Company Culture

People at a bar and text, "How Hiring Biases Are Holding Your Business Back"

How Hiring Biases Are Holding Your Business Back From Its Full Potential

How Hiring Biases Are Holding Your Business Back From Its Full Potential 1016 528 Sprockets

Are you failing to meet your business goals and can’t seem to figure out why? You’ve likely looked into supply chain issues, accounted for rising food costs, and considered the possibility that people might not be dining out as much due to inflation and a possible recession. However, the root of the problem may lie within your hiring process. 

Bias, whether explicit or implicit, could likely be the roadblock preventing your business from selecting the best candidates and being successful. Let’s discuss the types of biases that might’ve crept into your hiring process and explore ways to eliminate them so you can build a more equitable, efficient workforce.

What Are the Different Kinds of Hiring Biases?

There are several different types of hiring biases, and people often don’t even realize they’re influencing their decisions. Here are the four most common hiring biases, according to LinkedIn:

  • Affinity Bias: People choose candidates with whom they share interests and experiences.
  • Attribution Bias: This causes people to make unfair assumptions about someone’s successes or shortcomings.
  • Confirmation Bias: People look for information to support an unfair first impression.
  • Name Bias: Names that are not “white-sounding” cause someone to reject them immediately.

It’s common for some people to be influenced by name bias — even unintentionally — when reviewing resumes. A study actually found that people with “white-sounding” names get 50% more callbacks for interviews. Sadly, it’s even causing people of color to “whiten” their resumes so that they get a fair chance at job opportunities. That’s why you should rethink the relevance of this outdated hiring practice and look into solutions that reveal the ideal applicants without the need for resumes or interviews, like the Sprockets platform.

The list of potential hiring biases doesn’t end there, though. It’s also important to look out for halo bias (assuming someone is an excellent candidate based on one small detail), overconfidence bias (believing you simply have strong instincts about candidates), and beauty bias (those who are perceived as attractive are given certain advantages). Of course, also always make sure you don’t mistreat any applicants due to racism, ageism, or sexism. It could easily go from unconscious bias to direct discrimination.

Why You Should Avoid Hiring Biases

Aside from the obvious ethical and legal implications of discrimination in the workplace, there are several other reasons to eliminate bias from your hiring process. For instance, did you know that diversity, especially in leadership teams, correlates with the performance and profitability of businesses?

A study conducted by McKinsey & Company found that companies with more gender-diverse leadership teams are 21% more profitable, and that number goes up to 33% when it’s also culturally diverse. (In other words, both are important!) Additionally, there is expected to be a record high of 16.1 million adults who are 65 years old and above in the workforce by 2028, compared to just 5.1 million teenagers. That’s one more reason to ensure there are no elements of ageism in your hiring process.

How to Avoid Hiring Biases

The first step toward eliminating hiring bias is to rethink the words you use to attract applicants. Make sure you don’t use any gendered wording (i.e., words that are typically associated with gender stereotypes) in your job descriptions. It’s more than simply avoiding words like “he” or “him” in advertisements. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that roles often occupied by men tended to use job postings with words commonly associated with masculine stereotypes, like “competitive” and “dominant.” Additionally, the researchers discovered that women found these types of job descriptions less appealing due to perceptions of belongingness and were less likely to apply. So, consider even subtle word choices in advertisements to avoid gender bias in your applicant pool.

Another way to avoid bias is to use a “blind” screening process. There are job boards and software solutions that can essentially remove any details from resumes that might interfere with your ability to judge applicants objectively, like names and ages. Or, as we mentioned earlier, the easiest and most effective way to avoid these types of biases is with Sprockets’ automated candidate screening software. There’s no need for you to look at resumes or even conduct an interview to know who the ideal applicant is.

You can also implement DEI initiatives in your organization to help curb bias and create a more welcoming environment. Consider enrolling employees in DEI training programs, holding open discussions, and ensuring that equality is a part of your company’s core values.

Simple Steps to Fix Your Broken Hiring Process

There could be many more mistakes you’re making in the hiring process, and we can help you resolve them all. View our free guide to see what you could be doing better right now to build the best teams and boost productivity for your business.

Do’s and Don’ts of the Hiring Process

You already have the solution to your hiring challenges — it’s your top performers. Learn how to attract, hire, and retain the right workers for your business by leveraging the mental makeup of your best employees.

Hiring Guide Mockup
Happy restaurant employee smiling

How to Improve Your Quality of Hire in the Hourly Workforce

How to Improve Your Quality of Hire in the Hourly Workforce 1016 528 Sprockets

The key to any successful business is a team of all-star employees, though it can be difficult to consistently hire and retain those driven individuals, especially when your business is severely understaffed. Overcome that challenge by rethinking your current hiring process. Is it effective? What kinds of applicants does it bring in? Are you successfully attracting and hiring top talent while filtering out undesirable candidates? In this blog, we’ll discuss why quality of hire is a crucial metric to track as well as what strategies you can implement to improve it. 

What is Quality of Hire and Why is it Important?

Quality of hire (QOH) is a metric used to measure the effectiveness of a company’s hiring process. It provides insight on your recruiting methods and measures how much a new hire contributes to your company’s long-term success. According to LinkedIn, 39% of hiring professionals agree that quality of hire is the “most valuable metric of performance” topping other KPIs like time-to-fill. 

How to Measure Quality of Hire

While there are several ways to evaluate quality of hire, 40-50% of companies measure it through: 

  • New Hire Performance Evaluation: Calculation method varies as it’s up to the discretion of managers 
  • Employee Retention/Employee Turnover: Calculated as a percentage
  • Hiring Manager Satisfaction: Calculated with survey scores, usually on a numerical scale

One manager even stated that they measure quality of hire through promotions. 33% of hiring professionals — surveyed in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, France, China, India, and MENA (Middle East and North Africa regions)  — are uncertain if they are accurately measuring their quality of hires. This statistic suggests uncertainty is a nationwide issue and therefore can be greatly improved by rethinking current strategies. 

