A letter from Rick Thompson, VP of Talent Management & Administration

Walk through our doors and I assure you there’s a quality in our air that’s just different. The fact that we don’t have a “Human Resources (HR) Department” reflects this difference and that’s precisely why I came on-board. In 2005, during my final interview with Rising, CEO Jason Beans asked me to help launch a new department called “Talent Management.” Jason recognized early on that a company’s greatest competitive advantage boils down to one essential ingredient: its people. Jason was right. Since we started the Talent Management Department, we’ve grown by more than 350%. How? At Rising, our strong corporate culture allows talent to flourish, not stagnate.

We’re driven by results, rather than rules; by people, rather than policies and procedures. “HR” departments are often perceived as bureaucratic and rules-driven, viewing employees as “resources” or “human capital,” rather than as unique and highly-talented individuals. Unfortunately, HR departments frequently become bogged down in legal matters and misguided attempts to keep people in line. While we still pay close attention to following employment laws, our primary focus is on finding and keeping exceptional talent.

I love that our name is Rising, and not something like Apex, Summit or Pinnacle. There are no ultimate peaks for us; we’re always Rising towards greater, better or faster. Our people enjoy the challenge of constantly striving to achieve a new goal.

We’ve adapted a recruitment strategy based on the Topgrading™ philosophy. We pay as much attention to how new hires mesh with our culture, as we do their job knowledge and skills. Prospective employees complete a job-fit assessment called Predictive Index™ to help us match the right people to the right positions. All Rising employees take an online Strengthsfinder™ assessment to identify their top five strengths. Then we make sure the employee has opportunities to engage those strengths every day. As time passes, employees’ strengths become even stronger. We invest a substantial amount of time, effort and financial resources in developing our talent. Our learning platform, “Rising U,” features an array of online and classroom-based courses, many of which provide Continuing Education (CEU) credit. Our corporate offices house state-of-the-art training rooms. Employees also have access to a robust corporate Intranet that facilitates fast employee communication and useful knowledge exchange.

In our commitment toward making Rising one of America’s top workplaces, we turn to our employees to find out what would make them even happier and healthier than they are today. Employee choice, consumerism, health and wellness are at the core of our innovative benefit programs. We were early adopters of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs). Since the hiring of our very first employee, Rising has been offering a company-match 401(k) plan. Even more importantly, our first hire is still with us today.

The best way to get a sense of Rising’s strong corporate culture is to actually visit our offices. Many prospective employees and clients walk through our doors and say they visibly see and tangibly sense the passion of our people. It doesn’t take long for our guests to realize that Rising’s seven Core Values aren’t just plastered on a random wall; they’re lived here each and every day. Personally, my favorite core value is “Diamonds, not Coal.” I truly believe that every individual has “diamond” potential. My primary job is to help people realize their full potential by fostering a work environment that allows all employees to shine their brightest.

Rick Thompson
Vice President of Talent Management & Administration