Eating Hotdogs on Video Calls and other Bad Life Choices! #HRFamous

On episode 93 of the HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Jessica Lee, and Kris Dunn come together to discuss eating on video calls, hiring during the holidays and choosing your own salary and benefits.

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

3:30 – JLee ponders the etiquette of eating on camera during WFH meetings. She’s had co-workers eat hot dogs and many other things. Tim asks why someone is eating hot dogs at home during the day.

5:45 – KD thinks it’s fine to eat during normal eating hours but not with any external clients.

8:00 – JLee is a regular on-camera eater. She says that she often goes to the pantry in the middle of calls and comes back in with a snack.

13:20 – JLee has a job opening and she’s ready to post the job but is worried about posting it during the holidays. KD says she should post the job right away with no hesitation. Tim talks about how post-new years, many people will have newfound motivation.

16:30 – Here is the link to the Marriott job JLee is hiring for! Go work with her!

18:30 – KD mentions a consulting job where the company he worked with had a strategy that consisted of solely on reposting jobs and money on

21:00 – JLee is the best hiring manager. She’s responsive, does some of her own sourcing, and writes stellar job descriptions.

23:00 – JLee mentions an article about a company in France that lets their employees choose their own salary and hours to help prevent burnout. JLee asks the crew what they think their employees’ response was.

26:00 – KD mentions how salespeople at a company carry a huge burden to bring in the revenue for a business. Tim says that his sales employees have to bring in five to six times their salary to provide for the entire company.

28:30 – JLee mentions that Tim’s answer was pretty spot on. Some asked for more money, some asked for more benefits, and some didn’t ask for anything more.

30:00 – KD thinks the baller move is to ask for a 3-day work week rather than a pay increase.

32:00 – JLee mentions that some Audi employees get free cars, comped car insurance, and some money for gas!

8 Hard Truths in Recruiting, as Told in Percentages!

33% – basically, recruiting is the rule of three. If you post a position, on average, over millions and millions of jobs and applicants, you basically get a 1/3 ratio. Of those that apply about 1/3 fit what you need. Of those, you screen about 1/3 will move on to a hiring manager interview. A manager will interview three and make an offer to one.

50% – Almost every organization has a success rate in hiring that is around 50%. Basically, our selection process is as successful as a coin flip. Oh, but you only have 7% turnover so you must be way better!? No really, who’s to say the other person you interviewed wouldn’t have actually performed better?

89% – Of employers believe employees leave for more money. 12% are employees who claim they actually leave for money. The other 77% are smart enough to make up another reason they left for more money.

30% of employable people are actively seeking a new job at any one time. This is why post and pray fails as a strategy, mostly. You are targeting only 30% of your target market, the other 70% are passive and need outreach directly to engage them.

48% of employers claim that employee referrals are their highest quality of source of hire. 97% of employers basically have no technology to assist them in getting more employee referrals.

67% of candidates consider diversity important, while the other 33% of candidates are basically just racist.

75% of hiring managers say Employment Branding matters. 67% of those same Hiring Managers refuse to give a recruiter feedback on candidates that were sent to them.

95% of Recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates to present to their hiring managers as “top talent”. 93% of Recruiters have no clue what “top talent” is in their industry. But, Whee! It’s fun to play on LinkedIn all day!

(Shout out to Cait Mack on Medium for the title inspiration!)

How can Text Recruiting increase your gender diversity hiring?

Who likes to text more, men or women?

What’s your gut reaction? My initial reaction was it’s probably the same, right? Then I was thinking about my wife and the amount of text messaging she does with her friends, her sister, her mom, her children, okay, its women for sure! Also, if there is ever a real phone call that needs to be made, she will text me to make that call! Like somehow my “superpower” is picking up the phone and speaking to a real person on the other end.

“Dear, it’s just ordering pizza, you can do it!” Fine, I’ll just go online and order it there!

There is actually data to support this:

I’m not sure men would prefer to talk over text, but they definitely are more willing to talk over the phone, on average, than women.

How can we use this nugget of information in landing more female candidates? Obviously, increase the utilization of text messaging outreach when you want to increase the number of female candidates you want to get into your pipeline!

As you are putting together your recruitment communications plan for a requisition where you know you want to gather more female candidates, text messaging should be a primary source of outreach. That doesn’t mean you want also to use email and phone calls, but your primary communication strategy should be focused on text messaging.

What do female candidates like to hear your outreach messages? Most likely that you have their dream job, but here are some other popular highly engaged forms of text messages females tend to respond more to:

  1. Items around important events.
  2. Sharing something about yourself.
  3. Another way to say, “I’m thinking of you”.
  4. Direct response to something public.
  5. A meaningful memory.
  6. A good morning text.

