Hospitals living paycheck to paycheck, unable to make long-term investments

Healthcare added almost 45,000 jobs in November, but many hospitals and health systems will continue to struggle to meet staffing needs, retain top executives and providers, and foster long-term pipelines for talent, Ted Chien, president and CEO of independent consulting firm SullivanCotter, wrote in a Dec. 15 article for Nasdaq.

Hospitals and health systems are living “paycheck to paycheck” and unable to make long-term investments at the height of the current workforce crisis, Mr. Chien said.

The challenge boils down to a healthcare delivery problem, not a demand problem. 

Baby Boomers are the greatest source of care demand on the healthcare system, but are unable to contribute to the provider workforce in the numbers needed to achieve balance, according to Mr. Chien. To compound that issue, burnout is a major factor why “too many” frontline workers have left or plan to exit healthcare, he said. 

Last year, an estimated 333,942 healthcare providers dropped out of the workforce, including about 53,000 nurse practitioners, which has led hospitals to spend more on contract labor and feeling more pressure to consolidate, according to an October report published by Definitive Healthcare.

Long term, a continued lack of healthcare workers would force hospitals to operate in a heightened crisis mode, according to Mr. Chien, depriving non-critical patients of sufficient health prevention and demanding too much of providers who are already overly taxed. 

Mr. Chien highlighted three key areas to tackle the workforce crisis: smarter technology, resilient teams and excellent leadership. 

Technologies that alleviate providers’ administrative burdens will be critical to reduce burnout and keep caregivers focused on patient care, while smarter tech can also forge pipelines for future providers by streamlining clinical experience operations and aligning student placements with existing opportunities.

Building resilient teams begins with competitive pay and robust benefit packages, which fosters trust and demonstrates that a hospital values its staff, according to Mr. Chen. Supporting career growth, including upskilling and redeploying staff when appropriate, empowers employees.

Lastly, capable executive leadership teams, under intense scrutiny from industry stakeholders, must clearly outline their hospital or health system’s strategy and provide the change needed to support their staff. Lack of trust in leaders drives staff out of healthcare, so it is crucial to recruit and retain “modern, strategic thinkers with depth of experience who are prepared to lead,” Mr. Chien wrote. 

Click here to read the full article.

The dire state of hospital finances (Part 1: Hospital of the Future series)

About this Episode

The majority of hospitals are predicted to have negative margins in 2022, marking the worst year financially for hospitals since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Part 1 of Radio Advisory’s Hospital of the Future series, host Rachel (Rae) Woods invites Advisory Board experts Monica WestheadColin Gelbaugh, and Aaron Mauck to discuss why factors like workforce shortages, post-acute financial instability, and growing competition are contributing to this troubling financial landscape and how hospitals are tackling these problems.

Links:

As we emerge from the global pandemic, health care is restructuring. What decisions should you be making, and what do you need to know to make them? Explore the state of the health care industry and its outlook for next year by visiting advisory.com/HealthCare2023.

The gig economy is back — even for execs

Contract or “temp” employment used to be viewed as a means of supplemental income: a side hustle to an average day job, or a way to pay the bills while searching for full-time work. Now, gig work is back in style, and more workers want in on the flexibility — including C-suite executives, Korn Ferry recently reported.

The gig economy surged when older millennials, born in the 1980s, began rejecting the one-firm careers their parents had, according to Korn Ferry. Although they are currently midcareer, older millennials have switched jobs 7.8 times on average. Baby boomers are also using temporary work to keep busy during retirement, and Generation Z appreciates the flexibility that comes with contract labor. 

As temporary work grows in popularity, its influence is spreading to the C-suite. Interim executives are becoming more likely to be tapped when a leader departs, Korn Ferry reported. This gives organizations like health systems, which urgently need leadership in a rapidly changing industry, more time to conduct their searches for full-time replacements. 

Sixty percent of executives predict that the number of interim workers at their companies will “substantially increase” within the next three years, Korn Ferry reported. In a period of economic instability, temporary labor can mean less commitment and cost than a permanent worker. But there are downsides to contract labor, too. Since they lack benefits, many contract workers demand higher pay — which can trickle down and lead their permanent counterparts to ask for matched salaries. In the healthcare industry, this is visible in travel nurses’ paychecks, and their controversial effects on health systems’ finances. 

