“Most businesses are a people business, but this one more so than others. We’re not making widgets. We’re not a software development company. Day in, day out, the core function of this business is people interacting with other people. It’s our customer service professionals interacting with a patient,” says Parallon’s newest regional vice president, Steve Warner.
A native Chicagoan, Warner moved to Louisville in April to lead the firm’s office in Louisville, which is one of Parallon’s largest offices. He started his career in finance, and almost accidentally ended up in a supervisory role with customer service representatives about 15 years ago.
What makes working with people better than working with money? “I would say the emotional satisfaction of the job, for one. I take great pride in seeing our employees develop and grow,” he said.
Warner doesn’t like to talk about himself. What he likes to talk about are people, what they can do, how to engage them, and how to help them do their jobs better.
The company interviewed numerous candidates to fill the RVP role, but when Warner came to visit Louisville’s Parallon office, everyone knew he was the one. “He was all about engagement. He was speaking our language,” said Susan Rademaker, Parallon Louisville’s HR manager.
Room to grow
Parallon excels in the industry in no small part because of the way they treat and engage with their people. The company offers competitive pay, 401K, comprehensive health insurance, and plenty of opportunities for bonuses. Perhaps more importantly, though, the company doesn’t expect their customer service representatives to start with all the knowledge they need to succeed.
Instead, Parallon is a training ground, a place to develop skills and learn to excel. Employees are always outperforming themselves, growing into a skill set they and the company can depend on. Supervisors coach representatives individually. They have done the work themselves and know what it takes to yield ever-better results.
“When you bring someone in, there’s a definitive ramp-up period in our business. Unless someone has been in this sector before, they’re not going to be a superstar out of the gate,” he said.
Warner plugged into the company’s culture quickly because he understands the power of their people. “Those folks who are on the front line, who are interacting with patients? What they are doing is not an easy job as it requires excellent customer service skills and significant healthcare billing and insurance knowledge,” he said.
“Parallon has a strong culture of development of its people, and has specific programs for identification and training employees who wish to become managers. Our firm’s managerial staff average 15 plus years with the Company. The tenures here are extremely long. Part of the reason is engagement and our culture; the other portion of it is that we’ve provided a defined career path for our employees and consistently promote from within the organization.”
While many employees come to Parallon without a college degree, the company makes higher education accessible for those who want it with their tuition reimbursement program.
Warner meets with employees one-on-one and in groups to discover what they need to be supported. Based on employee feedback, streamlining access to insurance billing information quickly emerged as one area for improvement, and the company is already at work on it. Despite his short tenure with Parallon, Warner is already connecting employee needs with concrete structural improvements to make their jobs easier and thereby improve patient experience.
Are you right for the job?
Parallon is hiring, and the company’s newest RVP painted a portrait of who they’re looking for. “The core elements of what make you successful in this job — you have to have empathy and understanding of the patient, about that person on the other end of the phone and what they’ve gone through,” said Warner about who the company is looking to hire.
“It also requires an element of relationship building skills as well. We look for someone with strong customer service experience or retail sales experience who is able to build rapport with patients.”
If you are ready to break out of a dead-end job, Parallon is ready to meet you. Is there a career for you at Parallon? Why not schedule an interview and find out?
Not your thing? Tell a friend about the opportunity.