Gosh, this post has a lot of information and opinions.
Normally, I try to keep quiet on the issues of graduates finding employment and the difficulty of coding exams.
However, this time I have something to offer.
What novice and new-graduate coders must understand in the hiring process is the mitigating role an HIM or Coding Manager plays. On one hand, the managers have a vacancy to fill. Certification probably is required; after all, that seems the defining feature for candidates. And, that requirement supports and validates that a coder has at least the minimum qualifications for the job duties.
On the other hand, you have Human Resources and Recruiters. These folks are not schooled to understand coding credentials, education and generally have little insight of the nuances in qualifications for coders. They must rely on the information supplied to them from the hiring officials. Human resources may not, for instance, understand the variances of being a CPC and a CPC-P. If the words in a candidate's Resume do not match the words listed as qualifications on the announcement, that candidate is unlikely to gain interview. For example, an announcement may request that a coder be "certified" through AAPC or AHIMA. HR folks likely don't understand what qualifies as "certified"; they may forward non-certified coders' Resumes forward for managerial review. The point is, your Resume should factually state in detail what your credentials are (e.g., Certified Professional Coder through AAPC). Take nothing for granted.
I've found that HR can sometimes believe coding managers too stringent in their screening. I don't necessarily believe that to be the case.
It's important to also keep in mind that sometimes the hiring officials are actually members of larger hiring groups. In these models, a board or committee may choose the candidate's salary based on qualifications. With that being the case, those folks can sometimes (conversely) believe that managers choose "minimally qualified" candidates.
Hiring is a fine line to walk for the selecting officials. A newly approved position or vacancy is valuable to the hiring organization just as well as to the candidate. Choosing the right coder takes effort and commitment on both sides.
I wish you all luck. It might be wise to look at non-traditional options. Coders are employed all across healthcare in a variety of positions. It makes sense to explore those.
Last edited by kevbshields; 07-18-2009 at 07:56 AM.
Kevin B. Shields, RHIT, CPCO, CCS, CPC, COC, CCS-P, CPC-P, CPC-I