4/9/12 - Three Things to Remember About How Hospitals Hire for Technology

Today let's look at 3 things to be mindful of on how hospitals hire for their technical needs.

1.  Most hospitals and health systems want full-time staff.  This is what they want because this is what they are used to.  

One issue with this is these facilities cannot pay what the market demands for these resources, with the salaries they offer frequently being 50% to 75% below the rates the same people can earn as full-time contractors for consulting companies.  These facilities also cannot pay as well as private healthcare software and hardware companies, whose salaries are generally about 30% higher.

If you look at which entities pay the most down to the least, it looks like this.

  • Healthcare consulting companies
  • Healthcare software/hardware companies
  • Health system and hospitals

2.  Most hospitals and health systems use pay grades for salaried positions.  In this way, they are much like government entities or very large, bureaucratic entities.  For example, virtually any hospital has grades for salaried positions, but many look at them using the hourly equivalent of the corresponding salary, meaning an $80,000 salaried position would be graded in 3 ways:  Low, Mid-point, High, with each level having a stated/desired rate assigned to it.  A Senior PM at a hospital, for example, might be graded out like this:  Low - $22.12 to $32.87; Mid-point - $30.15 to $39.58; High - $36.64 to $48.00.  Note that the top tier of ranges are not disclosed in almost all cases.

3.  Most hospitals and health systems seem naturally drawn toward using consulting companies for interim help.  Because of the first two items above, hospitals do not often look to use interim resources.  But when they do, they typically use expensive alternatives -- healthcare consulting companies, whose resources are very good and whose corresponding rates are very high.

Wondering what led to the above 3 core beliefs or desires is not the point of this blog nor does it serve any helpful purpose.  It's simply the way things are, no different than someone who has worked in the past with large companies with massive hiring needs knows what drives the philosophy of IT hiring for outfits such as AT&T. 

For the multitude of IT professionals in the U.S. with the desire to transition their skills into healthcare settings, it's wise to factor in these 3 items and design a career search accordingly.  The relentless emphasis on acquiring healthcare experience from many career counselors, however important, does not ensure the job seeker is successful unless it's clear what beliefs drive the hospitals' hiring efforts each day.

Posted by Jack Williams at 06:00


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