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July 03, 2022 | 5 min read
Managed Care Organizations: 4 Factors To Screen For In Clinical Candidates


As a managed care organization, it’s important to have the proper staff in place to adapt to industry changes, address challenges, and keep up with the demand for health services. However, it’s not always easy to identify the right talent for this type of work environment. This is especially true when interviewing clinical candidates who are interested in making the transition to a non-clinical role.

“Whether you are hiring a Case Manager or a Clinical Data Abstractor, finding a candidate with the required clinical experience is the easy part,” says Wendy Barton, Executive Vice President of Tandym Health. “However, it’s much more challenging to determine whether the person can successfully make the transition to a corporate culture. While they could look great on paper or say all the right things in an interview, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right fit for this field.”

Since a bad hire can cost your organization a great deal of time and money, it’s important to be aware of any red flags before it’s too late. To determine whether a clinical candidate can bring value to your managed care organization, screen for these factors throughout the hiring process:

Strong computer skills:

When interviewing clinical candidates, make sure that they have experience with the Microsoft Office suite and are proficient in basic computer functions. “A candidate might have experience entering notes into an EMR, for example, but that doesn’t mean they are computer savvy enough for the role,” warns Wendy. “While some employers will incorporate computer testing in their hiring process, there are situational questions you can ask to gauge a candidate’s computer skills.” For example:

  • What is the shortcut to shut down a computer?
  • Tell me about the last time you used Excel. What functions did you use?
  • How do you send an email using Outlook?
  • What internet browser do you use? How do you open a new tab?

It’s also a good sign if the candidate took a class or online course to expand their computer skills on their own.

Their motivations for making the transition:

Pay close attention to the candidate’s answer when they are asked why they want to transition away from a clinical role. If their main motivations include not working on holidays or wanting to work from home, this should raise some red flags. A good answer, on the other hand, will show a demonstrated interest in managed care. “The candidate should be able to explain how they want to take their clinical expertise to the insurance side,” says Wendy. “Clinical expertise, utilization review, or discharge planning are all examples of transferable skills that they should be addressing if they want to transition into this corporate environment.

How they communicate:

Communicating in a corporate environment can be different than communicating in a clinical setting. To get a sense of whether a candidate can make the transition, pay close attention to how they communicate with you throughout the hiring process. For example, if they send you a resume or an email filled with typos, this may point to some issues with attention-to-detail. Additionally, candidates who take too long to respond to emails or phone calls might not have the sense of urgency or follow-through required of the position.

Desire to learn:

A candidate’s desire to learn should be given as much weight, if not more, than their clinical skills. “Someone can possess all the skills required for the position, but they will not be successful if they aren’t motivated to learn,” advises Wendy. “Keep an open mind about candidates who have less experience, but have made the effort to take control of their own professional development. Even if they require a little extra training, this investment will pay off in the long run.” To assess a candidate’s desire to learn, look out for any relevant certifications such as PRI, CPC, CRC, CCM, or CCS. If they took the initiative to attain one of these, it’s a sign that they will work hard to make a successful transition to a managed care organization.

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