Ohman Family Communities
By Joshua Wallace, administrator Ohman Family Communities
Have you ever wondered what it takes to move to the top of the list when applying for a desired position? As I reflect back over the years, recalling many interviews and several conversations with our leadership team about recruiting and hiring, I recollect an encounter with a young lady who came in for an interview with wet hair, and clearly, her clothes covered a wet swim suit. It was obvious from the outset, she had no knowledge of interview preparations, etiquette or expectations. This experience and others have prompted me to recognize the need, and to endeavor to help prospective applicants with interview preparation.
The health care industry is growing and Ohman Family Communities are expanding. As we build new buildings, we recognize our company is comprised of people, so one of our top priorities is to recruit and retain the top talent in our industry. Recently, as part of our forecasting and strategy planning, we brought on board two human resource generalists. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center “Total employment in health care is projected to increase from what was 16.4 million in 2010 to 22 million by 2020.
In recent conversations with folks from outside the organization, our HR generalists, Ann Rieth and Rania Kairollos, shared from their perspective and experience which qualities they value and look for during the screening process.
Firstly, there is great value in an expedient response when contacted for an interview. If an applicant responds quickly to an email, phone call or text, we know they are serious about the available position. We, at the Ohman Family Communities hold our employees to a higher than average standard of care, and are seeking to find that standard in a prospective employee. Therefore, we evaluate voicemail messages, email addresses, social media channels, and use this information to develop our first impression of the applicant; this is important! Punctuality for an interview, preferably 15 minutes early, is critical, especially, in the healthcare field. We operate 24-hours a day; our staff are wielding shift changes and information exchanges, while simultaneously ensuring optimal resident care. In addition to these factors, when a potential employee shows up early, it sends a distinct message of reliability, not to mention the applicant then has plenty of time to relax, de-stress and gather thoughts. A failure to show up late or not at all, without adequate notice or reason, can be a deal breaker.
A firm handshake and a broad smile are two attributes that are important and they deserve practice. Personal attire also sends a distinct message. “I like to see applicants dress for the job for which they are applying,” Ann shared. “I would also recommend close-toed shoes, they lend to a more professional appearance.” More importantly, a candidate should always answer questions authentically, disclose mistakes and explain the circumstances. A confession of imperfection and admission of learning through a blunder goes a long way. Transparency is always the best policy. “As I listen during an interview,” Ann added. “I consider three factors: Can they do the job, will they do the job, and are they a good fit for this company?
One personal interview experience remains top of mind. When I finished the interview, I asked the applicant if she had questions. I was impressed. She was very familiar with our company and was well-armed with well thought-out, industry-specific questions. Familiarity is easy; most companies, ours included, host a comprehensive website allowing any applicant to become acquainted with our culture and our core values. Also, I welcome note taking.
“It is our practice,” Rania shared, “to find out how the applicant will respond in real-life situations. For example, I ask them to discuss a specifically difficult work-related experience? How it worked out, and what did they learn? What might they do differently? I will also ask about how they would interact with a difficult person, co-worker or customer?” Rania says she discusses wages upfront, but would recommend, if that is not the case in an interview, the applicant should wait until their second interview, because it might misconstrue their motive for job seeking. Although the employer takes the lead in the interview, the candidate should expect to fill the conversation with answers and questions for 80 percent of the duration. Handwritten thank you notes are impressive; they indicate follow-up, a real desire for the position and will leave a valuable impression, confirmed both experts. “They don’t have to be long,” said Ann, “Just thoughtful and concise.”
In the health care profession, it is imperative that we look at this occupation as more than a job. The foundation of our actions and reactions must come from a place of love and care, and this is the cornerstone value on which our founders built this business. At Ohman Family Communities, we are called to serve those whom are entrusted to us. To have a long-lasting career in the field of healthcare, you really have to be called to it. How do you know if your called, often times, you don’t know until you experience it.
It is remarkable to me when I learn of stories of people who began their successful careers in an entry-level position as a nursing assistant. In the last week, I have learned of four individuals that started their career within our organization many years ago. One is a now a Director of Nursing, another a Nurse Practitioner, a Speech Pathologist and a Registered Dietitian. The opportunity exists for those who are willing to put in the time and effort. Not only is health care a noble profession, opportunities for growth are bountiful. Contact us today about beginning or enhancing your career.
1-10 GOOD REASONS
1. Respond immediately to correspondence or phone calls.
2. Consider your identity, voicemail, email and social media; do they represent you well?
3. Practice ahead: a good firm hand shake and smile go a long way.
4. Show up early for the interview.
5. No electronic devices.
6. Dress for the job for which you are interviewing.
7. Be honest and authentic.
8. Do your homework, research culture, core values and develop your personal expectations.
9. Be prepared to share real life experience.
10. Send a handwritten thank you note.