S5 E7 | CXR Podcast: Russ Jipson discusses the work he is doing at Quantum Health

Russ Jipson, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Quantum Health, discusses the work he's doing, the trends he's seeing and a few things he's looking forward to in the coming year.

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Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:21
Welcome, everybody to another CXR Podcast. I’m excited today we have a new guest. I don’t think Russ, have you ever,I don’t think you’ve ever even been on one of our podcast shows. have you?

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 0:30
I mean, yeah, first time.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:31
Yeah. Welcome. Welcome to the show.

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 0:33
Appreciate you having me man, thanks.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:35
We do these weekly, if you’re just dialing in is sort of getting tuned up and catching up with us. We do these weekly. Typically, they’re live streamed to YouTube. And then we go ahead and clean them up a little bit, we put a bumper on the front back with our engineer and throw them out onto the stream. So you can obviously subscribe to these anywhere that you listen to your favorite podcast. So be sure you do that. You can also check out the rest of these and future shows at CXR.work/podcast. But with today in mind, Russ, I want to give you before we just sort of jump in get to know you and what you’re up to want to give you just a second to kind of do a do an escalator pitch of who is Russ Jipson, and why do we care what he thinks? Why do we care? Well,

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 1:14
I don’t think anybody’s gonna care too much about what I think. But yeah, I’m the manager of talent acquisition over quantum health hypergrowth company health navigation organization, and Columbus, Ohio. I’ve been there for about three years and overseeing that talent acquisition function since I’ve been there. Previous to that was with Victoria’s Secret and L-Brands for about six and a half years, we’re in their TA group. But I’ve been in talent acquisition, my entire career, intentionally decided not to go towards employee relations or anything like that. I like getting them in the door. I don’t like dealing with them afterwards. So I kind of have a strong passion for TA and the candidate experience.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:49
So you’re in Ohio guy. Right through and through, right. So you’re saying right out right out of college, you went straight into TA?

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 1:57
Yeah, on accident. I was a criminology major. And it’s a long story, but I took me about eight months to figure out that I wasn’t gonna get a job doing forensics. So I reached out to an agency to just help me figure out what I was gonna do with my life. And they asked me if I’ve ever recruited before, and I said, Well, what the hell’s that? So once I figured it out, I was like, Oh, I can have a knack for this. And then I just fell in love with it. So yeah. happy accident.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:22

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 2:24

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:24
Yep. So are there just I know, this is not what we were going to talk about. But I’m just curious, are there have you? Have you found any skills that sort of cross over from criminology into recruiting?

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 2:34
Oh, for sure. Yeah. So I mean, you’re essentially interviewing and interrogating people kind of all day, right? So that there’s part of that? Obviously, a lot of people interaction. When you’re searching online, you’ve got to research and dig in and kind of figure out who’s who and what resume matches up with what job and skill set and then you got to figure out the right questions to draw out the information that you need. So there’s a lot of correlations there. Actually, it’s pretty odd.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:57
I love it. I love it. Well, so Russ, what are you up to lately? What’s going on for you in the world of Quantum Health and recruitment over there?

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 3:07
Yeah, it’s been a crazy ride. We have seen hyper growth since I started, I started in June 2019. And at the time, we had 700 employees. And since I’d been there, I think we’re over 1800. Now. So we’ve more than doubled, since we’ve been there. We have a large mix of high volume, non exempt positions, clinical roles, and a lot of the purple squirrel kind of exempt roles to recruit for within, you know, the IT space and, and whatknot. So it’s a really challenging opportunity to kind of cater to all those audiences. And what we do is just very unique, it’s a healthcare navigation company. So we just help people navigate their benefits plans. We’re not the insurance provider. So people, you know, you have to tell that story. And people are a lot of times we do a lot of marketing.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:52

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 3:53
For our jobs in advertising, but people still don’t necessarily know what we do. So a lot of what we’re focusing on this year is realistic job previews, what quite who’s quantum why would you want to work here? What’s the value prop, we’re going to redo our careers page this year, to have you know, separate landing pages for all those different disciplines that we have high needs for and just really put out engaging content so people can understand what the story of Quantum is and why they’d want to work here, because we have a great story to tell, we just haven’t really done it very well yet. So that’s definitely a big focus of ours.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:24
Is that would you say that one of your so brand awareness? Would you say that’s one of your biggest challenges?

