case study one - Gerard Stewart

Healthcare Staffing in the 21st Century:
An Executive Search for a Senior Vice President

Needing a Senior Vice President of Recruiting, the nation’s largest provider of comprehensive healthcare staffing and workforce solutions called on Gerard Stewart to find an executive to head the company’s $300 million revenue division. This person would be responsible for setting the strategic vision and for the overall leadership of the companies’ recruitment and delivery operations. The candidate would need to have an excellent understanding of healthcare staffing trends and their impact on the business, as well as supply and demand issues with proven abilities to quickly address shifts in the marketplace both locally and globally.

First and foremost, the new SVP would be responsible for overseeing a team of executives providing staffing for acute-care hospitals, government facilities, community health centers and clinics, physician practice groups, and a host of other healthcare settings with travel nurses, per diem nurses, allied and locum tenens. Therefore, this role required an industry expert with deep expertise in business process design, client-facing delivery, profit maximization and development of new supply channels.

Moreover, a recent cultural shift in the company due to a merge required that the new SVP have strong day-to-day business operation skills, financial management and relationship building competencies, as well as experience leading and managing businesses with at least $200M in revenues and $10M EBITDA.

Gerard Stewart was tasked with finding a candidate with the following qualities:

  • Approachable: The candidate needed to be sensitive to and patient with the interpersonal anxieties of others, putting them at ease. In addition to creating a sense of unity among teams, the SVP needed to a good listener and communicator, able to share information with other entities in the company often and informally.
  • Effective Team Builder: Create strong morale and spirit. The SVP not only needed to be able to identify top talent, and hire the best people—from the inside or outside—he or she would also need to assemble talented staffs and unite people into teams. The SVP would teach teams to share wins and successes, foster open dialogue, and ensure that all projects are completed.
  • Business Acumen: The SVP needed to be knowledgeable of current and possible future policies, practices, trends, technology, and information affecting the healthcare business and the organization. The candidate also needed to be knowledgeable about the competition, as well as aware of how strategies and tactics work in the marketplace and make timely decisions.
  • Innovative and Creative: The SVP needed to understand the former company’s operations and how to pursue new ideas and techniques under the new structure. The candidate also had to have the ability to work through formal channels and the informal network, with a firm grasp on the origin and reasoning behind key policies, practices, and procedures, as well as understand the overarching culture of the organization.
  • Change Agent: The SVP needed to be able to anticipate future industry trends, communicate a unified vision, successfully navigate the stages of change, and anticipate resistance in order to overcome roadblocks. This meant he or she would need to identify milestones and empower team members to contribute ideas, feedback and action to change initiatives in both quantitative and qualitative terms.
  • Managerial Courage: The SVP needed to be able to provide current, direct, complete, and positive feedback.