HIMSS: No clear path for health IT career trek

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ATLANTA--“It’s really unclear how one starts a career in health IT and its even more unclear how someone advances in this career,” said the director of strategy and business development for Monster Worldwide, Dan DeMaioNewton, during a session at HIMSS10 Tuesday.

DeMaioNewton informed CIOs that they will face challenges if they are actively looking for talent. These challenges will include competition, issues with levels of experience and a recent surge of hiring for health IT jobs.  “This is where the demand for talent has increased most significantly,” explained DeMaioNewton, noting that some areas of the U.S. are particularly looking to recruit individuals for this field and CIOs will have to be more aggressive if they are within these states.

Specifically, the health IT jobs that are available in this surge are those for computer system analysts, computer support specialists, network administrators and web developers.

“Now we are telling job seekers, you are responsible for your own careers,” said DeMaioNewton. People are looking for work that is exciting and engaging, rather than moving to new levels, he noted.  With this in mind, hiring strategies for new talent and retaining the individuals already employed must realize this “paradigm shift.”

“Talent supply chains” are a tactic that DeMaioNewton suggested that facilities adopt. “What large firms are doing is reinventing the career process,” he explained.  “In the healthcare industry right now, the playing field has leveled and the old rules don’t apply.  What we are seeing now for recruitment process is changing.”  According to DeMaioNewton, this presents a great opportunity for employers who don't have the staff orresources and must reinvent themselves during an economic recession.

“The Information Age is ending and on top of this age is the Relationship Age,” said DeMaioNewton. “We are entering a new stage where we are looking at relationships and relationships matter,” he said.  Facebook and Twitter, initially known to be tools for younger generations, are now becoming networking and marketing tools. “We pay attention to what we are told to pay attention to,” noted DeMaioNewton, stressing the importance for companies to change and expand their rules and to innovate.

Noting the large pool of talent that many recruiters are bombarded with after posting a job listing, DeMaioNewton believes that companies must take advantage of this now, as he predicts the situation will be opposite by 2015.

Active, passive and poised job candidates are three types of job seekers that DeMaioNewton identified. Active job seekers are looking for any job right now; passive job seekers become satisfied and comfortable in the job they have and make few or no moves to change jobs despite any opportunities that may come their way; and poised job seekers are open to new or better opportunities if they are presented one. 

“Sixty percent of all job seekers are poised,” which he noted as both as a positive and a negative quality for employers.  While this may be the ideal candidate for hire of the three categories, DeMaioNewton said, “Sixty percent of all of your employees are poised.”

In the relationship age, the walls put up along organizations are not there, DeMaioNewton noted.  In the past, employers looked up potential employees on the internet and the same can be said for employees today, he explained.  “Job seekers are going out there and they are taking a look at you.”

“Authenticity and integrity are the keys to success,” said DeMaioNewton. “They will be the differentiating factors to who stays and who goes.  How you treat your candidates matters and what’s going to differentiate those companies that are successful from those that are not is the ability to recognize and understand how to nurture these seeds to get the results that you want.”