Healthcare News & Insights

Hiring ‘refugees’ from other industries: Is it worth it?

career-fairs

Here’s a silver lining in the current economic cloud: More experienced professionals are looking for jobs in the relative safety of the health care field. It creates some real benefits — and challenges — when recruiting for the business side.

Health care, as an industry, escaped the worst damage when the economy collapsed. And its future prospects look particularly sunny when compared to other industries expected to shed jobs for the next several years. No matter what happens to the overall economy, people will continue to get sick and need medical care.

That extra security makes health care an attractive field for executives who (voluntarily or not) are looking to make mid-career changes. Those new people can widen your recruiting pool and bring some serious skills to the table. But be aware, hiring from outside health care isn’t always a seamless transition.

Help transitioning workers

Anecdotal information indicates the transition to the health care field is smoothest for professionals making the leap from HR and IT. The skills are largely transferable, and for IT in particular, health care offers major growth opportunities for ambitious pros.

However, all non-clinical departments can benefit from widening their recruiting pool: Experienced pros in finance, marketing, purchasing, etc. can all make the transition to the health care field relatively easily.

The biggest stumbling block for most career-changers is cultural: Health care comes with a host of additional regulatory and legal requirements and requires fluency in industry jargon and acronyms.

To help promising execs from non-traditional career paths hit the ground running, make sure that you have resources available to them. Depending on the specific need, professional organizations, local colleges and universities and even local networking groups can provide direction and information.

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Comments

  1. Annie Wankowski says:

    WHAT I HAVE NOTICED, AND THE ONE THAT CONCERNS ME THE MOST, IS THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE FLOCKING TO THE NURSING AND MEDICAL ASSISTANT SCHOOLING. WHAT I SEE (BOTH AS A HEALTHCARE MANAGER AND A FORMER COMMUNITY COLLEGE TEACHER) IS THAT PEOPLE ARE GOING IN TO THESE PROGRAMS MISSING THE ONE THING THAT IS MOST IMPORTANT. THE DESIRE TO HELP PEOPLE. THEY ARE DOING IT AS A JOB, NOT A CAREER. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BECOME WEALTHY IN HC, SIMPLE. WHEN IT COMES TO CLINICAL POSITIONS, COMPASSIONS IS KEY. I HAVE ALSO NOTICED THAT THESE SMART, GOOD STUDENTS THAT ARE TRANSFERRING IN TO THESE PROGRAMS ARE BUMPING OTHERS (NOT “A” STUDENTS) OUT OF THEIR LINE ON THE WAITING LIST. JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE BOOK SMART DOESNT MEAN YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN MA, NURSE OR DOCTOR. MOST “PRE-ECONOMICAL CRISIS” STUDENTS HAVE FULL TIME JOBS IN THE HC INDUSTRY AND ARE PAYING FOR THEIR OWN EDUCATION. THEREFORE, THEY NEED THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES FOR THE LOW TUITION RATES. THESE STUDENTS ARE BEING BUMPED BY THE OTHERS WHO HAVE MORE MONEY AND TIME. TWO STUDENTS, THAT I KNOW OF, IN LINE FOR THE NURSING PROGRAM ENTRY FALL 2010 WERE BUMPED TO 2011. SO THEY HAVE LEFT THEIR PROGRAMS FOR HIGHER-COST SCHOOLS. TWO OTHER STUDENTS DROPPED FROM NURSING. IT SEEMS KIND OF A “RACHET” TO ME. BEING IN THE HC FIELD FOR THE PAST 30 YEARS, I AM ALREADY APPAULED BY THE MANNERS OF MANY OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE THAT ARE COMING IN TO THIS FIELD. MANAGERS HAVE TO TEACH MANY OF THESE YOUNG PEOPLE THE BASICS OF SOCIAL BEHAVIOR, LET ALONE THE HIGH LEVEL SOCIAL BEHAVIORS THAT IS EXPECTED OF A HC PROVIDER. WE NEED MORE MA’S, NURSES, AND PHYSICIANS THAT REMEMBER AND DEEPLY FEEL THE SERVICE STANDARDS OF THE TRUE HEALTH CARE WORKER. IN THE HC FIELD, YOU FIRST EVALUATION MEASURE ON YOUR ANNUAL REVIEW IS VALUES (20%), THEN YOUR SKILLS.

