Giving Tuesday 2022

#GivingTuesday is known globally as the day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. It is celebrated each Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the US, and focuses on kicking off the charitable season. As companies are looking to wrap up their end of year and get a jump on their first quarter of hiring, they are also looking for ways to differentiate themselves from their competition. And with today being #GivingTuesday, now is a great time for organizations to take a look at their social responsibility and the ways in which they are giving back to the community.

There are countless ways to give back, build social responsibility, and in turn, boost your company culture in your organization. Whether it is monetary donations, volunteering, or participating in charitable events, companies can make a huge impact in their communities. Here at Direct Recruiters, we do our best to give back in the community and believe it positively impacts our company culture. For example, each year we participate in Race for the Place, a benefit held by the Gathering Place, a Northeast Ohio organization that provides programs and services free of charge for individuals touched by cancer. In addition, we work to fill boxes full of toys to donate to the Leprechaun Foundation, a charity that gives toys to children in Cleveland area hospitals.

When job candidates are looking for a new job, they take into consideration numerous factors. They want to make sure that they are making a move to a reputable company that is respected in the community. Organizations that are socially responsible are more attractive to potential future employees. If a company is building good relationships in the community, that jobseeker is going to hear good things about the company. If employees feel good about their company and enjoy working for a good organization, those feelings are going to show to others in the industry as well.

Another benefit of doing charitable events is bringing your organization together. What makes a company great to work for is employee morale. As a company, you want your employees to feel great about where they work. You build strong connections with your employees when you go beyond your normal work day. Increasing morale increases overall productivity. You want to differentiate yourself in the market and this is one way to achieve that. Being unique keeps employees and customers loyal to your company.

Social responsible companies have a competitive edge over those that are not.
Getting out in the community also helps for networking. You might be standing next to someone at a soup kitchen that could add value to your organization and vice versa. Meeting people in your local area will help get the name of your company known and you can help others that you meet along the way.

So, on #GivingTuesday, take a second to think about what your company can do to get out and lend an extra hand. There is always something to be done and people are always looking for help.

Healthcare IT Q4 Newsletter

DRI's Healthcare Technology team partners with clients to help them strategically build high-performing teams from the C-suite through the individual contributor level across each area of the organization. Read the latest DRI Healthcare IT newsletter below to learn the latest news and trends in the Healthcare IT and Private Equity industries, as well as all things talent and career related. 

4 Types of Company Culture

There are many benefits to culture in business. Apart from creating higher revenue, culture can also improve teamwork and cooperation between employees. Not only is a strong company culture the foundation for retention, but it can help attract candidates as well. According to a statistic from Team Stage, 86% of job seekers avoid companies with a bad reputation. Below, we will breakdown the top 4 company cultures to help you identify your organizational structure.

DRI Thought Leader Series

Talent Trends in Private Equity: Acquisition, Retention & Building Culture in Today’s MarketThe Healthcare Technology team at Direct Recruiters, Inc. had the opportunity to interview several leaders within the Private Equity Healthcare investment space to discuss their perspectives on acquisition, retention and building culture in today’s hiring landscape.

Industry Events

The DRI Healthcare Technology attends industry trade shows and conferences on a regular basis to meet with top-tier industry professionals and to learn the newest trends in the space. Reach out to us if you will be in attendance at the following industry events!

HLTH
RSNAATAVIVEHIMSS

July 21, 2021 – PICTURED HERE IS MIKE SILVERSTEIN, ONE OF THE TOP EXECUTIVE RECRUITERS AT DRI THAT SOURCES LEADERSHIP TALENT FOR PE AND VC PORTFOLIO COMPANIES

Mike Silverstein, Managing Partner - Healthcare IT & Life Sciencesmsilverstein@directrecruiters.com440-996-0594

Kasey Fahey Kaiser, Partner

Kasey Kaiser, Partner - Healthcare IT & Life Scienceskkaiser@directrecruiters.com440-996-0861

Quiet Quitting: Separating the Symptom from the Cause

By Karen Schmidt, President at Sanford Rose Associates | Guest Contributor

Direct Recruiters, Inc. is pleased to feature an update from the Sanford Rose Associates quarterly newsletter. The excerpt below, written by Karen Schmidt explores one of the industry's trending topics: Quiet quitting.

