Four Ways to Connect with a Recruiter

A common question I get is, “How do I talk to recruiters?” Treat the call like any conversation. Be genuine and interested. The primary goal of the conversation is to gain a partner in the search for your next position.

If you approach each conversation with a recruiter as an opportunity to create a partnership, build a relationship and make a genuine connection, you will see more job opportunities sent your direction.

Here are four tried and true ways to connect with recruiters:

  • Do your homework. Find out what you can about the recruiter and his/her organization. This will help you create a connecting point, or something you have in common. If that happens to be a mutual connection, be sure you find out the nature of their relationship before you name drop. You won’t do yourself any favors if you mention someone they don’t know or someone they don’t like.
  • Have a great value statement. Get their attention with your positive attitude and make them want to call you back. Before calling the recruiter go through your own resume/CV. What does a recruiter want to know about you and the organizations you’ve served? What makes you different from other candidates? The more specific that you can be by showing impact through measurable outcomes, the more weight it carries and the more memorable you become.
  • Always have some good open-ended questions ready. Seek their feedback and draw upon their experience within the industry. Ask them what they look for when identifying a strong candidate and deciding to move them forward. Let them know you are always looking for a way to present information to recruiters and hiring managers in the best, most efficient way possible and in the format they desire.
  • Determine your next steps. You may not get into a search, gain connections or helpful information from the recruiter during the call, but don’t let that stop you from creating your own follow-up plan. Mention to him/her that you will be checking in with them periodically and encourage them to do the same should an opportunity come across their desk that might be of interest. Cultivate and grow that sense of partnership between the two of you and under no circumstances do you want to be perceived as going around them to get to an opportunity they are representing.

It’s important to remember when working with recruiters that you are not their only prospect and while they have your information in their file, it is necessary for you to make the effort to reach out to them on a regular basis in order to stay in the top of their mind. There is no room for ego here, instead try to think of it as cultivating a genuine relationship and partnership so that they can effectively help you find the next job opportunity.

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How to make the hiring manager believe you are the best candidate for the job

As a job-seeker, one of our biggest pitfalls is failing to align ourselves properly with the position. Simply put, we use our language and not their language, otherwise known as the wording used within the job description. Your accomplishments and job experiences may fulfill all they are asking for and then some, but if you fail to communicate it in the organization’s words, your cover letter and resume are likely to get tossed aside and overlooked.

How to properly align your cover letter and resume with the job description.

  1. Read it. It may sound basic, but so many people don’t truly read. As you read it, highlight key responsibilities or recurring elements throughout the description. These are “their words” or the phrases that you need to use in your cover letter and resume.
  2. Next, tweak your cover letter and resume to include those critical elements. Use your existing accomplishments to support their words. Often it helps to use their language as headers and even bold them, creating a bulleted list of your accomplishments beneath it. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to see you are aligned perfectly for the position, even if you do not have the typical background.
  3. Also important is to close your cover letter with a short paragraph showing you identify with the mission and culture of the organization. You may or may not be able to glean this from the job description. If you can’t, do further research online and through your own network connections.

Aligning yourself with the job description may give you the edge you are looking for, effectively separating yourself from the competition. It also sends the message to the hiring manager that you have given their position thoughtful consideration by taking the time to cater to their organization specifically. You can bet this personal touch is noted and appreciated.

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Three Ways to Work With Recruiters

With over 15 years of executive search work and helping healthcare companies recruit, land and lead talent for their organizations, there are still things in the industry that surprise. One of those is the disconnect between the healthcare executive and the headhunter/search industry.

In this article I will share 3 Ways to Work with Recruiters.

  1. Get to know them before you need one
  2. Often, I get calls from healthcare leaders whom I have never had any prior contact with because they are now out of work due to a reduction in force, a merger or conflict with a board member and a myriad of other reasons.

    An old Chinese proverb states: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

    I have talked with thousands of healthcare leaders and I am always surprised when someone tells me this is their first real conversation with a headhunter. In today's fast changing healthcare world your network is key to your future success should you need to do a job search.

