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Overcoming the Buyer’s Market: A Guide to Hiring a Digital Health CEO

Posted by Lauren Kendall on September 6, 2021
Originally published on by Josh Gottlieb, Managing Director, Digital Health at The Bowdoin Group along with the late Sean Walker, Partner at The Bowdoin Group.

As a result of digital health adoption soaring during the pandemic, health tech companies looking to hire a new CEO face more competition, but here are some tips to successfully hire the right leader who can navigate the inflection points of growth and steer digital health companies to success.

Digital health innovation and adoption were accelerated by the pandemic, and that has led to more competition for CEOs who can navigate the inflection points of growth and steer their companies to success.

Organizations across every industry require an effective leader to set the vision and pilot the course. But for companies in digital health, an industry that is transforming healthcare and experiencing record growth as a result, qualified leaders are in high-demand – and in short supply.

Finding the right individual for this make-or-break role is one thing, but vying for their attention and ultimately getting a commitment are different challenges. Here are some basics that will help you beat the competition and land a leader with the “right stuff” to take your digital health company to the next level:

Be prepared: It’s a “buyer’s” market.
Funding in the digital health sector is at an all-time high. From start-ups to those ready to scale their growth, there is an abundance of opportunity – and choice – for experienced individuals to be at the helm of a rapidly growing organization.

Whether leaders are on the sidelines or actively looking to make a move, it’s a small pool of qualified candidates, and you aren’t the only one approaching them. You have to move fast, because there are likely a handful of other organizations trying to land them.

Think outside the box for the best fit.
In an industry that’s still in an early and aggressive growth phase, finding a deeply experienced leader that has been “through the journey” won’t be easy.

We’ve placed plenty of CEOs in high-growth organizations, and have noticed regional trends in which a tried-and-true, domain-experienced candidate is preferred (East Coast) over a willingness to consider a “best athlete” with great potential (West Coast).

What we’ve witnessed, though, is that “number of years in the seat” or specific domain expertise can be less important than an individual with vision, self-awareness, and the ability to navigate and motivate a team through the toughest of times. An added plus: these leaders usually have a dedicated following of world-class talent that are willing to jump into the fire with them, making additional hires for that organization easier and more effective.

Read the full article for more.