Changing the Way Company Culture is Understood: OrgVitals and Incipio Workforce Solutions’ Synergistic Partnership is Revealing Workplace Culture Strengths & Weaknesses

How the startup company is unlocking the formula to an ever-changing work landscape coming up on its first anniversary

Louisville, Kentucky: OrgVitals and Louisville-based Recruiting and HR organization, Incipio Workforce Solutions, are bringing intentional hiring to the forefront and focusing on workplace culture to retain current employees. 

Incipio is helping businesses exceed through recruiting, HR solutions, direct hire recruiting, employer branding, team building, and more. OrgVitals is a strategic partner in cutting-edge technology that delivers predictive insights and enhanced analysis to organizations to ensure that its teams thrive within the workplace.

Culture is ready for its Moneyball moment,” said Dr. Brad Shuck, Chief Data Scientist for OrgVitals. “For a very long time, employee engagement has been the standard for which everybody has aspired to.”

OrgVitals measures organizations by their strengths, growth opportunities, and blindspots that they might not look at or notice in their culture. These three key components are directly connected to its team and the people in the company.

OrgVitals does this by distributing surveys to its client’s employees in order to measure these analytics and deliver actionable data.

“From the get-go, we saw a synergy between what Incipio Workforce Solutions was doing and what we could help leverage for them within culture data. We’re feeding that back into clients and giving them time back in their data to do their best work one on one with their clients,“ continued Dr. Shuck. “OrgVitals has become a backend partner for Incipio. We’ve been able to partner with Incipio with several clients, and deliver a significant return on investment, not just for Incipio but for their end client, and that’s our goal.”

OrgVitals intentionally moves the needle on performance and ultimately saves organizations substantial amounts of money. Additionally, they’re showing companies culture data they’ve never seen before, so, in turn, these organizations can be behind the wheel when it comes to driving workplace culture. 

About Org Vitals

OrgVitals was founded in 2021 by Charley Miller, Dr. Brad Shuck and Kristina Rodriguez. Our mission is to help organizations capture data on culture, learn from it and then put this information into action. Additionally, OrgVitals is intentional about cultivating workplace culture and leveraging it as a strategic point in organizations. We’re changing the way work is experienced. For more information on how we can help you make an impact within your organization, book a demo here.

About Incipio Workforce Solutions

Since 2015, Incipio has been on a mission to transform the way companies attract, engage, and delight their team members. Our professional services break down the challenges you face and create manageable goals, obtainable standards, and process improvements to reorganize, revitalize, and redefine what was into what is possible. Comprised of expertise in HR, Recruiting, Employer Branding, and Service, Incipio gives companies the tools they need to manage their employee experience from interview to retirement successfully. For more information on how we can help you and your business, call us at 502-409-4821 or email us at [email protected]

Leveling Up: The Transformative Recruiting Process Incipio Workforce Solutions is Implementing With its Strategic Partners

How the organization is revamping the recruiting process
from beginning to end

Louisville, Kentucky: Incipio Workforce Solutions is changing the recruiting industry with its strategic partners; Grit & Gravel, OrgVitals and UnicusPar. Incipio Workforce Solutions is a strategic partner in helping businesses thrive through recruiting, HR solutions, direct hire recruiting, employer branding, team building, and more.

The growth of Incipio through these strategic partners allows the organization to be a more intentional workforce solution company. 

“I believe after almost seven years of being in business, we have finally found partners that are as dedicated and committed to their success, and their company, to partner to be successful together,” said Molley Ricketts, CEO of Incipio Workforce Solutions. 

Incipio’s strategic partners have the talent to put the pieces together.

  • Grit & Gravel is helping attract and retain top talent with its holistic employer branding efforts including services like custom culture and leadership videos, current employee testimonials, paid and organic social media job management, brand & content marketing, career page and full website optimization & development, and much more.  
  • OrgVitals measures organizations by inclusion, employee engagement, alignment, communication models, etc., and then determines how they relate to one another to calculate strengths and opportunities for growth and highlight a company’s blindspot.
  • UnicusPar is changing the hiring game by matching the right candidates with the right companies the first time without bias through its proprietary assessment and matching technology.

Incipio is being recognized as an organization that provides a different way to recruit and wants to help its clientele and future clients make the difference to transform. 

