Tune in to this monthly online coding column, facilitated by AHIMA’s coding experts, to learn about challenging areas and documentation opportunities for ICD-10-CM/PCS.
By Elena Miller, MPH, RHIA, CCS
Your coding positions have been posted for months. You have been receiving applications, just not very many from experienced coders. Why not? Everyone can’t be happy with their current employer, right?
Here are some ideas on why experienced coders may not be applying for your positions and how to attract them.
They aren’t seeing your job postings.
Many coders that have been in the industry for some time are spoiled when it comes to the job search. Our profession is blessed to have specialized recruiters whose sole purpose is to match qualified HIM candidates with employers. Over the years, companies have cut back on the use of outside recruitment services. Yet, that experienced coder may have been out of job-seeking mode for some time. They may share their resume with a recruiter, then sit back and wait. If your organization is not using an outside recruitment service, then it needs to be very convenient for job seekers to find your job posting. Remember—experienced coding professionals are most likely already employed, so your job posting needs to “come to them.” It needs to be in a place where they can see multiple postings at the same time, such as on LinkedIn, in AHIMA resources, etc. They are not necessarily going out to individual hospital websites and searching for open positions.
Your job posting isn’t clear.
The experienced coder knows what they bring to the table and most likely knows exactly what they are looking for. Say you’re hoping to find a candidate with a coding educator skill set, but you’ve posted a senior coder position. Or maybe you’re looking for an inpatient coder but your job title says coding specialist; and you’ve included both inpatient and outpatient duties in the job description. An experienced coder that wants to be a coding educator is most likely not going to apply for a senior coder position thinking that it may involve production coding and someone that only wants to do inpatient coding may not apply for a job that includes outpatient coding in the job posting. The job posting is all the information that an external candidate has regarding your opportunity. You won’t have the chance to explain the actual duties if the candidate doesn’t apply for the position.
Your application is too long.
This one may be out of your hands, but no one wants to spend 45 minutes uploading information to apply for a job. If there is a way for the candidate to email their resume or click a button to apply and include a resume, then they will be more likely to do that. Once a connection has been made and you both want to proceed with an interview, the candidate wouldn’t mind taking the time to complete the application. Again, remember that an experienced candidate is most likely already employed and may be more tempted to apply if it will only takes a few minutes.
You aren’t selling your company.
Everything is such a secret when it comes to the hiring process. People want to know what you are offering. Do you provide free CEUs and paid professional memberships? Those are things that are important to coders and may give your company an edge over the competition. These benefits should be included in whatever advertising format is used for the job posting.
They don’t know that you hire out of state candidates or that you allow your coders to work remotely.
It’s not a given that companies allow their coders to work remotely. If you allow it, it should be stated in the posting. Is there a probationary period when they need to be onsite, or are they allowed to work remotely from day one? Is the position 100 percent remote? There are a lot of organizations that hire coders from all over the country, but many only hire locally. If you don’t mention that you hire out of state, how would a candidate know? This information also needs to be in the job posting.
If any of these situations sound familiar, it might be time to take a look at your job postings and evaluate if there is anything that you can change to make your positions more attractive to experienced candidates.
Elena Miller is the director of coding audit and education at a healthcare system.