How Do Medical Headhunters Find C-Suite Execs?

by | Nov 11, 2017 | Uncategorized

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Finding C-Suite executives for medical and life sciences is a complex task–finding being the operative term, here, because this level of leadership is not simply out there looking for a position. Most, in fact, exist under-the-radar from a medical headhunter’s standpoint, making it even more difficult to identify and recruit top executive talent.

Placing the right leadership in these key roles is critical to the long-term success of the organization. Good organizational and cultural fit is directly linked to outcomes and retention, so this is the ideal. The very nature of the type of work and their inherent expectations mean these positions can’t be filled quickly.

Working with a medical headhunter who has a proven track record in the executive realm will shorten your time to hire and ensure that your onboarding process is as pain-free as possible.

The Challenges Medical Headhunters Face in Finding C-Suite Executives

In the medical C-Suite, technical expertise matters less than strong leadership skills and a firm grasp of operational fundamentals. Although functional and technical knowledge is important, they are not as important as the ability to lead, to visualize, inspire, and further the vision and mission of the facility.

Regardless of their underlying medical specialty, these leaders have more in common with other executives than they do with the people they oversee. It’s a delicate balance and an elusive one as well, as less experienced medical headhunters may mistake a high level of medical and management expertise with an ability to lead, and that’s not always the case.

Adding to the complexity of the situation, many medical facilities, including teaching institutions, have an extremely high recruitment load at any given time. This makes for a very competitive area in which very few candidates are well-qualified. As a result, there are many medical executives who may have the background and experience, but may lack a few key traits that would mitigate their attrition – meaning, people are getting hired that tick some of the boxes, but not all, and most will end up back in the candidacy pool sooner or later.

As medical headhunters, we are tasked with knowing who the players are and what their track record is. Along with fully vetting and benchmarking each of our candidates, we go deep into their background to identify red flags as well as any indications that they might be the next C-Suite superstar.

Our clients depend on us for this insider knowledge. It’s what sets us apart from other executive headhunters who might not have this specific focus. It’s about knowing where to find this top leadership talent, no matter where it is located, and being connected with successful leaders in the industry who can advise us on up-and-comers as well as any significant comings and goings. This allows us to deliver value back to our clients in ways that it’s difficult to put a price on. While there are never any absolute guarantees that our placements will last a lifetime, it has given us a solid track record that translates to success.

The ultimate goal of leadership placement in the medical field is to advance the mission and vision of the organization or institution. Whether the focus is on clinical outcomes, teaching excellence or innovation, strong outcomes require strong leadership. In such a highly regulated field, it is important to take into account a holistic view of the facility in order to determine a clear pathway to reaching these goals.

Just about every variable needs to be taken into account, from cultural fit to leadership style. In the end, we need to identify the best possible candidate for the position based on how we think they will be able to advance the core mission and reach our client’s goals.

Internal Promotion and Leadership Succession

Many medical headhunters tend to think that promoting from within is the fastest route to reaching these goals, but this is not often the case. Though we consider the available in-house talent first, we would be remiss in our task if we did not put them through the same vetting process as we would an outside candidate. While having foundational knowledge of the internal culture and operational mandates is a definite asset, we must assess the type of leader they would be and whether that is the leadership style that is most appropriate for the needs of the organization.

Leaders do emerge from within the ranks and every medical headhunter should be aware of a client’s leadership mentoring activities. However, many medical facilities play no role in executive search and recruitment, choosing instead to focus on placing core medical talent. While this methodology supports better clinical outcomes, true leadership will advance these goals in ways that advance the mission, vision, clinical outcomes, and overall customer satisfaction within the regulatory compliance framework.

If you are interested in speaking to one of our medical headhunters about your leadership recruiting needs, call Pact and Partners today.


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