30 January 2018
Whether you are looking for a new job, hoping to advance your skills, or seeking the advice of a career mentor, most professionals would agree that networking is important for career advancement. But, how do you know if you are doing it correctly? And, how do you know if your networking tactics are doing you more harm than good? There are a number of ways to ensure that you’re being tactful, considerate, and appreciative when dealing with professional contacts. Start by avoiding these common networking mistakes: Only communicating when you need something If you only make contact when you need something, the less willing your contact will be to offer their support. To establish and maintain strong relationships over time, make the effort to communicate with your network on a regular basis. Celebrating milestones, forwarding interesting articles, and engaging on social media are just a few easy ways to do this. Being overwhelming Those in your network are certainly there to help you throughout your career, but don’t make the mistake of overwhelming them with your requests. Asking for repeated favors or sending too many emails can be off-putting, especially for busy professionals. Be respectful of your connections’ time by keeping your messages to-the-point and only following up when appropriate. Neglecting face-to-face contact While there are many benefits to utilizing the internet as a tool to expand your network, solely relying on social media is one of the most common networking mistakes. Although every professional should be using online platforms like LinkedIn to connect with others in their field, in-person networking is also necessary for career advancement. Factors such as confidence, communication skills, and other positive personality traits can get lost in translation while networking online, so try to attend conferences and meet-ups to forge in-person connections. Not saying thank you Sending a brief thank you message to someone who has helped you is crucial to maintaining a positive, long-lasting relationship. Even if they did something small such as referring you to someone who is better suited to help, let your connection know that you appreciate their time and that you will gladly reciprocate in the future.
26 January 2018
With the new year now in full swing, working professionals usually use this time to start fresh. Whether you’re hoping to change jobs or simply looking to keep your skills up-to-date, the beginning of the year is typically a great time to jumpstart your decision to take action. Since your resume is typically the first time a prospective employer evaluates your professional experience before inviting you in for an interview, it’s important that you make a good first impression. To do this, it’s best to avoid exaggerating or misrepresenting your skills or experience on your technical resume, a common mistake that many IT professionals make in the hopes of standing out, according to Drew Donato, a Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Technology division. “IT professionals who try to get a leg up on their competition with dishonest tactics during their job search, oftentimes do more harm than good,” says Drew. “Whether it’s changing your previous titles to be more in line with the type of role you’re interested in or fabricating your employment dates to cover up gaps, prospective employers will eventually catch on. This can ultimately cost you the job as well as hurt your industry reputation.” If you are looking for ways to refresh your technical resume to get your foot in the door this year, be sure to implement the following changes: Keep the length of your resume to a minimum As a job seeker, it can be tempting to beef up your technical resume with certain skills to stand out in a highly-competitive market. However, highlighting your entire professional background can make it hard for hiring managers and recruiters to identify your strengths as they relate to a specific role. “It’s great if you have years of experience to point to, however, hiring managers won’t read through a six-page resume if they’re considering hundreds of candidates for the same role,” says Drew. “While there is no concrete formula for the length of your resume as it relates to your experience level, an ideal resume should be no longer than 3 to 4 pages.” To put this into perspective, if you are applying to more functional positions like a Project Manager or a Business Analyst, part of your responsibilities may include documentation and presenting data. Therefore, hiring managers will be evaluating your resume to see how well you highlight your experience. An overly-lengthy resume may raise red flags to prospective employers as it demonstrates an inability to communicate concisely. Keep the information on your resume relevant to the role To ensure they are considered for the widest variety of roles, an increasing number of IT professionals choose to include any and every technology they’ve ever used on their resumes. For instance, if you worked on a team using Java as a Business Analyst, unless you had hands-on experience using Java, it would be misleading to list ‘Java’ as a skill on your resume. “It’s more important to focus closely on the technology and responsibilities you deal with on a regular basis, and if they are not directly related to the role you’re applying for, consider removing them altogether,” recommends Drew. “Once something is listed on your resume, it is fair game for a prospective employer to ask questions.” Therefore, if you are unable to answer certain questions, this will speak negatively to your credibility and trustworthiness—decreasing your odds of getting the job. Create more than one resume The most successful IT candidates are the ones who design resumes that are tailored specifically to the type(s) of roles they are most interested in. In other words, if you possess a variety of technical and managerial strengths, consider creating two different resumes that highlight your skillset appropriately. “Whether you are in search of a team lead role or moving up to a type of managerial role, a resume that is centric to the type of position and responsibilities you’re looking for may increase your odds of getting an interview,” says Drew. “Creating different resumes will give you the flexibility to think more strategically about including the most relevant skills on your resume based on the role.” For example, if you possess both Quality Assurance skills and Java development experience, consider creating two resumes; one that speaks to your strengths as a QA if you’re targeting Business Analyst or Project Manager roles, and another that highlights your hands-on development experience using Java if you’re applying for Developer roles.