Strategies to Improve Quality of Hire

1. Collect Better Data: Since there are so many ways to calculate quality of hire, it can be difficult to come to a common consensus on how your company measures it. See, one metric alone isn’t enough to accurately measure your quality of hire. Some experts suggest evaluating metrics pre-hire and post-hire can lead to more accurate results. The logic behind this suggestion is that pre-hire quality measures are recruitment orientated while post-hire quality measures are performance orientated. You want to prove that there is a significant relationship between pre-hire and post-hire quality. For example, you might use measures of candidate assessment scores, interviews, and time-to-fill to determine pre-hire quality, and measures of performance evaluation, number of promotions, and employee engagement scores to find post-hire quality. 

2. Implement an Employee Referral Program: While posting on job boards and social media platforms are great ways to source candidates, they don’t always attract the right candidates. Hiring the right fit from the start is crucial, unless you enjoy paying thousands of dollars in employee turnover costs. Consider an employee referral program or, if you already have one, take a look at how you can make it worth your employees’ time. Research shows that referred employees stay longer and have a better work performance. People naturally care more about their friends and families opinions over a random job posting they see on the internet. Your employees understand what kinds of people are the best fit and can provide their referred candidate(s) accurate insight on company culture, ultimately leading to more individuals in your applicant funnel who fit your ideal hire. And if you aren’t already convinced, only 8% of talent leaders feel their employee program is “best in the class”. There is plenty of time to make your program stand out amongst the competition.

3. Use the Right Technology: Some businesses use pre-employment assessments to help them understand applicants on a deeper level. Artificial intelligence technologies reduce time-to-fill by 70%, on average. For example, Sprockets’ solution uses natural language processing and artificial intelligence to determine which incoming applicants share personality traits with a business’s current top performers. The platform assigns each incoming applicant a score one through ten. High-scoring applicants will succeed and stay long-term, empowering owners to build reliable, productive teams and make smarter hiring decisions.

Hiring Guide Mockup
Why Your Hiring Process Is Broken and How to Fix It

You already have the solution to your hiring challenges — it’s your top performers. Learn how to attract, hire, and retain the right workers for your business by leveraging the mental makeup of your best employees.

4 Steps to reduce reliance on applicant flow mockup
4 Steps to Reduce Your Reliance on Applicant Flow

Hiring can feel impossible during a labor shortage, but these four simple steps will get you on the path to stable staffing levels. You’ll learn proven strategies for attracting and retaining high-quality employees for your business. It’s easier than you might think!

Sprockets Tech E-Book
Must-Have Hiring Tech to Boost Employee Retention in 2022

Although the past few years have been challenging, some businesses found success by implementing more advanced technology. Avoid making the wrong hire – and costing your business valuable time – by implementing must-have hiring tools and watch your employee retention soar.

The Essential Guide to Attracting Hourly Workers

The pandemic has changed the way hourly workers select opportunities, so you must transform your recruiting process to stay competitive and onboard the best workers. Let us do the heavy-lifting; access this free guide to build better teams and stabilize staffing levels.

Guide to employee turnover
The Ultimate Guide to Employee Turnover

Dealing with employee turnover is expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating. Access this free e-book to discover proven strategies for retaining your best workers and even predicting which applicants are most likely to stay long-term.

How to Craft Job Postings That Boost Applicant Flow

Sourcing is a constant battle in the hospitality industry. Looking to build the best team and recruit the top restaurant talent? Sprockets has you covered.

How Personality Assessments Empower You to Hire Ideal Caregivers

Taking a scientific approach to caregiver hiring
is necessary to combat the issue of poor
performance and retention. Personality tests,
like Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System,
combine natural language and artificial
intelligence to predict an applicant’s likelihood
of success at a particular location.

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4 day work week calendar with "free" day Friday

Sprockets Launches 4-Day Work Week to Improve Work-Life Balance

Sprockets Launches 4-Day Work Week to Improve Work-Life Balance 1016 528 Sprockets

We are proud to announce our adoption of a 4-day work week model — that’s 32 hours of work each week with 100% pay. With complete confidence, we are honored to give our employees 50 days of the year back to improve their work-life balance. Here at Sprockets, one of our core values is grind. Our team has tackled a pandemic, labor crisis, and transitioned from an in-person to a fully remote company. There’s nothing our Sprockstars can’t handle! 

We’re rewarding our high achievers with a benefit that matches their work style as well as work-life balance needs. Sprockets CEO and founder AJ Richichi, said, “My hope is that employees can rest, relax, and recharge during their long weekend so they can start the work week with a positive mindset.”

“While having an additional 50 days of ‘me’ time is super beneficial, the transition highlights what we value most at Sprockets and that’s our people.”

What are the Benefits of a 4-Day Work Week?

High achievers like our Sprockstars thrive during a 4-day work week. “We’re a company with lofty goals,” said Sprockets Chief Operating Officer Chadwick Troutman. “The transition into a 4-day work week complements our high-growth strategy.” 

Research continues to prove that a 4-day work week has a domino effect of benefits for both employees and employers, such as:

1. Improved Productivity

For example, Microsoft Japan saw a 40% increase in productivity and overall job satisfaction when they switched to a 4-day work week. Similarly, a New Zealand management company found a 20% increase in productivity when they adopted the same model. More organizations are recognizing the benefits and quickly catching onto this trend. It’s not surprising that job postings featuring a 4-day work week have tripled, according to ZipRecruiter. Since adopting this model, we’ve experienced similar results. “Ultimately, our efforts are becoming more efficient,” Troutman said. “For example, meetings are now shorter with more preparation on the individual’s part beforehand. Laborious processes are being reworked.”

