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How to Listen When Interviewing & Recruiting Job Candidates to Ensure the Right Skill Set and Cultural Fit

July 29, 2014 by Laurie Thorpe
Laurie Thorpe

Active listening is key to getting to know a job candidate. I always recommend that when you are interviewing an individual, whether in person or over the phone, to have an open mind and to ask the right questions.

Keeping an open mind means you can often find the right fit even when you may have preconceived notions about the position’s needs. I’ve seen excellent resumes and realized during the interview process that the person looked great on paper but was not going to provide the skills/results the organization needed. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I’ve interviewed people who I thought may be lacking but then when I talked with them I could tell they were the perfect fit when delivering what a company needed.

What to listen for when interviewing a potential candidate?

  • Indicators that illustrate the candidate’s work style and how they work/collaborate with others.
  • What contributions/results they have provided to past employers.
  • How they are driven/motivated to contribute to their new employer.
  • Examples of why they may be a good fit for the organization.
  • Demonstrated/quantifiable successes and overall delivery of those successes.
  • And of course always check references.

I am genuinely interested in people and what they are seeking. That means I have to be truly present and ask good questions so candidates have an opportunity to share their true selves. I am always taking into account both the candidate and employer’s perspective to ensure a good fit when it comes to skills and culture.

We have lots of recruiting resources and tips including ideas for attracting top talent! You can check them out here.

It’s Official! Seraph Capital Forum Appointed its New Co-Presidents – Resourceful HR’s Jennifer Olsen and HydroPeptide’s Annette Rubin

July 11, 2014 by Josh Hedrick
Josh Hedrick

Seraph Capital Forum, the first all women angel investor group created in the US in 1998, recently announced its new co-presidents, our very own president, Jennifer Olsen and HydroPeptide’s managing partner and COO, Annette Rubin. The organization’s goal is to help entrepreneurs and investors form strong networks through investment, mentoring and collaboration. As a group they are exploring new ways to support the Puget Sound Region’s start-up community and forge a path to help companies grow, innovate and succeed for the long-term. The organization is always looking for innovative companies to invest in and identify ways in which they can support entrepreneurs.

Jennifer and Annette’s appointments entail leading the organization and assisting, supporting and growing our region’s start-up community. You can check out the press release here.

Supporting Business Growth and Innovation is Important to Resourceful HR
Resourceful HR is also a sponsor of Grow 50, which mission is to stimulate emerging businesses in the Pacific Northwest to benefit the local economy. Their long-term goal is to help grow 50 companies in 10 years. See more at See more at:

Employee Investigation Services – Why it is important to have a third-party HR focused investigator

July 3, 2014 by Amy Gaskill
Amy Gaskill

Here is the situation:

An employee reports to HR or to a manager that they saw another employee take inventory or products the company is selling, put them into their bag and take them to their car. The individual shares that this is not the first time they have seen this employee do this. The person sharing this information may be nervous or even intimidated by the process of raising their concerns, especially if the person who is taking the items has asked them to keep quiet about what he/she is doing.

Ensuring you address situations like this and other potential violations of company policy quickly is extremely important to creating a productive and positive work environment. Other complaints may include bullying, someone consistently taking credit for someone else’s work or feelings of discrimination or harassment. These situations can have tangible business impacts, including reduced productivity, increased absences, high turnover and litigation – all very costly.

What can you do?

  • First, acknowledge the concern and assure the complainant that the company takes these issues seriously.
  • Work with a non-biased investigator who understands your organization and is not tied to any predetermined position or ‘side’.
  • Partner with someone who is focused on moving things forward in a cooperative way. The sooner the issue is dealt with the quicker everyone can focus on doing their job and contributing to the organization’s efforts.
  • Select an HR professional experienced in investigations that is willing to listen to all parties, not one who will just look for the answer the company wants to hear.
  • Choose an investigator who is willing to keep asking questions so that they understand the full picture, which means not accepting a pat answer and truly investigating the complaint and all parties’ perspectives.
  • Work with someone who understands how to manage interpersonal conflict as well as regulatory and legal issues.
  • Select a partner who is approachable and trustworthy during investigatory interviews so that your employees are not intimidated by the process and feel comfortable sharing their true perspective.

Communication is Key

Conflict in the workplace happens and ensuring all parties are heard promptly can significantly impact the outcome of a perceived issue. Make sure all parties involved understand the steps you are taking to resolve the issue. If an employee feels like they are being heard and that the person they are talking to does not have a conflict of interest, they are less likely to file a complaint outside of the company.

Resolve Workplace Conflict

Our goal is to help organizations create a productive, positive work environment where everyone feels comfortable so they can focus on performing their responsibilities that achieve results. By identifying and addressing these issues early, you will minimize the long-term impact of conflict on the organization and reduce the potential for employee complaints to regulatory agencies.

Respond to Formal Charges

Have you recently received a notice from the EEOC or Washington Human Rights Commission? These charges can be unsettling, and your first instinct might be to contact an attorney. Our approach provides more than just legal expertise – we understand that company culture is invaluable, and our investigations help to maintain and often enhance the culture of your organization. Our professional HR Investigators conduct thorough, timely investigations that are focused on the legal implications of the charges while also attentive to the overall needs of the organization – including the financial aspects of responding to the charge. We partner with your attorney or our employment law partners to provide a complete investigation and response.

Give us a call so we can understand the details you and your employees are experiencing. Our approach is to first listen with integrity, investigate further if needed and work to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.