5 Tell-Tale Signs Not to Make That Offer!

If I have learned anything at all in my HR/Recruiting career it’s that everyone has an opinion on what makes a good hire. If you ask 100 people to give you one thing they focus on when deciding between candidates, you’ll get 100 different answers!

I’ve got some of my own. They might be slightly different than yours, but I know mine will work!  So, if you want to make some better selections, take note my young Padawans:

1. Crinkled up money. Male or female if you pull money out of your pocket or purse and it’s crinkled up, you’ll be a bad hire!  There is something fundamentally wrong with people who can’t keep their cash straight. The challenge you have is how do you get a candidate to show you this? Ask to copy their driver’s license or something like that!

2. Males with more selfies on their Instagram, than all other photos. I don’t even have to explain this (also, don’t go do a count on my IG!).

3. Slow walkers.  If you don’t have some pep in your step, at least for the interview, you’re going to be a drag as an employee.

4. My Last Employer was so Awesome! Yeah, that’s great, we aren’t them. Let’s put a little focus back on what we got going on right here, sparky. Putting too much emphasis on a job you love during the interview is annoying. We get it. It was a good gig. You f’d it up and can’t let go. Now we’ll have to listen about it for the next nine months until we fire you.

5. Complaining or being Rude to waitstaff.  I like taking candidates to lunch or dinner, just to see how they treat other people. I want servant leaders, not assholes, working for me. The meal interview is a great selection tool to weed out bad people.

What are your signs not to make an offer?  Share in the comments!

Why do we suck so much?

There’s an interactive questioning technique called The 5 Whys.  The theory is that if you continue to ask ‘why’ enough times you’ll get to the root cause of every issue.

Timmy is a bad performer. Why?

He doesn’t follow through on anything. Why?

It seems like he gets things started well and then moves onto other things before the first thing is finished. Why?

He likes the energy of starting new projects. Why?

He thinks if he’s on the front side of the project, he’ll have more influence in the direction the project is going. Why?

Because that has been his experience with our organization.

Oh, so he might not be a bad performer. He just has an opportunity area that we might be able to help him out with – getting projects across the finish line.  And we’ve taught him to behave in this manner.

I don’t know if you have to use to 5 whys each time, I do think you have to ask at least 3 whys to get past the emotion of any decision.  We tend to make most decisions with some element of emotion.  Getting to the third why will get the emotion out in the open.  That is important in any decision-making process.

Does this technique seem a little ‘parental’?  It does, which is why you probably don’t want to make a habit of using this technique too often.  It is definitely a tool, though, that can be very effective for a leader to use from time to time.

“We need to change our hiring process!”

Why?

“We have had 3 consecutive failed hires.”

Why?

“Well, one person was a referral from an executive, so we hired without really checking references. One hire totally aced our pre-employment testing, but had a sketchy work history, but tested off the charts. One was a knock out in the interview, marginal testing, and just didn’t pan out.”

So, do we really need to change our hiring process? Or should we just start following our hiring process?

3 Whys takes the emotion out of any decision making process.  It gets out everyone’s inner issues about the problem.  We tend to lead with a crisis statement that will lead to action.  If we take action based on incomplete information, we will unnecessarily start doing things that we might not need to do, or make changes that really don’t make sense to the organization.

Next time you are facing a tough decision, start asking ‘Why’ and see where it leads you, you might be surprised where you’ll end up!

 

OMG! Did you guys hear what Kris did!?! #Yikes!

Gawd! We love gossip!

I’m personally on five text groups, a few Messenger groups, a couple of IG groups, and a number of email chains that all act like some strange modern version of a watercooler in the breakroom at work. Or the back smoke break patio at the office. Pick your pleasure.

Cultural anthropology sees gossip as an informal way of enforcing group norms. It is effective in small groups. But gossip is not the search for truth. It is a search for approval by attacking the perceived flaws of others…As a social enforcement mechanism, gossip does not scale. Large societies need other enforcement mechanisms: government, religion, written codes.”

Think about how gossip can help organizations perform better.

If I’m new to a department, gossip quickly lets me know the group norms that are expected and tolerated. If I want to be viewed as a good performer I will follow the group norms and gossip is the vehicle for letting me know what those norms will be.

If I’m a “good” gossip, I skilled at finding and sharing information amongst my team they find valuable, I’ll quickly increase my status within the department. I have to be careful as lies and false gossip can quickly bring me down in status.