    Unfortunately, when an organization decides to do a RIF there is no loyalty to you even if you have spent the last 10 years giving 60 hours a week to the organization. Even when we as leaders expect loyalty from our employees we are willing to cut their legs out from under them when we must save money or our own job. (But I digress). This is a topic for another day.

    The point here; get to know recruiter(s). Even if you just took a new job continue to build your network. I have worked with executives who have taken a new position only to find out it is not the right fit; a board member decides they don't like them or the family isn't happy once they arrive and the need to extract from the situation sooner rather than later.

  3. Take or return their calls
  4. As I stated above, I get calls from leaders who I have never had a conversation. What I didn’t say is that I had never called them. As a headhunter my job is to network, get to know leaders and help you, or an organization find the right fit for an opening.

    I know what you are thinking here. I get way too many calls from recruiters to take or return a call. I am way too busy to speak with every headhunter that calls my office.

    Believe me, I understand this point, but see point number one.

    I am not saying you must return every call every time, but build relationships with more than one recruiter. How many? The number is up to you, but I suggest you have a relationship with 5 to 10 recruiters in the industry. Not all recruiters are the same. Some are transactional and don't want a relationship, they just want the placement, some treat candidates like a head of cattle and just like to run you through the process and some are relational and want to work with you long-term and build a relationship that serves you both to find a job and help you build your team should you need help.

    You need to talk with more than one or two to find the right match for your own personal style. And also understand it is impossible to know about every possible job in the marketplace, nor can we place you in a job if a company is already engaged with another firm, or is unwilling to pay us a fee for the introduction. Therefore, it is important to get to know many recruiters, and the only way you can do this is to return calls, or messages when appropriate.

    I learned, probably like you did growing up to treat others the way I want to be treated. However, I do my best to treat others better than I want to be treated…this is the platinum rule. Most recruiters worth their salt and who have been in this business more than a couple of years are fairly thick-skinned and take rejection pretty well, or they wouldn’t still be doing this kind of work, but I recommend when you can -- return their calls. You will know within a few minutes of conversation whether you can connect with this person or not, and if you don’t just be honest and tell them you prefer they not bother you anymore.

  5. Update your resume every six months and send to your recruiter contacts.
  6. If you are like me and most others I talk with in this business, it gets harder and harder to remember everything we have done or accomplished from one month to the next.

    I suggest every month you sit down and reflect on what you have done to move your team, departments and organization forward. Keep a running document or journal that is secure and saved frequently that you can update each month.

    Schedule an appointment with yourself every month to do this so you don't forget things and they never get added to your resume. I also suggest you do this with your team. I am a coach, and this is a great way to coach your individual team members each month and encourages them to keep working hard and reminds you of how hard they are working. Then guess what? When it is performance evaluation time you have already had 11 sessions with them to help you create their evaluations and now there are no surprises at the end of a year.

    If it is not put on the calendar it will not happen. Put this appointment on your schedule and your teams schedule every single month...you will thank me later!

    Once you have the information on your own personal journal document, then schedule a six-month appointment with yourself to update your resume with the best and most quantifiable information you have from the last six months. Then spend 30 minutes writing a personalized email to your recruiter contacts and attaching your resume.

    This doesn't mean you are looking for a job, it means you are watering the tree after you have planted the seed. You are growing your network before you need it.

    Learn more about mike at www.harbourresources.com

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Happy 4th of July!

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy
and safe Fourth of July

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Secrets to Successful Transition

Career transitions can be difficult. The more desirable your next position is, the more competition you will face to secure it.

The top priority of an applicant is to stand out from the crowd. Having a great resume and a strong interview is a great place to start. However, most overlook this simple practice that will cause you to stand out from all other applicants: Follow-Up.

First, you must understand how important follow-up is. A good interview followed by poor follow up will not serve you well. An average interview can be positively impacted by excellent follow-up.

The positive outcomes of post-interview follow-up:

  • Your resume gets shuffled to the top.
  • You demonstrate your level of interest.
  • If what you have provided is effective, you've increased the level of your candidacy.

During your interview process, connect with as many people as possible as it relates to a specific opening. When more people remember you, your chances of securing the position naturally increases. After the interview, it is your responsibility to keep each of those individuals updated throughout the process.

