ChatGPT can now see pictures and understand your voice commands!

For those who still believe Generative AI won’t change your job, take a looksie down below!

So, the AI can now see pictures and understand what we ask it!

This means no matter what your job is. You will soon be able to speak to your technology and interact with technology as we have never done before. I’m not just talking about HR or Recruiting. I’m talking about every single function and job that is available.

From highly skilled jobs to no-skill jobs. It’s truly an amazing time to be alive.

This changes the game for learning and development, how we onboard new hires, and how we develop skills for our employees. This changes the game in how we get our everyday work completed.

You no longer need to sit down with a hiring manager and do an intake meeting for the role they want to hire for. Your hiring manager will now speak to your recruiting AI assistant and tell the AI what they would like and the AI will respond with really great questions and challenges based on data and insights that it will have immediately at your disposal. “So, you are telling me you would like X, Y, and Z, but if you couple that with the salary range, you would also like to offer, you will be asking us to pull from the bottom 4% of the available candidates in our market. Do you feel that is acceptable to have a candidate from the bottom 4%?! Or if we change X, Y, and Z, to H, B, and Z, and also adjust the range up one level, we can now get candidates who are in the top 25% of our market. What would you like to do?”

Game. Changer.

Of course, this won’t happen immediately. It will take some time. But I actually demoed some new recruiting tech in Beta this week that has already added in the voice element for intake of job descriptions that will make fairly decent job postings!

Buckle up, kids! We are about to go on a wild ride!

Picking a New Head Coach, err, Leader When the Chips are Down!

Go Green! If you know me, you know I bleed green, and my Spartans are taking one on the chin with their football head coach recently. I’m not going to get into the Mel Tucker situation specifically; that’s a nightmare, and this is a PG-13 blog!

Tuck Leavin’

I had such high expectations, but if I’m honest with myself, the warning signs were there from the beginning:

  • He got an amazing running back in Kenneth Walker out of the transfer portal his first year that covered up a lot of ills in the program.
  • Our defense was awful and getting worse, and he’s a defensive coach.
  • Attention to detail was non-existent, and that starts at the top.
  • We got played in giving him a contract that he shouldn’t have gotten because we were not negotiating from a position of strength.

What do you need to turn around a bad situation?

Back to our regularly scheduled programming! The Tuck situation is very similar to any organization that needs to replace a bad leader or a broken turnaround situation. Everything seems bleak.

Here’s what you need:

1. A leader with off-the-charts attention to detail and high rules. Most organizations are broken because people have been allowed to do broken things. That has to stop, immediately, and that only happens with a leader whose attention to detail is off the charts. Annoyingly so!

2. Every single ill and missed step has to be called out and corrected. This is where and when we open our kimonos and let everything show. Organizations don’t get broken in one day. They get broken over time because we allow little things go that turn into big things. That stops today.

3. A leader who can rally people to a vision and one that embraces the bottom. Very few leaders are good at digging out. We love to say it’s hard being a leader on top because it’s hard to keep you there. That’s mostly bullshit. Ask any leader what’s more challenging: a turnaround or staying on top. 100% will tell you it’s a turnaround.

4. A leader who understands how to develop talent. When you’re at the bottom, you are not going to get the best talent. You’re going to get talent that was overlooked. You’re going to get talent that has some hickies. You need to be someone who loves developing talent. That thrives on developing talent.

5. Probably a leader that has something to prove. This can be a new leader or a leader who fell down and is looking to prove they belong back on top, but your chances of success are better if that leader has a chip on their shoulder.

When you take a look at those five attributes, you see why it’s so hard to find leaders capable of turning around a failing organization. Most leaders hired into these roles have a little risk they bring with them. Ailing organizations don’t get first-round leader picks!

The Ball Will Always Find You!

There is a baseball metaphor about the ball finding you. Basically, if you are unprepared or you are scared, that’s precisely when the ball will find you! The moment you least want the ball to come to you is when the ball is hit at you. I’ve heard coaches say this statement my entire life being around baseball.

Life works like this as well.

The one time when you go into the office, and you’re not really prepared for your job or function is the day you’ll be called into an emergency meeting with the CEO! The one question you don’t prepare to be asked will be the one that will be asked.

So, how do you prepare yourself for being unprepared?

