Written by Jim McBride
Healthcare jobs are hot in Arizona.
As one of the fastest growing industries, all kinds of opportunities are generated to use your skills (and develop new ones) in a variety of healthcare roles.
Jessica Pierce, Career Connectors Founder and CEO, facilitated two informative panel discussions with healthcare industry career experts, providing insight into what it takes to become a healthcare professional and land one of those hot jobs.
While the healthcare industry is always in need of people for clinical roles, we learned that healthcare organizations – hospitals, clinics, care centers, assisted living, hospice – are actively seeking to fill administrative roles in IT, finance, marketing, food service and facilities management.
PANEL ONE – Healthcare Industry Careers in Arizona
Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) – Brittany Smeal, Talent Acquisition Partner
Santé – Travis Garrard, Director of Customer Service & Business Development
Copper Springs – Melissa Barry, Director of Business Development
Q – If someone is interested in your organization, what advice do you have? Including applicants without healthcare experience.
Research the company! Go to the website and then reach out to the panel members and recruiters. Use LinkedIn to understand healthcare worker skills. Ask questions, healthcare companies want you to know everything about them. Your skills are transferable, tie in your resume accomplishments to the job. Make yourself stand out. You’re a rock star. Show us!
Q – Healthcare is in the top five industries in Arizona, why is there so much job growth?
The need for non-clinical roles is enormous. In every healthcare facility there are administrative support roles in finance, accounting, IT, food service, guest services, among others. There’s tremendous competition for candidates and employee retention is a top priority.
Q – Is there an entry point for a career path in healthcare?
We are looking for passionate people from all different backgrounds. If you want to learn, there are definitely opportunities and avenues for skill development in many areas, such as marketing, facilities and patient care.
Show interest! We’ll fight for you and help get you where you want to be internally. It’s common for employees to transition into other roles once trained, established and successful within the organization.
Q – Is volunteering a pathway into a healthcare organization?
Yes, and it looks great on your resume. Volunteers have the unique advantage of getting to know the organization (and hiring managers). It’s a great idea to volunteer while attending school, finishing a degree or if you just want to get your foot in the door.
Q – Are there any assumptions that can be shattered about healthcare roles? For example, the assumption that healthcare workers are overworked and underpaid.
Healthcare workers have a spirit to serve. It’s incredibly fulfilling. In addition, it’s rewarding to guide others on the healthcare path. In today’s world, organizations are taking steps to ensure a healthy work-life balance for their employees.
It’s hard to justify claims of underpay for clinical roles. There are so many pieces of data to consider.
Q – What is your job application process?
Brittany – Apply online. There will two assessments (for clinical roles) and a two-week typical turnaround from phone screen to onsite interview. We move ASAP on non-clinical roles. Own the follow-up piece and call if we don’t meet a target date.
Melissa – Apply online. Fill out the profile. I conduct the phone screen. The hiring manager, HR and the CEO interview all candidates. Typically, a two-week process.
Travis – Apply online. All candidates are reviewed. I believe in all-in / buy-in, so we get input from different areas for every job candidate.
Q – (from an IT job seeker) How do I get noticed? When I apply, I never get a response.
IT can be specialized and (sometimes) located in corporate offices out of state. It helps to have certifications in addition to the IT experience. Try to get out, meet and network with the right IT healthcare people. Seek professional help with tailoring your resume with relevant skills and accomplishments.
PANEL TWO – Breaking into the Healthcare Industry
Dignity Healthcare – Jackie Schierenberg, Director Talent Acquisition
Windsor – Roy Bailey, Director of Talent Acquisition
GCU – Maria Quimba, Professional Studies and Baccalaureate Programs, College of Nursing & Healthcare Professionals
Q – What are some ways to get started in healthcare?
Have a purpose. The patient experience is very important us. Show us your “why” when it comes to you and a healthcare career. Healthcare job titles can be misleading, but skills are transferable. Many roles are in patient satisfaction, which isn’t as recognizable as nursing. Bring your passion for patient care to an administrative role and find your fit from there.
Q – With all this growth in healthcare, what are the needed skill sets?
There is a perception we only hire doctors and nurses. There are many, many ancillary roles. The hospital is a mini city. Everything from IT to marketing to food service to building maintenance and security keeps the city running smoothly in support of the bedside.
Q – What education programs are needed?
Data analytics, an up-and-coming need in healthcare, will be in demand. Quality & Safety, Public Health Administration, IT Infrastructure, Coding and Informatics.
Q – With population growth in Arizona, what is the future of healthcare here?
We are trying very hard to be proactive. Employee retention programs, such as tuition reimbursement, scholarship programs and engagement surveys are in full swing. There will continue to be significant career opportunities as the population ages.
All six organizations have NUMEROUS job openings for clinical and non-clinical roles. Check out those hot jobs online.
Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona
Troy Maskell – Sr. Community Awareness Partner
Our Mission – Through the goodwill of others, we create the pathway to a better future for all by helping those who desire self-sufficiency.
• Community Partnership – target professional job seeker, events, ongoing support
• Awareness – community engagement, career centers, on-site services
• Preparation – career coaching, resume critiquing, mock interviewing
• Connection – employment events, talent sourcing, Goodwill job board
• Career Advisors – mock interviews, resources, employment support
Sheila Coulam closed the meeting with a review of upcoming events. Next up, the 4th Annual Diversity & Inclusion Career Event on November 8th at the NAU North Valley Campus. Thank you to the Career Connectors volunteers and the host facility, Calvary Community Church in Glendale.