What began as a viral video has become one of the most talked about (and written about) topics this year. Is it a valid phenomenon, or is it nothing more than catchy clickbait? To a certain degree, the answer to that question does not matter. Rather than debating the significance of the symptoms, this is an opportunity for leaders to proactively address the more important matter: the cause. While many organizations excel in the areas of employee engagement and retention, the tenor in the marketplace (and perhaps why the original video gained so much traction) is that this is the exception - not the rule. The symptoms indicate that something has shifted; the cause of that shift deserves a discussion.

What’s New?

In the video – which has over 3.5 million views – 24-year-old TikToker Zaid Khan (@zaidlepplin) states that “work is not your life.” This is not a new concept. But assuming that work is a requisite part of life, to view the act of employment simply as a means to an end overlooks the opportunity that purposeful, gratifying, challenging work can provide. When given a choice to do the bare minimum necessary to stay employed, or proactively constructing a professional environment that provides meaning, which would most choose? The latter is the obvious choice, but is easier said than done. And although the need for professional fulfillment is nothing new, the external factors have changed:

  • The pandemic shifted people’s attitudes toward work, creating a time of reflection during which some reassessed the importance of things in their lives beyond work.
  • Remote and hybrid work environments have created employees who feel disconnected from their work, workplace, and coworkers.
  • Lack of boundaries between work and personal life have created, for some, an “always working” dynamic that leads to burnout.
  • New career and early career employees have never “gone to work” and thus have no personal investment or commitment to an organization, its people, or its mission.
  • Lack of organizational focus/attention necessary to keep employees aligned, motivated and moving forward in their organizations and in their careers. “Out of sight, out of mind” is not an effective formula for employee engagement and retention.

Uncovering the Cause

“What is your why?” It sounds like an esoteric question, but why is it that you choose to go to work each day? Why do you choose this profession, instead of something else? Why do you choose the role you are in, as opposed to others?

Encourage yourself and others to press beyond the obvious answer of “I need to make money.”  There are countless ways to earn a living; why have you chosen this one?

Incorporate The Five Whys, which originated within the Toyota Production System and are an integral part of Lean Manufacturing, Kaizen, and Six Sigma. Taiichi Ohno saw the Five Whys as an especially important part of Toyota's overall philosophy. The process is simple: Just ask why five times in succession to get to the true root cause of the problem. This is a remarkably simple process, but more often than not, we stop at the very first "why" and try to do something about the symptoms rather than getting to the true root causes.

Once you begin to list all of your whys, you will notice they fall in two categories. The first category is similar to Maslow’s lowest hierarchy of needs – food, water, shelter. “I’d like to be able to pay my mortgage.” “I want to send my children to college.” “My elderly parents will rely on me to provide for them.” “I have always dreamed of buying a vacation home.”

The second category recognizes that there is a bigger purpose, a desire to make a difference, and a need to higher meaning behind the choices we make. Both categories are important and not mutually exclusive. An individual who only cares about money will likely live with a void in their life, while an individual who is all about the big picture has their head in the clouds but lacks feet on the ground.

Treatment Options

  1. Acknowledge this is a leadership issue. In his book Extreme Ownership, former Navy Seal Jocko Willink writes: “On any team, in any organization, all responsibility for success and failure rests with the leader. The leader is truly and ultimately responsible for everything.” Leadership must address manager engagement first, then re-skill them to be successful in a hybrid/remote working world. 
  1. Rebuild the psychological contract with employees. The 20th Century psychological contract was transactional: Employees showed up every day from 9-5, and in return were rewarded with a paycheck and a pension. The 21st Century contract is relational. Employees want a paycheck, but they want challenge, career growth, support, and meaningful relationships. More than ever, leaders must build (rebuild) trusting relationships with their employees. When people feel valued, they are more likely to naturally engage or reengage in their work. 
  1. Commit to Offer High-Quality Work. High-quality work means having varied and meaningful tasks, clear goals, and a positive team climate. Particularly relevant today, high-quality work also means having reasonable demands and expectations of workers. Leaders need to be especially careful about not overwhelming people with excessive demands, long work hours, or unreasonable pressures.
  1. Acknowledge and Respect that Employees Have Changed. Quiet quitting is an identity shift. See employees as they are now vs. who they were pre-pandemic. Employees want autonomy over their work, not just in how they carry out their tasks, but also — as much as possible — influence over where and when they work.
  1. Work to Reconnect Employees/Teammates. Employee engagement relies on feeling connected to one another individually and connected as at team to a bigger purpose. Leaders must be intentional in creating interaction and cohesion.

