Zeep is an award-winning provider of recruitment services for locum and permanent doctors to regional, rural, remote and very remote hospitals. Since the company was founded in July 2017, it has become one of the five largest suppliers of locum and permanent doctors to Australian hospitals and has placed over 1,100 doctors in regional and remote communities in every state in Australia. Zeep fundamentally serves two sets of clients/customers, the hospitals that require the doctors and the doctors that work for the hospitals. There is typically more demand for locum doctors than there is supply of doctors to fill the work. 95% of the demand Zeep receives, is from regional, rural, remote, very remote and Indigenous communities. The importance of being able to provide a steady supply of doctors to these communities forms the basis of the product offering.
The average medical experience per recruiter is greater than four years. Zeep is also structured by specialist verticals so that customers are matched with a recruiter who only recruits for that specialty and are true experts in their area of medicine. Recruiting doctors is Zeep’s only focus, this specialisation means that all processes, payroll, doctor attraction, IT systems, website, recruiters, offices, marketing, branding and budgeting are exclusively based on recruiting doctors for hospitals. Zeep has a dedicated compliance division responsible for meeting the extensive regulatory requirements of the Australian healthcare system.
Zeep was founded as a ‘people first’ business. The company’s goal is to become known as the best recruitment company to work for in Australia. Some of the ways Zeep creates and retains the great culture are there are no individual revenue targets. Zeep work as a team and focus on achieving business objectives as a team, albeit with individual responsibility. Zeep has a flexible working policy that promotes a healthy balance between being in the office to interact as part of the team and working remotely or from home when appropriate. Zeep also has staff centric locations as The Zeep team was initially launched in Sydney. Zeep staff now have the ability to work from the Sydney office or if they choose the beach lifestyle, they can work from the Gold Coast Office. At Zeep it is referred to as ‘City or Surf’.
Zeep operates an OKR (Objective, Key Results) system at a strategic level, that cascades down to the team, where appropriate. The core OKR for all staff in 2020 is 100% staff retention. Zeep understands that it is inevitable that an employee will, at some point, choose to leave the company. However, to have an objective of 100% retention, demonstrates to the workforce the objective and subsequent set of key results that the executives are holding themselves accountable to in order to continue achieving this objective. The Key Results to achieve this objective are to never compromise from the company core value of PEOPLE FIRST, ensure every employee is achieving their professional objectives through training and one-on-one monthly personal and business coaching sessions with a company supplied coach.
The Zeep leadership team has a direct line of management to all employees. A key part of the strategy is for there to not be lines of middle management that risk watering down and misrepresenting the values and objectives of the organisation. To that extent, the two shareholders, Robin Jerome and Glenn Young, lead from the front at all times in demonstrating organisational culture, values, objectives and expectations.
Zeep has a philosophy that if the leadership team are professionally improving, then this will naturally flow through to the rest of the business. Zeep collaborates with each employee, identifies areas where training will assist them and then sources the appropriate program. Employees are entitled to an external training program on average every 6 months. For example, several staff have undertaken training through the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) including Leadership & Mentoring, Work Priorities & Building Client Relationships. These courses were selected to meet individual employees needs and areas for development.
One of the major contributions Zeep has made to the industry includes raising the bar when it comes to customer service is in mental health training with The Black Dog Institute which has added an important new dimension to the customer service experience. Mental health is a serious problem in the medical field in Australia, especially in rural and remote areas. The team can now better identify any behaviours which may suggest a decline in mental health among doctors, understand when to refer and how to approach conversations about mental health without judgement.
Zeep’s HR strategies and policies are geared towards the PEOPLE FIRST culture and promotes employees feeling a sense of pride in their achievements and contribution to the company’s strategic goals. Every employee of Zeep has a weekly or fortnightly minimum one-hour one-on-one with their Manager. It gives an opportunity for challenges to be resolved, before they become problems. It provides a forum for shortfalls to be addressed and early intervention. Where the need for a more detailed or through appraisal is required, then this is built into the weekly one-on-ones. This significant investment in staff, both financially and in time, along with ensuring all coaching and external training are bespoke to each individual employee’s requirements, are a key feature of Zeep’s Education, Training & Development program.
Zeep operates a very transparent performance system that allows each employee, and the team as a whole, to clearly see where the business is against budget and, in the instance of the consultants, their personal contribution to the target. Zeep has a dashboard that each employee is presented with each day. This dashboard system enables easy graphical representation of their bookings forecast and where it fits into the month or calendar quarter for the team as a whole. Zeep has also introduced initiatives in the office such as a pool table, chill out spaces and stand up desks to create a work environment which allows the team to focus, relax and re-energise when and as needed. This promotes togetherness, collaboration, positivity and displays generosity from the business.
Employee welfare is very important to Zeep. There are various processes, policies and safeguards in place to ensure a conducive work environment that maintains a healthy, safe, secure and supportive environment. Zeep knows this creates a positive environment that promotes and encourages each employee to perform to their full potential.