Now, the trick is how do we use this information in a job outreach candidate interaction exchange!?

The first thing you have to ask yourself is, “why would this person reply to this text message?” Your message that says, “Hi, we have an opening for Business Analyst, click the link to see more…” Is not the correct answer to this question! That’s spam, no one likes spam.

How about something like, “Happy Holidays! I’m getting ready to fly home to see my parents in a few days but wanted to send you this in hopes you would get a chance to review it on your time off as well. Please let me know if you have questions. Would love to discuss this with you!”

I can guarantee you, you have a way better chance of that candidate clicking through and viewing your job at the very least. Plus, you are actually setting yourself up for outreach number two which could be, “I hope your holidays were awesome! I had some flightmares, but great to see the family. Did you get a chance to take a look at what I sent? Any interest or questions?”

You are adding numbers 1, 2, and 5 from the list above in two messages!

Adding “personalization” doesn’t always mean you need to share actual personal information. It’s the perception of personalization that also matters. In these text messages, you sound like a real person who cares and you’re beginning to build trust. All are important in getting a high level of response, especially from female targets.

Want more female candidates? Use text messaging, get personal, and build trust.

Want to learn more about how your organization can utilize text recruiting to its fullest? Check out today!

What Will Be Your Big Unlock In Recruiting?

Okay, the first thing you’re asking is what the heck is an “Unlock”, right? Well, an “unlock” according to Scott Galloway is:

“An unlock is the discovery of an accelerant for the brand, product, or service invisible in plain sight. The mold on cheese curing disease was a substantial unlock (penicillin). So is administering a small dose of a pathogen to immunize someone from the complete, more harmful pathogen (vaccines).”

An early unlock in recruiting might have been the concept of “poaching” whereas there was a time when it was considered unethical to recruit someone away from a competitor that wasn’t out actively looking. Basically, if they contacted you it was fine, but you couldn’t cold outreach to them. Sounds silly today that was an unwritten recruiting rule a few decades ago!

Another “unlock” in recruiting a few decades ago was the concept of using a candidate’s references as potential leads/referrals to other candidates. For decades we just called references for the simple fact we wanted to actually get an employment reference on a candidate, then all of sudden we were doing that, but also trying to recruit the reference as well!

The biggest unlock of the pandemic for TA was understanding as more and more positions went remote, we could now recruit talent from anywhere, potentially increasing the level of talent we could hire, and sometimes reducing the cost of salaries by hiring folks in less expensive markets.

What will be your Recruiting Unlock in 2022?

Each organization is kind of on its own recruiting evolutionary timeline. While you might have had an unlock years ago, some organizations will just discover that unlock this year. An example would be the reference check one above, many organizations are still just doing reference checks for reference checks! Some have taken those contacts with potential candidates to the next level.

What are some possible Unlocks for you this year?

  • Using marketing automation and nurturning campaigns to make more hires from your ATS database.
  • You’ll use a multi-channel approach to contacting candidates – Email, Inmail, text, phone, Facebook messaging, What’sApp, etc.
  • You’ll stop just posting jobs on job boards and start using Programmatic Job Advertising to discover potential candidates where they are on the interent, not just active candidates searching for jobs.
  • Finally using the data you collect to make your TA more effective and efficient, and not just reporting for the sake of reporting.
  • You’ll actually train your recruiting teams to be better recruiters using sites like Social Talent and SourceCon.
  • Maybe you’ll finally demo and purchase a Sourcing technology tool to help you discover talent in your market you had no idea was there.

But, the question is still what will your unlock be this year!?

I think the biggest unlock most organizations need to figure out is how they better utilize their most expensive resource, your own ATS database. Basically, for most, the candidates in there are just sitting there dying a slow death. We spend so many resources filling these databases with talent and then we do nothing with it.

If I’m not going to do anything with it, it’s basically worthless. If it’s worthless, then let me play around with it and see if I can find a way to get a better value out of it! Here are some ideas:

  1. Invest in an AI driven matching engine and activate your database again.
  2. Get a few local TA leaders in your market and start sharing talent amongst each other. Meet once a month, everyone brings a USB drive with 500 candidates on it and exchange, who knows maybe getting another 1500-2000 free candidates a month will land you some more hires!
  3. Give your ATS database to your marketing team and let them sell to every person who ever applied to your jobs. At one point these folks were saying, “Hi, I love you, I want to work for you!”, so at a minimum marketing has a positive sales database to tap!

