Do you discriminate against boring people?

In hiring, we now know that we basically discriminate against almost every form of everything! Sexual identity, gender identity, race identity, height, education, weight, religion, you name it and someone out there has a bias towards or against you and whatever form you are.

The reality is, every single time you hire, you are discriminating against something. As a society, though, we’ve deemed some forms of discrimination as wrong, and some we are completely fine with. “Oh, we are going to select the white candidate.” That’s bad. “Oh, we are going to select the skinny candidate.’ That’s good.

I have a bias away from boring people. When I hire, I discriminate against boring people. Turns out, no matter the role, I don’t like to hire boring people. I don’t like to interview them. I don’t like to hire them. I don’t like to work with them. Why? Because they are boring!

Now, you can rightly argue I’m a complete fool. There are plenty of boring people who can be great hires and perform really well. Boring people can be considered safe, calm, nice, non-instigators, even keel, etc.

Is there anything worse than being labeled boring?

I think I would rather be labeled ugly than boring. I mean we all love to hire pretty people, but you would much rather hire an ugly person with a great personality, and a good-looking boring person. Besides how someone smells, it’s really the first thing you notice in an interview! Not how ugly they are, how boring they are!

I’ve heard executives say that the greatest trait they can have in an accountant is that they are boring. No one wants the party playing around with their money. But, still, I disagree. While I don’t want the party running around managing my money, I still want the person managing my money to have a pulse!

Boring is one of those traits that are hard to change. It’s hard to coach up a boring employee to have a personality. If I hire an ugly person, I can help them be better looking cosmetically. I can help a fat employee lose weight. I can even help a smelly employee smell better. But, boring is boring!

I’m sure all of this triggers some folks. For the most part, if you’re triggered and you’re boring, I don’t care, because it’s not like a boring person is going to do anything about it. If you’re not boring, and you’re triggered by me discriminating against boring people, well, isn’t that a strange wall to be standing on?! “I’m fighting for all the boring people! #BoringLivesMatter” But, do they? Do boring lives matter? And if they do, to whom? I mean, they’re boring.

A funny thing happens when we come clean about our discriminations. They seem silly. To write them down and defend them. To try and make sense of it all.

The more discriminating one’s eye for talent is, the more they open themselves up to discrimination. That’s the catch 22. The more specific you get about what you want in a hire, the more things you add into the wants and needs column, the more likely you are to cut someone out who deserves a shot.

I’m still against boring. Change my mind.

CareerBuilder’s New Look!

Okay, I’m just going to come right out and say it, this is probably a mean post. I mean marketing is freaking hard! Logos are impossible. Everyone is a critic.

If you didn’t see it recently, CareerBuilder (the job board – I feel like I have to tell the younger crowd what CareerBuilder is for some reason) came out with a new logo. Now, this is the 4th logo I know about since I started following the industry, there might be more.

At one point, probably like 8 years ago, CB was a client of mine. I did a bunch of work and they had a really great marketing team. They were also a cash cow and printing money, then came along this little startup called Indeed, that at the time they probably could have bought for next to nothing, but when you’re the biggest, baddest job board in town you just laugh at the young, little startups.

When I first started using CareerBuilder as a rookie recruiter this was their logo:

Original OG Logo when they were on top of the world

At some point, when your sales start to decline the first rule of marketing is to rebrand and seem new again, and more relevant. This was the first attempt:

The CB Trivial Pursuit Pie Logo

I can’t even tell you the amount of money and time that went into producing this “new” brand. Shortly after this, almost everyone who was anyone left CB for greener pastures.

As the private equity folks begin to start sniffing around some consultants came into put some lipstick on the pig and this was the next iteration of the CB logo:

But wait, what color of pie pieces do I have?

I actually don’t hate #3 – it’s clean and I like the color navy. But #1 is still my favorite.

And now to our most recent CB Logo change:

This is a joke, right?

