28Aug

How Interns Lead Us

How Interns Lead Us

Sure internships help build careers—but not just for the young professional learning the ropes.

The goal of an internship is to foster professional development and positively influence career paths.

But while we often champion the benefit internships have for these bright new stars, there are two other big advantages to consider. Interns can help leaders build their management skills—and fill talent gaps caused by low unemployment.

Refining Skill Sets and Advancing the Business

Over the last several decades, internships have become an expectation along the career trajectory, teaching the newbies the ropes so they become productive.  Scores of C-level executives have held internships, as did Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey.

I also believe that internships can help secure our future labor pool.

As an executive recruiter, clients sometimes ask if I know of students interested in internships. This past summer I introduced a client to an intern named Jonah. His experience with the company was great, and Jonah commented on how helpful the training was for his career. “I feel like the work I did this summer was important,” he said, “and I think that the lessons and professional skills I picked up are what will stay with me forever.”

Closer to home, my eldest son, Aaron, secured his summer internship through professionals he met from a previous internship. (Who needs a mother who owns a recruiting firm when he can find his own job?!)  For three months, he trained at a local commercial bank specializing in commercial real estate and construction loans.

Aaron’s skills grew exponentially from this experience, and he reported that while his boss was always available, he handed over the reins when appropriate. “I respect a leadership approach that puts trust in your employees,” Aaron said, “because it allows the team to do what they were hired to do.”

During his internship, Aaron helped analyze potential real estate opportunities in relation to spreads and market trends. Furthermore, he practiced financial modeling, a skill he hopes to continue to grow in the coming year. Lastly, for the bulk of his internship he conducted a consulting project that assessed the organizational structure and work processes of the bank and then presented the research and recommendations to the president and senior management. These findings resulted in significant savings and efficiencies.

Yes, an intern’s work revealed significant savings for the employer. This is because Aaron’s managers guided him in ways that gave him the freedom to work on his own accord and trust that he would do the job well.

The Cutting Edge of Industry

Interns, by their very definition, are learning. As such, their education is cutting edge, revealing the most recent best practices, technologies, and theories. As a leader or manager, you can use that knowledge to the company’s benefit.

And because an internship is basically a three-month long job interview, leaders and executives can get to know these young professionals through the lens of future employment, or to spotlight any issues that need correcting (or celebrating) within the company culture.

Refining Management Skills

Internships are also an opportunity for leaders to refine their interpersonal and organizational skills. From the need to plan and prepare for the day, to communicating clearly, an intern’s success is partially dependent upon the level of guidance from the manager.

Jonah, for example, said that his managers set him up for success by “helping me with any problem or questions I had.” He also said his managers made sure he was introduced to everyone in the department to ensure he had access to all the resources he needed.

Real World Value

Interns can add real world business value when leaders take the time to leverage their skills. Global retailer Gap understands this, and has reported that the company plans to hire 5 percent of entry-level employees from the training program it runs in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America. And in the technology industry, companies are turning to interns to help fill staffing needs on a regular basis.

Welcoming The iGeneration

As we march into the next several years, millennials will be competing against Generation Z for jobs. Generation Z, also known as iGeneration, represents the largest future employment population to date. These young professionals want money and security in their careers, and they are comfortable taking risks.

In other words, leaders must be sure they know their audience. When working with interns, make a concerted effort to give them the opportunity to learn and practice the skills they need for their careers. Not only will this help the intern today, but it has great potential to positively assist your business tomorrow.

26Mar

The Talent You Need, When You Need It

The Talent You Need, When You Need It

We can help you fill talent gaps in your department with contract or interim resources.

In the lifecycle of any business, staffing needs expand and contract based on a variety of internal and external factors. An employee takes a leave of absence; your company is launching a new product; high level expertise is required to create processes; training is needed for less experienced employees on a new product or system; interim talent is needed until permanent talent is found; OR, additional support is necessary to get through a busy period.

Risch Results offers staffing solutions for interim talent in several key areas to support the constantly changing demands and needs within your organization.

