What do 2022 Grads want in a job?! @iCIMS

iCIMS released their 2022 Class of Covid-19 report, which is an annual report on recent college grad expectations around jobs and careers! Some very interesting findings that can help you and your organization better understand Gen Z.

So, what do the kids want?!

  • Entry-level applicants have high expectations for “securing the bag.” Recent grads expect an average salary of more than $70,000, while employers expect to pay entry-level candidates just under $53,000. When it comes to getting paid, one in five recent grads expects cryptocurrency as a compensation option. 
  • The gender pay gap continues to negatively influence females’ expectations. Female recent grads expect to earn $10,000 less a year than their male counterparts. For the past seven years that iCIMS has commissioned this research, females consistently expect to make less money in their first job than males.
  • An unprofessional interview appearance could cost candidates the job. Recent grads say dress codes are out, as more than one-third (37%) believe what they wear to work shouldn’t matter. However, hiring pros say that appearing unprofessional is the top reason that entry-level candidates are not hired. Whether taking a virtual interview in a bedroom or an in-person interview in a boardroom, a professional appearance is required to ace an interview and land the job. 
  • Recent grads pass the loyalty test. While entry-level workers have developed a reputation for job-hopping, the overwhelming majority (91%) say they care how long they stay with an employer and nearly 70% see themselves staying with an employer long-term.
  • They work to live instead of living to work. Gen Zers are loyal, but their well-being wins. Nearly half (49%) say a full-time job is “just a job” and they prioritize their personal passions. Many Gen Zers (48%) say they don’t need to work nine to five to be successful in their career.
  • Mental health matters. Two in three recent grads expect their employer to support their mental health and participate in open conversations about it. They also must personally align with a company’s mission and core values when applying for a job. 
  • Virtual reality isn’t just for gamers. Approximately a third of recent grads would be comfortable working in a virtual reality (VR) environment, such as the metaverse. But, other generations of workers aren’t ready for that, as only 13% of older generations report they’d like to spend their days in a VR workplace.

You can download the full report here!

Does this align with what you were thinking?

It seems like every single year I review this report, there is misalignment on what new grads believe they will earn and what they will actually learn, so I’ve come to expect this result now. I used to blame higher ed for not setting these expectations better. Now, I just think it’s dumb kids believing dumb things. We all thought we were worth more than we were!

Again, I totally get those young people who believe that how you dress has nothing to do with your ability to do a job. They are correct! But, first impressions and landing the job you want, appearance still matters to those selecting. So, you can fight the establishment on this, but the establishment will win!

Interestingly, I was expecting more around remote vs. hybrid vs on-premise. Most recent studies I’ve seen by Gen Z have the majority wanting on-prem experiences!

What’s the best question to ask a job candidate?

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Just kidding, that question sucks!

One of my favorites to follow, Tyler Cowen, has a weekly column over at Bloomberg, and his article this week was “The Best Question to Ask a Job Applicant.” Now, put it into a context that Tyler is an Economist by trade and an Academic, so he doesn’t do a ton of hiring.

So, what’s Tyler’s question?

“What are the open tabs in your browser right now?”

It’s not bad, but it does scream ten years ago Silicon Valley tech startup question! Plus, it also assumes either this interview is remote, and you are doing it via Zoom, and you have tabs open, or you let the person bring their laptop to the interview, and they have open tabs.

The belief is your open tabs speak to your interests. You leave something open because you haven’t finished with it yet, or you want to dive in a bit deeper. Knowing your interests, in Tyler’s belief, must then correlate to you being either a good or bad hire. There actually isn’t any correlation, which speaks to how dumb interview questions can be!

I took a look at my own open tabs and here’s what I had today:

  • Theater tickets in London (I’m taking a trip this summer and will see a show with my wife)
  • Investment site (yeah, all of our 401Ks are in the toilet!)
  • PR Site for news on a recruiting tech company (I got to keep up on the latest)
  • LinkedIn (It’s open all day, every day)
  • Tweetdeck (same as LinkedIn)
  • WordPress (how the hell do you think I wrote this!)
  • Rhone (active wear clothing site, I need new golf shorts)

So, yeah, I guess it does speak to my passions and interests!

What is my favorite interview question?

I like to find out how passionate people are about their work. So, I love to ask a question that gets to the heart of that, which isn’t that dissimilar to Tyler’s question above. Here is mine:

“Tell me how you develop and educate yourself in your current position and industry? What resources do you use? How much time do you dedicate?”

