Jeff Beckmann – LRS Healthcare
Jeff Beckmann had a straightforward, comfortable life ahead of him. He was working at the big four accounting firm KPMG, and he was about to be promoted to manager. It was an enviable position; no one could have accused him of settling if he stayed.
But Beckmann couldn’t forget a lesson someone had taught him years earlier: If you’re not willing to take a chance on yourself, nobody else should be, either.
So, in 2014, he took a leap of faith. He left KPMG and went into direct-hire recruiting, a path that’s practically unheard of, then later joined a large public company as assistant corporate controller.
“I’ve always kind of thought there are very pre-defined career paths that you can stick to, or you can take a chance on yourself,” Beckmann says.
Today, he’s president of LRS Healthcare, a staffing company that places traveling nurses and healthcare professionals in hospitals and doctors’ offices across the country. And his detours from the well-trodden path have paid off: He’s passionate about his company and brimming with ideas for its future.
For example, Beckmann is making sure employees have access to the resources and data they need to improve at their jobs. This has included building out multiple dashboard metrics so employees know exactly what they should be doing every day when they start work. He’s also rolling out more targeted metrics for sales staff and sharing his vision for the company’s future so everyone is working toward the same goals.
“My vision for us is to make sure that we are focused on the convenience factor for our travelers—building our app out to make sure it’s convenient for them, that they can work with us and have an easy experience, and that the growth that we do internally is focused on our people so they can focus on all of our customers and travelers,” Beckmann says.
A popular app
Beckmann helped lead the team developing that app, LRS Connect, while he was chief financial officer of the company in 2021. They were starting from scratch with no roadmap or experience to lean on and had set the difficult, ambitious goal of having a functioning caregiver portal live within six months.
But by September 2021, they had gone live with the LRS Connect web platform, and the following December, they launched the mobile app. It’s now a work in progress—they’re constantly rolling out new features, such as advancing from the ability simply to submit a timecard to the ability to access an all-encompassing mobile timecard platform, enhancing the app and ensuring it’s convenient for traveling LRS employees.
Within the first two weeks of the app going live, the company saw more than 1,500 downloads of LRS Connect. During the platform’s first year of functionality, Beckmann and his colleagues invited more than 40,000 caregivers to join the platform; a third of them did and became active users. And today, every one of the company’s caregivers submits their timesheets through the app.
“The tremendous commitment from our internal team and their relentless focus on consistently improving the lives of others is evident in the feedback we’ve received from each of our caregivers using the platform today—it allows them to devote their time to quality patient care,” Beckmann says.
When Beckmann arrived at LRS in 2018, the company was outsourcing its finance, HR and IT functions, so he set out to hire people to fill those teams. But it wasn’t as simple as putting the right people at the right desks; he had to give them the technology to succeed.
In early 2020, Beckmann implemented UKG, the company’s human capital system. Then he started implementing Bullhorn, the company’s sales system. But the COVID-19 pandemic hit a month later and had a huge impact on the healthcare industry—not only complicating Beckmann’s Bullhorn rollout but compounding the staffing challenges that LRS exists to alleviate.
He finally launched Bullhorn in 2022, and around the same time, also implemented NetSuite, the company’s finance system.
While this was happening, the company was growing exponentially, as more hospitals relied on LRS’s traveling nurses amid the pandemic. LRS doubled in size from 2021 to 2022 (it grew tenfold from 2018 to 2022), and that brought its own set of challenges.
“There was a push from one side to continue to do it the way we had always done it, because it was working and we were growing, and a push from the other side to know that we had to put this technology in place to get to where we wanted to be in the long term,” Beckmann says.
‘People first’ outlook
Beckmann earned his MPA in accounting from the University of South Dakota in 2009 and became an audit senior associate at KPMG after graduating. He stayed there over four years before jumping to a senior recruiting manager role at Hemphill Search Group.
In 2015, he returned to accounting at Lindsay Corporation, where he rose to director of accounting operations within three years. But before long, he felt he wasn’t making much of an impact because compliance functions consumed all his time. So, when he got the chance to serve as chief financial officer of LRS, he took it.
“I wanted to go somewhere where I could really help set the foundation for the future growth of the company,” Beckmann explains. “And then, as I started to work in that role, it progressed to where I had my hand in a lot of different things across the business.”
Eventually, he had a frank conversation with the owner and founder of LRS, and it became clear that the natural progression would be for Beckmann to assume the president role and oversee the whole business.
“It’s ‘people first’ here—every decision that I make or that our leadership team makes is made thinking first about what the outcome or impact is going to be on people, both inside this company and outside it,” Beckmann says. “As for myself, I’ve found it very valuable to always take a chance on myself, grind and do the work, learn as much as possible, never try to be the smartest person in the room and always listen more than you talk.”
View this feature in the Vol. III 2023 Edition here.
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