Get Creative

With an active search, the time frame for touch points/follow up should be a minimum of seven calendar days and a maximum of ten calendar days. Use a combination of the four levels of communication: face-to-face, telephone, text/email and regular mail. Everybody has their favorite on the receiving end, so try to mix it up a bit. Whatever combination of communication you choose, don't be afraid to let your personality show.

One of the biggest concerns for individuals in follow-ups beyond neglect is, "Will I be seen as a pest?" Remember, you only become a pest when your intervals of follow-up are too short and you're always requesting response. If you follow-up without forcing an agenda, they will be received very well.

Of course, I have only scratched the surface of effective active search follow-up. If you would like to learn more in-depth tips in finding success through active transition, please connect with me.

Here's to your success!

Jim

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Prepare Leaders for Long-Term Success

Wiederhold & Associates currently partners with healthcare systems to support their succession planning process. One organization we are working with is unique in their foresight in planning for critical impending retirements. They recognize the need to invest on a longer-term basis to prepare their leaders for future success. Joy W. Goldman RN, MS, PCC, PDC, Executive Director of Leadership Coaching is leading the charge.

"We not only want our clients to achieve their next career goals; we want them to excel and grow into the best leaders they can be. Now, more than ever, our world needs effective and values-driven leaders." - Joy W. Goldman

As we work with our client systems, we know that we need to leverage confidence AND humility; individual interests AND team interests; a centralized AND decentralized focus; safety AND risk. We challenge ourselves with these polarities as we challenge our clients and client systems.

"In working with one client, I took the risk of saying, 'It seems that you’ve been waiting for permission and approval to make a move. When are you going to take matters into your own hands and just act?' While difficult to hear, this challenge caused an empowering shift in the client. His words, after having time to process this, were: “I feel like a phoenix rising!” -Joy W. Goldman

Our mission is to groom and develop agile leadership that is able to intelligently navigate the challenges and changes that our industry is facing. We look forward to partnering with you as you strategize your succession strategy for long-term success.

Jim

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2016 Is Closing... Did You Accomplish Last Year’s New Year’s Resolution?

Whether it’s personal goals or career goals, we’ve all been there – setting aggressive and ambitious resolutions, chasing after it, hitting setbacks, and eventually become unmotivated to continue.

It is important to set goals, but if you measure success only by achieving your next goal, you probably have not accomplished as much as you would like. Willpower alone is usually not strong enough to overcome setbacks which ultimately result in failure.

Change of Focus, Change of Heart

Scott Adams, the creator of the immensely successful Dilbert Cartoons, reiterates a Wiederhold & Associates approach to finding success. He states, “When you approach life as a sequence of milestones to be achieved, you exist in a state of near-continuous failure. A system, by contrast, is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of success in the long run, regardless of the immediate outcome. People succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do.”

A simple shift in focus from goals to systems will ultimately help you find the success you have been longing to realize. The sense of accomplishment that comes from working the system each day creates a momentum that will carry you to the next goal. You may find yourself achieving goals faster than ever before with a new found personal invigoration.

As you plan your New Year’s Resolution, set your sights on implementing new systems for success instead of a milestone to be achieved. If you would like to discuss what systems could propel you the furthest fastest, give me a call. Together, we can map out a plan to that will put you in prime position to achieve your 2017 personal and career goals.

Here's to your success,

Jim

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Executive job seekers- why your Master’s degree and years of experience aren’t good enough

If you think your Master’s degree and experience alone will translate into landing that great executive job, you will likely find disappointment. Why? Simple - everyone else in the candidate pool has a Master’s degree and experience. You need to stand out from the crowd. How does one do this? By communicating your value proposition. What are you known for? What is your brand? What is your calling card? What measurable results are you known to achieve? These are the questions you must answer and clearly communicate in order to make yourself stand out in a sea of executives.