“Until employers really understand the entire market of the workforce has changed, intentional hires to build teams with top talent has to be the focus,” Ricketts continued.

Employers are recognizing that they can’t solely recruit people; they have to have an entire package, from the hiring process to onboarding and continue to build a positive culture where employees want to work. 

Incipio continues to make intentional hires, with the help of its strategic partners, to build teams with top talent. The organization’s team members traveled 76,098 miles, devoted 8,583 total hours of recruitment horsepower to employ 409 team members for its clients in 2021.

About Incipio Workforce Solutions

Since 2015, Incipio has been on a mission to transform the way companies attract, engage, and delight their team members. Our professional services break down the challenges you face and create manageable goals, obtainable standards, and process improvements to reorganize, revitalize, and redefine what was into what is possible. Comprised of expertise in HR, Recruiting, Employer Branding, and Service, Incipio gives companies the tools they need to manage their employee experience from interview to retirement successfully. For more information on how we can help you and your business, call us at 502-409-4821 or email us at [email protected]

Hiring Challenges: Solved

If you have been paying attention the past year, most industries and sectors have struggled with attracting talent and keeping talent. All evidence points to a prolonged tightening of the labor market, which is why it is vital that recruiters and the companies that are looking to hire need to think out of the box and consider alternative strategies. 

The labor market has been a fluid environment with several challenges over the last few years. As we embark on the new normal following the pandemic and the “Great Resignation,” the challenges faced by hiring managers and recruiters are considerable. Even before COVID-19 rocked the world, recruiters have had to navigate changing demands and challenges. From technological advancements, candidate priorities, remote working, and a later retiring workforce, recruiting these days can be complex. Recruiters and hiring managers must stay ahead of the game and pivot when necessary.


One of the biggest challenges over the last 18-24 months has been the shift to remote working. While remote working initially required some significant adjustments for some organizations in terms of logistics, technology, work culture, and the ability to manage a team, remote working proved to be viable, productive, and extremely popular in most instances. Although remote work is not feasible for all sectors of the economy, we have learned that many roles outside of the service, hospitality, healthcare, and retail sectors can be done remotely. Remote working has provided flexibility for many employees and has allowed them to balance their work and personal lives. Remote work requires a high level of trust on the part of the employer and work ethic on the employee. Communicating expectations concerning productivity and availability are essential for the remote work environment to be mutually beneficial. With remote working comes the challenges of recruiting remotely. 

Recruiters and companies must mirror their current work environment during the recruitment process. It’s time to embrace the virtual recruiting environment. Utilize Teams, Zoom, and other virtual platforms that allow you to be face to face with your candidates virtually. Remote working and interviewing can also benefit employers as it enables them to recruit from a broader and more diverse talent pool. An organization must understand its long-term goals regarding remote working. Many outsourcing companies are familiar with the virtual recruiting process and can assist in sourcing and initial screens.


Another recruiting challenge that seems prevalent in today’s environment is the vast pool of applicants applying for open positions but seemingly lack the qualifications that companies are looking for or simply not the right fit for the organization or culture. How and where you advertise your current openings can impact the quality and candidate compatibility to the role you are looking to fill. For instance, certain industry sector candidates may gravitate more toward an Indeed-type platform than LinkedIn. Understanding which platform may suit your needs can be challenging and expensive if you are not familiar with what is available. 

Working with an outsourcing company like Incipio may provide the most cost-effective and efficient screening process for your organization, thus allowing you to focus on your core business and leave the screening up to the experts. Creating effective job descriptions and open position listings are also crucial in attracting the best candidates. Clear and concise job postings that list necessary basic skills and qualifications can deter unqualified candidates from applying. Having an experienced screener, whether in-house or outsourced, can also eliminate spending time on candidates that may not be qualified. If you find that many applicants are a bit green for the roles you are looking to fill, designing an apprenticeship program or a “get your foot in the door” approach allows you to train candidates to become the employee you desire.


Candidates these days are very intentional about where they are seeking employment. That in itself is not the challenge. Where the challenge lies is in your company brand. Do you have a solid online presence? Is that presence communicating a consistent brand message on your website, social media pages, and job post websites? Company reputation and branding are vital in today’s market. Candidates are purposefully looking for companies that meet their needs regarding flexibility, compensation, growth opportunities and mirror their values regarding sustainability, community involvement, diversity, inclusion, and equity. Now more than ever, in this candidate-centric market, you need to have a clear company brand that is communicated through several avenues. Your company must stand out among its hiring competition if you want to attract the best candidates.


