Invested in Each Other
When colleagues have your back, it’s easy to succeed
It’s about individual success at LiquidAgents Healthcare. It’s a simple premise: Most people want to do a good job. Having visited 77 countries and meeting countless people in his life, that is what has stood out most to CEO Sheldon Arora about people, and that is the foundation of the Plano, Texas-based healthcare staffing firm’s strategy. (The company provides travel nurse, travel allied and permanent placement healthcare staffing solutions for public and private healthcare systems in the US.) From recruiters and sales staff to compliance and payroll personnel, they all want to succeed, so the company’s focus is, “How can we help them be effective in their role?”
To that end, Arora sees himself and his leadership team as support for the people “out on the floor.” They are the ones who are closing deals, Arora says. So to ensure success, employees are afforded every tool, resource and training they need. Additionally, leaders are always on hand to help solve problems that pop up or remove obstacles that hinder their progress. For this philosophy to succeed, LiquidAgents needs its leaders to have the right mindset. The company looks for a certain open-mindedness because “you might not have all the answers,” Arora explains. “We may not be perfect, but if we’re talking to our people, and they are giving ideas and suggestions, let’s take them and implement them.”
Something to Prove
When it comes to staff, LiquidAgents is discerning about who comes on board. But it’s not specific job skills the company is after. The firm is interested in people who want to accomplish something, change something. It does not want people who are simply looking for a job. The people who get the job offers are those who have something to prove, who are competitive, who want to win, to get to the next level.
And when that staff comes on board, the company follows through on its commitment to help them succeed — and won’t give up on them, even if the initial role assigned to them isn’t quite right. Having chosen staff for hunger and drive rather than specific skills, it’s simply a matter of making the right fit.
If at first … Katie Hernandez can attest to that. She started with the company in September 2015, having worked at a nearby logistics firm before that. She applied to LiquidAgents after reading reviews of the company online; it was obvious people loved working at the firm, and she wanted to be a part of that.
Hernandez was thrilled to be hired, but her first role, which was recruiting, was not her cup of tea, she admits. Neither was her next role. A couple more still weren’t quite right for her, but the company still didn’t give up, finally allowing her to create her own role, which saw her becoming a pre-screener. Now she’s a client advisor in sales. “I’ve been given literally every opportunity and they’ve been so willing to train me just because I showed that I wanted it,” Hernandez says. “Not a lot of companies can do that.”
Worth the move. Tiffany Kepner, a payroll coordinator, has a similar experience. She relocated to Texas from the Seattle area in 2016 after visiting a friend who had worked for LiquidAgents. At the time, Kepner was working at an AT&T call center, where she says she really only interacted with her manager and couldn’t even tell you where the CEO sat or what he looked like. During that trip, she met a couple of people from the LiquidAgents office, and fell in love with how happy they were with their company. So, she set out to join that team with the enthusiasm LiquidAgents values.
Kepner started out as a pre-screener and then moved into recruiting. While she was good at it, she desired an opportunity to work in the back office. “I could not be more grateful for that. … They really pay attention to each person and try to make each person succeed.”
That focus on success doesn’t just come from management. It’s thoroughly ingrained in the culture. “Everybody here wants to help each other,” Kepner explains. It’s not uncommon for co-workers to stay late or come in on a weekend to help someone else out. “We don’t want to just succeed for ourselves,” Kepner says. “We want the company as a whole to succeed, because we’re all so invested in each others’ happiness.” And that’s a daily mindset for the hard-working staff of 100 at LiquidAgents.
The Halls Are Alive
While they go about the business of providing healthcare staffing solutions across the US, they do so in an energized atmosphere. The office’s stereo system is split into four zones, each of which is always playing one of the frequently updated playlists assembled by Arora himself, which always includes new songs from around the world. Arora takes great pride in sourcing the music — if albums were still prevalent, he’d own thousands, he quips.
While the music helps keep employees energized and motivated, the office also boasts a shuffleboard court and a ping-pong table for some stress relief. Staff takes frequent lunches and happy hours together for extra bonding as well as problem-solving time.
And employees are rewarded in many ways. They might be treated to a beer cart on a Friday afternoon to close out a busy and successful week. One might snag a pair of concert tickets — and invite that new co-worker to get to know each other. There’s an organized gathering for just about every occasion — from the Super Bowl, to Valentine’s Day and the Fourth of July. Sports lovers might enjoy the box seats that are sometimes available for (Dallas) Mavericks basketball games. And then there’s the smaller things. A person celebrating a success might spin the wheel (think Wheel of Fortune) and win a prize such as a cut and color at a salon. It’s the company’s way of saying every job has its stresses, but it should be enjoyable as well.
And then there are the larger rewards: Leaders and top performers might find themselves in Las Vegas for planning sessions — and some fun — an international outing for well-deserved relaxation, or a rented house on the beach for a weekend of games.
To the employees, these offerings speak volumes. “They go out of their way to show that they know you’re working hard, that you’re putting in the effort you should put in,” Hernandez says.
Time to give. Giving back is important to the company as well. Led by CFO Jenny Hanlon, LiquidAgents staff can often be found after work or on the weekends at local charities, such as North Texas Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas or Frisco Family Services. Arora admits he is amazed at the enthusiasm and turnout for community services; in fact, Kepner cites the organized volunteering as one of her favorite things that the company does.
Being a Best Staffing Firm to Work For is clearly no accident for this company; this is LiquidAgents’ eighth appearance on SIA’s list. That takes dedication, considering the company has a low staff turnover rate and is doubling in size every three to four years. But that commitment pays off, often making their work easier. In fact, being a best company to work for makes for a strong sales pitch. Clients want in because they know the company cares, Hernandez notes. They know “we are willing to do whatever we have to do to make it work with the client.”