Quiet quitting isn’t new. It’s a new twist on an old problem. But, it has captured people’s attention. As leaders, it’s on us to address it.

4 Types of Company Culture

By Celeste Gable, Marketing Coordinator

There are many benefits to culture in business. Apart from creating higher revenue, culture can also improve teamwork and cooperation between employees. Not only is a strong company culture the foundation for retention, but it can help attract candidates as well. According to a statistic from Team Stage, 86% of job seekers avoid companies with a bad reputation. Below, we will breakdown the top 4 company cultures to help you identify your organizational structure.  

Clan  

Clan culture is a people-focused, “family-like,” collaborative environment. Companies who have a clan culture are action-oriented, embrace change, and have a flexible mindset. Leadership are advisors and mentorship opportunities are encouraged. In clan culture, relationships, participation, and company morale is at the forefront.  

Adhocracy 

Companies who have an adhocratic culture are innovators and risk-takers. Adhocratic culture creates an entrepreneurial environment for creative, energetic, fast-paced individuals. These companies are goal-oriented and visionaries with an emphasis on new ideas and individuality.  

Market 

If your company has a “winning” mindset, they probably operate under market culture. This high-pressure environment is focused on profitability and the “bottom line.” Companies with market culture are results-oriented, competitive, and have a growth mindset. Their success comes from their aggressive goals to be industry leaders.  

Hierarchy  

When you think of “corporate culture,” you’re thinking of hierarchy culture. This culture is structured, organized, and operates under a strategic set of procedures and policies. Within hierarchy culture, there is a clear chain of command and a vertical career advancement. Hierarchy culture is stable and reliable and employees who operate under this culture have a sense of security as expectations and working conditions are predictable in this traditional culture.  

Culture has become an important topic for businesses. Company culture can be a valuable asset for both executives and their employees. Having a strong and positive culture attracts high-caliber employees and leads to a 33% revenue increase. Companies with strong cultures are associated with increased productivity, better employee engagement, and higher profitability. There are many more types of company cultures and neither of them are alike. Organizations who are building a strong culture at the forefront of their success plans may find that combining aspects may work best for their growth initiatives.  

What Employers Want from Remote Employees

By Celeste Gable, Marketing Coordinator

Nowadays, many companies operate with a hybrid structure. While they may have an office where employees can go to work, there’s also an option to work remotely. According to a statistic from Owl Labs, 62% of employees aged 22 to 65 say they work remotely. When hiring for remote roles, your ideal candidate should demonstrate a variety of characteristics that indicate their suitability for the position. Below are traits you should look for in your remote employees.

Motivated & Confident

When working remotely, one must be self-motivated. It’s the employee's responsibility to make sure they are staying on task and getting things done. You’re looking for a self-starter. Someone who sets goals and follows through. The remote employee must be able to move forward without someone looking over their shoulder. With that comes self-confidence and the initiative to meet the role-specific goals and company deadlines without constant confirmation.

Communicative & Collaborative

Since you don’t share a physical space, strong communication skills are a must have in your remote employees. Through either synchronous or asynchronous communication, you may be collaborating through email or text, so having a remote employee with strong written skills is important since there is no context for body language and tone. When managing a remote employee its important to have frequent updates and check-ins to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Adaptable & Organized

Part of working remotely requires the employee to be independently organized. The ideal candidate will have strong attention to detail and time management skills. This will help them to adapt to any situation. The ultimate remote employee will be resourceful and adaptable. They will have a flexible mindset and problem-solving attitude.

Since 2009, the number of people who work from home has risen 159% and it continues to rise. Due to fast advancements in technology and the increased value on flexible work, remote work seems to be a permanent fixture of today’s workplace. Although a few hiring managers may have doubts about remote work, 85% believe that hybrid teams of remote and in-office employees will be the norm in the future.

Talent Trends in Private Equity: Acquisition, Retention & Building Culture in Today’s Market

In the current market, the labor dynamic is ever-changing, and organizations with the best talent strategies win. The Healthcare Technology team at Direct Recruiters, Inc. had the opportunity to interview several leaders within the Private Equity Healthcare investment space to discuss their perspectives. Industry leaders shared knowledge and helpful insight on acquisition, retention and building culture for today’s hiring landscape.

