5 Minutes with... Audra Leader, BA, BS

BC Advantage (BCA): Tell us about you and what brought you to your current position as a Staffing Manager with Kforce?
Audra Leader, BA, BS (AL):
I am originally from Michigan and a Midwesterner at heart but moved to sunny Florida about 4 years ago for work. While working initially as a college recruiter, I learned about Kforce, who I knew to be a leader in the staffing industry. When I was presented the opportunity to join Kforce, I jumped at the chance. My current role as a Staffing Manager is a perfect fit for me because it gives me the opportunity to assist a group of people grow and develop their careers. Aside from that, I get to serve a company that is supportive, transparent and encouraging.

BCA: Can you describe your typical work day?
My position is all about building relationships and wearing a variety of hats; cheerleader, coach, liaison, manager, advocate...you name it! I am responsible for the day-to-day management of a group of consultants to include performance evaluations, coaching, setting expectations, creative-thinking, relationship-building and proactive thinking. I also make sure each of my consultants are meeting our clients expectations, that any concerns are addressed promptly, that their schedules are managed properly and that they have consistent work. With the ever-changing industry, each day is a little different. I pride myself in the ability to be adaptable and flexible, which fits my personality very well.

BCA: Managing a large team of consultants has its challenges. Can you give us some insight into how you stay on track with your team and company goals?
I attribute much of my success to the HIM team at Kforce. From recruitment to operations to client managers, everyone plays a part in each of our consultants' success. Our team works very closely together to achieve our goals and as a group we are a huge structure of support to one another and the consultants and clients we serve. We achieve our goals together to make the difference.

BCA: In your role as staffing manager for Kforce, what challenges do you have in placing people in a position that's right for them?
When aligning consultants with new jobs, I take many things into consideration. I look at each consultant's experience, skill-set, personality and focus on making the right match from the beginning. I must have an understanding of my consultants' strengths so I set them up for not only a successful assignment, but long-term career with Kforce.

BCA: When placing healthcare professionals, are there any certifications or qualifications that physicians are looking for? If so, what are they?
From acute care facilities to multi-site providers, Kforce helps healthcare organizations meet challenges such as ICD-10 implementation, clinical documentation improvement, electronic medical record (EMR) and electronic health record (EHR) conversions. All Kforce coding consultants must be credentialed through AHIMA or AAPC, as most of our 600+ clients require. Our most prominent credentials held are: RHIT, RHIA, CCS and CPC. We also work with CDI professionals, trauma registrars, cancer registrars, coding managers and HIM Directors.

BCA: Now with ICD-10 delayed another year is there any direct effect on your company or role in any way? If so, how?
Kforce is a firm supporter of ICD-10 and we are moving forward as planned. We are encouraging our consultants to continue their education through practical application. We are using the delay as a springboard to further enhance skills through continued education so the consultants can practice their proficiency and become even more efficient.

BCA: You've labeled yourself as an "ICD-10 pusher" on your LinkedIn profile; can you give us some insight into what that means?
Another aspect of my position is to ensure all my consultants are actively training on ICD-10. Kforce has implemented a comprehensive training program for ICD-10 preparedness. It is my personal goal to take a disciplined approach in creating goals and supporting my consultants as they prepare themselves for ICD-10 readiness. My part plays a small role in Kforce's vision overall to maintain our national footprint and leadership in ICD-10.

BCA: How did your schooling and degree prepare you for your job in the staffing industry?
My schooling prepared me with many practical skills I could use in a variety of positions and industries. A business major will help develop personal and professional proficiency which gave me great insight and experience to work with the wonderful team of people I do now. It has really helped that I enjoy making a difference and helping my team accomplish our goals together. I work with an amazing group of people that are invested in my success and teach me more and more each day.

BCA: To you, what has been your greatest achievement so far in your career?
Every day has its very own achievement. It's very rewarding for me to be able to make the difference in someone's career and help them achieve their goals. My consultants depend on me each day to make sure their questions are followed up on, honest feedback is provided and that I'm constantly working to help them with career progression. Their appreciation, respect and desire to work hard is what I'm most proud of.

BCA: Is there any advice you can give our readers, who are looking to obtain a position in this industry?
Network, network and just when you thought about stopping, network some more! Healthcare is an exciting, ever-changing and growing field. It's so important that you connect with as many people as you can. Attend conferences. Join groups. Meet people. Ask questions. Develop a brand for yourself. Do your research on current trends in the industry. Become a student of your craft. The more you can educate yourself, the better prepared you will be to contribute a useful, unique and memorable perspective.