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Digital Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Sales Strategy
  • Supply Chain
  • Training/Development
  • Bookkeeping
  • Accounting
  • Project Management
  • Administrative
26Mar

Half a truth is often a great lie

Half a truth is often a great lie

“Half a truth is often a great lie”
-Benjamin Franklin

According to HireRight’s 2017 Employment Screening Benchmark Report, 85 percent of employers caught applicants lying on their resumes or job applications. Candidates, even at the highest levels, are embellishing their resumes.

What are candidates lying about and are they getting caught? According to Glassdoor’s article “Lying on Your Resume? Here’s How You’ll Get Caught,” it’s easier than ever for a hiring manager to discover that a candidate is not telling the truth. One of the most common lies on a resume is claiming to have a degree or certification when in fact all the coursework wasn’t completed. Employers can easily verify education with services such as the National Student Clearinghouse. Another common fib we see is adjusting employment dates to cover a gap. A quick call to past employers can confirm dates of service. A great way to verify skills listed on a resume is to give an on-the-spot quiz.

At Risch Results, we take our time and thoroughly vet all candidates. Our team is trained to spend time processing what’s on the resume and developing specific interview questions to confirm the facts and unveil discrepancies. For example, how did you reach that goal? What were the steps you took? Have you thought of ways to improve the process? Tell me about problems you worked on and how you solved them?

When a candidate is speaking the truth, words will flow freely and confidently. If they are lying, they will be unable to back-up claims. We also do background and reference checks for any candidate we present to a client.

It’s important to verify what you are told and what’s on a resume by spot checking as much information as you can. Look for quantifiable achievements and avoid resumes that read like a job description.

If this sounds like a lot of work, we can help! Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help you find your next best employee.

06Feb

We Specialize in Finding the Right Talent to Meet our Clients’ Unique Needs

We Specialize in Finding the Right Talent to Meet our Clients’ Unique Needs

Risch Results was recently engaged by a North Texas-based manufacturing company to replace a controller who had just resigned. The company knew they needed an experienced individual to lead the department, but they were struggling to identify the level they would need with the budget available.

After meeting with the company to better understand their goals, Risch Results was able to determine the type of hire that made the most sense for their business. We recommended an interim controller to take over while we sourced a strong accounting manager looking for an opportunity to lead their own small department in a growing company. The new accounting manager now handles all day-to-day accounting functions and the interim controller has moved into a part-time CFO role where he oversees the higher-level financial strategy.

At Risch Results, we specialize in finding the right solutions to meet our clients’ unique needs. In the lifecycle of any business, staffing needs expand and contract based on a variety of internal and external factors. An employee might be taking a leave of absence; the organization might be getting ready to launch a new product; extra hands may be needed for a new system implementation. We watch hiring and staffing trends and help our clients examine which strategies work best for their specific situations. Because the workforce is constantly changing, both in demographics and demands, we offer full-time permanent as well as part-time, contract and interim employees.

23Jan

Why do Workers Quit?

Why do Workers Quit?

I recently read an article on LinkedIn, The Real Reason Workers Quit Their Jobs, and decided to survey my team at Risch Results. Every day we work hard to ensure the talent we find for our clients not only has the necessary skill set and experience for the position, but also a passion for the work. Given this mission, it was important for me to make sure I’m tailoring jobs to my own employee’s passions, talents and work-life priorities.

I asked everyone on the team to tell me what they like best and least about their job. I learned that my lead recruiter felt she was getting plenty of training opportunities, but wanted more customer-facing time; my marketing director enjoys helping with the research process, sourcing and interviewing candidates and my assistant recruiter likes finding new ways to source for unique talent. This is important feedback and allows me to ensure my team has opportunities to develop professionally and to do what they love!

What do your employees like most about their jobs? We’d love to hear from you!

 

29May

Benefits of Hiring Contractual Employees

Benefits of Hiring Contractual Employees

In the lifecycle of any business, staffing needs expand and contract based on a variety of internal and external factors. As such, it makes sense for some companies to take an agile and flexible approach to hiring employees by using a contract-to-permanent job placement model.

Contract staffing offers several benefits, including filling unpredictable short-term staffing needs or the ability to try out a candidate for a position to ensure there is a good fit for the future. As the mobile workforce grows, these shorter-term positions can also help businesses embrace economies of scale.