25 January 2018
According to a new report from The Atlantic, healthcare has surpassed all other industries to become the U.S.’s largest employer. While this trend was anticipated, few expected it to happen so quickly. However, as America’s aging population continues getting older, and as competition continues to tighten among facilities, jobs have exploded in the healthcare industry to outnumber previous leading industries like manufacturing that were once the bread and butter of the American economy. “As a healthcare professional, this is great news for you,” explains David Yoo, a Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Healthcare division. “The opportunities are seemingly endless, especially for administrative or nonclinical roles.” As facilities develop new initiatives to continue improving patient services, they need to hire high quality healthcare professionals to deliver the best all-around care. According to David, two roles that have seen higher demand include Medical Assistants and Customer Service Representatives: Medical Assistants: Just as Physician Assistants (PAs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are being hired in lieu of Physicians, facilities are hiring fewer RNs in favor of Medical Assistants. “Urgent care facilities in particular are looking for more Medical Assistants who can perform most of the same functions as nurses,” says David. “By doing so, these facilities can stay fully staffed and have lower patient wait times.” Customer Service Representatives/Patient Service Representatives/Patient Navigators/Medical Secretaries: Because competition is fierce, healthcare facilities have ramped up their initiatives to improve the patient experience. As a result, high quality service representatives are in high demand. “A facility’s ultimate goal is to turn a one-time patient into a lifelong visitor,” notes David. “This means that providing top quality service at every point of interaction is crucial to the success of a facility. After all, healthcare is a service industry at its core.” Because the industry is more competitive than ever before, professionals who can provide the best service will find many opportunities available to them. For healthcare professionals looking to take advantage of the vast opportunities in the healthcare industry, David recommends staying open to new paths in your career and highlighting key experience that facilities are looking for: Highlight Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Experience As EMR programs become more and more commonplace, having this experience is essential to landing your next role. “Many employers require a candidate to have EMR experience, and they will not see a candidate who lacks this critical skill,” explains David. “And many professionals fail to highlight their experience with EMRs on their resume.” As a result, if you are knowledgeable with one of these programs, be sure that it is easily found on your resume, and take the time to discuss your abilities with EMRs during interviews. Highlight Customer Service Experience While job seekers often use their resume to highlight more technical skills, emphasizing your ability to provide a high-quality patient experience is imperative to eventually receiving a job offer. “If you can give any indication on your resume that you’ve exhibited excellent customer service skills with patients in the past, employers will jump at the chance to add you to their team,” says David. “As a result, if you’ve received positive reviews by patients or if you’ve had exemplary customer service ratings, be sure to highlight this on your resume.” Additionally, during your interview, you may want to bring up specific examples where you went above and beyond in a service role to give a patient the best experience possible. These examples are proof that you understand the demands of the role. Be Open To What A Facility Can Teach You For healthcare professionals looking for their next opportunity, it can feel much easier to stay within your comfort zone. And many professionals will feel uncomfortable at the idea of needing to learn new skills on the job. However, if a job offer comes along where you must learn a new EMR system, for example, David recommends embracing these opportunities to build upon your existing skillset. “Keeping up with ever-changing technology and the skills to go along with it can be challenging, and many employers do not offer the opportunity to pick up these new skills on the job,” notes David. “If you are offered an opportunity where you can expand your knowledge, don’t hesitate—get excited to learn! You never know what kind of doors it could open for you later in your career.”
