Healthcare Software Executives Need to Build Personal Brands

July 5, 2016


By Mike Silverstein, Managing Partner of Healthcare IT & Life Sciences

Every business or organization has a brand. A brand is the way in which others identify the values of a company and how that company is perceived by its audience.  Branding is very strategic and calculated and the idea is to find unique ways to gain mindshare and positioning in the minds of customers and clients.  While it is commonplace for a business to put extensive amounts of time, money and energy into building its brand, personal branding is just as important for individual executives especially in an industry as dynamic as healthcare technology.

If you are a Healthcare IT Executive, your personal brand is everything you say and do on a day-to-day basis. This includes not just your actions but also your individual qualities and unique attributes including your passions, values, and goals.  If you think of the concept of your brand as a foundational element in your career, it can be a consistent motivator to build your network, meet new people, and create a presence both in person and online.  In other words, personal branding will position you in the marketplace as a logical choice for your next desired business partnership or career opportunity.

The question is how do you start building your brand or more importantly, start taking control and managing the brand you are already conveying to the market? Below are some thoughts on how to put some structure and methodology to your brand and how to manage the messaging you put out to your clients and industry colleagues:

Determine Your Target Market

What is your purpose for building your brand?  Whose attention do you want to catch?  It is important to have a clear view of who you want to target as your audience.  For example, you could be looking for a leadership position in a healthcare software company and will want to position yourself to appeal to potential employers, recruiters and investment firms within the industry.  This could differ completely from a professional who might be looking to sell a portfolio of solutions, find new clients and network with potential industry partners.  The key is first to define your audience and then figure out the best way to reach it.  Knowing which organizations you want to make an impression on will help you to determine what types of content you should be sharing, what events to attend, and key influencers you should connect with.

Building and Marketing Your Brand

Today there are many different channels to showcase your personal brand; particularly online.  Social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, along with personal websites and blogs are all channels that can be used to promote your personal brand.  It is important to stay consistent across all platforms to make sure the same message is being received no matter how your audience is finding you.  Sharing relevant healthcare thought leadership content to start conversations and creatively managing your social media channels are ways to boost your personal branding efforts.

Aside from your online presence, other helpful ways to build your personal brand are what you do in person.  Depending on how you want to frame your brand, speaking opportunities, volunteer work, guest writing for industry publications, or presentations at workshops and conferences could be great for your brand.  Attending conferences and functions pertaining to the healthcare industry will not only give you more credibility, but also will help you to build and expand your network.

As you build your brand, remember these three rules for promoting yourself:

  1. Be consistent
    Make certain that messaging across all platforms carries your personal brand and voice in the same way, while not necessarily being the same content.
  1. Be creative
    Develop your profiles to have a look and feel that encompasses your personal brand.  In addition, think of unique ways to capture attention of any organization you are interested in.
  1. Be purposeful
    Always keep your end goal in mind while branding yourself as a talented Healthcare Industry Executive.  Everything you say or do contributes to your brand, so a helpful way to make sure you are being purposeful is to ‘Google’ your name to understand view how you are perceived by others.

Monitor and Maintain

The most important part about building your personal brand is making sure to effectively monitor and maintain it.  In business, marketers work around the clock to not only build the company’s brand, but also to get real-time feedback from the market in order to make adjustments and pivots as necessary. Similarly, your personal brand will benefit from the same diligence.  Continuously updating your online presence with relevant content, new industry connections and accomplishments in your field will help increase the level of engagement with your audience and position you appropriately for the next step in your career. Building industry relationships and staying in touch with those folks through relevant content is also paramount. Lastly, asking for others opinions about the messaging you are putting out there and always be receptive to feedback and new ideas will help you fine tune your presence and stay in front of the correct audience with the appropriate branding touches.

No matter what your goals are, you can effectively build your brand to help you achieve those goals.  What are you currently doing to showcase your personal brand?

For over 33 years, Direct Recruiters, Inc. has been recognized as the relationship-focused search firm that assists top-tier organizations with recruiting, acquiring, and retaining high-impact talent for mission-critical positions.

Internet of Things (IoT) & The Talent Rush

April 15, 2016

Internet of Things (IOT) is emerging as the next technology mega-trend across the entire business spectrum. The IoT is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data. While IoT has been in the industry for several years, we will witness more things being connected to the Internet every day. According to Gartner, the IoT installed base will grow to 26 billion units by 2020.

The wide range of IoT uses will be sold into various markets such as medical device, factory automation sensors, industrial robotics, sensor motes for increased agricultural yield, automotive sensors, and infrastructure integrity monitoring systems for diverse areas, such as road and railway transportation, water distribution and electrical transmission.

With the IoT revolution, the demand for new positions and skills required to build the IoT is skyrocketing. The rush for talent includes a high demand for software developers, software engineers, hardware engineers, solutions architects, cloud architects, integration architects, information security analysts, computer systems engineers, cloud and product engineers, and commercial and industrial designers.

