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Hire right so you don’t have to fire

Dina Klopp, and her business partner, Claire Richards, of Klopp Richards, are two of the most enjoyable, professional, and talented people I have worked with during my career.  They are excellent at understanding the clients needs and working with you in a fun way to build your business.


How did you end up getting into the HR Business?

During University, I worked part-time as a Flight Attendant at Canadian Regional Airlines.  It worked out really well as I scheduled all my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and usually worked from Friday to Monday and holidays.  After graduating from the U of C with a Business Degree, specializing in Hospitality and Tourism Management  I decided to continue working at Canadian Regional Airlines as I was finally able to take advantage of the travel benefits and wanted to explore the world.    After a few more years spent travelling for work and for enjoyment, I decided that I needed a new challenge and applied for a Management role in Toronto.  Incidentally, I had never been to Toronto (with the exception of brief layovers by the airport) and only knew one person in the city.  To my surprise, I was offered the role and was on my way out east to manage the Toronto Flight Attendant base.   It turned out that I loved Toronto, but unfortunately,  I didn’t enjoy my new role as much as I had hoped I would.  It was exciting to be able to help recruit and train new Flight Attendants.  I found it very rewarding to see our new hires thrive in their roles and provide excellent service to our passengers.  On the other hand, I did not enjoy dealing with all the Union issues and grievances.  I loved to be of service to passengers, my colleagues, and the company,  but preferred an environment where compensation was tied to performance and where going above and beyond was the norm, not the exception.   I had also spent 8 years at the airline and was ready for the next challenge in my career.  At that point, I noticed a job posting for a “Talent Agent”. The job description intrigued me so I decided to apply.  I met with the Hiring Manager and we really connected.  He was amazing at Sales and definitely sold me on the position and company.   I went through several interviews, completed IQ and personality tests, and met with an Industrial Psychologist, but was never made aware that it was primarily a Sales role.   I thought that I was going to be a Consultant who would be welcomed with open arms into companies to help them with their hiring.   On my first day of work , when I was handed a phone book  and was told to start making calls, it was a bit of a shock!    Once I was able to overcome the fear of rejection and was able to connect with and build relationships with some fantastic Clients, Companies, and Candidates, I was hooked.


Who did you work for prior to setting up your own business?

I worked for Randstad.  At the time, Randstad had offices in Montreal, but was just moving into other cities within the Canadian Market.  It was a great experience as I was able to help build the Toronto office from the ground up.  At the time I was hired, they had just signed a lease for the office, but we hadn’t moved in yet.  It was pretty exciting to be able to contribute to their branding and growth in the early days.


How did the two of you meet?

I had made the decision that I wanted to move back to Calgary as I was born and raised there and didn’t see myself living in Toronto forever.   I spoke with my Manager about my plans.  He indicated that there was a position for me in Calgary.  The Accounting and Finance Division at Randstad was not performing very well and he thought that it would be a great opportunity for me to help bring new energy to that team.   Claire was working in the Administrative Division at Randstad in Calgary at the time.   Since Claire and I were both so focused on work and passionate about helping both our Candidates and  Clients, it took us some time to get to know one another.   One fateful day, we both decided to come into work on a Saturday and had a bit more time to chat.  Once we started talking, we realized that we had a lot in common.


When did you set up your own company?

We started our company in 2003.


What does it take to run a successful recruitment business?

Being resourceful, not willing to give up, genuinely caring about everyone involved, having integrity, and being able to change direction very quickly and often are all qualities of a successful Recruiter.  Claire and I are really driven by the relationships that we have developed.  Because our Clients and Candidates have always felt important and listened to, we have ended up with a lot of repeat business and referrals.  Many of our Clients have worked with us from day one and we are very grateful for that.   We also have had the good fortune of having very loyal and hard working individuals work with us.  Krista, who was our very first internal hire at Klopp Richards, just celebrated her 10 year anniversary with us.   Caelly and Laura have been with us for over 8 years.  We all have  a lot of history and experience working together and all have extremely high standards.   Claire and I always know that our Clients and Candidates are being cared for exceptionally well and benefit from the years of experience that our Division Managers offer.  We also have new Consultants who bring a lot of excitement, positivity,  and new ideas to the business.  As well,  Claire and I also have always had a strong relationship and can talk about anything.  We are both very open minded so we will always take each other’s ideas into consideration.  I feel very fortunate to come to work every day and work with someone who has such a high level of integrity and is just an all around amazing person.   I have always felt that with Claire in the mix anything is possible!


What are the biggest challenges?

Our biggest challenge has always been recruiting staff for ourselves internally.  We have a pretty tight knit group with very high standards, so in the past it has been difficult for anyone coming in to join the team.  Our Division Managers came up with a great idea to help with this.   We recently hired and had 3 Consultants go through our training and onboarding process together.  It seems to be working very well.   Our more junior Consultants benefit from the expertise in the office, but have each other to discuss situations with and can really relate to one another.


What do you enjoy most about your jobs?

Relationships.  Claire and I both thrive on our strong relationships with each other, our staff, our Clients, Candidates, and anyone else whom we have the pleasure of dealing with.


How do you juggle family life and running a business?

When we started our business, we worked around the clock and loved every minute of it.  As both of our families grew, we were fortunate enough to be able to rely on each other and our long term employees to take on more.   As well,  most of our work can be done from anywhere as long as we have a computer and a phone.  When my kids were younger, I would get a lot done in the evenings when they were tucked in bed.


What brought you joy this week?

I was fortunate enough to go snowboarding in the mountains with my family.  We met up with family friends and had an amazing day.   I love spending time in nature so it was pretty special to be able to do so with such great company!   As well, every morning (even if it is -20), I take our dog Carter for a walk through River Park.  It is a 45 minute loop and a great way to start the day.  I usually see several of my neighbours/friends along the way as well.  Those morning walks really strengthen my connection to nature and my community and I love to see Carter so happy – he deserves it as he brings our family so much joy!  We also had a great week at work.  2019 seems to be off to a strong start and you can definitely feel the positive energy in the office!