Will You Attend an Event That Mandates Vaccines?

On episode 80 of The HR Famous Podcast, longtime HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett and Kris Dunn come together to discuss hiring men to listen to you, generational wealth gaps and how money is dispersed generationally, and in-person HR conferences!

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

Show Highlights

1:30 – Tim and KD are together recording live in Miami! They are seeing the Michigan State Spartans football team take on the Miami Hurricanes.

2:30 – Tim found a new article that discusses a new phenomenon where Chinese women rent men to listen to them.

7:30 – KD wonders what the training for these men is like. He thinks it might involve some body-language training, non-verbal affirmations, and listening skills.

10:30 – KD asks if a young Chinese man would rather go into an industrial career or this type of job. Tim notes that women hiring these men want them to be college-educated, pop-culturally savvy, amongst other qualifications.

12:45 – Recently an economic study found that 30-year-olds across time and generations don’t have any major change in acquired wealth, although there has been a growing dissatisfaction with the wealth gap in the U.S. among young people.

15:15 – KD mentions that he doesn’t know a lot of Boomers who grew up with a lot of wealth or privilege and how our transition into a consumption society has tainted young people’s view of the world.

17:30 – “Comparison is the thief of joy.” — Kris Dunn

21:40 – Tim recently went to the SHRM annual conference and is headed to another SHRM conference with KD. Tim has noticed a small but vocal group on social media trying to stop people from going to these in-person conferences.

24:50 – Tim thinks it’s brave of HR Tech to mandate vaccines for their in-person conferences since it’s alienating about 30% of the potential audience. KD thinks that it’s not brave because they were trying to maximize the biggest audience possible.

28:30 – Tim noticed that there were a lot of extroverts at the SHRM conference and that they were very engaged.

31:40 – Catch Tim and KD at HR Tech from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1.

3 Great Learnings from Rejected Offers!

The CEO of Kapwing, Eric Lu, a video online technology company, recently wrote a blog post about what he and his team learned from recruiting engineers and had sixteen offers that were rejected! Go read it, it’s a great insightful post, from a leader will to share a bit of his pain and learning for the benefit of all of us!

First, we all know that recruiting technology candidates have been, and will continue to be, very difficult, especially in Silicon Valley. Eric knows this as well, but you still like to dig into your own data and find out more. I find most leaders don’t truly like to know why someone rejected their offer. In fact, most leaders make up excuses about the candidates who reject them, instead of learning more about themselves. So, Eric is already a pretty damn good leader by just wanting to know more about this issue!

Why do people reject your offers?

Before we even get into some of the common reasons, the reason most candidates reject an offer is that “we” (recruiting, hiring managers, leaders) did a crappy job at closing the potential candidate. What should happen is we all have pre-closed enough that when an offer is made, we already know the answer, and that answer is “yes”! You should rarely be surprised by this answer, and if you are, something failed in closing this candidate.

Money! (Duh, you really wrote that?!) Yeah, turns out people almost always want more money to come work for you, when they have a job and have some experience. They want a lot more money when they have those things and others who also want them.

No High-Level Title. Why? Ego, yeah. But, honestly, this is also another money thing! If you can actually get a higher title, this helps in your career progression. If I’m looking to hire a “VP” I want someone who has that experience or career progression. Most orgs won’t hire a “Manager” to become a “VP”, so titles matter to a lot of people. Even though they shouldn’t.

Your Brand/Position/Leader is what they want. This is the hardest one because many times there’s nothing you can do. Some candidates are looking for something specific and they don’t know if that will be you until they go through the process to find out. Sometimes that takes them to the end where they discover this isn’t for them.

What did the CEO of Kapwing learn from his rejected offers?

1. Expiring offers actually work! I absolutely love this concept! It’s a psychological concept to be sure! Once someone decides to accept your offer, even if other offers come in, they will usually stay with that offer. Kapwing had both sign-on bonuses and offer expiration dates! Take a look at this pic –

Expiring Offer Model from Kapwing

2. Access to your founders, C-suite, and Board can make a difference! But, really it’s more than just access, it’s also about those folks showing interest and making the person feel desired. If I’m interviewing for a non-leadership role and the CEO and a Board member reach out to me to say great things, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, and like those folks give a sh*t! I want to work for a company like that!

