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.


What Happened to Our New Hire?

What Happened to Our New Hire?


Has your company encountered a scenario in which a new hire seemed thrilled to be offered a position on Monday, only to reject the job before the week was over? These sudden changes of heart before the job truly begins are not just puzzling – they’re becoming increasingly common.

Sue Shellenbargerin the WSJ article, “Wait, Where Did Our New Hire Go?” explains that one of the main reasons this happens is the candidate’s experience or lack of experience with negotiation. 

Why Is This Happening

Negotiation is something that doesn’t come naturally to everyone, the need to do so doesn’t feel urgent until it is absolutely unavoidable – like the day before the offered job is due to begin. New hires who seemed gracious to accept an offer just days before suddenly back out of the position because they have offers elsewhere, but the employer doesn’t know this and is left wondering where their hire disappeared to.

Or, a candidate may not receive the kind of offer they need. Instead of asking for a better offer or letting a potential employer know that they have a better option elsewhere, many new hires will simply wait until the last minute and withdraw their acceptance of the job – again leaving the employer scrambling and confused. 

What Can Employers Do?

Reducing the chances of ending up on Day 1 without an employee requires consistent communication throughout the recruiting process.  At Risch Results, we make sure we have a clear understanding up front of what our candidate is looking for and the range of compensation for our client. We also recognize that the candidate who wasn’t looking for a job when we first reached out to them may actually be interviewing at other organizations by the time our client has decided to make an offer.  Therefore, we have to ask if they are considering other offers multiple times. Also, understanding our client’s organization besides the salary is hugely important.  We typically ask our clients what makes them unique and why people like to come to work every day.  This way, when we speak to candidate’s about the organization, they are weighing out more than just the compensation.  They are also considering the culture of an organization. 


7 Tips for Attracting and Retaining Talent

How small business owners can build
their team for the long term

In the midst of a global pandemic, it may be more crucial than ever that businesses have reliable talent to navigate an uncertain future. But with foundational changes to the ways we run our businesses, a flooded candidate pool, and the challenge of onboarding remotely, building an effective team can feel overwhelming.

Despite it all, it’s still possible for small businesses to attract talent, engage their teams, increase retention, and ultimately grow! Here are seven simple ideas for attracting and retaining talent that hold true no matter what’s happening in our world.

No. 1: Create a Culture of Collaboration

Employees leave bosses, not companies. If a manager is ineffective or unsupportive, employees may feel marginalized or underappreciated, which increases the rate of attrition. Small businesses have the opportunity to make employees feel like their voice matters by involving them in decisioning and strategizing. In today’s business environment, there’s no room for an us vs them culture.

No. 2: Ensure Your Employees Feel Like Owners

The great game of business is a business methodology and set of integrated tools proven to engage employees to drive profitability and sustainability. (It’s also the name of a book around the concept, written by Jack Slack.) Business transparency ensures that every employee is involved with the understanding and tracking of key business numbers. If there’s a decision to be made, people with relevant knowledge or expertise are asked their opinions — and rank doesn’t matter.

No. 3: Conduct Behavioral/Cultural Assessments

Considering “fit” in the hiring process is one of the best ways to hire the right talent and increase engagement and retention. Risch Results believes by using a reliable behavioral assessment to measure the innate characteristics of how a person thinks and is truly wired, employers can create teams that are more productive.    

No. 4: Brand Your Business

Every external and internal communication is an opportunity to brand your business as employee centric. Whether posting on LinkedIn, a blog, or the company website, communicate what makes your company unique, reinforce your mission, and highlight how your employees have helped you get to where you are. 

No. 5: Seek Feedback and Refine Accordingly

A business can’t grow without understanding what’s working — and what needs improvement. Provide employees with the tools and solutions they need to successfully perform their responsibilities. Talk to your employees about what they like and what they wish would change by conducting “stay interviews.”  And engage your employees in the solution process. 

