Navigating the Shift from Healthcare HR to the Dynamic IT Landscape

Ainsley Lump, Entech Human Resources Manager


A Note From Entech’s HR Manager, Ainsley Lump

The world is ever evolving, and the landscape of professional career transitions between industries can be both exhilarating and, let’s face it, a little scary.

Such transitions, especially one from healthcare to the dynamic realms of information technology (IT) and cybersecurity, can feel like a leap into the unknown – at least, it did for me a few months ago. So, as someone who has recently experienced this transition firsthand, I'd like to share some key insights into how I’ve learned to embrace new technologies in a sometimes not-all-that-technical role.

One of the initial challenges I encountered with my new colleagues was deciphering the complex jargon that seemed to dominate conversations. Phrases like “agile methodology,” “version control,” “MSP,” “CSP,” and “API integration” initially felt like a foreign language. However, I soon realized that the key was not to be an expert in the terms but to understand the principles and concepts underlying the IT field. Collaborating with my new teammates enabled me to bridge the communication gap, demonstrating the importance of fostering cross-functional teamwork.

There is no doubt that technology has revolutionized Human Resources by automating administrative tasks, improving communication, and enhancing decision-making. HR software and tools manage recruitment processes, track employee performance, and streamline payroll and benefits administration. Online training platforms enable efficient skill development, while data analytics provide insights into workforce trends and engagement.

I was at a spot where I was feeling firsthand the intersection of people management and technology integration. Unguided.

Communication tools facilitate remote work and collaboration, while AI-powered chatbots offer quick responses to employee queries. This technological integration optimizes HR's efficiency and strategic impact within organizations. 

From Scrubs to Screens: Embracing the Change

The shift from healthcare HR to IT HR was a monumental shift that brought with it new challenges and opportunities. Embracing the change meant moving from “scrubs to screens”, from medical jargon to programming languages. While the industries seemed worlds apart, certain core HR skills turned out to be invaluable in both sectors. I saw that I was even fulfilling the same types of duties and tasks.

As a seasoned professional, I thus realized that the basics always serve as the foundation for success. 

As we grow and accept new responsibilities, or find ourselves in uncharted territory, it's essential to recognize the transferable skills that can act as a bridge to success. Effective communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability are attributes that transcend industry boundaries. These skills, which I honed in the healthcare world, became my guiding compass as I navigated the IT domain. The ability to empathize with and understand the needs of employees proved just as crucial when managing tech professionals as it did when dealing with healthcare technologists and physicians. However, along the way, I’ve had to learn to embrace new workflows, such as Teams chat and SharePoint Online collaboration. 

It feels like there is an app for everything these days, and even organizations with the smallest of staff sizes can benefit from making the move from a manual, paper-based HR work system to an HR platform to manage the complexity of people, benefits, and requirements.

If the term “HRIS” is new to you, please let me explain.  

Human Resources Information System (HRIS)

Human Resources Information System (HRIS) is a software solution designed to streamline and centralize various human resource functions and processes within an organization. It serves as a comprehensive database that stores and manages employee-related information, automates administrative tasks, and facilitates efficient HR management.

 An HRIS typically includes the following features:

  • Employee Records: Storing and organizing employee data, including personal information, employment history, skills, and qualifications.

  • Payroll and Benefits Administration: Managing salary, compensation, tax information, and benefits enrollment.

  • Recruitment and Onboarding: Posting job openings, tracking applicants, and facilitating the onboarding process.

  • Time and Attendance Tracking: Monitoring employee attendance, working hours, and leave requests.

  • Performance Management: Tracking employee performance, setting goals, and conducting performance evaluations.

  • Training and Development: Managing employee training programs, certifications, and skill development.

  • Reporting and Analytics: Generating reports and analyzing data to gain insights into workforce trends, engagement, and performance.

  • Employee Self-Service: Allowing employees to access and update their own information, submit leave requests, and access company policies.

  • Compliance and Legal Requirements: Ensuring adherence to labor laws, regulations, and company policies.

  • Communication and Collaboration: Facilitating communication between HR and employees, as well as internal collaboration.

HRIS systems can be on-premises or cloud-based, and they offer numerous benefits by automating tasks, reducing administrative work, improving data accuracy, and enabling HR departments to focus on more strategic initiatives.

There are key reasons you probably run your business financials on systems like QuickBooks or Sage, or even as part of your ERP system – better reporting, checks and balances, and efficiency. The same goes for why you should consider moving your HR workloads to an HRIS.

Continuous Learning: A Pillar of Success

Entering the IT field without prior experience certainly necessitated an appetite for continuous learning. From cloud computing to cybersecurity, the IT landscape is ever evolving, demanding that professionals remain up-to-date with the latest trends. Leveraging online courses, workshops, and industry conferences can accelerate the learning curve and enhance your confidence in the tech-driven environment. This dedication to learning also serves as a testament to your adaptability and commitment to growth. Regardless of which industry you might transition into there will certainly be a learning curve, and usually, today’s technology can help facilitate an increased rate of adoption. Using things like webinars, Podcasts, or even YouTube can certainly help to speed up the education process for all. 

Embracing the Future

My journey from healthcare HR to the dynamic world of IT HR has been nothing short of transformative. While the industries may appear disparate, the underlying principles of effective HR management remain remarkably consistent. Embracing change, recognizing transferable skills, learning the language of IT, adapting to different cultures, and committing to lifelong learning are all key components of a successful transition. 

As you embark on your own journey from one industry to another, remember that every experience contributes to your unique skill set.

The fusion of healthcare compassion with IT innovation has the potential to create a new paradigm of excellence. So, embrace the challenge, equip yourself with knowledge, and step boldly into the future of your career.

Ainsley Lump, SHRM-CP, PHR
Human Resources Manager

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