Proven Strategies

Office dog at Best Friends Animal Society

The Best Friends Podcast Episode 111

Gaining the hiring edge during the “great reshuffle”
May 19th, 2022

The pandemic has profoundly affected our lives in many ways, and it seems to have transformed the American workforce.

Last year the experts dubbed the shifting economy “the great resignation” as millions of workers left the workforce during the pandemic. Now, thanks to more data, the experts say this period has become “the great reshuffle.” Millions of workers are still leaving their jobs each month, but the data shows that the majority of people are not leaving the workforce for good. Instead, people are seeking new careers, often in new fields, working for companies that can offer great benefits, flexibility, and a positive internal culture that values them and their contributions.

That means there is more competition than ever when it comes to finding and retaining your staff at a time when no shelter or rescue organization can afford to lose anyone. So this week, our guests share some insight on how you can gain the hiring edge.

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Kim Heenan - Best Friends Animal Society

Kim Heenan

senior manager, human resource operations

Kim Heenan is the senior manager of human resource (HR) Operations for Best Friends. Kim brought her operations and talent acquisition expertise to Best Friends in 2018 after working in the HR outsourcing industry where she supported global corporate clients for many years.

Kim holds a master’s degree in Human Resources Development from Villanova University and holds certifications from the Human Resources Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management. Kim resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband and her two rescued dogs, Kirby and Tanner.

Jose Ocano - Best Friends Animal Society

José Ocańo

senior director of people and culture

José Ocaño has spent over fifteen years working on behalf of people and animals. Self-awareness, flexibility and teamwork were foundational as José navigated his career in animal welfare; starting as an entry level kennel attendant in one of the highest intake and under-resourced shelters in the country, to eventually leading that organization to become a national model, José's' focus on culture and people has been the secret sauce to being an effective change agent and leader.

José serves as Best Friend’s first Sr. Director of People and Culture. In this role, José works to advance the CEO’s goal of making Best Friends an organization that leads with its heart. Through embedding Best Friend’s Guiding Principles into everyday operations, José and his team focus on creating a culture where people can bring their whole and best selves to work. Through collaboration and engaging the entire workforce of Best Friends, José aims to co-create an inclusive environment that maximizes people’s experience and potential to make meaningful contributions towards Best Friends mission and strategic priorities.

José operates under the fundamental belief that employers have a duty to create cultures that prioritized the employee experience as integral to meeting and sustaining mission and business objectives. He says, “It’s not just the right thing to do-it’s the responsible thing to do. If companies and organizations want to stay competitive and relevant in today's market, they will have to ensure that taking care of their staff is of the highest priorities.”