The recruitment process for healthcare CEOs and executives needs a "fundamental shift," argues an opinion piece in Becker's Hospital Review.
The CEO replacement process is riddled with hidden costs, because the first 18 months under a new CEO typically involves turnover of half the executive team, writes Daniel J. Sinnott, CEO of Sinnott Executive Consulting. CEO turnover itself hit a record high last year.
"For struggling hospitals, the 'hidden cost' for replacing a CEO is occurring at the same time as the organization is reducing staff and operating costs to adjust to the changes occurring in the organization," he writes.
Here are three of his recommendations to improve the CEO recruitment process:
Develop a pre-emptive CEO/executive succession plan, which will cost significantly less than seeking a new leader outside the organization. "The board and health system leaders need to seize this opportunity, because most CEOs will not do this on their own, either because they are dealing with more immediate problems or they do not like thinking about their career 'mortality,'" he writes.
Have conversations about both the challenges and opportunities the organization faces, and identify the buisiness and leadership skills a new CEO neeeds to address them.
Determine which recruiting firm will do the best job of finding someone who has the necessary skills to tackle the organization's challenges and opportunities.
In a separate Becker's piece, Dallas Medical Center CEO Raji Kumar gives her thoughts on what makes an effective hospital CEO. She suggests organizations seek someone who has a strong, clear vision; effective communication and decision-making skills; ability to recruit the best people for each job; and superior resource management skills.