  2. Coming from the “outside” to healthcare five years ago was a bit of a shock. As an industry, HC moves really slow, takes forever to get things done and is just an entirely different animal. I think you will see over the coming years that the executives that jump to HC will be jumping back out in an effort to work someplace where things can be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time and with a reasonable amount fo red tape..

  3. Donald Chock says:

    While I agree that the skills sets for many non-clinical areas can be transferrable, there are also some cultural caveats that need to be taken into consideration. Fundamentally, health care is not a commodity or widget where the industry has self correcting supply and demand dynamics in place based on rational decision making. The triad of insurance, providers, and consumers have distanced consumers from the price-outcome trade-offs, and the financial dependency of providers have made the financial impact of clinical decisions too close to make optimal cost-quality choices. Health care is a personal and emotional issue on all fronts, and “refugees” from other industries will need to make a paradigm adjustment in the process.

  4. Ms Wankowski is right on target. HC is challenging in many areas. But the basics of manners such as saying thank you and excuse me are missing from a whole generation of young people. High standards and morality have been replaced with pop culture and american idol. That is a shame.

    The events of September 11, 2001 taught us as a nation that we still have the ability to come together and show true compassion. So maybe there is hope. It is most unfortunate that manners have been replaced with “me-ism” and looking out for number one. I experianced it in the financial sector as the exectives of large institutions sold their long standing organizations for the “golden parachute”. No loyalty to employees or customers only shareholders. No compassion for the common good of all. Nope. Sold in the open market for whatever personal gain at the time.

    Conversely there is no room for that in HC. (Unless it is a large conglomerate for-profit organization). Typically most smaller independant community based hospitals such as the one I work for, will not make you wealthy. Any wealth accumulated, will be the result of hard work and the sweat of the brow. There is no easy street in HC. Most people work very hard for a decent wage. They only ask for a little loyalty from the organization and its board to not sell the company down the river for just a select few to profit.

    I can only hope that “healthcare reform” is not used as a crutch (no pun intended) to do just that.

    But I do agree with Ms. Wankowski that caution is in order, being very selective in candidates applying for jobs in HC with no practical experiance in HC. 20% of the grade for merit is a large percentage for doing the right thing at the right time in the right place for the patient. Really though, it is common sense and applying the golden rule. If you dont know what the golden rule is, re-read paragraph one. It applies to you!

  5. employer has to have a standard and to be strict in regards of proper documents.Anybody can go out and purchase a fake Identification, like Driver License specially Social Security card so they have access to medical fields. They go to College and eventually get a medical job just the purpose of collecting paycheck it does not matter if they have skills or no skills as long as they can please the “BOSS” NO PROBLEMO”. Some employer take advantage for personal favor to. employe that don’t know how to say “NO”.People that are been in jobs for a decade about to retire, they are so dedicated, very loyal, loving and caring to patients are been bump out because of these people, unemployment to American people kept increasing, the bad thing is its so hard to get paid or apply to EDD and thiis undocumented people are enjoying collecting money——-

  6. Jin Chin-Glemaud says:

    I agree with both A. Wankowski and M. Burget’s comments. I have been in the healthcare arena since 1972 as a staff nurse, nurse manager, educator and presently quality manager. When someone demonstrates common courtesy I am pleasantly surprised, which is sad. It is true there are many people who join the healthcare industry for job security of some sort. Now there is a waiting list for hiring nurses. Before, due to the shortage some managers hired “bodies.” I am for hiring the best person for the position. I always think of “what if that patient was my loved one. Would I want me to care for him/her?” I believe every healthcare provider and ancillary staff should ask this of themselves. If the answer is yes, then I want you as my healthcare provider. If the answer is no, then I want you out of my room! True wealth comes from knowing that I did my best and I made a difference in someone’s life.

  7. Even among HC and Social Service providers there is great variance in cultures. Having just experienced the separation of our agency from a large hospital system and then merging a year later with another 501(c)(3), I have seen the ups and downs of putting diverse groups together. You can tell very quickly who is cut out for the HC/Social Service field and who is not. The NOTS don’t last long. The truely dedicated stay for decades.

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