For better or for worse, contract labor does not appear to be dying out anytime soon. Fifty-eight million U.S. workers now consider themselves “independent,” Korn Ferry reported — an estimated 36 percent of the total workforce. 

CFOs experienced in cutting costs, restructuring in high demand

Fall is typically a period of increased CFO turnover as hospitals and health systems begin searches for new executives for the beginning of the following year, but the pressures associated with high inflation, a projected recession and the continued effects of the pandemic have led to more churn than usual for top financial positions, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 23

Many economists and financial experts are expecting a recession to hit the U.S. in early- to mid-2023. This is pushing some executives to switch roles now before the labor market changes. Many healthcare organizations are also preparing for a potential economic downturn by searching for CFOs who are experienced in cutting costs or restructuring operations, according to the report.

Recession planning in healthcare is challenging because it can have both negative (payer mix, patient volume) and positive effects (decrease in labor and supply inflation) on financial performance, according to Daniel Morash, senior vice president of finance and CFO for Boston-based Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The best advice I would give is that hospitals need to consider recession scenarios when making long-term commitments on wage increases, capital expenditures and planning for capacity for patient access,” Mr. Morash told Becker’s Hospital Review. “Most of our focus needs to be on the acute challenges we are facing. Still, it’s important to be careful not to overreact or overcommit financially when a recession could change a number of trends we’re seeing now.”

As hospitals make cuts, the losses are loud or quiet

There are few easy ways to cut expenses. But in hospitals and health systems, there are quieter ways. 

Workforce reductions are never painless — or never should be, especially for those doing the reducing. Involuntary job loss is one of the most stressful events workers and families experience, carrying mental and physical health risks in addition to the disruption it poses to peoples’ short- and long-term life plans. 

But as health systems find themselves in untenable financial positions and looming risk of an economic recession, job cuts and layoffs in hospitals and health systems are increasingly likely. In a report released Oct. 18 from Kaufman Hall based on response from 86 health system leaders, 46 percent said labor costs are the largest opportunity for cost reduction — up significantly from the 17 percent of leaders who said the same last year. 

Job cuts at hospitals may seem counterintuitive given the nation’s widely known shortages of healthcare workers. But as hospitals weather one of their most financially difficult years, some are reducing their administrative staff, eliminating vacant jobs and reorganizing or shrinking their executive teams to curb costs.  

Decisions to reduce administrative labor tend to garner quieter reactions compared to budgetary decisions to end service lines or close sites of patient care, including hospitals. While the implications of administrative shakeups may be felt throughout a health system, the disruption they pose to patients is less immediately palpable. Few people know the name of their community hospitals’ senior vice presidents, but most do know how many minutes it takes to travel to a nearby site of care for an appointment during a workday or a tolerable amount of time to wait for said appointment. 

It doesn’t hurt that hospital and health systems’ administrative ranks have ballooned compared to their patient-facing counterparts. While the number of practicing physicians in the U.S. grew 150 percent between 1975 and 2010, the number of healthcare administrators increased 3,200 percent in the same period. More broadly, administrative spending accounts for 15 to 30 percent of healthcare spending in the U.S. and at least half of that “does not contribute to health outcomes in any discernible way,” according to a report published Oct. 6 in Health Affairs.

A couple of health systems have denoted their plans to cut nonclinical employees and jobs in the past week. 

Cleveland-based University Hospitals announced efforts to reduce system expenses by $100 million Oct. 12, including the elimination of 326 vacant jobs and layoffs affecting 117 administrative employees. The workforce reduction comes as the 21-hospital system faces a net operating loss of $184.6 million from the first eight months of 2022.

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health is laying off an undisclosed number of staff, a decision the organization’s top leader says is “to streamline leadership structure and simplify operations” in certain areas, the Argus Leader reported Oct. 19. Bill Gassen, president and CEO of Sanford Health, also said the layoffs primarily affect nonclinical areas and that they will “not adversely impact patient or resident care in any way.”

These developments are only several days old, but have not yet triggered any newsworthy follow-up developments or pushback. Cost reduction efforts that close facilities or reduce services tend to — on the other hand — catalyze scrutiny, debate and conflict in communities that can span for months and even years. 

