EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Healthcare Staffing Agency Freedom Healthcare Ranked 26th Fastest Growing Staffing Firm in the U.S.

Staffing Industry Analysts | January 03, 2022

Background News
On December 31st, the Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) announced a list of the 52 fastest-growing staffing firms in the U.S. Freedom Healthcare ranked 26th on the list, reporting a compound annual growth rate of 26.2%. It was also reported to be the 10th fastest-growing staffing agency in the healthcare sector.

Freedom Healthcare is a rapid response healthcare staffing firm that fulfills the nationwide demand for nurses, clinical practitioners, and allied professionals in the healthcare industry.

SIA is a global advisory firm for staffing and workforce services. It releases an annual list of 52 of the fastest-growing staffing firms in the U.S. based on their compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of revenue between 2016 and 2020. According to SIA, the list represents the most premier staffing agencies that are delivering consistently and are uniquely positioned to meet the demands of a competitive hiring marketplace.

Freedom Healthcare has been focused on staffing both, healthcare specialists with highly coveted skills and consistently in-demand talent. The company has an above average fill rate of 96% and reported a 98% job completion rate, making it a forerunner of healthcare staffing agencies.

"We are honored to be recognized by SIA for our rapid growth. Our company's success can be attributed to the passion, commitment, and hard work displayed by our team across every department and leadership level."

- Susan Whitman, executive vice president and COO of Freedom Healthcare Staffing

Freedom has been at the forefront of delivering and deploying rapid response workers to healthcare organizations that were experiencing staff shortages during a critical time. Whitman further added, "Freedom's internal mantra of people over profits is unwavering. Leading our company with an employee-first mentality includes taking major stands on behalf of our nurses during the pandemic. Our vocal policies and requirements around employee safety ensure that we provide our travelers the same exceptional care they provide their patients. We can't thank our healthcare professionals or our client partners enough for returning our commitment with their loyalty this year. We are confident that this culture has been the reason Freedom has grown and will continue to grow in the years to come."

Spotlight

The quote to the right from a leader at one of the Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders® reflects two concepts that we continually see in top-performing companies: 1) business and talent strategies are intimately connected; and 2) leadership and employee engagement are essential for success. The best companies build and sustain a culture of engagement, led by CEOs who understand that employee engagement is not just a “nice to have” but critical to achieving business results. Leaders in these elite organizations also understand that employee engagement is primarily their responsibility. The financial implications of an engaged workforce are significant. Our research reveals consistent, statistically significant relationships between higher levels of employee engagement and financial performance. In previous studies, we found that a 5% increase in employee engagement is linked to a 3% increase in revenue growth in the subsequent year.1 But is engagement alone enough to drive sustainable performance?