1. Acknowledge it when it comes.

So often, we want to try and fake our way through something we weren’t prepared for, but it shows. We aren’t really fooling anyone but ourselves. So, acknowledge it. You know, that’s a great question you asked. I’m not prepared to answer that at this moment, but let me do some research and come back to you with a thorough answer.

2. Redirect the conversation to what you do know.

This isn’t perfect because a savvy executive will come back to the original question, but 60% of the time, it works every time! “That’s a great question. What I focused on were these factors, which, in my estimation, is what we need. I believe…”

3. Answer another question like you’re answering their question.

This is risky, but politicians use this tactic all the time, and it mostly works because the person asking the question is sure you answered their question or not, and they don’t want to sound dumb by asking it again, thinking you answered it! Tim, can you give me some insight into how much we’ll be over budget in TA by the end of the year? “Sure, first, it’s amazing the progress we’ve made. At the beginning of the year, we had no idea we’d be 75% over our planned hiring, and the team has been amazing in reaching that goal. In the second half of the year, we see hiring beginning to slow, and we are anticipating that in Q1 of 2024, we’ll be back up to normal.” Then you just shut up or ask if anyone else has any other questions! Bonus points if you actually go back at them during your answer with some verbal ques like, “You understand, right?” Of course, they’ll be nodding yes! At that point, they will never follow up with another question!

4. Bluff.

Answer the question, even though you don’t really know the answer, and hope and pray they also don’t know the answer! I’ve seen way too many people in my career try and look like a fool. I find that very few executives ask a question they don’t have some semblance of an answer to already. They are just checking to see if you’re on your game and have the answer. So, I do not recommend bluffing. This is usually a low-performer behavior that is probably getting fired soon anyway, and they’re desperate!

5. Open the conversation up to the broader audience or the person who asked the question.

This strategy works really well if you have a strong relationship and trust with the person or people you’re speaking with. In this tactic, you basically acknowledge you don’t know but come back and see if anyone knows or has a strong opinion. You are still driving the conversation and asking questions, which puts you in an authority position, so you don’t look weak by not knowing the answer to the question being asked. “That’s a great question. I actually don’t know the answer, but I’m wondering if anyone else in the room does. Or does anyone have a feeling on what this might look like?” At this point, you could offer up an educated guess as to what you believe it to be if no one else has anything and agree to come back with some more specific information.

Professionally, the ball is going to find you whether you are ready for it or not. We all hope that we will be prepared and ready, but that’s not always the case. Your next reaction is critical to how others will end up viewing you. The more confident you are in your ability and performance, the easier it is to say you just don’t know. Unfortunately, so many times throughout our careers, we get caught off guard, and it might be during a time when our confidence isn’t super high, and that opens us up to trying to make something up on the fly and opening ourselves up to being viewed as a fool.

Don’t take away Hybrid! Just fire low performers!

Return to work (RTO) mandates – FYI – only in HR would we make an acronym for something as benign as returning to the office after a pandemic – continue to blow up in corporation’s faces. Turns out, if you’re paying people to work at home or work from anywhere they want, coming back to an office, for many, feels like punishment.

For the most part, executives have figured out it’s probably going to be some sort of hybrid approach for almost everyone. The ones where this gets really bad is when the “hybrid” approach is you come to the office most of the time, and we’ll think about giving you some flexibility. Or those work environments that had some fully remote workers who are now being asked to grace us with their presence every so often, and they are losing their shit over that.

The problem is RTO. Executives really could care less and don’t buy into the idea that this is all a commercial real estate problem. The only thing your company cares about is performance and making money. If putting you on the moon made them more successful, pack your bags and a space suit, honey, and get ready to blast off! Your company would rather pay for an empty building and have exceptional performance than have you return to the office and be flat.

Where HR and Leadership are failing with RTO aren’t the mandates. It’s that they never should have talked about RTO to begin with. All they had to do was start firing low performers. This isn’t a remote vs. in-office debate. This is because we think you suck working at home and you’re not performing, so we want to see your butt in a cube and see if you’re actually working. That is broken.

I tell my team, and I will continue to tell my team, I don’t care where you are or how many hours you work. If you perform and meet goals, we are good. Once you decide not to meet goals, then it’s my job to figure out how to help you meet those goals, which might mean we need to find an environment where you can do your best work. If we can not find an environment where you can be successful, you probably aren’t right for this role.