The problem with gossip, historically, is in didn’t scale well. I might have some juicy gossip but how am I going to effectively share that across an entire organization? But, now with social media, the internet, smartphones, email, Teams/Slack, Zoom, etc., we can easily spread gossip, both good and bad.

So, why am I talking about gossip? 

I will tell you leaders and HR spend more time trying to stop gossip within the organization than almost anything. I’m wondering if we are actually doing ourselves a disservice. What if we used gossip to drive great engagement? What would that look like?

The key to great gossip is “we” all want to be in on a secret. 

We want gossip that we believe almost no one else has. To use gossip to enforce organizational norms (gossip at scale) we can’t just go out and start launching secrets into the world. There has to be a plan!

The problem with trying to lead with gossip is it can lead to chaos. If we believe the social/group norm is to communicate via gossip, that is a very fine line to try and navigate successfully, knowing it’s hard to know what gossip to believe or not believe.

I think we can use the psychology behind our desire for gossip, though, to drive some great outcomes within our organizations.

What happens if you’re in a small meeting, let’s say, five people. The CEO is one of those people and she has something amazing to tell everyone, BUT, the four of us will have to keep this secret. We can’t tell anyone!

We all leave the meeting. I’ve got my #1 right-hand person on my team. I’ve got to pull them in, this is too important, this has too big of an impact on our department not to let my #1 know! So, I trust them (like the CEO trusted me) to not tell anyone else. What happens?

  1. They are over the moon that I trusted them enough to bring them in on the secret. (High Engagement – High Loyalty)
  2. I put myself in a really bad position if the CEO finds out.
  3. I start working with the CEO to let us work on a comms plan to let others know that need to know. (basically to cover my ass for already letting the secret out into the wild!)

Welcome to Organizational Behavior 101, kids!

Every leader has “gossip”. Stuff they know that their team doesn’t know. Some of that is secret. Some of that is just stuff they found about before everyone else, for an undetermined amount of time.

I find that leaders who can use the positive “safe” gossip for informing their team tend to have extremely high team engagement. “Hey, team, we need to pull it in close for a five-minute huddle, I’ve got something really important I need to share with you. But, first, you have to understand, this is NOT public information! We can’t allow this to be shared.”

I just wrote that, and I’m sitting here wanting to know what comes next! Gossip is a powerful tool, that can just as easily make your career as break your career!

As leaders, it’s our job to ensure the group norms we allow are ones where the good gossip, the sharing of information that helps us all increase our knowledge and power are encouraged, while the bad gossip is shut down immediately. All gossip is not bad, but it’s all-powerful in terms of possible outcomes.

 

@LinkedIn’s Future of Recruiting Survey says the #1 Skill for Recruiters in 2020 is… @LinkedInNews

I know you hate clickbait headlines, but they work, plus I know you want to know, so why give it away in the title! I mean I don’t get paid for my dashing looks and witty charm! Thank goodness!

LinkedIn launched its 2020 Future of Recruiting survey results today and it’s one of my favorite content pieces to comment on. Click through the link to download it for yourself, it’s packed with interesting data around talent acquisition and recruiting!

The #1 Skill for Recruiters in 2020 is…Adaptability!

Did you guess that? I didn’t. I think I could have probably could have had 50 guesses on not got that one. Here are the others:

Fastest growing skills for recruiters in 2020:

● Personal Development +44%

● Diversity & Inclusion +42%

● Talent Pipelining +37%

● Decision-Making +34%

● HR Strategy +30%

Okay, I can see personal development being high on the list, since 2020 has brought a lot of quality time working in remote settings and high unemployment numbers for recruiting pros, I think most people have been thinking about their personal and professional development.

I actually would have guessed D&I would have been #1. 2020 will be remembered for a few things – Covid, Social Justice, and the U.S. finally getting a sane person in the White House. So, from a talent acquisition perspective, I would have guessed diversity and inclusion recruiting to be the top priority.

HR Strategy actually makes zero sense to me! So, you’re in talent acquisition and your most needed skill is HR Strategy? Quite frankly, it makes you question the results overall. How could that be? Talent Pipelining? Yep! HR Strategy? Nope! But, it’s 2020, weird times.

