Marissa Mayer has been in the news a lot recently. Primarily because she’s the recently appointed first pregnant CEO of a Fortune 500 tech company (which really shouldn’t be that news worthy), and that company is in desperate need of a turnaround (which is much more interesting). How can she make Yahoo a viable tech powerhouse? Maybe it comes down to an HR initiative.

According to an article in Wired Magazine, Mayer was the inventor of Google’s Associate Product Manager program (APM). The title “associate” is misleading. It’s an “incubation system for tech rock stars.” Back in 2002, when Google was struggling to hire “rock star” product managers, Mayer thought up APM. Why were they struggling? Believe it or not, tech rock stars weren’t knocking on Google’s door. Some of them just didn’t “get it” back then. Google had a unique and quirky culture. The experienced talent they were competing for didn’t always fit into their environment. Experienced product managers from competitors, like Microsoft, didn’t get the “Google vision.” Mayer’s solution was to hire new grads from top schools and train them. They gave these grads real responsibility, assessed their talents and made development plans for them accordingly. 

Lead and Learn in your HealthcareSource Organization

The program is a win for Google. The APMs have gone on to fill important roles within the company, and they now have similar programs for other roles within the organization, like non-product marketing. It’s great retention insurance. Of course, some star “APMs” go on to do their own thing (like the founder of Instagram). But many stay and move up within the company. Presumably, Mayer will go on to create a similar program within Yahoo for new tech grads.

Why is this interesting and important? Because new grad mentor and development programs should be key human resources initiatives within healthcare organizations. Although the focus for healthcare is probably on nursing graduates, rather than program managers. But many of our clients have programs just like Google’s. And just like at Google, hiring someone who is a culture fit within their healthcare organization (not just those folks who have the right technical skills) is imperative.

But how can you improve your new grad development program? Behavioral assessment software designed for healthcare that has critical thinking features and development plan functionality will help you assess nursing graduates and send them on the right path within your organization. For example, in the Staff Assessment solution from HealthcareSource, we developed the Critical Thinking Assessment component with this in mind. This assessment is intended to serve as a tool for evaluating critical thinking skills among in-house nursing staff and provides prescriptive suggestions and worksheets for development. Specifically, the critical thinking assessment compares the scores of an individual nurse against norms for the following licensures: LPN, RN, BSN, and MSN. The Feedback Report provides a graphic score of how each individual compares to others, by licensure. Worksheets guide the nurse through an Individual Development Plan that suggests on-the-job activities, as well as online resources and other training resources. Combined with the right guidance from mentors, this is a great way to help develop your nursing hires!

I think Mayer’s secret sauce for turning Yahoo around will be leading an HR initiative to fill the most vital roles at Yahoo with top talent by offering them a unique development program. What will your secret sauce be? 

Want to learn more about behavioral assessment software designed for healthcare? Watch a product tour of Staff Assessment from HealthcareSource. 


About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.