HEALTHTECH: What does the healthcare IT hiring landscape look like right now?
DECKER: It’s very challenging. There’s a huge need for talent and not enough talent out there. The traditional means — open up a job requisition, cull through candidates and find a couple who are really good — isn’t the only way it works anymore.
Most people in senior positions can pretty much write their own ticket. It takes a lot of outreach and enticements, and you have to look beyond normal boundaries.
HEALTHTECH: How have security challenges facing your staff evolved?
DECKER: Certainly, the level of sophistication of threat actors has increased. The barrier to entry to do harm is much lower than it has ever been. The ability to scale up ransomware can bring an organization to its knees. It’s very scary.
Let’s take the case of WannaCry. If you shut down a compromised system, suddenly you have no ability to provide treatment, and your organization is scrambling to send hundreds of patients somewhere else.
The other significant change that everybody is talking about — and there’s a lot of dissenting opinion — is the vulnerability of medical devices: Can you hack them and cause harm? It’s so important for us to consider what’s going on in the IoT space.
MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: Learn how diverse healthcare IT teams can improve patient care for everyone.
HEALTHTECH: Where do you scout for talent?
DECKER: We certainly rely on internal recruiters who have their own tactics. Social media and leveraging my own network also are avenues that we use.
We’ve had internship programs that offer a great pipeline; sometimes we will lower the classification of a job and hire a more junior individual and work on training them into the skill set. That has been very successful for retention.
HEALTHTECH: What characteristics do you look for in a new hire?
DECKER: It depends on the job. If you’re hiring for a highly technical engineer, then you’re looking for skill sets to complement a deficiency on the team. You want diversity. That gives everyone their own little niche, which I think is helpful for ownership of the work that we do.
Generally speaking, I look for three qualities in every candidate: nice, bright and hardworking.