Hit me in the comments with any ideas you might have that could be a great unlock for 2022!

The (Fight) Recruiting Club Rules

Great talent and great hiring are about getting the best candidates to respond to you. It’s our reality as talent acquisition professionals that we have candidates who apply to our jobs, some of which might be great. We also have to go out and find great talent and find ways to get them to respond to our overtures.

It’s the number one job of every talent acquisition professional. I would argue it might be the only job of talent acquisition. Get great talent to interact with you!

The first rule of Flight Recruiting Club is you need to get candidates to respond!

The second rule of Recruiting Club is you need to keep trying to get talent to respond to you until they actually respond. Wait for a second, Tim! Do you mean we have to reach out to a candidate more than once!? I mean, if they don’t respond to me after my first outreach, that’s their loss! No, it’s your loss! You need that talent!

The third rule of Recruiting Club is you need to interact with candidates in the medium they are most comfortable with. I like it when you text me, most people do. It gets a high response rate. Some folks like email, phone calls, Facebook messenger, hand-written notes, etc. Find all the mediums the candidates like, not your favorite!

The fourth rule of Recruiting Club is it’s not about you. It’s about them! “I’ve got a great career opportunity for you!” How do you know what I want? Stop acting as you know me when you don’t. How about you first to get to know me a little. I mean, a girl deserves at least a drink before you ask her to get married!

The fifth rule of Recruiting Club is subject lines matter. Throw away any subject line that is about you. Spend twelve seconds, actually researching your target, and make a subject line that is about them! I like Michigan State University. If you sent me a subject line that says, “Go Green!” I’m way more likely to respond!

The sixth rule of Recruiting Club is don’t spam people you want to respond to. What’s spam? “HI TIM,” is spam! Your crappy ATS mass email where every word of the email is the same accepts that awful capital letter salutation at the beginning! That’s not personalization, that’s spam!

The seventh rule of Recruiting Club is to be a real person in your outreach. Once you let them know that you know who they are, have a personality, and let them know who you are. Of course, this interaction is about your organization, but the top recruiting professionals make personal connections first with great talent and then introduce them to the organization. “Hey Tim, I see you’re a Sparty fan! I’m a Big Ten person myself as I went to…”

The eighth rule of Recruiting Club is you make “all” candidates fall in love with you until you need to dump them. Great recruiting is like dating. I want you. I want you. I want you. Until I don’t want you any longer. Don’t hate the players, hate the game.

The ninth rule of Recruiting Club is new recruiters always find Unicorns! “Oh, that person won’t be interested in what I have, I mean they work at Google! We aren’t Google…” New recruiters don’t have pre-programmed recruiting biases. They just reach out and offer, rinse, repeat. They “stumble” into great talent because they don’t know any better. We have to work constantly to stop knowing better!

The tenth rule of Recruiting Club is you need to be on the edge to get most candidates to respond. If you’re vanilla in your communication, you’ll get a low and steady amount of replies, and no one will ever, ever complain about your style. If your Strawberry, you’ll get more responses, and every once in a while, someone is going to complain about you. Great talent acquisition lives right on the edge. Not over it, on it.

What’s the first rule of Recruiting Club?

The Death of Average

“The world needs ditch diggers, too.”

You’ve heard this saying, right? We say it in regards to explaining that we all can’t be high performers. We all can’t be the best. I’ve said a million times that I would take an army of “B” players, just folks who show up to work and actually do the job they are paid to do!

The reality is, it’s now rare to find anyone who just wants to be “average”. I grew up in a world where the majority were completely fine with just doing their job, going home and living their life, rinse and repeat. Now, everyone wants to be extraordinary.

The problem is, if everyone is extraordinary, we all just are the same. If we are all the same, aren’t we all just average at that point? We are. You just raised the bar. This notion of abundance is a falsy, a dream. If everyone becomes high performing, that becomes the new mean, and someone will step up and become a higher performer. Welcome to life, kids.

Does the world still need ditch diggers?

I’m not sure, to be honest. It feels like we can build a robot or a machine or software to do most average stuff. Do we really need Starbuck baristas anymore? No! Robots are already making better coffee without the attitude, and if you want “attitude” we can make a button to push and the bot will give you attitude!

The current employment crisis will only speed up this evolution of eliminating the average. Say goodbye to some disinterested kid at the front counter at every fast food place. Say goodbye to grocery checkout clerks. Bank tellers. Truck drivers. I could do this all day.

If you can do your job and be average and no one says anything to you, know it’s just a matter of time until some sort of technology replaces you. That’s why no one is giving you any grief, it’s not worth pushing you for more when they know you’re going to be replaced!

