Finding Qualified Diverse Talent is NOT Your Issue!

During 2020, I’ve spoken to a lot of leaders who are concerned with their diversity recruiting. Every single one of them will say something like, “Tim, we just can’t find the ‘qualified’ diverse talent we need!” Sound familiar? Feel familiar?

I’m not a diversity recruiting strategy expert. I leave that to my friend, Torin Ellis. I do think I’ve got a bit of knowledge when it comes to overall recruiting, though.

When I break down the response I get from most leaders, regarding diversity recruitment I usually have one cringe, and one response. “Qualified?” What do you mean by that? I hear it as, you can find plenty of diverse folks interested in coming to work for you, but none of them, or few of them, are actually qualified to work for you. Is that how you read/hear that?

It makes me cringe a bit because what you’re actually saying is we don’t have a supply problem, we have a training and development problem, but you don’t even realize that. You could have your perfect diverse mix of employees if you just invested a bit in training and developing these great hired into great employees. But, you don’t see the value in that, which makes me think you probably don’t see the value in a diverse workforce, to begin with.

What I actually say to them is this, “You don’t have a diversity recruiting problem. You have a diversity pay problem because finding diverse “qualified” talent is easy. Finding ones that will accept your job, culture, location, and/or average to low pay is really hard!” 

Finding talent has never been easier in the history of humanity. We have more technology and tools than ever before. Finding is easy. Recruiting is hard..

Successful recruiting takes some skill. A success recruiter will find the “qualified” diverse talent you are looking for and then they’ll do a few things:

  • They’ll get them interested first. They will make them feel desired and wanted by the organization. By the hiring manager. By the team. Being Desired is a powerful drug!
  • Next, they’ll discover what that talent actually desires in their career. Quickly, efficiently, like a sniper.
  • Then they’ll make a determination: 1. Are we going to meet those desires. or 2. We won’t meet those desires.
  • One, you obviously move on to screening, assessing, etc. Two, and you move on to giving something back to this person. “I can’t help you right now, but I’ve taken notes and if I have anything that ever comes close to meeting what you need, I’m going to contact you back.” 99% of recruiters will never say that to a potential candidate.

Honestly, about 25% of the time when you tell someone “I can’t help you, but…” they’ll actually state a desire to keep going. You taking the potential away will make some reveal they actually have an interest. Doesn’t mean you will still move forward, but it’s a nice outcome.

I can easily find you “qualified” diversity talent. Don’t think so, call me. I can find anyone. The problem we’ll run into is that some of that talent is rare and will cost a premium to get. It’s a simple economic proposition, you can buy talent or build talent. They each have their costs and benefits. I find most organizations claim they want to hire diverse talent, but aren’t doing what it will take to make it happen.

Are you struggling to be happy at work?

In 1942 Viktor Frankl, a prominent Jewish psychiatrist, was taken to a Nazi concentration camp with his wife and parents.  Three years later, when his camp was liberated, his pregnant wife and parents had already been killed by the Nazis. He survived and in 1946 went on to write the book, “Man’s Search For Meaning“.  In this great book, Frankl writes:

“It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.”

What Frankl knew was that you can’t make happiness out of something outside yourself.  Riding the Waverunner doesn’t make you happy. You decide to be happy while doing that activity, but you could as easily decide to be angry or sad while doing this activity (although Daniel Tosh would disagree!).  Frankl also wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

I get asked frequently by HR Pros about how they can make their employees or workplace happier.  I want to tell them about Frankl’s research and what he learned in the concentration camps.  I want to tell them that you can’t make your employees happy.  They have to decide they want to be happy, first. But, I don’t, people don’t want to hear the truth.

Coming up with ‘things’ isn’t going to make your employees happy. You might provide free lunch, which some will really like, but it also might make someone struggling with their weight, very depressed.  You might give extra time off and most of your employees will love it, but those who define themselves by their work will find this a burden.