3. Communication from interviewers and potential new teammates is a big win! Candidates constantly get ghosted. They hate this and they hate “you” for it! If you want to land more candidates FORCE those who interviewed to email, call, send flowers, etc., and give those candidates constructive, yet positive, feedback. Also, have potential teammates of this person send notes, like “hey, Timmy, said he interviewed you last week and mentioned you have some knowledge around “X” we could so use you right now on this project…can’t wait to work with you!” A future employee wants to feel like they will find great friends at your company!

Shoutout to Eric Lu and the Kapwing team for sharing their pain, knowledge, and learning. It was a brave post, honestly, and I loved it!

@Hiretual’s 2021 Software Engineering Recruiting Report!

The single most-searched-for candidate on the sourcing technology platform Hiretual over the past twelve months has been for “Software Engineer”. Turns out, almost everyone, in every industry, in every market has a need for Software Engineers!

Hiretual recently released their 2021 Software Engineering Report (Click to download report) and it’s packed with some great data, you can download the report for free! Here are some nuggets from the report:

– The companies having the most success in recruiting Software Engineers are paying 13.2% more than the industry average!

– The sweet spot for experience level that companies are looking for is between 6-8 years. Those folks are probably going to be the hardest to find and most likely being paid above the market average. (Pro-tip – go for segments of experience that others aren’t – 10+ years, or under 4 years).

– The big East Coast cities are begging for Women and Underrepresented Ethnic Minority candidates more than the west coast. (San Francisco metro area probably has a more robust pool of women and underrepresented ethnic minority software engineer candidates than anywhere else in the US).

How can you use this report to help us recruit more Software Engineers?

1. Zig when others are zagging!

If everyone is trying to hire Software Engineers in San Fran and Austin, maybe you should hire in Chicago and Boston? Or Nashville and Atlanta. Let’s face it, most Sotware Engineers can Software Engineer from almost anywhere!

2. Fish in bigger ponds.

Use the data to know where to spend your job advertising dollars, and where to focus your sourcing efforts. Too often we spend way too much time fishing in small ponds for big fish when we should be fishing in big ponds for bigger schools of fish.

3. Pay us like you owe us!

Your C-Suite, especially your CFO needs data around compensation by market. It doesn’t matter how great you are at recruiting, and how great your recruiting technology is. If you aren’t paying the appropriate amount of money, you will lose.

Check out the 2021 Software Engineer Report by Hiretaul!

Graduating Starting Salary Articles Screw Up Talent Acquisition!

CNBC recently had one of those articles about what the top starting salaries are for new college graduates. You know the kind of article I’m talking about, the kind where some kid from a liberal arts college who graduated with an Art History degree thinks they should be getting an $85K starting salary because someone who graduated with a computer science degree gets that!

Here’s the highest starting salary from the CNBC article:

Here’s the problem with this type of salary data?!

  1. It’s taken out of context from a market and industry perspective! Okay, a “Petroleum Entry-Level Engineer” can make $87,989 for a starting salary. But only in the best case possible result of a combintion of great entry level candidate, from a top school, going to a top company, in an exensive area!
  2. New grads of other degrees think they are close to these top most-wanted graduates! You’re not! And it’s not even close! Congratulations, you really challenged yourself and got that Comms degree. Slow down, you’re only worth half of the top most wanted, at best! But, when they see these lists, they are like, “well, okay, I’m not worth $80K, but probably like $60K!” Nope. Try $40K.
  3. This is university and college career center porn. They love sharing these surveys which aren’t close to being accurate and usally based on self-reported new hire graduate salaires. So, really you’re making $42K, but you say $50K because you’re embarrassed you aren’t making more like all the “other” graduates. Who by the way, are also not making this much!

All of this gives Talent Acquisition pros a giant headache because we have to deal with the bad data and lies being fed to these kids. Look, we get it. If we were overcharging our “customers” by amounts that should spark a government investigation, we would also want our customers to believe they are getting great value for the money they are spending!

The problem is the companies that hire new graduates are dealing with the fallout of trying to re-educate students entering the workforce about what their true value is, and often that is a gutshot for a student also paying off tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.

