Does your Healthcare Organization Need An Interim Leader?

You have been hearing about interim leaders and are starting to think that they could benefit your health care organization. However, you have never worked with an interim leader before and you’re not completely certain that he or she will fit into your organization’s culture or that he or she will fill your immediate needs.

If you’re curious about how interim leaders can help your healthcare organization, keep reading. Through our years of placing interim leaders with our clients, we’ve learned when they fit a health care vacancy best. Regardless of the situation, your interim leader should be well informed and experienced. One of the best parts of hiring an interim leader is that they are often put into many types of settings in multiple roles. They learn, adjust and then apply the things they learn to make positive changes at the health care organizations where they are placed.

Does your Healthcare Organization Need An Interim Leader?

Benefits of a healthcare interim leader
Why you should consider an interim leader for your healthcare organization

However, an interim leader is not always appropriate for a vacancy. Sometimes it is perfectly acceptable for you to wait things out until you can find the perfect candidate. You need to consider is how difficult, time-consuming, and expensive the search for permanent talent will be. For example, a Chief Nursing Officer or a Chief Operating Officer position will be filled much quicker than that of a Chief Medical Officer who has experience in the continuum of patient care. An interim leader is a much better choice in the second scenario. This type of position is difficult to fill and it will have an immediate impact in your healthcare organization’s bottom line. Today we will discuss various situations in which it makes sense to engage an interim leader for your healthcare organization:

  1. The position is challenging to fill

There are positions that can take well over a year to fill, for example, Revenue Cycle Leaders from Epic environments or a Director Perioperative or surgical services. If these positions are left open you run the chance of negatively affecting your organization. Perhaps the position you need to fill is a high revenue maker, in this case, you are losing money. In other cases, leaving the position vacant can cause havoc in a department and cause both staff and patient dissatisfaction resulting in even more vacancies and complaints. In this case you can throw the entire organization off balance in multiple ways. Bringing on a strong interim leader will make it so your organization is not negatively impacted while you search for the perfect permanent candidate.

  1. Something is not working right

In some occasions, departments may not run as smoothly as they should be. While there could be multiple factors contributing to this, many times the culprit is not having the right leader in place. A weak leader makes it so quality declines, staff departures increase, and the bottom line suffers. When these things happen, team morale drops causing even more negative impact in the organization. In this type of case, bringing in a seasoned interim leader can help you identify the issues at hand and make the corrections needed so that your departments can go back to working at full capacity. An interim leader is often a great choice since they are not as emotionally involved and can make difficult decisions without letting emotion get in the way.

  1. Preparing a Permanent Candidate

At times, there can be a vacancy and an in-house candidate who is almost ready for the role. In this case, bringing in an interim leader to mentor and prepare the in-house candidate can be a fantastic investment. It allows you to conduct on-the-job training and reduce the number of amateur mistakes that someone who is missing a few crucial skills could make. They can also absorb skills and knowledge that are not possessed by others in your organization that your interim leader has amassed throughout their years of working as interim leadership.

  1. Testing the Interim Leader for a Permanent Leadership Position

Many times, interim leaders are brought in when an urgent role needs to be filled, roles such as ED Director, Periop Director, and others of the sort. There is a subset of interim leaders who can be interested in converting to permanent leadership positions. This does not happen often, but could be a great way to see how someone fits in not just because of their qualifications; but how their personality fits into the culture of your organization.

  1. When An Interim Leader Costs Less

While interim leadership may seem more costly, there are some factors that reduce the cost of this variable expense. With interim leaders, there are no benefits to be paid. There are also no taxes (or the taxes may be lower than those you’d pay out in a permanent leadership role).  Interim leaders are there for the short term. Once they leave, you don’t need to worry about expenses such as unemployment. All these factors can positively affect your bottom line.

If you think that an interim leader could be the perfect answer to your healthcare executive search needs, contact us. Summit Talent Group is a boutique healthcare executive search firm that specializes in both interim and permanent leadership. We’ll be glad to speak with you about your current needs, and help guide you towards the best solution for your organization, be that an interim leader or a permanent leader.