What does it take to migrate a sophisticated SaaS platform from monolith to cloud-based technologies? What goes into building a team that can bring both technical fortitude and perseverance to meet the ambitions of a growing healthtech company? Looking through the lens of BWBacon Group’s partnership with Net Health, we’re sharing their story of success in the face of both technical and hiring challenges as they climb towards new heights in healthtech.
Over the last year, BWBacon has had the great privilege of supporting Net Health, a SaaS giant specializing in Electronic Health Record (EHR) software and predictive, actionable analytics tailored to various medical specialties such as rehab therapy, wound care, home health and hospice, and employee health. Their EHR software enables efficient documentation, streamlined operations, secure reimbursement, regulatory compliance, and provides clinical and operational insights to improve both care and business performance. Trusted by more than 23,000 healthcare facilities nationwide, Net Health's solutions are revolutionizing the way caregivers engage with patients. Through our partnership we have helped them secure candidates who align in both vision and skillset to support these important initiatives.
Ultimately, credit for the success found can be given to the depth of our relationships with the Net Health team. From weekly campfire calls to the trials and tribulations of a tricky candidate market, Net Health, with the support of BWBacon, hired a VP of Engineering, a VP of Software Architecture, a VP of Platform Engineering, a Lead Cloud Engineer, as well as several other Mobile and Software Engineering positions, which is no small feat. Demonstrating it takes a village to find alignment in the hiring process, it was the relentlessness of both teams that took these hires across the finish line.
For example, when Director of Engineering Adam Schmidt's team was looking for a Senior Software Engineer who was able to handle complex database queries as well as put together a user-friendly front end, he knew whoever they hired need to be self-motivated and independent. Schmidt explains, “[we knew] it was going to be a tough person to find. We looked for about two months and had seen hundreds of resumes, and none were quite what we were looking for. Our new leads were drying up, so we brought in BWBacon to help with the search.”
One value of a recruiting partner lies in the effort needed to pre-screen and vet out candidates that are not a fit for the role, and that’s where we shine. “Everyone we worked with at BWBacon was incredibly helpful and really got to know us and what we were looking for. All of the candidates they sent our way were high caliber, and it only took a few interviews of candidates from BWBacon to find the person we needed for our open position. BWBacon really helped accelerate our search and helped us hire someone for our team faster,” Schmidt says.
To understand Net Health’s place in advancing technology in healthcare, you must first understand their rich history. When visiting the doctor or picking up a prescription, many of us take electronic health records (EHRs), also known as electronic medical records (or EMR software) for granted, or simply as a substitute for paper record-keeping.
However, over the last 50 years, medical advancements have propelled healthcare towards a fate forever entwined with technology that goes well beyond digital record-keeping. Today, most major medical systems can easily communicate with each other when needed and patient records are more accessible than ever before, but Net Health aims to make the connection between healthcare and technology as seamless and effective as possible.
While they have acquired a host of other healthtech companies over the years to continue bringing innovative solutions to their users, for example in advanced wound care and occupational therapy, this year marks a new shift for Net Health and their overall approach to technology.
Enter Gabe Hesse, Net Health’s CTO. As an industry veteran growing teams for companies like Welltok (now Virgin Pulse), Havenly, and Arrive Health, he’s no stranger to leading through major technological transformations. As the analytics side of Net Health’s business has expanded exponentially over the last two years, the task at hand is not only to modernize the platform, but also to further explore how they can harness data that helps providers give better care.
Migrating away from an old-school approach to infrastructure, Hesse is determined to “tear down the walls” and open up the entire platform for cross-functionality that will better serve its users and the future of healthcare. As they modernize their approach to software, the teams we worked with stressed the importance of new team members (as well as existing members) embracing innovation at all levels. Net Health leadership wanted us to convey to candidates that the ongoing transformation would empower individuals to share ideas and encourage ownership as they move to cloud-based technologies.
This exciting technical challenge was an appealing opportunity to engineers and technology leaders alike. “The tools that are arriving this year are 180 degrees from how it was; the idea is to clean up technical debt and leverage infrastructure as code,” Hesse shares with BWB. With a mission of ‘harnessing data for human health,’ there are big motivations behind this technological 180, and Hesse notes that one of the most important elements of success is the people on his team.
Like so many things in business, it comes down to the people on the team. You need a team of individuals that have a growth mindset and who embrace change. Change is the one thing you can always count on in technology, so if you’re not up for the ebbs and flows of a changing environment, you’re going to have a really hard time,” Hesse explains.