Look to Atlanta. Marietta, Ga.-based Wellstar unexpectedly announced on Aug. 31 that its 460-bed Atlanta Medical Center will end operations on Nov. 1, with plans to progressively wind down services leading up to that date. The system attributed the decision to the $107 million loss incurred operating the hospital over the last 12 months. Noteworthy is that the system has said that 1,430 (82 percent) of Atlanta Medical Center workers affected by the facility’s impending closure have accepted job offers at other Wellstar Health System facilities. 

Since, the decision to close one of Atlanta’s level 1 trauma centers has drawn attention from Georgia’s governor and gubernatorial candidate, congressional members and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, who in a town hall Oct. 19 said that in closing Atlanta Medical Center, “Wellstar said they don’t want to be in the business of urban healthcare.” 

The decision has also spilled over to affect area hospitals, namely Atlanta’s public Grady Health System, which received a $130 million cash infusion from the state and reported a 30 percent increase in patient volume after the emergency department of Atlanta Medical Center closed. 

Health systems have a lot to weigh. Their administrative layers are thick, varied and necessary to a degree, meaning this broad category of workers still poses tough decisions when it comes to cost containment efforts. But in a very simple view, laying off people who care for patients will only hurt health systems’ chances of recruiting and retaining clinical talent — in a time when no health systems’ odds of doing so are especially outsized.

Worsening $7 trillion retirement savings shortfall stirs second thoughts

U.S. market volatility erased $3.4 trillion from 401(k)s and IRAs in the first half of 2022, making for an anxious time for many workers trying to plan their retirements. 

The 2022 losses suggest the retirement savings shortfall among U.S. households is worsening from its $7.1 trillion valuation in 2019, an estimate that came out of Boston College. At that time, half of working families faced were at risk of not being able to maintain their standard of living once they retired. 

This proportion likely hasn’t changed much since, Alicia Munnell, director of Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, told Bloomberg. The people who profited from gains to stock and housing prices over the past three years “were people who weren’t at risk in the first place,” she said.

“Living standards are going to decline for a large portion of the population who are in retirement — that’s the concern,” Richard Johnson, a retirement expert at the Urban Institute, told Bloomberg. “For people who are not in that age group, it’s still concerning because it could strain the social safety net.”

Boston College’s 2019 report on the national retirement risk index concluded that “the only way to make a dramatic dent in the retirement risk problem is to combine saving more with working two years longer.” 

The average age for retirement is the highest it has been for the past 30 years, sitting at 61. Nonretirees’ target retirement age has increased from 60 in 1995 to 66 today, meaning the average retirement age will increase even further in coming years if active workers retire when they plan to.

Why 67% of nurses want to quit—and what would make them stay

As RNs struggle to work through staffing shortages, their job satisfaction has sharply declined, with 67% saying they plan to leave their jobs within the next few years, according to a survey from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) published in Critical Care Nurse.

RNs cite poor work environments

For the survey, AACN collected responses from 9,862 nurses, 9,335 of which met the study criteria of being currently practicing RNs, in October 2021. The mean age was 46.5 years, and the mean years of experience was 17.8 years.

Of the participants, 78.3% worked in direct care, and 19.4% worked in a Beacon unit, meaning that their unit had been recognized by an AACN Beacon Award for Excellence. Half of the participants said they spent 50% or less of their time caring for Covid-19 patients, while the other half said they spent 50% or more.

To measure the health of a work environment, AACN looked at six standards:

  • Skilled communication
  • True collaboration
  • Effective decision-making
  • Meaningful recognition
  • Authentic leadership
  • Appropriate staffing

Overall, AACN found that nurses’ perceptions of quality on these six measures had declined across the board since the organization’s 2018 survey.

In particular, appropriate staffing was the lowest rated of all the standards at 2.33 out of 4, which is the lowest rating the standard has received since AACN first began the survey in 2006. Only 24% of RNs said their units had the right number of nurses with the right knowledge and skills more than 75% of the time—down from 39% who said the same in 2018.

In addition, there was a significant decline in how RNs rated the quality of care in their organizations and their units. Only 16% rated their organizations’ quality of care as excellent (compared to 24% in 2018), and 30% rated their units’ quality of care as excellent (compared to 44% in 2018). Over 50% of nurses said quality of care in their organization or unit has gotten somewhat or much worse over the last year.

Many nurses also reported difficulties with their physical and psychological well-being in the survey. For example, less than 50% of RNs said they felt their organization values their health and safety, a significant decline from 68% who said the same in 2018.

