Understanding the needs of your workforce

Supporting women at work is important to us – after all, the ROI Search Partners team is made up of some pretty amazing women who are also working moms.  What follows are some ideas to support women at work and really all employees and you can only do that by listening to the needs of your team members.   Read more…

A Gender-Neutral Approach to Talent Acquisition

To discourage gender bias in hiring, TA leaders need to be intentional when it comes to the way information is presented on the career site and in recruiting messages.  You can start by reviewing your job postings and ensuring the words that you are using aren’t turning off female job seekers.  Requirements are another area to consider to be sure you aren’t confusing nice to haves with actual job requirements.  Here are several simple tips to remove gender bias in your hiring process. Read more…

Highlighting our clients and not for profit organizations

2020 was a trying year for many, and we wanted to find a way to give back in a meaningful way to our clients and our community. Typically as a team we would volunteer throughout the year, but some of these opportunities were limited due to COVID-19. So like many of you, we pivoted. We reached out to several very good clients and asked what non profit was special to them. We then made year-end donations in each client’s respective name. You will learn more about each of these organizations in the coming months as we share both the mission of the client and the non profit they selected. 

This month we are recognizing Debbie Lakamp, Director of Talent Management with Graybar and Michelle King VP of Talent Acquisition, Diversity & Inclusion with RGA for choosing to support the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

1.  What was your organization’s biggest learning in ’20? Your personal biggest learning? 

Graybar is a physical business, we receive, maintain and distribute inventory to power the country’s electrical and telecommunications businesses.  In 2020, we proved that many positions could effectively work remotely, which was a major accomplishment. 

I was asked to become the COVID resource for our field HR organization and learned more about CDC guidelines and local ordinances that I care to admit.

2. What good news came out of 2020 for your organization? For you personally? 

Graybar employees rose to the challenge last year and moved the company forward while caring for our customers, our communities and each other.  The company was able to finish the year in a strong financial position due to remarkable teamwork coupled with effective management of the business.    As an employee owner, I am proud to contribute to an organization that lives its values and puts integrity and people first.

Personally, 2020 caused me to become more aware of all of the blessings in my life.  I strive to maintain that perspective each and every day.

3.  What are you excited about for 2021? 

We have been working to implement Workday for the last nine months, so it’s all I can think about right now.  We’re all so excited for the benefits it will bring to our employee and manager experience.

4. Why did you select St. Louis Area Foodbank for your nonprofit donation? Why are they special to you?

Graybar is proud to support the St. Louis Area Foodbank as giving back to our communities is an important aspect of our culture.  All employees receive 8 hours of paid time off to volunteer each year and many St. Louis based employees chose to spend their time there.

Meet Meredith Knopp, President and CEO of the St. Louis Area Foodbank

This month we also wanted to highlight a special woman who leads the incredible work that the St. Louis Area Foodbank does in our community.

1.  What was your organization’s biggest learning in ’20? Your personal biggest learning? 

We learned a LOT in 2020 – that’s for sure.  We learned how many people are just one life event away from needing food assistance.  We learned that our community is generous and giving – and willing to step up to help in any way, at any time.  We learned that we are capable of doing much more for our community, and really being so much more than just a food bank – and we are beginning to pilot many new programs and initiatives to truly strengthen and empower everyone who calls the bi-state region home. 

Personally, I learned how resilient and innovative our team really is – they came up with answers to questions we never thought we would be asked – and with zero time to plan and prepare.  When the pandemic started we had 2 goals – keep our team safe, and keep the Foodbank open.  I am so proud that we were able to do that – and so much more.  On a separate note, I also learned that I would NOT make a good 2nd grade teacher! 

2.  What good news came out of 2020 for your organization? For you personally?

We call this the “lemonade” out of the lemon that is COVID.  We became much tighter as a team – we trusted more, we communicated more, we solved problems together and really up’d our game.  Businesses came to us in new ways with food donations and hand sanitizer donations.  Communities came together to conduct food drives like last spring with our “Mayors for Meals” campaign – that literally started with 1 person and an desire to make a difference.  Volunteers came out, and continued to show up so we could deliver food – 75 new partners came on board to help us with contactless distribution sites – kids did food drives for their birthdays…. If that doesn’t give you goose bumps, I am not sure what will.  Seeing the unity, the strength through the suffering, the wisdom we gained through the pain – it is all good news, and we will be a better and stronger partner for our community because of COVID.  Personally, seeing our community show up in new ways was amazing news – and keeping our team safe, and our doors open.  I was also glad that my daughter passed 2nd grade – but even more thrilled that she has been in person in class with a really amazing 3rd grade teacher this year!

3.  What are you excited about for 2021? 

2021 brings such an  amazing energy and trajectory and we are all very excited.  While we continue to support those impacted by COVID, we are piloting new programs and new and innovative ways to break down barriers to accessing food, focusing on equity, emphasizing support for all families – including our seniors and our children – with a renewed energy and resilience knowing where we have been – makes the journey ahead of us even more exciting!

4. Are there any food pantries you support that are specifically for women or mothers?

All of our partners support women and mothers – however, the Women’s Safe House is a domestic violence shelter in STL city and then there’s the Women’s Center in Carbondale that both partner with the St Louis Area Foodbank – and their focus is on women and mothers.