2. Engaged Employees

Organizations with improved productivity tend to have highly engaged employees who are more likely to succeed and stay long-term. “The 4-day work week has me excited about every week,” said Sprockets Account Executive Morgan Lee. “I feel much more motivated to focus during our four days due to the additional energy that I get from an extra day of rest and doing things that bring me joy!” High levels of employee engagement can even increase business profits by 21%

3. Healthy Work-Life Balance

It’s no secret that employees value work-life-balance. 80% of workers say they’d be “more loyal” to their company if they provided flexible work options such as a 4-day work week — we found that to be true. Sprockets Talent Acquisition Manager Katie Tumbleston said, “We’ve engaged with prospective candidates who are specifically targeting companies that realistically provide a better work-life balance.” Research also found that two out of every three employees take less sick days with shortened weeks and are overall happier. Since we implemented this new structure, we’ve experienced similar results. “I personally have Fridays off, which means I can sleep in, workout, and ride into the weekend,” Lee explained. “I am very thankful that I work for a company who values their employees and trusts them with their time management.” 

4. More Top-Tier Applicants 

4-day work weeks are incredibly attractive to applicants, especially top performers. These achievers usually thrive under pressure and enjoy productive days. Shortened weeks are still relatively new — adopting this model would ensure your job posting stands out so you can hire top talent before your competitors. More applicants will apply to your business, so you are more likely to find and retain someone who will mesh well with the rest of your team. “Since adopting the 4-day work week, we’ve certainly seen an uptick in applications,” said Tumbleston. “While having an additional 50 days of ‘me’ time is super beneficial, the transition highlights what we value most at Sprockets and that’s our people.”

What Does This Mean for Current Customers? 

Whether you’re a current customer or a prospect thinking about adding Sprockets to your hiring process, don’t worry — our team will still be available five days a week to answer any questions and help you navigate the platform. Essentially, we divided each of our teams in half. 50% of our company will have Mondays off while the other 50% will have Fridays off. This strategy will ensure team members from every department will be available every business day.

Join Our Team and Enjoy the Benefits

Does a 4-day work week sound like something you’d enjoy? Let us fill you in on the Sprockets mission: We are modernizing hiring for companies and people by removing manual steps in the hiring process. If you’re passionate about creating a smarter, faster, and more equitable experience for all, consider applying to Sprockets! We are hiring for multiple positions which you can find on our career page or our LinkedIn. (Hint: check out our “LinkedIn Life” page to get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a Sprockstar.) 

Excited job applicants receives an offer

Best Practices for Job Offers and Rejections for Hourly Employees (Templates Included!)

Best Practices for Job Offers and Rejections for Hourly Employees (Templates Included!) 1016 528 Sprockets

With nearly 6.5 million job openings available to workers in the past year alone, it’s important to understand how to communicate with applicants — even if they aren’t a good fit for your business. Continue reading to refresh your memory on best practices for job offers and rejections for non-exempt employees in the hourly workforce. We know your time is valuable, so we even included free templates you can customize to fit your business’s needs. 

Why These Points of Communication Are Critical

Each job seeker who takes the time to fill out an application for a position at your business deserves a response. The last thing you want is to burn bridges or create distrust with candidates. Whether they are a good or bad fit, here are reasons communication is key when offering and rejecting opportunities.  

Job Offer

The time to hire can take a couple days to a few months, depending on your industry. However, if you want a candidate to work for you, we recommend reaching out as soon as possible before they find a different opportunity. Top performers — especially those in the hospitality industry — usually receive multiple job offers, so the faster you respond, the better. This clear communication will set the tone and give your future employee a good impression of your company. 

Job Rejection 

Candidates who weren’t the right fit the first time around might be a great fit later. Re-engaging past candidates is a great way to increase your applicant pool and show people you’re willing to give second chances. Additionally, communicating your decision gives your applicants closure and leaves a good impression of your brand. 

(Hint: Sprockets’ hiring solution offers re-engagement campaigns to help you reach past applicants!)

Best Practices for Making the Offer

Congratulations, you found the perfect addition to your team! The next step is crafting a job offer. Don’t forget to check your state-specific requirements as they vary. Be sure to include the following items in your job offer:

  • Name of Your Company
  • Name of the Employee
  • Position/Title
  • Name/Position of Supervisor
  • Schedule
  • Start Date
  • Compensation
  • Non-Exempt Classification and Implications 
  • Duties
  • Policies
  • At-Will Employment
  • Contingencies

Job Offer Template

Dear [First and Last Name],

We are pleased to offer you a [Full Time or Part Time] position at [Name of Your Company] as a [Title]. You will report directly to [Name of Supervisor], our [Supervisor Title]. Should you accept this opportunity, your employment will be subject to the following terms:

Start Date Month, Day, Year
Salary You will receive an hourly rate of $X and 
Non-Exempt Classification Under the non-exempt employee classification you must record your hours worked, including meal and rest periods, and overtime hours. 
Benefits *Will vary depending on your company*
Vacation/Sick/Personal Time *Will vary depending on your company*
Representation You represent that you are free to accept employment with [Name of Company] without any contractual restrictions, express or implied, of any kind.
Policies and Procedures You agree to fully comply with all of [Name of Company]’s employee policies and procedures.
Confidentiality and Non-Compete You agree to adhere to [Name of Company] confidentiality, non-solicitation, and non-complete policies.
At-Will Employment  You understand that in compliance with [State] law, you are an At-Will employee and that this document is not a contract of employment.

If you accept this offer, please sign and date in the space below. Please return a copy within [X] days. We look forward to having you on our team.

Hope to hear from you soon,

[Your name and signature]

Best Practices for Rejecting

Just like it’s frustrating to be ghosted by your applicants, the last thing job seekers want is to wonder why they were rejected from a position at your company. Ghosting is unprofessional and disrespectful. Applicants took the time to fill out your application, adjust their resume, and maybe even crafted a cover letter. Follow up with a rejection email. The message should be concise and straightforward. You’ll want to thank applicants for applying, explain why they were not selected, and invite them to apply again.

Here are some templates you can use and customize to fit your business’s needs: 

Template 1: Emphasize Other Opportunities 

Dear [First and Last Name],

Thank you for applying to [Name of Company]

We are unable to offer you a job at this time. Luckily, we anticipate hiring [Number] people between now and [End Date], and you are still under consideration.

