Why did you start the business, what was the catalyzing event?
I had taken a one-year leave of absence from EY Consulting when my middle son was two or three to spend more time with my children and to work on some volunteer projects. When the year was over, I was told that I was needed on some projects that involved travel.
Obviously, this was typical for consultants, but as a mother of two young sons it did not sound very appealing to me. I had been playing with the idea of helping companies with employee performance management and other employee challenges, but it seemed that my foot in the door was to help small businesses find the right people.
How did you find your first customer?
A friend who was starting a pediatric office asked me to help him find a nurse. I had never done recruiting before. In my experience at EY, they involved managers like me in the recruiting process. But we were in charge of interviewing–not actually sourcing the talent! I placed an ad in the Dallas Morning News and the rest is history! All I can say is thank goodness for LinkedIn! LinkedIn makes it easy to go beyond our network, and even more importantly helps us communicate with people who are working and would not be looking for job postings.
Describe your first office/location.
Our team has almost always worked virtually, except for two short periods of time. The first time was when I hired Nicole Stasick, our Director of Recruiting. I wanted to make sure that we had a space where we could work comfortably together and share information easily. But for the long term it doesn’t really make sense because I spend so much time out and about meeting with clients and referral partners and our recruiters spend so much time on the phone and in front of the computer!
The second time was when I hired a salesperson. This time my friend, the publisher and owner of the Texas Jewish Post, had office space. She let me use her space for a very discounted rate in exchange for helping her clean out an office that was filled with old issues of the TJP.
What’s the most creative thing you did to get your business started, or kept it going through a tough time?
The toughest time in our business was Q2 2020, as most companies were in a hiring freeze because of the uncertainty in the pandemic. We tried everything. We offered outplacement to companies who were laying off employees. We tried focusing on industries that were doing well during lock down; we ended up doing quite a bit of hiring for companies in the construction industry.
But honestly, what got us over that hump was the PPP money. It made a huge difference to us and allowed us to keep doing what we do best: helping companies hire great talent.
What’s something quirky or superstitious you do as a CEO?
My employees think it’s funny that I have trouble remembering company values we come up with together. (Ironically, I’m a very value-focused person!)
Once, our team came up with so many values I had cups made with them listed. Another time, we only had three values so I would have an easier time remembering: care, integrity, and giving. (Or maybe it was gratitude?) We have recently started to implement Traction (entrepreneurial operating system). We went through an exercise to come up with values. Finally, I am having an easier time remembering the new ones: Cares, Can-Do Attitude, Does the Right Thing, and Solution-Focused!
What was your last job working for someone else? What was your favorite day job?
My last job working for someone else was working for EY Consulting in their People Advantage practice. My favorite day job was working for the US Peace Corps in Haiti (we only lasted three months before we were evacuated during the coup d’état in 1991), and then in Costa Rica (for two and a half years).
Where did you come up with the name for your company?
I was really hoping for Bird Dog Recruiting because I always think of bird dogs as being very focused on the end result. Unfortunately, it already existed. Risch Results was our second choice!