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Are Companies Missing an Important Job Interview Question?

Are Companies Missing an Important Job Interview Question?

A sense of purpose can go a long way in choosing where one works.  It did for me.  After spending several years working for a few non-profits with diverse missions (large hospital to an inner-city church) and varied workforce size (thousands to fewer than ten), I decided that what really made me tick was working for small to mid-size organizations with a Colorado-focused mission.

The Colorado Health Institute was a natural fit, and I accepted my current position in August 2010.  My experience has been nothing short of fantastic, and I plan on sticking around for awhile.  Sure, there are lucrative opportunities in the for-profit world, but they just don’t appeal to my sense of mission.

Speaking of sense of mission, I recently read this story about new enticements for rural physicians.  The story jumped out at me because the idea seemed counterintuitive at first. But as I gave it more thought, it made perfect sense.

Rural hospitals and clinics have a long history of difficulty in recruiting skilled caregivers.  The approach taken by Benjamin Anderson at Ashland Health Clinic seems long overdue.  Anderson “offers potential candidates eight weeks off to do missionary work overseas. Because he's found that a doctor who is willing to sleep on a cot in the Amazon or treat earthquake victims in Haiti is ready to serve in rural Kansas. He calls it mission-focused medicine.”

Since my job duties include human resources, it made me wonder if we are doing a good job appealing to a sense of mission when we interview potential hires.  It is standard practice to ask candidates for salary requirements, but have we ever asked them for mission requirements?  The next time CHI conducts interviews, I will add that to the list.  Thanks for the inspiration, Ben.

How does your organization appeal to candidates’ sense of mission during the recruiting process?