I hire recruiters. I will often sit in front of a recruiter who will say something like, “I Love Recruiting!” “Recruiting is my life!” I’m like, sweet! Tell me more. And I ask the question above.

The vast majority of the time, I find their “love” of recruiting is complete bullsh*t. Their love is that they actually show up and do the job, but not much else. I want people who are passionate and self-educate. They could say things like, I joined a recruiting community online, and I frequently read and add tips to help others. I write recruiting articles on LinkedIn. I purchased a recruiting training program on my own, and I’m learning Boolean. Etc.

People who are passionate about their work won’t necessarily be successful, but there is more likelihood they will be. Can you be good at your job and do none of this? Yes, but it’s not often, and it’s most likely not sustainable.

Why is Walmart Struggling to Find $200K/Year Store Managers?

6.68% of Americans make $200,000 a year or more. Of course, that almost 7% is definitely centered around certain areas. States like California, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, etc., have a much larger percentage than the average. States like Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, most of the Midwest, etc., are under the average.

The Wall Street Journal had an article this week about how Walmart is struggling to fill their store manager jobs. Specifically, their General Manager job, the number one job in a Walmart store, which pays around $200,000 per year.

You would think with so few people making $200,000 a year, Walmart would have smart, ambitious folks knocking down their doors for a chance to make $200,000 per year!

But they don’t. Why?

First, most organizations tend to promote from within. Walmart is similar to this, but reality eventually hits the ceiling. An average Walmart store probably does a revenue of $50-100 million per year. The net income of those locations probably runs around $3-5M per year. There are roughly 350 employees in a Walmart store. Running a single Walmart store is like running a mid-sized enterprise business! Most SMBs in the country have a revenue well under $1M.

This means that Walmart can most likely train an hourly store employee to become a department manager, but to become a General Manager, they are looking for some formal business education. You have to run a giant P&L. You have major risk factors. You need real leadership skills. In many towns, “the Walmart” is probably the biggest business in town!

College kids, on average, don’t want to leave State U for a $65,000 a year job as a Manager in Training at Walmart. It’s not something you go back to the homecoming football game and brag about. Your friends took that $50k per year job with the tech firm in town as an entry-level, you make more, but they look down on you.

I know some folks are reading this and thinking, “So! You make more! You will continue to make more! You run are in line to run a giant business! You f’ing cares what others think!” Young adults do. Young adults care what other people think. If I’m frank, and I usually am, we all care what others think!

What would I do if I was at Walmart?

I love this game. It was the basis of my entire book! What would Timmy do if he ran your shop!

#1 – Stop trying to hire or require any form of formal education. Yes, you need smart folks, so give cognitive assessments. Find smart people who can learn quickly, who also have some “hustle” and “grind” to them. You probably have a ton of folks already working for you that you won’t consider. You also have to look at talent pools we tend to discount, most notably, in this case, 50 years and older, retired military commanders, etc. Walmart wants to solve this by talking new college grads into these jobs, I’d be talking failed executives into these jobs! Big salary. Big team. Big job. College grads don’t want that, your Dad does, and a retired military leader who is used to leading hundreds of soldiers does. Also, your Dad will work 60 hours a week and think it’s normal. A new grad will work a solid 40 and think it’s North Korea.

#2 – Build the Manager School. If a great GM in a Walmart environment makes them $3-5M a year, there are margin dollars to build more great GMs! Part in-person instruction. Part on the job training. Part virtual instruction. All the way in on fully engaging non-stop. Send them to manager boot camp. Make it exclusive. Bring in big-time celebrity speakers around leadership and performance. Do graduation with a gold watch.

#3 – Make it so lucrative they won’t want to leave. $200K is really nice, but you need some other stuff. You need to make folks say, “F! You!” To their friends that don’t think Walmart is cool enough. What is that? I don’t stock options. Partner programs on profit sharing. Company SUV.

Here’s what I know. The profit difference between Walmart’s worse GM store and their best GM store is so big it would make you blush. It’s millions of dollars. So, making sure you hire, train, develop, and take care of the great ones is priority number one. Building the talent pipeline to successful GMs would be the job of a team of people that included great recruiting leaders, brand and marketing leaders, and technology and data leaders.