24 January 2018
When a vacation is looming around the corner, it’s easy to get a bit of tunnel vision as the prospect of some time away from the office becomes a reality. However, this tunnel vision may not help you stay productive in your final hours before leaving. As a result, you could return from vacation with more work—and more stress—than you could have had. In order to be sure that you don’t miss anything on your way out the door, use this checklist before leaving the office to be sure that you can return to a stress-free workplace. What needs to get done? First and foremost, you must focus on the work at hand. To be sure that you haven’t forgotten anything, make a list of the work that absolutely must be done before you leave. This can serve as your top priority in these few days. What would be nice to have done? Next, consider your return from taking time off, and think about the first things you might have to deal with that morning. This can help you assemble a checklist of “nice to haves,” which you can move on to once your priority checklist of tasks is done. Accomplishing even some items on this list will help to keep your stress level down when you’re trying to relax, and you’ll feel more at ease upon your return. Establish responsibility When you’re away from the office, be sure to establish the proper chain of command. For each of your responsibilities, who is the go-to person to cover this? Then, for these tasks, be sure to brief the right people on what they need to do, and give any necessary instructions. Keep in mind, the more thorough you are with your instructions, the less likely you are to receive that dreaded phone call during your vacation. Make a list for your return In addition to staying organized before you leave, it is important to consider how well you’ve prepared for your return. If you come back to work to a haphazard inbox, it can give you more stress and anxiety. By making a list of your top priorities before you leave, you can stay more focused on your first day back. Set your out of office One of the most crucial steps before you leave the office is to set your out of office message on your email—and potentially change your phone’s outgoing message as well. When you set your message, be sure to include the date that you’ll be returning as well as who can be contacted for immediate needs. Set proper alerts on your phone In addition to setting your out of office messages, be sure to properly set any alerts on your phone to be sure that you receive the messages that you need to get. Or, if you know that you won’t be needed, turn off alerts for your work email so that you won’t stress yourself out unnecessarily. Leave a clean space Last, but not least, be sure to clean your workspace before you leave. Nothing is more stressful than shuffling through unorganized papers to find something you need upon your return. To eliminate this source of unnecessary pressure, some simple organization and cleaning can keep you focused on the task at hand when you come back to work.
23 January 2018
As an administrative professional, you’re likely aware of what it takes for you to be successful. As the person whom people at your company rely on to ensure logistical tasks are completed and daily schedules run smoothly, you need a high level of knowledge and skill to carry out the demands of the role. However, the secret to being an exceptional administrative professional doesn’t lie solely with your skill level. “Most, if not all, office support professionals have a very similar set of skills, so it’s important to separate yourself from everyone else by establishing your confidence during an interview,” says Kaitlyn Doyle, an Associate in the Execu|Search Group’s Office Support & Human Resources division. “By doing so, you make it clear to the hiring manager that you have the potential to become an indispensable member of their company.” In order to display confidence during a job interview, be sure to keep these 5 things in mind: Dress the part Since how you present yourself often has a direct correlation to your confidence levels, you’ll want to have an outfit you feel comfortable and confident in. Additionally, it’s a good idea to make sure your outfit is tailored to the dress code the company adheres to. If you forget to ask or the hiring manager doesn’t tell you what type of business attire you should arrive in, you can often get a good sense of how other employees dress by visiting the company’s website or their social media accounts. Do your company research As an administrative professional, having an in-depth understanding of the company will be crucial to your success in the role. However, it’s also a proven way to demonstrate your confidence during an interview! “Employers love seeing someone who has a grasp on how daily operations within the company work,” says Kaitlyn. “In their eyes, this type of confidence indicates that you can be relied on because you’re strong in your knowledge of company best practices.” Act beyond the interview You may think that you only need to be on your ‘A’ game during the interview , but as an administrative professional, you’ll need to be attentive the moment you walk in. “Since