Jump to Interviews:

DRI’s Healthcare Technology team recently had the opportunity to interview Virgil Bretz, CEO of MacroHealth. Offering helpful insight, Virgil shared thoughts on company culture, leadership, hiring, and the overall outlook of the healthcare IT landscape.

Founded in 2017, MacroHealth is on a mission to modernize healthcare, making purchasing and selling healthcare services simple and powerful for the healthcare finance professionals who are dedicated to guiding members and patients to the best care, at the best price, for the best outcomes. Through their innovative MacroHealth Intelligent ExchangeTM (MiX) platform, they enable health plans, self-insured employers, network organizations and providers to transparently collaborate on a single platform.

A first-of-its-kind SaaS platform, MiX leverages data science and industry standard interoperability to create an Intelligent Health Market™- a transparent digital healthcare ecosystem where all players able to easily leverage key data to make informed business decisions and collaborate with best-in-class partners, enabling them to win.

Virgil Bretz, CEO
MacroHealth

Talk about your company culture and what makes MacroHealth unique.

MacroHealth is a healthcare IT company creating an intelligent, SaaS solution to bring desperately needed optimization and connectivity in the U.S. healthcare industry. What’s unique about MacroHealth is that our team is located across the United States and Canada, and is a mash-up of people with deep healthcare and deep technology experience. We have had to work hard to bring all of these people together and align our mindsets to create one of our core values, which is “One Team:”

  • We act as one team with our fellow MacroMates, customers and partners
  • We value humility, low ego, and collaboration
  • We are All for One, and One for All

We are proud that earlier this year, we were recognized as a 'Best Employer' for both the Province of BC, where most of our product engineering team resides, and nationally in Canada. MacroHealth tends to attract people for a couple of reasons: In MacroHealth’s stage of development, we are not an early start-up, as we have blue chip clients and GTM fit, but we are still in the start-up stage, and it is a very exciting time for our team. Professionals who don’t want to work in a huge company get the best of a start-up and a stable employer. In addition, MacroHealth attracts those who want to make a difference in healthcare. Our team’s work measurably improves healthcare access, reduces costs, and in the future will improve healthcare quality.

What are the main traits/experience you look for in leaders?

MacroHealth looks for people who can demonstrate the ability to be confident, strong-willed collaborators. These individuals have strong opinions but work well with a team for the benefit of the team first, always. In addition, we look for leaders with a track record of delivering on promises, with a sense of urgency. We have a term called ‘Macro Thinking,’ within our team which is keeping a growth mindset, and connecting the dots between their work, the work of our organization, working with our clients, and ultimately our responsibility to make healthcare better for everyone.

What is the biggest issue on your plate in regard to hiring?

Finding and earning great talent is a huge challenge! The broad acceptance of remote work has expanded the geographical market for where we can hire most of our roles. This increases the chances of fantastic two-way fits, where we can find the best possible person for MacroHealth while being the best possible job and team for our ideal candidates. On the other hand, with increased remote work, the team needs to work hard to understand who the new hire is, their style, and how effective they will be without working together in person. On another front, hiring was extremely competitive over the past two years, but this competitive pressure is easing slightly as we continue to hire while many organizations are holding or shrinking their teams.

What are the biggest trends you're seeing in healthcare technology?

Healthcare is driven by exploding costs, an aging population, incredible advances in medical science, and of course, a global pandemic. This is a time of incredible change in our industry. Focusing on healthcare information technology in particular, there are a few current trends to highlight.

  • Consumer Experience: The recent announcement of Amazon buying One Medical is one more headline illustrating what most of us think: the healthcare consumer experience has a lot of room for improvement. Challenges to finding providers, scheduling, long wait times before, during, and after treatment, and unpredictable pricing are just some of the factors. It can often feel like consumers are working for the current healthcare system and not the other way around. Over the past year I have heard most of our clients and partners talking about IT solutions to improve customer experience and the member journey.
  • Interoperability: Our industry still works on a pre-internet, pre-API, non-real time architecture. EDI and X.12 are decades old, and this is inhibiting real-time customer experiences. For example, imagine if you called an Uber, and its data updated once a day! That second-by-second, real-time experience would be impossible in most of the healthcare industry today, so a huge trend is transitioning to modern interoperability standards.
  • Transparency: There is a bi-partisan, government-driven push to increase the transparency of contractual pricing between Payers and Providers. Consumers, but also even employers and other health plan sponsors, have far too little information about how much healthcare will cost before, during, or even shortly after a medical event.