I’m not saying this is an easy job. It’s enormously difficult and complicated. But, it’s doable. The problem is, that every organization thinks the solution to their problem is new college grads. They can help, but it’s only one sliver of the full pie that is needed.

Would You Pay A Referral Bonus Specifically For A Black Employee?

I know a ton of HR Pros right now who have been charged by their organizations to go out and “Diversify” their workforce.  By “Diversify”, I’m not talking about diversity of thought, but recruiting a more diverse workforce in terms of ethnic, gender, and racial diversity.

Clearly, by bringing in more individuals from underrepresented groups in your workforce, you’ll expand the “thought diversification”, but for those HR Pros in the trenches and sitting in conference rooms with executives behind closed doors, diversification of thought isn’t the issue being discussed.

So, I have some assumptions I want to put forth before I go any further:

1. Referred employees make the best hires. (Workforce studies frequently list employee referrals as the highest quality hires across all industries and positions)

2. ERPs (Employee Referral Programs) are the major tool used to get employee referrals by HR Pros.

3. A diverse workforce will perform better in most circumstances than I homogeneous workforce will.

4. Diversity departments, if you’re lucky enough, or big enough, to have one in your organization, traditionally tend to do a weak job at “recruiting” diversity candidates (there more concerned about getting the Cinco De Mayo Taco Bar scheduled, etc.)

Now, keeping in mind the above assumptions, what do you think is the best way to recruit diverse candidates to your organization?

I’ve yet to find a company willing to go as far as to “Pay More” for a black engineer referral vs. a white engineer referral. Can you imagine how that would play out in your organization!?  But behind the scenes in the HR Departments across the world, this exact thing is happening in a number of ways.

First, what is your cost of hiring diverse candidates versus non-diverse candidates? Do you even measure that? Why not?  I’ll tell you why, is very hard to justify why you are paying two, three, and even four times more for a diverse candidate, with the same skill sets, versus a non-diverse candidate in most technical and medical recruiting environments.  Second, how many diversity recruitment events do you go to versus non-specific diversity recruitment events?  In organizations that are really pushing diversification of the workforce, I find that this figure is usually 2 to 1.

So, you will easily spend more resources for your organization to become more diversified, but you won’t reward your employees for helping you to reach your goals?  I find this somewhat ironic. You will pay Joe, one of your best engineers, $2000 for any referral, but you are unwilling to pay him $4000 for referring his black engineer friends from his former company.

Yet, you’ll go out and spend $50,000 attending diversity recruiting job fairs and events all over the country trying to get the same person.  When you know the best investment of your resources would be to put up a poster in your hallways saying “Wanted Black Engineers $4000 Reward!”.

Here’s why you don’t do this.

Most organizations do a terrible job at communicating the importance of having a diverse workforce, and that to get to an ideal state, sometimes it means the organization might have to hire a female, an Asian, an African American, or a Hispanic, over a similarly qualified white male to ensure the organization is reaching their highest potential.

Workgroup performance by diversity is easily measured and reported to employees, to demonstrate diversity successes, but we rarely do it, to help us explain why we do what we are doing in talent selection.  What do we need to do? Stop treating our employees like they won’t get it, start educating them beyond the politically correct version of Diversity and start educating them on the performance increases we get with diversity.  Then it might not seem so unheard of to pay more to an employee for referring a diverse candidate!

So, you take pride in your diversity hiring efforts, but you’re just unwilling to properly reward for it…

Is Hiring a Privilege?

Have you seen the cracks? Most haven’t. The number of jobs open continues to climb, the unemployment numbers continue to drop, and it seems like, from a business perspective, we are in good times!

Ford laid off 500 designers. Netflix, Carvana, Peloton, Wells Fargo, and Meta all announced layoffs in 2022, so far, as well as many more tech companies. Some of this, are tech companies getting right with their financials. They have been fat and happy for a long time and spending money like drunken sailors.

Uber’s CEO came out this past week and said that they should be treating hiring like a privilege.

What does that mean? It means, we aren’t going to freeze hiring or do a layoff, but only if you get your shit together and stop hiring anyone who can walk and chew gum at the same time. It means, that if you hire someone, you better make damn sure they are performing and adding value.

It means the soft, nice, cuddly leadership teams of the pandemic are starting to feel and see the cracks in the economy and they are getting ready. They are getting ready for some tough times ahead if some things don’t change fairly quickly. Like lower inflation. Wage growth slows. War stops. Pandemic supply chain issues ease up.