In addition, 40% of participants reported that they were not emotionally healthy. The percentage of RNs who reported experiencing moral distress also doubled from 11% in 2018 to 22% in 2021.

A significant portion of RNs also reported experiencing verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual harassment, or discrimination over the past year. Of the 7,399 RNs who answered this question, 72% said they had experienced at least one negative incident, with verbal abuse being the most common at 65%, followed by physical abuse at 28%.

RN job satisfaction

Only 40% of RNs said they were “very satisfied” with their job, down from 62% who said the same in 2018. Further, a significant number of RNs in the survey reported planning to leave their jobs within the next few years.

Overall, 67% of RNs said they planned to leave their current position within the next three years, compared to 54% in 2018. Of this group, 36% said they planned to leave within the next year, with 20% planning to leave within the next six months.

According to the respondents, the top factors that could lead them to reconsider their decision to leave their job were a higher salary and more benefits (63%), better staffing (57%), and more respect from administration (50%).

“Without improvements in the work environment, the results of this study indicate that nurses will continue to exit the workforce in search of more meaningful, rewarding, and sustainable work,” the survey’s authors wrote. “It is time for bold action, and this study shows the way.” (Firth, MedPage Today, 8/3; Ulrich et al., Critical Care Nurse, 8/1)

Hard truths on the current and future state of the nursing workforce

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Concerns about an imbalance in supply and demand in the nursing workforce have been around for years. The number of nursing professionals nationally may be healthy, but many nurses are not in the local areas, sites of care, or roles where they’re needed most. And many of today’s nurses don’t have the specialized skills they need, widening the existing gap between nurse experience and job complexity.

As a result, gaping holes in staffing rosters, prolonged vacancies, unstable turnover rates, and unchecked use of premium labor are now common.

Health care leaders need to confront today’s challenges in the nursing workforce differently than past cyclical shortages. In this report, we present six hard truths about the nursing workforce. Then, we detail tactics for how leaders can successfully address these challenges—stabilizing the nursing workforce in the short term and preparing it for the future.

Read More

Amid competitive US labor market, employers are ramping up health benefits, survey finds 

As employers plan for 2023, attracting and retaining talent is top of mind amid a competitive U.S. labor market. That’s led to over two-thirds of companies planning to enhance employee health and benefit offerings next year, according to survey results from Mercer published July 6.

The survey was conducted April 26 to May 13. In total, 708 organizations participated, from all industries and of all sizes ranging from fewer than 500 employees to more than 5,000.

Nine things to know:

  1. Among large employers, 70 percent are planning to enhance health and benefit offerings in 2023.
  2. Among all employers, 61 percent are conducting surveys on employee benefit preferences.
  3. Among large employers, 41 percent currently provide a plan option with a low deductible or none at all, and 11 percent are considering it. 
  4. Over half of employees say no remote or hybrid work is a deal breaker when considering to join or stay with an organization. Among all employers, 78 percent now allow employees to work from home regularly, compared to 26 percent in 2021.
  5. Among large employers, 52 percent will offer virtual behavioral healthcare in 2023, and 40 percent will offer a virtual primary care physician network or service.
  6. Though 64 percent of employers are not prioritizing a single employee group for benefit enhancements, 35 percent say they are focusing on hourly and low-wage employees.
  7. Nearly one-third of employers will offer benefits such as fertility treatment coverage and adoption and surrogacy benefits by 2023, and almost another third are considering it.
  8. Among all employers, 70 percent currently offer or plan to offer paid parental leave in 2023.
  9. Among all employers, 75 percent offer or plan to offer tuition reimbursement in 2023.

These are the questions candidates must ask during a job interview

https://www.fastcompany.com/90763864/these-are-the-questions-candidates-must-ask-during-a-job-interview

Job seeking is a grueling process, but it is also an opportunity to put your best foot forward in order to find a company that is the best fit for you.

Although it can be nerve wracking to sit through one interview after another, candidates should remind themselves that these interactions are a two-way street, and they have every right to ask challenging questions to make a decision, should the offer come.

Here are the critical questions you as a candidate must ask during a job interview—because remember, you’re interviewing the employer, too.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE APPLYING FOR THE JOB

Before setting off on your job search, make a list of the types of companies you’re interested in. 

  • Is this a place you see yourself thriving in?
  • Do you believe in the mission?
  • Why do you want to work at this place?
  • What attracts you about the organization?