In addition, exactly what skills are needed? Hiring managers for IoT positions are looking for excellent communication skills, creativity, big data knowledge, security knowledge, artificial intelligence knowledge, and the ability to collaborate with people in different industries.

With the increasing Internet of Things technologies and jobs, there are also new ways for students or professionals to gain the skillsets needed for IoT industries.  Select universities such as the Global University of Engineering, Santa Clara, California has bachelor’s degree programs in IoT and UC Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University have introduced Master’s programs related to data science.  Additionally, MIT offers an online IoT course and University of Wisconsin-Madison has an Internet of Things Lab dedicated to students in order to learn, research, and experiment with IoT technologies.

Not only are there opportunities for students to become IoT proficient, but companies are also finding ways to keep employees trained and up to speed with the Internet of Things.  General Electric, for example, opened a software center in 2011 to train data specialist to consult on company Internet project and Cisco is revising its IT and OT training in light of IoT.

The Internet of Things has been called the next Industrial Revolution. Businesses will be the top adopter of IoT solutions with 95% of CEO’s saying that their organizations will be involved in IoT someway over the next 3 years.  Such rapid adoption and growth requires the right talent with the right skill sets. Therefore, the talent rush is on.

Employment Opportunities In The Energy & Sustainability Industry

Matthew Cohen

February 17, 2016

Matthew Cohen, Energy & Sustainability Practice Leader was interviewed by Bob Hetherington, Editor with

What are the most significant hiring challenges facing organizations in the Energy & Sustainability space?

The most significant challenge facing organizations today is the struggle to attract passive candidates who are not actively looking for new opportunities.  To organizations, passive candidates are desirable. They are currently doing their job at peak performance and already exhibit the specific characteristics and skills employers crave. However, even with the improvement of the economy, passive candidates who do not have a compelling reason to change jobs are less likely to be open to new opportunities.

What can organizations in the Energy & Sustainability space do to attract passive candidates who are not actively looking for new positions?

The best way for organizations in the Energy & Sustainability to attract passive candidates is to consistently take a proactive approach.  It is important to constantly be aware of talent in the industry and develop a pipeline even when they are not currently available.  Those organizations that take a relationship first approach with passive candidates, the smoother transition they have, when and if, a prospective candidate is interested in new opportunities.

What are the most significant attributes that companies in the Energy & Sustainability Industry look for when acquiring new talent?

The most significant attributes that companies in the Energy & Sustainability Industry look for when acquiring new talent is the ability to not only be technically proficient, but have the communication skills necessary to explain or even sell their technical knowledge to their customer base.  It is important for companies not only be able to explain what a return on investment will be in a sustainable solution, but how that solution will impact the lives of their employees and community.  Those individuals who have those soft skills are in high demand.

Are there geographical areas in the country that are more active than others when it comes to hiring for this industry?

Those areas where peak demand for HVAC is highest are the areas that are the most active. This would include California, the southeast, Florida and Texas.  The northeast region also is very active in the sustainability industry given legislation there is promoting high sustainability standards.

What are the most sought after positions in the Energy & Sustainability Industry?

The most sought after positions in the Energy & Sustainability Industry are those that are customer facing but also require technical ability.  These would include, sales, project engineering and managers, energy auditors and energy engineers.

Are there any educational qualifications that you would recommend for those seeking employment in the Energy & Sustainability Industry?

For those seeking employment in the Energy & Sustainability Industry, I would recommend the LEED certification as well as the Certified Energy Manager certification (CEM).  Both of these on a resume make a candidate within the industry considerably more attractive.

As a professional in the industry, what trends do you see on the horizon?

One of trends that I see on the horizon is an expansion of services by ESCO’s and energy efficiency consulting firms.  We are seeing a trend of organizations going beyond the simple ROI on an energy efficiency upgrade.  Those who seek sustainability solutions are looking for ways they can transform not only their energy consumption, but how sustainable solutions can impact the lives and productivity of their employees.  This would include asset management and the implementation of a training program on how to keep a building sustainable after the initial upgrade is completed.

How are you expanding and why the practice name change to Energy & Sustainability?

We’ve had great success in the energy industry focusing specifically on those companies who either make a traditional energy efficient product such as HVAC, building automation, LED lighting, advanced metering and energy management software.  We have since expanded not only to service organizations that implement or consult on energy & sustainability solutions, but also expand to emerging technologies that are vital to the future of sustainability.  These would include, energy storage, micro grid technology, cogeneration and advances in renewable technologies.

About Matthew Cohen
Matthew Cohen serves as the Energy & Sustainability Practice Leader for DRI’s growing Energy & Sustainability sector comprised of HVAC, Energy Management Software, Demand Response, Energy Services, Energy Efficiency, Building Automation, AMI & AMR Technologies, Energy Management Hardware and Systems Integration and Renewable Energy Technologies.  Matt is expanding his practice area through market research, candidate sourcing, recruiting and new business development.