Turns out, eventually, all that VC money that is getting burned like a giant pile of leaves in your front yard in the fall is sustainable in a down economy! Some folks have been writing checks their asses can’t cash!

Is hiring, really, a privilege?

Coming from a white guy, finally, a concept I know more than anyone else about, PRIVILEGE! YES! It was only a matter of time until this came full circle and I could use my expertise on this subject! Let me tell you about some hiring privilege!

Hiring is a privilege and if you don’t treat it as such, someone will take it away from you.

The most expensive resource for most organizations is human capital. If you are talented enough to be tabbed to be a leader that gets to hire by your organization, there will be no more important part of your job, ever, for you to do well on. That doesn’t mean you can’t make hiring misses, everyone does, but you have to take this responsibility at the highest level professionally.

I believe that your number one responsibility as a leader, in any function or capacity, is to increase the talent in your organization. You do that through hiring and developing the talent that reports to you. You do that by retaining your talent and increasing your employee’s lifetime value.

Hiring is a privilege at the highest level within all organizations. There are no throw-away hires. Each one counts, each one makes a difference, either positively or negatively, there is no middle ground in hiring.

Do Recruiters Still Need To Make Phone Calls?

Recently, I was on a webinar, and in my presentation, I harped on the talent acquisition pros and leaders on the webcast on why 100% of us are not using texting as a primary first form of contact with candidates. The data is in. Texting works! It works better than email by a mile, but still, less than 50% in the room are texting candidates.

After I was done a great TA pro contacted me and said, “Tim, shouldn’t recruiters be calling candidates!” I fell in love! Why, yes, fine, sir they should always be calling candidates! But, let’s not forsake other tools that are working at a high level. We know people, in general, respond to texts at a much higher rate than email and phone calls.

You see a text and within seconds you read it, and you respond to it at more than double the rate of email or voicemail. In talent acquisition, we are in LOVE with email, even when it doesn’t work.

In 2011, I wrote this post below – funny enough, it’s still relevant today (except now I think we need to add in more texting with those phone calls!)

Do we (recruiters) still need to make telephone calls?

I mean really it’s 2011 – we have text messaging, emails, Facebook, Twitter, etc. – hasn’t the telephone just become obsolete?  Does anyone actually use their cell phones to make actual phone calls anymore?

The New York Times had an article: Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You, in which they delve into the concept of whether the act of making a phone call has jumped the shark or not.  From the article:

“I remember when I was growing up, the rule was, ‘Don’t call anyone after 10 p.m.,’ ” Mr. Adler said. “Now the rule is, ‘Don’t call anyone. Ever.’ ”

Phone calls are rude. Intrusive. Awkward. “Thank you for noticing something that millions of people have failed to notice since the invention of the telephone until just now,” Judith Martin, a k a Miss Manners, said by way of opening our phone conversation. “I’ve been hammering away at this for decades. The telephone has a very rude propensity to interrupt people…

Even at work, where people once managed to look busy by wearing a headset or constantly parrying calls back and forth via a harried assistant, the offices are silent. The reasons are multifold. Nobody has assistants anymore to handle telecommunications. And in today’s nearly door-free workplaces, unless everyone is on the phone, calls are disruptive and, in a tight warren of cubicles, distressingly public. Does anyone want to hear me detail to the dentist the havoc six-year molars have wreaked on my daughter?

“When I walk around the office, nobody is on the phone,” said Jonathan Burnham, senior vice president, and publisher at HarperCollins. The nature of the rare business call has also changed. “Phone calls used to be everything: serious, light, heavy, funny,” Mr. Burnham said. “But now they tend to be things that are very focused. And almost everyone e-mails first and asks, ‘Is it O.K. if I call?’ ”

Sound Familiar?

Now I could easily turn this into a generational issue because for one it’s easy to do, but this isn’t a GenX vs. GenY issue.  This is a basic communication issue.  An understanding of what we do in our industry issue.  Whether your third party or corporate recruitment, we do the same thing, we search and find talent.  There are two basic ways to screen potential talent for fit for your organization: 1. Meet them in Person (no one would argue that this is the best way, but boy it’s expensive if you are using it as your first-line screen); 2. Meet them over the phone (done in some form or another by 99.9% of recruiters).

There really isn’t any way around this issue, we recruit, we make telephone calls.  If you don’t like to make telephone calls, if you believe what the New York Times article believes, you shouldn’t recruit.  It’s not an indictment on you, this just isn’t your gig.