Ultimately, I think people tend to swing a certain way on the emotional scale.  Some are usually happier than others.  Some relish in being angry or depressed, it’s their comfort zone.  They don’t know how to be any other way.  Instead of working to ‘make’ people happy, spend your time selecting happy people to come work for you.

In the middle of a concentration camp, the most horrific experiences imaginable, Frankl witnessed people who made the decision to be happy. Maybe they were happy to have one more day on earth. Maybe they were happy because, like Frankl, they discovered that the Nazis could take everything from them except their mind.

Provide the best work environment that you can.  Continue to try and make it better with the resources you have.  Give meaning to the work and the things you do.  Every organization has this, no matter what you do at your company.  Don’t pursue happiness, it’s a fleeting emotion that is impossible to maintain.  Pursue being the best organization you can be.  It doesn’t mean you have to be someone you’re not.  Just be ‘you’, and find others that like ‘you.’

Thank You!

As you go off on your Thanksgiving Holiday – Thank you! Thank you for reading my thoughts. Thank you for your support over the years. Thank you to all those who send me personal notes on how a post impacts you. Thank you to all those who send me personal notes about my grammar errors.

In a year that has been so hard on all of us, thank you for your friendship. Have a great holiday!

The Weekly Dose: The Meeting Owl @owllabs

Today on the Weekly Dose I take a look at a piece of tech hardware, not software that is gaining popularity with organizations who are doing more and more hybrid virtual meetings. Owl Labs developed a speaker/mic/camera combination, The Meeting Owl, that makes in-office and remote workers feel more like they are in the room.

One of the biggest pains for remote workers is when they are having meetings with co-workers that are in-office is many times you don’t get the full experience of what’s actually happening in the room. You either get one view of a large conference room, viewed through a small screen, and it’s hard to pick up who’s talking and actually get to see their expressions, etc.

The Meeting Owl is a smart speaker/mic/camera that gives you a complete 360-degree view and sound of the entire meeting room. It basically turns any room into a smart meeting room. One of the coolest things is that it works directly within whatever meeting platform you are using: Zoom, Teams, etc.

What I like about The Meeting Owl:

  • It makes all participants of the meeting, even those who are remote, feel like they are actually in the room with everyone.
  • If you are remote and viewing the meeting you can view both the presenter and those participating.
  • This simple device can turn any room or office into a smart meeting room almost instantly.
  • The price is fairly low, $999, for a telecom-type speaker device, but you get the added advantage of the 360-degree camera view.

We are all challenged with how we will not just make Remote work, work, but how we will make remote work thrive. The Meeting Owl is a great idea coming out of the tech community to make it easier for not only remote workers to feel better connected, but also clients and any other stakeholders who feel like the normal video calls feel less than ideal.

The Meeting Owl seems like a great alternative to super expensive conference room video/audio systems that are being sold on the market. With this speaker and a cheap smart TV you can turn any room into a fully functioning smart conference room for about $1500.

Owl Labs did not pay for this post, but, as always, if they want to send me a Meeting Owl I would happily accept it and play with it! 

3 Things you can do at the office the Friday after Thanksgiving – Remote Work Edition!

So, in the United States, if you have to work the day after Thanksgiving in an office environment, we’ve had this neat little game we play. You act like you work all day, while basically doing nothing!

I’ve written about this in the past and tried to give advice to those poor souls who must go into the office the day after Thanksgiving. I was trying to help them be productive, things like:

  • Clean out your files – paper and digital
  • Send out emails to folks you are thankful for but haven’t told recently
  • Organize your calendar for the next month to ensure you kill the last month of the year.

This year, for so many office workers, it’s completely different! You now are remote. The vast majority of you will have no watchful overload to see if you are actually doing anything or not. It’s just you and your conscience, working all alone at your home.

So, what should you be doing this Friday?

Well, the try-hards in the bunch will do the things listed above but also add:

  • Early morning email out to folks that manner with some kind of important question. Make sure to note, “No reply needed today, but you get a minute…”
  • Late afternoon update on something with data. “I was just crunching some 3rd quarter data and found that we can probably do a budget adjustment for 4th quarter on “X”.”
  • Pro-Level: send a text message to someone else who is working asking for a file you can’t find.