Oftentimes, our current situations dictate how we go about making our next move. Perhaps you’re working in an environment that you find suffocating and want out, or you’re seeking more responsibilities, or are looking to become a people manager. 

Whatever the case, be sure to keep in mind that in every new workplace, there will be pros and cons, no matter the salary or job description. So be cognizant of all the aspects of a new role that are truly important to you; also, be mindful of what your personal dealbreakers are.

PREPARE A LIST OF STRATEGICALLY PLANNED QUESTIONS

Interviewing is a two-way exchange. While candidates are being scrutinized by the potential employer, the skilled candidate will have an opportunity to evaluate the company based on the flow of the conversation.

Typically, candidates aren’t given the opportunity to ask questions until the very end of the interview. That’s not to say there aren’t ways to integrate specific queries into the conversation, as long as you remember that you’ll get full control of the floor in the grand finale.

In a previous Fast Company story, Patrick Mullane, executive director of Harvard Business School Online, shares how interviewees often will drop the ball when the interviewer tosses out the famous line, “Do you have any questions for me?”

“Candidates forget that when they’re given control of the discussion, it’s an opportunity to do two very important things. First, it’s a chance to learn something genuinely useful about the firm you might be joining. Second, you get to show that you’re thoughtful and conscientious,” he said. “Both are hugely important as you look to make a change. Don’t waste the opportunity.”

When it comes to the questions candidates typically ask companies during an interview, the “big three” revolve around corporate culture, the interviewer’s personal experience (“How have you liked working here?”), and growth.

Rather than default on these inquiries (which interviewers likely receive quite often and may respond in kind with generic answers), Mullane challenged candidates to take these questions and reframe them in a more thoughtful, strategic way:

Culture questions: Rather than asking, “What’s the culture like here,” ask something along the lines of, “Can you share a time when the company’s culture made you excited to work here or helped you during a challenging time?” This bypasses a typical answer like “It’s collaborative,” and dives into the intersection of employees and culture, offering an in-depth look into a specific, and perhaps relatable, scenario.

Personal experience questions: Instead of “How do you like working here?” try, “I noticed you left X company for this one. What convinced you to make the jump?” This reframing achieves two things: It shows the interviewer you did your research and gives you insight into their decision-making, which may help you make your own.

Company growth questions: A question like, “I noticed the company is growing rapidly. Do you expect that to continue?” will often bear a generic, dead-end answer. To get additional, more useful information, put a spin on it. Ask something like, “I noticed the company is expanding rapidly. Is this putting a strain on your customer service team?” Getting information on a company’s financials is not particularly difficult, especially if it is already publicly traded. But asking a question of this nature is especially useful if you are interviewing for a role like Customer Success Manager, as it allows you to get a better sense of how growth impacts the day-to-day of the team.

Overall, it will only work in your favor when you do your due diligence in gathering intelligence on the company you are interviewing for; also, you’ll be setting yourself up for success by having prepared questions that lead to a conversation and present yourself as a thoughtful and conscientious candidate.

“In a hot job market, it’s tempting to be lazy when doing the upfront work to prepare for an interview,” said Mullane. “It’s easy to figure that the interview is over when the person interviewing you gives you the floor. But it’s not. Asking better questions in the right way can significantly increase the chances you’ll not only impress the interviewer, but also gain valuable insights that can help you decide if the position is right for you.”

COVER THE BASICS

It can be easy to get caught up in nerves when interviewing for a company you are extremely attracted to—or even in general. Interviewing is a lot of pressure!

However, when preparing to ask your questions, the areas that you as a candidate must focus on should give you a well-rounded perspective on multiple aspects of the company, not just the specific job description.

This Fast Company article shared a roundup of all the pertinent focus areas that your questions should fall under to get you the best answers, which include:

  1. The specific role you are interviewing for
  2. The management style of your would-be boss or team
  3. Company culture and reputation
  4. What performance metrics look like
  5. What kind of colleagues you can expect to work with
  6. Opportunities for growth

ASK TOUGH BUT FAIR HIGH-LEVEL QUESTIONS

Sometimes it’s not enough to consider the high-level questions, such as salary and work culture. Many of us are in a unique position in life, whether that involves our personal situations, families, health, or other concerns.

When considering your interest in a company, it’s helpful to understand how they can help or support you as an individual beyond your contributions to the job.