Recruiters like to talk to people, to question people, to find out more about people, not a career, best done by email and text messaging. We need to talk live to others. That’s how we go to work. Doesn’t matter if you’re 21 or 6. It’s how to deliver great talent to our hiring managers.

So, here’s a tip, if you’re in recruitment and you don’t like making phone calls get, out of recruitment, you will not be successful.  If your first choice of contacting someone isn’t picking up the phone and calling them, instead of sending them an email, when you have their phone number, get out of recruitment. If you’re thinking you want to recruit, and you don’t like making phone calls take another path.

Recruiters make phone calls, that’s what we do.

You Don’t Have a Recruiting Problem!

I met with a CEO of a tech startup company last week. He had a very familiar story. “Forever (or at least what’s seemed like forever for him) we have never had a problem recruiting talent to our company, but now we can’t hire anyone”, he said to me. Seems like I have this exact same conversation with an executive at least weekly these days.

So, I put on my consultant hat to try and figure out what the real problem is. It’s rarely a recruiting problem and it’s always a recruiting problem. Let me explain.

When you have a recognizable positive brand, a fun place to work, lead the market in pay, and work in a cool industry, everyone wants to come work for you. Your top of the funnel is filled with candidates. You believe you must be super awesome at recruiting. You actually might be super awesome at recruiting, but you also could suck super bad as well.

You see in the history of the world it’s actually never been easier to find talent. Yes, you read that correctly. In the history of the world! Today, it is also one of the most difficult times in the history of the world to get that talent you found to accept your job. Both of these things are true simultaneously.

You can find them, you just can’t close them.

This has almost nothing to do with the pandemic. People in recruiting love to blame the pandemic, but this is simple economics at play. You have twice as many jobs open, in the US, as unemployed people, and most of those unemployed people do not have the skills needed for the open jobs. So, if you have 6 million unemployed people and 12 million jobs, you really still have almost 12 million jobs to fill.

In 2018 and 2019, before most of us even knew what a pandemic was or became vaccine experts, economists were ringing alarm bells over the lack of workers currently and in the future. But we ignored them because that’s what we do in organizations. We fight today’s fire, not tomorrow’s fire. And, honestly, even if we did decide to do something about it in 2019, what would we have done? Lobby for better immigration policy? Pay our employees to start having sex and create more babies? Truly, what would you have done?

The long-term vision strategy problem.

My startup CEO friend does have a recruiting problem. Because they made most of their hires through referrals, they never built the recruiting machine. No tech. No team. No strategy. No budget. Dead in the water, because we love to believe what’s working today will always work forever. Until it doesn’t.

His problem now is he’s playing catchup. Hire the recruiting talent. Build the recruiting stack. Create an employer brand. Do the recruitment marketing. Etc. The plan is actually pretty straightforward. But painful when you’ve only posted and prayed for your entire existence. All he wants to know is why can’t we just keep posting and praying, or when will post and praying start working again.

Posting and praying isn’t working right now, but it will work the next time that unemployment shoots up to 7%+, and that might happen again. We can always hope for a major recession to make hiring easy again. Most likely we won’t see high unemployment for a long time because of our current state of demographics, but a major recession, war, and pandemics are always our best hope!

Let’s just say we actually might have known this hiring problem was coming. Let’s just say. I mean because of millions of baby boomers leaving the workforce, a birthrate that is under replacement rate for years, closing our borders to skilled and unskilled workers, etc. Let’s just say we might have known this was coming, what could we have done?

We could have started growing our own talent by lessening formal education for jobs that didn’t education but we’re lazy as recruiters so we add in education to limit our candidate pool. We could have looked at candidate pools that have historically been deemed less desirable by executives: older workers, workers with records, workers with disabilities, etc. We could have automated more quickly and deeper into our processes. We could have added in more benefits and work environment options that retained and attracted more workers.

So, yes, you have a recruiting problem, but it’s not because you don’t know how to recruit, it is most likely because you don’t know how to plan and strategize. It is because we didn’t view recruiting like we do other business problems we have. We viewed it as an administrative function that you can just muscle through. You have a recruiting problem, but it’s not really a recruiting problem, it’s a business problem.

Ugh! Being an inclusive employer is a lot of work!

It seems like being an ‘inclusive’ employer would be super easy! You just accept everyone! Can’t we all just get along!?

