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Office Hours: I’m the Head of People at Grow Therapy. I’m Keshar Sheridan. AMA!Featured

Hi Elphas!

I’m Keshar Sheridan and I’m the Head of People at Grow Therapy where we’re making quality mental healthcare accessible (and we’re hiring!).

Before Grow Therapy, I worked for a variety of healthtech startups including Oscar Health, Galileo, and Headway. I have been in the People/Talent space for the last 13 years and don’t plan on stopping any time soon!

During my downtime, I enjoy spending time with my family, my husband and I have a 2.5 year old and a baby on the way! We also have two huge dogs, Gus and Waffles! I also love trashy reality TV and cooking!

Ask me about recruiting, management, accessible mental healthcare, pay transparency, or anything else!

Thanks so much for joining us @kesharsheridan!Elphas – please ask @kesharsheridan your questions before Friday, March 17th. @kesharsheridan may not have time to answer every questions, so emoji upvote your favorites 🔥👍🏾➕
Thanks for hosting office hours Keshar!With your vast amount of experience in talent, people, and recruiting, when do new employees adopt a company's mission statement for themselves and in their work? Is there a way for people who work in talent, people, and recruiting, help with that process?
Great question @rachelj! I think the integration into a company's mission and values really begins during the interview process. I have always found it important to have someone on the interview panel who is evaluating the person to ensure they are a culture addition to the organization. With that being said, a thoughtful onboarding process is a great way for folks to really get a sense of the culture and mission of a team and adopt those values for themselves. During the onboarding process, having specific cultural sessions to showcase the cultural values and having founders walk through the values themselves is very impactful. I think the People/Talent teams are integral in making this happen. The People team works with the candidates throughout the entire onboarding process and can ensure that folks are feeling integrated into the culture during those 30-60-90 day check-ins.
@kesharsheridan What do you enjoy/not enjoy about working for a mental health company? And what are your favorite trashy reality shows? Mine are Love Island and Love is Blind 🤭
I think my favorite part of working for a mental health company is the mission alignment I feel each day. I have had my own very personal journey with mental health and wellness, and working for a company that is making access more affordable and transparent is something that resonates deeply with me. Honestly, I don't think there is anything I don't like? I guess maybe the realization that at the end of the day we are still a business and have to make tough business decisions sometimes is hard, but overall, I love working for a mental healthcare company! Oooooo my favorite trashy reality tv shows have to be Vanderpump Rules (#scandoval) and all the Real Housewives (NJ, BH, and OC are my favorites!)
What are immediate red flags on a resume? What about green flags?
I think the immediate red flags that I notice on a resume are when there are broad generalities. Like saying, "I was responsible for customer satisfaction". That is a really broad area and can mean so much! I personally really like when there are tactical outcomes that are tied to metrics that can showcase performance. So if you were responsible for customer satisfaction, maybe you increased the NPS from 50 to 80. I think any time you can add metrics and measurable results to your resume is really impactful!
When it comes to marketing for mental healthcare companies like Grow Theraphy, where do you draw the line between what is ethically allowed to be said/shown and what isn't? I'm looking for marketing and PR roles in the mental healthcare space and I'd appreciate some insider advice to navigate this role
Great question! I think in some ways it's almost better to work in the healthcare space because there are very strict rules around what can and cannot be shared. Patient and client confidentiality is obviously paramount, so as an organization we have to be really thoughtful around what experiences we can share while also protecting privacy.
Hi Keshar! Thank you so much for hosting these office hours. For someone who is pivoting away from the medical track (I was very much down that road until making the decision to pivot a few weeks ago), what do you recommend to enhance our candidacy for a job in healthtech startups? How do we shape our extensive clinical experience into a strength that can be applied to the healthcare tech industry? And what can I do today to make myself a better candidate?
Hi @kesharsheridan! My question is very similar to @juliechen's. After 10 years working for a hospital on the public health side of things, I'm pivoting and applying my skills to People Operations/HR in the tech (and specifically healthtech) space. I'd love to hear your thoughts on how to stand out as I make this shift.
I believe that my original response still stands. I think as you are switching roles and potentially industries, you should try to pull out as many relevant details from your past experience as possible. And, this goes without saying, you should also be prepared to potentially take a step back in your career in terms of title and level. I know that can be a hard pill to swallow, but knowing that it is temporary and you will be able to make an impact quickly!
@kesharsheridan Thanks so much for your response! I am prepared to take a step back to take three steps forward in the longer term, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your advice.
For sure! I think stepping away from a medical track and into a startup can definitely be a challenge. I experienced a lot of this when I was at Oscar Health. I think the best thing you can do is highlight your operational and administrative experience in your resume. Pulling out key projects that you have worked on, or diving into your clinical experience to pull out the administrative and operational skill sets that you used is going to be really helpful. Depending on the size of the startup you are joining, most are going to be looking for all around athletes who can juggle multiple things at the same time, and operational strength is usually highly valued. So I would try and do that on your resume!
