I have a whole new appreciation for finding the right healthcare marketing team—people who are excellent at their jobs and wonderful to be around.
Yes, I’ve had the flip side, and it wasn’t pretty. Having the wrong person in a key role can make you hate a job that you actually love. It’s draining and wastes precious time. And if you’re prone to panic, you can kiss your peace of mind goodbye.
My current team is awesome. I like them so much that I wish we’d met in college or some other setting, so we could be real friends, rather than just friends at work.
And they are absolutely brilliant.
Ros and Sammi are phenomenal healthcare writers and researchers, more adept than people with twice as much experience. They are also hilarious (and probably blood relatives, but we’re still trying to figure that out).
By hiring these amazing people, I’ve learned how to hire others.
Competence And Culture
There are two ingredients that can make a candidate a good fit.
Do they have the skills to meet or exceed the job’s expectations? Of course, everyone needs training, but you don’t have time to be dragging someone up a steep learning curve. You need a team member who doesn’t just do the job after settling in, she owns it. Matta fact, she’s teaching you and her colleagues stuff that makes the whole team more competent and more efficient.
Will they fit in with the overall vibe of your team? Sororities are really good at this. The person’s way of communicating, temperament, etiquette, and problem-solving style need to be effective and empowering at the same time. You don’t want to hire a brilliant jerk.
Also read: The Main Reason You End Up Working Late
Here are 9 questions to ask candidates for your healthcare marketing team that get at whether they can do the job and get along with your team.
1. What do you think of when you hear the term … ?
Ask them to give the first thing that comes to mind after you say certain words or phrases, such as content marketing, teamwork, social media marketing, a specific social media channel, or your healthcare organization’s CEO’s name.
If they look confused or start stuttering while commenting on a word or phrase that you think he should be comfortable discussing, that could indicate a competence gap.
2. What’s your process for … ?
Then, fill in the blank with a few common tasks or projects that they’ll handle. A competent person will likely have a set of steps they rely on to get the job done. The candidate’s answer can also reveal their priorities and how they map out milestones.
3. Which thought leaders do you follow in the healthcare or marketing space?
Healthcare and digital marketing are always changing. You want to make sure the candidate stays up on best practices and trends in the field. If they follow reputable thought leaders, this can mean that their job is more of a craft than just a paycheck.
4. When is a time you had a conflict with a co-worker, supervisor, etc.?
It’s okay if they need a second to think before answering. You’re looking for a story here. You want them to discuss what happened and how they approached resolving the conflict. You also want to understand their definition of conflict. Do they major in minor issues, or was it a legit situation? And, most importantly, you want to get a sense of the candidate’s temperament.
5. Where do you see yourself professionally next year?
Most people’s 3- to 5-year goals are too far out to be clear, especially if you’re hiring a young person. But next year shouldn’t be so vague. This will help you gauge whether the person is even thinking about their future.
If they aren’t, that could be a sign of immaturity or a lack of initiative. If they are, does their picture match the professional path your organization can offer? If they don’t have a clear picture of where they want to be next year, then ask, “What skills would you like to be using?”
6. What’s the toughest professional decision you’ve had to make in the last 6 months?
This question can be hit or miss, depending on if they’ve had to make any tough decisions. But the fact that they are out interviewing usually means some kind of turning point has happened in their professional life.
This question gives them an opportunity to share the backstory without prying too much. Again, it also reveals how they define tough decisions and their process for problem solving.
7. When you sit down to work, what’s the first thing you do?
You’re gauging priorities and organization here. Of course, no one will admit that they spend the first hour of their workday messing around on Facebook or perusing Pinterest. But when they do get into their groove, what’s the process like?
8. What types of work environments have helped you thrive, and which have driven you crazy?
Does the environment that helps them thrive sound like yours? It might be a good fit. If the environment that drives them crazy sounds like yours, you might want to keep looking.
9. What are your thoughts on the current marketing initiatives we have online or in the market?
This question gets at whether they have researched your current marketing initiatives. If so, that’s a good sign that they’ve done their due diligence. You also want to see their style of giving feedback.
If they have criticism, do they deliver it tactfully, or are they berating your team’s work? And do they only notice the stuff they don’t like, or do they also give praise?
Of course, you won’t know if someone is truly a good fit until they start doing the job. Even then, it might take a month or longer to see their strengths and weaknesses, but a thorough vetting process can save you from having to do this all again if they don’t work out.