administrative roles involve constant interaction, you should act under the assumption that everyone from reception to the interviewer is evaluating you,” explains Kaitlyn. “In order to demonstrate to everyone who may be observing you that you’re confident and self-assured, sit with good posture, don’t get distracted by your phone or other technology, and speak with an assertive tone.” Emphasize your strengths While you may have a similar set of skills to other candidates who are interviewing for the same position as you, there is a chance they may have more experience in a particular program that makes them a more attractive candidate. This may seem tough to overcome, but you can win a hiring manager over by emphasizing your personal strengths whether you’re an exceptional problem-solver or you’re an Excel wizard, you can find confidence in discussing matters where you feel you have more expertise. By demonstrating your knowledge in other areas, the hiring manager may overlook the fact that you’re not as experienced because you’re that confident in your abilities. Don’t be afraid to express some ego “As an administrative professional, employers are looking for someone who is confident, energetic and comfortable handling any task,” explains Kaitlyn. “That’s why, when you are interviewing for a position, you want to show a little bit of an ego in regards to your abilities and potential as an employee.” While you don’t want to come off as arrogant, being able to relate how your past work experiences will help you seamlessly transition into a new role demonstrates confidence in being able to do the job.
22 January 2018
If you’re among the 69% of employers aiming to hire new staff in 2018, you’re likely aware of the challenges that come with finding exceptional talent to fill key roles. Chief among those challenges according to a majority of employers? A lack of candidates with the right technical skills and the experience necessary to adequately perform in an assigned role. Addressing the growing skills shortage will be a major challenge for many employers in 2018, but a crucial mistake that many may fall victim to is not hiring for potential. When an employer hires for potential, they commit to taking on candidates who may not have the necessary technical skills when they start, but do possess the personal traits that make them a great fit for the organization. By doing so, these employers pave the way for their employees to be successful (and loyal!) in the future. Here are three ways to hire for potential in order to address the growing skills shortage: Place emphasis on personal attributes As you go through resumes and conduct interviews, you may be disappointed in a candidate’s lack of knowledge in a particular program or area. Looking past this may be difficult at first, but it’s important to remember that you can teach this program or skill over time. However, you can’t train character. By choosing a candidate you know will get along with your team and has the motivation to learn, you’re taking the steps to ensure future projects that require collaboration will be successful. Additionally, hiring an individual that you get along with will make it easier for you to mold them into the employee you want them to be. Evaluate transferable skills If a candidate isn’t proficient in a particular program or tool you’re looking for, but they do have expert-level knowledge in a similar one, it pays to give them a shot. Since they’re already knowledgeable in a similar program, it’s likely they’ll be able to pick up on the desired skill as long as they’re given some initial guidance. While it may take a little time for them to get up to speed, hiring for potential based on their transferable skills will pay off further down the line. After all, those given the chance to prove themselves and feel their employer is invested in their growth will be more loyal in the long run! Ask behavior or situational-based questions during the interview So how do you decide whether or not a candidate has the potential to be a truly great employee? During the interview, be sure to ask them situational and behavior-based questions. These types of questions are a good way to analyze a potential employee’s ability to handle adversity and their general attitude, which can ultimately reveal how they’ll be able to work and grow within your company. Learn more about hiring for potential in our new eBook for employers: 2018 Hiring Outlook: How To Address The Growing Skills Shortage
19 January 2018