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 4:30
Yeah, I think so. I mean, people know of the brand locally, because we advertise so much, but they don’t know who you are, and why it’s great to work here, or what is the jobs that you actually even offer? So we’ve got to do a better job at that. And, you know, a lot of times as we have seen turnover, especially last year, the disconnect of folks that decided to leave was the type of work so they didn’t quite understand what they were getting themselves into. So we just need to do a better job of telling what that is. And I think hopefully what instead of going through 7000 applicants to get the hires we need, maybe we can knock that down in half. Right? So

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:04
Nice slim in the funnel so to speak.

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 5:07
Yeah, that’s the hope I’d rather have people opt out up front, you know, then halfway through training, you know, and if it’s not for you, it’s not that, you know, it’s not an easy job here. So if it’s not for you, that’s great. Just, you know, we want to make sure you know what, you get yourself into up front.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:20
Yeah, how big of an impact do you think the RGPS will have with that, when you when you get those set up and run it,

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 5:26
It’ll do a lot. Because as we think about the roles that we have, especially on the front lines, with our contact center, folks, like it’s a very critical thinking kind of fish in the ocean, you never know what kind of call you’re going to get type of role. There’s no script to help you, you’re navigating multiple screens, a lot of times you’re talking to some people on their worst day, or maybe they just got diagnosed with cancer, and they need help. So you’ve got to be able to navigate that and empathize with that person, but at the same time, be technically savvy work multiple screens and systems. So it’s not an easy job by any means. So you know, I think being able to put out that video, just really paint a picture and some testimony about what it’s like to really do that job. And not every call is that heavy, you know, by any means. But you’re certainly dealing with some stuff like that from time to time.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:14
Wow, would you say it? Would you say that your biggest focus right now your biggest challenge?

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 6:18
It’s definitely one of them. Because our our our turnover last year spiked up quite a bit. So my first year, we hired about 700 people, both internally and externally. Second year is about 750. And last year, went up to almost 1400. So we jumped up a ton. And a lot of that was because of the turnover. There are some other factors that went into that in terms of, you know, market compensation and whatknot to be more competitive. But a lot of it was just, you know, people opting out after they got here because it just wasn’t what they thought it was. So we’ve got to connect those dots for him ahead of time.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:49
Yeah, well, that’ll be that’ll be a big play in that for sure. Yeah, how big the recruiting team, you’ve got Russ.

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 6:55
So for when I first started, it was me and three recruiters. And then over the last couple years, it’s been me four recruiters and a coordinator. So very lean team for that for what we do. The good news is we just opened up reqs to hire two more recruiters, three more coordinators, another manager of operations and pod clinical recruitment. And then we have a director of TA too, so excited that we’re finally gonna be fully staffed here.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 7:22
Good for you. You want to plug the Jobs page, if you can, if you got for people to

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 7:27
Yeah, it’s just Quantum-Health.com/careers. So by all means, go there and check it out. You know, for the most part, we do require folks to be in the Columbus Ohio area. So if you’re not local, certainly we would need to be open to relocate, or at least maybe a telecommute. We’re working on that flexibility piece.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 7:46
It’s funny, because you see, you know, I’m in Austin. So we see a lot of stuffs are open, and then shut down, just like everywhere else open, and then then shut down partially, you know, we went to dinner last night for Valentine’s Day, my partner and I, and she, you know, she had made notice of how many tables were actually in the restaurant. And funny enough, the server that we had had said that 40% of the tables in the restaurant were rented, that they knew, even with the pandemic, people started getting, you know, trying to get back to their normal, they knew they were going to be packed. They weren’t so packed. We did the early bird special, right? We went super early, but they weren’t so packed when we got there. But she said before, before they would close, they would probably have turned each of those tables maybe six times that evening. And and when I tell you they’re packed, they’re packed like they were little, little square two by two, you know, tables in the restaurant. And I was just fascinated that like, it’s slammed. Right, everybody’s sort of getting back to normal. Are you? Are you sort of seeing the same thing where you are and trying to figure out what’s normal for you guys at work?

