One of the most important jobs a governing board has is to appoint a Chief Executive Officer who, hopefully, is exceedingly competent and then let them do the job he or she was hired to do.
Some boards use outside search firms to advise them on recruitment and selection. Most board members lack the time, industry contacts or expertise to do all the work that is necessary to recruit a CEO who has the relevant skills and verifiable record of accomplishment. Also, two-layer reference checks and background review to ensure that the successful candidate isn’t concealing something that might make trustees blush or cringe with embarrassment. That said, a surprising number of hospital boards, primarily in the rural and community hospital segment, opt for doing the work, or trying to do the work, themselves.
The price of search firm fees is what typically drives board members to do the work themselves. A retained search with a placement guarantee could cost a hospital the equivalent of one-third of the successful candidate’s first-year cash competition, plus expenses. Some firms have minimum fees. The most common current minimum appears to be $60,000. Expenses can run from $10,000 to $20,000, depending on how many candidates a client requests to see in the firm’s panel of recommended candidates. Good firms with excellent search processes can complete the candidate identification, screening and vetting work within 45 days. The firm’s team usually consist of three people plus clerical and logistics support.
Some recruiting firms will unbundle the components of the recruitment package allowing boards to pick and choose the resources they need. JohnGSelf + Partners is one of those firms.
The problem rural and community hospital boards have with running their own search is lack of time, and the familiarity with the fundamentals of recruiting. That is why I wrote the book “Recruiting Your Next CEO: A Step-by-Step Guide for Rural and Community Hospitals.” It covers the essential steps boards should take to ensure they avoid a costly mis-hire. It is not the full process; we spend three hours with recommended candidates before they are ever presented to the client, for example. But the elements discussed in the book, if carefully followed, will ensure success. While there are no sure-things in life, this is as close as it gets in the world of talent acquisition. In more than 20 years of using this system we have never had a mis-hire in a CEO search.
Now here is the best part: there is no cost to download the book. I feel strongly that rural and community hospitals, the backbone of our country’s healthcare delivery process, are facing some unique and very tough regulatory and reimbursement challenges and that they will need the best CEOs they can find to survive.
Of course, I’d rather these hospitals hire my firm to do this important work, but if they cannot, then this e-book is the next best thing. I hope it helps.