Kind regards,

[Your Signature]

Template 2: Opportunities at Multiple Locations 

Note: This is a perfect option if you own multiple locations.

Dear [First and Last Name],

Thank you for applying to [Name of Company]

We are unable to offer you a job at this time. However, [Employer X], and [Employer Y], are interested in your profile. Simply respond “yes” to this email to give us permission to share your file with them.

Best wishes,

[Your Signature]

Template 3: Provide the Candidate with Feedback

Dear [First and Last Name],

Thank you for applying to [Name of Company]. We are unable to offer you a job at this time. [Personalized sentence about why they were not selected]. However, we encourage you to improve your [specific skill(s)] and reapply. 


[Your Signature]

Sample Feedback for Rejected Candidates

While there are various reasons applicants are ultimately rejected from a job, common reasons include: lack of industry experience, failure to demonstrate knowledge about the company and required skills, misalignment of values, and not a good team fit. 

  • Lack of Industry Experience: While it is easier to train for skill and hire for coachability, sometimes businesses need people with specific qualifications. If this is the case, we suggest stating that in your rejection email. For example, you might say, “We encourage you to apply again when you have more experience with [Name of Skill].”
  • Failure to Demonstrate Knowledge: This justification usually happens during the interview process. It’s possible an applicant couldn’t give specific examples when asked questions like “Explain a time when you failed and how you overcame that challenge.” Maybe the applicant was underprepared and clearly did not research your business or practice communicating their strengths. Addressing this in a job rejection email might look like, “We encourage you to apply again when you have a better understanding of our company’s mission. Here are some helpful resources.”   
  • Does Not Fit In With Company Culture: The key to building a high-performance team is to make sure everyone aligns with the company’s values, mission, and beliefs. Sometimes, applicants simply are not a great fit. If this is the case, we recommend the following language in your rejection message: “While you possess many skills we are looking for, we felt the cultural fit was not quite there.”

Predict Applicant Success With This Hiring Solution

Know which candidates will succeed and stay long-term like your current top performers with Sprockets. There’s no need for resumes — our simple one through ten scoring system will tell you everything you need to know about a candidate with pinpoint precision. Plus, Sprockets’ users spend 37% less time on the hiring process, empowering them to focus on daily operations. Hiring has never been easier! 

The Sprockets team

Sprockets Accelerates Company Growth: Continues Path Toward an Equitable Hiring Process for All

Sprockets Accelerates Company Growth: Continues Path Toward an Equitable Hiring Process for All 1016 528 Sprockets

Here at Sprockets, we always tell people — customers and prospects alike — that our hiring solution reveals which applicants will succeed like their current top performers, ultimately empowering them to build the best teams. But did you know that we’re so confident in the accuracy of the Sprockets platform that we use it to hire and retain our own employees?

We’re continuing to scale our company so we can help even more businesses stabilize staffing levels and remove bias from the hiring process. Continue reading to learn how five new hires will bring their talent to the Sprockets team as we continue our mission of creating an equitable hiring process for all.

Jessica Tighe, VP of Customer Success

“At the end of the day, making the customer experience great is the number one goal.”

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here? 

I’ve been managing Customer Success teams for 20 years, ensuring customer satisfaction from consumers to enterprise accounts. I’ve worked in startups to Fortune 100 companies and at the end of the day, making the customer experience great is the number one goal. 

2. What drew you to Sprockets? 

The culture and people really drew me to join Sprockets. You truly have to enjoy the people you work with and this team is great! Everyone has the same goal, is collaborative, and ready to jump in no matter the task. 

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

I’ve been part of several companies that have scaled up and my experience in this area will help grow our company. Hiring great people, creating structure around processes and procedures, and streamlining our day-to-day will help us continue to grow into a larger company while ensuring our customer satisfaction is at the forefront.

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

I’m enjoying getting to know the team, jumping right into customer calls, and hearing firsthand what improvements we can make. I’m quickly learning the current world but also bringing new ideas to the table on how we can improve. 

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets?

What are you waiting for?! The team is great and we have a wonderful product.

Stacey Boswell, VP of Finance

“I will provide clarity and integrity to numbers.”

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here? 

It all started with a ten-key adding machine when I was a kid. I would sit and just add random numbers. My passion for finance came out of my love for numbers. I have been in finance management for about 12 years working mostly in the startup environment. One of my joys now comes from looking at processes and trying to find automations or more efficient ways to proceed in the future.

2. What drew you to Sprockets? 

Definitely the culture and ability to help build something great!

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

I will provide clarity and integrity to numbers. That data can then be used to make impactful business decisions from a place of knowledge. I’ll help implement processes and technology to eliminate pain points.

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

My favorite part of my role so far has been digging into the data and looking with unbiased eyes.

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets? 

I quickly saw how involved everyone at the company is! Slack — our workplace communication platform — is always ringing with excitement. It’s easy to immediately feel part of the team.

6. Do you have anything else you’d like to share? 

If we are on a video chat and you see something in the background, that is not a horse in my house! It is one of my two Great Danes: Arya and Bjorn.

Joe Gattuso, VP of Enterprise Sales

“It’s a pivotal time to be a part of Sprockets as we enter our growth stage.” 

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here? 

My sales career started when I was eight years old selling popcorn door to door for my local Cub Scout pack. I may still hold the record for most popcorn tubs sold, but it’s been a while since I checked. In my professional career, I’ve been lucky enough to have helped SaaS companies from early stage Series A to publicly traded organizations grow.

2. What drew you to Sprockets? 

The people and the opportunity. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a few members of our leadership team at a previous company, Upserve. They are both people who I trust and more importantly, know how to execute. That, along with an impactful product and an addressable market, made it an absolute no-brainer for me.

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

In my role, I’ll educate enterprise customers on the impact Sprockets can have to solve real-world business problems. 