Okay, have you guys seen @EmilyZugay on TikTok? She’s the logo girl. She actually takes famous logos and does a redo on them, and she is hilarious! The only thing I can hope for the marketing team at CB is that they are working with Emily! Please tell me you’re working with Emily!

I can’t even with this logo. The best part is they trademarked it like someone was actually going to steal it!

As I said, mean, petty post. Sorry, CB marketing team. I hope this is a joke because it would be amazing if it was. If it’s not, I get it, marketing is super hard! I hate my own logo, sorry for poking fun. Also, call Emily and pay her a few thousand and this becomes an amazing story!

What I learned at #HRTechConf 2021!

I’ve had a chance to sit down and go through my notes from one of my favorite conferences of the year and here are my 50,000-foot takeaways from The HR Technology Conference!

– The numbers were way down from 2019, but almost every single person I spoke with knew that would be the case, but kudos to LRP and the team for moving forward and finding a way to make this work. The Expo was still fantastic. The keynotes were still great. Those that showed up were as active in engaging as ever and it was a thoroughly enjoyable week talking shop with peers and friends.

– There are way too many “Coaching” technologies on the market and trying to come to market, and it’s strange. I get it, everyone, except me, wants to be a life coach. But honestly, most of this tech is some form of vaporware or marketplace, not actually technology, and I don’t see any HR Leaders clamoring for Coaching tech. I would estimate of the startups I saw, 30% were some form of coaching tech.

– I moderated the best panel at the conference! I’m just going to state the facts! I had Kris Dunn, Madeline Laurano, and Kyle Lagunas on a TA Tech panel I moderated and it was magic! Why? We are all friends, we love this industry, we do our homework, and it literally becomes an unfiltered great conversation amongst peers about stuff and questions people really want to know about. No agenda trying to position a product or sell a service, just real practitioner talk. Many attendees came up afterward and said that the panel was the best thing of their entire week at HR Tech!

– The 3rd Annual Pitchfest was again one of my favorite events. OnwardsHR won the contest, and second place went to Sciolytix. OnwardsHR is separation management technology and Sciolytix is assessment technology specifically for hiring sales professionals. Ironically, both of those came out of the semi-final that I was judging and Emceeing. That’s one of the hard things about the competition. I actually thought in my semi-final I had 4 of the best startups out of the entire 33, but only 2 from each semi-final can move on. Maybe a nice addition might be giving each judge a “Golden Ticket” to give to one company that can also make it into the final. I had great judges with me, but we are all looking at things from a different frame of reference. Also, I don’t know the exact percentage, but it felt like 50% of the startups were either female, non-binary, or trans-led, which was amazing!

– Who would have got my “Golden Ticket”? The team at Shaka! GenZ, Female Founded employee engagement, connection, and culture technology. In my opinion, they had the cleanest pitch of anyone, truly polished, and understood the market. Strong tech, strong branding. If I had to put money on a startup that I think will make it long-term, with the little we find out about them in an event like this, I’m betting the team from Shaka.

– As you can imagine, the TA Tech space is totally going insane right now. Internal Mobility is another piece that folks are pouring money into, and we are starting to see hybrid-work tech emerging. How do we manage the logistics and performance of disparate teams and work environments?

– The two names I heard more than any others from attendees were “HiredScore” and “Eightfold“. That’s awesome for those brands. One of the problems is, along with the name I was asked, “Now, what do they do, really?” Nice to have that brand awareness, but this demonstrates one of the issues we have right now. All of the TA Tech companies are bleeding into each other and they can do a lot of stuff, including these two. So, defining who and what they are is a challenge. If a buyer can’t define you, they tend to shy away. But, that doesn’t seem to be the case for either of these technologies as I think their client base is driving referral sales from positive interaction and results.

I’m looking forward to The HR Technology Conference 2022 being held back in Las Vegas on September 13-16th! See you there!

What About Me!?

The year is 1981, the artist is Shayne Ward, the song is “What About Me” (Look it up, kids!). I actually sing this to my wife all the time as a joke:

The chorus:

“What about me, it isn’t fair
I’ve had enough now I want my share
Can’t you see I wanna live
But you just take more than you give”

What about the employees who have that are staying!?

