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ZERORISK HR Celebrates 25 Years of Building Great Workplace Cultures

This fall is ZERORISK HR’s 25th anniversary. This is all made possible by our clients who use our products and services, not to mention our employees past and present who have given their talents to building those products and delivering those services, as well as our partners who share our mission of building great company cultures. I’d like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thanks, reflect on the past 25 years, and look forward to the future. First, it’s a huge privilege to reach this milestone. We are so thankful to the clients and partners we serve and have worked closely with over the years. In business, sports, and life, it’s the people and relationships along the journey that mean the most. We are in the “people” business, and it’s the people aspect, most of all, that has made our 25-year journey fun and worth all the time and effort. I am fortunate to have met so many amazing people along the way, many of whom I count among my friends. Over the past month, I’ve reflected on ZERORISK’s quarter-century history. It’s amazing how far the behavioral assessment industry has come in that time. I remember working for an industrial psychologist in college; we were using behavioral assessments to assist clients in hiring and developing employees. Back then, our clients had to fax completed behavioral assessments to us for hand-scoring. Then we wrote behavioral summaries and faxed them back to our clients. Today, everything is administered, scored, and delivered online with software, and many workplace assessments are now packaged with applicant tracking and predictive analytics technology. I recall a client business owner telling me how much I had helped him when it came to hiring the third executive of his start-up company. This was a crucial hire as it was the VP of Business Development, a critical role integral to the growth and success of that business. I helped him evaluate his top three candidates and identified one that would be a great fit. That company went on to become one of the fastest growing medical software development companies in the country.

At this point, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to help leaders build thriving companies and great cultures. I’d always loved studying businesses and why they succeeded or failed. I found it energizing to play a key role in growing great cultures and businesses. After attaining certifications on several personality assessments and gaining experience using them for hiring and coaching, I worked on several validation studies to correlate personality assessment results to various performance metrics. I remember thinking that there must be another data point related to human behavior that showed a greater correlation to success than what I was seeing with personality assessment results. So, I started researching emotional intelligence.


Soon after this, I met Jack Gibson, President of International Risk Management Institute (IRMI). IRMI had a lot of data from their Employment Practices Liability Consultant Newsletter, showing that many of the negative issues in the workplace (legal issues, theft, injury, unwanted turnover, poor leadership, etc.) could be reduced significantly if companies could more reliably identify and hire the right people for the role and for their culture. I joined Jack Gibson and his team, and ZERORISK HR was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of IRMI in fall 1998. Our mission was to help companies manage the risks associated with hiring and managing their workforce.


After learning more about emotional intelligence, I was introduced to the science of Axiology and a 20-minute assessment based on the science. The science of Axiology is deductive in nature, it measures how people think and make value judgments (i.e. emotional intelligence). After months of research, we knew this was the assessment that we wanted to build the company around. It was much more precise than the standard personality assessments, first because it didn’t require self-analysis, and second, because it was a quick assessment that truly measured emotional intelligence. From this realization our flagship product, the ZERORISK Hiring System, was born. It was the first emotional intelligence-based assessment to be applied to interviewing and hiring.


We started with software on floppy disks. We shipped these to clients so they could load the software on one computer in their company. Clients had to print paper copies of the ZERORISK assessment for candidates to complete, and then they had to ten-key the results into the ZERORISK software to produce the interview guide and candidate summary report.


The Internet began to be commercialized for businesses to operate in 1995, and we knew we had to get the product online so we could scale the company. In 2001, the ZERORISK assessment became the first emotional intelligence assessment tool available online.


Here’s a brief timeline and some key milestones over the past 25 years:


1998 – ZERORISK HR formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Risk Management Institute (IRMI)


1998 – The ZERORISK Hiring System is the first emotional intelligence interviewing and hiring tool in the marketplace


2001 – The ZERORISK Hiring System became the first emotional intelligence assessment available via the Internet


2002 – Launched the Workforce Tomorrow Research Initiative for ongoing research and validation studies correlating emotional intelligence and thinking patterns to workplace performance metrics

2004 – Rolled out the Clear Direction Manager Development Program and Individual Contributor Development Program for emotional intelligence coaching and development


2004 – Introduced the Clear Direction Team Directory for improving communication among teams


2005 – Successfully validated the ZERORISK Hiring System on 100 job titles across 10 industries via the Workforce Tomorrow Research Initiative


2006 – Started the ZERORISK HR reseller network


2007 – Rolled out the HRCI-approved Behavioral Interview Training Workshop


2008 – Achieved 500 validated hiring benchmarks on 500 job titles across 30 industries


2009 – Rolled out the How to Interview Report and the Career Effectiveness Report for students, people in career transition, and for outplacement


2010 – Established International resellers in Mexico, India, Sweden, United Kingdom, Canada, and Trinidad


2012 – Introduced the Emotional Intelligence Culture Audit to help with aligning the corporate strategy with human capital strategy


2014 – ZERORISK HR began offering 1:1 emotional intelligence coaching services


2016 – Mike Poskey buys out the IRMI Executive Team and ZERORISK HR, Inc. becomes ZERORISK HR LLC with Mike being one of three owners along with Bill McIntyre and Stokes McIntyre (IRMI owners)


2017 – ZERORISK HR becomes a virtual company


2018 – ZERORISK rolls out full-day and half-day workshops on How to Build High Performing Teams, Developing Emotional Intelligence Competencies for Managers, Developing Emotional Intelligence Competencies for Individual Contributors, and How to Have Effective Crucial Conversations


2019 – ZERORISK HR updates the Workforce Tomorrow Report for delivering validation study results


2020 – Rolled out a virtual version of the ZERORISK Hiring System Certification Training


2020 – Rolled out Virtual Versions of the half-day and full-day workshops


2022 – Rolled out the new ZERORISK Customer Portal


2023 – Rolled out the new ZERORISK Hiring System Report & Behavioral Interview Guide


It’s been exciting to reflect on the accomplishments and milestones of ZERORISK HR over the past 25 years. It’s been great hearing from our clients on how they have reduced unwanted turnover, decreased lost-time injuries, improved sales performance, won customer service awards, and even received commendation as the best place to work for their great company culture.


We’re honored to work with clients that share our passion for building the best company cultures. This mission is what motivates ZERORISK to continue developing products and technology to help grow and develop a company’s greatest asset – its people.


We want to share this exciting milestone with our clients. We would like to extend a 25% discount on our Emotional Intelligence Culture Audits if you sign up by 12/31/23, and a $300 discount on our October ZERORISK Certification Training in October of 2024 if you sign up by 12/31/23.


Thank you again for supporting ZERORISK HR over the years. We look forward to 25 more years and beyond of serving our clients and resellers in building great workplace cultures!

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