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 8:49
Yeah, we’re getting there. Oddly enough, I just got a notification from our school district yesterday saying they’re going to lift the mask mandates in school as of tomorrow. So it seems like things are starting to come to slowly to an end, we’re still working remotely, at least some of us at Quantum, just to the right now is our peak season of calls to we’re trying to limit any type of exposure to anybody sick to pull them off the phones because we want to be able to support our clients and members really well. But I think at the end of February, we’ll probably all go back into the office and pick up business as usual.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 9:22
I always like to talk about what’s going on in the space and then how we’re sort of seeing that play out in the workplace and with and with our recruiters. I mean, we’re talking about mask mandates getting lifted in retirement going back to work, you know, back to the workplace, right in less remote but in you know, two breaths later I think we were just talking about the conferences that we’re doing March have been moved out two months because speakers are dropping and attendance you know, registrations are getting revoked. So it’s it’s kind of it’s kind of an interesting weird time.

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 9:52
Yeah, very much. We were supposed to go out to San Diego I think in January for a conference and then last minute like the week before they moved it up. Virtual? Just I think that same reason so yeah, it’s it’s crazy. And in different pockets, it seems to be just going, you know, some are accelerating a little bit more quickly towards mass mandate lifts and all that stuff. But we’re kind of I’d say status quo. I don’t think we’re leading the pack by any means.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:16
Yeah, well, it’s great to hear that you guys are hiring and push for it. Oh, so I love the I love the brand work that you’re getting ready to do?

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 10:23
Yeah, I’m really excited this year to to really expand on that, I think when we have a more full team, we’ll be able to really get a lot more strategic on how we’re positioning ourselves out in the market. So we’re excited on what’s to come this year?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:35
Good stuff. Well, Russ, before we get out of here, is there anything you would anything you’d want everybody to know, either by yourself as a pro or maybe even about quantum like, you want to leave us with sort of a parting thought on what’s going on in your space?

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 10:49
Yeah, I mean, I would just say, you know, what’s interesting for us is I think we were so hyper focused on our growth, and it was all about recruiting, recruiting, recruiting, recruiting, and we kind of lost focus on retention. And, you know, that’s where we see our turnover kind of spike up because of that. So I would definitely say, you know, as you kind of, you’re in a growth business, you know, what is just just as much if not more, you know, emphasis on your attention, because you don’t want to lose your good folks, as you’re trying to bring in additional new good folks. And, you know, I think that’s only going to get even stronger, you know, internal mobility is going to be a huge effort, I think, this year for a lot of companies, including ours, you know, in speed in, so it’s always been speeds the name of the game, but it’s getting even faster, you know, and like, you talked about flexibility and that sort of thing. We’ve always kind of taken a peanut butter approach and just applied, you know, one concept to everybody, but it doesn’t work that way. So you know, and what pockets can we provide flexibility? What roles some roles can some roles can so like, how do we adjust to that and make it fair for everybody, but at the same time, understand that certain functions don’t necessarily have to be in the office?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:56
Yeah, well, I think I might have to steal the peanut butter approach. I do like that, though. Alright, Russ, well, look, we love doing these quick chats catching up introducing people to the space, I think this is just a really great way for I think, you know, not just our members, but other folks in the industry to get to know you a little bit and what you do. So we really appreciate you giving us a little bit of time today.

Russ Jipson, Quantum Health 12:15
Yeah, I appreciate you guys having me, man. I look forward to hopefully do it again in the future.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 12:19
Yeah, it’s good stuff. And then for those who are still on their treadmill are still dialed in. We’ve got I think, on February 22nd, we have a guest coming on who is a wisdom coach, you’re gonna want to not miss that. And then of course, for our members, I’m super excited. We’re doing the second in our lecture series coming up on February 24. We’re going to talk we’ve got a guest speaker coming in to talk on empathy. So it’s going to be good stuff. So you can find all that stuff at CXR.works/events and until next time, we’ll see you guys online.

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