Winning #35 on Crain’s Best Places to Work

Objective Paradigm came in at #35 on Crain’s Best Places to Work in Chicago! This is Objective Paradigm’s 4th win for Crain’s and we are excited to be climbing our way to #1.


At OP, we pride ourselves on not only being the best recruiting firm out there but also being one of the best workplaces in Chicago for our employees. How do we do this you may ask?

It comes down to our company culture. Okay, so how have we been able to cultivate this culture over the years you may ask? 

That comes down to the level of passion and involvement our leaders have in ensuring our employees are feeling set up for success and supported throughout their careers here. 


This comes through in three very specific and intentional ways at our company:

  • We have a robust onboarding program and a consistent check-in program with our teams. 
  • We have a supportive but hands-off management approach, and a team that prioritizes a work/life balance for their employees. 
  • We all share our companies’ visions and values.


So what does a robust onboarding program look like?

It looks like a well-organized onboarding week/month/6 months and beyond. Each position ramp-up is different, and we have created a program to meet our employees’ needs at each level they are at. We have an amazing Senior Manager of L&D, Emily Smith, who works very hard in creating specific training to help new Recruiters and Sourcers come into the organization and onboard in a very digestible way. Emily works closely with each new member’s manager, to ensure the training will meet the managers’ expectations and then works to create a constant cycle of communication between the manager, the employee, and L&D, so positive things are celebrated and things that need work are addressed. 

Beyond the “in person” training sessions, we have created a constant feedback loop for our new and existing employees through 3 and 9-month surveys the employees take, and here comes the big kicker…

The 6-month stay interview.


What is a stay interview? This is an interview that I conduct with each employee every 6 months to understand what is working well for them in the job, what could be better for them, and where they feel they could use more help, training, and support.

These interviews have helped me identify issues and concerns that employees may have early on and have helped me to create accountability for the employee based on where they see themselves growing within the organization. This also helps to create a feedback loop between employees and leadership, ensuring that problems are addressed quickly and the work culture remains strong.


You say you have a supportive, but hands-off management approach…how does that work?

It works by empowering employees to feel trusted right off the bat. You start off here with your manager’s full trust. We aren’t checking in on you multiple times per day to see what your plans are, but we make the employees feel like we are here if they need us. I can’t tell you how many people at our company note that their favorite thing about working at OP is the autonomy and trust given to them. 

We also trust that you are getting your work done. We know everyone has lives, families, and friends outside of work. We believe you can balance it all. Go on vacation and unplug from your email, but come back and hit it hard. It’s a true work hard/play hard balance here. Of course, there are always those who don’t do the hard work part – but so then we tailor a plan specific to the needs of that person to make sure they are completely clear on what they need to do to get their performance back on track.  


Another key piece of having highly engaged employees is creating an environment where we all share the belief behind our vision and values. 

Seems like such an HR thing to say, right? I know, but it’s real here. We have been empowered to use our values as our guiding principles when we are in a situation where we are unsure of what to do. This is part of the trust piece. We trust you to do the right thing in situations involving our clients, candidates, and fellow employees. 

I know most people probably won’t get to the bottom of this blog, so I don’t even have time to mention the amazing recognition programs we have in place, the intracompany transparency we have through our monthly all-hands meetings, or the charity, T4Youth, that Objective Paradigm’s Founder, Ryan Pollock, also founded and encourages us all to get involved with. 


The bottom line, we believe that our employees are the lifeblood of our organization. That’s why we invest in their development, both professionally and personally. We want our employees to feel valued, and we work hard to create an environment where they can thrive. If you’re thinking about making Objective Paradigm your next workplace, check out our careers page. You’ll see what sets us apart from the rest.


Dayna Headshot_OPChief of Staff, Dayna Stoller, creates internal initiatives that contribute to the overall well-being of OP’s employees. Dayna has tackled an overhaul of benefits and onboarding processes, vastly improving the experience for all while nurturing a culture that received Crain’s Chicago Best Places to work in 2018 and 2020. Dayna also helps to lead Objective Paradigm’s efforts in the charity founded by Ryan Pollock, T4Youth.

Join the conversation!