Are you losing talent before you even have a chance to decide if you want to make them an offer to join your team? Recruiting new team members can take time. A streamlined process must be in place when hiring. According to Dr. John Sullivan, a professor of management at San Francisco State University, the cost of candidate withdrawal is real, and the investment in time and resources may place a drain on your team and finances. There are reasons why candidates choose to remove themselves from the hiring process, and it is crucial to determine why it is happening in your organization. A candidate may choose to withdraw for a few reasons. Some of these might include your application process may be too lengthy, they may have had a chemistry issue with the screener or hiring manager. Additional factors might include the job posting not matching what the candidate was told in the interview process and the interview process being long and drawn out. A key reason for self-selecting out of the process is lack of communication between the candidate and the recruiter or hiring manager. 

Your application process must be as seamless as possible. Many candidates will drop out of the process before completing the application if it is repetitive, long, confusing, and not accessible. Making it easy to apply via your phone and utilizing programs that allow a candidate to upload a resume instead of entering in their work history can help alleviate this issue. 

One of the primary reasons for candidates to self-select themselves out of the hiring process is the length of time from initial application to offer. SHRM found the average time to fill a position is forty-two days, but candidates generally make decisions within ten days of applying with a company. The very best candidates are more than likely being pursued by other companies, maybe even your competition. Making sure that you move them through the interview process in a timely manner while ensuring they are the right fit can be a delicate balance, especially when juggling core business tasks and recruiting. Outsourcing allows for the focus to be on the candidate and ensuring that they are the right fit. 

Follow-through and communication are also key factors in making the hiring process a positive experience for candidates. It is imperative that you communicate throughout the process and set expectations with the candidate. Communicate how many interviews they will be invited to complete should they move through the entire hiring process. Hiring Managers and recruiters must also communicate when they plan on deciding about the position the candidate is seeking. 

Successful business leaders understand their core competencies and generally surround themselves with strategic partners. If recruiting, human resource generalist duties, and company branding are not your core competencies, you may want to consider partnering with an organization like Incipio, which will be hyper-focused on the expertise you need in the areas of human resources, recruiting, and employer branding.

Find your next great hire! Call us at 502-409-4821 or email us at [email protected].

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BOILERPLATE: Incipio Workforce Solutions is a strategic partner in helping businesses thrive through recruiting, HR solutions, direct hire recruiting, employer branding, team building, and more! Since 2015, Incipio has been on a mission to transform the way companies attract, engage, and delight their team members. Our professional services break down the challenges you face and create manageable goals, obtainable standards, and process improvements to reorganize, revitalize, and redefine what was into what is possible. Comprised of expertise in HR, Recruiting, Employer Branding, and Service, Incipio gives companies the tools they need to successfully manage their employee experience from interview to retirement. For more information on how we can help you and your business, call us at 502-409-4821 or email us at [email protected]

Recruiting: In-House Vs. Outsourcing

RECRUITING: IN-house vs. outsourcing

Hiring and retaining talent is an essential step in building a successful business operation. But let’s face it, recruiting can be difficult, time-consuming, and inefficient. A thriving workforce is crucial to any company reaching its full potential, and the best businesses tend to have the best teams. There are a few strategies organizations can utilize when building and growing their team. Companies can use in-house human resources & recruiting teams, outsource their recruiting efforts, or do a hybrid of the two. Determining which strategy is best requires a closer look at the organization as a whole. Examining areas like company size, expansion plans, cost of recruiting, retention, and employee engagement are places to start. 

The talent acquisition and employee retention game has changed dramatically over the last few years. More and more companies are weighing whether to outsource their recruiting tasks, otherwise known as Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) or keep them in-house. RPO is a strategic plan put in place to work with an outside company like Incipio to manage (in whole or part) a company’s recruiting tasks. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all where recruiting is concerned, and companies need to evaluate their business to assess their organization’s best course of action.

Incipio Workforce Solutions - Hiring, Recruiting, Retention, Employer Branding

Most companies are not in the recruiting and talent acquisition business, and recruiting or growing a team can take a company’s focus away from its core business. Outsourcing recruiting permits company leaders to focus on other aspects of the business while trusting experts to improve recruiting effectiveness, reduce turnover, cut costs, and allow growth. Outsourcing recruiting also allows current human resources teams to focus on current employees, retention, employee performance, and the employee experience, which is critical in today’s market. 