This will show the powers-that-be that you’ve been working super hard all day!

Then there are the other things you can do in between that 8 emails and that 4:30 pm email:

  • Black Friday online shopping (this should take up most of the day) – at least one stop at some sort of office supply site, because “office supplies”
  • Catch up on some Netflix documentaries that have some sort of connection to whatever you do. Research for work stuff.
  • For those who love holiday decorations, this is a perfect time to “decorate your office”
  • There’s always some sort of football game on, just have it running on your second or third screen, I mean you’re working!
  • I like to make a big pot of chili for lunch on Black Friday (it’s okay, you’re working you get to eat lunch)
  • I like to send out holiday cards to my professional network on this day, which is probably really is work, so I might hold off until Monday for this task.

If any of my own team at HRU Tech is reading this – do not send me emails early in the morning or late in the afternoon – unless you really need something, because I know you’ll be doing work if it’s needed, and you’ll be enjoying your life if it’s needed! You can sed me any text messages with great deals you find that you think I should be aware of!

How is your remote onboarding going? Almost all of us are missing one big thing! #HRFamous

In episode 39 of The HR Famous Podcast, longtime HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett and Jessica Lee are joined by Cameron Sackett to discuss remote work burnout, proposed remote work privilege tax, and onboarding in a work from home environment.

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 – KD is out this week, but Tim and JLee welcome Cameron Sackett, Tim’s son, and our resident Gen-Z expert, onto the pod!

3:20 – First topic of the podcast: The Wall Street Journal published an article recently about burnout due to working remotely.

4:30 – Cam started working at BuzzFeed about two months ago, and he mentions that while he hasn’t hit the full-on burnout that many others have, his company is offering some special offerings to combat burnout, like mental health days, yoga and meditation sessions, and more.

6:30 – JLee is glad that people are trying things to combat burnout, but she worries that the things people are trying aren’t the right answers. She also worries that this emphasis on mental health will dissipate once the pandemic is over.

8:00 – Tim’s Gen-X mentality makes him think that these special perks are a setup to weed out the weak, but he does see his own employees struggling with the types of burnout mentioned in this article.

10:00 – Next topic: Deutsche Bank recently released a study calling for a “privilege tax” which takes a 5% tax from those working from home to support lower-income essential workers who can’t work at home.

11:45 – JLee wants the people at Deutsche Bank to look at their own company first and ask themselves if they would do this within their own corporations before putting out some plan like this.

14:00 – Most people aren’t choosing to work from home and so JLee and Tim think that the responsibility should fall on the corporations to take care of this issue instead of the workforce.

16:40 – Time for the CHRO Move of the Week: The Washington Football Team recently hired Andre Chambers to be their new head of Human Resources. He comes from many different industries such as tech, gaming, and even grocery!

18:00 – Any Wegman’s fans out there? JLee is a big fan.

21:00 – If any pro sports teams want to hire KD or Tim to be their head of HR, they’re ready to go!

24:40 – Last topic of the podcast: onboarding in a pandemic world! Cam onboarded to his current role completely remotely, and he gives us some insight on what the experience was like. He mentions that while the actual onboarding process wasn’t that much different, he has had trouble getting to know his co-workers.

27:00 – JLee asks Cam about the logistics of his onboarding experience. He had good communication from his recruiter and manager in order to have a smooth onboarding process.

29:00 – Cam talks about the struggle he’s had about meeting and getting to know the people on his team since he’s not in person with his co-workers. Tim says that he’s heard of organizations that will force employees to make introduction videos for new hires.

33:00 – JLee asks Cam if he heard anything about the required dress code, and he says that he was given no direction on what the dress code for WFH was.

36:00 – JLee doesn’t know of a company that does onboarding really well and thinks we often do a disservice to new hires because of this.

39:15 – Cam says that the work culture that BuzzFeed is known for doesn’t really come through in a virtual environment, and he doesn’t think he’ll know what it’s like until he starts working in the office.

