When the year began, there was an air of excitement for the start of a new decade — the “new roaring 20s”! Of course, no one had any idea what was coming: a global pandemic, months upon months of quarantine, a series of natural disasters, a surge in racial injustices, and a tumultuous presidential election (okay, maybe we saw that one was coming!). At DirectEmployers, we like to remain positive and take the good with the bad — and to be honest, there were so many good things that happened this year! To end what will most likely be the most notorious year of our lifetime, we’re looking back at the highlights and milestones we achieved over the last twelve months. Grab your snowsuit and toboggan and let’s dive in…because we made A LOT of progress!


DE Connect Community Refresh

The first task on our agenda this year was to give our DE Connect community a fresh facelift and we did just that! With Member feedback in mind, we reorganized our homepage, added in visual elements like sliding images and announcements, moved our discussions to the forefront and rearranged resources to make the platform more intuitive and ultimately make it easier to find what Members were looking for in less time. Log in to DE Connect to check it out!


Wrapped Up Season One of the DE Talk Podcast – and Kicked Off Season Two!

Officially launching back in October of 2019, the DE Talk podcast continued into the New Year with topics including invisible disabilities, women in leadership, veteran underemployment, accessibility, D&I, and more. Season One wrapped in March, but in light of cancelling our Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAMcon20), we released two bonus “QuaranDEAM” episodes featuring a discussion on how to prepare for a reduction in force, and a conversation with leadership from Recruit Rooster’s newest acquisition, RocketBuild. Fast forward to September when we kicked off season two, which is still going strong. View our podcast library here to replay episodes you may have missed!


Hosted a Staff Volunteer Day at Gleaners Food Bank

Before quarantine orders were given, we had the opportunity in early March to host an all-staff volunteer day at Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis. Split into two shifts, our staff worked to sort almost 20,000 pounds of food–nearly enough for 15,000 meals for our community! See the photos here to remember times when masks weren’t as essential to our attire as shoes and socks.



Engagement Activities for Staff and Members

By mid-March, we were new to permanent remote work and looking for ways to keep our staffers connected and engaged. The creative minds on our marketing team went to work planning fun activities for our staff in order to foster conversation and connection, and shared the fun with Members, too! These ranged from Throwback Thursday photo submissions to a ‘Most-Bingeworthy Show on Netflix Tourney,’ and beyond. We even began weekly staff Happy Hours on Zoom, and we’re happy to report that these still continue today! These are just a few of the many gems that were a result of staff and Member interaction:


Recruit Rooster Acquired RocketBuild

In April, our Recruit Rooster team had an exciting announcement–they acquired custom software and app developer, RocketBuild! While Recruit Rooster works with employers to provide customizable recruitment marketing solutions ranging from career site development and redesign to creative solutions such as video and photography, RocketBuild expands on these offerings including high-quality web-based software, mobile applications, and custom enterprise-level websites. A match made in heaven, err….space??



DEAMcon20 Virtual Networking Event

One of the best parts of our annual conference is the hours upon hours of networking available to attendees. Despite cancelling DEAMcon20, we still wanted to gather our Members, partners and underwriters for a chance to connect, so we hosted a virtual networking event in which Members could not only chat with one another, but also with potential service providers who offer tools and products that could make their jobs easier. At the end of the one-and-a-half-hour event, 153 conversations were had and countless new connections were made to be continued offline.


Introduced “Reach Out for Happy Hour” Partner Networking Events

For the majority of our Members, diversity outreach is vital in remaining compliant with regulations set forth by the OFCCP. In order to help make connections, we created “Reach Out for Happy Hours”–30 minute virtual networking events between a small group of Members and a selected diversity partner. Members can learn more about what the partner does, who they serve, ask questions, and leave with a direct contact within the organization. Miss one? Watch the recordings!


Incorporated Single Sign-On for DE.works and DE Connect

DirectEmployers has a variety of great tools and services, but until recently, each had a different login location and required its own set of login credentials. Not great, right? This summer, we launched a single sign-on (SSO) platform that will eventually require a single set of login details for the majority of our products. The first to be incorporated was DE.works, and later this fall, DE Connect was added. Stay tuned as more tools are added to SSO!


Recruit Rooster Launched Google Talent Solutions

In another exciting venture for our Roosters, the team partnered with Google Cloud Talent Solutions to incorporate Google Talent Job Search, which helps employers enhance and understand the intent of candidates while they search for jobs and incorporates features such as spelling autocorrect and intuitive search functionality. The Good Samaritan Society was one of the first employers to implement this tool, and due to the improvements, has seen a 46.2% increase in location searches AND a 64.5% increase in candidate conversion rates. Learn more here!



Revamped DE.org to Highlight our Expanding Family of Brands

By late summer, our family of brands was bigger than ever, but our website didn’t quite reflect all that we do. So we got to work on DirectEmployers.org to highlight not only DE, but the entire family of brands including Taapestry, Recruit Rooster, and RocketBuild, right on the homepage! Been a while since you’ve been to our website? Check it out!

Wow! Seems like a lot, right? There’s more where that came from! Check back next week for part two of this series to see even more of this year’s accomplishments, none of which would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our staff, Members, partners, and industry friends!

Kacie Clark
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