When an organization works with a company like Incipio, it can focus on specific hiring needs. A company can also decide which part of the recruiting process they want to be involved with. For instance, hiring managers and upper-level management can enter the process after the initial screening has taken place and the candidate is deemed a good fit. Removing hiring managers from the initial screening tasks that are sometimes tedious and time-consuming gives them more time to focus on their core business tasks. 


Different roles or positions a company is hiring for can require different skills or experience on the recruiter’s part, and not all recruiting teams are created equal. When working with an outsourced company, you have access to various experience levels and knowledge that can span industries, positions, technology, and more. Incipio’s CEO, Molley Ricketts, communicates what an RPO can bring to the table when filling multiple positions requiring different skill sets. “Let’s say you have a Vice President of Operations position that you have come available. Well the recruiter that you need for that role, is probably not the same recruiter you have doing your day-to-day work. So you are going to want a recruiter that has more experience in that higher level of work, in recruiting that talent, then the individual that is recruiting for more entry-level or mid-level management roles.” Molley goes on to say, “Outsourcing your recruiting allows you to have a diversified team, without necessarily having to pay for a diversified team.” 


Most companies don’t understand what they spend on recruiting, and there is often a misconception about the savings that outsourcing can bring to an organization. In-house recruiting can be costly, and many outsourcing companies have to work with clients to educate them on the actual costs associated with hiring. In addition to the labor costs of recruiting, there are other costs like software, pre-employment testing, and job posting that must be considered. For small businesses, this can especially be burdensome, but according to Ricketts, “being able to outsource it for the needs specifically that you have, is wildly cost-effective. As opposed to bringing someone in-house.” The RPO model can be an investment at first. Still, according to Ricketts, “it is usually within thirty to ninety days that an organization sees the value of having a consistent monthly fee vs. the ebb and flow of recruiting talent to multiple positions and then zero positions because you constantly have someone looking for talent for your organization using an RPO model.” This also allows the current team to continue to focus on their core duties. 

To get an accurate picture of the costs related to recruiting, companies must also look at the costs associated with employee turnover. Many factors contribute to employee turnover. However, a high turnover rate can, at times, be traced back to the hiring process. Utilizing tools like the Cost of Turnover Worksheet, Incipio works with their clients to understand the actual turnover costs and develop a strategy that works specific to that organization. When you work with a dedicated recruiter, who is not spread thin with other HR duties or the current employee experience, the precision tends to be sharper, improving the quality of the hire. Outsourcing companies like Incipio have the expertise and knowledge of hiring and tend to have a wider talent pool to pull as this is the core business model. Outsourcing companies also have an ongoing funnel of candidates they are courting and negotiating with. Having more talent options in the funnel and following the process can undoubtedly increase hiring the right talent. Outsourcing a company’s recruiting can also remove the bias that sometimes occurs. Thus, ensuring that the right candidate is offered the position and not the person that socially hit it off with the hiring team during the recruiting process.

An effective RPO blends technology, industry intelligence, company knowledge, management insight, and recruiting best practices to transform an organization’s talent acquisition function. In-house recruiting tends to share other responsibilities like HR generalist duties, training, benefits coordination, and most outsourcing companies work alongside these team members to complement the process blending knowledge, experience with culture and industry. Outsourcing allows the recruiting team to do what they do best and leaves the human resource department and hiring managers to focus on their core roles within an organization. Thus, setting the stage for growth and profitability. 


Incipio has the expertise and resources to give you a better recruitment and selection strategy that pays off. Our recruiting consulting begins by identifying your short-term and long-term goals and the skills needed to get there. Then, we can help you find the right people to move your company forward.