The world will always need people who are willing to work, show up ready to work, and find some personal satisfaction of a job well done. Somehow that has become a lost art.

Average is Over

Average is over primarily because most people lack the self-insigt to understand and comprehend they are average. We are developing a world of people who believe they are above average at the very least, when most are performing below average work. This is a “participation medal” type of issue. At some point in our lives, we all got a participation token of some sort. This is a blurred lens of not understanding the person next to you is actually way better than you, either through hard work or flat out better talent.

A recent study by Goodhire found that 83% of Americans feel they don’t need a boss. The reality is, about 1-5% of Americans can perform average to above average work without some sort of supervision following up and ensuring performance is being met. So what Goodhire found out is that around 80% of Americans are stupid! Or, as I said above, this confirms the lack of self-insight. Very few people have the self-motivation to get up every day and manage themselves to success, let alone to just being average.

If you are an actual high performer in your life or any job, this is the best news you will ever hear! You are basically surrounded by morons who think they’re great, but struggle to turn off Netflix when real work must be done. People who believe because they replied to an email at 9pm at night, they are extraordinary. People you will walk over on your career ascent because they are average and don’t even know it.

The masses are killing average, but don’t be fooled, average didn’t go anywhere it’s just hiding in a new wrapper of “above average” inside of dumb people.

What if your Candidate Experience was more like hailing a ride on Uber? #HRFamous

On episode 92 of the HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Jessica Lee, and Kris Dunn come together to discuss how HR and recruiting could be more like Uber, then shift to the promise of legal immigration in the U.S. to help fight worker-shortage issues.

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 recently went and sat on the floor at an MSU game. He said he doesn’t know how to go to a basketball game ever again.

9:45 – Bruce Springsteen recently sold his music catalog for $500 million. Tim asks the group what artist/group they would buy a catalog from. JLee chose Mariah Carey. KD chose Nirvana.

13:00 – Tim mentions that Taylor Swift’s catalog got sold, but she is now re-recording all of her catalog to get back at the owners. Tim chose Michael Jackson over Prince.

15:15 – JLee saw Yao Ming in her office once and was blown away by how big he was and how it impacts every part of his life.

16:30 – Tim mentions an article about how Uber made its users OK with waiting. He relates to a candidate experience perspective and asks how HR pros and recruiters could put something in place to make waiting better.

18:00 – KD thinks that hiring managers need to commit to a day that they will make their decision and communicate that date. It’s the equivalent of arrival time for Uber!

20:00 – Tim says that ATS status updates are too high-level and unspecific.

24:00 – JLee has the idea to do “hiring manager ratings” just like “driver ratings” that are on rideshare apps. Tim iterates off that and comes up with “number of interviews/hires” just like “number of rides.”

25:15 – In 2021, the U.S. population grew by 0.1%. This is the lowest amount since 1918 when the influenza pandemic and World War I were happening. Tim thinks this is a major demographic issue where we aren’t replacing as fast as we are losing people.

27:30 – Tim asks the crew how revamping immigration could help fight against this problem. JLee and Tim discuss making it easier for people to immigrate by focusing on the process.

31:00 – KD mentions how 300,000 visas sound minuscule for what is actually needed to help with the lack of workers in this country.

How Great Leaders Handle Crisis!

We’ve had a lot of crises over the past couple of years. Everyone would agree with this.

It’s been popular since the beginning of time to judge people based on their best moment. Stand up tall, when others are small and you are destined for greatness in history. No matter when you did before or after.

Rudy Giuliani, by most, is considered a great leader of our time for his leadership in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He was in charge when the towers came down. He said and did the right things during that time. He will be forever remembered for that time in his legacy.

The reality is, leaders are not best judged in times of crisis.

Great leaders should not be judged by how they reacted in a once-in-a-lifetime event, but by how they act every day. On good days, average days, bad days, and very rarely on crisis days. The problem is we aren’t paying attention to normal days. We don’t see the greatest. So, we judge them on the few times we see them, which are either celebrations or catastrophes.

Crisis management is incredibly difficult for leadership teams at organizations. You try with all of your might to put your own situation aside, but it’s always there in the background, while you try and do what’s best for all involved. The hardest thing a leader will ever do is make the decision that some will have to lose their job, so the majority can keep their job. Even putting your own name on that list of cuts, isn’t as difficult.

Nobody wants to be judged by his or her worst moment. In crisis management, we tend to have a lot of worst moments because we are often making quick decisions with the limited information that in hindsight looks foolish.

