Chasm Conversations: Becoming The Architect Of Your Career with Susan Torroella
Unless you’ve spent the past few months underground, you are greatly aware of the current layoffs happening in the tech industry. According to a recent report by Crunchbase, more than 93,000 workers in U.S.-based tech companies have been laid off due to the massive cuts from companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Spotify, Twilio and DocuSign, among many others.
Likely the result of rapid pandemic hiring sprees, these major layoffs seem to only be getting started, as companies continue to announce layoffs almost daily. However, for those of us in the health tech industry, these layoffs pose a major opportunity not only for healthcare companies, but also those who may be considering a career shift to health tech.
To gather some additional perspective on these opportunities, we reached out to Mike Baird, CEO of Accelerate Dental and former CEO of Henry Schein One, and Linda Hand, CEO at Prealize Health, and asked for their thoughts on the topic. Both Mike and Linda have previously made the move from big tech to health tech in their careers, giving them unique, first-hand experiences that speak to candidates and companies alike during this time.
Linda: The frenzy of hiring and poaching during the pandemic from tech companies has come home to roost. The current market is a bit more rational now in terms of salaries and benefits and the overarching feeling amongst techies that the grass is greener on the other (tech) side is now becoming more tempered. Not that healthcare is not also experiencing layoffs, but the talent pool has increased with a variety of different tech skills and experiences. Health tech companies should “make room in their budgets” to scoop some of this talent up and reprioritize the outstanding openings, if needed.
“As a result, it is widely recognized that more talented tech workers are on the market with deep knowledge of critical areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, and other cutting-edge innovations that can help advance the tech fast followers in other industries.”Mike Baird, CEO at Accelerate Dental
Mike: We are seeing a period of concentrated layoffs in the tech sector, but we forget that “tech” is roughly 10 percent of the economy and that there are many other adjacent industries where these skills are helpful. With unemployment at historical lows, companies across the spectrum are still looking for top talent. There is excellent opportunity in tech-adjacent spaces — like healthcare, finance, education and media — that make up a much bigger slice of the economy with an urgent need for technical talent as they shape new business models to remain competitive. Better still, many of these industries are counter-cyclical to economic trends or are much less volatile than the tech sector has been to economic shocks.
Unlike past tech adjustments where companies have used recessionary periods to trim the bottom 10 percent of their employees, this time around it seems many of the tech companies doing layoffs have targeted large departments en masse as they reshape their strategy post COVID. As a result, it is widely recognized that more talented tech workers are on the market with deep knowledge of critical areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, and other cutting edge innovations that can help advance the tech-fast followers in other industries.
Linda: Apart from the usual advice of brushing up the resume and reading up on interesting companies in the health tech space, be sure to highlight the applicability of what you were doing in tech to how it can advance the health tech platform. Healthcare is an industry ripe with very hard problems to solve and can offer immense satisfaction solving things that lead to better health, more accessible healthcare and high quality services for all. The purpose in your health tech endeavors can make a big difference in many people’s lives and that is very fulfilling.
“Healthcare is an industry ripe with very hard problems to solve and can offer immense satisfaction solving things that lead to better health, more accessible healthcare and high-quality services for all.”Linda Hand, CEO at Prealize Health
Mike: Healthcare in particular is experiencing a resurgence of investment in key areas such as AI, telehealth, fintech advancements and more as the COVID shocks (that ultimately are driving the tech recession) supercharged the healthcare sector and elevated the importance of healthcare for everyone. New access models, behavioral therapies, transaction simplification and other areas are growing quickly as healthcare institutions realize the need to be more patient friendly. For candidates, this creates incredible opportunities across the industry.
For health tech companies, especially at the early- to mid-stage levels, there has never been a better time to recruit top talent. The tech talent pool is filled with individuals who are not only looking for work in adjacent industries, but who also bring entirely new skill sets — such as AI, machine learning, augmented reality and other cutting edge innovations — that are highly transferable and are desperately needed in healthcare.
To candidates who may be considering the turn to health tech, you have the chance to build your career in an industry that is fueled by positive change. At Chasm, we have had the incredible opportunity to place both Executive and Non-Executive candidates into budding healthcare organizations and witness first-hand the uniting passions between candidate and company. It’s a huge part of why we do what we do!
Chasm Partners is a retained executive search firm and talent development organization exclusively focused on the healthcare technology, healthcare services and Life Sciences industries. It is our goal to disrupt healthcare by effectively leveraging the right people who can make a difference. In doing so, we strive to impact healthcare for current and future generations through the clients that we serve and candidates we place.
Whether you’re a growing healthcare company, or a leader looking to be a part of one, we want to hear from you. To learn more about Chasm Partners’ Executive Search or Team Build-Out services, or to be connected with one of our Recruiters, please contact us.
As Co-Founder of Chasm Partners, Kristy oversees both the ChasmSearch and ChasmLead services. In her role, Kristy works regularly with Investors, Founders, and CEOs to achieve their business goals through executive talent acquisition and development. Prior to her eight years at Chasm Partners, Kristy brings over 20 years of experience in leadership, development and turnarounds. She has a passion for experiences and seeks to know each client’s story as it relates to their passions and journey.
Michael Baird is the CEO of Accelerate Dental. Prior to this, Michael served as CEO of Henry Schein One, President at American Well, and CEO/Co-founder of Avizia. Before transitioning into health tech, Michael held senior positions leading strategy, marketing and product development teams at Tandberg, Cisco, McKinsey, and Dell. Michael is an Operating Partner at Waterline Ventures and currently serves on the boards of the American Telehealth Association and TimelyMD.
Linda Hand is the CEO of Prealize Health, a predictive analytics company helping health plans, providers and employers transform healthcare. Before joining Prealize, Linda led the Clinical Trial Optimization Solutions division at IQVIA, where she was responsible for creating and delivering a suite of innovative clinical technology products to drug development organizations worldwide. She also ran product development and delivery at a number of leading software companies, including DigitalThink, Hyperion, Arbor Software and Sybase.