This isn’t hard, but we are trying to make it hard because we are soft, non-confrontational weenies.

If there isn’t a real reason that an employee needs to be at a certain location, why make them? Well, because we are making others. Why? Well, because we aren’t performing as a company. That’s a performance issue, not a location issue. But it might be a location issue for some people who are not performing. Your job as a leader and executive is to figure that out.

You don’t have an issue with your highest-performing employees having flexibility and freedom. You have an issue that your lowest-performing employees seem to love “working” at home or having extra flexibility, but they are failing.

I think we are all tired of talking about RTO. This has nothing to do with where and when we work. It has everything to do with performing at a high level. The most competitive companies won’t offer remote, hybrid, or on-prem. They’ll offer crystal clear performance objectives and a mandate that you meet those objectives the best way you can!

This is about returning to work. This is about getting back to work and doing the work you’re getting paid for.

What Should a Corporate Recruiter Get Paid?

I’ve had some very specific conversations over the past month on corporate Recruiter compensation. It’s a hot subject when it’s brought up because everyone believes they are worth more than what they are for the most part.

Recruiter compensation is and has always been all over the board. There are so many variables that impact it, including industry, company size, market, what tools the recruiter has available, type of recruiting, expectations, how much the function is segmented, etc. I can find great recruiters right now in America that make between $65,000 and over $200,000. The problem is, I can’t tell you that the $200,000 recruiter is any better than the $65,000!

Therein lies the problem!

Your value or worth as a recruiter is what you can get paid.

I’ve lost really good recruiters in my career who came to me and said, “Hey, Company XYZ is going to pay me 25% more than you are!” At which I’ve got to make a decision. Do I believe this person is worth 25% more, or can I get someone of equal or great value for the same price or less than the increase in expense?

Let’s put it another way. Let’s say I’m paying each recruiter $75K, and a recruiter comes to me and says, “I’ve got an offer for $125,000.” What I’m really trying to decide on is $50,000. What can I get for that additional $50K? I already know what I’m getting for $75K. Is this recruiter going to give me $50K more in value if I match the offer? Most likely, no, since I’m probably getting everything I’m getting now. But, if I hired two recruiters for $62,500 each, that equals $125K. Will i get more from those two recruiters than I’m getting from my one at $75,000 (or the new salary of $125K)? I probably will get more with two!

Why am I not paying a corporate recruiter a ridiculously high salary?

  1. Upwards of 50% of the positions they fill will be internal hires on average.
  2. The vast majority don’t hunt. They post jobs, and their corporate brand fills the funnel with viable candidates. They are administering the recruiting process.
  3. Most are not held accountable to hard recruiting metrics.
  4. The vast majority, based on research, are not delivering a better-than-average candidate experience.
  5. You do not see a discernible difference in performance across corporate recruiters working in the same function.

Okay, just tell us what we should be paying a Corporate Recruiter!

Now that you can actually recruit anywhere, market compensation shouldn’t be a thing, but it’s still a thing. That being said, if you take market compensation out of it, I think you can find really great generalist corporate recruiters for $85k. People who actually find talent, fill positions, follow up well, and flat-out move the TA needle.

How did I come up with this very scientific number?

First, this is way over the salary data on recruiting you’ll pull off the internet, but it will still basically show the average recruiter’s salary in the $60K range. But that takes in a lot of factors, including the millions of entry-level agency recruiters who start with bases way less than $60K.

I’ve spoken to so many corporate recruiters who got laid off and corporate recruiting leaders who have been laying off $100K+ corporate recruiters and finding out once they are gone that they weren’t really worth that kind of money. Now, I don’t blame the recruiters for this! Girl, if you can get paid, go get paid! I’m your biggest fan! But also, don’t come crying when you get laid off because you were overcompensated for all that time.

Here’s the thing – you have top recruiters who are worth every single penny you pay them. Those are literally about 2-3% of recruiters. The problem is every single recruiter believes they are in the top 2-3%. They aren’t. Take a look at your own team. You most likely have a bunch of “B” players who are fine but shouldn’t be getting top dollar. You can hire a million of these recruiters. They are all the same.