It’s 2020 and I’m Re-certifying with @SHRM. Want to know why?

In 2001 I got my SPHR certification for the first time. I started my first real HR Manager job and the CHRO wanted to make sure every single HR person on our team had either a PHR or SPHR. I did an eight-week group study course with fellow HR pros studying for the test and I was lucky that my company had also purchased a SHRM study kit.

I remember leaving that test thinking, “I have no idea if I failed or passed! And, boy, I only know a fraction of what I thought I knew in HR!” This was after studying for two months straight and putting legitimate hours in on the study kit.

I passed and vowed to never have to take that test again!

It’s 2020 and SHRM just sent me a reminder that my SHRM-SCP is up for renewal. For years I carried both the HRCI-SPHR and the SHRM-SCP. Again, I figured I did all the education to keep them up, I’ll just carry both.

Why am I re-certifying for the SHRM-SCP? 

  1. If you’re in HR, SHRM is the world-recognized leader in HR. So, having a certification from SHRM carries career weight.
  2. 99% of Leaders of organizations who care about someone having an HR certification have always believed it was a SHRM certification, even though for most of that time HRCI was the actual certifying body. Now, SHRM has its own HR certification, and quite frankly, it’s as good as the HRCI one, and in some cases better.
  3. I don’t see any other association in the world doing as much as SHRM does to advance the practice of HR. Because of that, I foresee them being the leader in the HR space for a long time.
  4. When I speak to actual SHRM card-carrying members, they are very satisfied with the association and they are very happy with the education and support they are getting.
  5. It’s a cost-effective way to stay on top of changes in HR and show those who care that I’m staying on top of my profession, probably better than most people are.

Let’s be honest, I’ve reached a point in my career where the SHRM-SCP certification isn’t needed for me personally. I don’t have to re-certify and I’ll have a job tomorrow and at any time in the future. But, I’m choosing to anyway because I did the work!

I developed content for webinars and presented it to my peers in HR and TA. I sat and watched peers in HR and TA present at conferences and on webinars and I learned things I didn’t know. I read books and listened to podcasts, and consumed tons of HR-related material so I was staying up on all the changes in the HR field.

Maybe it’s PTSD from taking that test once, but I’m re-certifying because I never want to have to take it again. I’m re-certifying because having my SHRM-SCP makes me feel special and accomplished. It sets me apart in the field of HR, and I won’t apologize for that, I passed the test and did the work.

Me re-certifying isn’t about taking a stance for or against something. This is about me and my professional development. I encourage every single professional to find ways to continue your professional, functional development long after you have “gotten the job”. Getting the job is just the start, not the end!

(FYI – for those thinking somehow SHRM is paying me for this post. They aren’t. But as always I welcome anyone to pay me for anything if they are so inclined! I’m an equal opportunity check casher.) 

Breaking Down the 2020 @Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey with @Kris_Dunn and @KellyWLavin

(Project fans – sharing a podcast called The Best Hire Ever – this week I was on it with my buddy, Kris Dunn, and Jobvite’s Chief Talent Officer Kelly Lavin! Check it out!)

20 – Breaking Down the 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey – Kelly Lavin and Tim Sackett

In Episode 20 of BEST HIRE EVERKris Dunn breaks down the 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey from Jobvite with Kelly Lavin (SVP of Talent at Jobvite) and Tim Sackett. The survey is a leading piece of research on how recruiters are feeling and working annually, and this year’s release speaks volumes about how recruiters are feeling in the middle of COVID.  Serious stuff as well as recruiters use of IG and TikTok, as well as recruiter turn-offs when viewing candidates on social.

Please subscribe, rate, and review (Apple) and follow (Spotify) to get the latest delivered to you.  Click here if you don’t see the player below!

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS

2:40 – Kelly talks about her love for the HR Capitalist blog, etc. Kris wants to hear more. Tim doesn’t.

5:10 – Kelly breaks down the reason for the Recruiter Nation Survey – the reason for it, what is is and why it is important.