Healthcare IT can make an incredible, positive difference on all of these issues.

What do you look for in a partnership with an executive search firm?

MacroHealth looks for an executive search firm to invest time to understand us and our team. We look for a high EQ on understanding cultural fit. In addition, our partners need to have a proven ability to find and earn trust with passive candidates, which is hard. We look for them to focus on timely delivery and completion.

Christian Kurth, Vice President
JMI Equity

What are the main traits/experience you look for in leaders?

We look for leaders with a strong track record of success in their prior work experience. That is goal #1. An added benefit is if that individual has domain expertise – we love finding leaders that have grown up in an industry or have “lived experience” in a particular space or sector. This allows them to clearly articulate and anticipate the trends, dynamics, challenges, and opportunities of that particular industry better than we as outside investors could. Executives need to do many things, including setting strong goals and a vision for their company and effectively leading people, but to me, the most important trait is self-awareness. No one is a superstar in every aspect of their job – leaders that identify where they excel and where they need to lean on the strengths of their team are the most effective in my experience.

What is the biggest issue on your plate in regard to hiring?

Speed. We are coming out of the most competitive labor market in recent history (maybe ever) where demand for talent has outweighed supply and employee fluidity has been at an all-time high. It is increasingly difficult to, 1.) hire well, and 2.) do so quickly. We work with our portfolio companies on building efficient and repeatable recruiting and interviewing processes so they can extend offers to candidates swiftly and with conviction. This is a critical component of scaling growth stage companies, as organizations with best-in-class talent lifecycles outgrow their competition.

How are you helping employees avoid burnout?

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet answer to this question. That said, I’ve been incredibly impressed with the creativity exhibited by our portfolio companies around this topic. Some unique ideas include, picking a day for no internal meetings (i.e., no Zoom meetings on Fridays) or shortening internal meetings all together (i.e., doing 45-minutes vs. an hour to give people time to recharge in between meetings). It’s also critically important to have a robust benefits program available to employees, including a defined employee mental health strategy and resources that are actively promoted and easily accessible. Finally, it’s essential that leaders, and especially front-line managers, exhibit empathy and ensure flexibility for their teams. The traditional 9 to 5 is becoming a somewhat antiquated practice, so exhibiting flexibility and empowering employees to take control of their daily work schedule can go a long way in reducing burnout.

What do you think is going to be the next big innovation in healthcare technology?

I’m not sure if this is as much an innovation vs. a trend, but I believe there will be a renewed focus on clinical efficacy and quality as the digital health market matures. The pandemic spurred a tidal wave of innovation as virtual-first care took off to meet the needs of patients and members who were isolated or unable to access traditional care modalities – mental / behavioral health being probably the best example. While the growth in virtual care has greatly expanded access to care, I believe the conversation will shift from focusing on access to focusing on clinical efficacy and outcomes. The digital health vendors that can consistently deliver superior care quality and outcomes will rise to the top and achieve lasting market leadership.

Gordon Crenshaw, Principal
Blue Heron Capital

What are the main traits/experience you look for in leaders?

As a baseline, we look for leaders with a track record of success in their prior work experience. A history of promotions and extended periods of time within the same organization are key. We orient ourselves to references more than anything, both from managers as well as the individuals that a leader managed. We like both top-down references as well as bottom-up references. Ultimately, we look for executives as leaders of people, so experience and track record of how a leader manages people and how he or she manages up is extremely important.

What are your onboarding best practices to ease the transition between companies?

We hope the new leaders of our companies get inundated with as much information as early and often as possible, participating in meetings on day 1 and integrating them into the workflow of a business. With that being said, we want that period of time to be reserved for listening and learning; a little bit of walk before you run. It is difficult not to fall into the trap with a new leader of sprinting towards some company objective or goal, but if you are hiring talented leaders, you want them to be able to weigh in on if we are even running in the right direction in the first place.

What do you think is the greatest cause for turnover?

We think the greatest causes of turnover, especially in new hires, are not some of the most obvious, like compensation or culture clashes. What we see as the greatest cause is not being crystal clear on expectations of the job requirement. It’s critical that the preparation for a new hire includes spending a significant amount of time on the job req, roles and responsibilities, as well as making sure the board and leadership team are rowing in the same direction in terms of what will be asked of a new leader or employee. We find that it is this misalignment of what a candidate believes the job is versus what it actually is that is the biggest cause of turnover.