Another big eye-opening stat from the report:

70% say Virtual Recruiting will become the new standard!

Okay, this one will take some explaining and background. First, what do you mean by “virtual recruiting”? So, for this data, that basically means, the process we have for recruiting can be done virtually. Sourcing, video interviewing, online assessments, etc., can all be done virtually, so I guess, yes, in that case, “virtual recruiting” is the new standard.

But, honestly, most of that stuff was already fairly standard.

I think the bigger aspect is Recruiters believing they’ll continue to be virtual/remote after Covid. I think Covid has shown organizations that in a pinch, yep, recruiting can be done virtually. But, every organization will have to truly decide is it better or the same as before, or possibly worse?

I’ve spoken to a number of F500 executives who aren’t super keen on remote recruiting because the relationships with hiring managers are worse, synergies amongst the TA team aren’t as robust, and brainstorming around testing and how to improve seem weaker in remote settings. Some of that can be improved, but it still comes down to leader perception.

We’ve been automating recruiting since the first Caveman needed a new assistant to track dinosaur migration patterns, so the fact that we’ll continue to automate and be able to recruit from anywhere in a mostly Saas environment should not be surprising to anyone.

Go download the new report. Some really good stuff around TA budgets and everyone’s favorite new topic, Internal Mobility, as well.

Could Employee Data Portability be the Future of Employment?

Do you remember when cell phones first came out? If you were with Verizon and you wanted to switch to Sprint, you actually had to change phone numbers! Think about how that would impact your world today. We switch from company to company, go-between social apps all day long, never worrying that our “profile” our data, won’t follow us.

In the mid-2000s the FCC finally made the determination that we should be able to move our phone number from one carrier to the next. Our phone number was part of our personal data. It’s how people recognized us.

Now, think about how our jobs are similar to our phone number, in terms of data.

You go and work at company A. You do a great job. You want to use that great work to get a new job at company B, but company A is restricted from telling company B anything about you, besides maybe some dates of employment.

What if we had a full digital file of everything we did at company A. Our performance records. Our training and development records. Maybe even records of peer reviews, etc. Exactly which jobs you held and what you did.

Do you think that would help you get that next job?

For most, it would help a bunch. If you sucked it might hurt your chances, but hey, you sucked, get better at your current job and turn it around!

Workday has been working on making employee data portable between Workday customers. That is close, and it’s definitely a step in the right direction, but so far you can’t take your Workday record and take it to a competitor HCM solution like Oracle or SAP. But, if you worked at three Workday HCM shops in a row, theoretically they are putting into place the ability for you to make your employment data portable.

That’s really cool! Because one of the biggest issues we face as candidates and as employers is truly knowing what someone has done previously, and letting a potential future employee know what we have actually done. Unfortunately, way too many people flat out lie on their resume/application/LinkedIn profile, that it’s hard to take any of those things as concrete proof of work.

I actually really like the idea of employee data portability. We allow employees to have a copy of their employee file, but so often, there isn’t really any substance in those files to help an employee get their next job. I also, get that if you had a negative job experience, you might not want that, but let’s face it, most people have some negative job experiences along the way, and I think all of that would come out in the wash.

We are the collective of our experiences, not just our most recent experience. As a hiring manager, I’m looking for trends and growth, understanding an individual might have made a bad job choice that didn’t fit well, and that might pop out. But, I also like the fact that if someone is truly a bad apple, that will also pop out.

We are all quickly becoming portable data sets. Facebook, Instagram, Snap, TikTok, Twitter, etc. already know this. Most consumer marketing pros already know this. Employer technology tends to lag behind, but I think we are all headed down a path where one day getting hired will be less about your resume or profile, and more about your complete data set you can show an employer with a simple click.

Should You Tell An Employee You Consider Them High-Potential? #HiPo

The Wall Street Journal had an article saying that only 28% of companies tell their employees what they are ranked in terms of future potential (i.e., High Potential, Low, etc.).  From the article:

According to a report released Monday by consulting firm Towers Watson, just 68% of companies formally identify high-potential employees, and only 28% actually tell the employees they’ve been labeled as such. The survey was based on a study of 316 companies across North America.

“This is really a missed opportunity,” says Laurie Bienstock, co-author of the report. “You need to wonder how [organizations] are fostering the development of these high-potentials if they’re not informing them.”

Don’t you just wonder!?

