Jayson Meyer and his team are really good at finding lost money.
Meyer is also quite good at finding team members to support the mission of his Holly Hill business. Synergy Billing, founded in 2006, provides billing services to help Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) strengthen revenue cycles.
FQHCs, also known as community-based health centers, serve the most vulnerable populations — the uninsured and underinsured — when it comes to healthcare needs.
Meyer’s 84 employees work to ensure those centers stay open by getting their bills paid through revenue optimization. It’s Meyer’s firm belief that helping the community can’t be done without a cohesive team of employees.
And in an era of what’s been deemed “The Great Resignation,” Synergy Billing’s leadership thoroughly explores candidates in the interview process to ensure personalities, values and goals are in alignment.
“You have to start off with the right people,” Meyer says.
That starts with a two-round interview process. The interviews include a behavioral-based interview along with a panel interview that includes the hiring manager, representation from HR and other employees who would work closely with the candidate. They have a little fun with it, too, he says.
“From a hiring perspective, we seek passion and persistence,” explains Meyer. “One silly thing we’ve done in the past is to ask candidates to describe their “spirit animal” and why. This throws them off-base and you get a glimpse into their real personality.”
Attracting the right type of talent means finding individuals who believe in Synergy Billing’s mission. A mission to help FQHCs continue operating efficiently.
“As the name implies, with Synergy, it’s really all about collaboration,” says Meyer. “There are some principles that are really core to us and drive our decision making. It really starts with being value and purpose-driven. We always put our principles first to navigate the way.”
Starting with the right fit can save time, money and frustration for business owners.
In fact, the costs can be astronomical, especially for small businesses that continuously hire the wrong individuals. On average, it costs $4,129 and takes an average of 42 days to fill an open position, according to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
To get better-vetted candidates, many hires come through word-of-mouth and social platforms like LinkedIn, where they can easily scan candidate options, says Debbie Loyd, chief operating officer.
“Our values and how we work together have been the things that bring people to us,” she says. “We have a great pipeline through word of mouth.”
Looking at the hiring process as a partnership where both parties need to be satisfied also helps in finding the right candidates, Loyd says. The goal isn’t just to hire a person, but an employee who will become like family in the workplace, she says.
“We make sure we understand how that person fits into our culture and values, and that person understands what they’re looking for,” she says. “It’s a relationship and we make sure we’re meeting each other’s expectations from the beginning.”
While medical billing is serious work, Meyer and his team know how to have fun, too. It’s built into the culture to enjoy work at “The Fountainhead” — the name of the campus where Synergy Billing is located.
Perks for employees — and a recruiting lure for new candidates — include a variety of benefits that align with Synergy’s “Enjoy the Journey” core value. Employees get free daily Starbucks, monthly chair massages, popcorn days, half-day Fridays and birthdays off, and they can join in on team-building exercises, too.
“We all recognize at the end of this journey of life nobody says, ‘‘I wish I would have worked more,’” says Meyer. “They say, “I wish I would have enjoyed things more.” We believe that having fun and doing well and doing good in the community and doing well financially don’t have to be independent of each other. You can do both.”
As for thriving in difficult economic times, Meyer and his leadership believe in a willingness to adapt. While he doesn’t love the remote work style, in the current day and age, he’s learned that companies that want to survive need to embrace it. Adaptation, he says, is how businesses keep their best talent while maintaining a vibrant work culture.
“Part of it is adapting or we’re going to go extinct,” he says. “We have to be flexible. People work in different ways now. I’m thinking about these people [employees] as customers. What do your customers want?”
That adaptability attitude is what’s gotten Synergy Billing through periods of change and challenges like the COVID pandemic. Growing pains and necessary change are a part of every successful company, says Jeannette Duerr, Synergy Billing’s executive vice president, corporate affairs.
“Adaptability is very important to be successful in our company,” says Duerr. “The thing is, after each of those painful periods, every single time, we came out better.”
A dedication to excellence is part of what makes the team thrive together during those tough times, she says.
“In addition to the collaboration and enjoying the journey together, I think the other thing that makes our team successful is our commitment to excellence. Every single day we’re working together to be better at what we do,” says Duerr, who joined the company in 2014. “There are times when team members don’t work out and oftentimes it’s not being able to find that balance.”
As for business as a whole in Volusia County, Meyer says steering away from traditional practices is what will help local companies succeed now and in the future. Employees want more than a 9-to-5 and health benefits.
A 2022 Pew Research Center survey found low pay, a lack of advancement opportunity and feeling disrespected at work were among the top reasons for Americans quitting last year. The “Great Resignation” period saw a quit rate reach a 20-year high back in November 2021, with more than 47 million workers quitting.
To avoid any mass exodus of employees at Synergy Billing, leadership regularly reviews staff turnover to see where they can boost employee happiness.
“As with most organizations, we have not been immune to the “Great Resignation.” In response, we have implemented modified work schedules and are exploring four-day workweeks, hybrid and remote work options,” says Loyd. “In addition, we believe that the selection and onboarding process play a key role in reducing turnover.”
As Meyer sees it, if the more than 14,000-plus Volusia-based businesses want to keep growing locally and globally, it will take an evolving mindset. Treating workers fairly and offering more than just a paycheck but a balanced and unique working experience is key, he believes.
“Things are moving at a rapid pace,” he says. “I think the key thing comes back to that adaptability and the way we look at the nature of the employer-employee relationship. I think historically, in a lot of small businesses, you’re the help; you’re the hired help — you do what you’re told.”
That attitude, he says, won’t work now.
“Now we’re in a supply-and-demand issue,” he says of employers looking to hire. “You’ve got to change your mindset; otherwise, nobody will work for you…it’s the mindset.”