Client Story: Healthcare Executive Search

The Challenge

Following a successful merger and integration of a Top 50 hospital, a growing multi-billion dollar healthcare system found themselves with the welcome challenge of managing high organic growth and additional acquisition activity on the horizon.  The implications were multiple new executive leadership positions and organizational adjustments necessary to accommodate the increasing complexity of operations and added service line growth to maintain expanding market share. With the potential doubling of size and market share within a short time period, top talent acquisition and overarching organizational growth strategy were among the highest priorities for the organization.  With the added complexity of operating within a highly competitive market and a geography that presented a hurdle in attracting talent, the health system reached out to N2Growth.

The Mission

After an initial conversation to better understand the current demands placed on this organization, it was clear the health system was taking a reactionary approach to their challenges. Additionally, the five-year strategy of the institution included the additions of more specialized offerings as well as the probable acquisition of a nearby system. With inorganic growth now in the mix, the skillset and leadership insight needed for the position fundamentally changed.

N2Growth ideated and quickly realized the best path forward was to immediately relieve the current stresses on the system while also finding a candidate who could navigate expanded service offerings and potential mergers. Our team quickly became a strategic thought partner in preparing the health system for their future needs, including the optimization of the organizational structure and positioning their leadership roles to maximize talent.

Critically important in planning for additional growth was the need for an ambitious capital campaign, and this was the first challenge that was presented to the N2Growth team: a senior leadership position to lead the foundation for the system and to execute upon these audacious fundraising goals.  Consistent with our aggressive time to placement averages, our executive search practice closed the search in just 82 days.  

In parallel with the foundation search, an operational need surfaced for a new VP of Operations for long-term care, a function within the organization that was growing rapidly and held aggressive future targets.  Interestingly, the health system preferred a non-traditional candidate, possibly from a retail background, with strong operations chops and multi-site leadership experience. Our best-in-class execution team identified the perfect candidate from a top-tier drugstore chain, who not only possessed off-the-charts hard skills, but also the leadership intangibles that made him a culture add for the system.  Time to placement was a lightning-fast 70 days.    

Shortly thereafter, we began discussions around the next most important priority for the system: the installation of a Chief Operating Officer for the flagship hospital.  With an average operating capacity that often surpassed 150% at peak, a consummate operator was required. The system also wanted to build a bench of top leadership talent that it could rely upon to support future growth.  Following a review of over 200 candidates nationwide, N2Growth’s search team placed a rising star from one of the nation’s largest for-profit health systems in under 90 days.  This leader’s tremendous feel for team and culture building (and bridge-building skills with the broader executive team) has proven to be quite valuable post-placement, and we continually receive positive feedback in this regard.   

After making these three initial placements, N2Growth has since taken on a more comprehensive responsibility to build out a world-class leadership team to support the growth of the system.

After making these three initial placements, N2Growth has since taken on a more comprehensive responsibility to build out a world-class leadership team to support the growth of the system. This includes multiple finance positions at the most senior levels, and a highly progressive service line leadership model housed within a newly established growth office. One of these recently placed executives was engaged and actively recruited against two other competitive offers.  A highly creative role was collaboratively constructed to meet the system’s needs and to account for the candidate’s unique experience mix and leveling. This highly consultative work continues to this day, propelling this health system into the future with the power of great leadership.  

The Result

Because of the challenge of recruiting to this region, aggressive growth, capacity constraints, and a complex competitive landscape, this health system has presented a unique challenge and a rewarding partnership.  The mission is thriving like never before, largely as a consequence of injecting Tier-1 leadership talent into the ranks. N2Growth has earned its place as a trusted talent partner, ultimately doing what we do best: consistently delivering top leadership talent with industry-leading time to placement metrics.

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