Don’t make recruiters and hiring managers figure things out on their own - it is up to you to communicate your brand, value, and worth. Don’t assume people read every word of your resume - they likely do not. You must stand out by communicating why you are valuable to an employer

How do you identify your value proposition? Ask others. Read your prior evaluations. Look at results in the following areas: service, quality, people, community, growth, finance. Identify themes in your resume.

Remember- organizations have problems and executives have solutions. Communicate your brand by communicating the types of solutions you’ve solved for your employers.

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Prepare for an A+ Interview

I've done a lot of interview coaching over the last 22 years. If I were to grade my clients' beginning interview skills, most people would have a starting grade somewhere below average. This is by no fault of their own. It is common to not do well on things that are not practiced.

Working with my clients, I can raise the interview grade from a 'C' to an 'A' by practicing these basic principals before, during and after the interview.

Pre-interview, you must focus on tactics that will brand you in the most positive way. The goal is to have those who interviewed you to say these three things about you:

  1. Excellent interpersonal skills
  2. Is results oriented
  3. Aligns well with the position

Creating this perception starts with preparation. Begin by understanding the five top critical elements of the opportunity so that you are able to address them with current experience and success. Also, develop an effective two-minute presentation which includes humanization, elevator, and your differentiation/value statement.
[ Click here to learn how to develop your 2-minute presentation.]

As you enter the interview, introduce yourself with confidence. Confidence, not arrogance, can set a positive perception from the beginning. As you engage in the interview, pay close attention to the person speaking and begin to mirror to match tempo, breathing, rate-of-speech, directness, etc. This makes each one comfortable with each other and sets the correct filter. Also, know exactly the statement you will make or the open-ended question you'll ask. By demonstrating your interpersonal skills, you give yourself the greatest opportunity to connect with and engage your audience.

When the interviewer engages with you, take your time to understand what is being said before you respond. Generally, people are so caught up in the world of listening to respond that we miss a vital part of the question. Answer questions concisely, close information gaps and enhance the answer when it adds value to the original thought. Always tell the truth but word it in a win-win presentation. This will provide consistency throughout the interview and keep you in a positive position.

Post interview, review how you did with the goal of improving for the next one. In order to lock in your follow up you need to ask yourself these following questions.

  • Did the interview go well? If so, specifically why?
  • What could I have done better?
  • What did they focus on?
  • What did I learn about them on a personal level?
  • What value did I bring to the interview?
  • What and when is my next step?

Imagine what would happen if you took the time to practice and prepare a well-executed interview. It could be a significant way to separate yourself from the crowd in a very competitive market!

If you would like more in-depth coaching to help you make the most out of your next interview, do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Here's to your success!

Jim

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Can your resume be understood in less than 10 seconds?

I advise executive clients for Wiederhold & Associates and I don’t read every word of every resume. Do you think every recruiter and hiring manager does? Chances are they are not. One recruiter told me he takes about 10 seconds to size up a resume. A good resume first and foremost needs to stand out. Many executives have the same tired, basic resume format they’ve been using for fifteen years. Many people think it’s safe to have a resume like everyone else’s- that is certainly true. However, if you want to stand out, your resume first has to stand out.

What makes a good resume? One that the reader can paint a clear picture for the reader within 10 seconds. Stand out. Clear value proposition. Numerical accomplishments that hit as many pillars as possible. As an executive I bring in expertise to the organization when called for, so why don’t more people hire professional resume writers? They, like I used to believe, think they can write their resume on their own. For a nominal investment you can have an expert market your most valuable money-making machine - you. Resumes change every 2-3 years and you and I are not experts in that field. Make it easy on yourself and hire a great resume writer to make your candidacy stand out and clarify your value proposition.

If you want your resume to stand out, contact Jim Wiederhold for professional guidance on crafting your own brand and value proposition.

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A Tribute to the American Worker

Labor Day means more than great BBQ and spending time with friends and family. For me, it is a celebration of American leadership, strength, and ingenuity.

In the days following World War II, when the economic strength and power of America was all that stood between the world and the return to the dark ages, Pope Pius XII said, "The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind."

Wiederhold & Associates joins in the national tribute to the American workers who have made contributions and achievements to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country and the world. Happy Labor Day!

