If you’d like to use your tech skills to impact people’s lives and well-being, you might consider a career in Health IT (HIT) at UnitedHealth Group. UnitedHealth not only provides health coverage and services to approximately 85 million people worldwide, its subsidiary, Optum, develops and markets a health-services platform to other organizations that features software, data and analytics capabilities. The company’s goal is to provide cloud-based data across the entire care continuum, which will (in theory) help to eliminate care gaps, reduce costs and improve health outcomes, explained Nora Sievers, vice president of talent acquisition, who responded to our questions via email. And there’s no shortage of opportunities to contribute. The company currently has more than 1,200 openings for tech pros. Interested? Here’s an overview of UnitedHealth’s tech environment, career opportunities and hiring process.
If you like a massive environment with abundant resources and complex challenges, you’ll be in your element at UnitedHealth. As Sievers noted: “Our technology professionals work on highly complex systems at a scale unlike most organizations.” Indeed, the Fortune 500 company operates in 22 counties and employees 185,000 people. Tech pros are responsible for developing solutions that enable collaboration across clinic providers, payers, government organizations and consumers who need quality care. However, big and complex doesn’t necessarily mean slow or out-dated. Some development teams utilize rapid release cycles and Agile methodologies. User-centric design is a priority to ensure that interfaces truly meet the needs of the organization’s diverse base of customers. And though UnitedHealth’s infrastructure currently hosts both virtual and distributed technology systems, the company is migrating to a cloud platform. Sievers characterized the company’s tech culture as high-energy, driven and full of passionate people who are dedicated to transforming the way that the health system connects key constituents to improve health outcomes.
Given the scope of its operations, UnitedHealth and Optum employ tech pros with a wide range of interests and specialities. System security experts with SANS certifications top their current wish list. The company is also actively recruiting software engineers with Java, C#, .NET and Pega expertise as well as Big Data analysts, data architects and data warehouse gurus. Note that some roles require experience with Hadoop. Cloud infrastructure pros and IT architects are also a top priority. While experience with specialized industry software and regulated environments that feature HIPPA and health IT standards (such as HL7 and ICD-10) is a plus, the required skills vary by position.
Navigating the Hiring Process
UnitedHealth’s large scale systems require teamwork and collaboration across functional boundaries, so be prepared to demonstrate those competencies as you navigate a hiring process that could take as long as two to three months. Successful applicants also demonstrate problem-solving and communication skills and the resiliency to work in a highly complex environment. Like most large companies, the hiring process starts with an online application. After a phone screen with a recruiter, the company’s technical interviewers will ask behavior-based questions to assess your experience with a particular problem, skill or tool, as well as make an effort to provide you with a realistic preview of the work environment. Some roles require a whiteboard test or other technical evaluations, and it’s not uncommon for a candidate to be given a sample problem and asked to describe options and recommendations for solving it, Sievers noted. In addition to patience and technical acumen, tailoring your C.V. for each position, researching the company and industry, and avoiding questions about salary, vacations, benefits or bonuses during the initial interview are some of the keys to success. If you’re interested in learning more about the technical environment, career opportunities and hiring process, you can connect with UnitedHealth’s recruiters
on social media or engage them in an online chat.