Post Tags

How Relode Helped Evergreen Nephrology Gain a Competitive Edge


How does a value-based healthcare startup successfully break into new, ultra-competitive markets without a ton of capital or manpower?

They learn how and when to leverage real-time labor market data and crowdsourcing to find top talent.

Evergreen Nephrology is one such startup. They’re on a mission to transform the experience of value-based kidney care for patients, providers, and the world as we know it.

evergreen image

Over 850 million people live with chronic kidney disease (CKD) worldwide -- including 37 million Americans [*]. There’s no cure for CKD, so patients require a team of specialists to manage symptoms, prevent progression to kidney failure, and improve quality of life.

However, the kidney care ecosystem is incredibly fragmented. If patients don’t receive a comprehensive care plan, their specialists' decisions could lead to poor outcomes and accelerate the progression of their disease.

Evergreen’s solution? Partner with local nephrologists to help deliver coordinated, holistic care across the full care spectrum. But they needed to build markets for their future health plan and find the best health professionals in this competitive niche.

Unfortunately, labor shortages and COVID-19 burnout have made hiring a specialized, targeted workforce in a volatile market like healthcare much more challenging. So, that’s where Relode’s network of independent recruiters and real-time labor market data came in.

Partnering with Relode allowed Evergreen Nephrology to gain a competitive edge and achieve its goals, as you’ll hear about in this case study.

But first:

Say hello to evergreen nephrology 👋

Evergreen Nephrology is committed to improving the outcomes and quality of life for people living with kidney disease by delaying disease progression, shifting care to the home, and accelerating kidney transplants.

Its leaders not only have years of kidney care experience, but have also been touched by kidney disease in their families. Chief People Officer, Heather J. Wasielewski-Lopez, was affected when one of her brothers donated a kidney to her other type 1 diabetic brother, which created a deep passion for Heather to help patients with kidney disease.

One of the founders (and Executive Chairman) of Evergreen, Adam Boehler, worked previously in government to drive efforts at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Innovation Center (CMMI) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He introduced new kidney care models and set new standards for organ procurement to increase transplantation. Adam and fellow Co-Founder Abe Sutton were awarded the 2019 President’s Medal from the American Society of Nephrology.

Finding needles in haystacks

Research shows that increasing diabetes and hypertension rates mean an increase in the number of CKD specialists required to provide care. Gaps in the nephrology workforce make candidate supply limited compared to these high demands [*].

Besides primary care providers and other specialists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and registered nurses play a vital role in delivering optimal kidney care. Still, recruiters for these roles are facing similar workforce deficits.

stats image kidney care

On top of these shortages, the scope of kidney health services that nephrologists and other caregivers can provide varies widely by location, contributing even more to regional challenges for the kidney specialist pipeline [*].

Though Evergreen Nephrology needed top talent across the country -- from Wilmington, Delaware, to San Diego, California -- Wasielewski-Lopez and Evergreen recruiter, Carlos Amaya, knew they couldn’t find these needles in the haystacks all on their own.

And if the Head of Talent couldn’t overcome this challenge, Evergreen would never be able to fulfill the deals initiated with local nephrologists and help patients needing immediate care.

So they turned to Relode.

Relode helped broaden Evergreen’s sourcing reach

Relode has relationships with Evergreen Nephrology’s parent and sister companies. Wasielewski-Lopez also utilized Relode’s platform at a different startup. Everyone agreed that Relode’s network of independent recruiters was the smartest choice.

Once Evergreen broadcasted a job on the Relode platform, recruiters across the country started scouring their networks for the perfect candidates. At one point, more than 60 recruiters were sourcing candidates for Evergreen’s available roles in/for:

  • administration
  • finance
  • it
  • nursing
  • advanced practitioners
  • sales and marketing
  • therapy and rehab

According to Wasielewski-Lopez, Relode’s concept of crowdsourcing candidates combined with its lower cost was most appealing. Their startup didn’t have to put down a huge retainer to get a team of recruiters on their side. Only paying for access to the Relode platform and when a placement is made just makes sense, she said.

Expanding into new markets, with Relode Insights

Relode Insights provides users with real-time labor market data. And once Wasielewski-Lopez really started to dig into these insights, the more she realized the need for that information to drive their decision making.

Because the tool is “so easy to use,” she was able to navigate the data on her own. Insights helps teams answer questions like:

  • what is the right compensation for this role?
  • how difficult will this role be to fill?
  • what other companies am I competing with for talent?

Now the Evergreen Nephrology team takes advantage of these Insights to guide their expansion, workforce planning strategy, and compensation.

Relode Insights illuminates labor supply & demand in new markets

Wasielewski-Lopez explained that what sometimes happens in startups is that a salesperson will close a deal in a new market, and then HR receives a sudden hiring request on a tight deadline.

If you don’t make a placement, you risk losing the contract. But hiring healthcare workers in California could take an average of three months compared to a two-week hiring process in Alabama, for example.

So Evergreen uses Relode Insights as a forecasting and implementation planning tool to: create a proactive market entry strategy

How difficult will it be to source high-quality candidates in new markets?