6 Hot Jobs in 2016

January 6, 2016

What jobs will be hot in 2016? Which occupations are going to increase in demand and are worth your time and investment? These are the questions you should be asking yourself if you’re selecting a college or switching careers.  Here are 6 jobs that have great potential and are worth considering:

Chief Risk Officer (CRO): If your company doesn’t already have a CRO, chances are they will soon. Recent massive security lapses have left companies vulnerable. In addition, the ever-expanding convergence of web, cloud, social, and mobile technology makes possible breaches of information even greater.  Therefore, cybersecurity has become a top priority for company leaders and hiring managers find themselves on a mission to locate and land CRO’s. Typically, CRO’s are concerned with assessing and mitigating significant competitive, regulatory and technological risks across the enterprise. The average CRO has a post-graduate degree and 10 to 20 years of business-related experience, usually in economics, accounting, or legal affairs.

Software Application Developers: Considered as the brains behind new technologies, Software Application Developers are credited for creating technological advances that you now can’t live without including social media, a plethora of apps, and checking your bank balance using your phone. In fact, software surrounds us every minute of our lives and that’s why software application developers are in high demand. In addition, the ongoing revolution in the mobile device industry guarantees stable growth in this specialty and The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects this job is going to experience a 23% growth in the next 10 years. For this job, a bachelor’s degree in computer science is preferred but a rock star coder with or without a degree is very desirable.

Registered Nurses (RNs): The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that RNs are growing in demand and the job market for them is rapidly expanding. In fact, RNs are one of the fastest growing occupations with an increase of 26% projected through 2020. This means a whopping 3.45 million jobs.  Additionally, the demand for traveling nurses hit a 20 year high in 2015. This spike in growth can be attributed to the Baby Boomer generation aging and in need of additional healthcare as well as Baby Boomer nurses retiring.  Currently, the US is experiencing a nursing shortage and there’s no relief in sight.  If you have a love for nursing and are willing to earn your BSN, there’s never been a better time to enter this field.

Web Designers: Employment for Web Designers is expected to grow more than 20% in the next 10 years especially with a surge due to the need for mobile friendly websites. In addition, their jobs have expanded to include such things as e-mail marketing.  In fact, designers now have a seat at the business table due to the need for SEO, metrics, click through rates, conversations and analytics. If the designer works as part of an in-house team, they will have access to these business intelligence tools. Today’s highly creative and tech savvy web designers can expect to make top dollar.

Sustainability Professionals:  Whether you are a Sustainability Consultant, Environmental Scientist, Environmental Engineer, Corporate Responsibility Professional, Green Building Professional, or Agriculture Food Scientist, you are in great demand.  Sustainability is a hot field and growing so quickly that jobs we haven’t even thought of yet may be the careers of the future.  A broad sustainability education is a great preparation for a career in this industry, but it is recommended that you focus on one of the specialties above that employers can’t find enough of these days.

Personal Financial Advisors: Helping people with investments, taxes and insurance decisions are the main duties of a Personal Financial Advisor. The employment in this field is expected to have much faster growth than the average for all occupations over the next few years. The demand can be attributed to the aging population wanting to retire comfortably and an increase in life expectancies. However, there is a shortage of younger advisors coming into the industry. Only 6% of advisors are under the age of 30 and only 90 universities offer degree programs in financial planning. What the profession needs is much more advertising and informing students at the high school level that this is a rewarding career and booming profession.

What other “hot jobs” can you add to our list? Please comment below.

The Value of HIT by Mike Silverstein, Managing Partner & Director of HIT, Direct Recruiters

Mike 2As a recruiter, I am in a unique position in that I have learned about Healthcare IT through the eyes of vendors in the industry as opposed to direct interaction with the provider community. My clients are technology and service companies that sell some sort of automation to the Provider and Payer markets. Their charter is to streamline clinical and financial workflows and make healthcare cheaper to perform and more efficient resulting in improved outcomes.

Every day I hear that Healthcare is light-years behind other industries in the use and adoption of technology. However, I have concluded, as many have in this industry, that throwing technology and money at the problem doesn’t always work. Healthcare is in the midst of a monumental paradigm shift from “pay for service” to “pay for performance.” As a result, the business challenges are continuing to change on a daily basis. Also, keep in mind that clinicians are a unique breed, and they don’t think and operate like those in the broader business community. Mix those two elements together and you have one, enormous moving target.  Healthcare can achieve the transformation it is looking for, but it is going to require a more cyclical diet of technology, policy change and consulting aimed at optimization of the purchased technology. This optimization will come in the form of better user adoption, smoothing out clinical workflow and process, normalization of data (so that BI & Analytics tools work properly) and major coaching around how to make better decisions through the use of the “actionable data” that all of this technology produces.

If we can achieve the proper “balanced diet” of all of the above, I am confident that HIT will change healthcare in a very valuable and meaningful way. I am consistently amazed by the ingenuity, creativity and foresight of the folks in our business and I think that the average patient/healthcare consumer in this country will enjoy a more positive experience, better health and eventually it won’t be quite as painful on the pocketbook.

In conclusion, I think the way to really change healthcare is to bite off manageable chunks of technology and make sure it gets digested and adopted by the end user. Only then will we see true value in the form of improved outcomes and reduced cost.