What should we be doing?

I think colleges and universities should make students sign a letter that they understand what the starting entry-level salary is for the program they are entering. And sign a new agreement every time they decide to change programs. Those entry-level starting salaries should be the actual starting salaries from the top 100 organizations that actually hire those graduates, and segmented by market.

I think a little taste of reality would help all parties out. Hey, FYI, you’re choosing to work in a field that pays peanuts. It’s totally awesome you want to do it, but understand this is what you’re buying into! Students go in eyes wide open. Employers get students who have better expectations. An universitys’ might have to start answering some questions on why they are charging $50K a year to attend school for a job that only pays $40K!

As you can tell, I’m not a huge fan of this kind of data and articles. Most of the highest we already know. STEM careers in IT and Engineering are always the most wanted. Some stand out because they’re actually so few, both jobs and graduating seniors (Petroleum Engineers and Chemical Engineers). Then, there’s a giant drop-off.

5 Things You Can Do To Hire More College Students!

For part of my career, I did the standard corporate college recruiting gig. It sounds “super-cool” when you first think about it. “Wait, I get to fly around the country and go to the best college campuses and recruit people who actually want to be recruited?!”

The reality is college recruiting as a corporate recruiter is much less sexy. Think a lot of Courtyard Marriotts, a pizza, and a six-pack, while you watch crapping hotel TV and follow up on work email. Then wake up early and get to the next campus. You quickly begin to hate travel, hate college campuses, and miss actually being in the office!

But, corporations believe they must be on campus to recruit the best and brightest college students. Here is where the problem begins. College students don’t even know you’re there! A recent study by Walker Sands found out that the majority of college students don’t even know you were on campus:

Walker Sands’ new Perceptions of Consulting Careers study, 56 percent of college students don’t even know if consulting firms recruit at their school. On top of that, 82 percent feel that major firms only recruit from a limited group of select universities.  

Okay, this study focused on consulting firms, but the reality is the students don’t really know the difference between Deloitte and Dell when it comes to getting a job!   What can you do to make your company stand out and be remembered while you’re on campus?

Try these five things:    

1. Develop a Pre-visit communication strategy. Work with the schools you want to recruit from most to find out how you can get your message in front of them (email, text, the student newspaper, geo-targeted social media campaign, billboards on campus, etc.). Each school has a way to reach every student, you need to find out what that is, and how you can tap into that, even it costs a little money.    

2. Come in early and take over classes in the majors you’re most interested in. Professors are like most people, they don’t want to work hard if they don’t have to. So, if you build 45 minutes of great content, most Professors will let you ‘guest’ lecture as long as it’s not one big sales pitch. Come up with great contact professors will find valuable for their students, then go deliver it the day before the major career fair. Then invite each class to come to see you.    

3. Make a splash in high-traffic areas on the day of your visit. College kids haven’t changed much, they like free food and drink free stuff, basically anything free! So, find the highest traffic area on campus and give away free stuff college kids will like. If you’re only interested in one specific school within the university, find out where those students hang out.    

4. Stay a day later after everyone else leaves. Whether it’s the day after or even another time altogether, find a time to be on campus when you don’t have any competition to getting your message out. 99% of employers only show up on career fair days. Stand out and be the employer that is there when no one else is!    

5. Post-visit communication strategy. Most organizations never contact the students who show interest in them after they leave campus.  They’ll contact a handful of the ones who stood out to them, but so is every other employer. Recruiting kids after you leave is more important than the time you spend on campus. Most kids will see 20+ employers and will only remember a couple. If you stalk them after the fact, they’ll remember you!

SHRMLab Better Workplace Challenge Cup Winners! #HRTech @SHRM

In my post on Monday, I mentioned that my new favorite segment of content at SHRM Annual was the SHRMLabs Better Workplace Challenge Cup. Odd name that doesn’t make much sense to what the content really is. It’s a technology pitchfest. A startup competition of HR Technology companies. I’m going to assume the name came from someone who is sponsoring it, regardless, it was awesome!

