Do you think healthcare technology is just about installing software and troubleshooting user errors? Think again. Healthcare companies today expect their IT professionals to perform as members of a team serving across multiple departments, including working with clinical and executive users. In addition to possessing bleeding edge technical chops, if you want to succeed in today’s competitive environment, it pays to develop what are called “soft skills” as well.
Soft skills are those talents and abilities that lie outside the realm of concrete computer or healthcare expertise. Some of the most desirable soft skills include:
- Team building
- Time management
- Strategic thinking
- Relationship building between departments and top leaders
- Problem-solving and critical thinking
- Adaptability to change
A report produced by the Seattle Jobs Initiative indicated that at the entry and post-graduate level, a service attitude is one of the most desirable skills for prospective employees. Some employees demonstrate an expectation that the company exists merely to benefit them financially and to fulfill their career plans, an attitude that, unsurprisingly, is not appreciated by managers. However, employees who show a sincere desire to perform their duties well and responsibly are highly prized.
But the number one most sought-after healthcare IT soft skill across the board? Excellent verbal and written communications. Finding candidates who have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with all levels of healthcare employees – both in person and in print – is becoming more and more of a challenge to hiring managers. In a field undergoing dramatic changes due to recent legislation, the ability to persuade, calm, engage, support and encourage team members who may be reluctant or resistant to these changes is valuable indeed.
Many physicians and hospital staff are unhappy with the new regulations and the impact they will have on their daily tasks. Helping them to not only learn the new technologies and software but also to embrace the change as a useful and productive one will enable the entire organization to function more efficiently. This can only be achieved by healthcare IT staff who have both their technical expertise and their communications skills down cold.
Improve Communication Skills Easily
It’s not hard to beef up your healthcare IT soft skills and transform yourself into a hot commodity. Follow these few steps and feel confident about putting “Excellent written and verbal communication” on your resume:
- Get organized. In both written and verbal communications, make sure you have a clear point of view and a clear point. Don’t make your readers or listeners struggle through a lot of extraneous words before you get to the main idea. Provide adequate information or documentation to support your main idea, and in your conclusion, give suggestions for next steps.
- More face time. Instead of sending an impersonal email or voice message, you can be much more effective by having a meeting, even an informal one. The more time you spend with people, the more they are able to identify with you and want to work with you rather than ignore you or avoid you.
- Give feedback. Even if you aren’t the manager in a situation, your input on how a project is working (or not) can be very helpful. Be polite, impartial and fair, and always ask how you can help improve things, even when they are going well.
- Ask for feedback. Communication must be a two-way street. Listening to others is the other half of the equation here. Incorporate the information people give you into your work.
- Get help. If your writing skills aren’t great, take a business writing class at your local community college or through a professional association. If the thought of addressing a large meeting or giving presentations makes you queasy, consider enrolling in a public speaking course. You’ll learn to conquer your stage fright and impress your listeners.
Are you ready to find that perfect job? We can help. 1st Solution provides HIT staffing, contract placement, staff augmentation, and direct hire recruitment on a contingent basis, as well as retained direct hire for executive level positions. Contact us today for more information.