Labor market insights highlight supply, demand, and diversity of candidates in the areas Evergreen was hoping to break into. So before the team expanded into these new locations, they checked Insights for a lay of the labor landscape.

labor stats image

*See exactly how many people exist with the skill-set you're seeking, and how many companies you're competing with.

If a particular locale seemed more challenging, they negotiated more realistic open dates based on that data. If compensation figures were higher than the national average, they involved Finance to ensure they could still offer competitive and equitable salaries.

site image

*See how many other openings are currently listed for the exact same role in your market.

Despite being new to the particular market, having this knowledge boosted Evergreen’s credibility with new clients and partners. They felt more confident committing to start dates when they were sure they could have new hires credentialed and ready to care for patients by that deadline.

site image 2

As a rapidly-growing startup, Evergreen, and any other company, must know which markets to enter next without wasting valuable time and money. Insights provides the intel needed to make more informed decisions and craft effective strategies based on real-time data.

start recruiting and scale hiring at the right time

Relode Insights also lets the Evergreen team know when to start recruiting. It could take 90 days just to build a candidate pipeline in today's market.

hiring process image

Insights helped them establish realistic recruiting timelines for each locale. This allowed them to direct resources where they were needed most and start recruiting earlier rather than later.

Relode Insights excels in fair, data-driven, competitive compensation research

The Evergreen Nephrology team believes in a transparent, fair, and equitable compensation philosophy. But Wasielewski-Lopez admits that it was difficult to source market data that was consistent and accurate.

Before Insights, Wasielewski-Lopez did her own market compensation research. She’d check sites like Glassdoor and, but felt unsure whether those self-reported numbers could be trusted. She even outsourced this research to third-party companies. Yet by the time she received their pricey data, the numbers would already be outdated two months later.

She would make job offers to candidates who would balk at the salary. They’d repeatedly let Wasielewski-Lopez know that they had contingent offers that were $20k to $50k higher.

“Once is an anomaly; twice is a coincidence; three times is a pattern,” Wasielewski-Lopez said.

Sick of losing candidates due to inaccurate numbers in this volatile job market, she started leveraging compensation data from Relode Insights to:

make fair, equitable, and competitive offers

Piecing together salary data from multiple sources only gave the Evergreen team a number, and that number wouldn’t necessarily be fair or even consistent.

That’s why Relode Insights became such an invaluable asset for her and the Evergreen team. According to her, Relode Insights is the most accurate labor data tool she’s ever utilized -- especially when it comes to competitive salaries. It displays each position’s regional and national salary ranges, so hiring teams can create compensation packages relative to the market.

scale image

Thanks to these consistent, real-time benchmarks, Wasielewski-Lopez now says she’s “very confident” that her offers are fair, equitable, and competitive.

She’s been calibrating Evergreen’s offers to meet or exceed candidate expectations. Placing their compensation well into the 75th percentile helped them gain a competitive edge and attract the right people.

save time + boost efficiency

Wasielewski-Lopez admits that she spent much of her day researching and crunching numbers to create thoughtful compensation packages to attract her top candidates, personally putting together five or more per week.

With Relode Insights, this task has become less tedious and more efficient. She’s now so comfortable using the tool, it takes her less time to dig for compensation data and she can get more offers out.

take control in market-specific salary negotiations

Their team revealed that they’re leaning into the regional vs. national compensation averages on the Insights tool even more these days. Because role requirements and salaries are so different across the country, it’s imperative to offer market-specific salaries.

If a candidate asks for a number that seems too high, Wasielewski-Lopez can go into Insights to verify whether the number is in range.

Insights shows where someone with little experience falls on the low end of the salary spectrum and what their competitors are paying for the most experienced candidates on the higher end.

drive retention through compensation evaluations

Wasielewski-Lopez emphasized that proactive engagement, trust, and fairness drive retention. Her team knows they lean on a transparent compensation philosophy that relies on credible data. This makes starting salaries and raises less biased and more reflective of the current market.

If there’s a market adjustment, Evergreen will work with teams to be proactive about retaining star employees rather than lose them to competitors offering more. Keeping her finger on the pulse of fair and equitable salaries with Relode Insights has raised retention rates.

add value to clients and partners

Wasielewski-Lopez said having access to Insights has helped Evergreen be more thoughtful partners to their network of nationwide nephrology practices. She’s been able to share fair market compensation data with clients, so they can retain more employees too.

Want a look at how relode insights works?

Having a large network of independent recruiters on your side certainly helps teams find more quality candidates in less time. And understanding the most up-to-date realities of the labor market ensures your team leads with compelling, competitive offers to attract and retain them.

Wasielewski-Lopez says she not only “believes in the power of the crowd,” but she couldn’t imagine being as successful without Relode Insights.

Her advice? Just start with one job. Open a role on Relode, and see the difference for yourself. Take a peek at the Insights dashboard to compare your compensation numbers to the regional and national averages -- you may be surprised by how off they are.

So what can Relode help your organization achieve?

Need to hire talent quickly? Click here to learn how our network of independent recruiters quickly sources the best professionals at a fraction of the cost.

Want to see how the Relode dashboard and Relode Insights work? Click here for a quick walkthrough of our intuitive, easy-to-use platform.

Not quite ready to decide? Head over to our customer success stories to read about why top companies love how Relode makes hiring better for their teams.