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Throw Darts Not Hand Grenades

When interviewing, please keep in mind one simple rule- answer the question. An amazing number of people think that when they have the microphone (answering an interview question) they can talk as long as they want about whatever they want in an interview. This is understandable as candidates are excited and want to sell, however it’s a turn off to the interviewer.

Throw darts when interviewing- be concise, brief and use facts/numbers to support your answers. If they want more information, they will ask. Remember- the interviewer has a list of questions they want to get through. They can’t get through the interview if the candidate takes five minutes to answer every question. This is a major turnoff and it signals the candidate isn’t in tune with the employer’s needs.

To answer the question is to be a good listener. If someone asks you a yes/no question- answer with a yes or no answer. Listen intently to the words they are using and ask for clarification if need be. Don’t forget to mirror the interviewer- if s/he is a fast talker, then talk faster. If s/he is a slow talker, then slow down. The goal is to make a connection by listening and answering the question. Finally, only practice makes perfect when interviewing so practice with family, friends and colleagues and remember to throw darts, not hand grenades!

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Interview Advice; It's Not About You

I remember conducting an interview for a key leadership role and the candidate kept talking about results and accomplishments from their former job that did not correlate with our environment. We were turned off almost immediately. Remember - organizations have needs, people have skills. Your job is to clearly communicate that your skills are a match with the employer’s needs. You must fully understand why the organization is hiring for the position. What are the key skills and competencies needed? What are the measurable goals that define success?

When looking at a position, the first step is to obtain a copy of the position description and read it multiple times - highlighting pertinent sections that clearly demonstrate the reasons why the position exists (goals, skills, competencies). Organizations want to win- you help them win by clearly communicating how your skills are a good match to meet their needs. When speaking with the employer or recruiter, make sure to communicate your specific (numerical) career accomplishments that clearly demonstrate past success that match with the employer’s needs. Jobs exist to solve problems and meet needs- show them you can do both.

Matching your skills with an employer’s needs is nothing more than good listening. Make sure you understand the needs by reviewing the position description, taking notes when speaking with recruiters or hiring managers, and highlight your specific accomplishments that match their needs.

Check out this site for more help with sharpening your skills to match an employer’s needs.

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Do You Know Your Numbers?

Do you know your numbers? (not just finance)

“It’s a nice day outside.” Does this mean it’s 65 degrees, 75, 82? It depends on who you ask. Unless you ascribe a numerical measure to something it will never be fully clear to an audience. So many executives I advise are not fully clear when talking about their career accomplishments- I’ve been guilty of this as well. “We grew revenue and patient satisfaction improved when I was at XYZ Health System” or “We set up this corporation, joint venture, committee, etc.” These are simply not clear statements when compared to, “We grew revenue by 35% and our patient satisfaction improved from the 12th percentile to the 67th percentile” or “We started a new joint venture that grew market share by 34% and grew net revenue by 40%”.

Many comparisons have been made between the airline industry and healthcare. The pilot knows where the plane is going by following specific numerical coordinates. Do you know your X-Y? What was the origin and destination of your last journey? This is communicated simply by knowing your X-Y’s in one or more of the following areas: service, patient safety, quality, growth, service line development, finance, community benefit, market share, cost containment, productivity, physician or employee engagement, turnover, etc. When X-Y’s are communicated well it sounds like this… “When I was at XYZ health system our HCAHPs went from the 23rd percentile to the 78th percentile over 4 years” or “During my tenure we reduced RN turnover from 35% to 16% in three years.

Organizations want results. If you clearly communicate that you achieve results, your chances for success improve when looking for your next job. Contact www.wiederholdassoc.com for more information on learning how to communicate your “X-Y’s” and taking the next step in developing your career.

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Present Yourself Powerfully

To execute well in a network meeting or an interview, you must present yourself in a powerful way. As most of you are aware, the elevator speech has long been utilized as a tool in this area. This presentation focuses on who you are, what you've accomplished and where you're going. At Wiederhold & Associates, we have refined the elevator speech and taken it to a different level.

We call ours the "2-Minute Presentation", and when done correctly, will connect you to your audience as well as align you with the opportunity or the situation.

