Risch Results Interview with Sofiya Deva – How Can You Thrive as a Leader in This Emerging Culture of Accountability?

Risch Results Interview with Sofiya Deva – How Can You Thrive as a Leader in This Emerging Culture of Accountability?

Pushing out sensitive messaging around inclusion is just the first step in holding your company accountable. In this webinar, we discuss how you can carry out your accountability further through your company’s operations and organization beyond messaging. 

Jolene speaks with Sofiya Deva, Founder and CEO of This Same Sky. Sofiya describes this emerging culture of accountability as a public defense against corporate hypocrisy. She shares the three principles for creating customer loyalty as presented at Adobe’s Annual Experience Makers Event.

Sofiya grew up in a combination of India, New York and Dallas, and has felt like a global citizen for as long as she can remember. She’s been a yoga teacher, a magazine editor, a creative director and a marketing exec, but at her heart, has always dreamed of creating a smaller, stranger world.

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Risch Results Interview with Rebecca Heiss

Risch Results Interview with Rebecca Heiss

How do you bridge the gap between wanting to be a diverse and inclusive company to being that company? 

Jolene speaks with Rebecca Heiss, CEO and Founder at Icueity, LLC to identify commonalities of diverse and inclusive business leaders.

Rebecca has been speaking to leaders and professionals for 7 years and is passionate about why we behave the way we do, especially when we are under stress. 

Diversity goes beyond race and religion. With diversity, comes stability. Diversity gives us different approaches to the same problem.”

By being open to learning, you can create an inclusive professional environment where diverse ideas are welcomed. Be open to uncomfortable conversations and accept that mistakes can be made in order to grow. 

More about Dr. Rebecca Heiss

Rebecca’s Bio

Her book, Instinct, is available for pre-order now

Rebecca is also a TED Talk speaker, view her talk: Ghostbusting Our Evolutionary “Other” 

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    How recruiters should define “fit.”

    If you’ve spent much time learning about recruiting or hiring, you’ve probably come across the word “fit.” We’ve used “fit” often to describe the way a candidate might match a company’s or a position’s skillset. We even offer a FIT assessment. 

    While “fit” is typically a positive descriptor, it’s important to understand that using the term loosely can lead to biased hiring decisions and a workforce that lacks diversity. 

    To avoid using the word “fit” to perpetuate bias in company cultures, we want to make sure we give it a clear definition. 

    What “fit” shouldn’t mean when hiring

    When using “fit” in a hiring situation, make sure you’re not simply describing a person you’d like to hang out with. “What most people mean by culture fit is hiring people they’d like to have a beer with,” writes Patty McCord. 

    This definition is subjective and problematic. We’re likely to subconsciously choose people with similar interests, backgrounds, and cultures to our own. But people with all kinds of personalities can be effective at doing their jobs. And, it’s proven that diverse companies are better performing than non diverse ones. 

    Give “culture fit” an objective, measurable definition

    Culture is another word that’s used loosely in recruiting. Of course we want to hire people who will be able to collaborate with employees across the company and share our values. But, we can’t simply hire people we “click” with and still assure we aren’t being biased. That’s why it’s important to define our company cultures in clear terms. 

    Mel Hannigan writes, “If hiring managers define culture fit in terms of personality traits, favoring certain job candidates because they ‘are friendly’ or ‘have a good attitude,’ those managers hinder their organization’s ability to innovate because of its homogenous workforce. Conversely, hiring managers who describe their culture in qualitative terms, such as ‘low structure’ or ‘high autonomy with a complex matrix,’ have a better chance of mapping the skills and abilities of a diverse set of people into their culture.”

    Try looking for “culture adds” instead of “culture fit”

    Once you’ve been able to name attributes of your company culture, think about hiring people who can add value to your culture, not just fit into it. 

    Pandora was one of the first companies to take a “culture add” approach to hiring.  The notion of culture add reflected their desire to ensure all voices, opinions, views, upbringings, were reflected by their staff makeup.

    It takes some probing to truly understand how a candidate may contribute to your culture. By learning about how a candidate seeks motivation, solves problems, communicates, and leads, you may find the best match for your job vacancy isn’t what you expected. Often, hiring a person with a new and different approach to their job can lead to more expansive outcomes.

    Consider a “values fit” approach

    What many companies find when they dig into defining culture is that they’re identifying their core values. Perhaps your company’s values include “open, transparent communication,” “autonomy instead of micromanagement,” and “collaborative, inclusive ways to solve problems.” 

