Surprisingly, Susan Salka, CEO, President and Director of the nation’s largest healthcare staffing firm, AMN Healthcare, began her journey with the company as employee number 19. Through the years with AMN, Susan has been named to almost every honorary list in the staffing industry, including SIA’s hall of fame and Global Power 150 Women in Staffing. But before being named CEO, she held many predominant roles within the company, such as VP of Business Development, CFO, COO and President, and more. Talk about experience!
While happily giving a bit of background on the company, Susan mentions that AMN has evolved into becoming the most extensive workforce solutions (better known as total talent solutions) partner within the healthcare space. This means that the company provides a variety of solutions that help their clients recruit, onboard, optimize and in some cases, plan for their workforce; whether it be permanent or temporary. As she continues her explanation, it becomes clear that AMN’s investment in technology and willingness to fail is what sets them apart as innovators in the space.
While Susan’s love for the company goes without question, she admits that she almost left twice. The first to move to Maine with the hopes of starting a family, and the second was due to a changing culture. In both cases she did what most would not: she spoke up! Fortunately, when Susan asked to relocate, the company agreed to give her the flexibility she needed to pursue her personal goals. This experience alone taught her the importance of meeting team members where they are in life. One, because it’s the right thing to do, but two, because it engenders tremendous loyalty and builds upon their culture’s values.
As the conversation continues, Susan and Leslie discuss the importance of having flexibility in the workforce when it comes to diversity, how you can “have it all” but it’ll never be perfect, and how we can make a significant impact when we help those around us. They also discuss gender equality at AMN and her own experiences with pay equity. We hope you enjoy this episode!