Incipio Workforce Solutions is a strategic partner in helping businesses thrive through recruiting, HR solutions, direct hire recruiting, employer branding, team building, and more!  Since 2015, Incipio has been on a mission to transform the way companies attract, engage, and delight their team members. Our professional services break down the challenges you face and create manageable goals, obtainable standards, and process improvements to reorganize, revitalize, and redefine what was into what is possible. Comprised of expertise in HR, Recruiting, Employer Branding, and Service, Incipio gives companies the tools they need to successfully manage their employee experience from interview to retirement. For more information on how we can help you and your business, call us at 502-409-4821 or email us at [email protected]

Task Lists Are Not Enough – Identify, Prioritization, Diligence, & Accountability

I don’t know how you feel about the current state of things in our world, but for me, I’ve got a lot going on.  Like, a ton of things.  I’m hearing similar feedback from others in my field and from professionals in numerous other industries.  2020 was the “hold my beer” of unprecedented change, and 2021 is shaping up to be a remarkably similar operating environment.

Yes, we know stuff happens.  All day, every day.  At home, at work, and at work from home.  “If you’re not changing/evolving/moving forward, you’re: insert downside statement here:”, yeah, we’ve heard all of the variations of that one.  But let us be honest, this all feels extremely different.  Proactive, planned change is not the same as the current trend of reactive, “rebuild the plane while we’re flying it” change.  So, what is an organization to do?

Identify the Target(s) & Define The Actions:

The all-encompassing “let’s fix stuff!” statement, while no doubt well-intentioned, can seriously hinder your teams’ ability to execute real and lasting change and improvement.  What needs to be fixed, and according to whom?  Understanding where you need to focus your time and energy while looking at dozens of opportunities is critical right now.  Pick your battles carefully, get buy-in an alignment from your team on the chosen tasks and initiatives, and clearly communicate what is going to happen.

Prioritization Drives Focus

Change management doesn’t operate in a vacuum.  We all have our day jobs, the critical core competencies and tasks that must be completed to serve our internal partners and our clients.  What does that mean?  In terms of change management, it means that we’re carving time out of what we’ve already committed to do each day to in order to improve how we do things, and the quality of our outputs.  Figure out what is most important, and get all eyes, hearts, and minds focused on the prize.

And I am most definitely not saying that you can only work on one thing at a time.  Not at all.  What I am saying though is that you can most definitely have problems getting traction or maintaining momentum when you’re trying to do too much at once, or if the focus and energy is constantly being realigned to non-prioritized tasks and initiatives.  Which leads to our next item…

Be Diligent and Protect Your Priorities – Learning to Say “No”, Or At Least, “Maybe Later”

This is a tough one.  Yes, life gives you lemons, but if you’re already knee-deep in a vat of grapes in your team’s efforts to craft a fine wine, is now really the time to pull everyone out of that process in order to make some lemonade?  If the risk to the business is lower than then the risk of not getting your top priorities completed, put the lemons aside for a bit and finish the task at hand.  And when I say “put the lemons aside”, what I’m saying is to capture the details of the issue, add it to your tracking list, and figure out where it’s going to fall when you’ve circled back to your task prioritization process.  If it was urgent enough to potentially side-track a high-priority initiative, it needs to be documented and addressed when resources become available to focus on it.

Assuming Nothing When It Comes to Accountability

What specifically must be done, by whom, and by when?  How do you track progress against tasks that may take weeks, or months, to complete?  Is there a specific task order or dependencies within the project that everyone needs to understand?  How is the progress being communicated to the team?  Does everyone have the clarity needed to do what needs to be done?  Do they have the tools, knowledge, and skills to effectively execute?  Do they have the time, and if not, what needs to happen to assist them with finding the necessary time?

Lots of questions, but all of them, and perhaps a dozen others, need to be clearly answered and documented to establish the foundations of accountability and ownership necessary to get things done.  If you don’t have a full-time project manager in your organization, you’re still going to have to find a way to approach the task in a manner that utilizes fundamental project management best practices and principles.  What is the goal, what is the path, what must happen, who is going to get it done, when will the assigned tasks be completed, and how will the changes be validated and firmly embedded in the operation going forward?

Clarity is critical, and the ability to stay focused in today’s operating environment is in my opinion the most important skill that leaders and organizations need right now.  Things are happening, and will continue to happen, that have incredible potential to distract us from the most important tasks at hand, but if we can keep ourselves and our teams focused, we’ll create the “wins” we all need that come from getting the most important ones completed.

Increasing Productivity

One of my primary goals for this month is increasing productivity. Here’s how I’m working on this goal and maybe some of my plans will help you accomplish the same thing.