There is a law of recruiting productivity that comes into play in every recruiter’s life. You can only do so much and deliver so many hires. Once you get to the top of the pay scale and you are basically doing the same as someone at the middle or bottom of the pay scale, you no longer seem like a great buy. Top pay requires the top performance. Very few recruiters getting top pay are doing exponentially more than those getting paid much lower.

I say $85K because I know if you’re in the Midwest, you can find great talent for $85K. Also, if you allow recruiters to work remotely, you can get great recruiters for $85K. You can also get great recruiters starting out for $65K, but they’ll soon start producing, and you won’t keep them for $65K.

You should be using performance compensation for Corporate Recruiters!

Another miss, in my opinion, is corporate TA leaders are not using performance pay strategies with their teams. I was told by one TA leader that she couldn’t do that! I then asked if they used performance compensation with their sales team, which they did. It’s not that you can’t. It’s that you are unwilling to change or figure out a better way.

PRO TIP – Your best recruiters, by productivity (filling jobs), should be making exponentially more than your worst recruiters. Yes, even in a corporate setting. You should not be paying recruiters based on tenure. Tenure doesn’t matter in recruiting. Filling positions does.

I believe that corporate recruiters should be working on a 2/3 base salary and 1/3 performance compensation. This means that the total for a solid performing recruiter would land in that $85K range. Your best recruiters should be able to go above that range because they’ll make more in performance compensation.

I’ve seen agency recruiters who can and have made well above $150K, and some IT agency folks in the valley upwards of $500k and more, the same for executive agency folks. Corporate recruiting is a different game and you don’t need to pay $150-$200K+ salaries to get great performance.

Alright, corporate recruiters, take your shot and kill me in the comments!

The UAW is making its last stand, but really it’s already dead!

I’ve never been a fan of unions. I grew up with many grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and parents who belonged to unions. One of my first jobs forced me to join a union and pay dues. Since I was “summer help,” I had to pay full union dues, but I got no protections or benefits from the union. I was told that specifically. I was then repeatedly threatened by union members to slow down my work, even though I was struggling to barely keep up with what was expected.

In Michigan, you are surrounded by organized labor, mostly UAW. Generations are raised only knowing two sides: labor and management. Kind of reminds you of a two-party system in politics, almost like the two are working together to keep everyone in line!

The reality is that we once lived in a time when companies took advantage of workers and did horrible things—locked workers in unsafe working environments. Paid low wages, one could barely survive. Unions had a time and place when they protected workers. Unions no longer do that. Labor is too competitive. The Big 3 vehicle companies now struggle to hire hourly workers. They are getting their lunch handed to them by foreign manufacturers and Tesla.

Union membership is at an all-time low, and it continues to decrease and will decrease because Unions have reached the point where they no longer make companies competitive. In fact, they work in the exact opposite direction. They work to make corporations as least competitive as they can make them without going under, and in many cases, they put them under.

We used to have strikes when companies treated workers like shit. Unions then began to realize strikes aren’t good for business, which is why you barely see them happen anymore. You cost millions, if not billions of dollars, to the companies you are supposed to be partnering with, and that makes the next negotiation really hard. Kind of hard to negotiate for more when there isn’t more.

The UAW knows this, but when you have union leaders who are constantly stealing union dues and doing other bad stuff, you have to take the focus off of your own bad deeds and do something spectacularly stupid, like striking an industry that is going through a major transformation.

But Tim! These CEOs are making millions of dollars per year!

Yep. They are. Do I think that’s right? In some cases, maybe. In most cases, no way. It’s outrageous. Two wrongs don’t make a right, my grandma always said.

We tend to forget that a hundred years ago, when you worked until you were 65, if you lived that long, a company could afford to pay you a generous retirement because if you did make it to retirement, you were most likely dead soon after. That’s a reality. Today, if you retire after thirty years of working an hourly job, you’ll probably live another thirty. Hello, Teacher’s Unions have entered the chat…

Organizations. Companies. Society. Can not survive on that math. It turns upside down where you know 80 cents of every school budgeted dollar going to pay for retirement and benefits of teachers and not educating kids.

What’s the solution? Hell, if I know, but it’s not continuing down this path, thinking that it’s all just magically going to work out in the end. News Flash – it won’t. It ends in bankruptcy. The UAW will eventually bankrupt the Big 3, and all those members and former members who are getting benefits will be high left and dry. I know this because this cycle continues to repeat itself with unions. This is why unions are dying across the world. The system doesn’t work.