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

Our executive team chops the wood and carries the water. It’s one thing to have values written on your company wall, but another to actually do them. It’s incredibly motivating to see this in action.

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets? 

Don’t hesitate. It’s a pivotal time to be a part of Sprockets as we enter our growth stage. 

Deanne Watt, Senior Product Manager

“We are truly changing the way hiring will be done.”

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here? 

I started my early career as an art director and moved into tech management and interactive development. My career shifted to product about ten years ago where I was really able to use all the skill sets I had gained. I have mainly focused on early startups to growth stage companies. 

2. What drew you to Sprockets? 

The culture exhibited in the interview process as well as the product drew me to Sprockets. I was not disappointed. Since I started working here, I have been blown away by my team members and the product. I have found my family.

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

The product managers will help the entire product team focus and work with our users directly to help create a vision that is both useful and delightful.

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

Learning how different we are from our competitors. We are truly changing the way hiring will be done.

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets? 

If you pass our culture survey, you will not be disappointed. The team is amazing. I am very fortunate to have found Sprockets.

Jenny Mott, Organic Growth Manager

“The passion here is really contagious and the people are truly lovely.”

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here? 

I started my career in marketing completely by chance and was lucky enough to fall in love with it pretty immediately. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to grow my skill set and impact, focusing on SEO, content marketing, and integrated campaigns. I’ve worked agency-side and in-house, primarily with service businesses and manufacturers. My personal mantra has long been, “I’ll bloom where I’m planted.” I made the jump to Sprockets and the SaaS industry because it’s great new fertile soil that I know will help me accelerate my growth journey. 

2. What drew you to Sprockets? 

The vision, energy, and opportunity to grow alongside other highly motivated teammates drew me to Sprockets.

3. How will your role help our company grow?

I will help define and execute our marketing strategy to help us reach those companies who could most benefit from our product. I’m excited to spread the word about Sprockets and help ease some operational stresses for businesses while making the hiring process a more equitable one!

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far?

First, meeting my wonderful teammates and learning about the work they’ve done and the work they’re excited to do — the passion here is really contagious and the people are truly lovely. Second, realizing how much opportunity there is to truly make an impact on the trajectory of the company and to further our mission. Coming in at such an early and pivotal stage is a really special and exciting opportunity!

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets?

If you’re passionate about growth, comfortable with ambiguity, and like the idea of fixing a broken hiring process, Sprockets might be a fit!

Join Our Mission

We believe everyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, and background, deserves a fair, unbiased shot when they apply for a job. Our solution uses artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and over 80 years of psychological research to identify which applicants will succeed and stay long-term like a business’s current top performers. If you share these same values, we want to hear from you!

Top performing restaurant employee
A person part of the LGBTQ+ community proudly holds a pride flag.

How to Support the LGBTQ+ Community and Diversity in the Retail Industry at Your C-Store

How to Support the LGBTQ+ Community and Diversity in the Retail Industry at Your C-Store 1016 528 Sprockets

June is Pride Month, though your c-store should be supporting the LGBTQ+ community — customers and employees alike — year-round. Diversity in the retail industry is crucial to your c-store’s success. Everyone deserves equal rights and to be fully accepted for who they are. We’ll discuss four ways your c-store can foster an inclusive, welcoming environment without falling victim to the rainbow-washing bandwagon. 


“Right now, in the hourly workforce, there is tremendous pain around diversity and inclusion. We want to give everyone a fair shake.” 

AJ Richichi, Sprockets CEO 


Sprockets’ mission is to transform the broken hiring process into an equitable one for all, regardless of gender, age, sexuality, or race. Our platform is proven to increase diversity as it evaluates applicants’ mental makeup to reveal who will succeed and stay long-term. And, unlike humans, it’s completely objective.  

Top c-store brands like Wawa, BP, Meijer, and Shell all received a perfect score of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index. The tool evaluates “corporate policies, practices and benefits pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees.” According to the index, these c-stores are considered the best places to work in the LGBTQ+ community. Make sure your c-store maintains an inclusive environment by following their examples!

Diversity and Inclusion in Retail Examples 

1. Avoid “Rainbow-Washing”

While you may think rainbow-ing your company logo throughout June shows support for the LGBTQ+ community, it actually does the opposite. See, a true ally actively engrains LGBTQ+ equality long-term into their company culture and values. According to Forbes, the term “rainbow-washing” refers to companies who profit off rainbow-themed products but fail to support the community long-term. The lack of authenticity is merely performative, or in other words, another social media post. 

2. Donate to LGBTQ+ Organizations

Consider giving back to organizations that provide resources for the LGBTQ+ community. Here are a few reputable ones:

No matter the monetary amount, donations have a direct, positive impact on these individuals’ lives. Regardless of which organization you chose, be sure to do your own research. Encourage your employees to support your chosen organization as well. You could even consider having a small fundraiser in your c-store. 

3. Add Pronouns to Employee Name Tags 

Addressing someone by their desired pronouns is a basic form of respect that everyone — regardless of sexuality or gender identity — deserves. Top brands like Target now offer employees name tags with pronouns to be more inclusive of all genders. This eliminates confusion and misunderstanding, especially for non-gender-conforming individuals who are more likely to be misgendered. It’s easy for these folks to feel singled out, so by adding your pronouns to your name tag, you are actively showing your support for the LGBTQ+ community and normalizing the conversation around gender identity. 

4. Use Gender-Neutral Language

Take the time to redefine how your c-store associates address customers. For example, instead of greeting customers with “hey, guys!” your associates could say “hey, everyone,” “hey, folks,” or even “hey, y’all.” Small, simple changes like these foster inclusivity at your c-store. Plus, it signals that your location(s) are welcoming towards all individuals. Remember, it can be uncomfortable and even frightening for non-binary, transgender, intersex, and other LGBTQ+ folks to speak up, especially if they are misgendered. 