I have surrounded myself with talent

I think I have the right people in the right seats. Now I have to encourage and support them and let them know I have confidence in them so morale is as high as possible. When employee morale is high, it only makes sense that productivity and the quality of work will be high. Plus, happy employees are less likely to leave for another offer. For any organization, turnover can really slam productivity.


I’m determined to delegate

I know what I’m best at and so I’m going to delegate the rest! I’ve surrounded myself with talented people and I’m going to give them the power to make decisions. And then, I’m going to trust in their choices.


I’m focusing on time management

I find I can be distracted by “bright, shiny objects.” By that, I mean I can be diverted from what I’m intending to accomplish by distractions – in the workplace or outside the office. So I’m trying to apply some time management techniques. For example, I’m keeping a rough journal of my time to help me stay focused and accountable to my calendar. I look at my schedule for the week and create a list of priorities – even going so far as to number them, one, two, three. I also ask myself every so often to review what I’ve accomplished in the past 30 minutes. It’s amazing how fast a couple of hours can fly by before you know it.

Training and Development: Why It’s Necessary!

What’s your biggest asset?

You Already Know.

Have you ever heard a company say, “Employees are our biggest asset?” When I hear that, I want to know what they are doing to back that up. Job seekers, in particular, are impressed if they learn a company is investing in their people to make them more efficient and productive. That’s exactly what great training and development programs are designed to accomplish.

 Attract and Retain Employees

 One of the biggest benefits of a training and development program is it’s effectiveness in attracting and retaining the best employees. Knowing an organization is willing to spend money on training and development not only attracts the interest of excellent candidates, but it will make your current employees feel valued and even increase loyalty. A combination of internal and external training (perhaps collaborating with a local college or university) will pay long-term dividends. It also will improve your reputation in the community which certainly will help your recruiting efforts.

 Build Your Bench Strength

We’ve talked about this…

We’ve talked in other blogs about how disruptive it can be when you have to replace a valued employee. Having a program that trains and develops workers will go a long way to minimize that disruption by providing a smooth transition. A successful training and development program provides you with a pipeline of qualified employees ready to step up and be rewarded with a promotion. You’ll find it’s a lot cheaper than starting over in the hiring process.

 Do Your Research

Survey Your Employees

They know what they need!

Have you thought about surveying your employees to see what they would like to see in terms of training or development efforts? It will give you some great feedback and allow you to tailor a program that is effective and appreciated. You’ll find it will also increase communication, collaboration and teamwork. It’s a great chance for employees to show you skills you didn’t even know they had.

Get The Right People for Your Business-Soft Skills Matter!

The Individuals You Hire Impact Your Existing Staff.

If there is anything a business needs to consistently get right when building effective teams and a winning culture, it’s recruiting. The individuals you hire communicate clear expectations regarding performance to your existing staff.

In the recruiting process, successful companies look not only at an applicant’s skills and experiences but also at their personality, drive and motivation. Understanding what will fit best with the existing team is critical. That means the hiring manager should have a clear picture of the needs of that team and how the recruit will fit within that group. From my perspective, in many situations, passion and drive can exceed the value of skills and experience.

 Reassess and Be Flexible

For example, look at the situation facing many organizations today. Right now, there are thousands of fantastic people in the job market looking for work due to layoffs. They are more than willing to provide significant value to employers who have stayed in operation throughout the global pandemic, even if it is a short-term value! Businesses need to reassess their expectations as it relates to commitments around employment timelines. Having a short-term superstar is definitely better than having a role unfilled due to passing on that hire while looking for a longer-term team member.

Can an Outside Recruiter Help?

Sometimes traditional methods of recruiting can be limited ineffectiveness. If your candidate flow is weak, or if you are not getting the specific characteristics you need in applicants, an outside recruiter can be extremely beneficial. An outside recruiter can leverage a broad range of connections and other resources to find the candidates with the skills and characteristics you need to fill your specific job role.

 An outside recruiter also uses a thorough, formal and consistent recruiting process. That allows the hiring manager, and in some cases, key members of the team, to more effectively assess the “fit” of a candidate. Depending on the situation, or the organization’s strategic direction, the candidate with the best resume may not be what a team needs.

Recruitment: Are You Proactive or Reactive?

Ashley Overberg- Incipio Workforce Solutions

I always say recruiting is about being “proactive” and not “reactive.”

It’s the worst-case scenario if you have to be reactive to staff shortages. Even if someone gives you a two-week notice, you’re often caught in a time crunch. You’re scrambling asking them to train someone for their position. If not, that job might be open for a long time.

