DianaThis week’s podcast features Mike’s interview of Diana Meisenhelter of Riviera Advisors, a human resource consulting firm. 

Diana has over 20 years experience in corporate staffing and recruiting.  Prior to her role at Riviera Advisors, Diana held the position of Vice President of Staffing and Talent Acquisition for Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, and prior to that she was Director of Worldwide Recruitment for Westin Hotels & Resorts.  Additionally, Diana is on the board of directors for the DFW Staffing Management Association.

Diana will be the speaker at the November 5th MidCities HR Association meeting.  She will be presenting a program entitled “Good Retention Starts with Good Recruiting.” 

We hope you enjoy the podcast!

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Imperative Information Group is a Fort Worth, Texas-based background investigations and business due diligence firm dedicated to clients who can’t afford a cheap background check. For more information about Imperative Information Group’s services, please contact Micah Taylor at 877-HR-FACTS (877-473-2287) or visit us online at


The transcript for this podcast follows:

Mike: Welcome to the Imperative Podcast. I’m Mike Coffey, President of Information Group. Our guest today, Diana Meisenhelter, is a principal with Riviera Advisors, a human resources consulting firm. Diana has over 20 years of experience with corporate staffing and recruiting. Prior to her role at Riviera Advisors Diana held the position of vice president of staffing and talent acquisition for Wyndham’s Hotels and Resorts, and prior to that she was the director of worldwide recruitment for Westin Hotels and Resorts. Additionally Diana is on the board of directors for the Dallas Fort Worth Staffing Management Association and will be the speaker at the November 5th Mid Cities Human Resources Association Meeting. She will be presenting a program titled “Good Retention Starts with Good Recruiting.” Diana thanks for joining us today on the Imperative Podcast. How have the challenges of recruiting qualified talent changed over your career?

Diana: I’m going to have to say technology in a lot of good ways and in a lot of ways where I think it’s made it more complicated because – what I mean by that is in the beginning it was the people interaction and then technology became hot. But I would say technology has really changed I think the way we do business in general but especially in recruiting. And at the same time it’s hurt us because we’ve forgotten to get back to the basics that at the end of the day you can have all these fancy programs and support and resources and sourcing channels to find talent. But what makes the difference and the top companies today that are doing recruitment and staffing and retention are talking about how do you deal with individuals at that individual level?

It’s about me having a conversation with you, saying something, when you finally make contact with somebody that shows an interest and gets them excited about the company. And so I think where we’ve changed is we have to be smart about how we implement technology today but still remember that we’re real people that have real personal issues that make us want to choose to go to work and stay with a company.

Mike: Yeah. I guess we’ve all experienced situations where we rely too much on technology and lose the people skills that are so critical in all areas of business but especially in HR.

Diana: We often say in recruiting that we’ll be a little bit of post and pray. Let’s post the position on the job and pray somebody that’s just perfect is going to respond to that job. And often really good candidates that are at the top of their game aren’t necessarily going to the job boards and just posting their resumes. You’re going to have to actually go out there through your personal network and find those people and do research and technology and all the great sourcing channels that we have today. What’s working and not working is often – I would say 90% plus of the problem is reactive recruiting where you are just looking for the active candidates.

You’re posting it on your boards. You’re posting it on your website. You’re waiting for the candidates to come to you versus the going out and finding the candidates. And I think some of that too unfortunately in our profession is we have so much to do and because of technology it’s also the volume and the amount of resumes that we get. We can often see recruiters that just sit in front of the computer all day long. All they do is process resumes. And that is not necessarily what we need to be doing in a lot of ways in order to – we tie this to the retention side of this. You need to get in to who that candidate is to identify more than just a resume ‘cause right now we’re processing resumes that go in.

We look at – we have 150 resumes that came in today. We’re looking at them. They meet the qualifications. We’re sending them out. We’re doing a quick ___. We’re moving them instead of really talking about who is this Mike I’m talking to on the phone? And what drives this person? And what’s important to this person? And why would they want to come work here? And putting that match together. And that’s where the really good companies are today that stop and say “Let’s take a breath here and really look. Let’s do some assessments. Let’s peel the onion. Let’s look at who’s really here that we’re talking about and make sure that we’re putting those matches together. Because long term we’re going to have this person on this team and is it the right fit for both of us?”

Mike: You know it seems like maybe 15 years ago or so, or maybe even longer, we were all talking about using behavioral interviewing techniques to peel the onion, to really get deeper in to a candidate’s background. Are those kind of interviewing techniques still useful?