After several past attempts, New York State finally passed new legislation that will require nurses to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) within 10 years of obtaining their RN license. Although New York is the only state to have adopted this law, it is expected to act as a precedent for others hoping to pass similar legislation in the future. “Factors such as chronic disease, the aging population, and the adoption of technology across the industry have led the national push to raise educational standards for nurses,” says Amanda Cruse, a Senior Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Healthcare division. “The demand for skilled nurses with their BSN is something we have been observing with our clients for many years. This new law will only strengthen this demand, which will create a powerful advantage for RNs who already have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.” If you are a nurse and are wondering how the “BSN in 10” law will affect you, continue reading: Current New York Nurses + Nursing Students: At this moment, nurses who already hold a New York license will not be required to get their bachelor’s in nursing. Current students enrolled in a nursing program will also be grandfathered in. Future New York Nurses (including Travelers): All RNs entering the field will be required to complete their bachelor’s degree within 10 years of becoming certified. Those who do not will have their license suspended. Additionally, this law applies to travel nurses seeking to work in New York. For example, if you want to be a traveler, you must have your BSN in order to become licensed in the state. Regardless of whether you are exempt from this law, you might want to consider getting your bachelor’s in nursing sooner rather than later. “If you are in a point in your nursing career where it makes sense for you to obtain your BSN, I suggest starting as soon as possible,” says Amanda. “This degree will soon become the industry standard, so while it may seem like a lot of work in the short-term, the long-term career benefits will make it worthwhile.” Here are three benefits of getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing: It opens more doors. Having a BSN degree simply gives you more employment options, especially if you want to work for one of New York State’s top hospitals. According to Amanda, “this degree has been a prerequisite to landing an interview at one of these facilities for many years.” There are more opportunities to specialize. Getting your BSN can put you on the right track to developing the advanced clinical skills needed to become specialized in a certain area. Since this degree will give you access to more jobs, you’ll have more opportunities to try different specialties. Then once you decide what you want to pursue, a Master’s degree will be another option available to you. It offers greater career advancement. If you want to pursue any type of leadership position, a BSN is typically a requirement for advancement. “In an increasingly complex landscape, this designation is a testament to your commitment to the highest levels of safety, quality, and patient satisfaction,” explains Amanda.
18 January 2018
It’s a new year, and for many, that means new career resolutions. Whether this involves gearing up for a job search or learning a new skill, now is the perfect time to tackle that major goal that you’ve been thinking about. And if you haven’t yet thought about your career resolutions for 2018, start brainstorming! Every new year gives you the opportunity to gain fresh perspective on your career. If you’re feeling motivated to make a change, but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Here are 6 career resolutions to help you launch a successful 2018: Update your resume: Whether you are job searching or are happily employed, this is a great short-term goal to begin the year with. By setting aside an hour to bring your resume up-to-date, you can set additional career resolutions by identifying areas for improvement, discovering your strengths, and documenting your accomplishments. Keep track of your achievements: All too often, we end our year on a negative note by criticizing ourselves for not following through on certain goals. Change this habit by making a resolution to start keeping track of your achievements. Whether you keep an Excel file, a notebook, or a blog, dedicate a space to tallying your successes as they occur so you can look back on the year positively. Pick up a new skill: Whether you need a resume builder for your job search or would like to move up the ladder with your current employer, gaining a new skill can only help. Try setting a resolution like “take a class in X” or “attend a webinar on Y” to hold yourself accountable for your own professional development. Stay up-to-date with industry trends: Whether you work within healthcare or accounting, there’s a wealth of information out there to keep you up-to-date on your industry. Try making a resolution to “read one blog per week” or “subscribe to an industry publication” to help you (and your employer) stay on track of industry trends. Strive for a better work-life balance: In today’s technology-driven world, finding a positive work-life balance is easier said than done. Nevertheless, it’s important to living a happy, rewarding life. To maintain a healthy work-balance, try blocking out more time for you, setting boundaries when checking after-hour emails, and talking to your employer about incorporating more flexibility into your work schedule. Improve your personal brand: Social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook have changed the way we connect after networking events, meetings, and interviews. As a result, evaluating and improving the way your brand is portrayed on these sites should be one of your top career resolutions of this year.