The 2-Minute Presentation should be as close to 2 minutes as possible, be modified to fit different audiences and contain three distinct components:

  • Humanization
  • Elevator
  • Differentiation

Basically, it's your elevator speech on steroids. Here's how it works.

Humanization

The goal is to make a connection. It's amazing what happens when you find a mutual connecting point to your audience. Remember, relationships are built on personal information, not business. Lastly, the power of the concept of "I, therefore, you." If I share something with you of a personal nature, you will feel compelled to share something with me. Connecting to people on a personal level is an essential part of both networking and interviewing.

Elevator

There are two key messages here:

  • My career moves are logical.
  • I'm clearly on the left side of the career bell curve and the best is yet to come.

The Differentiation Statement

The differentiation statement answers these two questions in a powerful way:

  • Why should I hire you?
  • What distinguishes you from other network connections or candidates?

Bring Your A-Game

Both networking and interviewing have become highly competitive. On top of that, people have limited time to give you. Bring your A-game with one of the most powerful tools you can put in your toolbox - a well developed 2-Minute Presentation.

Jim

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Landing Your Biggest Sale, Yourself!

Landing Your Biggest Sale, Yourself!

Facilitating a successful job transition and search is a complex and intensive process. I have found most healthcare executives are trained and focused in their healthcare leadership roles, but are not experienced nor educated on how to conduct a successful job search and transition.

Frankly, most tend not to be very good at it.

Why is that? Most of us are good at things we do most of the time. None of us would be very good golfers if we golfed every two years. Job transitions are just like that. Executives don't have the opportunity to practice these skills often and there is real value in finding a coach or a partner who can accelerate the process.

Let me share a case of an executive that had tried to go it alone in her job transition and learned that with the right coach, training and navigation she could be very successful in her transition. She had the wisdom to realize she needed guidance to be successful.

To give you some insight, the client was a very high-level executive in a large health system. She had been trying to find a position on her own for approximately two years without success. Her organization had merged with another system who had the stronger position in the merger. The position they had offered her was not at the level she had been at and she decided to move on. She began conducting her own search process and was not as successful as she wanted to be. Eventually, she reached out to me for transition coaching.

What did she learn:

  • I didn't know what I didn't know.
  • I was not familiar with the current market and how competitive it is.
  • My approach to networking was limited and therefore I didn't have a deep or substantial network.

What were her outcomes:

  • My perspective on networking changed; it's much bigger and deeper than I thought it was.
  • My relationship building skills improved.
  • My communication skills improved.
  • Jim as a coach was always available to me. Especially at high anxiety points.
  • I was shown how I could do things better in the process.
  • My goals for the transition needed to be broadened. I was often coached to add another needed step.

Working with this executive was a very rewarding journey for me because she had been out so long and was concerned about her ability to make a successful transition. We quickly moved her forward with the appropriate skills and were successful in helping her land a very good position. She was an excellent partner.

Transition and search is a very specific sales process – the process of selling yourself! With the right coaching, education and practice you can have a very successful result.

Here's to your success,

Jim

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Emerging Executive Positions in the Healthcare Industry

Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Population Health Officer and Chief Experience Officer are some of the titles increasingly emerging within the healthcare industry. In a survey of 323 clinical and human resources leaders from healthcare organizations nationwide, 16% of respondents indicated they were currently recruiting or planning to recruit leadership positions with titles such as VP of Patient Experience and Chief Experience Officer, to be in charge of patient experiences across health systems with the goal of sustaining and improving loyalty.

The survey, conducted by the Center for Professional Advancement at AMN Healthcare, captured responses across 37 quantitative and 15 qualitative areas. Chief Strategy Officers and similar roles are dedicated primarily to understanding and managing the cost/value proposition as well as the risk-to-payoff ratio for each strategy. Chief Population Health Officers and similar positions are focused on identifying disease trends and risk factors, and then ensuring programs are developed to address those factors.

Other roles are still emerging and will continue to develop, including Clinical Transformation Officer, which includes responsibilities for managing a healthcare system’s “transition from volume to value, including care infrastructure, staff management, IT changes, care continuum partner engagement and other duties tied to system reorganization.”