Other News
PAYROLL

UKG Hack Disrupts Scheduling and Payroll for Thousands of Employers

UKG | December 16, 2021

A ransomware attack on a major HR technology provider is creating chaos around attendance, scheduling and payroll for thousands of employers with no certain end to the problem in sight. Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG) revealed that one of its cloud-based time and attendance systems—Kronos Private Cloud—was exploited by hackers and that the outage could last several weeks. That's especially distressing news due to the increased use of variable staffing and vacation scheduling around the holidays and the calculation of end-of-year payroll concerns such as bonuses. Kronos Private Cloud includes the products UKG Workforce Central, UKG TeleStaff, Healthcare Extensions, and Banking Scheduling Solutions. "It could not be worse timing, as many companies employing hourly workers are busier during the holiday season, and having to track more overtime, The attack not only comes during the crucial end of the year for scheduling and staffing but also right when UKG's annual customer conference was getting underway." -Sam Grinter, senior principal analyst at advisory firm Gartner, based in London. The attack, discovered Dec. 11, has affected 2,000 organizations that use the software, including enterprise companies, hospitals, government agencies, universities and emergency services like fire and police departments. UKG said all products linked to the Kronos Private Cloud are unavailable, and it could take up to several weeks before service is restored. "We are working with leading cyber security experts to assess and resolve the situation, and have notified the authorities, The investigation remains ongoing, as we work to determine the nature and scope of the incident." -UKG executive vice president Bob Hughes said in a statement. There reportedly is no impact to the affected products if they were installed on-premises (not pulled in from servers in the cloud), nor other UKG products such as UKG Pro, UKG Ready and UKG Dimensions, which are housed in separate environments and not in the Kronos Private Cloud. Grinter explained that ADP could be another vendor to watch, as it resells UKG Workforce Central as an ADP product. In addition, most major payroll providers have integrations with UKG (due to the 2020 merger with time and attendance pioneer Kronos). UKG has been providing daily updates on the emergency, including informing clients that backup systems were unavailable due to the attack; the company had not discovered that the hackers stole any data; and that "In most instances, UKG timeclocks will record and store employee punches offline until connectivity can be restored… However, UKG strongly recommends customers consider manual time collection efforts to ensure accurate collection of employee time in the interim." "Some employers may require workers to do that or ask them to write down their own hours, If not, it's always a good idea to still to go ahead and do that for yourself so that you know what you've worked and how many overtime hours, things of that nature, then that way you can compare it to what the employer has and make sure that you're paid appropriately." -Amber Clayton, director of the Knowledge Center at the Society for Human Resource Management He said another option is to just pay everyone the same as the previous pay cycle and try to figure out a way to straighten it out later. The problems with that approach include not being able to factor in those who worked more hours or fewer hours, not being able to pay new hires and sending out checks to people who have left the organization, Grinter said. As for alleviating the situation by paying the ransom, UKG's actions so far indicate they are not going to take that route, but that could change, Grinter said. Allan Liska, an intelligence analyst at Somerville, Mass.-based cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, said that even if the company decides to pay the ransom, it can take days to negotiate a settlement and put together the funds. And malware could be left behind for future ransom demands or other exploits. The only safe course is a complete rebuild of the server network, he said. Protecting Employee Data UKG has not determined whether the incident has impacted customer data. But the extent of employee information stored in Kronos Private Cloud—and therefore potentially exposed— varies by employer. The city of Cleveland for example, warned its workforce that names, addresses and the last four digits of Social Security numbers could be at risk. "UKG has been notifying affected customers and those customers are obviously working with UKG to ascertain what data was included, and whether that data was exfiltrated prior to the deployment of the ransomware, Companies can proactively determine what may have been compromised by doing their own analyses, Companies will have to determine what data was compromised, what their legal obligations are and what their contractual agreements are with UKG for that process." -Linn Freedman, a partner in the Providence, R.I., office of law firm Robinson & Cole. Is Log4j the Culprit? It is being theorized that the UKG ransomware attack may be related to the recently disclosed Log4j vulnerability. The bug, also known as Log4Shell, was discovered in a commonly used bit of Java software on Dec. 9. Officials at the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have since warned that state-sponsored hackers from China, Iran, North Korea have started testing and exploiting the vulnerability, which allows remote attackers to take over a device. The agency said that hundreds of millions of enterprise and consumer devices are at risk until the bug is patched. Tech companies have been scrambling to address the threat, but organizations and consumers should immediately patch any applications or systems affected by it if possible, according to cybersecurity experts. UKG maintains that there is no connection to log4j. "We are investigating whether or not there is any relationship between the security incident and the Log4j vulnerability," UKG said. Preparing for Ransomware Attacks Freedman said that the ransomware attacks we're seeing are just the beginning of a disturbing trend. "There has been an increase in the number of cyberattacks against companies that have access to many other companies' data," she said, citing the data breach at file-sharing firm Accellion in December 2020 and numerous attacks against managed IT service providers this year. "These criminals want to inflict as much pain as possible," she said. She said that there's a long list of things companies can and should do to mitigate the effects of a ransomware attack but know that these events cannot be completely prevented because of zero-day exploits which hackers can take advantage of before they are even known by the affected technology providers. Those action items include the development of contingent and backup plans, disaster recovery plans, remote desktop protocol monitoring, insider threat intelligence, multi-factor authentication on all applications and strong spam filters. "Even all of the most effective security measures, however, can never completely prevent a cyberattack," she said.