    Look for candidates who align to your company’s value system rather than an ambiguous idea of culture. Regardless of a candidate’s personality type, interests, background, or style, sharing these core values can help advance the vision of your organization. This will open your search to people you may not have previously considered. And, it will eliminate people whose core values aren’t aligned to yours.

    Are you looking for ways to mitigate bias in your talent search? We’re here to help you find the right match for your company. 


    Tips for Hiring Virtually

    As a full service recruiting and staffing firm, we’re with our clients step-by-step throughout the hiring process. For the past few months, an added challenge for many of our clients has been navigating the hiring process virtually. 

    Whether you’re hiring for a remote role or hosting interviews on Zoom for the first time, here are some of our top tips for hiring in our virtual world. 

    1. Leverage video technology for the virtual interview process. 

    Meeting a candidate for the first time on a video call can feel awkward or intimidating, but there are a lot of benefits for employers who can leverage video technology for interviews. For starters, using video is a close second to getting to meet the candidate in person. You’re able to have a personal conversation, read facial expressions, and get a good sense of a person’s ability to communicate online. If you use Zoom or other technology, you also have the ability to record the interview sessions to review or share with teammates. 

    A few things to keep in mind when conducting video interviews: it’s your job as the employer to set the bar. Send clear instructions to the candidates and dress professionally, just like you would for an in-person interview. Set yourself up at a desk or table (not a couch and never a bed!) somewhere free of distractions.

    And be forgiving about technology mishaps. If necessary, help the candidate facilitate their audio and video options so that both of you are able to focus on the interview questions rather than the technology. 

    1. Assess for personality and soft skills. 

    It’s tempting when we’re hiring for a remote position or conducting virtual interviews to focus more on hard skills than soft skills. If a candidate’s going to be working from home, it’s important for us to know they’ve got the right skillset to do the job. 

    At the same time, though, skills like organization, communication, and time management are essential for employees who aren’t coming into an office every day. At Risch Results, we have a number of different assessments and tools we use to assess soft skills, motivation, and personality.

    1. Have a virtual onboarding plan.

    Once you’ve made an offer, have a plan for getting your new hire acquainted with the systems, processes, and people they’ll need to know within your company. Will you need to set up Zoom meetings with teams? Do you need to create tutorial videos for programs or systems? Will they need to sign paperwork virtually? Set clear expectations for their first 30, 60, and 90 days, and help to facilitate the process. 

    We love tools like Loom for creating and narrating easy screen-recording videos or sending video messages. Google Drive and Dropbox are great places to share files, and Docusign makes it easy to receive e-signatures. 

    1. Build your company culture into the virtual hiring process.

    Finally, remember that candidates are also interviewing you. If you want to attract the right talent, showcase your company culture throughout the process. Can you display the company logo proudly in the background during the interview process? Do you have effective processes in place throughout the hiring process that make you an attractive company to work for? Have you found ways to include team members who can give a sense of company culture? Are there virtual welcome meetings or team building activities after you make an offer? There are plenty of creative ways to weave your culture into a virtual landscape. 

    If hiring virtually feels overwhelming, we’re here to help. Contact us with your virtual hiring questions!


    4 Ways to Mitigate Bias When Recruiting and Hiring

    4 Ways to Mitigate Bias When Recruiting and Hiring

    It’s a difficult time to be hiring. The future of many industries is uncertain, the market is flooded with candidates, and the pressure to find the right person to fill a vacant position is at an all time high. Many leaders are also reflecting on their business practices, especially recruiting and hiring, to ensure they’re doing all that they can to support an unbiased, inclusive, and diverse company culture.

    It’s not new information that businesses who embrace diversity perform better. But it’s tempting for many companies to rely on precedent and tradition to find their new hires–and those methods aren’t always the best ways to ensure an inclusive and unbiased hiring practice.

    If you’re committing to encouraging an unbiased recruiting, interviewing, and hiring process at your company, here are a few things you can consider to get started.


    A hiring plan can set the course and the tone for the entire process. Think about who needs to be involved–both within your organization and externally, what you’d like the process to look like, and how to best use everyone’s time. Consider your company culture and values when discussing potential candidates to fill a role. Rather than subconsciously looking for a candidate who is similar to the employee who is leaving, this article suggests building a business case around the value of the position and what you envision the role will contribute to the company.


