After about 20+ years working in human resources in the for-profit corporate world, Elisa Meza took a step in a new direction when she joined Heluna Health in January 2020 as a Recruiter. She had never worked for a nonprofit before, but she was excited by the opportunity to help others.
Elisa was hired as a Talent Acquisition Specialist, and after fourteen months, she was promoted to Talent Acquisition Lead. Eight months later, she was named Talent Acquisition Supervisor, her current position. “I enjoy helping passionate people who care about the work they are doing and want to help other people,” Elisa says.
Just a few months after she started working at Heluna Health, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many organizations, including Heluna Health, to switch to remote operations, before transitioning to a hybrid remote/in-office schedule. Flexible work arrangements, Elisa says, are “a selling point, when talking to new prospective employees who are looking for work-life balance. Then they hear of our mission and want to be a part of that.”
There are typically 200 open positions with Heluna Health at any one time, including openings with dozens of partner programs, including those that serve the unhoused, youth, and families participating in Heluna Health’s Women, Infants, and Children Program. “I work with hiring managers, post their positions, screen resumes, help managers with developing interview questions, conduct interviews, produce research on the labor market, and provide other guidance throughout the hiring process,” Elisa says. “And then we collect documentation from job candidates, make offers, and sometimes get involved in negotiations. Once candidates are hired, we lead them through onboarding up until they start.” Elisa also represents Heluna Health at job fairs, which were held remotely throughout the COVID pandemic, though they have recently returned to in-person events.
When asked what she is looking for in employees, Elisa says, “It depends on the position. We hire customer service workers, management staff, technical staff, clinical staff, and more. It’s very varied as far as the candidates we’re trying to hire. When I’m looking at a candidate, I look at what the job requires, in terms of degrees, licenses, and technical skills. Does the position require working with others, teamwork, communication skills, or creativity? In general, program hiring managers are looking for people who are passionate about the work they do, and whether they can transfer that passion to Heluna Health. Are they open to learning new things? We want people to learn and grow and expand beyond what they already do and know.”
As for her own experience at Heluna Health, Elisa says, “I like that I can make a positive impact in people’s lives, doing the community work that Heluna Health does in population health, and through all the various programs that we help. And I like opening the door for people to come work at Heluna Health. When I find a good match, it’s very rewarding.”