What do you look for when partnering with an executive search firm?

The key word in the question is ‘partner.’ You have to take the viewpoint that your executive search firm is not just a service provider but someone that will work collaboratively with you to build the best organization possible from a talent perspective. At the stage we invest in (early stage, growth stage businesses), many of our leadership teams don’t have significant experience working with an executive search firm, so it is a learning process. We don’t just want our executive search firm to identify great candidates and get to an offer as quickly as possible. We want help with that initial leg work of designing and implementing an effective process. The key for us is a partnership mentality with a great executive search firm.

What is the biggest issue on your plate in regard to hiring?

Given the incredibly tight labor market we’ve been in for the past several years, access to great candidates has been a challenge, but it always will be. We live in a competitive world. For our early-stage businesses, speed is the most challenging aspect of the hiring process. Given the way we like our companies to hire, the importance of culture, the importance of clearly defining expectations of the job, and making sure we don’t miss on a new hire, it has been difficult to keep up with the pace with which people will meet a candidate and lob in an offer. Ultimately, we’re in the people business, and you win or lose based on talent. So, for us right now, speed is the most challenging aspect of the hiring market.

How to Speed Up the Hiring Process

By Celeste Gable, Marketing Coordinator

In the current candidate-driven market, the name of the game is speed. The traditional hiring process can be a long, drawn-out process that frustrates everyone involved. There are good reasons for taking your time during the hiring process like adequately comparing candidates or finding the best cultural fit. But if the hiring process takes too long, candidates might move on to other offers. It is necessary to move with speed and agility within your hiring process to keep candidates interested. As hiring experts, DRI is here to provide you with the key ways to streamline and ultimately shorten your hiring process.  

Cut out Unnecessary Steps  

It seems like a no brainer, but this first step will be crucial to streamlining your process. Take a close look at your hiring process to discover any bottlenecks or tasks that take a long time. Eliminate any unnecessary steps in your process. For example, if you have candidates fill out a 5-page questionnaire that takes an average of 5 days to return, you might want to revaluate if all the questions on the form are necessary.  

Utilize Technology  

In the midst of the pandemic, we saw an increase in digital interview tools that are still rising in popularity today. By utilizing email, text messaging, social media, and video, you can meet candidates where they are. Perhaps there are limitations on scheduling face-to-face interviews, and in that case, consider scheduling a video call. This also eliminates travel cost and time, ultimately creating a faster, simpler, more cost-efficient way to screen candidates. When you are more flexible with a candidate’s availability to communicate, you will get quicker responses and confirmed interest sooner. 

Streamline the interview process 

How many interviews is your organization putting candidates through? For entry-level and associate positions, two interviews will often suffice. For executive and C-suite positions, an additional interview may be appropriate. Much more than that and you run the risk of losing top talent. Many times, the root of the issue lies in conflicting schedules. Make sure all those involved have interview days blocked off so the process can move forward smoothly and succinctly.  

Speeding up the hiring process without losing the quality of the process will deliver long-term value to your organization. For an added value, work closely with a recruiter to assist you in attracting quality candidates for your roles. At DRI, we build a customized recruiting strategy that fits your organization. We understand that your time is valuable, so we work hard to understand your company to find you the best organizational fit. By making changes like the ones outlined above, you are guaranteed to speed up your hiring process and create an interview process that makes everyone’s lives easier.  

Returning to Work After Parental Leave

April 28, 2022

By Christy Pashkovskiy, Director of Marketing

Returning to work after an extended leave can be a tough process. Those with the luxury of family leave time after the birth or adoption of a child may be out of the office and out of their work routine for months, so the transition back can be intimidating. With preparation and managing expectations with yourself, your supervisor and your team, returning to work can be a manageable and even rewarding experience.  

Below we have outlined helpful tips for employees to make a happy, productive, and successful return to work after leave, as well as best practices for companies to assist employees in the transition back. 

Employee Return to Work Basics 

Start planning for your return to work at the end of your leave. While it may seem daunting, preparation is key to a smooth transition back to work. Below are six things to do before your first day back. 