No. 6: Practice Forgiveness

Forgiveness is an important leadership skill.  As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”  One way to build this skill is to practice empathy by seeing situations from the perspective of your employees.  A culture that encourages forgiveness will improve well-being and increase productivity. 

No. 7: Consider the intrinsic benefits of the position

Leaders need to know the non-financial benefits of a position to attract and keep the best talent.  The best talent is interested in a career, not a position. You don’t have to be Toyota to offer your employees opportunities for growth and development.  Equally important is an opportunity to work with talented colleagues.  If the company is too small, consider affiliating with trade organizations and training events.  7


The Benefits of Retained Search Firms

The Benefits of Retained Search Firms

Some companies believe that more recruiters searching for your talent equates to greater market coverage. But in the staffing world, quantity doesn’t equal quality. Retained search firms have demonstrated fill rates near and far above 90 percent. Contingent recruiting firms often have fill rates of less than 35%.

Why such a huge difference in fill rate? One reason is because retained search firms like Risch Results are 100 percent sure they will find the right person. We commit to our client that we will not stop a search until we have found a candidate they are happy with. At our firm, the only reason a recruiter would stop a search is if our client’s business need changes or if the client finds a candidate through a referral. A contingent recruiter isn’t going to work as hard since the odds of filling the position are dependent on how many recruiting firms the client has asked to work on the open position.

Retained Firms Search Deeper

Retained firms do more than consult a database. They conduct a deep dive into the market across information channels to find the potential right candidates. This comprehensive search may entail looking at candidates who’ve worked in non-traditional settings, or prioritizing a candidate’s natural or unique talents. Retained search firms can take this methodical, comprehensive approach because they aren’t worried about just getting a positioned filled so they can get paid.

While the reasons employees leave their positions makes for a long list, research shows that at the very top is cultural fit.

Retained search firms will undertake an in-depth search and interview process to focus on identifying a cultural fit. The greater the criteria, the fewer the candidates.
Retained search firms know that by understanding work dynamics and company culture, they can narrow the search to discover candidates who will not only succeed in the position — but also have the best chance of staying in it.

To find the great talent that fits both in skills and company culture, using a better search firm matters.


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.


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!



Effective Onboarding Boosts Employee Retention

Effective Onboarding Boosts Employee Retention

By Jolene Risch and Adrienne Bommarito

Employee RetentionWhen you walk into a networking event and see someone you know, there’s a sense of comfort and familiarity. That feeling is the same one new employees covet, even from day one on the job. Ensuring new employees feel like they’re part of the organization and valued as a team member goes a long way toward sustainable employment. So how do you do it?

Executive recruiters know that hiring the right person for the job is obviously a priority, but equally necessary is helping companies increase employee retention. The more cohesive a business team is, the more advantaged the company can be for success. As this Forbes article by Meghan M. Biro points out, two keys to successful onboarding are to make it personal for the new hires and reinforce the employer’s brand. Biro writes, “You’re building a company, yes, but you’re also building a team of employer advocates.” By engaging employees from the very beginning, companies are building a solid foundation for sustainable employment.

To that end, here are three ways HR professionals can help ensure the onboarding process sets the right tone and vision for the company, and engages new hires in the process.

No. 1: Training Day

Training classes are at tried-and-true way companies onboard new employees. Structure the classes so that they take both a micro and macro approach by focusing on the technical learnings of the person’s job and responsibilities, while also providing information about the company’s mission, vision, values, and culture. The mix will help the new employee understand the specifics of his or her role, as well as the organizational big picture.

To create employee knowledge and cohesion on a training day, create an activity where the employee can personalize his or her specific role within the company, while also pinpointing strengths and weaknesses. A way to do this is through personality tests, and then share the results to demonstrate how the new employee thinks, as compared to their colleagues and boss. This helps create an understanding between colleagues, so when disagreements arise, they’re more knowledgeable about how each person works best.

