Who We Are

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in The LFT Blog | Comments Off on Who We Are

Thanks to so many of you for the kind emails and telephone calls following my promotion last month.  It feels great to have so much support from the people I work with.  It really means a lot to me.

It is important to remember that I’m not doing this alone.  We have a fantastic  team here at LFT that continues to grow, and we try to practice what we preach – meaning we hire both people who are experienced in the industry, but also those who are new to search (like I was).  The most important criteria is talent.  On that note, please join me in welcoming three new LFT staffers who have joined us in the last month – experienced vets Jen Clark (BA, Dartmouth College; MBA, Babson College) and Jeff Schumacher (BA, Williams College; MBA, Harvard Business School) have been great additions to our Business Development Team, as well as, Kristen Kelley (BA, Holy Cross) who is just starting out her career as a Business Development Analyst.

Last week we had a company meeting/party (playing “Cornhole” and “Spikeball” proved to be great ways to bond us and keep us humble).  In preparation for the meeting, our leadership team sat down to craft a description of who we are and where we want to go – so that our growing team remains all on the same page.  I share this with you, as I think it is important to understand the approach LFT is embracing…

Leaders For Today is a healthcare search firm with a new approach.  Simply stated, we invest the time upfront with senior managers, line managers, and human resources staff to really understand each client’s unique needs and culture.  We proactively recruit for the best talent, whether or not we have an active search underway, in order to have an ever increasing stable of strong leaders available.  We provide candidates on either an interim or permanent basis to best fit an organization’s requirements. 


  • Managers, Directors, Vice Presidents and Chiefs


  • Interim Management (professional leaders with decades of experience in specialized  areas)
  • Permanent Hires (both highly experienced leaders and “up and coming” candidates with high ceilings)


  • Strong organizations consider finding top talent a priority rather than a cost center
  • Difficult searches can require additional resources and tools not available internally
  • Departments requiring tough decisions/turnaround are often better served by an external leader
  • Temporary needs may be more effectively filled by a “variable expense” (manager out on leave, JCAHO accreditation preparation, etc.)
  • An experienced interim mentor can improve the likelihood of success for an internal candidate being advanced to a new leadership level

The Current Landscape:

The search industry has never been characterized as being “enlightened.”  Far from it.  Staffing firms are probably even more risk averse than their risk averse hospital clients.  As an industry, we play it safe and present the standard candidates over and over again.   In the hospital industry, the average vacancy in hospital physician staffing is 18%,  nurses 17%, and roughly one-quarter of perioperative directors (remember that the OR usually accounts for 40+% of a hospitals earnings) are expected to retire within the next five years. This current approach provides only a short-term band aid.

Healthcare is largely a service industry.  The organizations that attract and retain the very best talent are going to be the winners.  The band aid approach isn’t going to get you there.

About LFT:

LFT has a twelve year history as a well-regarded, highly competitive firm.  In 2014, understanding that we needed to change into a more proactive, flexible, risk taking organization to help our clients better compete, we began the process of reinventing ourselves – beginning with a new leadership team.  We literally rebuilt our talent database, expanded our recruiting team, reconfigured our search intake and candidate vetting processes, began to have our recruiters specialize by job category, widened the net of candidates we reached out to, and researched ways to get better talent into those positions with a shrinking supply of people.  Most importantly, we began to proactively build a stable of the best talent we could find, including a continuously updated proprietary file of candidates who have worked with LFT and received great reviews from clients on all previous assignments.

This approach gives us the capability to present great talent to our clients – before even being asked.  We essentially become an extension of the HR team, rather than being given a job order for a search that is usually several months old before we receive it.  Remember, if good leadership can add one more patient to the surgery schedule, effectively treat one more patient in the ER, or use a better case management approach to keep one more patient from being readmitted, then the return on an investment in LFT is amazingly quick!

We aren’t perfect, but we are getting there.  I see the improvement as I go about my job each day.  Give me a call any time if you want to discuss!

Derek Vogel