This Week Health

Today: Help Wanted, No Degree Required

Degree Preferred, Two words that open a world of opportunity for candidates and employers.


Today in health, it help wanted no degree necessary. My name is Phil Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system created, or this week health set of channels dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. We want to thank our show sponsors who were investing in developing the next generation of health leaders.

Short test and artist site two great companies. Check them out this week. Health. Dot com slash today. Having a child with cancer and one of the most painful and difficult situations a family can face. In 23 to celebrate five years at this week health we're working to give back. We are partnering with Alex's lemonade stand all year long, and we have a goal to raise $50,000. And as you know, we are up.

Real close to $40,000. We would love to have you join us, hit our website top banner, and you're going to see a logo for the lemonade. Stand, click on that to give today. We believe in the generosity of our community. And we thank you in advance. All right. Interesting story today. Wall street journal.

Georgia and Florida remove an outdated obstacle to employment in state government. You have helped wanted no degree necessary. And by the way, they're not the only two states. I'll get to that in a minute. The door of opportunity has opened a little wider. Enjoy this from the article in Georgia and Florida.

They are the latest states to remove an unnecessary barrier to state jobs, government employers. Can now hire any worker with the skills necessary to do a particular job, regardless of whether he or she has a degree. Governor Brian Kemp signed George's bill into law. April 27th, governor Ron DeSantis signed foreigners on Friday.

In the past year, governors in Colorado. Maryland Jersey. North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia. Have taken executive action to filter. Perspective employees by skills, not degrees. This reform opens past two opportunities and help states fill jobs. The problem of degree. Inflation is.

Partially to blame for a workforce shortage. In state government employers. I have for many decades use the college degree to screen candidates, even when the degree has no relevance to the job. In question before at Maryland's reform in 2022. Governor Larry Hogan team found that highly skilled military veterans were denied.

Information technology jobs. With the state because they didn't have a college degree. Removing unnecessary barriers to employment and shifting to skills-based hiring helps qualified workers. Gain access to jobs for which they wouldn't otherwise be considered. And it goes on and talks about some more stuff around that.

This is an interesting article to me. And I think it's a push that we've seen in health. It. Recently. At least over the last year. As we have struggled to find people in cybersecurity jobs and other areas. I think a lot of the CEOs are lifting. This, , artificial barrier to hiring. In fact at a recent 2 29 event, one of the CEO's highlighted their hiring practices. In terms of their ability to deliver on the operational excellence that the organization was looking for. They specifically had partnered with a local college. And they were taking students in who had no healthcare background.

, and they were training them up. And so they have a very strong training program internally and they take on. Any number of, , I, interns is the wrong word, but they take on any number of new hires every year and they train them. They will train them on the EHR platform. They will train them on analytics and they'll train them on various things.

They partner them up with a mentor. And they move them along. I mentioned that to say, , while it's easy to just look at this and adopt this because it has benefits from a financial standpoint. Let's let's be honest. I mean, because of the rise in the cost of education, people coming out of colleges require more money.

They just absolutely do. I mean, when you're talking. 30 40, 50, 60, $70,000 a year for a four year degree. , you're talking people who are now sitting in debt. , to the tune of $280,000. You know, or, or, you know, maybe a little less than that. Maybe they had to pay some of the money. Maybe they got some, , some help, but regardless they have a small mortgage.

For their education. Therefore they require higher wages. And the reality is when they come out of college, they're not trained on the EHR or the analytics platform or anything else that has to do with health care. We bring them in and we put them through a training program of some kind. So the question. That begs to be.

Asked and answered is can we do that same thing? With people who are coming out of the military, can we do that same thing with people who have, , tech degrees, but not necessarily, or associate's degrees, but not necessarily full-blown college degrees. Do we have to go searching at a major colleges and universities with names associated with them?

What are we actually looking for? And can the job be done with somebody that we are going to build up and train internally? And I believe the answer to that more and more is yes, we can. Not only can we train people, we are already training people. And then the question becomes, can we do that with people who have not gone to college?

I think the other thing that this has been raised as an issue. By the diversity, equity and inclusion. People within health systems who are essentially saying, look. There are groups of people within our communities that have been blocked out from getting college degrees. They just can't afford them. They can't.

I get into that pipeline and get a college degree. However they would be great workers. If we could bring them along. And by taking that. Requirement and it's, it's amazing to me. I it's worth a quick look. At your job descriptions to see how many of them say college degree required. We changed a majority of our job descriptions at St. Joseph health. And this was almost a decade ago.

To college degree preferred. So that we could evaluate candidates based on their ability to do the job and not be boxed in by an artificial. Requirement that doesn't necessarily tell us if they can or cannot do the job.

Now with that being said, if you're going to embark on this and I encourage you to embark on this. The challenge becomes, how do you make sure you hire people that have the aptitude. To succeed.

This is where the interview process becomes so key. And this is one of the things we had to do at St. Joseph's. We revamped our interview process within it. We were doing the goofiest interviews. I could even imagine we were doing a lot of group interviews. We were doing a lot of group interviews where people were like on their phones.

They weren't even listening. They weren't asking questions. And so we standardized that whole process. We worked with HR. And we worked with legal to make sure that we were doing it correctly. And we revamped our entire interview process. We've made sure that we had not only a skills-based interview process and a culture based.

Interview process, but also an aptitude. Based interview process, where are we hiring people that had the ability to learn.

That had the right drive or work ethic that work was going to be required for them to Excel. In the environment that we were placing them in.

Communication was so important, but also when you think about it, one of the things we're taking off by saying college college degree preferred instead of required. Is if they have gotten their college degree, they've proven. An aptitude for learning. And so how do you identify those people who have an aptitude for learning, but have not gotten a college degree and you have to incorporate that.

Into the interview process. You want people who can learn, who want to learn. Who have a desire to learn whoever desire to grow and who are, you know, to a certain extent, ambitious. In their learning. They, they can't read enough. They they've got to consume more things. They're excited. When they learn a new skill or do a approach or those kinds of things.

So anyway, I saw this article this morning.

In The article has helped one had no degree necessary. Wall street journal, June 19th. , Stacy Gruber, Jonathan Wilson. Wrote the article. I think it's worth considering I've talked about this topic before. , it struck me as I was reading the article this morning that the, , the CIO has had a really interesting conversation around this at the last 2 29.

Event and it was, , it's, it's interesting to be able to hire from your community, creates some, some interesting dynamics. And one of the CEOs was talking about the fact that they hire from their community and what they found is there's more stickiness to those employees. They aren't readily. , leaving and moving on because there's stickiness in that community.

Meaning that people like to live in that community. It's where their family's from. It's there. So they have family ties. They're holding them in. They have a budget community ties holding them in. So you don't have to create all of that stuff. Within your health system, you could actually rely on the community at large.

You might as well take advantage of some of the benefits of the communities that you're serving.

So, I guess the takeaway is consider looking at your jobs, just doing a quick review of your job descriptions. See if they say college required or college preferred and ask yourself the question. Is it really required? I will say that it's interesting to me, one of my best. , VPs was someone who I hired without a college degree.

And he excelled. Absolutely excelled. In fact, as a CIO today. Of a major institution. , without a college degree. And I know that a lot of people might recoil from that. And you might ask yourself, why are you recoiling from that? This is a person who's demonstrated ability to. , function at a very high level at the VP ranks to the point where they were promoted to a CIO role.

And they're now doing the CIO role at what I would consider a very high level as well. And so it's, you know, if somebody can do the job, if they have a propensity. For an ambition to do the role and to do it well, and to work really hard in the role. And continue to Excel in that role, then by all means let's let them do the role.

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