@kesharsheridan thank you for hosting office hours! I was looking at your Design roles, sounds interesting. I do not have much experience working in health tech rather than in my own start up which is in women's health. If I am applying for a more Sr/Lead role, is it a red flag?
No, not a red flag at all! Please apply!
Hi Keshar, thanks so much for holding office hours here on Elpha. Congratulations on the soon-to-be birth of your new baby! I have a background in financial services, insurance, and management consulting and am passionate about health, wellness, and mindset (but no direct healthcare experience). I want to pivot and work in the healthcare space, but keep hearing "we are looking for someone with a background in healthcare." Any tips on how to pivot and address or should I not continue to pursue it? Thank you for your time.
Great question! I would say that for organizations that are specifically looking for someone with healthcare experience it might be a bit challenging to make that transition. However, if you look at startups that are a bit smaller and are looking for talented generalists, then your background is a great fit! I think it also heavily depends on the types of roles you are looking for. Sometimes, within the healthtech space, healthcare experience is absolutely necessary and the role demands it. But oftentimes, for smaller (seed, series A) organizations, they are typically looking for people who can juggle multiple projects and skill set lines, that's where you should be focused.
@kesharsheridan Thank you for taking the questions. My question is very similar to @danapuskarich I do not have experience in healthcare or mental health but would love the opportunity to be in a role with a company like Grow Therapy where there is an opportunity to help people who may otherwise not have access to help. What is the best way to show how you can contribute if you check some of the boxes but not all, and one of those boxes is the lack of a background in mental health/healthcare? Thanks for your thoughts.
The transition into healthtech can be challenging. I do find that when you pivot to smaller organizations, the requirement to have healthcare experience is more of a nice to have vs a need to have.
Hi, Keshar -- As someone who uses a psychiatrist who works with Grow Therapy, it's quite helpful. My question is, what insights do you have about why insurance is so complicated? I can give a rep my information, and they still won't know how much I owe because of mysterious, probably arbitrary, reasons.
Oh goodness. This is a very complex question. I don't think I have enough text space to answer it! I would recommend reading, America's Bitter Pill. It does a great job of breaking down the issues within our healthcare system and why things are the way they are!
Hello, Like some of the other wonderful people here, I too place a high value on Mental Health and believe our world would greatly benefit from affordable accessible mental healthcare. I also work with immigrant/refugee children who do not have insurance or funds for mental healthcare. Does Grow have (or plan to have) a program that helps people in these types of situations? Thank you for your time. 😄
Absolutely! When you ask whether Grow plans to have a program to help people in these types of situations, do you mean from an employment perspective or from a therapy perspective?
What advice do you have for Moms returning to paid work in the health tech space? I've been self-employed as a consultant and photographer for the past 6 years. Before that, I had a decade-long career in healthcare consulting. I'm re-entering the health tech job market now and would love any tips you can share.
Great question! That re-entry can be tough! I think working with an external resource to help get your resume in tip top shape and to help practice interviewing is a great start! The Mom Project is a great resource for all women returning to the workforce (whether after having a baby or injury, etc...) they can give you a lot of tips and help you practice for this journey!
Welcome, Keshar! I have a few questions...What is the screening process like at a large HealthTech company like Grow Therapy? I notice that when positions go up at large HealthTech companies, LinkedIn will show that there has already been thousands of applicants, and it's difficult to be hopeful that my application will ever be seen.Do you have any recommendations for standing out in the crowd? Do you recommend "cold emailing" or DMing recruiters or hiring managers on LinkedIn?
Yes, that is a great point. Right now, just given the job market, there are a lot of applications for positions as they go up. I think the best thing to do is set up job alerts with companies or positions that you are specifically qualified for and apply as quickly as you can. It can be challenging for recruiters to wade through 1000 applications, and usually the first few hundred are the ones to get looked at. I also, would recommend using your LinkedIn network to see if there are any warm connections you could use to get an intro to the hiring manager or recruiter.
Hi Keshar,I'd also like to express my thanks for hosting office hours! My question is similar to many others here. I'd love to know from a recruiting perspective how best to network and work with recruiters to standout when applying, especially when you have limited experience in a specific role or sector.Best,Sam
I think the best thing to do is to use your LinkedIn network to cultivate warm connections with folks who work at the company you are interested in. It doesn't necessarily need to be a recruiter that you are connecting with. Oftentimes, the recruiter is not responsible for making the decision on whether to move someone forward or not. So I would work my network to find folks that you are connected with who you can have information chats with and get introduced to others in the department that you are interested in!