Health Plan Leadership: Executives with Private and Public Experience Wanted

After years of consolidation amongst private commercial health plans, large insurers like Aetna and WellPoint recently shifted their gaze toward the public realm. With Medicare and Medicaid expansion impending and millions more people gaining health insurance, private insurers have targeted federal health programs and managed-care businesses with significant Medicare and Medicaid components.

The mergers and acquisitions have blurred the lines between what were previously very distinct worlds, creating leadership challenges for both public and private health plans, says

In Healthcare, Is There a Link between Good Talent Management and ROI?

Although today’s healthcare organizations have well-developed talent management practices, few have an in-depth understanding of the return on investment these practices provide. To better gauge this ROI, Witt/Kieffer has supported the work of Pepperdine University professor Kevin Groves, Ph.D., who recently conducted a comprehensive survey of senior HR officers and other industry executives in charge of talent management within their organizations.

Dr. Groves’ work explores and draws conclusions regarding several critical issues:

  • There is a strong connection between good talent management…


Higher Education Recruitment: The Proactive Approach to Hiring a President

The recent spate of high-profile dismissals of college and university presidents indicates a fundamental disconnect between higher education leaders and their boards. In many cases, the issues creating friction could have been vetted and resolved when the president was first brought on board, believes John Thornburgh, co-leader of our Higher Education practice.

Much of the guesswork can be taken out of presidential selection and higher education recruitment by making both qualitative and quantitative improvements…



How to Retain Good Talent? Make the Grass Greener in Your Organization

Even in a job market that favors the employer, it can be incredibly difficult for organizations to retain good people, especially mid-level executives. Career-minded professionals move around more than in the past and see value in exposing themselves to different challenges and working cultures.

Is it worth even trying to keep good mid-level talent in such an environment? David Boggs, practice leader of WK Advisors—a Witt/Kieffer division that…



Who Will Fill Your Shoes? Best Practices for Hiring a Successor

Any conscientious executive knows the value in naming and developing a successor. Given enough time and mentoring, your understudy can learn the ropes, gain critical experience and, when the time is right, take over your responsibilities in what is hopefully a seamless transition. Such leadership succession planning is good for the organization, not to mention the fact that it reflects well upon your own legacy.

David Boggs, practice leader of

Who Will Lead Health Conversion Foundations?

Guest post by Marvene M. Eastham, Witt/Kieffer Senior Vice President

As nonprofit hospitals and health systems struggle to maintain access to capital to reinvest in their organizations, they may turn to acquisition by for-profit healthcare organizations. In theory it is a win-win: the for-profit expands its reach and gains access to a larger market share, which is attractive to shareholders, while the former nonprofit pays debts and has ready access to capital in…



In Future Talent Wars, It’s Survival of the Fittest

For anyone involved in recruiting and talent management—or anyone concerned about his or her long-term career viability and talent development for that matter—it’s helpful from time to time to step back and consider the global forces that are shaping our labor markets in the U.S and abroad. Do they favor you? Your organization?

In many of the industries and market niches that Witt/Kieffer serves, executives who make a difference with sophisticated skill sets are near-impossible to find. We’ve written about…



Executive Assessment: What Separates Academic from Corporate Leaders?

Last Friday, Witt/Kieffer released a groundbreaking report comparing personality characteristics of 100 higher education leaders with a larger group of corporate executives. That same day, both the Wall Street Journal and Chronicle of Higher Education saw fit to cover the report and the executive assessment study it was based on, understanding its potential significance.

Leadership Traits and Success in Higher EducationThe

Can Today’s Healthcare CFO Be a Fully Engaged Leader?

Guest post by Anne Siders-Robinson, Senior Associate

Today’s environment of reform, cost reduction, and creative strategies for long-term growth and viability is spawning the need for an entirely new type of healthcare CFO—one with multifaceted expertise who is much higher in the organizational pecking order than in the past.

For example, under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, reimbursement structures and revenue streams are shifting, requiring hospital CFOs to

Healthcare Legal Executives: Stepping Up

Times are good for healthcare legal executives—at least as far as the job market is concerned. As senior associate Werner Boel recently told Andrea Santiago of About.com’s Health Careers, hospitals and health systems are beefing up their legal teams to deal with healthcare reform as well as ongoing issues such as physician integration, mergers and acquisitions, and complex legislation.

Boel also spoke recently with Molly Gamble of Becker’s Hospital Review about the