Healthcare firms are at the early stage of rolling out these new positions and responsibilities. According to the report, awareness of the need for these positions continues to build across the healthcare industry.

The 25-page report can be downloaded at: http://www.amnhealthcare.com/uploadedFiles/MainSite/Content/Workforce_Solutions/Survey-Emerging-Roles-in-Healthcare-2014.pdf
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Launching the three-legged stool by welcoming Debra Honey

Message from Jim Wiederhold, president of Wiederhold & Associates

As many of you are aware, we are in the transition business, career development and executive coaching. We believe that transition should be an holistic approach meaning not just getting people through the transition to the next opportunity but adding skills and knowledge that will make them even more productive in the next opportunity. We have been talking up for several months the introduction of three new programs. The first one is ready to launch and we want to make you aware of it. With the arrival of healthcare reform, we have developed the concept of the three-legged stool. Each one of these legs is extremely important for any healthcare executive to be successful in their careers. These are: quality, strategy and finance.

Our first program is focused on quality. The process will work as follows. Each individual that we work with at the appropriate level will be assessed by our expert. Once the assessment is completed and reviewed by our expert, she will meet with that individual by telephone one-on-one. During that meeting she will review their results and make suggestions that may include additional training in the area of quality. If any additional training is needed, this individual can create an agreement with our expert. The assessment part will fall under the Wiederhold & Associates program. Any additional training will be handled by the individual and our expert.

I do not think anyone can disagree that quality will be a major focus of healthcare reform and that anyone who lacks in that area will have his/her challenges. We are very fortunate that we have located an expert in this area who brings a long history of success in healthcare. Let me introduce you to Debra Honey.

Debra HoneyDebra Honey is a visionary Nurse Executive with more than 30 years of progressively responsible and diversified Nursing Leadership experience. She excels at leading healthcare transformational change initiatives and promoting impeccable standards of care within the industry.

Honey Consulting, Inc.
Debra is President of Honey Consulting, Inc., a progressive, hands-on consulting firm offering practical solutions for opportunities and issues facing healthcare organizations today. She provides expertise in nursing services, nursing operations leadership, and operations support to assist and facilitate improvements in performance and outcomes. Debra also provides Chief Nursing Executive coaching and interim Executive Nursing support.

Catholic Health Initiatives, Denver, CO
Debra was previously Vice President for Clinical Operations and Clinical Leadership Development for Catholic Health Initiatives, a national not-for-profit healthcare organization comprised of 68 U.S. hospitals located in 19 states. In this role, she was responsible for nursing clinical operational support for system initiatives and market based organizations. She served as the Executive responsible for system-wide strategy for and implementation of clinical competency programs including competency assessment and staff development for all hospitals. She was a valuable clinical resource on a diverse set of national work groups and task forces.

Signature Leadership Qualifications
Debra is a member of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow Program, 2008 cohort, and her diverse leadership experience and areas of expertise include:

  • Overall Clinical Operations
  • Medical Staff Operations
  • Performance Improvement
  • Board Communication & Collaboration
  • Quality and Safety Initiatives
  • Accreditation & Regulatory Compliance
  • Patient and Staff Satisfaction
  • Service Line Assessment & Optimization
  • Staff and Leadership Assessment, Development, & Coaching

She earned valuable direct patient care experience working as a clinical nurse in critical care, emergency services, and surgical services. In addition, Debra taught Nursing at the diploma, bachelor, and masters levels.

Education and Certifications
Debra earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She holds a Master of Science in Health Administration from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. She is a Registered Nurse in the states of Tennessee and California.

Debra prestigious healthcare certifications include:

  • CENP - Certified in Executive Nursing Practice, American Organization of Nurse Executives
  • FACHE - Fellow Status, American College of Healthcare Executives
  • CPHQ - Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality, Healthcare Quality Certification Board

The program that Debra Honey has designed for those individuals needing additional training in this area will include the assessment process, an individualized learning plan, the learning modules, individual coaching and consulting, and simulations.

