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Meet the Team - Jess Southwell

April 1, 2022

In our third Meet the Team series interview, we’re featuring Vault’s Director of Sales and Customer Success, Jess Southwell.  Jess and her team work tirelessly every day to discover new ways in which Vault can provide value to, and improve efficiencies within their organizations. We were lucky enough to grab some time and learn a little bit more about Jess and how she works, things she enjoys outside of work, and why she loves working at Vault.

Hi Jess. Thanks for taking the time to meet with us as we continue to give our readers a look behind the scenes at Vault, and meet the people who build and deliver our solutions every day.  

So, let’s start with how you ended up with us at Vault?

I’m drawn to organizations building new solutions and processes.  I love operating in an environment with lots of changes happening and being able to inform how things are done.  With twenty years of client success experience in healthcare and software, Vault felt like a great place to be able to learn something new and contribute best practices for building client relationships and optimizing the client’s experience with their vendor.

How do you feel about working here now?

I’m a startup junkie and love working in environments where things are changing, the faster the better. I truly enjoy the opportunity to improve efficiency and create better outcomes for both clients and the team. I love building strong relationships with clients, understanding their challenges and being part of delivering solutions. My team exists to ensure that our clients are getting the most value from our services.

Do you have a favorite client story or accomplishment you’ve achieved in your role?

In the last six months we’ve been able to provide significantly more data to clients to demonstrate our performance and give them insight into how their teams use our services. Recently, through our reporting, a client was able to see the geographic areas where they’re able to find the highest volume of candidates with the shortest turnaround times for pre-employment testing.  This data informed the client’s decision to expand their operations in that geographic area because of the talent pool and speedy time to hire.

What is your best advice for someone managing an employment screening program?

Partner with your vendor. Define your needs as clearly as possible and challenge your vendor to measure themselves against the goals you set. In the changing landscape of employment screening, don’t be afraid to reach out to your vendor for guidance. Your vendor’s job is to share industry best practices and provide your team with the support they need in both challenging situations and the day-to-day operations.

What is your leadership philosophy?

Service. Service to my team, and service to our clients.  A team who supports clients can only operate effectively with the support of their director and the organization around them.  Much of the work I do is tapping into subject matter experts across teams and facilitating collaborative solutioning for our clients.

What is something unique or interesting about you?

In school I was on a competitive problem-solving team for many years.  Since they don’t have the same competition for adults, I’m a volunteer official who judges the high school competitions in the State of NY (insert nerd emoji).

My original college major was zoology.  Now I enjoy cryptozoology and one of my top online searches is for new sasquatch sightings.

How has working remotely changed your lifestyle, changed Vault’s culture, or changed the client experience we provide?

I’ve been working remotely for about 10 years.  After working at the Rochester RHIO for 7years I wanted to take all that I learned about health information exchange on the road and share our experience with other communities.  It was then that I started working with clients across the country.  I traveled a lot and got to enjoy a home office between client engagements.  

My dog, Kevin deeply appreciates my ability to work from home and when everyone began working remotely in 2020 it was so great to get to connect with folks by seeing their home offices, their kids, and their pets.  I’ve found it to be incredibly humanizing and it creates another level of connection with clients and colleagues.  Now that we can travel again, I enjoy the opportunities to meet clients in person at conferences and by invitation at their offices.  Face time is great, but the flexibility that remote work offers everyone is great too!

Connect with Jess on LinkedIn.