5. Implement Sprockets’ Hiring Solution

The Sprockets platform is proven to increase diversity and eliminate bias since there’s no need for resumes or even interviews. “Right now, there is tremendous pain around diversity and inclusion. We want to give everyone a fair shake,” explains Sprockets CEO, AJ Richichi

Our hiring solution uses natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and over 80 years of psychological research to determine which personality traits make your best associates so special. Sprockets’ simple red-yellow-green scoring system makes it easy to see which applicants will succeed and stay long-term, empowering c-store owners and operators to build diverse, reliable teams.

The Sprockets Team with Customer Success Lead

Sprockets Expands Leadership Team to Rapidly Transform a Broken Hiring Process

Sprockets Expands Leadership Team to Rapidly Transform a Broken Hiring Process 1016 528 Sprockets

The current hiring process is broken; our mission at Sprockets is to transform it into an equitable one for all. After our series A funding, we immediately began expanding our teams to make that vision a reality for even more businesses in the hourly workforce. We followed our own advice and used both internal and external recruitment methods: one individual was promoted internally, while another new hire was made through an employee referral. Both external hires received a high Sprockets fit score which made the decision a no-brainer. 

The Sprockets platform is the easy, effortless way to hire and retain high-quality individuals. Our hiring solution analyzes applicants’ answers to three simple survey questions to determine whether or not they will succeed and stay long-term like your current top performers. It’s proven to dramatically reduce costly employee turnover and eliminates the need for resumes and even interviews. 

Meet Our New Sprockstar Leadership Team

So, without further adieu, here are the new members of our leadership team: Christian Palombo, Eric Lou, Katie Tumbleston, and Bailey Griffin. 

Christian Palombo, Chief Revenue Officer (CRO)


“With the right process, technology, enablement, and team, there will be no limit to our success at Sprockets.” 

Christian headshot

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here? 

I have been fortunate to work with amazing people at hyper-growth startups in similar industries as Sprockets. My previous experiences at companies like Upserve and EverQuote allowed me to establish successful approaches to scaling SaaS B2B startups. When I spoke with Sprockets’ Chief Marketing Officer, Chad Troutman — who happens to be my former colleague at Upserve — I knew this was an opportunity that I could not pass up.

2. What drew you to Sprockets? 

I am passionate about solving challenges about the future of work. I believe that emerging technologies, advanced analytics, and workflow automation will change the experiences for both employees and customers. Sprockets applies these advanced applications today to directly address the labor crisis and support the largest class of employees in the United States: hourly workers. 

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

With the right process, technology, enablement, and team, there will be no limit to our success at Sprockets. I believe it is my responsibility to ensure Sprockets has the right blend of people, processes, and technology to solve problems for our customers and scale our business. 

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

My favorite part has been solving problems for our customers. Our customer base has been deeply impacted by the labor crisis and current market conditions. Working with customers to address uncontrollable employee turnover, shuttered business operations, and financial burdens has been extremely rewarding to me personally.

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets? 

DO IT! There are very few professional opportunities in life where you can make a significant impact, grow personally and professionally, and help advance an industry. 

Eric headshot

Eric Liou, Chief Product Officer (CPO)


“The company has a great culture, filled with collaborative and passionate people who are all marching towards the same goal.”

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here?  

I’ve spent over 20 years working in digital product strategy, design, and development at large companies as well as startups. I’ve helped three startups before, one of which was my own that I co-founded back in 2005. I’ve launched over 15 products in my career and have led product, design, and engineering teams.

2. What drew you to Sprockets?

The company mission and the potential of the product drew me to Sprockets. I find our mission a noble one — we are helping people maximize applicants’ potential by finding jobs that align with their skill sets and core values. At the same time, we’re helping companies hire better candidates and retain them for a longer period of time. We’re solving all of these key problems in an innovative way with a platform that leverages psychology and cutting-edge technology.

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

As Chief Product Officer, I’m primarily focused on setting a clear, compelling product vision and an effective strategy that will help us achieve that vision in the most effective way possible. Additionally, I’m here to create a great product culture that is driven by trust, autonomy, and delivers consistent product innovation for our customers and our business. Lastly, I’m tasked with building and scaling the organization across product management, design, and engineering.

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

My favorite part is discovering all the product opportunities at hand. There are so many avenues to take the platform on and so many problems to solve in the HR space, that I’m excited to strategize on how to best tackle them.

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets?

The company has a great culture, filled with collaborative and passionate people who are all marching towards the same goal. Sprockets empowers you to bring your best self to work and trusts in you to make the right decisions. This type of environment breeds so much creativity and innovation that personally, it’s my ideal place to work. We are hiring across all functions within product management, design, and engineering. Feel free to reach out if you’d like to chat!

Bailey Griffin, Customer Success Team Lead


“We also use the power of Sprockets to help us hire.”

Baily headshot

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here?

I was born and raised here in Charleston, so after studying in Clemson, I couldn’t help but come back and replant my roots here.

2. What drew you to Sprockets?

You hear it all the time, but I was truly looking for a company that had a culture that fit who I was and gave me the potential to get where I wanted to be. Lo and behold, I found the perfect place for that! I clicked with everyone in the company, which made the transition into my position smooth.

3. How will your role help our company grow?

I have had the opportunity to move throughout different departments here at Sprockets, so I have seen all sides of the business. Now that my feet are set in Customer Success, I truly can see where our customers’ pains lie and what they are looking for. Having the background knowledge of our customer’s pain points is invaluable, and I strive to utilize that knowledge to improve the CS team, the platform, and ultimately revamp our customers’ way of hiring.

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far?

During my time here at Sprockets, the company and the product have changed immensely, but the core of Sprockets is still the same. I joined the team when there were only a handful of people in the room, naturally bonding us together to have strong relationships. Now, with over 50 people in the (virtual) room, you still get that tight-knit feeling.

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets?

Take it from us, we know whether or not you are a good fit! Seriously, we also use the power of Sprockets to help us hire. So not only do we know if you would be a good fit, we also know which department will be the best fit for you. Come join us! 