6:48 – KD talks about the survey size and the MARGIN OF ERROR – in a shoutout to an election year.

7:30 – The gang talks about the biggest downwards shifts in where recruiters are no longer spending their time and money during COVID (pipelining, time to hire, employer brand, candidate experience, and increasing retention rate). Wow. So much honesty in 2020.

13:55 – The gang talks about the upwards shifts in time spent and investment (managing layoffs and diversity hiring).  Kelly, KD, and Tim wonder why the focus on diversity hiring didn’t trend upward more.  Lots of honesty in the report from recruiters.

17:45 – Kelly, Tim, and Kris talk about what the survey says about video interviewing and where recruiters think candidates struggle with video interviews.  95% of recruiters think they are good at viewing interviewing. Tim thinks most of the recruiters think they are good at it because they’ve never been on the candidate side in a video interview.  Kelly breaks down the issues with eye contact in a video interview.

24:30 – Tim talks about where recruiters are spending their time via the survey – social media and LinkedIn. Tim hates it. He rightfully points to the candidate database and referrals as where the hires are.

25:55 – KD mocks the uptick in the use of Instagram and TikTok for recruiter purposes. Kelly learns about how KD gets the best TikTok videos in next to no time spent.  Kelly and Tim lead a real conversation about how TikTok might be used in a smart way by TA teams.

28:43 – KD leads a conversation from the survey results about the biggest “recruiter turnoffs” when viewing a candidate on social media (skin shots, use of pot, and of course – spelling errors. LOL).  Stalk much?

RESOURCES AND SHOW NOTES:

————Kelly Lavin, Jobvite and Tim Sackett

Kelly Lavin on Linkedin

Jobvite

The 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey

Tim Sackett on Linkedin

————Kris Dunn

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

Kinetix

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Boss Leadership Training Series

Kris Dunn on Twitter

Kris Dunn on Instagram

At what age should you retire?

We tend to believe retirement is an age thing. Well, once you turn 65, it’s time to retire! Do you know where ’65’ actually came from? Most HR pros will probably guess it, it’s when America instituted social security insurance back in 1935.

The U.S. Government, in 1935, didn’t even use any science to determine 65 years old.  At the time, the national railroad pension retirement age was 65, and about half the state pensions were the same (the other half were 70), so 65 years old was chosen. Way less red tape back in 1935! Can you imagine the government trying to make that decision today!?

So, you turn 65 and you’re supposed to retire. In 1935, that probably was fairly accurate. The actual life expectancy in 1935 was only 61! So, we built social security knowing most people would not live to receive it. Today, life expectancy is around 79 years old!  As you can imagine, 65 years old is no longer a realistic retirement age.

I’m currently 50 years old.  It’s my belief that I have about 20 years left to work and save for my retirement. I’m assuming I’ll work until I’m at least 70.  70 years old today doesn’t seem like 70 years old when I was a kid.  My parents are now in their 70’s and they don’t seem ‘old’. I mean they’re old, but not like they can’t do anything old.  Both could still easily work and produce great work if they wanted to.

All of this should change how we look at succession planning in our organizations, but we still use 65 as the ‘expiration’ date of when someone no longer seems to have value. “Oh, you know Tim, he’s going to be 65 next year, I’m amazed he can still stay awake all day!”

65 in 2020 is not the same 65 we saw in 1935!  The health and physical wellbeing of those two people are worlds apart!

Succession Planning needs to catch up with this difference.  HR needs to lead this charge.  Part of this change starts with us changing the language and numbers we use when describing retirement.  Regular retirement age needs to start at 70 years old, at a minimum, and move up from there.  We need to eliminate 65 years old from everything we write and speak.  It’s just no longer valid or accurate.

Once we push this date out, we can then start to plan much more accurately to what our organizational needs will truly be.  Next, we need to have frank conversations with those who we believe are reaching an age where they want to retire and have real conversations.  HR pros have been failing at this for years!  It’s actually not against the law to ask an employee what their retirement plan is! It should be against the law that you don’t ask this question!