No.2: The Buddy System

Team building is most effective when the new employees work with veteran employees. We find a great way to facilitate these partnership is through the buddy system. When a new employee is paired with a veteran employee, the new hire has direct communication with a company expert and gets information and answers immediately. The personal response helps the new employee assimilate quicker, and also fosters a sense of belonging.

To build on the buddy system, we recommend a charity-driven activity. For example, have employees pair up to build a bike. (The items will have been purchased and laid out before hand). After the activity, the bikes will be donated to a local children’s organization. This type of event is a win-win because employees get the chance to work together for a common goal, and organizations win because they’re always searching for volunteers. Other ideas include hosting a canned food drive, clothing drive, or cleaning a housing unit.

No. 3 Equal Representation

We recommend including direct managers and leadership in team-building activities. Leadership can play a smaller role in the training, such as introducing the company and explaining its values and success factors. When the leadership is involved, it sends a message to the new hires that they are appreciated and valued.

For example, if a company is hosting a year-end retreat, then plan an activity to enhance team cohesion, like a scavenger hunt. Clues can be questions pertaining to the company history, values, mission statement, etc. Teams will work together to guess the clue, which will lead them to the next clue… and so on until the game is completed.

Professional recruiters know that continuous team building provides a link to employee retention. To help with this effort, many organizations engage a planning company, such as The Event Lounge.

Employees who feel included, valued, and appreciated from the beginning are poised to be engaged immediately—and stay engaged for the long term. Motivated employees will advocate on behalf of the organization because they’re enthusiastic about their job, feel appreciated and valued, and understand the important part they play in the business’ overall success.

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.   ###

Adrienne Bommarito is the National Account Manager for The Event Lounge, an event firm specializing in corporate meeting management, full service production, and design/décor. Learn more at The Event Lounge.


Employee Motivation: Inclusion and Praise

Employee Motivation: Inclusion and Praise

trophyEmployee motivation is easy to understand in theory, but it is much harder in practice. Many times bosses and managers become inundated in the day-to-day tasks and can lose sight of long-term, employee development, particularly employee motivation. This oversight, however, can cause severe structural dilemmas in the long-term. I have identified two main factors to focus on for employee motivation: inclusion and praise.

Inclusion: Inclusion in decision-making is crucial in basic motivation as it dignifies an employee. Obviously, there are different levels of inclusion and it is a manager’s job to identify the acceptable level of inclusion of an employee.

Take a high school as an example. The janitor will not be included in any academic and financial planning, but he could be included in the determination of the cleaning routine schedule and the procurement of cleaning supplies. A new history teaching fellow will not be included in curriculum planning, but should have input in the day-to-day lessons plans for the classes he helps with. When he becomes a full-time, history teacher, he is then included in broader history curriculum planning; many years later, as the head of the History Department, he is included in discipline-wide curriculum planning.

Obviously, it is much easier to determine someone’s inclusion when higher up the ladder, but it is crucial for a manager to identify areas of inclusion for new or less skilled employees. Proper inclusion does not only improve efficiency – an employee can provide specific knowledge regarding his tasks – but,  more importantly, allows the employee to feel pride and inclusion in the larger aims of the organization or firm.

Praise: Praise, on the other hand, constitutes the harder aspect of employee motivation; you can’t delegate praise like we just did with decision-making. Instead, praise is a behavior that a manager must deftly employ without coming across too structured. Furthermore, praise must be on an individualistic level. For instance, a monthly lunch to praise and thank 50 employees is a nice perk, but does not actually praise any of the individuals. While managers will most often receive the credit for a finished product or idea, the manager has a responsible to individually praise the employees that helped in this creation. Not acknowledging an employee’s role in a process will discourage initiative. Why would an employee bother thinking out of the box if he doesn’t get any credit from his immediate superior?
Related: Building a Productive Work Team

Bottling up effective employee motivation into two steps oversimplifies the complexity of employee motivation. Let this post, then, serve as a start and as a reminder that employee motivation is of the utmost important and must be consciously and adeptly planned for.