We are blessed to speak with many interesting professionals who work in this unique discipline of healthcare facilities management. If you took the time to speak with us this year, thank you!

Reviewing copious amounts of notes from conversations we had with facility management and trade personnel, human resources professionals, job candidates and seekers, consultants, facilities customers, and absolutely anybody else we spoke to in 2019, we have compiled 19 quotes and Gosselin/Martin Market Insights that framed 2019 for us.

1) Know yourself 

“I like where I am, I like being a worker. I am good at it, I am busy all the time and I get to talk to co-workers, vendors, and patients. Eventually, maybe I will want a management spot, but it seems like these days all it is (the job) is paperwork and office work. I don’t strive to move on, I want to make things better doing what I do.” 

See https://gosselin-associates.com/number-2-is-ok/ for more.

2) The Golden Rule  

“He (our former Director) respected us. He would communicate to us what he was doing, and then he would do it, follow-through. That’s what we want.”

3) Sincerity still works

“We have some customers who are just customers to us, but he (the Director) goes out of his way to thank us. If he has issues, he calls us personally, he doesn’t send email after email. He is not a commodity buyer, he is a relationship builder.”

4) G/MA Interview Insight

Be prepared to answer why you want the role for which you are interviewing. Don’t be surprised by this basic question and hopefully, your response should be a bit more insightful than because the money is good.

Also, have two or three quantifiable, specific examples of your healthcare achievement. Don’t generalize, be specific, and supply details. The interview is the time to speak well of yourself, something many of us are uncomfortable doing for fear of being boastful. Overcome that. 

5) What not to say while interviewing, Part 1

“I don’t need this job.”  

6) What not to say while interviewing, Part 2

“Your hospital is just like every other hospital. Same problems, same demands.”  

7)  Respect your instincts

“I just did not click with him. He was a very credible candidate and I think he can do the job, but we just didn’t click. I don’t know why, I can’t put my arms around it.”

8) G/MA Salary Insight

Anecdotally and through first-hand experience, many facility roles filled in 2019 were filled above the salary mid-point desired by the hospital. As Boomers continue to retire and replacements with healthcare experience more difficult to find, expect this trend to continue.

9) Advocate, advocate, advocate 

“People don’t know what we (facilities) do. They see a group of us talking at a maintenance cart and they automatically think we are lazy, we don’t work.  They don’t know we just finished up in a patient room, they just see us doing nothing. So we tell them what we do, they need to know.”

10 ) Why we do it

“Looking at anybody in healthcare, they are probably not in it for the money. We do amazing things for patients.”

11)  Use your hands

“I want to hire a person who is not afraid to get their hands dirty. I don’t want them working on equipment, but I also don’t want them to be afraid to go out there with their employees and see for themselves. Be visible.” 

12) G/MA Organizational Insight

Your organization’s reputation is important to candidates. They ask about it, they consider it, and these days, when it is a job seekers’ market, they turn organizations down if the organizational reputation is not good. Present well, treat employees well.

13)  What else do you need?

“Finding this unique set of skills is a challenge. It needs to be somebody who is not afraid, understands engineering, can interpret standards, but can also communicate with non-engineering people. They need to delegate and be somebody who is comfortable doing their own investigations into problems. They have to solve problems, that’s what we are looking for.”

14) G/MA Cultural Insight

All hospitals have a unique culture, which should be considered when making job decisions. You cannot go in and change an established culture by the force of your personality; you have to adapt your style to reflect the culture of the hospital and work effectively within it. Some of us are better suited for a community hospital over a system hospital, or a not for profit over a for profit. There are significant cultural differences, find a hospital that reflects your values.

15) How do I get there? 

“I would like to know what they (his employer) are looking for. I’m trying to advance through the ranks, but I’m not sure what I need for experience, education, technical expertise, all that. They need to do a better job communicating the career path.”

16) Emulate this  

“He always came up with an alternative way to do things (tasks). Other people wouldn’t do that, they would tell me what they couldn’t do and why they couldn’t do it. He had stick-to-it-ness, an attitude that always reflected ‘I will figure it out.’ I liked that.” 

17) How did we get to this point? 

“I ask myself what has happened to facilities, it’s not why I started in it. I wish I had more time to do my work, I don’t and we tend to cover a lot with a little. I am on call all the time, I need opportunities to unplug.”

18) An interesting observation

“I’m new here, but there is so much waste everywhere in healthcare. I came in from the manufacturing sector, where we planned and prioritized. Here, we jump from initiative to initiative — where is the patience to see things through?”

19) Why I get up in the morning

“Never in my career until I worked here (the hospital) did I see the impact of my work. I get so much satisfaction out of seeing patients walk in a hospital that I am responsible for keeping up and running.”

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