One way to get ahead of the hiring crunch is to examine recruiting trends at your company. Is there a certain time of year your staffing requirements have to ramp up? Perhaps in the past, you have lost people around the holidays. Knowing the history of hiring needs will help you avoid staffing problems in the future.

Identify trends, create a strategy before you need it.

Planning ahead.

Once you’ve identified some trends, you should develop a strategy and then a marketing plan. Begin by making sure there is an open line of communication between the executive team and human resources. It’s all about being honest. Is there a problem with turnover? If so, what strategies and solutions do we have in place? What’s been going on in the past month? The past year? What needs do you foresee? Even when things are running smoothly, it’s important to have that check-in to ensure there are no surprises. If any issues are identified, it pays to address them early before you find yourself short-staffed, which will affect your bottom line.

Employee Referral Programs

Assuming you’ve created a company culture where your current employees are motivated, engaged and proud of where they work, an employee referral program can be helpful. Setting up some criteria around that program is important, however. For example, a new hire has to stay for a certain amount of time for the referring employee to get a bonus.

It’s also important to look at the demographics of your hires. Benefits evolve over time. Make sure your benefits package is designed to draw in both a boomer and a millennial. What can you provide that might be unique and set you apart from a competitor? With millennials for example, can you offer student loan assistance or a loan repayment plan? That’s important to young people coming out of school with large amounts of debt. When was the last time you looked at your 401(k) benefit? Is the company match sufficient to attract a worker proactive about being prepared for retirement?

Are you looking for a good fit or a warm body?

Once you have a candidate, obviously you begin by looking at their technical skills. Do they have the knowledge and skills to do that job effectively? Then you look at whether they might be a good “fit.” Behavioral questions can help you make that determination. For example, rather than asking someone, “Can you multitask?” Ask them to describe a time when they juggled six projects at the same time. Answers to similar open-ended questions will give you an idea of their skills and experiences are a good match for your open position.

It’s important to recognize not everyone is skilled at interviewing. Every manager needs training in this area. Without even knowing it, some people will ask questions that are illegal or ask questions that might imply favoritism. It’s important managers know what they can and can’t ask. A strong internal training program designed around hiring best practices will head off any issues and strengthen your ability to recruit quality employees.

Professional Development: Keeping it Strong

Are Your Professional Development Efforts Really Sticking?

Have you worked at a company where everyone was required to attend a two-hour team-building exercise? The company likely heard something about professional development and assumed this exercise would solve whatever issues it was having with employees. Everything seemed great. Employees seemed to “like each other” again. But the next day people went back to their jobs – got busy – and soon the benefit of the exercise was lost. That is “transactional” professional development. It simply gets employees “pumped up” for a few hours.

What needs to happen is “transformational” professional development. After assessments of the strengths of employees – and after you have identified what skills you need to develop – you put together a plan and a budget and begin targeted training and coaching. Then you combine that with actionable steps and expectations to hold people accountable.

If it’s not part of your strategic plan, that’s a problem. I’ve never seen a successful business that didn’t make employee personal growth a priority. Professional development at a previous employer made me who I am today. My growth occurred early in my career because that company was committed to developing their employees – helping them learn to be engaged, loyal and productive. It was seen as an important step that would lead to growth of the business.


Reducing turnover is one way to measure success. Companies always worry they’re going to invest in professional development and then an employee is going to walk out the door and go somewhere else. But what’s the alternative? For them to leave and complain about the company they worked for because they didn’t provide any training or coaching? Or for a company to provide professional development so if employees do leave they have positive things to say about what a great place it was to work? Plus, if you promote continued learning as part of your values during the recruiting process you’ll likely attract candidates who want opportunities to learn, grow and innovate – an important trait in today’s rapidly changing economy.


You can’t do business today the way you have always done it. People coming into the workforce today are in many cases an entirely different set of people. Some haven’t had parents at home to shape them into the people they need to be. Others have parents working so hard to make ends meet they simply aren’t around as often as our parents. In many cases business owners today are forced to become parents. They have to invest in developing people and teaching the soft skills important to be successful in a job – like why showing up on time is important. The most successful companies take pride in treating employees as family – respecting them and providing them with professional development to help them become people who are committed to lifelong learning.