Everyone is operating at such a rapid pace that impatience can get the best of us. For kindness to prevail, however, we must assume positive intent in others.
As a part of my HR Strategy Series, I’m talking to top experts in the field to teach prospects what hiring managers are actually looking for, while also supporting business leaders in their hiring and retention strategies. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Mary Beth Reisinger.
Mary Beth Reisinger is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Plexus Worldwide. Mary Beth oversees recruiting talent development, and internal communications for more than 400 employees at their corporate headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as their international offices in Canada, Australia, and Mexico.
Please tell us what brought you to this specific career path?
While in college I started working in retail management selling children’s clothing. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I hated selling! What I did enjoy, however, was people leadership, an interest that inspired my next move at a staffing agency. I became more involved with finding the right talent for open roles and managing performance. Eventually, I accepted a human resources role with a new employer, where I made my way through all the HR disciplines (i.e., Benefits, Compensation, Learning & Development, Talent Acquisition, etc.…). Those early years fueled my passion for improving the employee experience and making HR a true business partner.
Can you share the most interesting or funny story that happened to you since you started this career and what lesson you learned from that?
Several years ago, I had to assist with a high-profile termination. On the day of the notice, I was wearing my glasses and not my usual contact lenses. A few people noticed and soon enough, the rumor was that Mary Beth was wearing her “terminator glasses”. Afterward, it became a running joke that anytime I came in wearing my glasses, someone was being let go.
The moral of the story? As leaders, we always have eyes on us so it’s important to be aware of how we come across to others. From our verbal and non-verbal traits to an innocent pair of glasses, our intentions, behaviors, and actions are magnified.
Now let’s jump into the main focus of our series. Hiring can be very time consuming and difficult. Can you share 5 techniques that you use to identify the talent that would be best suited for the job you want to fill?
Identifying talent is all about leveraging social media and search engines effectively, but my team also spends a significant amount of time conducting passive searches. Sometimes an individual who isn’t actively seeking a new role can turn out to be a perfect fit.
To supplement our search efforts, we use Predictive Index (PI), a data-driven behavioral assessment tool used to predict a candidate’s success. We enlist high-potential incumbents to help us build the profile for the role, which we then use to source and select the right individuals.
PI also helps identify what makes people tick so that we can manage and engage team members in a way that motivates them. There’s a finite talent pool in the direct-selling industry, and Plexus has many great team members.
Organizational culture is so important at Plexus, so we ensure candidates are exposed to a variety of individuals and roles during the hiring process. For example, a Director could be interviewed by peers, a hiring leader, and a senior executive. This team-based approach is extremely valuable for assessing different strengths and competencies based on the requirements of the role.
With so much noise and competition out there, what are your top 3 ways to attract and engage the best talent in an industry when they haven’t already reached out to you?
It’s amazing to see how someone’s interest changes when we bring them to Headquarters for an interview. Beyond the beautiful building and collaborative spaces at Plexus, candidates feel positive energy from our team members who genuinely enjoy working together. There’s almost always an event being planned onsite, or we’re hosting groups of Ambassadors (i.e. Plexus distributors) who themselves radiate positivity. We’re also building relationships with local colleges and universities to ensure new graduates can learn about Plexus as they’re preparing to go out into the workforce.
Of course, you have to have world-class benefits in today’s environment if you’re going to compete for top talent, including a focus on employee well-being. For us, that means taking a holistic approach to wellness including physical, financial, emotional, and community. When you’re known as the Health and Happiness company, people are naturally attracted to your story. I mean, who doesn’t want more of that!
If you could inspire one movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
The concept of extending kindness. We’re all quick to jump to conclusions based on our beliefs and goals. Everyone is operating at such a rapid pace that impatience can get the best of us. For kindness to prevail, however, we must assume positive intent in others. That means suspending judgment, actively listening, empathizing, and making people feel safe.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Victim thinking is powerless and begets more powerlessness. Owner thinking is powerful and leads to more power.” It’s from the book, “Ownership Spirit: The One Grand Key That Changes Everything Else” by Dennis Deaton, and it really resonates with me.
So often, we succumb to victim thinking and allow events to simply happen to us, versus owning our thoughts and actions and taking accountability for the events in our lives. It’s much easier to take the victim route and believe that life is just something that happens outside of our control.
We are very blessed to have some of the biggest names in Business, VC, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private lunch with, and why?
Like many others, I’d be thrilled to dine with Michelle Obama because I have tremendous respect for her and all she’s accomplished in her life. But I’m going to take a different path on this question because influencers can appear in many different places.
As a Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm fan for many years, I’ve always been intrigued by comedian and writer, Larry David. There’s something about his quirky personality and unapologetic nature that feels like a breath of fresh air in today’s overly curated world.
I imagine lunch with Larry David could make for a good episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Where do I sign up?
Thank you so much for these fantastic insights!