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TALENT ACQUISITION

iCIMS Named Strategic Leader in 2022 Fosway 9-Grid™ for Talent Acquisition

iCIMS | April 29, 2022

iCIMS, the talent cloud company, has been named a Strategic Leader in the 2022 Fosway 9-Grid for Talent Acquisition. Fosway recognized iCIMS for providing a rich suite of capabilities across a broad scope of features and having the sophistication to meet the needs of complex, enterprise-scale customers such as Air France and Deutsche Bank. At the close of 2021, there was a 97-point gap between job openings and job applications, the widest seen in the previous two years. iCIMS data shows that job openings are up 86%, hires are up 45% and job applications are down 11% from pre-pandemic levels (Q4 2021 v. Q1 2020). Business leaders and HR professionals have been forced to rethink how they attract, engage, hire and advance talent and they are looking for the right technology partners to help them reach their goals. iCIMS' leading positioning in the analysis recognizes the company as a premier global talent platform. The Fosway 9-Grid™, EMEA's only market analysis model for talent, is driven by this demand for analysis and is designed for global companies. This independent research rates providers on five dimensions: performance, potential, market presence, total cost of ownership and future trajectory across the market. iCIMS' leading positioning in the analysis recognizes the company as a premier global talent platform, citing iCIMS' strong market performance and customer advocacy in Europe. iCIMS continues to innovate to support the complex hiring needs of enterprise companies, most recently through: Acquisition of Candidate.ID to bring marketing automation to talent acquisition: iCIMS recently acquired the Scotland-based company to empower recruiting teams to hyper-target best fit, most engaged candidates with unique lead scoring and automated marketing campaigns. Candidate.ID was also recognized by Fosway Group for its strong suite of solutions and customer advocacy. Launch of the Opportunity Marketplace: Earlier this year iCIMS announced general availability of its internal mobility solution to help talent teams reengage, retain and advance employees. Applied intelligence: iCIMS is leading the market with state-of-the-art technologies, including its patented Ensemble AI, to make it easier for candidates to find relevant roles, get hired and develop their career path. Its AI-powered job matching and conversational AI capabilities intelligently connect people with the right jobs, using the ensemble stacking method to improve accuracy and reduce bias. Focus on innovative, hyper-personalized experience: Talent teams can now convert more talent with dynamic video content that can be shared across various channels throughout the talent journey to tell the right stories at the right time. "Hiring difficulties are a global phenomenon and we are faced with new disruptions every day. The labor and skills shortages aren't going away anytime soon, Having the right people is critical to success and businesses need access to innovative technology to keep up with these changes. We're proud to see iCIMS named as a Strategic Leader in the 2022 Fosway 9-Grid for Talent Acquisition. This recognition is testament to our commitment to our EMEA customers to provide the strongest portfolio of solutions to meet their needs as they navigate a challenging labor market." -Steve Lucas, chief executive officer at iCIMS. About iCIMS, Inc. iCIMS is the talent cloud company that empowers organizations to attract, engage, hire and advance the right talent that builds a diverse, winning workforce. iCIMS accelerates transformation for a community of more than 4,000 customers, including 40% of the Fortune 100.

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HR STRATEGY

WOW! Named One of Denver's Best and Brightest Companies to Work For

the Best and Brightest Programs | December 28, 2021

WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone (NYSE: WOW), a leading broadband services provider, was named one of Denver's Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® for the second consecutive year by the National Association for Business Resources (NABR). WOW! secured the regional award in Denver last year as one of the area's inaugural recipients and recently received national recognition as a 2021 Best and Brightest Company to Work For in the Nation®, winning the award for the eighth time and fourth consecutive year. The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For award is given to companies, like WOW!, that demonstrate dedication to maintaining an excellent employee culture, pioneering innovative and thoughtful human resource practices and going above and beyond to positively impact the lives of employees. As part of its focus on recognizing the value of its people, the company recently awarded shares of WOW! stock to all employees. This benefit is just the latest example of WOW!'s dedication to its workforce. WOW! is committed to continuously providing career development opportunities, offering competitive wages and benefit packages, as well as instilling and promoting a company culture of respect and excellence, values aligned closely with its core mission. "It's an honor to receive this award for the second time in Denver, where WOW! is headquartered, We're incredibly proud of our Denver employees' unwavering commitment to providing excellent service to customers and their constant dedication to embodying WOW!'s core values every day." -David Brunick, chief human resources officer of WOW! One of 17 companies receiving this recognition in Denver, WOW! was evaluated across the following categories: employee achievement and recognition, communication and shared vision, diversity and inclusion, employee enrichment, engagement and retention, work-life balance, compensation and benefits, community initiatives and strategic-company performance. WOW! has continuously demonstrated that its leadership and human resources practices positively impact the professional development and well-being of all of the company's employees. In response to the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, WOW! has remained committed to ensuring employee safety. Since the initial height of the pandemic, WOW! has made significant strides in nimbly navigating the future of work by implementing new procedures for virtual and remote work that allow all workers to feel safe and secure, while maximizing efficiency. "As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to reshape the workplace, our employees have shown incredible strength in adapting to these changes while continuing to provide exceptional service to our customers, Our record of achievement as a Best and Brightest Company demonstrates WOW!'s success in creating an excellent workplace in Denver, across local markets and on a national level, a record that we strive to uphold." -Teresa Elder, CEO of WOW!. About WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone WOW! is one of the nation's leading broadband providers, with an efficient, high-performing network that passes 1.9 million residential, business and wholesale consumers. WOW! provides services in 14 markets, primarily in the Midwest and Southeast, including Michigan, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. With an expansive portfolio of advanced services, including high-speed Internet services, cable TV, phone, business data, voice, and cloud services, the company is dedicated to providing outstanding service at affordable prices. WOW! also serves as a leader in exceptional human resources practices, having been recognized eight times by the National Association for Business Resources as a Best & Brightest Company to Work For, winning the award for the last four consecutive years. About the Best and Brightest Programs The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® competition identifies and honors organizations that display a commitment to excellence in operations and employee enrichment that lead to increased productivity and financial performance. This competition scores potential winners based on regional data of company performance and a set standard across the nation. This national program celebrates those companies that are making better business, creating richer lives and building a stronger community as a whole. There are numerous regional celebrations throughout the country such as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Houston, Milwaukee, San Diego and San Francisco.