If an employee knows that you are working with them to reach their goals, and you let that employee know that ‘hey, we need you for another five years’, most will actually happily stay on the additional time.  My Dad worked in a professional job until he was 72, and they wanted him longer! Don’t ever underestimate the power of being wanted. As we age, that desire to be wanted just increases!

So, I’ll ask you. At what age do you think someone should retire?

What is the Perfect Diversity Mix for your Organization?

This is a question I think many executives and HR and TA leaders struggle with. SHRM hasn’t come out and given guidance. ATAP has not told us at what levels we should be at with our diversity mix. So, how do we come up with this answer?

Seems like we should probably be roughly 50/50 when it comes to male and female employees. Again, that’s a broad figure, because your customer base probably makes a difference. If you’re selling products and services mostly women buy, you probably want more women on your team.

The more difficult mix to figure is when it comes to race. Should we be 50/50 when it comes to race in our hiring? Apple has taken it on the chin the last few years because of their demographic employee mix, and even as of this week, are still catching criticism for having only 1/3 of their leadership team is female, and only 17% of their entire team being black and Hispanic. 55% of Apple’s tech employees are white, 77% are male.

So, what should your diversity mix be?

The most recent demographics of race in America show this:

  • 61.3% are white
  • 17.8% are Hispanic/Latino
  • 13.3 are black
  • 4.8% Asian

Some other interesting facts about American race demographics:

  • 55% of black Americans live in the south
  • White Americans are the majority in every region
  • 79% of the Midwest is white Americans
  • The West is the most overall diverse part of America (where 46% of the American Asian population live, 42% of Hispanic/Latino, 48% of American Indian, 37% of multi-race)

So, what does this all mean when it comes to hiring a more diverse workforce? 

If 61.3% of the American population is white, is it realistic for Apple to hire a 50/50 mix of diversity across its workforce? I go back to my master’s research project when looking at female hiring in leadership. What you find in most service-oriented, retail, restaurants, etc. organizations are more male leaders than female leaders, but more female employees than male employees.

What I found was as organizations with a higher population of female employees hired a higher density of male employees as leaders, they were actually pulling from a smaller and smaller pool of talent. Meaning, organizations that don’t match the overall demographics of their employee base have the tendency to hire weaker leadership talent when they hire from a minority of their employee base, once those ratios are met.

In this case, if you have 70% female employees and 30% male, but you have 70% male leaders and only 30% female leaders, every single additional male you hire is statistically more likely to be a weaker leader than hiring from your female employee population for that position.

Makes sense, right!

If this example of females in leadership is true, it gives you a guide for your entire organization in what your mixes should be across your organization. If you have 60% of white employees and 50%, female. Your leadership team should be 60% of female leaders.

But!

What about special skill sets and demographics?

These throws are demographics off. What if your employee population is 18% black, but you can’t find 18% of the black employees you need in a certain skill set? This happened in a large health system I worked for when it came to nurse hiring. Within our market, we only had 7% of the nursing population that was black, and we struggled to get above that percentage in our overall population.

Apple runs into this same concept when it comes to hiring technical employees because more of the Asian and Indian population have the skill sets they need, so they can’t meet the overall demographics of their employee population, without incurring great cost in attracting the population they would need from other parts of the country to California.

Also, many organization’s leaders will say instead of looking at the employee base we have, let’s match the demographic makeup of the markets where our organizations work. At that point, you are looking at market demographics to match your employee demographics. Again, this can be difficult based on the skill sets you need to hire.

If I’m Apple, I think the one demographic that is way out of whack for them is female hiring. 50% of their customers are female. 77% of its employees are male, but only 33% of their leadership is female. It would seem to make demographic sense that 50% of Apple’s leadership team should be female.

Thoughts? This is a really difficult problem for so many organizations, and I see organizations attempting to get more ‘diverse’ in skin color without really knowing what that means in terms of raw numbers and percentages.

What are you using in your own shops?