Diana: Yeah, but I think so. And stuff surprises me Mark, how many people don’t know what behavioral interviewing is. I mean I see it across the board. I see some best in class companies that train the recruiters and they train their hiring managers and anybody that’s involved in the interview process of behavior-based interviewing. And then I will meet with a group that you would think – not name dropping by any means, but big brand companies that you ask a room full of the recruiters and then they’ve never been trained how to interview or even know what a behavioral-based interview is. So that means all over the board and I would say behavioral-based interviews are still – I mean, there’s a lot of – there’s a lot of science behind that.

You know past performance predicts future performance and right now it’s the best way to really make sure that you have the correct – not the correct answer but the honest answer to have somebody who’s going to respond to something in the future. So I would say the behavioral-based interviewing component of that is the best we have right now but it’s a combination of the good recruiter in order to affect that retention we’re talking about in this session is, is to train them how to use all those tools in your toolbox and you’re sitting down in front of the candidate and you may have, you know, in some cases 30 minutes to determine whether or not they’re the right fit for that job.

Mike: I know a lot of organizations are really looking at the amount of time it takes to fill an open position and then on the flip side it seems like job candidates, especially the younger ones, the millenials, generation Y, whatever you want to call them, can really get pretty impatient while waiting on a job offer. How should organizations respond to this new generations demand for faster job offers?

Diana: We talk about generation Y a little bit, that they are getting jobs like spam today. I mean good, savvy professionals in all disciplines across any type of industry you look at, the top talent; you have to treat them like rock stars because they can go somewhere else down the street and get just as good a job offer. So you put them through too many interviews and you have them sit in a lobby for an hour and a half waiting for somebody to come get them to take them to the next interview, you’re going to lose them. The best in class companies respect the candidate’s experience as much as that higher manager being pulled out of an operation to do an interview. And I don’t think that a lot of companies are really adapting, really using technology.

We talked earlier about technology but are we talking – do we realize that 97% of generation Y have computers and that you know, 90 plus % of those people have cell phones and they’re using text messaging? That’s a part of the whole recruitment side of the business that we have to adapt to. And thank goodness that people are realizing that the traditional ways of recruiting and just running an add in the paper and thinking everybody’s going to show up at your door is not necessarily the way to do it today because they’re not reading the paper. They’re going on their networking sites.

Mike: One of the things you’ll be sharing about on the November 5th MCHRA Meeting are some good recruiting practices that can help improve retention efforts. Can you touch on a couple of those? Give us a taste of how good recruiting helps good retention.

Diana: A couple of those we’ve touched on earlier but probably one of the most important ones that I would say is also the employment branding component, is when you’re talking about marketing work today, are you being honest about who you are as a company? Because today’s technology savvy candidates can find out about you through blogs and through all types of great resources on the internet with the click of a button. So I think that we have to maintain an honest employment brand, understanding that we’re sending a message about who we are, what it’s really like to work here, what are the career opportunities within the organization, is it a fun place to work, and if it’s not you can’t lie about it. You can’t make it up because you’re going to lose out along the way and you’re not going to be competitive in a very competitive market.

So I think that creating and maintaining honest employment brand. I like to call it the power of the employment brand is who are you – at a neighborhood barbeque and somebody asks “Who do you work for?” what kind of response do you hear? That’s the reality about what your employment brand is in a lot of ways. Where do people gather and what do they say about you? So I think that’s a really important tip and how employment branding really starts from the moment that the candidate hears about you and that also affects the whole retention component.

Where did you first hear about a certain company? And what do people say about you and how that relationship grows as you hear more and more about the company affects long term the retention component. Which you know, that’s a part of another tip about onboarding, you know, practicing good onboarding isn’t from the time that the recruiter turns the ___ letter over to human resources to begin the orientation process. Onboarding begins from the moment that the candidate makes contact with somebody or even the website, some kind of interaction with the company and that’s in a very moment of introduction. It’s a couple examples I would tell you.

Mike: Great. Thanks for joining us today Diane. You can learn more about how good recruiting leads to good employee retention when Diana Meisenhelter makes her presentation to the Mid Cities Human Resources Association on November 5th. You can register for the luncheon meeting by visiting the events calendar at Thanks for listening to the Imperative Podcast. Just a reminder, all of our podcasts and other HR relevant information is available on our blog at You can also subscribe to future imperative podcasts on iTunes. I’m Mike Coffey, President of Imperative Information Group. We know our clients can’t afford cheap background checks. If selecting the best candidate for each position is important to you, then maybe we should talk. Please call me at 877-HR-facts, or that’s 877-473-2287, or visit us online at Thanks for listening and have a productive week.