Katie headshot

Katie Tumbleston, Talent Acquisition Manager 


“Much of my studies, passion, and career history is directly aligned to creating a just and equitable world.”

1. Tell us a little about your past experience. How did you get here?  

I have a varied background with titles ranging from Development Associate to Founder and CEO; however, I fell into recruiting and talent acquisition a little over five years ago. I refined and honed my skills in recruiting and hiring after launching an on-demand babysitting software business. Later, I expanded into medical recruiting in Australia and tech recruiting back in the States.

2. What drew you to Sprockets?

The potential for Sprockets to change the landscape of hiring was the initial draw. Much of my studies, passion, and career history is directly aligned to creating a just and equitable world for all walks of life. A close second was the opportunity to build a talent acquisition department from the ground up. This is an opportunity to have a large impact on a company, its culture, and ultimate success — I couldn’t pass that up!

3. How will your role help our company grow? 

We are doubling our headcount this year alone. Each and every role for which we are hiring is crucial to the immediate and long-term success of the company. 

4. What has been your favorite part of the role so far? 

Working with the hiring managers and learning more and more about their individual personalities has been my favorite part of my role. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to share our story and vision with prospective candidates and see their faces light up. It shows me that we have something really special to offer customers, job seekers, and our staff. 

5. What would you say to potential job seekers considering applying to Sprockets?

I would suggest taking some time to research our product, target market, and current employees via LinkedIn. Consider whether or not working within a startup environment is right for you. 

6. Do you have anything else you’d like to share? 

I’m thrilled to be on this journey with the Sprockets team and would be happy to talk to anyone interested in joining us!

Become Our Next Sprockstar

We’re hiring! Join us on our mission to create an equitable hiring process for all. Our organization is completely remote, but our team is stronger than ever. Why? We’re so confident in our solution that we even use it to hire our own employees. Plus, we organize quarterly company events at our home base in Charleston, South Carolina.

Sprockets Job Opportunities
Announcing Our $10M Series A Funding

Sprockets Receives $10M to Make Hiring Process More Equitable for Employers and Job Seekers

Sprockets Receives $10M to Make Hiring Process More Equitable for Employers and Job Seekers 1016 425.31 Sprockets

Today, we officially closed our Series A funding at $10mm with participation from Forte Ventures, Healthy Ventures, Thayer Ventures, Lytical Ventures, Blu Ventures, and VentureSouth. The investment will help Sprockets further help business owners hire and retain the very best hourly employees, even during a labor crisis. 

Sprockets CEO and founder AJ Richichi said, “We are building a better way to hire. This capital will help us bring an equitable and efficient hiring process to millions of companies and job seekers nationwide.”

Our hiring platform reveals which applicants are right for your needs, empowering you to build a strong, cohesive staff that will stay long-term. Trusted by some of the world’s biggest brands, it’s proven to boost 90-day employee retention by an average of 43%.



What Does This Mean for You? 

Sprockets understands the frustrations you are currently facing at your business are so much more than not knowing how to staff during unprecedented times.

“Many feel handcuffed by government stimulus payments, COVID-19 shutdowns, inflation, and generational changes to candidate behavior,” Richichi explained. “Companies that deploy our software are statistically faster, less discriminatory, and less prone to error.”  

This round will allow Sprockets to undergo dramatic growth and expansion in order to lessen your hiring headaches and ensure an easy, seamless use of our hiring platform. 

Our Growth and Accomplishments

The funding comes a few months after we achieved 10x growth at the peak of the labor crisis.  

Sprockets helped thousands of customers and hundreds of thousands of candidates in the QSR and hospitality industries in 2021. We are so proud of what we have accomplished but know there is much more work to be done. 

“We sincerely appreciate the overwhelming support from customers, partners, investors, and team members,” Richichi said, expressing his gratitude.

Our company is also lucky to have investors who share our passion for fixing a broken hiring process. Tom Hawkins, founder and managing partner of Forte Ventures, states, “The Sprockets technology solution is invaluable to hiring managers in QSR, hospitality, and multiple other industries with hourly workers. Imagine the change that Sprockets will have on worker satisfaction and career stability within a segment of the population that has historically been ignored by most of the HR tech players. We’re excited to have led Sprockets’ Series A financing and look forward to supporting the management team moving forward.” 

Other investors who participated in our Series A round can attest to Sprockets’ success, particularly in the face of a labor crisis. “Businesses need easier and faster ways of making good hires,” Anya Schiess, co-founder and general partner at Healthy Ventures said. “Sprockets solves this problem with candidate-focused automation.

Richichi, along with the rest of the Sprockets team, is grateful for this rare opportunity. “We are challenging a hiring process that’s been static for hundreds of years, and being rewarded with great traction,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to sign the world’s biggest brands, integrate with industry leading technologies, and build a world-class team.”

Hiring Success Story: 95% Employee Retention in 90 Days

We recently helped a 50+ location Bojangles group achieve 95% employee retention in just 90 days. With the help of Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System, the franchise was able to achieve an ROI of 14x and uncover over $134,000 in savings. The employees they hired with Sprockets stayed longer than those who were hired without, proving the ability of our platform to accurately predict applicant success and increase employee retention. It’s possible for your business to achieve similar success. To learn more about how our AI-powered platform can help change the future of your own hiring, schedule a free, 15-minute demo here.


Two engaged, happy restaurant workers

3 Examples of Effective Employee Engagement in Top Companies

3 Examples of Effective Employee Engagement in Top Companies 1016 528 Sprockets

Employee engagement refers to your workers’ emotional connections to the goals of your company. High team member engagement is often linked to strong employee retention, while a lack of engagement results in workers feeling less satisfied and invested. It also means that you may not get as many unique contributions from your staff and will likely suffer from costly turnover. But in order to know how to achieve high engagement, you need to know what that looks like. Continue reading to discover three stellar examples of employee engagement in companies.

Start hiring hourly workers that will have a strong emotional connection to your business right off the bat with Sprockets. Our Applicant Matching System reveals which applicants will succeed like your current top performers, empowering you to build strong, cohesive teams that will stay long-term.