We all have a lot of employees who are leaving us. I’ve had a couple of really great folks of my own that have left for new positions. I also have the vast majority that have stayed and are also really awesome!

We do this stupid thing in organizations that I hate. It’s been going on forever. We tend to really overvalue new employees and employees who are performing that leave, and we totally discount the folks who stay. Dare I even say, those who are “loyal” and stay. That’s a trigger I know, because honestly, those who left were loyal also, until, well, they left.

I mean, just because someone leaves for an opportunity that feels is right for them and their family doesn’t make someone not loyal. I believe disloyalty is when someone purposely tries to hurt your organization, and as such, is trying to hurt all the employees who actually work there as well. That’s way different!

We have this fixation on trying to “save” an employee who wants to leave. I actually think trying to save good employees is a good investment. The problem is, we also need a “save”/retention strategy for all those employees who are killing it every day and not going anywhere. They need the love as well!

Wait, isn’t that just good old fashion employee engagement or good new fashion employee experience?

Yes.

Yes, and in certain times it’s also more than that. In times of terrific economic advantage to workers, like we are now in, we probably have to do a bunch more. You can show your employees some love, or someone else will!

I had a number of conversations recently with really smart leaders around pay and compensation. In times like we are in right now, compensation market-level data can’t keep up. It never really can, but it usually doesn’t move this fast, so being 3-6 months trailing is okay. Right now, you can not be one month behind. Actually, your recruiters probably have better market data than your compensation team. They are seeing it with accepted and declined offers every day, with pre-screen expectations, with comments they are hearing from hiring managers on offers they are hearing about.

Don’t kid yourself, it’s about pay until it’s not about pay.

We have been sold an old paradigm that we love to believe is true, but it’s only half true. Pay being equal, all the culture and leadership stuff matters. Pay not being equal, no one cares about your stupid skills development program, and Billy the nice boss. First, pay me what I should be getting.

We have a major crisis on our hands right now as organizations. You can only solve so much of this by backfilling talent and turning on your recruiting machine. You first have to turn off the exit pipeline leaving your organization. Settle down the turnover and it will be easier to recruit and build back to where you need to be.

You have a ton of employees who are staying and not resigning. Those folks are now doing more to take up the slack because turnover is so high. As leaders, this is the time you actually make your money. Full court press on making sure your folks are taken care of in the ways that are important to them, that they feel appreciated and seen, that they matter.

It’s not about the folks leaving. It’s about the folks who are staying!

The ATS is not Enough! State of TA Tech. #HRTechConf @madtraquin

I’m out at The HR Technology Conference this week and caught my friend Madeline Laurano‘s session title ‘The State of Talent Acquisition Technology! The ATS is not Enough”. If you don’t know Madeline, connect with her, she is, in my estimation, the number one analyst in talent acquisition technology in the world. Truly. Great content and research.

Madeline and I catch up a lot on what’s happening in recruiting technology and I think we both see the world about the same when it comes to the industry we both love. There’s a game that takes place between big suite ATSs (Workday, Oracle, SAP) and the best of breed ATS players (Greenhouse, SmartRecruiters, iCIMS, Jobvite, etc.). The game is, to whoever is using them, we are basically all you need, our tech does it all, buy us. At the same time, all of these ATSs have these vast networks and app stores of add-on recruiting technology you can buy, so clearly they don’t do everything.

I wish just once in an ATS sales pitch the vendor would just go, “Look, we’re good, and here are the other products you’ll need to buy to actually do want you want it to do…” That never happens! NEVER! But, after you buy and implement, you get to a point where you go, “well, g*d dammit, we need to buy some more stuff!”

So, Madeline is completely accurate in her presentation, the ATS is not enough if you truly want to attract, source, and hire high-quality talent. In fact, there isn’t one ATS on the planet that will do everything you need. The problem is, and this is why it’s so hard building ATS technology, every single organization needs different stuff. Sure, many could use the same stack, but everyone always has something “unique” and “special” about them where they need a tweak here or there. TA Insider Tip: None of us are unique nor special when it comes to recruiting!

