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Cultivating Culture – The Hiring Process at Modernizing Medicine

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To modernize medicine takes more than a great product; it takes a great team.

Modernizing Medicine has hired over 100 employees in less than 2 years. For a 132-person company just celebrating our third year in business, that’s a lot of hiring! And, in my (not so) humble opinion, we’re really good at it. One of the key contributors to our success in the specialty-specific electronic medical record (EMR) market has been our focus (obsession) with culture fit during the hiring process.

In hiring for culture, we actively search for people who bring not only a high level of skill or expertise to the position, but also a passion to achieve great things, to innovate, to adapt and to grow. For us, the mission is to transform how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized to increase efficiency and improve outcomes. Every team member at Modernizing Medicine gets that. Whether you are an accountant, sales person, software developer, client specialist, attorney or physician—in our company, you know that what you do not only makes a difference for Modernizing Medicine, it contributes to the monumental shift that is occurring in healthcare today.

In a Fastcompany post on Leadership, Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch, Shawn Parr writes:

“Culture, like brand, is misunderstood and often discounted as a touchy-feely component of business that belongs to HR. It’s not intangible or fluffy, it’s not a vibe or the office décor. It’s one of the most important drivers that has to be set or adjusted to push long-term, sustainable success. It’s not good enough just to have an amazing product and a healthy bank balance. Long-term success is dependent on a culture that is nurtured and alive. Culture is the environment in which your strategy and your brand thrives or dies a slow death.”

How do we determine culture fit? No one is hired based simply on a resume. And, we don’t hire just on first impressions. We bring people in, at least twice, often times more. Candidates meet many people at the Company from various departments and they actually “work” as part of the interview process.  A traditional interview does not always bring out a candidate’s true personality. By conducting working interviews, we gain insight into their skill level and also into the attitude and personality with which they’ll approach their role.

A good example is the selection process for our Educators. They are experienced medical professionals who educate and support our clients using Modernizing Medicine’s Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMATM), our iPad based, specialty-specific EMR system.  Quality training is critical to our clients’ successful adoption of EMA, so this is a crucial role.  As part of the interview process, Educator candidates develop an actual lesson and deliver it to our staff. The lesson can be on any topic.  One candidate gave an informative lesson on parts of the eye and another gave a presentation on how to shuck oysters. For the purposes of the interview, the content is not as important as their ability to engage their audience and impart knowledge.

Working interviews aren’t just great for us; they’re great for the candidate. This point is really important.  By giving a candidate real world insight into what they’ll actually be doing, we give them information they need to make informed decisions. It is just as important for candidates to understand the role, expectation and company culture as it is for us to assess their expertise, strengths and passion for what they do.

Does a company’s culture drive success? Consider this. In Corporate Culture and Performance by John P. Kotter and James L. Heskett, the authors argue that a strong and adaptive company culture correlates with strong financial results. Kotter states: “To consider that the difference between a nine-hundred percent and a seventy-five percent appreciation in equity value is somewhat attributable to the strength of a company’s corporate culture highlights the significance of this often-overlooked issue.”

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or a physician, to understand that the cost of hiring and training new employees is high. If a new employee is not a good fit for an organization, they won’t last. Developing and refining a thoughtful process that includes culture assessment will increase overall efficiency and improve outcomes. At Modernizing Medicine, we are looking for passionate, innovative, creative rock stars.  Do you have what it takes to be part of something great?