Let me tell you a little HR secret Laurie, employers don’t need to tell Hi-Po’s they are Hi-Po’s because Hi-Po’s already know they are Hi-Po’s, that’s one reason they are Hi-Po’s they have great self-awareness.   What employers need to do with Hi-Po’s is the following:

1. Pay them.  Above the market, above average and low potentials within the same workgroups and make sure they know it.

2. Challenge them.  Lead positions on projects, putting them in positions to communicate to senior leadership and shine, getting them into the organizational “circle of trust”.

3. Treat them differently.  Yep, that’s right HR Pros – treat your Hi-Po’s differently than you treat your Low-Po’s – they expect, they want it, they’ll appreciate it.  It will tick off your Low-Po’s, and that’s a good thing – you need your Low-Po’s to be uncomfortable – you’re in charge of making your organization’s talent better, not running a charity event.

The other fact from the article that only 68% formally identify employee potential is surprising to me – and not that it’s low – that number seems high to me.  Hi-Po, No-Po, Low-Po, etc. is a big HR shop game that is a luxury for most organizations.  Is it critical for successful succession planning? Yes.  It is also something that takes a ton of organizational resources to accomplish and maintain.  Once you get that data, you then have to do something with it and keep doing it.  That usually means the development of an entire group within HR, depending on how big your organization is.  So, 68% seems like an inflated number – I’m guessing the survey was given to only large corporations.

Should you tell an employee what they are ranked?  I have and I would – but it really depends on the culture and engagement of your organization.  The one thing I will tell you is, if you have no plan on what you are going to do with this data, don’t start – it will be a waste of time.  I see so many HR Pros run down this path of determining who their Hi-Po’s are without any idea of what they are going to do next.  It’s like “Hey! We found out Joe and Lynn are our Hi-Po’s! Isn’t that great?!”  No, not really – so, what?  The real work comes after the identification in developing your Hi-Po’s into their next level position and building succession, the real work is not in the identifying.

 

This One Factor is Reducing Your Diversity Hiring by 30%!

Employers discriminate in hiring. This is a fact. It’s been a fact for generations. It’s the main reason anti-discrimination statements show up on job postings. That and it’s the law for Public employers and Government contractors who are required to have these statements. Many private employers use these as well to show they don’t discriminate in hiring.

For fifty years we’ve seen these statements on job descriptions and job advertisements. Recently, two Economists from the University of Chicago did a study looking at the impact of candidate behavior when these statements are added to a job posting and their findings were shocking!

In their study, the two economists posted advertisements for an administrative assistant job in ten large American cities. Of the 2,300 applicants who expressed interest, half were given a standard job description and the other half were given a description with an equal-opportunity statement promising that “all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, colour, age or any other protected characteristics”.

 

For racial minorities, those who received the pro-diversity statement were 30% less likely to apply for the job—and the effect appeared to be worse in cities with white majorities (see chart). In a follow-up survey, the prospective applicants said the statement prompted worries that they would be token diversity hires.

30% Less Likely To Apply!!! 

What the what?!?!

This isn’t a study that was done decades ago. This was done in the past twelve months!

So, what should we do? 

One thing the study found that had a positive impact on increasing diversity application is to show your senior executives, including your CEO, talk in a ‘real’ transparent way on the impact that diversity has on your organization.

No, not some overly-produced puff piece about how we are all part of the same rainbow. Include video on your career site with your CEO telling stories about how D&I isn’t just a marketing tactic, but how it’s really impacted the organization in a positive way.

Have diverse employees ask the CEO question that gets to the heart of where D&I is in your organization. Don’t be afraid about keeping this conversation open and maybe a bit uncomfortable. The more real, the more candidates will understand that you’re really trying to make a difference.

If you really want to make sure you’re not missing great minority applicants who are skipping even applying to you, embed these videos right into your job postings!

Don’t think that when you put an “EEOC” statement at the end of your job posting is letting a diverse candidate pool know you’re a great place for them to work. They don’t buy it! You have to be better than that!

Does Your Work Mandate You Tell Them Who You’re Sleeping With? #HRFamous

In episode 35 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Kris Dunn and Jessica Lee discuss their favorite Halloween candy, dig into BlackRock’s recent policy change that mandates employee report all romantic relationships, including those with all company partners and vendors, and wrap it up with a discussion on Performance vs. Trust via a famous Simon Sinek video.

