Jolene Risch dedicated to clients and community
Photos: Courtesy Risch Family 
Risch Results (RR) founder and President Jolene Risch, third from left, with her team, from left, Charmaine Davis, Nicole Stasick, Kristen Graves, Gaby Rodriguez (Risch Results’ Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Fellow) and Alexis Dowell. The RR ladies were nominated in 2022 as Dallas HR Best Team by Dallas HR.

By Deb Silverthorn

Since 2007, Jolene Risch, and her Risch Results national search and executive recruitment team, have focused on researching, recruiting and then supporting their clients to retain the very best talent.

“Communication and transparency are the keys to success,” said Risch. “Because this is how we work with our clients and prospective talent, what we’re able to accomplish is amazing.”

Jolene is the daughter of Helen and Frank and sister of Jonathan. Beginning four months after Jolene was born, in New York City, over a dozen years the family followed her father’s career path to London, then to Greece and back to the United States’ West Coast, where they lived in Seattle. Her love of travel, learning, dedication to service and life came from her parents. As she began seventh grade, the family returned to the East Coast, to Greenwich, Connecticut, where Jolene graduated from Greenwich High School.

Jolene earned an undergraduate degree in sociology at Brandeis University before joining the Peace Corps. She started out in Haiti but was there only three months before being evacuated because of the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Jolene came back to the U.S., to Worcester, Massachusetts, where she spent 10 months teaching English to refugees at Catholic Charities before being reassigned with the Peace Corps in Costa Rica. There, she started a preschool and spent three years training the locals to become teachers.

“When you live in other countries, you can’t help but think of the people from these countries differently,” said Jolene. “Travel, seeing places and really getting to know the people of the world is something that’s been ingrained in me all of my life. It’s something I treasure.

“In the Peace Corps I was able to both travel and live with the people where I was and to help them,” she added.

After returning home, she earned a master’s degree in organizational psychology at Teachers College of Columbia University before spending six years at Ernst and Young (EY) working as a People Advantage service line consulting manager.

“I fell into the recruiting space a few years after I left EY and I loved it. The challenge of finding the right professionals for our clients involves a lot of research, understanding the labor market and constantly honing our messaging to attract great talent,” said Jolene. “I’m still always learning and looking to do better. My team and I all work together to find the very best.”

Always learning, in 2018 Jolene participated in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. It was one of many important turning points which she says helped her grow her business.

“There’s lots of unconscious bias that goes on in recruiting and we do whatever we can to bring awareness to this issue,” said Jolene. “We use social media, lunch and learns and other opportunities to share because when you’re aware, it’s less likely to be an issue. I want our clients to have the best talent with the most potential. I encourage our clients to cast a wide net and consider people outside their network and outside the ‘box.’”

Risch Results works with clients large and small with a fill rate of 90%. For some, they have filled more than a couple of dozen positions acting as an extension of their Human Resources team; for others there is an ongoing relationship for which they fill positions as needed. The timeline to complete a match is dependent on the market and complexity of the position in question but the average is 60 days.

“Jolene has helped us find the right people for the right roles. She has the gift of connecting people to one another,” said Tara Ohayon, assistant executive director of the Aaron Family JCC. “We have had many wonderful opportunities filled because of our relationship with Jolene. We very much appreciate Risch Results and its support.”

The firm has clientele around the country, in many industries including construction, manufacturing and professional services. Nearly 20% of the firm’s roster consists of nonprofit organizations. Risch Results has filled positions at the Aaron Family JCC, Congregation Anshai Torah, Communities Foundations of Texas, The Sixth Floor Museum and, in Houston, Congregation Beth Yeshurun and Jewish Family Service.

Jolene, mom of Aaron, Eli and Jeremy, has emptied the nest this month with her youngest off to college. Watching her sons — graduates of Levine and then Akiba Yavneh academies — grow into men has made her proud.

Wherever she’s lived, the Temple Emanu-El member has made finding Jewish community, no matter how small, a priority. She recalls Shabbat and Passover in Greece. When she lived in Costa Rica,  her mother visited and brought fruit slices and other “must haves.” They created a Passover Seder for the Jewish volunteers, some whom walked miles to participate.

“It doesn’t matter where I’ve been,” Jolene says, “Jewish life is always present.”

Jolene’s fingerprints touch the community. She serves on the board of the Dallas Hebrew Free Loan Association, on the executive board of the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum and on WiNGS, which helps women and families to overcome poverty. She is on the board of the Executive Search Owners Association and is a founder and past president of the Dream Team Women’s Network.

“Jolene takes her passion to whatever she’s doing at the moment. She understands people and she’s brought her worldly experiences to build a business. She’s assembled an enthusiastic staff,” said her father.

Her mother commented that “as a four-year-old, Jolene once said ‘Mommy, your words are saying one thing, but your face is saying something else.’ She’s always known people and that’s served her, and whomever she engages with, so beautifully.”

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