Over time, recruiting candidates who fit both the technical requirements and the cultural ideals of Net Health became our team's central focus. Reflecting on the hiring process, Director of Software Engineering Tim Johnson says,“we were looking for people that fit our company values of agility, empathy, collaboration, and imagination. People with the agility to adapt to and lead change, the empathy to understand the needs and feelings of teammates and clients, the ability to collaborate with integrity and transparency, and the imagination to bring creative solutions to difficult problems.”
As a remote only company, Johnson also adds that Net Health needed to find individuals who could be successful in a fully remote environment. “Finding the right people that embody all our values and are also amazing software engineers was not going to be the easiest task. From the start, BWBacon asked about our values and helped narrow down candidates to those that would best fit what we were looking for,” Johnson adds.
Assessing candidates' cultural fit involved evaluating their creativity, adaptability, and collaboration in a remote setting through many in-depth conversations. Having experience with specific companies also mattered for a handful of positions, as onboarding new employees who deeply understand the specific phase of growth they are experiencing was key.
Regarding moving from monolith to cloud, Schmidt explains, “this meant that we were looking for people who weren’t just up on the technologies that we were already using, but could help us pick up new technologies and ways of approaching problems that our existing folks weren’t as familiar with.”
Schmidt continues, sharing that the team needed engineers who could “straddle the new and the old with the technical depth to be specific and have the experience to help guide us through the transition and around the many challenges that come with this kind of work.” This particular ask is common when hiring technologists, so our recruiting team prioritized identifying engineers who had a breadth of experience with more modern technologies as well as with their existing stack.
From being a Modern Healthcare Best Places to Work to one of Becker’s Hospital Review 150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare, Net Health is no stranger to receiving awards for its outstanding culture. However, any major changes brought into a larger company can ruffle a few feathers, so we asked Net Health leadership how they are navigating such a large undertaking.
When asked what's been the most challenging part of re-structing and embracing changes in leadership for your team, Hesse responds, “change is hard. Here at Net Health, the area that we’ve been really focused on as we navigate our changes is communication. Communication of the strategy, communication of where we are along the way, communication of the successes we’re experiencing because of the changes. You can’t just roll something out at a company all hands and expect it to stick.”
‘Change management’ can be a taboo topic, which is only part of what makes finding the right candidates so difficult in today’s market. For the BWBacon team, it’s the job of the recruiter to emphasize the enormous opportunity of joining a team in this current phase and help them understand that despite the difficulties of change, the outcomes are worth the hustle to get there.
Commenting on the impact he hopes their new VP of Engineering will have, Hesse expands, “when you’re going through transformative change, one way we’ve decided to accelerate our progress in change is by bringing in people who have experiences walking similar paths we’re walking or who have at least operated in environments we’re headed towards. Our recent hires have been able to not only help us navigate our change, but also be advocates for all the benefits of reaching the ‘promise land.’ This helps everyone hang in there while we’re going through the hard parts of the changes.”
Undoubtedly, securing talented engineers who have walked the path of change and modernization will only enhance the swiftness of success for Net Health. Be that as it may, experienced hiring managers and recruiters also know that supporting individuals as people with separate and important lives outside of work is an essential part of retaining the talent you’ve found.
We asked what Schmidt’s team prioritizes in order to cultivate a successful and inclusive culture, and his response is expected while also refreshing, “a lot stems from the simple step of recognizing that everyone that comes to the workplace has a life outside of it. Programs like unlimited PTO and work-from-anywhere give us the flexibility to let people live their lives and take time as they need it, whether it’s for a religious or cultural holiday or to take their kid to the doctor’s office.”
This hits home as it echoes a common theme we've seen with our clients finding success through flexible work policies. Schmidt adds on,
These are the very human things that we each deal with and it’s the beginning of supporting the whole person as an employee. That support lets each person bring their whole self to the workplace, which pays off because our customers and patients are like us too, meaning we can help serve the many communities we come from as we make sure our software is equally inclusive to help serve those same communities.”
Schmidt's sentiment truly captures what's at the heart of Net Health's drive to improve human lives using the power of technology, and we're here for it. By and large, what goes into a successful tech hire is multi-fold, and takes the cooperation of many to find true alignment and success. We would like to express our gratitude once again for the Net Health team, and we are looking forward to seeing their work in the news and impacting people’s lives all over the country.
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