The reality is, that being an inclusive employer is hard because being inclusive isn’t about accepting everyone. What!? Oh, great, Tim has finally lost his mind, buckle up!

I wrote a post about Jeff Bezos’s annual letter and how he lays out a great framework for how organizations and leaders should manage performance. Many people liked the post, but there was also a strong reaction from a lot of people who hate Amazon’s culture.

They hear and read media accounts of Amazon being a bad place to work. About Amazon’s hard-charging, work a ton of hours, you don’t have a great work-life balance, etc. Some people go to work for Amazon and tell themselves during the interview process that “yeah, I’ve heard the stories, but I’m different, I want this, I want to be a part of a giant brand like Amazon, I can handle it because it’s a great step in my career.”

That’s when they find out they actually lack self-insight and they should never listen to their inner voice because it lies to them!

So, what does this have to do with ‘inclusion’?

If you truly believe in inclusion, you then believe that Amazon is a great place to work, for those who desire that type of culture. It might not be a culture you would ever choose to work in. Amazon actually likes the people that self-select out! It makes their job easier because they don’t want you anyway!

If you stand up and shout Amazon is an awful employer, you don’t understand inclusion. No one forces you to go to work at Amazon, and Amazon does not hide who they are. In fact, Amazon might actually be the best company on the planet to show exactly who they are as an employer and what you’re signing up for if you decide to go to work there.

Amazon is giant and the vast majority of its employees love working for them. Those employees thrive in that environment. It’s what they were looking for. It’s how they are wired. If you put them into another what you might consider, an ’employee-friendly’ environment, they would hate it and fail.

Inclusion is hard because it forces you to think in a way that theoretically every environment is potentially a good fit for the right person. We struggle because in our minds something that is opposite of what we want must be bad. Because it’s so hard for us to even consider someone else might actually love an environment we hate.

Being an ‘inclusive’ employer is about accepting all types of people (race, gender, religion, etc.), but it’s also about only accepting all of those people who actually fit the culture you have established. That’s the hard part! Amazon accepts everyone, but you better be ready to go a thousand miles an hour and never stop.

Being an inclusive employer is hard because if it’s done right, it’s not just about being an accepting employer of all, it’s about being accepting and then only picking those candidates who actually fit your culture. The outcome can be awesome. The work to get there can be overwhelming. And if done incorrectly you go from being inclusive to exclusive.

Here is the Average Time to Fill a job for most employers in the U.S.!

I gathered data from around 13,000 sources to get the most accurate Days to Fill metric that I could. It is one of the most asked questions I get from the audience!

So, what’s the number? 37*.

Cool, now can we stop asking? Did that just solve all of your hiring problems?

No, it didn’t. Why?

Because Time to Fill is a worthless recruiting metric for the most part. There is zero correlation between how fast you fill a job to how well your talent acquisition function is performing.

37 days is meaningless out of context, as a comparison, every job is different, every organization is different, and every market is different.

So, if you are currently at 37 days time to fill a job, and in 2022 you magically get to 36.2 days to fill, are you better at recruiting? Are you? Maybe you hired too fast and now your turnover is increased. Maybe the economy went south for a bit and increased the labor pool and now you have more candidates applying. Zero. Correlation. To. Talent. Acquisition. Success.

So, why do we use it? Frankly, and this hurts because you know I love talent acquisition and the pros that work in it every single day, we’re lazy. We’re too lazy to measure what really matters. That hurts. That should make you mad. We are better than this.

Can your Time to Fill matter at all? Yes, as a health metric of your TA function. If your industry average is 37 days, and you’re at 54, your function might have cancer! That being said, you have to support that with other stuff. Your 54-day hiring process might have reduced your turnover to 15% in an industry that has 50%, then your 54 days is understandable. But, what I usually find in most industries and jobs are fairly close to the mean on time to fill. So, it can be used as a universal health TA metric.

But, once you start trying to reduce by .4 days or .3 days, you’ve lost your way.

*For those wanting to now use “37” days as the average time to fill in the world, I totally made that metric up! Stop it! Be Better!

The Human Resource Executive 2022 Top HR Tech Influencers! Do Lists Matter?

A big list got released yesterday and I wouldn’t be writing about it unless I’m on it, right?! Well, I might write about it if I wasn’t on it. I mean, it feels great to be recognized for something you have passion for and enjoy. Recognition at any level tends to feel good, which is why it’s so powerful.