  • Reach out to your HR department. In some situations, there may be paperwork to fill out, the need for a healthcare provider sign-off, and confirmation of the date you are starting back. Discuss any questions and/or concerns you have with your HR manager. 
  • Call your immediate supervisor. Instead of waiting until your first day back, give your boss a quick call to communicate when you will be returning, and share any changes to your schedule that may need addressed.  
  • Get in touch with members of your team. To ease yourself back into the work culture, have a few conversations with co-workers to catch up on current projects and any major changes that may have happened since you have been gone. 
  • Lock in your childcare plans. An obvious, but sometimes difficult task, deciding on the right care for your child may be one of the most important things to figure out before your return to work. Be sure to test out your options and line up back up plans. You also may need to write out important contact info for the childcare provider, and details about your child that are necessary to know (such as sleep and eating routines, allergies, etc.). 
  • Develop a plan for pumping if needed. Those who breastfeed may need to put together a plan and schedule to do so. Important points to cover with your employer are scheduled pump breaks and a private space to pump. If this applies to you, organize your intended process and make sure that you have a bag for your pump, storage for milk, water and brainstorm snacks to take into work.  
  • Go through a practice run. Maintaining a routine will help both you and your child to adjust to your return to work. Going through your new process as a trial run will give you the time to work out anything unexpected and help you develop the right routine for your family. Think about things like dinner prep and your personal work wardrobe. Anything that can be simplified will help you in the long run.  

Employee Mental Health 

Anyone who has gone on parental leave and returned to work will tell you that it has its challenges. Some adapt easier than others but being in a good mental state and getting the help you need to accomplish that is important for you to put your best foot forward.  

  • Manage expectations with your employer. Have a discussion with your boss and ask for flexibility if needed whether you need to work different hours, consider part-time or a different flexible arrangement.  
  • Reach out to others who are going or have gone through the same situation. Friends or co-workers who have also gone on leave and returned to work can be a great support system and offer helpful advice in successfully returning.  
  • Make time for yourself. If you are emotionally drained, returning to work will be even more challenging. Try to get rest when you can and take time to do something fun for yourself periodically, even if it is something small.  
  • Expect change. You may feel a range of emotions as you transition back to work. Give yourself grace and know that it may not feel the same as it did before. You will create new routines and habits that work best for you and your family.  

Employer Best Practices 

As outlined above, returning employees have likely been out of work long enough to have significant obstacles and challenges to overcome in their return. To ease the stress and have a better chance of retaining these employees, there are various steps employers can take to make their return to work a better process. 

  • Offer substantial leave. While there are numerous caveats surrounding parental leave, companies who offer an attractive leave policy have a better chance of retaining high-performing employees. A paid leave policy with plenty of time off is a great way to stand out among your competition as an employer.  
  • Communicate. Although people who are on leave may be busy with a new child, it is important for employers to check in periodically throughout leave to understand how the employee is feeling and where they are mentally. This communication should continue and increase as the return-to-work date gets closer. Even a running document of updates, new projects, team wins, and more is helpful to put together for a returning employee.  
  • Offer flexibility for those returning to work. As mentioned above, employees may be more comfortable with a flexible schedule, remote work or other work arrangements upon going back to work. Some companies even build in a transition period with returning employees working part-time for a number of weeks before going back to full-time. Employers who are understanding of new circumstances for their employees and build in flexibility will reap the benefits when it comes to retention and employee engagement. 
  • Encourage support and community. Many employees will go through a leave time period and return to work at some point in their careers. Employers can help to set up sharing groups between these employees to help them overcome challenges, exchange advice and have discussions.  

Parental leave is an important topic to consider for employees at their current organization, those searching for new roles, and the employers themselves. With time and thought, the return-to-work process can be successful for both the employee and employer. 

Benefits of Job Searching with a Recruiter

Headhunters, Career Consultants, Unicorn Finders. Whatever you call them, recruiters are in high demand as the surge of open roles overtakes the lack of talent in the candidate pool. As a candidate in this market, you’re probably receiving calls, emails, text messages, and more from various recruiters who are trying to pitch you a role they’re working on. If you’re searching for a change in your career, here are 5 reasons why you should work with a recruiter on your next job search.

Additional Opportunities

Due to the high-impact nature of their available roles, employers don’t advertise their available positions and instead elect to work with a recruiter to source potential candidates. As a job seeker, if you choose to work with a recruiter during your search, you’re more likely to have access to those prized roles.

Save Time

Finding a job can be a long, tedious, and sometimes frustrating process but by establishing a working relationship with a recruiter you can save time and energy in your job search. As recruiters, our job is to find candidates whose background and experience match our open roles. We streamline the process for you and only offer opportunities you would be well-suited for.

