By: Allan Cacanindin, CPRP, CDR
AAPPR Board Member
In part one of our C-Suite series, you learned how advancing your expertise and influence throughout your organization begins by creating strong advocates among your C-suite and senior leadership (insert reference link here to AAPPR downloads). Data fueling your organization’s recruitment strategy is an effective way to yield greater value to executive leaders by applying the language of numbers for a more efficient and transparent approach to recruitment.
However (as we all know too well), getting on an executive’s calendar is much easier said than done. For most of us, the idea of finding even 10 minutes of your key executives’ time (BTW, at least one month in advance, right?) is a daunting and whimsical task fraught with rescheduling and last-minute cancelations. Fortunately, there’s a tool to help… one, that if you develop well, will be highly valued by leaders, will keep a pulse on what you have to say, and will provide the necessary visibility to all your recruitment efforts. The tool? It’s the executive dashboard!
Benefits of an Executive Dashboard
A well organized and thoughtful executive dashboard has many benefits, including, but not limited to, showcasing your success, keeping a pulse on others’ accountability throughout the recruitment process, written justification for additional investments/resources, and an amazing tool for securing your seat at the strategic table.
In fact, the key performance indicators (KPIs) built within an effective executive dashboard are designed to help you close performance gaps, identify needed efficiencies, reduce expenses, accelerate peak performance, celebrate goals, innovate new approaches, and evolve your organization’s practices to better align and exceed national industry benchmarks (Hint: go and download the latest AAPPR annual benchmark study!).
Creating a Dashboard Tailored for Your Organization
Architecting the details of your perfect dashboard begins by understanding your organization’s key strategies within your calendar/fiscal year:
- What are your organization’s strategic recruitment goals for the year?
- What are the recruitment indicators/milestones you need to achieve?
- What are your organization’s current performance benchmarks?
- What are your organization’s minimum, expected, and stretch performance benchmarks?
You will want to gather this information in advance – remember to use data (i.e., real numbers). For example, you can’t say your strategic recruitment goal is to do better than last year. Hint: the most meaningful way to express a strategic goal in an executive dashboard is via a real number together with a timeline. For example, your organization will achieve hiring X number of physicians and advanced practice clinicians by the end of 2022. Or, your organization will outperform last season’s performance by 5% (from X to Y) by the end of 3Q2022.
Organizing the Dashboard into a One-Page Layout
With a clear understanding of your organization’s strategic recruitment goals, you’re ready to lay out your one page. The layout should consist of four key areas (each space adjusted appropriately to coincide with your data, but NOT to exceed your one page):
The data table is designed to showcase a quick visual (using numbers and colors — such as red, yellow, and green) where your performance is during the timeframe that you are reporting; and, it allows for any analytical/operating leader to quickly perform their own calculations to pivot data that is meaningful for them. There’s a reason as to why C-suite and senior leaders speak the language of data and this is why you lead with it at the top!
By the Numbers
For leaders who like to review the visual cues and then obtain the interpretation points, this is where you’ll display your language expertise. Be sure to use alpha points (e.g., A), B), C), D), etc.), so during report-out meetings or discussions you/your leader can easily reference. For example, “In this month’s executive dashboard, you’ll note a 35% increase as seen in point D under By the Numbers. The interpretation points should include highlights of the data table and the important value it presents to your strategic goal (Hint: if the executive leader completely ignores the data table, what are the key takeaways and why is it important?).
Every leader enjoys achieving a goal and learning/sharing good news. By adding this section to the dashboard, you are psychologically incentivizing your leaders to await your dashboard at each cadence. And you have psychologically incentivized yourself, your team, and others around you to get the credit to appear in that section of the dashboard! Keeping this section filled helps to compile at year’s/fiscal’s end, all of the significant successes you and the team have made toward achieving the organization’s strategic recruitment goals (Hint: this list of achievements bodes well for annual performance reviews as well!).
Remember, each executive leader also needs visibility as to what is next and what they need to do to support your efforts. Outlining your action plans prior to the next executive dashboard report helps showcases where performance can be improved, what milestones have yet to be achieved, and how you and your efforts are aligned and poised to make progress to the overarching recruitment goals. The action plans should list who you collaborate with to create accountability and visibility for all. By listing others, you’ll obtain the needed action you required from others, especially in the eyes of the C-Suite and other senior leaders. Action plans give way to purposeful urgency by treating recruitment as a priority to drive collaboration, accountability, and results. Whatever isn’t achieved in the action plan, be willing to provide the reason(s) why during a report-out and more importantly, what actions can then be taken to bring about a solution.
Defining a Cadence of Publication
Establish a routine and consistent cadence of reporting for the executive dashboard with your leaders. After all, success is measurable over time. Depending on your organization’s goals, sometimes bi-weekly is appropriate. More often, monthly is seen as an acceptable standard by most executives and times well with overall financial reporting. Creating monthly reports can easily lend into aggregating to quarterly and annual reports. Additionally, each report gives way to complete transparency of the outstanding efforts undertaken to fill difficult physician and advanced practice clinician vacancies.
Putting it All Together
Creating strong advocates among your C-suite and senior leaders using their language of data while architecting an exceptional executive dashboard are necessary foundation items to be a successful recruitment thought leader for your organization. For a sample Word template of a dashboard, visit the AAPPR library. You can also download the Quick Guide to Building an Effective Executive Dashboard in the Resource Library.
In the next and final part in our C-Suite series, you’ll learn how to align your advocates and your dashboard reporting to individually author your organization’s story of recruitment success!