So, what do 90% of us need that our ATS don’t have?

  1. Automation – Okay, all of the ATSs I listed above, both large HRM recruiting modules and the best of breeds do have some automation build into their ATS. The problem is, it’s fairly light in the functionality and is hard to customize to your individual needs and desires. So, we have an entire crop of great recruiting automation techs on the market, like Loxo, Eightfold, Candidate ID, Paradox/Olivia, etc.
  2. CRM – Yes, again, almost every ATS has some CRM, but it’s really CRM light for the most part, and it actually works rather well for the day-to-day recruiter working openings. Full-blown CRM tech (Beamery, Avature, Phenom People, Acendify, etc.) is awesome, but it’s really designed for Enterprise level organizations with dedicated people running this tech every day. It’s not designed for the everyday recruiter.
  3. All the AI stuff – AI by itself isn’t recruiting tech, it’s built into almost all of the recruiting tech, but it includes automation, matching, data, chatbots, etc. Again, every new ATS on the market has some AI buiilt into it’s technology, but you can buy all kinds of cool add-on technology that enhances your ATS through the use of AI driven recruiting technology.
  4. Sourcing – Most ATS have some light sourcing, but it does’t go as deep as most recruiters want. Technoogies like Hiretaul, SeekOut, Visage, etc. Also, if you want specific help around DEI sourcing and recruiting, you’ll mostly have to go outside of your ATS for this help. Greenhouse does have some good internal built tech within their ATS around DEI, I will say.
  5. Interviews and Assessments– Whether it’s video or just structure, every ATS has some stuff to help you with interviews, but it’s not like the stuff you can buy on the outside that will give you really engaging, structured interviews with great insights. Also, almost no ATS has built in any real modern assessment science to help you weed through and find the best candidates.
  6. Data/Business Intelligence – Every ATS has reporting, but when it comes to true business intelligence it starts to fall down. Great you gave me my days to fill, but what I really need to know is what are my best soures of hire by cost, and who are the recruiters on my team that are really making the biggest difference, or how can I help a recruiter who is struggling? This one perplexes me because every ATS has this data, but they seem to mostly ignore how they could help TA leaders run better shops.

And we didn’t even talk about career sites, job posting distribution, programmatic job advertising, onboarding, etc.!

Yes, you need an ATS, just like we need an HRIS for our employee records, but you can’t go ATS shopping and truly believe that is all you need. The larger and organization is the more add-on recruiting technology you’ll need. For organizations with over 5,000 employees, on average, you probably have 18-25 different recruiting technologies. Even dynamic SMB recruiting shops probably have ten!

The state of talent acquisition technology today is that all of these technologies are beginning to blend into each other because the buyer (all of us) actually believes they just want one system that does everything. But, that’s the problem. Your “one” system and my “one” system are different systems! So, mass confusion ensues. Also, there is so much money going into this area of technology that you have more and more people jumping in to solve our problems, by adding more options.

More options do not equal solutions, just more complexity and more confusion for the buyer!

The Pros and Cons of Paid Leave Benefits! #HRFamous #HRTechConf

I’m at The HR Technology Conference this week in Vegas and it’s amazing to see all of the new Leave technology on the market! We were talking about this on the pod this week, check it out!

On episode 81 of The HR Famous Podcast, longtime HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Kris Dunn, and Jessica Lee come together to discuss texting in the workplace, the Theranos trial and the proposed paid leave bill.

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

2:40 – KD recently was on a run while on vacation in Florida and pulled out his phone and checked out the Zillow app while running, a normal KD trait.

4:30 – KD asks JLee to speak about an instance when she made a business mistake over texting. JLee mentions a co-worker who had a misspelling error.

7:15 – Tim talks about how the “meeting after the meeting” is now happening during the meeting on Zoom.

9:15 – How cognizant are you of your exclamation point usage in emails? JLee says she doesn’t limit herself like she once did.

