Jeffrey Koppin, Director of Talent Acquisition at Chicago-based Accretive Health, recently shared insights about his role and the recruitment function at this fast-growing company.

Accretive Health is focused on helping its healthcare provider clients – both physician’s groups and hospitals – deliver the highest quality care, serve their communities, and do so in a financially sustainable way. In a rapidly transforming industry, Accretive Health is deliberately evolving its service offerings to align with the present needs of provider organizations—and to help prepare them for the healthcare landscape of the future. Jeffrey’s work is squarely focused on attracting and hiring the talent Accretive needs to fulfill this mission.

TalentRISE: Tell me about your background and how you came to join Accretive?

Jeffrey: I’ve worked in talent acquisition roles for fourteen years and my experience includes Yoh (A Day & Zimmermann Company), Perot Systems and Accenture. At Yoh, I led operations for the South and Eastern U.S., handling the relationships on behalf of our RPO business with clients including TMP Worldwide and GE Energy. One of the HR reps from GE who I worked closely with is friends with the VP of Human Resources at Accretive Health.  That person heard of an opening at Accretive Health, which intrigued me. What really appealed to me was the opportunity to rebuild the recruitment function here. So, like so many others, I found the job through a personal referral and relocated to Chicago from Atlanta. Jim O’Malley, Partner at TalentRISE, knew my predecessor who made the introduction and worked quickly to bring me up to speed on what he knows about revenue cycle and our capabilities.

TalentRISE: When you say you’re rebuilding recruitment, what does that entail?

Jeffrey: Essentially, I was hired because of my process experience. We’re bringing a lot more process to recruitment here as we have  grown and become more global. We’re also doing a lot on the technology front; having just implemented a new ATS.

TalentRISE: What are the most critical talent issues the industry faces?  How are you dealing with them?

Jeffrey: The landscape of healthcare is undergoing a huge transformation. We’re looking at our talent needs both holistically, as well as within our niche verticals.  For example, in our physician advisory group, our talent pool is pretty finite – you might say talent acquisition takes place in a smaller pond. We’re using employee branding and have also built a pretty robust referral tool into our ATS that allows our people to send information about jobs to their entire network.

TalentRISE: What’s been your experience with TalentRISE, particularly on the executive search front?

Jeffrey: My predecessor had worked with TalentRISE, spoke very highly of them and introduced me to Jim. My experience has also been very positive, especially because his expertise is deep and they are a niche player in professional services.  I’ve found that the best way to conduct talent acquisition is to use smaller and more nimble search firms that are specialists in any area.

TalentRISE: Looking into the future, how will you respond to the changes happening in your industry?

Jeffrey: Indeed, anticipating responding to the changes is that 2,200 pound gorilla in the room! For instance, we’re working diligently to be sure we’ve got the talent we need to work with our clients on the ICD-10 transition that’s anticipated to be finalized next year and will require that we build our bench with coding specialists. As a talent acquisition leader, I need to be immersed in these types of developments so I can understand our true talent needs 30, 60, 90 days into the future and even longer. We need to understand that, while recruiting is 100% reactive, we still need to plan ahead of the need.  So, for instance, if we know that we’re in the middle stages of signing a large client in the West, we’ll assemble a SWAT team of recruiters to be ready to “plug and play” and get the talent we need on board there, fast.

TalentRISE: When you’re asked for career advice, what do you tell others?

Jeffrey: For me as a talent acquisition professional, the single most critical thing to do is to hold yourself and your team accountable for things like time-to-fill metrics. Solid communications with all your stakeholders is also important, because success really runs both ways.  Success also depends on partnering with your hiring managers and they too need to accept accountability. This is why I keep a dry erase board with the metrics on my wall so that everyone walking by can constantly see where we stand.

J. James O’Malley

About the Author

Jim has spent 25 years on both ends of the table, developing HR and talent solutions to align leadership, talent, and business needs.

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Tags: best practices, executive search, healthcare, james o'malley, professional services, workforce planning