In executive offices and administrative suites of hospitals all across America, there are some really good people toiling away who will lose their jobs through no fault of their own, a highly respected health system CEO predicted recently.
This talent carnage is a sign of the times. The new healthcare economy, driven by the Affordable Care Act and the need to reduce Medicare spending as a function of deficit reduction, will drive system consolidation, job realignment, strategic diversification and renewed efforts to lower costs. From large hospital systems and academic medical centers to smaller community hospitals, that mandate will require improvement in the range of 20 to 40 percent, according to a recent report released by Huron Consulting Group following their fourth annual healthcare CEO forum.
While transformation brings with it a certain sense of excitement and the chance to remodel healthcare in a way that will reduce costs, improve quality of care and patient safety and enhance customer satisfaction, there will be a high cost in terms of losses of talent that are inevitable. Those who have been getting by with mediocre performance because they could, should probably rethink their career plans. They will be the first to leave, transitioning into a job market that has no room for mediocrity in leadership or management.
It could happen to anyone, so here are some things to remember:
- Keep your resume updated, on your home computer. Storing a resume on a company computer at the office is beyond unwise.
- Understand your value proposition and be sure that your resume reflects that — skills matched by quantifiable accomplishments. Employers are demanding the best talent, not a qualified body, from their recruiters. If you cannot demonstrate that you are a top-tier performer on your resume, add 8 months to a year to your job search, at a minimum.
- Move your contacts to your home computer.
- Do not use your office email to communicate with recruiters if you are conducting a preemptory search because you see the layoff writing on the wall. You have no expectation of privacy when you use corporate resources.
- Do not use a work telephone number in your resume. Use your cell phone or your home phone. Executive assistants or friends who answer your phone may not be as friendly or supportive as you think they are.
- Do not cancel professional association dues in order to scale back personal expenses. You cannot afford to lose access to their valuable membership database. Keep your membership profile up to date.
- Enhance your LinkedIn profile now. Be sure it reflects the value presented in your resume. Get a great head and shoulders photo taken. LinkedIn is one of the hottest plans for professional networking and for executive recruiters who are trolling for talent. More info on this topics: Candidates Must Master Social Media, Brand Management
- Line up a sufficient number of references to use on two or three concurrent searches so that you do not wear them out. Talk to them in advance, find out if they are comfortable with supporting your candidacy, and make sure they can speak about your significant accomplishments, how you can add value to prospective employers. You might even share a copy of your resume with your references. Do not take anything for granted, especially in this important function of the search. Remember, clients are becoming increasingly demanding about the quality of the candidates and their vetting. More info on this topic: Managing Your References During The Job Search.
- Constantly build your network with people who can help you transition to a new job, not your friends and family. The bigger your contact base, the faster your transition search will go. More info on this topic: Lost Your Job + A Limited Network = Oops!
- If you are offered transition coaching, ALWAYS take it. Most executives need more help than they want to admit. Insist that the outplacement firm or coach has healthcare or relevant industry experience. Be sure they grasp that the job market is changing and they have a deep understanding of how to use social media to connect to job search sources of information. More info this topic: Terminated? Ask for Help