12:00 – KD mentions the book Bad Blood by Ramesh Balwani that is about Theranos and their blood testing.

14:00 – KD reads text messages between Elizabeth Homes and Sunny Balwani that were uncovered by the prosecutors at the ongoing Theranos trial.

19:00 – KD thinks that the prosecutor should have a running screen at the trial of the best text exchanges between Holmes and Balwani.

22:30 – JLee warns everyone that text messages can be discovered even if they are deleted.

24:00 – The People Infrastructure Bill coming from the Biden administration has a lot of things that impact the workplace. KD brings up paid leave and the new policy. This policy includes paid leave for almost all workers who have earned wages in the last six months.

26:00 – Tim’s initial reaction is torn because he wants to have the paid leave benefits for American people and families, but he worries about the actual financial cost of these policies.

29:00 – JLee mentions how it’s hard to manage paid leave in a multi-state work environment and how some of these policies could help ease those complications.

31:00 – Tim says that HR pros may be the worst to talk about paid leave because they see all the people that take advantage of systems that are in place to help people.

36:00 – KD reads the nine states that currently have paid leave laws. JLee says she’s surprised Maryland doesn’t have paid leave laws. Tim says that he’s surprised Vermont isn’t included and KD says Minnesota.

2021 HR Technology Conference Pitchfest Participants Announced! #hrtechconf (HR Tech You Want To Know About!)

I’m out in Vegas this year (for the third time in like 6 weeks!) and I’m both a judge and Emcee of The HR Technology Conference’s 3rd Annual Pitchfest! It’s one of my favorite events and sessions of the year because we all get to see what is the latest and greatest new technology that is having an impact on our day-to-day lives as HR and Talent practitioners!

The winners of this year’s event get a $25,000 cash prize and a booth at the 2022 HR Technology Conference Expo! Second place gets a set of steak knives! No, just kidding, they get $5000!

Who are the participants of this year’s event?

Blossom.team (Coaching Tech)MyExcelia (Coaching Tech)
Cauldron (Recruiting Tech)NoahFace (Workplace Security/Tracking)
centralFOne Donation (Employee Giving)
Charthop (People Data Tech)Onwards HR (Separation Tech)
Clovers AI (Interview Tech) Phoenix Technology Systems (HRIS)
Compa (Job Offer Tech)Pointers (Talent Management)
Culturora (Culture Tech)PTO Genius (PTO Tech)
Edammo, Inc. (Business Intelligence)Public Insight (Talent Analytics)
Equality AI (Ethical AI) Sciolytix (Training Tech)
GraceBlocks (HR Architecture) Sentinel Pay Analytics (Pay Equity Tech)
ICC (Innovate. Coach. Consult.) (Coaching)Shaka Culture Application (Employee Engagement)
Included (DEI Analytics) Stayhome Inc. (Hybrid Office Mngt)
Insurights (Healthcare Tech)STEERus (Talent Development)
INTalent (Architecture) Translator, Inc. (DEI Tech)
InternConnect (Internship Tech) Viveka (Coaching Tech)
Learn In (Employee Development)Workrowd (Hybrid Work Tech)
MeBeBot (Employee Experience) WORQDRIVE (Internal Mobility)

The HR Technology Pitchfest takes place Tuesday and Wednesday at the expo at the Pitchfest Theater! Come check it out, it’s a great way to see a ton of technology in a one-hour time slot to see if you want to find out more.

Pro Tip to Startups!

If I “Google” your product name and “HR Tech” I better be able to find you, or you better fire your marketing person! LOL! I can’t tell you how hard it was to find the website address for each of these companies listed above! It. Should. Not. Be. Hard. To. Find. You!

So, if your name is mentioned above and the link goes to the wrong company, I’m not apologizing! That’s on you! Get a better name with an easy-to-find URL!

See everyone in Vegas!