While employees and independent contractors may be paid the same amount for a job, from a tax standpoint, the positions are quite different. A company withholds income tax, Social Security, and Medicare from an employee’s paid wages. For an independent contractor, the employer doesn’t withhold any taxes, leaving the responsibility to pay the required taxes on the contractor.

Filling the Growing Business Need

At Risch Results, we watch hiring and staffing trends, helping our clients examine which strategies work best for their specific business. Because the workforce is constantly changing both in demographics and demands, we have recently begun offering staffing solutions for contract-to-permanent placement in several key areas. For example, our clients are hiring contractual consultants for project management and change management to assist with specific programs and activities. Because consultants with these specific skill sets aren’t needed on a full-time basis, and this type of expertise lends itself beautifully to project-by-project work.

We have also seen a need for interim marketing managers and leaders to assist a company with a specific campaign or project. As is the case with marketing, some companies don’t have the need or budget for a full-time marketing staff, but do need periodic expertise to support a new product or service campaign.

In addition, we see an increase in the need for interim sales leadership to help an executive or management team prepare for a new offering, product, or service. Sales leaders are also excellent in helping a firm identify the right sales team for an expansion.

In this same vein, we see the demand for interim HR support and are working with clients to fill these positions.

The Value of Flexible Contract Staffing

The most obvious driver for contract staffing is the cost savings. Because employees are one of the top expenses of any business, it’s a win any time a company can optimize payroll.

Contract staffing also benefits employers because of the limited legal liability, shorter recruiting and hiring lifecycles, and the ability to “test drive” these professionals before offering them a possible full-time position. Oftentimes having a contractor on board boosts productivity from your internal staff because they are exposed to new expertise, projects, and tasks that may increase engagement and performance.

Fully Vetted Candidates… Every Time

As Risch Results works with clients to fill their contract staffing needs, our recruiting process remains the same as it is for full-time candidate searches. We fully vet all candidates and present only the ones that best match the position and company culture. Whether our clients need contract, contract-to-hire, or direct hire recruiting, Risch Results leverages our deep expertise, tools, and networks to meet our clients’ staffing needs.

 

21Apr

Is Your Company Really Ready to Hire?

Is Your Company Really Ready to Hire?

assessment pic 4An organizational assessment can help you find the answer

Risch Results was engaged by a three-year-old company ready to find key talent to support its growth. The company had been experiencing turnover in the last year, so the CEO asked us to learn more about the reasons why, and identify how attrition impacted the company culture. We did this by carrying out an organizational assessment—the process of interviewing every employee, both in person and anonymously, within an organization/division/department to collect valid information about the organization’s performance, as well as the factors that affect performance. Results demonstrate areas of competence, the need for improvement, and possible risks. They also provide insight to help support investment and restructuring decisions.

A large part of my expertise is focused on organizational assessments, from earning a master’s degree in organizational psychology from Columbia University, to my tenure as a business consultant. Now, as the head of Risch Results, I’ve witnessed the positive effect an organizational assessment has on a business. The end has always justified the means, and I knew this exercise would yield valuable information for our client.

Identifying Key Trends

There is a range of ways to gather employee feedback, from the simple suggestion box or online survey, to the more complex, such as an organizational assessment. The greater the depth and breadth of information, the more opportunity there is for improvement and growth.

Over the course of three days, our team interviewed all 20 employees. We identified trends, some of which emerged after just a few interviews, and by the end of the process, we had a well-rounded and informed snapshot of the organization. While every employee had his or her own suggestions and complaints, in the end, almost everything could be categorized into a few key areas. We presented to leadership anonymous examples from the interviews in the context of the trends that we identified.  This allowed leadership to “hear” the employees feedback without identifying employees. As I predicted, the assessment provided information the organization could use as a roadmap for improvement.

While carrying out an organization assessment is an important step to business improvement, the act of having completed one isn’t enough. Employers need to “close the loop” by reviewing all responses with the employees in manageable groups and together identify ways to take action.

The Improvement Process

Reducing turnover is a process. Employers need to communicate they understand the need for change, acknowledge overriding concerns/complains, work with employees to outline a plan, and communicate the planned changes to employees. Employers don’t need to immediately fix every issue that every person mentioned, but they should look at the trends and key issues and then focus on a solution one at a time. Many times, it’s the minor issues that make the biggest difference… and these are often inexpensive to correct.