The program is designed to be customizable to best meet the needs and goals of the individual executive. Gaining expanded competencies and quality and safety in healthcare provides a demonstrable competitive advantage to senior executives in the field.

If you have any questions or comments. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. On an additional note, we will offer Debra's services beyond just those individuals involved in the Wiederhold & Associates transition/career development program.

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Providing reassurance, new options and superior knowledge of the transition process

Kyle and I just returned from an eight-day engagement with an organization that will probably be purchased by a for-profit system. This particular hospital is faith-based and has been part of this community for a very long time. I have had the privilege of working with their VP of HR over the last 5+ years with individuals who transitioned out from this organization. He had the foresight to bring us in to work with his executive team and key vice presidents and directors facing an uncertain future. Our focus was to give reassurance, provide new options and give them superior knowledge of the transition process both external and internal. This involved two days of group sessions and 17 individual video interviews with specific feedback for each individual. This not only required a great deal of hours during the workday as well as many hours afterward burning these DVDs and preparing for the next day.

Our takeaways:

  • We made a difference. The journey may not always be what we want it to be, but knowing what will happen and how to prepare will make it that much easier. Going into this journey with a positive attitude makes it even better.
  • If the way these individuals welcomed us and went out of their way to make our visit comfortable is the way they treat their patients, then the next time I have to be in a hospital as a patient, this is the place I want to be.
  • Communication is the key on all levels. People can accept most anything when they are effectively communicated with in a timely manner, without information gaps, and with a focus on sending the right message.
  • You would think that 17 people would all look the same after a while, but they all had a unique story worth our attention. Those differences made it easy for us to not become repetitive in our counsel, but to find something unique for every individual. That made the experience even more exhilarating.
  • We all need to better understand the difference between what we can control and what we cannot. There are times that we have done all we can do and still the final outcome is not what we hoped. By not understanding this delicate balance we can do irreparable damage to ourselves and our careers.
  • What I have always know, but was again reinforced, is there is no more powerful relationship builder than the face-to-face meeting. Other communication options pale in comparison.
  • We can always continue to learn. Interviewing has always been the strongest part of my repertoire and doing these 17 interviews back-to-back I learned some things that will make me even more effective.
  • The leader sets the tone for the organization. His/her personality is reflected in the leadership team. The leader here, in my estimation, set the right tone.
  • These individuals and this organization have faced some serious challenges, much of which have been outside their control yet they have never given up. They have much to be proud of and I wish them the best and we will continue to help them in any way we can. With these individuals this is not the end, but a new beginning.

Both Kyle and I are returning home, feeling good about our efforts. We are hopeful that our newfound friends will end up exactly where they want to be.

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Controllable/non-controllable and desires/goals

Whether you're in transition or not, the concept of controllable versus non-controllable and desires versus goals is key to your success. When people are frustrated more than likely what they're doing is focusing on what's not controllable versus what's controllable. Here's a simple example; I can control the phone calls I make. The number of calls, the frequency of follow-up, the message I deliver, and the attitude I convey, but I can't control somebody calling me back, I can only influence them. If we would learn to focus this way, we would be much more successful and much less frustrated. I think we can all agree that frustration is a pretty useless emotion.

So the first thing we work on with our clients in transition is to start defining what controllable and uncontrollable is by the use of very definitive examples like making phone calls and receiving phone calls, asking somebody to expand your network and having them deliver a name. We need to stay focused on what we can control and not on what we can only influence. This applies to transition and everything else whether it’s business or personal.

Now let's add goals versus desires. When someone begins their transition we talk about goals that we can control versus desires, which we can only influence, and are not controllable. How does that translate into transition? We focus on four things which are controllable. First, the number of hours you dedicate each week to the search. Second, the number of calls you make each week which does not include those you receive. Third, asking for people to expand your network and not necessarily receiving a name, you can't control that and finally, getting out pieces of paper which translates into resumes and cover letters to recruiters and employers for specific openings. This also includes direct marketing letters to organizations you may have an interest in working with.

If something is a desire, it can always be broken down into specific controllable goals that will get you there. It can apply to anything business or personal. Try it on and see if it fits.

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