    One of the best ways to mitigate bias when we hire is to acknowledge that we all have it. It’s not unusual to find more in common with candidates who share our alma mater or remind us of someone we know. But, it’s important to ask ourselves questions about how our conscious or unconscious biases impact our hiring decisions. Here are a few to ask:

    • Do I source candidates and post in the same places every time I hire?
    • Do I tend to favor certain schools or organizations?
    • Do I tend to hire people like “me”?


    To attract a pool of candidates with diverse talents, backgrounds, and perspectives, you have to cast a wide net in your search. Consider using new databases and referral sources. Look for transferable skills outside your industry, and don’t limit your thinking to traditional career backgrounds and trajectories. Network with candidates, even on LinkedIn, to meet people outside your direct network.


    Finally, to truly support an unbiased hiring process, you’ve got to include multiple perspectives in every step–from writing the job description to vetting candidates to interviewing. It will build employee morale and engagement if your team has a voice in the process. Large or small businesses may consider including an external advisor, or running their interview questions by a diversity and inclusion expert. Of course, it’s important to create common guidelines and criteria to ensure the process can be efficient, true to your company’s mission, and aligned to your hiring plan.


    4 Reasons You Need an Employee Loyalty Program

    4 Reasons You Need an Employee
    Loyalty Program

    Businesses will work overtime to get their customer’s loyalty, but what about their employees?

    One of the best things about being a Kroger shopper is the loyalty rewards program they have. They give me special pricing so I can save more money. I earn points I can use on gas at their fuel center. I can usually earn multiple fuel points on gift cards—for places I was going to shop anyway! And—perhaps my favorite part of all—they send me customized coupons based on my shopping habits and my favorite repeat purchases.

    Here’s the thing. Kroger doesn’t get my business because of all the savings they give me (although it doesn’t hurt). It’s because they pay attention to me. They create a thoughtful, beneficial experience, with elements that are completely tailored to my preferences. There’s no way saving $1.50 at Walmart can compare with the excellent service and attention Kroger provides. They’ve created the perfect loyalty program.

    Businesses will work overtime to get their customer’s loyalty, but what about their employees? Companies can drastically improve their profitability simply by implementing employee loyalty programs, which can improve productivity, employee engagement, and reduce turnover. Here’s a deeper look at why you need to implement an employee loyalty program.


    Employee loyalty programs help you hold onto your team members. Whether you have a small team or you’re a multinational corporation, losing some of your best and brightest can set you back—both monetarily and in reaching your business goals. Not to mention, losing employees can lower team morale.
    Implementing an employee loyalty program rewards your team members for their efforts and creates a healthy, thriving company culture. This sets the standard for expectations and teaches your team members that they will be appreciated and rewarded for their contribution.

    High Performance

    Setting up an employee loyalty program the right way for your company’s values is imperative. For example, a program that rewards employees purely on seniority or time spent accomplishing a task basis sets your team up for reduced productivity. There would be no incentive to finish tasks early, and rewarding seniority only can make newer employees feel unseen.

    Instead, create your employee loyalty program with various opportunities for rewards and recognition. If you want a high performing team, create rewards around top-notch quality work done efficiently. By focusing more on the impact your team’s work has instead of the time it takes to complete a task, you can simply incentivize them to get more done in less time, while actually enjoying the process.

    Intrinsic Motivation

    Have you ever had an activity or a person that you loved so much that you consistently went the extra mile? Intrinsic motivation is feeling inspired to accomplish things because you want to instead of some outside force convincing you to make it happen. Think of it like this:

    • Intrinsic motivation is eating healthy because you have your 20-year high school reunion coming up and you want to look your best.
    • Extrinsic motivation is working 20 extra hours a week because you’re afraid of your boss being upset with you if you don’t work hard enough.

    See the difference?

    Employee loyalty programs are built to create intrinsic motivation within your team members through positive reinforcement.


    This is one of the most important, and rare, qualities you can have in an employee. Commitment isn’t just a willingness to stay at the company. Commitment is a dedication to giving the company your very best so that your contribution is meaningful.

    In order to have truly committed employees, they have to feel that their contribution matters, their efforts are appreciated, and that the company has their back. Employees who are appreciated and feel supported by the companies they work for will continue to give their all, but it needs to be reciprocated by the company. This is where employee loyalty programs support the protection of their most committed employees. By showing your employees that you’re just as committed to them as they are to you, you create a balanced relationship.

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