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How to hire for the 5 hottest skills in healthcare IT


Searching for the right candidate can be tough - these tips can help.

Searching for the right candidate can be tough – these tips can help.

When you set out to hire for your health care IT department, there’s no doubt you’ll be met with a flood of résumés from eager job seekers. After years in the industry, you can probably distinguish a well-qualified applicant from the rest of the pack in mere moments. But, once you’ve narrowed your search down to the few candidates best-suited for the job, it can be far more difficult to determine which one deserves the spot behind the desk.

At this stage, hiring managers are forced to look at each applicant with careful granularity, comparing their experience and personality traits to predict who will perform best in the open position. To give hiring managers a better sense of the specific skills that will set a new hire up for success, let’s take a look at the most in-demand skills in health care IT, according to a Rasmussen College analysis of nearly 11,000 online job postings:

Nabbing candidates with the right skill set is no accident – health care organizations everywhere are looking for applicants just like these to help give them an upper-hand. Therefore, you must be prepared to identify these skills as quickly as possible, allowing you to make talented candidates an offer before they’re scooped up by the competition.

Here’s how to hire for each of the five hottest skills in healthcare IT:

On one hand, training could refer to an applicant’s formal education. According to widely-cited research published in Personnel Psychology, employees who have completed higher levels of education are more likely to display higher work performance and contribute to a company’s workplace culture beyond their assigned job functions, perhaps making them more valuable to the company as a whole. On the other hand, training could also point to applicants’ previous on-the-job training. During the interview stage, ask candidates about specific tools or programs they were trained to use at their previous jobs, as well as how often they were trained on new technology. These answers could give you a glimpse into how soon the candidate would be able to hit the ground running after coming on board.

The interview is the perfect time to screen a candidate's communication and organizational skills. The interview is the perfect time to screen a candidate’s communication and organizational skills.

Communication skills
Luckily for hiring managers, candidates’ communication skills can often be gauged directly from their behavior during interviews. Notice indicators like an applicant’s body language, eye contact and self-confidence, asking yourself whether you would feel comfortable having this candidate speak with customers or represent your department internally. Beyond the interview, take note of how applicants reach out to or follow up with you. Are their emails professional? Did they sound prepared when leaving a voice mail on your phone? Seemingly inconsequential markers like these could show signs of larger communication habits.

Organizational skills
It can be difficult to measure a candidate’s organizational skills without seeing them in action – but it’s not impossible. The best way to get a glimpse behind the curtain is to ask behavioral interview questions, prompting candidates to describe situations in which they were challenged to stay organized while dealing with a variety of obstacles, ERE Media suggested. To verify candidates are indeed proficient in the tools they claim to have used, set them up with a pre-employment test after their interview. Combining these two tactics will give you an accurate picture of the candidate’s practical tool kit.

“Pre-employment test can give you a snapshot of candidates’ skill level in relevant programs.”

Writing skills
This is one of the easiest skills to screen for. Simply request that candidates bring writing samples along with them to the interview, then review them for grammar, style and clarity. If it’s unlikely that candidates will have professional writing samples from their previous job, simply ask that they write a short blog post educating the reader about a topic of their choosing.

Computer skills (including Excel)
If you’re looking for candidates who can hit the ground running with minimal on-the-job training, you’ll have to make sure their computer skills are up to snuff before handing them an offer letter. Setting applicants up with a pre-employment test that can assess their skills in relevant programs will give you a snapshot of their skill level, allowing you to make well-informed hiring decisions as quickly as possible.

With these suggestions, you will be able to identify the best candidate for the job out of a sea of applicants as quickly as possible. Contact EmployTest today to learn more!