On the flip side, you’ll want to know other aspects of internal support for employees. How does this company support internal mobility? How do managers deliver feedback? In other words, what will a day in the life of this role really be like? 

Prepare to ask the employer a series of questions tailored to your situation. FlexJobs’ team of career coaches offers guidance in this Fast Company story, including specific inquiries to ask your interviewer, such as:

  • Why is this position available? This can give you some insight into the way things are handled at the company. Was someone fired? Are they unable to keep the position filled because of the workload?
  • What makes it a great day at work, and what makes it a challenging day? Answers to this question can vary depending on the personal experience of the interviewer, but it’s good to get a sense of how they approach the question.
  • How are criticism and feedback handled within the team? Mistakes can happen, and knowing that managers on the team can handle employee errors with grace will offer a sense of relief rather than unnecessary conflict when they do occur.
  • Do you have any Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)? How do they support the company’s DEI plans? This question gives you an opportunity to understand where the company stands in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and how well they support the objectives of ERGs, as well as pushing forward their higher-level strategy.
  • How does the company approach salary differences? This can highlight whether the company pays people differently based on location, if they work remotely, in-office, or hybrid. It can also shed light on whether the company has done a pay audit to achieve equity, especially for women and underrepresented groups.
  • What’s the company’s approach to supporting work-life balance? Many companies have put forth specific benefits and incentives to support employees in the past two years, including mental health initiatives, fitness classes, therapy, and flexibility. This critical question will help you determine just how the company views employees as individuals and not just by their work output.

An example of a tough conversation to navigate can pertain to how the organization supports employees in specific work situations. If this particular job requires you to relocate, an example of how to navigate the question of moving-cost accommodations might go something like this:

Candidate (C): I noticed this position is based in San Francisco. Is there an option for potential hires to work remotely?

Interviewer (I): I’m afraid our new company policy is to operate on a hybrid schedule. This particular role is based in the Bay Area and requires the individual to come into work three times a week.

C: I understand. Sometimes companies need to make tough decisions based on their needs. 

I: Do you think you would be willing to relocate, should we decide to move forward with your application?

C: I think this role is a wonderful opportunity for me, and I truly believe my personal values align with those of this company and its culture. If all goes well, I’d like to learn what the company’s budget is in regards to supporting moving and transition costs. 

In this scenario, the interviewer is honest about the new hybrid model their company has adopted. If you, the candidate, are first learning about this aspect during the interview, it’s important to ask direct questions about how the company plans to support potential moving costs, rather than framing the question in a way that offers a loophole or an out. 

Organizations are aware that with the plentiful options of remote jobs, finding talent willing to relocate or adopt a hybrid work life will be tougher. Know that the ball is in your court and be straightforward about expensed costs if you are willing to relocate.

WRAP UP THE INTERVIEW WITH THESE KEY QUESTIONS

This will likely be the last time you interact with this team member before either moving onto the next stage or the decision-making process. 

In a prior Fast Company story, the founder of executive search firm The Mullings Group shares the best questions to ask when wrapping up.

Don’t let the conversation end without answers to the following questions, so you have enough information to help you reflect on and assess your experience and understanding of the company.

Am I a good fit for this company? The feeling needs to be mutual. Be sure to determine whether your skills, interests, personality, and goals align with the direction of the company. 

What are the expected deliverables for this role over the next three months to a year? Depending on the role of the person you are interviewing with, you may get different answers. This is a good question to ask to get a sense of the priorities as it relates to different stakeholders. 

How will we both know that I have succeeded in this role? This is another question in which the answers may vary, but it will be helpful for you as a candidate to understand how to work toward specific goals and measure your own impact so that, when it comes time for a raise or promotion in the future, you have the evidence to back it up.

What are the growth opportunities in this role, and what important skills will I learn? It’s not enough to make a lateral move. You need to know how will working for this company enable you to grow and thrive.

Who will I become? Your environment and the people you work with will directly influence your work output, ethic, and your future values. Asking questions about the kind of people you will interact with regularly will help you get a sense of what your day-to-day experiences will look like.

Getting a new job is a big deal. You will be working 40 hours a week in a specific environment that supports a certain culture and hires a certain type of colleague. It’s not just the job description that matters, nor the skill set the company requires to perform in that role. A new job is a combination of your livelihood, a commitment to learn and grow, and contribute. 

Remember to be selective in your process because you’re interviewing your next employer, too.