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RECRUITMENT & RETENTION

HR Tech Disruptor HiBob Partners with Deputy to Streamline Administration of Shift Employees

HiBob | May 13, 2022

Modern HR platform and people management disruptor HiBob today announces a partnership with workforce management and shift scheduling platform Deputy. The integration of the two HR software platforms is designed to help companies and their employees save time by eliminating duplicative manual data entry for HR managers and team leaders. Both tools aim to streamline employee administration and provide an easier, more collaborative world at work. The product integration synchronizes data from Bob to Deputy, allowing customers to manage their shift employees in Deputy without having to manually input the data. The customer can create, activate, update, and deactivate a shift employee using this integration. The integration eliminates administrative headaches, leaving room for HR and company leaders to allocate more time towards driving an overall positive employee experience. With the continuing challenge of attracting and retaining top talent, this partnership is a strategic complement for Bob customers with shift workers as it increases employee productivity and engagement through quick and easy schedule sharing and streamlined communication. "With our Deputy partnership, we are pleased to give our customers an enhanced solution for tracking time and attendance for shift work, lifting the administrative burden off of HR professionals. They are relieved of duplicative data entry and can focus their valuable time on retention and hiring, We believe that modern companies are offering more work flexibility than ever before in regard to when you work, how long you work, and much more – making the Deputy partnership a synergetic solution for increased flexibility. Together, we look forward to giving companies and their people a better overall work experience." -Ronni Zehavi, CEO of HiBob. Both serving modern, mid-sized, multinational companies, HiBob and Deputy share commitments to increase employee engagement and productivity. Because of the two companies' dedication to being easy to use, efficient, and streamlined, HiBob and Deputy had many shared clients before the partnership began. The integration allows shared clients to easily sync employee information across the two platforms, while captivating new clients with the appeal of creating seamless HR processes and better employee experience. "HR has so many challenges to continue to drive value in difficult circumstances - a skills and workforce crisis with a (rightly) ever more demanding employee base. And who want useful and highly integrated business tools that deliver personalized, relevant information at the right moment. Deputy and HiBob represent this new world of design led apps that employees enjoy." -David Kelly, General Manager EMEA at Deputy About HiBob HiBob was founded to modernize HR tech. HiBob's intuitive and data-driven platform, Bob, was built for the way people work today: globally, remotely, and collaboratively. Since its launch in late 2015, HiBob has achieved consecutive triple-digit year-over-year revenue growth, and become the HRIS of choice for more than 2,000 modern, midsize and multinational companies who understand that a powerful, agile HR tech suite is mission critical and a key driver of organizational success. Fast-growing companies across the globe such as Monzo, Happy Socks, Gong, Fiverr, and VaynerMedia rely upon Bob to help HR and managers connect, engage, develop and retain top talent. About Deputy Deputy helps businesses spend less time on managing staff scheduling and more time focusing on quality care. It's how 320,000 workplaces across the world have improved the efficiency of their teams while reducing their admin workload. Our software's power, simplicity, and mobility has earned us more than 320,000 happy customers — who are our greatest advocates. With Deputy, you're not just saving time and money. You're making life easier for your teams and helping them provide better service.

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Spotlight

The quote to the right from a leader at one of the Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders® reflects two concepts that we continually see in top-performing companies: 1) business and talent strategies are intimately connected; and 2) leadership and employee engagement are essential for success. The best companies build and sustain a culture of engagement, led by CEOs who understand that employee engagement is not just a “nice to have” but critical to achieving business results. Leaders in these elite organizations also understand that employee engagement is primarily their responsibility. The financial implications of an engaged workforce are significant. Our research reveals consistent, statistically significant relationships between higher levels of employee engagement and financial performance. In previous studies, we found that a 5% increase in employee engagement is linked to a 3% increase in revenue growth in the subsequent year.1 But is engagement alone enough to drive sustainable performance?

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