the Pace. Be mindful that the positive interest established between your organization and the candidate during the interview may diminish if they do not receive timely feedback. As the search process unfolds, communication becomes more critical. The longer your process, the greater risk a candidate will begin exploring alternate options, assume they are not “the one,” or simply lose interest. Conversely, if you move too quickly to offer a job to a strong candidate, it may be perceived as a “red flag.”

  4. Prioritize Feedback. Providing feedback to candidates is critical and often neglected or over-simplified. Telling your candidate “we liked you” or “it went well” is not sufficient. As an organization competing for talent, you have an opportunity to lock-in the interest of the candidate by offering some specifics and thoughtful assessment. If you are working with a search consultant or in-house recruiter, provide a detailed debriefing of each candidate interview. It will enhance the level of trust and communication with the candidate, and help to fine tune the efforts of your search team.

  5. Finish Strong. When you offer the job to your top candidate, follow up your verbal offer with a written offer of employment immediately. Include benefits, relocation assistance, and any other important details to complete the offer package. Uncover any issues or potential roadblocks to acceptance, including the potential of a counter-offer. Follow up with all of the candidates you interviewed and be certain to thank all who supported the search.


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