This next step will help clarify the front runner
Below Kurt Scott, Founder and CEO of the Physician Leadership Career Network shares a very powerful final assessment method that we believe would provide insight and evidence supporting that a candidate actually has the experience and skills to create, plan, and execute as well has a solid understanding of your expectations and needs of the organization.
When recruiting a physician leader, we generally accept Board Certifications in their clinical specialty as a clinical competency minimal marker, but just hearing about their past business and leadership successes from them and from their references is really not enough. The very best and qualified candidates should have no problem in their willingness and ability to demonstrate, with absolute confidence, they can put pen to paper to articulate a Vision Plan.
You want to know what “they believe they will bring to the table.” By them having to articulate a plan in writing, you will gain important insight into not only their operational capabilities but also personality characteristics such as are they more of a “maintain the status quo”, an operator, a politician, or an innovator, or are they a blend of all three and can spool up the necessary skills PRN and as appropriate. It’s also equally important for you to know what you genuinely need in a person for the job.
Let’s put them to the test or put yourself to the test. Can you effectively pull together a game plan and defend it? let’s see if your finalists (or you) are willinging and able to roll up the sleeves to quickly assess, innovate, and build a plan that makes sense for the organization.
If you are a candidate, be prepared to pull together a plan. Even if they aren’t asking you to do this, you should do this anyway and let them know it is available should they want to review it, it will likely place you at the top of the list. When you are interviewing, try to get answers and supporting documentation on most or all of the 17 topics listed below. Here are Kurt’s recommendations:
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This next step will help clarify the front runner
Your Executive Search Committee has narrowed down the candidate pool to the top 3 candidates. There will be a whole host of reasons the top three are in the mix but some of those reasons may not increase the likelihood of success in moving the department/organization forward. Reasons could include the one least likely to make significant changes, or the one most liked, or an internal candidate that everyone knows and are comfortable with. How do you significantly increase your chances of selecting the “best” one?
Answer: The Vision Statement
The concept of asking finalist candidates to prepare and submit their vision statement to the Search Committee was introduced to me by Dr. Glenn Steele Jr. soon after he joined Geisinger Health System as CEO.
I found the process energizing and engaging, often with a surprise front runner emerging from the process.
There are Rules and Preparation Needed
At the onset of a new search, start preparing your “Resource Compendium.” This is an information packed document that’s given to the top finalists that supplies them with everything they need to know about the department they will be leading. This is an invaluable tool for them to prepare their vision statements.
Have your legal team prepare a nondisclosure document the finalists are required to sign prior to receiving the compendium.
Information to include:
- Department’s complete org chart
- List of physician staff with brief bio’s
- Numbers of department employees by title/role
- Locations and facilities with square footage
- Noteworthy equipment and technology
- Department’s honors and awards
- Any academic endeavors
- Research stats
- Patient programs and services offered
- P&L statement and budget
- Patient volume stats
- Referral patterns
- Any initiatives in the planning stages
- A current strategic plan and plans for growth
- The market and competition
- Challenges to meeting current goals
- Who’s your biggest competitor in this market? Why?
The invite to continue in the process and prepare their “Vision Statement”
The only rule… “There are no rules”
The calls to invite your top 3 candidates should be done by the hiring leader. This is powerful and carries a lot of weight. Once you congratulate them and make sure they want to continue in the process, here’s the request:
Please prepare for submission to the Chair of the Search Committee, along with committee members, your 3 to 5 year “Vision” for the Department or Division you will be leading. We will overnight you our “Resource Compendium” with additional information you will need.
The format is your choice. The length is your choice. We have no preconceived notions about what it will look like.
You have 3 weeks to prepare and submit to the Chair of the Search Committee.
Here are the areas we would like you to cover:
- As leader of this department, what would you want to accomplish over the next 3 to 5 years.
- How do you plan on getting there?
- What resources will you need to meet your goals? (Staff, facilities, equipment, budget etc.)
- What challenges do you anticipate and what are your plans to overcome them?
- Ask them if they accept the challenge…
Next Steps & Options
Once the vision statements are received, there are a couple options as to how to proceed. First is to have the Search Committee meet to discuss all three and expect recommendations as to the order of preference.
Second would be to invite the top 3 to present (and even defend) their vision to the Search Committee. In today’s environment, a video conference would be fine. after all presentations are completed, the Search Committee would reconvene and discuss, again, making the recommendations by ranking their top 3. (This option is my preference)
Based on experience, here’s what you can expect…
You should get a much clearer and in-depth understanding of each candidates’ ability to think strategically, sell their ideas, get creative and communicate effectively.
Your early frontrunner may indeed fall on their own sword moving them down in the rankings or out of the running all together. You may experience a “sleeper” who’s vision just blows you away.
“Many great ideas go unexecuted, and many great executioners are without ideas. One without the other is worthless.”Tim Blixseth
Often, internal candidates will surprise you. (sometimes good, sometimes bad) Yes, your internal candidates should go through the exact same process as your external candidates to ensure consistent vetting and evaluation.
Most importantly, you should find out who (if any), has a vision that matches that of your organization’s leaders with the desire, ability and skillset to get you where you want to go.
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