How Culture Informs Hiring

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One of the greatest risks taken by a radiology practice with a formal corporate culture in place is that of hiring personnel who will not support its values. Rodney Owen, MD, president of Scottsdale Medical Imaging, Ltd, (SMIL) in Arizona, says, “Although behavior can be changed, to a certain extent, you can’t take someone who is narcissistic, for example, and give him a piece of paper saying this is how he’ll act now because it’s in your culture to do so.” Owen is also an executive vice president of SMIL affiliate Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Inc.

To boost the odds that a potential employee is a good fit, as far as its corporate culture is concerned, SMIL employs a technique called behavioral interviewing. In addition to answering standard inquiries about their education, training, and previous jobs, candidates field inquiries designed to reveal the manner in which they handled a particular situation. Examples include:

  • resolving a problem with a difficult patient,
  • convincing someone to see things the candidate’s way,
  • collaborating with a group on
    an initiative,
  • applying coping skills to a difficult
    situation,
  • attaining a goal or meeting a set of metrics,
  • conforming with a policy with which they did not agree,
  • going above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done, and
  • prioritizing tasks at a time when there was too much to do.

Lisa Mead, RN, MS, SMIL’s chief administrative officer, says, “Behavioral interviewing isn’t an ironclad guarantee of how someone will mesh with a practice’s corporate culture, but it’s the best one.”