How Do You Identify a Customer-Obsessed Healthcare Executive in the Interview Process?

By Rick Cassidy


interviewThe shift towards consumer-centric healthcare means organizations need to adjust their executive search strategies in order to recruit forward-thinking healthcare executives who have the vision and skills that it takes to lead in today’s rapidly-changing environment.

Creating a strong C-suite team that has the capabilities to remain competitive in a marketplace that’s quickly becoming populated by companies that are disrupting healthcare (think Amazon and WalMart)—as discussed in my last post— means re-thinking the interview process used during your next executive search.

Here are some insider tips that we integrate into our “right-fit” process that helps to pinpoint customer-obsessed executives:

Ask The Right Questions

Asking specific, customer-focused questions during the interview process is key to screening healthcare executives who have the leadership skills needed to advance your organization. Here are some examples of customer-centric questions that can help you identify the best candidates for your organization:

As a consumer, what companies deliver a great customer experience?

This question allows you the opportunity to evaluate each candidate’s ability to appreciate what a great end-user experience looks like, which is a critical skill for today’s healthcare executives, and why that is important to an organization’s success.

Pay close attention to the level of insight offered in the answer—a strong, customer-centric executive will be able to provide you with a clear, in-depth response that identifies specific, actionable steps that factor into their positive experience as a consumer. By comparison, a candidate who answers in general terms may lack the skills and focus needed to be able to lead your organization in a consumer-focused healthcare delivery model.

Also, take note of their verbal cues and body language. Is this a topic that energizes them?

What do you see as the top three things consumers want from their healthcare experience?

Once again, this question focuses on the candidates’ ability to understand customer-centric service delivery. Listen for clear, concise responses that are centered around the actual experience end-users have. A strong candidate will articulate three very detailed and actionable outcomes that consumers are demanding.  They’ll also share steps they’ve taken in their leadership journey to identify these top needs to achieve a measurably high level of customer satisfaction.

By comparison, a candidate who is lacking in customer focus may struggle to come up with clear answers to these questions and have difficulty responding in a way that demonstrates their ability to think about issues from the customer’s perspective.

Pay Attention To Language

Healthcare executives who are dedicated to creating a customer-centric environment tend to use inclusive language such as “we” and “you” in place of “me” and “I”. During the interview process, look for candidates who use this kind of inclusive language when describing both past accomplishments and future plans – this can give you valuable insight into how each interviewee perceives themselves in relation to both their team and their end-consumers (e.g. patients and their families).

Make the Hunt for Consumer-obsessed Talent a Priority

The shift towards consumer-centric healthcare means organizations need to adjust their executive search and recruitment strategies in order to recruit forward-thinking healthcare executives who have the vision and skills required to lead in today’s rapidly-changing environment. You don’t have to go far beyond recent Wall Street Journal headlines to realize: Time is of the essence.

To help frame your thinking on this strategy, as well as hear about some of the pitfalls to avoid in the talent selection process, schedule a 15-minute complimentary call by clicking the button below.

Rick Cassidy is the founder and president of Sky Search Partners

Let's talk about the Top 3 Warning Signals When Searching for a Customer-Obsessed Healthcare Executive

Schedule your 15-minute, no-obligation call and we’ll share the red flags to avoid and six-steps critical in identifying the right fit for your strategies, culture, and team.

About Sky Search Partners

Rick Cassidy, Sky Search Partners president, founded the firm for one primary reason: We love putting people to work. Sky Search Partners has developed a rigorous platform for engaging, researching, and connecting with the most successful executive talent. The firm executes with a laser focus on to identify candidates precisely aligned to search specifications. A proven formula of integrity and “people first” enables it to build trusted relationships with organizations and top-tier talent across key disciplines, job titles, national markets, and industry classes. This enables client organizations to create their “dream team,” especially in highly competitive environments where results are imperative.

Listen Now to Talent Talk Radio Show

Listen now to Sky Search Partners President, Rick Cassidy, as he talks about finding the right talent for new consumer-centric strategies in healthcare.

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