The competition started amongst 150 different startups within the HR Technology community who first pitched at regional SHRM events across the country. From those five regional competitions, the winners were selected to present and pitch at SHRM Annual. Here are the five:

  • Compt: A perk stipend software company based in Boston, Mass.  
  • Symba: An all-in-one workforce management platform for talent development programs based in Chicago, Ill.
  • TiLT: A leave management platform based in Fort Collins, Colo.
  • UnboXt: A leadership development platform based in Atlanta, Ga.
  • WorkWhile: A technology company that connects hourly workers to shifts based in San Francisco, Calif.

All five pitched very well, and if you are looking to expand your HR Technology knowledge these five would be great ones to start with demos!

The winner was Compt. Deserving, I mean all of them were deserving, but Compt came across as a little more “sexy” for the judges. Perk companies tend to do that. They pitch well, especially to folks who don’t have a deep knowledge of the HR Technology marketplace and what HR pros actually use. Perk companies always sound cool, because it’s the kind of thing as employees we wished we had, but we don’t because it turns out it costs a bunch of money we don’t have! All of that said, Compt did very well and they do have some great technology.

My personal favorite was Tilt, for the simple fact, I know this is a technology that almost any company with over a hundred employees could use. Managing leave, well, is hard. HRIS systems do a little of this, but not to the extent that it makes the person leave feeling confident and also makes the HR person in charge of leave feel like they have their arms around everything.

I wasn’t a huge fan of bringing in SharkTank judge Daymond James, but honestly, I was in the super minority! In hindsight, it was a good call on SHRM’s part because it got a lot of people in the room who were stargazing, to actually take a look at some great HR Technology. Kind of a brilliant move on SHRMLab’s part to find a way to get folks interested in HR tech who aren’t normally interested in HR tech! Maybe SHRM can get Matthew McConaughey SHRM 2022 in New Orleans to judge!

I’m out at the HR Technology Conference in a couple of weeks and I’m one of the Emcee’s and Judges for their HR Technology startup competition, the Pitchfest. I love that more HR tech companies are getting an opportunity to be in front of actual practitioners. There is so much great HR Tech in the world, and most of us know just a fraction of it. Kudos to both SHRM and The HR Technology Conference for giving these startups a platform to be seen!

Why Are Men Increasingly Opting Out of College? And why does this matter to HR?

In episode 79 of The HR Famous Podcast, longtime HR leaders (and friends) Tim SackettKris Dunn, and Jessica Lee come together to discuss the declining participation rate of males across colleges and universities in America.

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

Show Highlights

3:00 – KD sent a note to JLee about women’s workplace fashion coming out of Covid and learned a lot in the back and forth.

7:15 – What would you tell someone in 2021 who was sick of their job and wanted to quit? Should they wait before they have another job and join what’s been called “The Great Resignation,” where people quit before having their next gig lined up. Is this a generational thing?

9:30 – JLee thinks that the ability to quit a job before getting another job has a privilege that many people don’t have.

11:00 – Tim says it’s a proven fact that it’s easier to get a job when you have a job. He says don’t quit a job until you have the next.

13:00 – KD mentions an article from the Wall Street Journal about the declining rate of men choosing to attend college. College campuses are becoming a split 60/40 female-to-male.

15:00 – Tim says this is only an issue if we have a functional way to get men into trade-skills careers and similar types of jobs. KD thinks that pointing to alternatives to college as a reason for the drop is not the whole story.

19:30 – KD asks JLee if she can’t fathom a world where men become a focus point for colleges and the companies they serve, or if she believes the world will be unwilling to do that. She thinks both.

20:00 – JLee wonders if there is too much pride in this country to develop programs to build up and take care of young boys through programming. Kris discusses how cultural changes and resulting shifts on campus have created a mismatch between how young men view themselves from a masculinity perspective and their view of campus life.

24:30 – JLee notes that she thinks educational environments don’t often do a good job catering to a diverse set of students and that this could be part of the larger issue of men choosing not to attend college.

26:45 – Tim thinks there are only three avenues for graduates from public schools and that a lot of students aren’t ready or aren’t a good fit for college.

31:45 – JLee says that a man cannot be the one that is the voice and the face of a male-centered campaign to help with this declining rate. Tim points to the fact that a man trying to lead the cause would be seen as an über-conservative. KD wonders aloud why the topic of masculinity can only be viewed as negative and viewed in an extreme way when different versions of masculinity exists and all are not toxic.

