Welcome back to #WeAreGreenKey, where we shine a spotlight on the people behind our powerhouse recruiting team.  

Today we sit down with Heather Branist, Executive Director on the Healthcare National team at Green Key. Originally an animal trainer in Florida, Heather transitioned to recruiting back in 2015 and found her calling. She has been at Green Key almost five years now and plans to continue growing the success of her team. 

How did you get your start in recruiting?  

Totally unrelated to recruiting, I was living in Orlando and working as an Exotic Animal trainer at SeaWorld and Disney World. I was in the animal business for 15 years. Unfortunately, after an accident, I couldn’t do such a physical role anymore. I had a friend who worked in recruiting at the time and she suggested that it might be a good fit. The agency I started with had a phenomenal training program, specifically around Healthcare, and I fell in love with it. Five years ago, I moved back to Ohio and found my home with Green Key.  

What about recruiting keeps you coming back to work every day?  

I love recruiting because it’s always a new challenge. Every day is different; whether I get the opportunity to build a new relationship with a candidate or a client, or I get to learn a new aspect of a position I haven’t worked on previously. My mind is constantly pushed. Plus, I value the importance of making the right match for our clients and our candidates. It’s extremely rewarding!  

What does the training look like in the Healthcare division?  

Once an employee understands the basics of Green Key, our systems, and recruiting – we dive specifically into different healthcare roles that we fill, clients we work with, settings we employ in, etc. Our new recruiters get partnered with Senior Recruiters during their first month to listen in to their phone calls until they feel confident running their own book of business. With everything being remote, everyone has to have the motivation to succeed and be proactive in their training. It’s definitely a different way of training now than it used to be when we could all be together in an office, but we’ve made the necessary adjustments and it seems to be working great!  

What are some of the challenges and benefits of working in the Healthcare division?  

Healthcare is a continuous need; it’s not going anywhere. There’s job security for our team, as well as our clients and candidates. The business is always going to be there, which is a huge benefit. In terms of challenges, COVID changed a lot. We have to push our clients to think outside the box and even consider which positions can be done remotely or through hybrid schedules. But the benefits certainly outweigh the challenges in healthcare. 

Why should someone want to work at Green Key?  

This is such a positive, healthy environment. Green Key treats you like an adult. They give you the tools you need to be successful without micromanaging. We all have goals and the owners really trust you to run your own book of business. Everyone encourages us to always ‘speak up’ if we have any problems or ideas; and I always feel like my thoughts are valued, that I have assistance with my challenges, and that my success is rewarded.  

What makes your team so successful?  

We’re all very driven individuals. Recruiting is competitive by nature, but we can and do celebrate each other’s successes. We all push each other to strive for the best. Our team is not afraid to re-evaluate ourselves every so often and ask each other, “What ideas do you have? What can you bring to the table? How can we change things to run this team better?” 

What are your goals for the team moving forward?  

We’re a really small team right now with a large book of business. I see so much growth potential. We have the opportunity to build something great here. I want to keep on growing the team, while also expanding to other clients and avenues of healthcare. 

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Green Key
Jun 6, 2023

It’s Election Day!

At the risk of being Captain Obvious, it’s Election Day. Have you voted?

Unlike any other, this election has seen a record number of Americans casting their ballot days, even weeks before today’s official voting day. COVID-19 made many of us wary of being exposed to the virus, so states took steps to make voting more convenient and to limit the need to visit a polling place.

That doesn’t mean you can’t vote in-person. Just be sure to check where before you head out. This year, your traditional polling place may no longer be available.

If you have a mail-in ballot, some states – but not all — will count your vote if it’s postmarked today. If you’re not sure what the rule is where you live, you can always turn in your ballot at a polling place.

Elections officials nationwide say they expect a record turnout. With the huge number of mailed ballots and pre-election day voting, results could take even longer than usual to be known. In very close races the results may take days or even longer to be known.

Photo by Janine Robinson on Unsplash


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Green Key
Jun 6, 2023

Study Finds Cats Can Benefit Kids with Autism

Dogs are the most common service animal, but for children with autism spectrum disorder, cats may be more therapeutic.

A new study reported in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing found ordinary shelter cats had a calming effect on children with ASD, improving their empathy toward others while reducing bullying, hyperactivity and separation anxiety.

“Cats, and companion animals in general, offer unconditional acceptance and someone to talk to that listens, and caring for an animal can help with learning responsibility,” said study author Gretchen Carlisle, a research scientist at the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri veterinary college.

But dogs require more care and attention than cats, adding to the burden parents of children with autism already face.

They also are more active and energetic, which can trigger autistic children.

“Many children with autism have sensory issues and when a dog is barking in your face, it can be really overwhelming, whereas cats just sit beside you and are less overwhelming from a sensory standpoint,” Carlisle explained.

Her small study followed 11 families with autistic children ages 6-14. One group of families adopted a shelter cat and was followed for 18 weeks. A second group without a cat was followed for 18 weeks, then adopted a cat for another 18 weeks.

“Our study,” the researchers wrote, ”Found cat adoption was associated with greater empathy and less separation anxiety for children with ASD, along with fewer problem behaviors including externalizing, bullying and hyperactivity/inattention. Parents and children reported strong bonds to the cats.”

All the cats were screened for a calm temperament. “We specifically selected cats aged 10 months to 4 years because there is prior work that younger cats are more social with kids with autism, and adult temperament tends to be set at 10 months with cats, so these are younger cats with an adult temperament,” Carlisle told HealthDay News.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Melissa Nishawala, director of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Research and Clinical Program at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone Health in New York City, said that though the study was small, “these are promising findings that mirror what I see in practice.”

Photo by Andriyko Podilnyk


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Green Key