Jolene Risch | Crain's Dallas

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Jolene Risch

Background:  

Risch Results is a search firm that helps companies fill critical positions in a wide range of industries from manufacturing to healthcare.

 

Risch founded the company in 2007 because she saw employment gaps that other recruitment firms weren’t filling. The Dallas-based company offers a customizable search that looks at a prospect’s job skills and how they could fit into the company. Risch Results specializes in companies with 1,000 employees or less. The majority of their clients are based in North Texas but the candidates come from all

over the country.

The Mistake:

I founded Risch Results with the goal of being the best recruitment firm for finding permanent talent. And from 2007 to 2016, I maintained that Risch Results would never be a temporary or interim staffing agency. We missed out on a lot of business because of that.

Requests to fill a temporary or interim position continued to come in. Companies wanting to find someone to work for six months or nine months. Maybe someone would be gone on maternity leave. Or they had a special project coming up. Sometimes it’s seasonal tax help. Marketing companies need to temporarily scale up for a product launch.

We weren’t interested. We shied away from that and would refer them to other staffing agencies. 

But interim staffing is a new trend in employment on both ends of the experience spectrum. Retired workers are taking temporary jobs to lend their experience to the workplace because they aren’t ready to fully slow down. Younger millennials will also take these jobs so they can collect a wide range of experience to build their resume early in their career.

In just one year, it’s become 10 to 15 percent of our business and we’ve gotten new clients we wouldn’t have had before. 

The Lesson:

My attitude changed when I attended a conference with other search firm executives and talked to them about the good and the bad of trying to fill interim positions. There were some seasoned professionals in that group and what I love about it is how much sharing there is, tricks of the trade. Even though we compete against each other there’s a nice camaraderie.

They talked to me about how to launch an interim search and do it with the same level of service as the permanent placements that we’ve always done.

This gave me the confidence to finally start offering that service in 2017 and what a difference it’s made.

In just one year, it’s become 10 to 15 percent of our business and we’ve gotten new clients we wouldn’t have had before. First, the company needs interim help and when they’re ready to fill the position permanently, they come back to us.

It’s been so successful that I’d like to make this up to 50 percent of our business within a few years. I only wish I had done this sooner.

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