Choose Your Hard…

I was at SHRM Annual last week and a very common story from everyone I spoke to, know matter their title, was the fact that recruiting talent is extremely difficult right now. Most organizations are in desperation mode, and I’m not saying that to be dramatic.

There’s a concept that motivational folks have been using for a while now. The concept is “Choose your hard.” Meaning, a lot of stuff in life is hard. It’s hard to be overweight and not feel good about yourself, it’s also hard to work out and eat healthily. Choose your hard.

It’s hard to get up and go to work each day and put in long hours to make ends meet. It’s also hard to be unemployed and figure out ways to survive. Choose your hard.

It’s hard to recruit talent.

There are so many things organizations can do to recruit talent better. You can hire great recruiters and give them the right tools. You can actually fund your recruitment marketing and advertising appropriately. You can measure and performance manage your recruiters and sources. You can work with your hiring teams to help out as employee advocates to produce more referrals. You can shop out your entire recruiting to RPO or Agency. You can hire great employees who love your brand and train them to be recruiters. You can go out and lead the market in pay and total compensation packages.

All of this stuff is hard to do.

It’s hard because most of this stuff comes with accountability. If I can talk my CEO and CFO into funding us correctly, this will come with some expectations of performance. I will put a bullseye on myself and my team.

It’s hard to get fired from a job because you didn’t perform. Because you didn’t do the work that was needed to be successful. That you didn’t put in the work to build the plan, to acquire the needed resources, to lead your organization to success.

Don’t get me wrong, working harder is not a strategy. Working harder is a short-term fix, that eventually leads to failure and burnout. Hard is doing the work that needs to be done so your sole strategy is not just working harder.

At the end of the day, we all have to choose our hard.

#SHRM21 Wrap – What I learned at @SHRM Annual this Year!

It’s a wrap! The largest HR conference in the world happened this past week and weekend, with around 8,000 in-person HR pros in attendance and another almost 4,000 online virtually. SHRM’s Annual Conference is one the most attended conferences in the world each year, so it was fun to see it back live.

What I learned from SHRM Annual 2021:

– The 8,000 in-person attendees really wanted to be in person! I’ve seen a few people online be very against in-person conferences, The HR Technology Conference has also seen its haters, but the reality is, we will be facing Covid most likely for the rest of my life, like the flu. SHRM and LRP, and many others are doing the work to figure out our new normal. The people who showed up were active and excited, and the live conversations were fun and needed for a lot of people’s mental health. The SHRM crew was vigilant around masking and tracking, and most likely we’ll see this kind of thing at conferences for a while.

– SHRM is making some big advances into the HR Technology space. They had an HR Tech startup pitch fest, which ran through regional SHRM chapter competitions with the finalist pitching at Annual and they even brought in Shark Tank judge Daymond John to sit as a judge. SHRM also has started SHRMLabs around technology and is attempting to have some impact on the HR Technology space. Also, SHRM CEO, Johnny Taylor, commented publicly that SHRM will continue to build more knowledge in this area. Shout out to Guillermo Corea, who is leading SHRMLabs and I’m excited about the future of SHRMLabs under his direction.

– The SHRM Blog Squad is no more, and the replacement is the SHRM Influencers. Those that accepted the assignment were active and awesome! SHRM kind of dropped the ball in terms of setting them up with some special things. The Influencer lounge was sparse and not something you would want to hang at, and I would expect this to evolve as well in the future. Most of the social push SHRM gets at Annual is done by this small group of really dedicated pros.

– SHRM got kind of stuck with dates, so it wasn’t awesome having the conference run over a weekend and end on a Sunday in the west coast time zone. Most attendees took off early Sunday to get back for work on Monday, which made it fairly lightly attended on Sunday. Not much they could do, having to change dates and venues, you kind of take what you get. Everything will be back to normal in June 2022 when SHRM Annual is going back to New Orleans!

– The SHRM members I spoke to, especially those who have been to multiple SHRM Annual conferences were super impressed with the content and speakers. We’ve had some crazy times since SHRM 2019, and there was a lot of knowledge sharing and ideas floating around. The first-time attendees I spoke to all seem to really love it as well. I find the vast majority of SHRM members who come to the Annual conference really like the experience and feel like it elevates themselves as professionals.