Examples of Employee Engagement in Companies

1. Taco Bell

One of the best employee engagement examples is Taco Bell’s Start With Us, Stay With Us program. First launched in 2016, the platform highlights Taco Bell’s genuine commitment to their workers. Their employee-first attitude recognizes the realistic needs of staff such as tuition reimbursement, scholarship opportunities, and growth within the company itself. 

Frank Tucker, Chief People Officer at Taco Bell, understands that many people get their first job at a restaurant: “Whether they want to start with us for a year or stay with us for life, we feel it’s our responsibility to make sure we’re offering benefits and programs that create innovators and leaders for our communities inside and out of our restaurants.” 

Even when workers decide to leave the taco chain, Taco Bell ensures they have learned valuable skills that will help them with future endeavors.. The company hopes Start With Us, Stay With Us will motivate their workers to advocate for the Taco Bell brand and increase loyalty. 

2. Chick-Fil-A

Chick-fil-A has a unique set of employee engagement ideas because of the way it empowers its franchise owners. Most franchise companies regulate their brand in a top-down manner. However, Chick-fil-A gives franchise owners the freedom to implement their own set of standard operating procedures. Rather than saying “this is how we do it,” Chick-fil-A owners are given a chance to customize how they think things should be done based on their location, team, and customers. 

Franchisees are in charge of everything from the hiring of workers to providing employee benefits. They also have excellent training models in place. This strategy helps employees feel less overwhelmed by customer demands and more enthusiastic about their work. Additionally, Chick-fil-A refuses to let individual franchisees treat each other as competitors. The fast food restaurant will even fly representatives from successful stores to struggling ones so that the hard-hit stores can learn from them. 

3. Buffalo Wild Wings

When it comes to understanding team member engagement, communication is key. For example, Buffalo Wild Wings responded to high employee turnover with surveys to understand the experiences of their workers. The restaurant then used this feedback to determine how they could improve their employee engagement strategies. Staff who truly believe employers listen to their concerns are more likely to have a positive experience working with the company. 

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Buffalo Wild Wings implemented Brand Champ. This employee engagement program was designed to teach employees the “how” behind the brand and equip them with background brand knowledge to succeed while performing daily operations. Additionally, Buffalo Wild Wings launched  “What’s Hot at B-Dubs,” a virtual employee engagement program featuring inspirational guest speakers. The goal of both programs is to help employees understand why and how their work matters.

Go Beyond Employee Engagement Examples

Now that you’ve read these employee engagement examples, you’re ready to start improving your own strategies. Whether you’re a restaurant owner or hotelier, that starts with hiring the right people for your business. Luckily, Sprockets’ AI-powered platform reveals what character traits make your top performers so successful. Our Applicant Matching System then identifies which potential hires share these same characteristics. Essentially, it’s like replicating your best employees. Plus, Sprockets’ hiring solution is proven to boost employee retention by an average of 43%. 


Happy hotel employees

How to Create a Successful Employee Engagement Plan in Six Simple Steps

How to Create a Successful Employee Engagement Plan in Six Simple Steps 1016 528 Sprockets

Employee engagement is key to a thriving workplace. When team members are highly engaged, they’re more productive and creative. They take more ownership of their work and feel like they’re part of something larger than themselves. Whether you’re starting from scratch or simply want to refresh your memory on the basics, this blog outlines how to create an effective employee engagement plan in just six steps. 

Employee Engagement Strategy Plan

Step 1: Recruitment

Crafting an employee engagement action plan begins at the recruiting stage of the hiring process. This initial step will help you filter out unsuitable applicants and establish a happy, productive environment right from the get-go. You want to find people whose expectations match your company’s culture, mission, and values. Essentially, you want to replicate your top performers. Luckily, Sprockets’ AI-powered platform identifies which potential hires will succeed like your best employees, empowering you to build strong, engaged teams.


Step 2: Conduct Employee Surveys

To shape your employee engagement strategy plan, you need to understand what your employees are thinking. In fact, 89% of hiring professionals agree that ongoing employee feedback leads to success. Consider conducting employee surveys to get a sense of how your employees feel about their role and environment. Whether you decide to create a questionnaire or build a series of focus groups, it’s important your workers feel that their opinions truly matter. You may also find that asking your employees to provide anonymous feedback will help them feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. 

Step 3: Collaborate on Solutions

Collaborate with your team and analyze your employee engagement survey results to develop an action plan. Identify pain points and establish engagement goals. Take a look at other employee engagement action plan examples for inspiration — you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Remember, this level of collaboration is vital to employee engagement as it shows staff members that their voices are being heard.

Step 4: Establish Measurable Metrics

Metrics will help you track the progress — and see how you can improve — your employee engagement plan. The most common employee engagement metric is employee retention. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals to clearly monitor your team member engagement against measurable targets. 

Step 5: Provide Room for Growth and Development

Without progression, employees become bored and dissatisfied. They’ll feel like they aren’t moving forward in their careers and lives. Provide career pathways to show your employees you care. This will keep them motivated to consistently succeed and may even increase their contributions to your business.

Step 6: Measure Your Success

It’s crucial your employee engagement action plan is effective. Continue to track the metrics you established earlier to spot patterns and, ultimately, decide whether or not your plan is working. If you aren’t seeing the results you wanted, don’t be afraid to make changes. Engagement is a continuous process, so it’s important to be flexible and adapt as needed.

Boost Your Employee Engagement With Sprockets

Supercharge your employee engagement by making smarter hiring decisions with Sprockets. Our Applicant Matching System identifies what makes your best employees so successful, empowering you to predict applicant success. Trusted by top brands like Taco Bell and Wingstop, Sprockets users see a 43% improvement in employee retention. It’s easy to use and even integrates seamlessly with popular HR tools like TalentReef and McHire. We’re so confident in our hiring solution that we’re offering free, 15-minutes demos of our platform.