Professional Placement Resources
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What They Do
Recruit traveling nurses and other health care professionals for jobs working at hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, rehabilitation centers and schools.
Headquarters: Jacksonville Beach, Florida
What Makes Professional Placement Resources, LLC Great
Since most of the work at this small, Florida-based staffing firm is done over the phone, casual dress and sandy feet are acceptable attire for employees, who spend workdays overlooking the ocean from a beach-side office. Chief Executive Dwight Cooper has been known to lead a mean session of morning low-tide jumping jacks. As one employee writes, “The oceanfront view makes this the best office view I have ever had. I do not know how any other job could beat this!”
In addition to sunshine-provided vitamin D, Professional Placement Resources (PPR) employees have plenty of other ways to stay healthy and happy. The healthy part includes weekly deliveries of organic fruit, health screenings, personal trainers, and lunchtime nutrition lectures. The happy part includes a month’s worth of employee appreciation events every year that include luncheons, bingo, and a sand-castle building contest. This year’s winning entry: an octopus eating Santa Claus, boots and all. Employees unanimously say PPR is a fun, friendly place to work where people care about each other and are willing to give whatever it takes to get the job done.
“We work hard and we play hard,” one employee says. “We care about each other and we take pride in our work. We feel so lucky to be a part of this amazing company, and this incredible group of people that we can't help but brag about it to other people when we talk about our jobs. How many people can say that?”
PPR’s beach-oriented workplace culture comes directly from the company’s cofounders, Florida State University fraternity brothers who started the business in 1996 to recruit physical therapists for nursing home jobs, but also to “work at the beach, and wear shorts to work,” the company says.
Close to two decades later, they’re still living the dream, and so are PPR’s 77 employees, most of whom work from the company’s Jacksonville Beach, Florida beach-side office. The cofounders’ wish list also could have included “Have fun and create a family,” as employees feel the staffing agency does a remarkable job of celebrating and encouraging them to befriend one another. The word “family” appears repeatedly in employee comments. “It is amazing to see how close everyone is,” one worker says. “It really is a PPR family!”
Employees can take part in myriad activities to bond with coworkers, including chili cook offs, mud runs, and ice cream socials. The culture of appreciation starts at the top. Cofounder and CEO Dwight Cooper sits in a cubicle that’s open to everyone; certain Thursdays are designated as "Thank you Thursdays,” where employees send thank you cards to coworkers and customers. “They encourage relationships among employees,” one employee says. “Working here has supplied me with friends for life, people that I know I will continue to love even if I didn't work here.”
With as much fun and camaraderie as there is, hiring the wrong beachcombers could be a buzz kill, but employees say PPR uses its staffing expertise when it comes to selecting its own hires. One hundred percent of employees say management hires people who fit in well. “More than any other company I've ever worked for, PPR is entirely dedicated to hiring the right person for the job. Not simply someone who embodies the necessary skills for the position, but a unique individual who is also a perfect fit with all the other gears they already have in their finely tuned and oiled mechanism.”
Roughly 80 percent or more of PPR’s employees say that they are paid fairly for the work they do, and they receive a fair share of the organization’s profits, though some would like to see improvements in this area. On the whole, employees appreciate their employment packages, with 97 percent saying the company offers unique and special benefits, including unlimited paid time off that can be used for sick leave, 40 days of maternity or adoption leave at full pay, and a week of paternity leave. Employees also receive monthly profit sharing bonuses, regardless of their rank.
As a whole, employees praise PPR for creating a workplace atmosphere that makes them feel like they’re all in it together. “We rode out the Great Recession together. Did what we had to do, made personal financial sacrifices while taking on more duties and innovation all the while,” one employee says. “I am proud of our resolve and we are now getting traction again. Anyone can have a great place to work in good times, but what happens when times are tough? PPR continues to be a great place!”
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