BY ROZ BEN-CHITRIT
Published in www.handsontelehealth.com, March 19, 2013
Have you ever read dating profiles on Match.com, eHarmony, or one of the dozens of other matchmaking sites out there?
If not, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to understand how to attract the best people for your telehealth team.
Maybe being a recruiter makes me partial to learning about people, but I believe reading dating profiles could become an obsession.
Why? Because profiles offer a view into what makes the writer unique – or, for that matter, NOT unique.
Whether you’re looking for a date or a life partner, depending on your personality (chemistry), upbringing/ethos (culture), life aspirations (expectations), and likes/dislikes (“technical” requirements), you’ll find that you are or are not attracted to people based on how they answer the questions posed on dating web sites.
Some people are serious and business-like, others are light-hearted and laugh-out-loud funny.
There are short profiles that come across as curt or thoughtless and long ones that ramble.
Others are a combination.
The really good ones give you a sense of whether or not it’s worth checking out this potential mate…if it might be a good match.
I sometimes think it’s a shame we don’t have candidates provide a personal profile rather than a resume.
But hiring authorities usually want consistency and “just the facts” so unique and expressive resumes aren’t likely to become the norm. But let’s not throw out the idea of a profile completely.
A NEW kind of profile for hiring talent
The hiring company can create a POSITION profile, which is far better at attracting the best fitting candidates than a standard job description.”
Is it critical that we both like sushi, classical music and non-fiction?
Are they deal breakers without which the relationship will fail?
These types of checklists usually comprise job descriptions.
But where’s the “flavor” that points to whether our experiences, world views, and styles will contribute to a successful relationship?
It’s those squishy qualities about what makes someone happy day-to-day…both the exciting and the mundane.
Add the challenge of finding the right talent for the relatively nascent telehealth and mHealth industries, and things get trickier.
We probably need to look at parallel experiences, business models and backgrounds to find that perfect relationship.
Let’s be honest.
Writing a position profile is harder than writing a job description, and some people will resist doing it.
But it’s worth it.
Everyone comes to terms with (and agrees on) who they are, what they want, and why.
The end result? Closer matches and, ultimately, long-term relationships with less heartbreak and less wasted time.
Writing a POSITION Profile
So how do you write a profile?
Define your organization and what you want a new hire to accomplish.
How do those things fit together?
Are you a young telehealth vendor looking for folks with bold new ideas, boundless energy and a take charge attitude?
Maybe you run a facility about to get its feet wet in the telehealth space and need someone with experience implementing systems, a technical background and a more methodical approach to getting new programs underway?
You can use the key sections below as a guide, adding more or taking things out.
But be sure that all key players review and approve the profile before the search begins.
Remember – this helps you understand what you’re looking for in a concrete and structured way.
It helps you know if a candidate fits when you speak to him or her.
It can also be used as a “marketing” document to entice prospects to consider the position.
Create a very descriptive document.
Provide “for instance” information so readers understand your culture.
Do you have a Halloween costume party?
Does the company sponsor community charities and encourage employee participation?
Is it standard to work long hours or is there a focus on work-life balance with flexible hours and telecommuting?
Include measurable performance expectations and the time frames for accomplishing them.
For sales roles, are there market share, dollar or key customer goals?
For engineering, how does the product development process work?
Don’t worry about writing too much…include everything that matters. Leave out anything that doesn’t give the reader a sense of the organization, the job, and what it would be like to work there.
Writing a POSITION Profile – the details
A typical position profile includes the following:
1) Company Overview – On a dating site, this is the “About Me” section. Be honest, and provide enough background so the reader can decide if he’d like to know more. Describe the company, its mission, vision and values. Explain why it’s a great place to work and the type of person who excels there.
“We’re a young company with a hard-working, driven management team that is totally committed to all stakeholders: from end-users to investors to employees. We live and breathe telehealth!”
2) Major Products/Services – Here’s where you give the factual “Details” about yourself. On a dating site, it’s number of children/custody, your job/income, height/weight, etc. Don’t exaggerate or make “little white lies” like, “I’m 5’7, but I say I’m 6’1″ for search purposes.” Talk about current and planned products or services, along with exciting initiatives the candidate will be working on.
“We launched our newest product, AwesomeTel, in January to great industry accolades. Our next product is in beta test and looks very promising, as well. We expect to launch in May.”
3) Corporate Executives/Reporting Structure – Identify executives who will interact with the candidate, focusing on issues related to their background and style. This may help a candidate identify personality traits that fit his own. It helps generate common starting points in getting to know a potential date.
“Julie, the hiring manager, is a graduate of MIT and Wharton, has led 4 healthcare technology start-ups and brought 3 of them public. She’s an empowering manager and is admired by colleagues and throughout the industry.”
4) Basic Functions & General Scope – This is the 30,000 foot view of the role, the dating profile equivalent of “My Life and Ambitions”. Readers should understand the expectations and responsibilities of the individual undertaking the position.
“The VP of Sales has P&L responsibility for growing revenues by building and managing a sales team, identifying and contracting with new channels, and creating/implementing a national accounts strategy.”
5) Specific Responsibilities – Only include the most important responsibilities for the job, including tasks that are unique to the position. Just as on a dating profile, too much is simply…too much! Do you really want to date someone who lists every detail of his hopes for a partner? You don’t need to share every detail.
6) Key Initiatives – What’s more important than knowing what’s expected of you? “Expand distribution partnerships with 4 new healthcare IT companies within six months of joining the team” is clear about the expectations to which an employee will be held. It’s measurable and specific. This section is extremely helpful when someone comes from a different industry, as is likely in the mHealth and telehealth space.
7) Compensation & Benefits – Candidates need to understand what’s on the table. In a growth market like mHealth or telehealth, looking beyond the base salary can give candidates a sense of the future possibilities. You needn’t put in “the number”, but describe bonus plans, equity, and other tangible motivators for prospective employees. This section is reflective of a dating site’s “Things I could never live without” section.
“We offer a competitive base salary, profit sharing, and bonus opportunities. Additionally, the company provides a choice of comprehensive health plans, including dental and vision, funds for ongoing professional education, and equity.”
8) Relocation and other Key Information – On a dating site, it’s important to let potential suitors know if relocation is a possibility (“I will never leave Wichita, KS”), if you’ll sponsor a foreign worker (“I’m from Ghana…), travel expectations (“You must have a passport if you want to date me”) and similar issues. Ensure that you’ve included absolute musts and must nots so potential candidates know if they meet your criteria.
“Only candidates willing to work from our Cambridge, MA offices will be considered. Extensive international travel on short notice is likely to be required. Candidates may not be under a non-compete within the telehealth industry.”
Writing a position profile takes time, but if done correctly, it’s worth the effort.
- You’ll have an easier time knowing if someone’s right for the job.
- They’ll know whether they should apply (hopefully saving time because you’re not reviewing inappropriate resumes).
- Additionally, interviews and candidate assessments should go more smoothly if everyone in the decision-making process has taken the time to participate in developing the profile.
You might want to check out some dating profiles to get some ideas!
Whether or not you learn from on-line dating sites, using a position profile should result in a more effective courting and dating experience…and hopefully will get you the long-term relationship you’re looking for!
For a sample position profile, e-mail Roz Ben-Chitrit at email@example.com and request one!
To learn more about career opportunities in telehealth/mHealth, contact Sanford Rose Associates’ recruitment practice at http://www.sanfordrose.com/ct.
You can also contact Roz Ben-Chitrit at firstname.lastname@example.org
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