Keep the Conversation Going

Job satisfaction will be quickly dashed if employees aren’t informed about the progress made on their issues and complaints. One and done won’t cut it—meaning, one discussion about the findings from the assessment isn’t enough. Employers should periodically review the findings with their staff and keep employees updated on progress, as well as immediate or longer term changes. This can be done weekly, monthly, or whatever timeframe is appropriate for the business.

The simple act of listening to employees by checking in and sharing progress will show the team that the leadership cares. Asking and listening form the foundation for organizational improvement, and sets the stage for providing a workplace where employees want to be every day.

For more information on how an organizational assessment will benefit your business, please contact Risch Results.

18Jul

The People Connection

The People Connection

Jolene's grandparentsWho you are says a lot about what you do

Aside from education, skills training, and networking, there’s a critical element to becoming an executive recruiter: understanding people. This means hearing what a hiring manager isn’t saying about the position he or she needs to fill, or reading between the lines on a candidate’s resume to discover talents and skills that can enable success. In order to be an executive recruiter—a good one, that is—you need what I call the People Connection.

This isn’t something you can learn, any more than you can learn to love skydiving. You either have it or you don’t—it’s like a sixth sense. You can hone the skill, but you can’t create inorganically.

I realized I had this People Connection very early on in life. And it turns out, who you are says a lot about what you do in your career.

Sum of Our Past

I’m the granddaughter of immigrants who fled Germany to escape anti-Semitism and the Nazis. My father’s parents came to the United States just as things got worse for Jews in Germany, and he began working for Empire Paper Company in 1938. My grandmother worked in the office of an upholstery manufacturing factory. From them I learned about resilience, perseverance, and generosity.

As for my parents, they are the first generation in our family to go to college and graduate school. From them I learned about the importance of having a work ethic, adventuresome spirit, and community involvement.

During my childhood, we lived around the world, including London and Athens.  When I was 13, we toured Cape Cod by bike.  At 14, I biked throughout the Pennsylvania Dutch country. At 15, I went to Israel and lived on a kibbutz for the summer. And at 16, I visited France to learn French. These adventures taught me the importance of being open minded to experiences—and most importantly, being open minded to people with different experiences.

The Future Is Today

We are all shaped by influential moments in life. The common denominator across all of my personal milestones is my intrigue with people—the way they behave, interact, and perform. Here are a few examples of key things that shaped my life:

  • College: I attended Brandeis to study sociology and education. I also spent a summer in Florence and traveled Europe with a Eurorail pass.
  • Kindergarten Teacher: I taught in the inner city of Washington DC.
  • Peace Corps Volunteer: I was stationed in Haiti and then Costa Rica.
  • Graduate School: At Columbia, I studied organizational psychology. I got certified in conflict resolution. I fell in love with the idea of organizational change management and helping companies manage employee performance.

I learned much from many people during my travels through Europe, Central America, and the U.S. The common element: my desire to understand motivation and the ways in which people work together. I’m always eager to learn more about people, so I travel as often as I can.

Chance Encounter

On a trip in 1996, I had the good fortune to be seated on the plane next to the Southwest Managing Director of Ernst and Young’s People Practice. We talked, and by the end of the flight, he told me to call for a job. I did, and for the next six years, I worked for E&Y’s consulting group within the people practice. My focus: change management, training management, and performance management.

In 2002, I took a leave of absence to do non-profit work within my community.  During this time, I worked with various small businesses in different capacities—often performance management and team building.  I also received requests to help small businesses hire critical team members. By 2007 I realized that what I loved doing the most was recruiting. This is when I officially formed Risch Results.

True Results

Who you are today is a result of everything that’s happened up until this point. If you’re a people person, like me, you’re probably in a career that focuses on assisting or interacting with others.

I’m a business owner devoted to people—individuals and the companies that need their talent to grow. I think of myself as corporate matchmaker. I bring people together with the goal of providing opportunities for all involved. My role as an executive recruiter hinges on that critical people connection… which I’m proud to say has been shaped and molded by my family, my children, my past, and my beliefs. This is why I’m here today. And this is why I’ll be passionate about recruiting tomorrow.

