03Aug

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.

CREATE A HIRING PLAN

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.

ASK YOURSELF DIFFICULT QUESTIONS ABOUT BIAS

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”?

CAST A WIDE NET

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.

BRING MORE VOICES TO THE TABLE

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.

07Jul

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. 

21Mar

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

11Mar

Real World Match: How We Search for Candidates

Real World Match: How We Search for Candidates

When a company engages our firm to assist with a candidate search, we spring into action, working behind the scenes in ways that the client doesn’t see.

We screen candidates by analyzing their resumes and work history.

We check references via calls and emails.

We dive deep into their background.

And most importantly, we actually talk with candidates. Not just interview them to confirm resume facts, but to converse with them on a more personal level.

Because cultural fit, or lack thereof, is one of the top reasons employees leave their jobs, we make it a priority to ensure that any candidate will be a good match on a character level with the existing employees, managers, and the company as a whole.

For example, one of our recruiters identified a candidate for a manager position at a national wellness company. The candidate looked great on paper, but upon talking with her, the recruiter detected a few red flags. So, she checked references and then investigated the candidate’s activities on social platforms. Some questions arose and we never presented the candidate to the client.

While we had to then go back to the drawing board with our search, something more important happened. We saved the client from hiring someone who could possibly work out for a short while but would ultimately be a mismatch when it came to cultural fit.

By spending time and energy on a comprehensive search, our firm is able to present the best and brightest candidates who not only look great on paper — but are also a true fit in the company’s real world.

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.

10Feb

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.