– The SHRM Expo was smaller than the past few years, which was expected, but still very big. My biggest takeaway was the lack of TA and Recruiting technology companies there when every single attendee is desperate for help in hiring! Hiretual was one of the standouts and it seemed like they were consistently running demos. The number of Health Tech companies there almost seemed odd. It seemed like every other booth was Health Tech. The SHRM audience definitely trends SMB to Mid-enterprise, where most of these “HR” titles are buying for everything across their stack. Recruiting tech that caters to those HR shops that have 1-10 HR and TA users definitely could kill it at SHRM Annual.

– There is a very small but vocal group of Johnny Taylor haters, who also happen to be non-SHRM members, on social media, but I find that SHRM members love JCT! I spoke to many members and specifically would ask, “Tell me, what do you think of Johnny and the job he’s doing at SHRM?” 100% of just normal SHRM attendees I spoke to have really high praise for Johnny and the changes at SHRM. He might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the membership believes he’s the guy.

– SHRM Board Member, Steve Browne, the “people’s” board member, is done and moving on to other career things. It seems like just yesterday that the HR social media crew pushed a campaign to get Steve voted in, and we felt like we finally had a voice on the board of the world’s largest HR association, and he took that role very seriously. With Steve stepping down, Paula Harvey is our new board member for the people! I hope Paula gets voted in and I think she’ll be an awesome replacement for Steve. Steve will be missed, but I know he’ll stay active within the SHRM community.

At the end of the day, I always leave SHRM Annual feeling fulfilled emotionally and mentally. To be surrounded by thousands of HR pros who are all working to make themselves better is an uplifting experience for our profession. To see our community sharing with each other and being so thankful for the knowledge they are getting is a very cool feeling. It’s an investment to attend to be sure, but I think it’s an investment that pays for itself for those to attend and get involved.

Congrats to the SHRM staff and volunteers for pulling off another SHRM Annual event and maybe the most challenging event ever. Shout out to Damona Barnes who will lead the volunteers for SHRM Annual 2022, I got a chance to finally meet her in person and she and her team are going to kill it in New Orleans!

RESET – A Leader’s Guide to Work In An Age of Upheaval – new book by @JohnnyCTaylorJr and @SHRM

I’m out at the SHRM Annual Conference this week and excited to see all my HR Peers and Friends! It’s a big event since SHRM didn’t have an in-person 2020 conference and by far the largest in-person conference I’ve gone two in a very long time!

SHRM CEO, Johnny Taylor, is also launching his new book, RESET: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval, and it couldn’t be better timing for HR leaders and organizational leaders looking for ideas and solid data around managing through our new world of work.

One of the things I really like about this book right off the bat is that Taylor worked closely with SHRM’s Research arm to really pack a ton of data into this book. I think most modern HR and Organizational leaders want ideas backed by research and SHRM has a ton of data to pull from with such a large global membership.

The reality is with so many organizations adding remote and hybrid work environments we truly are in a new frontier of building an organizational culture around very different types of work, all combined into one very new digital culture phenomenon (which just happens to be my talk at SHRM Annual this year!).

Johnny Taylor is known as a very strong speaker and storyteller, and it comes out in his book as well. RESET does a great job of weaving in data, with real-life organizational examples, and Taylor’s strong storytelling to make this book an enjoyable and quick read. This should easily become the HR Book Club choice of the year for sure, as our HR and Leadership teams work to reinvent our organizational culture over this year and next.

RESET hits on all the important themes of today, talent retention, DEI, internal mobility, and solving the skills gap. And I love that Johnny and SHRM put together a new Culture Score Scale (NICE) around Net Promoter Score, Inclusion Factor, Curiosity Indicator, and Employer Brand. It’s a modern people measure for sure, and one that I think most HR and Talent pros will find very interesting!

RESET is officially being launched this week at SHRM Annual and it’s definitely designed to be a leadership playbook for organizations working to reinvent themselves around one of the biggest challenges, historically, any of us have ever faced. You can grab off the SHRM website and I’m sure all the normal places you buy books!