05Apr

Ask the Right Questions, Get the Right Answers

Ask the Right Questions, Get the Right Answers

By Jolene Risch One of my clients recently said, “I can tell in the first 15 minutes if a person is right for the job.” I completely disagree. Not connecting with a candidate in the first few minutes doesn’t mean he or she isn’t right for the job. It could simply mean that the executive recruiter, hiring manager, or HR professional didn’t ask the right questions. While first impressions are important, they are not the end-all-be-all for recruiting. Candidates need to answer questions beyond the surface-level information. If they don’t get a chance to contribute past that level, you may miss out on a great candidate.

In the Career Builder e-book, “The Hiring Manager’s Complete Interviewing Guide,” you’ll find a host of tips and resources. The e-book lists seven questions to ask candidates, and they are represented below.  In addition, I listed three more questions, based on my experience as an executive recruiter.  As such, here are the top 10 questions to ask prospective employees.

  1. What does the company owe our employees? This question helps the candidate outline his or her expectations in terms of career growth and the big picture. It may also help with retention.
  2. What trends affect our business? Think beyond the job description to get the candidate’s view of the business, industry, and future. This also helps to understand how savvy the candidate is about the company and the market.
  3. Assuming you’re hired for this role, what would make you want to leave your position? The answer here will help you understand what’s important to the candidate, such as advancement, increasing responsibility, growth, etc.
  4. What risks did you take in your last position? This question demonstrates innovative and out-of-the-box thinking.
  5. When was the last time you had to deliver a negative message to customers, and how did you handle it? The answer here demonstrates the ability to navigate difficult situations. It also shows how the candidate communicates messages to customers on behalf of the company.
  6. Give me an example of how you used humor to diffuse a tough situation. This answer gives a glimpse into the candidate’s personality, and is a good way to examine of he or she could be a fit with the company culture.
  7. What was the most useful criticism you received? This helps to identify areas of weakness without asking the candidate directly. It also demonstrates his or her ability to handle criticism and tough love.
  8. Tell me something about your previous job that you really liked. This questions helps you understand what’s important to the candidate, and it may spark ideas for company culture or team building.
  9. Give me an example of a situation in which you used one of your talents on the job. Cultivating natural talent or individual strengths can make the company stronger and more proficient. Understanding who your employees are is the first step.
  10. What community causes do you participate in, or have participated in? This question can shed light on how the candidate feels about cause-related support to determine if his or her values line up with the company values. This can be a good indicator for cultural fit.

These questions don’t represent an exhaustive list, nor is it necessary to ask all of them with every candidate. I would also suggest using the behavioral style of interviewing by asking follow-up questions that include examples and how the candidate resolved a situation. Of course, be on the lookout for red flags like negative comments about past employers or resume claims that the candidate can’t substantiate. Taking time to understand who employees are beyond the first few minutes can go a long way, particularly when it comes to building a productive long-term team.

Risch Results is one of Dallas’ top executive search firms for executive management, manufacturing, and financial services talent. Learn more about how Risch Results can help with your talent needs at RischResults.com or 972.839.9447.

 

 

18Jan

Risch Results Receives National Certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:     Jolene Risch, 972-839-9447, jolenerisch@www.rischresults.com

Dallas, Texas – January 18, 2016 – Risch Results, a business specializing in management and executive recruiting, received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Southwest Certification Committee, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

WBENC’s national standard of certification implemented by the Southwest Certification Committee is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.

By including women-owned businesses among their vendors, corporations, and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier/vendor diversity programs.

To learn more about Risch Results, please visit https://www.rischresults.com.

About Risch Results

Risch Results is a boutique firm that provides employee recruiting as well as employee and manager development. Risch Results is thoroughly committed to understanding the unique talent needs and culture of its clients for swift on boarding and long-term employee retention and growth. Over the past ten years, Risch Results has steadily grown from a small Dallas-based firm to one that operates within numerous major U.S. cities: Dallas, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and more.

About WBENC

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is the nation’s largest third party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the United States. WBENC is a resource for the more than 700 US companies and government agencies that rely on WBENC’s certification as an integral part of their supplier diversity programs.

 

 

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