Inside, Outside Examination of Hiring in Health Care

According to a survey, the health care industry is not only is pursuing its new leadership from outside its walls, but also beyond the industry itself.

March 11, 2014

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It's an age-old argument that organizations constantly grapple with: promote our next leader from within or hire someone from the outside?

According to research by executive staffing firm Ferguson Partners, the health care industry not only is pursuing its new leadership from outside its walls, but also beyond the industry itself. Of those new chief executives, the survey noted, finance would provide 92 percent of the next generation of health care leaders. Some 55 percent would migrate from the hospitality industry, while 40 percent will come from investment firms and 33 percent from pharmaceutical companies.

Nonetheless, industry knowledge appeared to be important to the 345 health care executives serving in various capacities who were surveyed. Respondents to the Ferguson Partners Healthcare Leaders Survey were cautious regarding the success a nonhealth care CEO could have vs. an industry veteran. The majority, 59 percent, said an outsider would be less effective. Just 17 percent said a hospital CEO hired from another industry would be equally effective as someone with health care experience and 9 percent thought an outsider could be more effective.

Health care industry hiring trends were also part of the survey. Executives predicted the workforce will remain relatively stable in 2014. While 44 percent of respondents reported their overall staffing numbers were likely to decrease in 2014, 39 percent said they were likely to hire more staff and 16 percentanticipated their staffing levels would remain unchanged. No major layoffs or mass hirings were expected by any group.

Hiring that does occur will focus on patient care and enterprise management with increases in care management (42 percent) followed by information management (41 percent); clinical management (34 percent); operations management (26 percent); and general administration (24 percent).

Rick Bell is Workforce's managing editor. Comment below or email Follow Bell on Twitter at @RickBell123.