6 Surprising Ways GenZ is Changing the Workforce!

I’m in love with Gen Z! It might be because I’m raising 3 Gen Zers, two in college, one on the way, but it’s also because I love how each generation is shaped by the period of time in which they are raised, and I think Gen Z, specifically, was raised in one of the most unique periods in history!

We’ve had the Millennial “differences” jammed down our throats now for a decade! When it first started, I was fascinated with the differences, now I’m just bored. I think what we learned with the Millennials was that so much of what each Generation has, is truly just based on time in life. Then we have this much smaller percentage of some stuff that truly makes each generation stand out.

Gen Z was raised during the Great Recession. This is a fact, it’s not something we can discount. The generations directly before the Boomers, the Silent Generation, and the Greatest Generation, were raised during the Great Depression, this had a significant impact on how they viewed the world, and how they viewed jobs specifically. Gen Z will have some modern similarities to these generations.

You can not be in your formidable years, have the access to information that Gen Z has always had, and see your family and friends lose jobs, houses, etc., and not then have that come out in your relationship to work in some unique way. There’s been very little out about Gen Z, to this point, but recently there was a fairly substantial study done with over 25,000 Gen Zers. Here’s what it said:

97% of Gen Z own a Smartphone, 93% own a Laptop! Gen Z is digital natives. They are the very first digital-native generation. They grew up with a smartphone in their hands before they could even communicate what they wanted or needed in a meaningful way. Gen Z will not ever work well in an environment that doesn’t use technology to solve common problems. “We have always done it this way” makes no sense to them. Not in a frustrating way, but in a truly perplexed way. Kind of like how someone looks at a Caveman exhibit in a museum.

Gen Z is very price-conscious. Employers will love them because they constantly work to get lower costs of goods and are very adept at doing things on their own when they feel they can produce similar quality for a lower cost. Again, go back to what they saw growing up. They use technology for price comparison, reviews, check availability, etc. Rarely will you be able to sell Gen Z in one meeting, and without competition also being in play.

Only 1 in 8 Gen Zs gets their information from printed materials. Good job on those printed career fair brochures! You might as well just have a big bonfire at Corporate HQ because your printed job material is almost worthless with Gen Z. Although, they do consume information through a ton of channels including social media (79.7%) – yeah, that Twitter/IG is just a fad…TV/Video, radio, and video streaming services, etc. When we go to recruit Gen Z, we have to be ready to use multiple forms of media to reach them.

Crazy enough, Gen Z actually loves to read books, not digital.  Again, generationally, Gen Z was raised during the Harry Potter days, etc. Some of the best young adult literature in history was written during their young years, and in hard economic times, a book is a fairly inexpensive entertainment option that takes up a lot of time. No wonder Gen Z is a generation of readers! 77% prefer to read a printed book, rather than digital. So, while we tend to focus employee development on online on-demand types of media, some leaders will find giving a book to Gen Z might be a real connection for them.

Gen Z demands information. Gen Zers, for the most part, won’t demand to be the boss, but they will demand to be kept in the loop. Why? Because they’ve always been able to find out anything they wanted in seconds, so you playing the power position of keeping information from them will not go over well! When you’ve never not had information, working in a corporate culture that uses information as power, is a stifling environment to be in.

Gen Z is the most diverse generation in American history. I will tell you my sons are somewhat confused by old people’s obsession with diversity issues. They understand America is far from perfect, but they also have grown up in a generation that is much more accepting than any generation before them, so they find ‘our’ obsession with these topics sometimes overdone. They would prefer to focus on how we are similar, then on how we are different.

Currently, Generation Z is about 40% of our workforce and growing. The largest generation in the workforce, with Millennials being a shrinking second place. Gen Zs are not Millennials, just like Millennials are not Gen X, etc. Each is mostly similar, with some differences. Gen Z will take some getting used to for some leaders, but those who embrace their uniqueness will truly get rewarded!

Will You Attend an Event That Mandates Vaccines?

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

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

Show Highlights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Great Learnings from Rejected Offers!

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

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

Why do people reject your offers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Expiring Offer Model from Kapwing

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

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

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