Successful professionals are inquisitive. They listen and observe. These are also traits of successful job seekers.
In our role as healthcare facility director recruiters and educators, we work with some candidates who take job-seeking a step further than their competition. They perform a simple action that separates them from the job-seeking pack.
Visiting the hospital they will interview with before their interview, they gain an advantage over others.
More than driving around to view building facades or the screening of rooftop air handlers, they get out of their car and walk the campus. First, they sit in the lobby. Then, they travel to the cafeteria and walk public corridors. Wearing casual clothes they blend in while they observe the rhythm of the hospital, the hello’s in the hall and the facial expressions of employees.
While observing, they may converse with hospital employees and tell them they are interviewing (they don’t tell them the role they are interviewing for) and ask what it is like to work there. They are aware that the employee(s) they speak with may have an ax to grind with the organization. The information they gather and stories they hear become data points for decision-making.
Some job seekers don’t want to inform employees that they are job seekers, so they pretend they are visitors seeking information. They may ask questions that they been asked by patient families back at their hospital. A benefit, they learn information that can be used to impress the person interviewing them.
Tales from the front
When we begin an engagement with an organization, we arrive well before our appointed meeting time. We sit in the lobby and observe. We once observed a young volunteer pushed a beverage cart through the waiting area, offering visitors a free drink. A small but impactful gesture.
Another gesture that we always notice when we visit a hospital is the interaction between employees and hospital visitors. Some hospitals will have employees who will always ask a visitor who appears lost, “can I help you?”
Some hospitals have employees who don’t or won’t. We had a meeting at a hospital and were waiting outside the office door of the person we were scheduled to meet with. It was late in the day, after 5 pm. The person we were meeting with told us he would be late, so there was no issue. Yet several employees passed us standing outside a locked door in a main corridor, waiting. Over a 20-minute time frame, not one employee asked, “can I help you.” We found that odd.
Personal observations provide authentic windows into an organization.
Baseball great Yogi Berra once said, “you can observe a lot by just watching.” While this Yogi non-sequitur would likely draw the red ink of an English teacher, the real-world impact of his words shouldn’t be lost: Job seekers should informally observe the environment you hope to work in to gain insight.
1) We conducted a survey of healthcare facility management professionals to assess their facility’s response and status relative to COVID-19. Results can be found here:
2) Visit our new Career Hub Web Site and become an Insider, see here
3) Listen to our podcasts at the beach or by the pool, all will enjoy! There is an episode for you now, with more to come later this summer.