LAS VEGAS—Without an efficient hiring process for IT staffing, said Suzanne Kosub, senior vice president and CIO, Concentra Health Services, Addison, Texas, you could lose good talent. Kosub spoke Feb. 23 on this topic during the 2012 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference.
“Competition is fierce,” she said, because supply and demand is shifting. “Especially in a larger healthcare [system], demand is growing every day for this IT talent.”
Kosub recommended that IT leaders make sure that the people interviewing candidates are “A players” because they will attract and hire people like them. She also suggested looking for people with scars on their back—those who experience implementing different platforms and “understand the pitfalls. Those folks are few and far between.”
Concentra’s hiring process used to involved several steps that resulted in “a lot of calories burned by IT pros.” As a result, Kosub created a partnership with IT staffing services company TechniSource to streamline the process. The firm posts jobs and conduct phone interviews. Since the partnership began, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based firm has gotten to know Concentra very well, having filled 112 positions over five years. “They have learned skill, will and cultural fit. You’ve got to calibrate your talent and make sure you have the right people on the bus.”
To find the right people, Kosub said, “I would challenge you to really think outside the box and openly challenge convention about recruiting.” To that end, Concentra implemented speed interviewing where three to five candidates have 20-minute interviews. She also discussed the organization’s panel interviews in which a supervisor, peer and subordinate interview the candidate. That really provides “a 360-degree view of that person to make sure we’re getting a good fit. If you don’t hire the right person, it costs a lot of time and money.”
Kosub also used Technisource to help her move Concentra’s technology tools from Tampa to Dallas. “I’m a big fan of aligning technology centrally because you get a velocity of information sharing and collaboration that often doesn’t happen with disparate teams.” Technisource helped her make the move seamlessly with no degradation in service. Beyond the move, she also wanted to make the services better. “When you align yourself with a good partner, it’s amazing how they come to the table with you.” Technisource helped her implement best practices and cut staff.
The move “was a wildly successful story for Concentra and for our IT organization. That kind of success builds a lot of credibility with the executive team.”
Outsourcing your IT hiring can improve your recruiting capabilities and “take it to the next level,” Kosub said. “As technologists, we’re innovators and we should want to be better.”