Has anyone ever said to you, “it’s a full time job just looking for a job”? The same is true when you are given the task to fill a job at your organization. Where do you start? Who do you call? Who else do you bring in to help decide? How much can you be certain that a consulting firm has your best interest in mind?
Even though MEDITECH provides a system of high value for the overall cost, anyone who has implemented MEDITECH within any platform has found resource constraints at some point. Whether it has been planned and budgeted for, or decided on in a desperate attempt to right the ship, many organizations have started the arduous task to find the right consultant.
It’s true that there seem to be dozens of new consulting firms that have popped up out of nowhere within the last 2-3 years. All of these firms are essentially saying the same thing. “We have the best MEDITECH resources available at the lowest possible price.” It can be difficult to find a really solid resume that fits your exact needs, and even if you are interested in a candidate, how do you know they are who they say they are? What exactly do you need to be sure of before deciding to bring a consultant on board?
Always remember that Consulting firms have the responsibility to provide you a consultant that will provide value to your organization for the time you have specified at a reasonable cost. Truth be told, many consulting firms use the exact same avenues to find consultants. LinkedIn, Dice, Monster, and other search engine sites find a lot of the same candidates. With so many firms using a lot of the same tactics, other than just picking one randomly, how do you pick the right one?
Below are some methods your organization can use when deciding what type of consultant you need, how to pick a consultant firm, and then which consultant you should pick.
- First and foremost, determine exactly what you are looking for before you start looking. Make sure you have a specific job description, duration of position, experience requirement (Ex.- Do they need to have been a consultant before?) This will allow the firm you are working with to provide you with suitable candidates, instead of just throwing you candidates that have a wide assortment of talents.
- Who at your organization will this project impact? It is not necessary to ask everyone in your department, but it would be good to have a couple of other people weigh in on the type of person you need. This will allow you the help you need internally to make a well-thought out decision.
- Make sure you think about, but you don’t necessarily need to share, the amount you can pay per hour (including travel expenses) for a 40 hour work week. Expect that you will need to pay anywhere from $110-$170, including expenses, depending on the project, experience required, and even location. Remember that some consultants may expect more money if you’re in a rural area, vs. being close to a major airport.
- Depending on the project, are you able to offer partial or full remote work? Even though consultants understand that travelling is part of the business, almost all of them will find your opportunity more attractive if it can be done remotely. If for example, it is a PCM or MPM role where your consultant is needed to work with physicians, you probably need your person to be 100% on site. But, if the role is more of a build or maintenance, maybe consider partial or full remote. Or, even, offer remote partially after 3 months on site. Either way, you will have more candidates to choose from, (or you will save money on travel costs) if you are able to consider remote work.
- When picking a firm, you should consider how long the consulting firm has been in business. Ask the Consulting firm to name some of the other clients they have helped with similar projects to yours, and if you have time to call, ask for references (both consultants and organizations) as well. It will become apparent how experienced a firm is, along with the consultants, based on the clients they have assisted, and the types of projects they have assisted with.
- Check to see if your contact at the consulting firm (not the consultant) is willing to come visit you. If a firm is interested to establish a relationship, and is willing to accept the cost to come meet with you face to face, they are definitely willing to take time to find you quality candidates.
- Does the consulting firm appear to have people that are knowledgeable about your project? Do they have MEDITECH experience? Working with a firm that truly understands your needs will allow them to provide you with quality resources, and not just send you every single resume they can get their hands on.
- Is the consulting firm interested in a partnership with your organization, or are they more just focused on fitting your need? You might not even want a partnership with the consulting firm, but your contacts at a consulting firm should be good to work with, and make your job easier for you. Plus if you can find 1 or 2 firms you really like, wouldn’t it be easier to just use them for other projects in the future?
- When the consulting firm has provided you with a solid resume, have they offered to set up and sit on the interview? I know this seems like a small thing, but working with a firm that is interested in sitting on the interview shows they really have your best interest in mind. They are standing by their candidate, and are interested in providing you with a quality resource. If you pass on their candidate after the interview, the consulting firm will have a better understanding to find another consultant that is a better fit.
- Is the consultant truly an expert? Consultants should really be more knowledgeable on the module than the interviewer. If it is apparent the interviewer is more of an expert than the consultant, the consultant might need more coaching when they get on site. This is a waste of your time. For the money you’re paying, consultants should have an immediate impact at your organization.
- Consultants should provide Detailed examples in their interviews. I know this seems like common sense, but if a consultant says they led an EDM implementation, they should talk about where, when, and how exactly they helped. If they can’t elaborate, this is a red flag.
- Can you see the consultant fitting with your team? Your team might already have their issues, but they are permanent, and will probably be there tomorrow. Remember, the consultant is temporary, and because of that, they should be flexible, and will work well in your team.
- Don’t be afraid to be a little picky. Even if you needed someone yesterday, don’t let that determine who you choose. Picking the wrong candidate can lead to project disaster.
Consultants should provide the knowledge and boost your organization needs to get a project done successfully. Once your project is done, and the consultant leaves, your staff should be more skilled and experienced. Well, at least until the next project!!
Shannon Mahaffey is the Recruiting Director at Virtelligence and has worked extensively MEDITECH hospitals to help their staffing needs.
You can connect with her on MTC or see her open positions on the MEDITECH Jobs page.
3 Steps to Finding the Best MEDITECH Consultants