Healthcare Executive Candidate Vetting Tips

If your healthcare organization is currently working to fill a critical C-suite or executive vacancy, your human resources talent has quite a task on your hands. Resumes are like profile pictures, they show only the best of the candidate. They paint a pretty picture but make it difficult to see what was really going on behind the scenes and who was taking the shot.

Lately, things have gotten even more complicated for hiring managers. Samsonite recently had their CEO resign after it was revealed that he claimed to have eaPh.D.d a PhD, but in truth had never received the degree. This had dire reputational and financial consequences. Their stock took a dive of 20% once this news was revealed.

According to Bloomberg, over 400 executives have been involved in accusations of sexual harassment. These accusations resulted in over 200 vacancies. It is more important now than ever to pay attention to candidate vetting.

Here at Summit Talent Group,  our team of healthcare executive search experts is tasked with identifying the best talent for each of our healthcare clients. That includes taking the time to dive deep in order to prevent situations like the one above. As such, we know how to read between the lines, to get the true story behind the resume.

Today, we will share some of our candidate vetting tips to make your search just a little easier. Some are very simple, but easy to forget. Others are a bit more involved but are completely worth the efforts. And don’t forget, if you would like to speak to us in depth about our healthcare executive search and vetting process, contact us. We would love to become your healthcare executive search partners.

Healthcare Executive Candidate Vetting Tips

Google Search

This is probably the easiest of the candidate vetting tasks you can perform. Begin with a quick Google search with various combinations, for example:

  • Name & city/state
  • Name & current/past employers
  • Name & wrongful death
  • Name & malpractice
  • Name/current employer & reimbursement fraud

These are simple enough to conduct and will help you to have a clear mind that the candidate you are considering has no easily found nefarious items in his or her past.   Oftentimes you will also come across awards that the candidate or the candidate’s department has won, as well as similar signals that will increase your confidence in the candidate. To be even more thoroug, set up their name in google alerts so you can keep track during your hiring process.

Conduct a Social Media Search

Check all social media profiles for your candidate. Public profiles on social networks say a lot about your candidate and can alert you as to potential issues that can affect the reputation of your healthcare organization should they come on board. Social media posts may reveal biases, preconceptions, and habits that may compromise the candidate’s reliability. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • reddit
  • YouTube

Stay Abreast of Industry News

Make it a habit to use Google Alerts to keep tabs on the latest on health systems and hospitals. Enhance this with subscriptions to healthcare executive search news and publications so that you can be on top of any issues with fraud, layoffs, and mergers. These can be incredibly helpful when trying to get at the real reason someone was let go from a hospital or healthcare organization.

Check Certifications

There are times when applicants take liberties with their cv and take liberties with resume integrity. Take the time to check that each applicant’s certifications are valid and not merely expired certifications or certifications in progress. Do not take it for granted that because they have served as a c-suite leader at another organization, that the organization has properly vetted the candidate.

Check the Scores of their Current Employer

Because of the private nature of the healthcare industry, vetting a candidate’s accomplishments will be more challenging. For the most part, hospitals and healthcare institutions will not be open about times of peril, of being in the red, even if they have put talented leaders in place who have in-turn remedied those issues. In this case, it cannot hurt to check the overall health of the system. Keep track of and look at the ratings of the hospitals during the times that the candidate was employed there. While this is not a direct measurement of your potential hire, it does give some signals that could make a difference in your final decision.

Check Associations

If your candidate has included Alumni or professional associations, these can be a great resource. Check to see if your candidate is active or merely a member. Are they taking part in conferences? All these can be signals of a great addition to your healthcare leadership team.

Ask the Difficult Questions

It is ok to ask questions that are uncomfortable. Ultimately, nobody is perfect, but having a leader who can be candid about their mistakes and missteps is powerful. Honesty is an incredible attribute, and if you can find talent who can be open about his or her mistakes, tell you how they got through them, and illustrate how they were able to rise to the executive level in spite of those mistakes, it may be ok to include him or her in your top choices.