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Adapting and Thriving: Talent Retention in the Post-Pandemic Workplace

April 9, 2024


Adapting and Thriving: Talent Retention in the Post-Pandemic Workplace

By Carisa Brewster

In an interview ahead of his anticipated panel discussion at the ASCA 2024 Conference and Expo, Whitman Partners’ Head of Permanent Search, John Elffers, shares his expert insights on the evolution of talent retention and retention strategies in the post-COVID era. With the pandemic reshaping the fabric of the workplace, Elffers delves into the intricate challenges healthcare facilities face, particularly ASCs. This includes maintaining a balance between work and life for their employees while attracting top-tier talent in a competitive landscape. His advice offers a roadmap for organizations looking to navigate the complexities of employee retention and satisfaction in a world forever altered by COVID-19. 

In what ways has the COVID pandemic shaped the recruitment of perioperative leaders?  

JE: People are more reluctant to relocate. A lot of it has to do with the current state of the housing market. That has shrunk the candidate pool significantly. It also takes a high level of EQ (emotional intelligence) to relate and be attentive to staff, physicians, and administrative concerns. Someone who can eloquently and professionally address concerns before they become a problem. Finding those people can be a challenge.   

How are clients tackling the challenge of retention and work/life balance?  

JE: Sometimes, people leave for upward mobility because they want to advance in their careers. It’s nice to know you can do that within the facility you currently work. Taking on more responsibility can come in many forms. But when you think about incentives, look at ASCs: they expect you there five days a week, 10 hours a day. But you get weekends and every holiday off. This attracts many highly skilled professionals who think, “I want Christmas off. I don’t want to worry about running in there on July 4th.” That flexibility already exists within the ASC job model.  

How do you advise clients to stand out from the crowd to attract the best talent? 

JE: I think it comes down to basic recognition for the job that they’re doing. That’s what everybody wants. There can be retention bonuses and profit sharing, but the reason why a lot of people make the shift from the hospital environment to the ASC environment is because it can be a grind in the hospital. It can also be a grind in ASC but in a different way. As I said, many people want that additional flexibility.  

How can organizations ensure they have a healthy workplace culture? 

JE: People are looking for a voice. They want to contribute. Engaged employees are good employees. Solicit their feedback. Communicate with them. Be transparent with them. I think that’s what candidates are looking for. Make sure you’re finding the best possible person that is the right fit. Listen to them and make sure that they feel like they contribute to the facility’s success. 

Come by booth #529 at the ASCA 2024 Conference & Expo and say hello to the Whitman Partners team: John Elffers, Zach Parker, and Heather Gilligan. Collect some company swag and discuss how the firm can support the perioperative industry in an ever-evolving landscape. 


Whitman Partners is a phone call or email away for your leadership staffing needs. For interim leadership, contact Zach Parker or Ines Radic; for permanent leadership, contact John Elffers. Looking for a job? Click here to search our job map.  

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