A reader writes:
I work in an technical aspect of healthcare. In my city I have heard there is a shortage of people in my field. A lot of people left during Covid and my small city has experienced rapid growth.
I have recently decided to look for a new job. My independently owned clinic has been bought by a corporation. Talking with others in my industry has lead me to believe my salary is between 5 to 40% lower than it should be and I do not receive health insurance with this job ( ironic, isn’t it, that a medical professional wouldn’t have health benefits).
I have recently had two interviews. One was a series of three brief phone calls with a clinic. The whole process from sending resume to offer was four days. The purpose of call 3 was to answer questions and extend an offer. The interviewer asked limited questions of me, and the doctor who owns the clinic wasn’t part of the interview process at all. I agreed upon a salary and they sent me a formal package explaining benefits and let me ask questions. It seemed like little was asked of me regarding treatment philosophy, or any questions really.
Is the speed of this process a red flag? I asked for a working interview and they agreed to that so that’s something, I guess, but something just seemed off with the speed of the process until … it happened again. Sort of.
A professional contact referred me for a job and again I was basically offered the job on the spot. Similar process. Phone interview, explanation of job hours and benefits, at least this time with a plan to see the clinic and meet the doctor. I ended up with Covid and had to cancel the in-person meeting. During my Covid isolation period, I realized the hours of this clinic would be challenging so I explained and told them to move forward with other candidates. I did offer to come in one day as a contract worker to help out ( common in my industry). After three hours on site, I was asked to come work for the them — “The job is yours if you want it. We haven’t filled it.”
So wow! Is this just a sign of the current job market or is the speed and desperation a red flag? What if I’m not a good fit? What if I’m not actually great at my job? How would they know? Nobody has even asked for my references!
It’s the health care job market. Health care has a huge shortage of workers right now and they’re desperate to hire. They’re moving quickly because they have staffing shortages and they’re worried about losing you to other jobs if they take longer.
But that doesn’t mean that you need to move that quickly. Interviewing should always be a two-way street: just as the employer is assessing you, you should be assessing them right back. That means that if you’re offered a job but don’t feel that you have the information you need to decide if it’s right for you — to know whether you’re well-matched with the work, the team, and the manager, and whether you’d be good at it — you can say, “I don’t feel I have enough information about the job and the team yet. Is there a time I could meet with the hiring manager to talk more?”
As for whether their rush to hire is a bad sign about them as an employer … if it weren’t for the health care job market right now, I’d say yes. You want to work for an organization that takes hiring seriously — because you want to have good colleagues (and you certainly want whoever hired your manager to have taken their hiring seriously) and also because you want to be confident they’ve put real thought into whether you’ll be able to succeed in the role or not. Given the market they’re hiring in right now, though, I think you can cut more slack in that area that you normally might.
But just because they’re ready to make an offer doesn’t mean you need to be ready to accept it.