As we are all going through some level of crisis management currently, I wanted to share Professor Scott Galloway’s three steps of crisis management from his NYU class he teaches on the same subject:

  1. Top Guy or Gal Takes Responsibility
  2. Acknowledge the Issue
  3. Overcorrect

Overcorrect is the key. Well, I’m not sure if we should do this, let’s just wait a little while longer and see what happens. NO! Overcorrect. Make the safest choice possible. Make the best choice possible for your people. Act swiftly.

If we watch, we will see great leadership moments in any crisis. Some of these moments will be by great leaders doing great leader stuff. Some of these moments will be done by idiots who just happen to be in the right place and make the right decision. Don’t confuse a moment of leadership competence with being a great leader.

Great leaders don’t just show up for a crisis, they show up every day.

Sackadomas returns to Chad and Cheese with 2022 Predictions!

Each year I go on the Chad and Cheese podcast and the three of us give our Recruiting Technology predictions for the year. We are rarely accurate, but every once in a while we’ll get one right. What it really turns into is what we wish would happen! This 2022 episode is a great one and you can check it out everywhere you listen to podcasts …

Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman put on a great podcast throughout the year without me as well, you should definitely check it out and give them a follow!

You Are No Longer Fit For Duty…in Recruiting!

I’ve been hearing a lot of “Fit-for-duty” stuff in the news lately and it got me thinking. Are any of us really fit for duty for the jobs we have!?

Fit-For-Duty, according to OSHA, means that an individual is in a physical, mental, and emotional state which enables the employee to perform the essential tasks of his or her work assignment in a manner that does not threaten the safety or health of yourself, your co-workers, your company’s property, or the public at large.

That’s a lot, right!? I mean, on a day-to-day basis I might make one or two of three of those, but being physically, emotionally, and mentally prepared each day!? Get out of here!

As recruiters being physically ready probably isn’t our biggest hurdle. I mean, let’s face it, we sit in front of a computer. If we can physically type and make some calls, it’s not the most demanding job from a physical standpoint. Also, mentally, is recruiting really challenging anyone day-to-day? We aren’t trying to figure out how to put puppies on the moon, we are just trying to talk someone into accepting a job we have open.

Are recruiters fit for duty?

The problem is the emotional side of fit for duty. You see, Recruiters face rejection all day, every day. An average recruiter will face more rejection in one week than an ugly, short dude gets on Tinder all year. That’s to say, it’s a lot!

The recruiter also has to constantly placate dumb hiring managers that believe they are way better than they are and that believe they know how to recruit talent better than the recruiters they work with. On top of that, we have the serial repeat candidates who are awful but can’t take “no” for an answer. So, each week we spend hours with candidates whose own mother wouldn’t give them a job, but somehow they believe they should be the next executive VP at our company!

Let’s not forget our HR brothers and sisters who secretly, and not so secretly hate us, because they ain’t us! It’s hard being this sexy, smart, and cool. We get it, but let’s just be friends! And still, somehow we take the blame for our organization’s lack of talent when we have psychopath leaders who turnover people like there’s an endless supply of warm bodies just craving our average pay, average benefits, and average, cold, work location.

Emotionally, there’s no way, most recruiters are fit for duty!

And, yet, we show up, pick up the phones, and keep finding fresh suckers every day to fill the jobs of our organizations.

When is a Recruiter no longer fit for duty?

Here’s the real deal, because, for all the joking above, there is actually a time when a recruiter is no longer fit for duty in your company. The time they are no longer fit for duty is the exact time they stop believing.

That moment when they stop believing your company is a good company.

That moment when they stop believing that the job they are working on is a good job.

The moment when they stop believing that the hiring manager they are working with has the ability to be someone good to work for.

Now, I get it, we all have a bad hiring manager here and there. a bad job here and there, but overall, the majority is good. The moment we no longer believe this is the exact moment you can no longer recruit for your company.

You are no longer fit for duty, because “believing” can’t be faked. It shows up. It shows up in the bad candidates you let go on to the next step. How you sell your company to the world. How you allow a partner to make a bad decision and just walk away.

As a recruiter, you are no longer fit for duty the moment you stop believing. That is the moment you must leave. Maybe not the company, but certainly your job as a recruiter.

I think a lot of CEOs would like to believe this is a fit for duty criteria for every role in their company, but that just isn’t true. I don’t need Ted in IT to believe in the company, I just need to make sure he keeps the network up. Do I want him to believe? Heck, yes! But, I desperately must have my recruiters who believe!

Take a good long look in the mirror today. Are you fit for duty?