16 January 2018
While the healthcare industry is constantly evolving, the shift from inpatient to outpatient care will continue to influence the industry in the years to come. As organizations remain focused on this outcome-based care model, one trend that will persist is the growth of urgent care. Since 2014, the number of urgent care centers in the United States has grown by 23% according to the Urgent Care Association of America. As more patients seek this convenient and affordable care for minor health concerns, urgent care will present many new opportunities for healthcare organizations and providers alike. Providing care to nearly 160 million patients annually, the urgent care market is valued at $15 billion with per site revenue projected to reach $1.7 million by 2021. “Urgent care is becoming an increasingly popular choice for patients seeking care for non-emergent health needs,” says Kyle Mattice, President of The Execu|Search Group’s Healthcare division. “Not only is it a lower-cost alternative to a trip to the ER, but it is more convenient. Due to this, we’re seeing an increasing number of hospitals and health systems along with medical groups and healthcare corporations investing in urgent care.” As more of these facilities open across the country, hiring the appropriate staff to meet the demand for care will become an even greater issue than it is currently. “An urgent care facility needs a cohesive team of clinical and non-clinical staff to run effectively,” advises Kyle. “In today’s climate, however, there can be upwards of five urgent care centers in a 20-mile radius. Since you will all be competing for the same talent, your ability to set yourself apart from other healthcare employers is key. Maintaining an appropriate staff to patient ratio is also critical to creating a positive experience for all visitors—something that will encourage them to return for future health needs.” Looking to attract and retain top physicians, advanced practitioners, and support staff for your urgent care facility? Take these 6 steps for urgent care staffing success: Make faster, more competitive offers: Taking too long to make an offer—or not giving the best offer up front—can lead you to miss out on a candidate who has a better experience elsewhere. To ensure these practices don’t negatively impact your ability to secure talent, extend salaries or pay rates that are competitive with market trends; reduce the number of interview rounds; and make faster decisions. Be open to alternative hiring strategies: Due to the increased demand for talent, the urgent care staffing solutions you have utilized in the past may not be as effective or efficient today. “This is where a temporary staffing strategy can be especially beneficial,” advises Kyle. “Turning to locum physicians or advanced practitioners when opening a new facility, for example, can give you the flexibility you need to evaluate patient volume before making a longer-term staffing commitment.” These practitioners can also help supplement full-time staff for per diem and seasonal hiring needs. Offer flexible scheduling: Giving employees the opportunity to coordinate their own shifts based on their unique needs can help give you an edge over other organizations that are stricter about scheduling. Remember, this doesn’t just benefit the employee. Healthcare professionals who feel less stressed at home are often happier at work and more engaged with patients. Have the right support + infrastructure in place: In a setting that has such high patient volume, burnout is a major concern for employees. “Many providers have had negative experiences with this in the past, so identifying an organization that operates efficiently will be a huge priority when job searching,” warns Kyle. “To mitigate their concerns, explain how you have the appropriate support and technology to maintain appropriate patient-provider ratios and keep the ship sailing.” Having these systems in place will also be key to improving employee wellness, and therefore, reducing turnover. Provide a proper orientation: Prior to seeing any patients, all new hires should be properly trained on the urgent care center’s internal processes and electronic medical records system. “Failing to set up a new employee for success from the get-go not only slows down patient care, but also leaves a negative impression on the provider,” says Kyle. “While they may not be there in the long-run, this concept also applies to locums and other temporary staff. Those who do not get a well-rounded introduction will be less willing to return in the future or refer the facility to their network.” Foster employee relationships: In such a fast-paced environment, it can be easy for your staff to put their heads down and focus on the work at hand. While patient care should always be a priority, cultivating a team-oriented environment can be just as important. “When employees feel part of a cohesive team, morale generally increases,” says Kyle. “This will not only help reduce turnover, but also facilitate stronger patient outcomes.”