Listen (click this link if you don’t see the player below) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS

1:30 – Halloween is right around the corner! JLee is modifying the normal Halloween routine for her two young kids. She’s excited because her kids are getting into Star Wars and they’re doing a Star Wars family costume.

3:00 – Tim’s family is doing a Michigan vs. MSU football/Halloween neighborhood tailgate. He is trying to decide if he wants to be Biden or Trump for his costume.

4:15 – What is your favorite Halloween candy? Tim is team Reese’s pumpkin because of the peanut butter to chocolate ratio. KD likes the bite-size (better known as fun size) Snickers. JLee likes a classic Kit Kat.

6:45 – First topic: BlackRock is now requiring all employees to disclose any sort of romantic relationship with anyone in the company or anyone related to the company, including all vendors and partners, which includes 1/5 of the known world by definition. The company may make alternative work arrangements depending on reporting from employees.

8:00 – Tim, the HR Famous workplace harassment expert, thinks that this new policy is stupid because it limits so many romantic or sexual relationships.

9:30 – JLee doesn’t want to know every possible relationship between employees from an HR perspective. She says it’s TMI!

10:30 – KD says that this policy follows a few scandals with relationship reporting at BlackRock involving high-level employees.

14:30 – The gang suggests a hashtag for Blackrock – #sexlessnation

15:00 – JLee tells us what questions would have to be asked about these relationships.

16:20 – The HR Famous crew wishes the best to the BlackRock HR crew with this new policy. #sexlessnation

19:30 – Second topic of the day: Simon Sinek’s video Performance vs. Trust. In this video, Sinek talks about the Marines and how to value trustworthiness vs. high-level performance.

22:40 – JLee thinks that this is a hard lesson for a leader to learn because you often only learn you can’t trust someone once someone has made a mistake.

23:30 – Tim brings up Malcolm Gladwell’s most recent book Talking To Strangers and how humans tend to default to trust when often people are not being trustworthy.

26:00 – Shoutout to Ed Baldwin and the book The Thin Book of Trust by Charles Feltman. He defines trust in his book as sincerity, reliability, and competence.

27:00 – KD and JLee would love if Simon would button up his shirt one more button!

What do you value most? Time or Money?

If I work less, you will pay less. True?

I’m assuming your answer to the question, what do you value most, time, or money? Your answer was time. Given enough time I can make more money. No matter how much money I have, I can’t necessarily buy more time.

So, if I do my work faster for you, that should have a higher value, right?

You see, it doesn’t work both ways. We want our employees to be more efficient doing world-class work, but if they don’t work the amount of time we expect, “we” feel like we got cheated. But, wait, I did what you wanted in half the time, you should be happy to pay me, in fact, you should want to pay me more!

Let me give you a real example.

Let’s say you’re paying me to find you a world-class employee, that will be super valuable to your organization. I’m billing you 25% of this employee’s first year’s salary of $100,000 if I successfully find you this talented person.

Turns out, I was able to find this person in 5 minutes. You owe me $25,000.

I’m so happy I was able to find you the person you wanted to hire! We are both extremely happy!

But you are not! Are you?

Why?

You feel cheated. You feel like if it only took me 5 minutes to find this person, that can’t be worth $25,000.

So, let’s break this down:

  • You said time is your most valuable resource.
  • I just gave you weeks, maybe months of time, since this search only took 5 minutes.
  • In fact, getting this hire on so quickly will allow your organization to close millions in additional project work.

Do you still feel cheated that I did my job so well, it gave us both more time and more value to both of our organizations?  Yes, most likely…

Great leaders would be extremely satisfied with this outcome. Average and emerging leaders would accept it, but still have some slight heartburn (how will I explain this to my executives? I’m paying $25K for 5 minutes of work!). Awful leaders will fight not to pay the invoice and ruin the relationship.

Now all of this has nothing to do with staffing, that was just the example. It has to do with what we value more. Time or Money.

We fail as organizations when we can’t define what is most valuable. This is how we get leaders who still value “asses in seats” over people delivering great work quickly. World-class organizations set great deliverables, reachable goals, and reward employees for meeting those goals on time, or ideally sooner!

The reward employees get is time and flexibility. The reward the organization gets is employees who want to continue to blow goals out of the water.

What do you value more, time, or money?