When it comes to building out your team — healthcare information technology consultants included — it’s imperative to screen potential team members carefully to ensure they have the level of expertise required to handle the job.
However, it is arguably of equal importance to determine whether or not an individual consultant will fit in well within your company’s specific culture. Although it may demand that you spend more time and effort interviewing and analyzing consultants to find the perfect fit, in the long run you and your staff will be glad you did.
Define Your Company Culture
First things first; you’ll need to define what makes your organization unique. What are the outstanding skills, qualities, behaviors and attitudes of your employees that make your organization thrive? Once you’ve defined who your company is and what type of person you’re looking for, it will make the process a little easier.
Start by taking a close look at the dynamics of the different departments that comprise your organization. How do different departments interact with each other, and how might they interact with the consultant you bring onboard to fill this new role?
Involving multiple people in the evaluation process allows for a variety of perspectives on each potential new consultant, and hopefully will result in the most ideal fit. In general it's a good idea to include in the interview process at least one or two people who will have the most day-to-day interaction with the candidate.
Technical Skills vs. Personality
Let’s say you’ve identified a candidate who is a good fit in terms of technical skills and experience. Some additional traits to look for:
1. Communication and Teamwork
Find out how potential candidates function as part of a team. Asking them for specific examples of projects they’ve been involved with in the past will be beneficial. Finding out what they liked and disliked about the team environment is also helpful. Test them on communication skills, both written and verbal, in addition to their ability to follow instructions and carry out technical requests.
In the world of healthcare information technology, things are changing constantly and quickly. Your consultants need to be willing and able to adjust easily to change in order to keep up. Inquire about how they’ve dealt with change in the past and whether it’s something they feel comfortable with.
3. Desire to Learn and Grow
Although a new consultant may be highly skilled and experienced upon joining your organization, it’s important that they are willing to continue learning and keep their skills up-to-date. If they demonstrate an unwilligness to evolve, they may not be the ideal consultant to take your business to the next level.
Benefits of Hiring the Right Consultant
A recent study performed by the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick found that, “...happy workers are 12 percent more productive than the average worker, and unhappy workers are 10 percent less productive.”
The bottom line? Never underestimate the negative impact of hiring someone who is the wrong fit for your company and its unique culture.
The way people communicate and interact with each other is a huge factor in the overall efficiency of how your organization functions on a day-to-day basis. By putting in the extra time and effort to select the right consultant the first time around, you will save yourself the cost (and headache) of onboarding a consultant who may not be a good fit for your organization culturally.
Need help finding a highly-skilled IT consultant with experience in healthcare? Download our free eBook "RightFit: 6-Step Process for Successful IT Consultant Selection in the Healthcare Industry" to help find an IT specialist that's right for you.