There are so many people on the 2022 Top HR Tech Influencers that I admire and call friends including my two HR Famous podcast partners – Jessica Lee and Madeline Laurano! They both made the list. Also friends like: Steve Boese, Sarah White, Laurie Ruettimann, Jeanne Achille, Stacy Zapar, Jackye Clayton, Torin Ellis, Kyle Lagunas, George LaRocque, Trish McFarlane, Erin Spencer, Joey Price, Jason Averbook, and so many others.

What the heck is an HR Tech Influencer?

I know, personally, probably 65% of the Top 100 list. So, I can only speak about those individuals, but I’m guessing the rest of the list is fairly similar. First, they are super passionate about HR technology. We are all super nerds for this stuff and when we get together the talk gets deep into nerdy. Second, they all care about making technology and the function of HR, and all the sub-functions of HR, better.

Some do this through working as an actual practitioner in the weeds of day-to-day HR. Some do it by working on the vendor side to improve and create the next generation of technology we will come to rely on. And others work in the analyst space building a bridge between the vendor and practitioner improving the knowledge base about what we buy and why.

Every single one of these folks is a 1%er when it comes to HR Tech knowledge. Meaning, on average, they would know more about HR Tech than 99% of the other folks working in HR. They are the definition of Gladwell’s 10,000 hours. They made themselves into experts and that by itself is a pretty amazing accomplishment. Not many folks in the world could call themselves an expert at anything!

Who has the “real” juice?

Damn! That’s the million-dollar question! And I literally mean, a million dollars! Because vendors and conferences are trying to figure out who has the juice! What’s the juice? It’s that something special that a person has, through a combination of a lot of factors, where they command a large audience of potential buyers. It’s a combination of expertise, personality, access, charisma, honesty, giving back, etc. No two folks have the same factors or create the same juice.

In the HR Tech World, there is one person who has more juice than anyone at the moment. That guy is Josh Bersin. Josh is like the gallon-size bottle of juice and most of the rest of us are like the 6 oz glass of juice in comparison! That’s just a fact. I’m lucky that Josh invited me to be a faculty member in his academy, but I’m not saying this because of that. The reality is he moves the market like no one else in our space.

Vendors are always trying to figure out who has the juice. Who is going to bring buyers into the tent? Honestly, if you can’t afford Josh, it’s probably a combination of a lot of folks on that list, as well as a bunch of folks who aren’t on the list but still have juice (William Tincup, Matt Charney, Kris Dunn, Deb McGrath, Rob Kelly, Hung Lee, Guillermo Gorea, Chris Hoyt, Gerry Crispin, Erica Young, Chris Harvilla, etc.).

Juice has little to do with the social footprint, but you can’t ignore a large audience. Some folks might have a ton of juice on Twitter, but nothing on LinkedIn, or IG. No presence on Twitter, but a great following on Facebook. The key is interaction on whatever platform they are on. Like, are you really on Twitter if you tweet and no one engages?

TL;DR – There’s Josh Bersin, then there is a cliff, and then there are the rest of us at the bottom of that cliff. Also, no one wants to see their real “juice” number, it’s humbling.

Do these lists matter?

So many people will say, No. I get that. But, for the millions of HR pros out in the world, this is a great start if you are trying to educate yourself about technology within HR. So, in that vein, these lists do matter. I got into HR Tech because of a conversation I had with William Tincup seven years ago! I met him through my interactions with other influencers on the list. I became an expert in this space because of that interaction.

Because of lists, like the Top 100 HR Tech Influencers, I have people reach out to me daily with questions they have about the technology in our space. A list like this gives people an avenue to pursue and access expert opinions.

Are these lists inclusive of every voice that should be heard? Of course not, that would be impossible. It’s also super hard to get minority and young voices on these lists, based on the demographic of HR Tech nerds in general. But this list does an exceptional job at adding these voices, especially around female voices (which make up the majority of HR pros!). It’s a snapshot of a moment, and the list is ever-evolving. Also, vendors rarely make it on because of conflict of interest with selling, but some of the best minds in HR Tech are working at vendors. But they do matter to a great number of people who are trying to better their HR Tech knowledge.

Shout out to the HR Exec team, including, Elizabeth Clarke and Rebecca McKenna for putting in the work to create and edit this list. It’s a thankless task usually that only comes with criticism.

You can check out the full list right here.