Expert Advice

At DRI, we pride ourselves on being industry experts. This means we understand the culture, role, and expectations of your intended employer. We’re here to coach you through your interview and negotiation process to help you land your dream role. With over 39 years of experience in interviewing, consulting, coaching, and negotiating, we can confidently offer you advice and insight to help you land your dream role.

Confidentiality

Many times, candidates are looking for new opportunities while still employed. When you opt to work with a recruiter, you can ensure that there is little to no risk of your current employer finding out as we don’t blast your resume out where your employer could potentially find it.

Shared Interest in Your Success

When working with a recruiter, you can be sure that you both have the same goal: to place you in a job that is a perfect fit. Recruiters are invested in your success as it guarantees an accomplishment for us as well. We’re not here to waste your time as our end goal is find a career match for you.

A good recruiter will help to alleviate the stress of job searching, not add more. At Direct Recruiters, our team of recruiting experts are dedicated to helping you find the best career fit for you. If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to our team of talented recruiters today.

#BreakTheBias this International Women’s Day

March 8, 2022

By Celeste Gable, Marketing Coordinator

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition, bias is “an inclination of temperament or outlook especially a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment.” Biases, even those unconsciously promoted, are hurtful to the marginalized community that the bias represents. This International Women’s Day, #BreakTheBias invites society to stand up against judgments and stereotypes and celebrate a world of gender equality where being different is valued.

In a perfect world, once industries achieve gender balance, bias will decrease and gender gaps will close but it’s not that simple. Women account for 47.7% of the global workforce but only 27.1% of women hold leadership roles. Despite the fact that women score higher than men on 17 of the 19 most important leadership skills, according to a survey from Harvard Business Review. People tend to think that having more women present is all that’s needed to promote change, but traditional organizational structures and systems need to change to benefit everyone. Below are 3 ways to combat workplace bias to create a more inclusive company culture.

Turn the Unconscious into Conscious

Biases are so ingrained in our society and culture that many people don’t realize they are contributing to harmful stereotypes. The first step is to make people aware of how what they are saying or doing is harmful to the subject. While sometimes uncomfortable, this is an important first step in rewriting the narrative to be more inclusive. By having these conversations, (yes more than one is necessary), you empower those around you to reflect on their thoughts and actions and actively work to be more inclusive to those around them.

Control How Others View You (And How You View Yourself)

As women, we can also promote stereotypes by feeding into narratives about women in the workplace. We must combat these stereotypes with deliberate strategies to empower ourselves and others. It’s important to know your skill sets and boundaries. Knowing what you bring to the table and your self-worth can help to inspire confidence as a leader. That includes saying no. Many times, we are hesitant to say “No” due to our ingrained people-pleasing nature. To be recognized by the executive team, we overload ourselves with tasks and projects to equal or exceed our male counterparts’ contributions.

This can lead to burnout and mental health issues. According to a 2021 statistic from McKinsey, 42% of US female workers suffer from burnout, compared to only 35% of their male coworkers. Overall, burnout statistics and the rise of chronic mental illness has only intensified due to the idea of “always on” culture promoted and strengthened by the pandemic and remote working.

Find Allies and Be an Ally

Friends and mentors are important for everyone but especially for women in the workplace. Align yourself with like-minded individuals with similar goals to dismantle exclusive systems. McKinsey states that “women are twice as likely to do DE&I work, especially surrounding recruitment, and more likely to be allies to women of color compared to men.” Today, it is extremely important for people in leadership positions to inspire, mentor, and support those not in positions of power to create a more equitable and inclusive workplace culture.

Cherie Shepard, Partner and Founder of DRI’s Women’s Group shares why it’s so important to have a group dedicated to the empowerment of women.

"In conversations with the women in our organization, they share their gratitude and appreciation for having a Women's Group. It allows them to create and cultivate relationships with the women of Direct Recruiters – regardless of industry or station. The times we set aside throughout the year for our meetings and activities allow us to bond as a team, especially with a hybrid and remote workforce. This is a reminder that we are together; working to raise one another up and share in each other's successes and life events. These are the touchstones we have to remind one another that we are here for each other.”

In the end, dismantling these systems that no longer service the modern workplace is a job for men and women alike. Confront your biases, include women and POC in conversations, and work towards a common goal to create a more diverse and equitable corporate culture. This International Women’s Day, I urge you to reflect on your thoughts and actions and actively make a change to #BreakTheBias.