Cheryl Coors, President and CEO, COORS Leadership Capital
Cheryl Coors, President and CEOThe COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the healthcare industry. Amidst these tumultuous times, healthcare business leaders have pivoted their focus toward building the best executive team to grow their organization. In today’s digital-first world, executive search equips businesses with a palpable competitive advantage when it comes to recruitment. Helping business leaders identify the best people to fill executive roles is COORS Leadership Capital, a full-service recruiting & consulting firm dedicated exclusively to the healthcare industry.

In an interview with Manage HR, Cheryl Coors, President and CEO of COORS Leadership Capital, discusses how her company helps clients recruit dynamic leaders capable of engaging staff and employees and taking the organization to the next level. A certified Behavioral Analyst, Cheryl has over 30 years of healthcare experience and offers a unique perspective in understanding the challenges affecting the healthcare industry. She has successfully placed over 2500 professionals at varying levels and transformed numerous organizations.

Could you provide us with a brief overview of COORS Leadership Capital?

I established COORS Leadership Capital in 1999 with a sole focus on executive search in the healthcare industry. We are a retained, certified woman-owned small business specializing in consulting and executive search services tailored to the distinct needs of hospitals and health systems across the country. I began my career in nursing and later completed my Master’s Degree in healthcare administration. I founded this company to focus on leadership and what good leadership is all about. COORS Leadership Capital is the preferred provider for the University of Virginia, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, UT Southwestern Medical Center, several prominent Health Systems, and rural medical facilities nationwide. We have a 95 percent repeat client rate, which is a direct result from our focus on long-term relationships, identifying the ideal candidate with the appropriate skill sets required, and fits with the culture of the organization.

What are some of the pain points prevailing in the healthcare executive search market today based on your client interactions?

The pandemic has significantly impacted the healthcare industry and brought about a state of unpredictability. Hospitals put a halt to all elective surgical procedures at the beginning of the pandemic, only to restart later. It is much more difficult to gear up surgical services than it is to shut it down, and this has created a significant financial strain on many organizations. As well as the staff shortages due to burnout, losing staff to traveling agencies for higher wages, and fear. Today, the healthcare industry needs a nimble leader who is creative, resilient, and can withstand the test of time. For organizations with complex structures, it is imperative to identify a leader who is committed to the organization’s mission and prioritizes the needs of the physicians, staff, and patients. Culture drives quality care, which needs to be top of mind for today’s healthcare leaders. Short staffing is another common challenge today, especially in nursing. Organizations are looking to overcome this challenge by bringing in foreign nurses, which again raises the question of the gap in quality of training.

How has your organization placed itself in the market to overcome the existing pain points?

COORS Leadership Capital has established itself as the go to resource and a one-stop shop for clients. Not only do we offer executive search services but also consulting services to assist organizations, either from a leadership perspective or an operational perspective. We offer strategic planning assistance, executive coaching, leadership development, and Board Education. In addition, we provide operational assessments coaching, and physician and staff engagement and resiliency training programs. Many of our clients who do not require executive searches will reach out to us for our other services, which makes us unique in the industry.

COORS Leadership Capital: Holistic Executive Search for the Healthcare Industry

What does the typical client onboarding process entail, and how does it differentiate COORS Leadership Capital from its competitors?

Executive search is an expensive process, and we ensure that we drive value for money for our clients. After a client approaches us, the first step is to perform an onsite assessment of the company to understand the organizational culture where we will be placing a new executive. In addition to meeting the board and executive leadership team and varies executive committees, we also interact with physicians, clinical and ancillary support directors, and the frontline staff to get a complete picture of the company culture. In some cases, we need to consider internal candidates, and they undergo the same rigorous process as the external candidates. Once the assessment is complete, we put together a formalized job specification, including organization history and expectations from the candidate selected to fill the role.

COORS believes in transparency and take our role very seriously. Every time we bring a new leader into an organization, we transform their live, the lives of their family as well as the organization and to ensure that the person is a good fit for the organizational culture. Once we have the board’s approval on an executive search, we identify the critical skill sets required to accomplish the objectives put forth for the individual.

We follow a comprehensive process to screen the candidates with a keen focus on candidate accountability. All candidates are thoroughly vetted to ensure they are educationally and professionally qualified for the job. We conduct professional reference checks, via phone calls. Candidates are required to certify that all information on their resume is accurate, and no information is held back that could result in the withdrawal of an employment offer. As well as, a confidentiality statement regarding any client information shared with the candidate during the interview process. For physician searches, we ensure the candidate has the required licenses and certifications required. We require all candidates to sign a statement to ensure they do not commit to the organization, by accepting the position, signing an agreement, unless they are prepared to follow through with the commitment. We conduct immediate background checks on each candidate with regard to educational, credit, and criminal records. By using a third party for background checks, we ensure higher accuracy and efficiency.

Once we receive that document back from the candidate, we conduct an engagement call with their spouse if required to ensure they understand the process. We engage to understand the spouse’s interests and concerns regarding relocating to a new area during this call. This engagement model has driven great success here at COORS Leadership Capital.

We also offer criteria shape, wherein we do a deep dive into the candidates’ capabilities to represent them to our best ability and prepare them for the interview. The focus is targeted toward specific areas such as strategic planning, operational experience, financial acumen, leadership development, physician relationships, mission, vision, and values of the organization. This is essential in training the candidate for the actual interview process and helps us understand them beyond their resume and conversations. Following this, we schedule a face-to-face interview with the qualified candidates and request them to provide documentation supporting their listed accomplishments.

We help our clients identify the key accountabilities that they need going forward with the executive selection process. By ranking the candidates, we take the emotion out of the equation and ensure the client looks at a candidate’s application objectively.

We help our clients identify the key accountabilities that they need going forward with the executive selection process. By ranking the candidates, we take the emotion out of the equation and ensure the client looks at a candidate’s application objectively. We do not present a parade of candidates but only the top talent. Our job is to make HR and the search committee’s job easier. Candidates go through a comprehensive vetting process before they make it to the final round of the interview. We can be present during the interview based on the client’s interest, and we collect feedback from the clients within 24-48 hours of conducting the interview. Once the client finalizes the candidate for the position, we negotiate the employment agreement and contract. We have a six-month onboarding process with checkpoints for both the candidate and the hiring authority. Our C-suite executive search comes with a 24–36-month guarantee.

Is there a particular case study that highlights the prowess of COORS Leadership Capital when it comes to executive search in the healthcare industry?

We were once tasked with a CEO search for an organization out West. The current CEO was retiring after a long 17-year tenure, which is rare in the healthcare space these days. Given his longevity in the position and strong community presence, the board was concerned if the successor would be able to effectively handle the challenges. From our onsite assessment, the lack of accountability within the organization was evident. It was imperative to find candidates with strong and engaging communication skills and the ability to identify and work with the competition without being intimidated or overbearing. Candidates with exceptional experience for the position were identified and vetted. After three rounds of interviews, we assisted the client in the selection of the new CEO and built a strong leadership team for the organization with a new, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Nursing Executive. We provided leadership training, board education, including, strategic planning, and the CEO evaluation process.

What does the future hold for COORS Leadership Capital?

We are focused on expanding our high-reliability training, “HRO Rx – the Prescription for Safety Culture,” resiliency, and leadership training. Currently, we have a unique program for high-reliability organizations and are excited to launch the implementation at the INOVA Alexandria Hospital. Also, we have an in-house physician recruitment training program, “COORS Rx, Prescription for Physician Recruitment” in the pipeline that enables organizations to be cost-effective with physician recruitments.