The UAW is the walking dead at this point. They fail to realize that the entire auto industry is going through fundamental change, and because these companies have seen record profits, they feel like it’s time for them to get some, which I can understand the desire for. But getting what they are asking for now will hasten the inevitable.

Unions, at one point, could claim they have the most productive and best-trained workers. They can no longer claim this and haven’t been able to in a long time. Now, all they can claim is they have the most entitled workers. I don’t blame the workers. They’ve been taught this by a corrupt complex of people who got rich off their labor. No, not management and CEOs, but their own union leadership.

At some point, the strike will stop. The UAW will claim victory. The truth is they are a dying vestige of time long gone. Because of demographics, workers have the power and will continue to have the power for a long time. Younger generations don’t believe they need older people to represent their best interests for a portion of their wages. That concept seems silly to them. Why give someone else your money when you have the power?

I’m Back!!!

Some of you might have noticed it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I was writing my second book, The Talent Fix, Vol. 2! The new book should be released in April 2024, and the plan is to launch it at the SHRM Talent Conference in Las Vegas!

Last week, I was in Nashville at RecFest USA – the first time RecFest has come to America. RecFest is a large outdoor recruiting festival, and it’s such a fun and interactive event. I can’t wait for next year’s event, and I’ll definitely be taking my full team to Nashville to experience RecFest!

What was the tea coming out of RecFest?

  • Recruiters and Recruiting leaders out of work – This was a little strange for me to hear because in reality, this is very industry-specific. The tech industry has gotten hit hard with layoffs, and TA teams are some of the first to go. At the same time, many of those companies had TA teams that were way too big for the hiring they were doing. So, some of this is simple right-sizing. The problem is, you had recruiters making $150-$200K, and they honestly believe they are worth that much. They aren’t. The downturn is hard on people who were making monopoly money and not really performing at that level.
  • AI was all the talk, but it was mostly talk. My friend Matt Charney says roughly 69% of TA teams currently do not have AI in their recruiting tech stack. I think some of their vendors would disagree with this as most vendors are utilizing machine learning, but the tech nerds would argue this isn’t really AI! AI will transform how we recruit talent, but this will be an evolution that will take years, and most of the true AI will be buried in your tech in a way you won’t even notice most of the tactical pieces of recruiting going away until one day you wake up and we no longer do tactical work in recruiting.
  • There’s a major Candidate and Employer Disconnect. I ran across a GenZ/Millennial candidate panel, and it was laughable listening to it. Candidates complain that they get ghosted and don’t get great feedback. They also are unapologetic about applying for 300 positions in 30 minutes. TA pros complain about being ghosted and do not understand why candidates don’t reply to their spam emails. The Talent Board still shows that 47% of candidates still don’t even get dispositioned for the positions they apply for. Both sides feel wronged, and neither side is willing to take any responsibility for the behaviors. All this means is that the candidates who act professional and the TA pros who act professional will stand out and be rare in today’s world.
  • There is still a lot of talk about DEI, but the talk is changing. If we are honest with each other, the entire DEI talk began as simply we need more black faces in our organization. That started probably twenty years ago. Since then, the world has changed a bunch, and the conversation amongst HR and TA pros has evolved, but in reality, most of the C-suite still sees this as counting faces. The faces might have expanded to include more, but we still are stuck in so many areas. We still are not willing to use data around DEI and have real conversations about what is possible and what is just posturing.
  • Everyone is a unique and special butterfly. Which, for all intents and purposes, makes no one unique and special. We now have Trans Recruiters and Nero-divergent Recruiters and Furry Recruiters and fill in the blank of whatever you are recruiter. If you are a Gay Recruiter today, sorry, you’re just a recruiter! Oh wait, that’s right, we are all just recruiters! Honestly, the next evolution is this will be my AI telling me what kind of recruiter they are! Just fucking recruit! Okay, I say this, but honestly, this is also the solution to more inclusive recruiting. Want more female engineers? Hire females to recruit engineers. Want more Black Sales Reps? Hire Black Recruiters to recruit your sales reps. Want more military hires? Hire former military professionals and teach them how to recruit. We aren’t launching spy balloons, people. This isn’t that hard!
  • Technology recruiting vendors are currently struggling to make their numbers. So, why should you care? I love to get a bargain, and right now you can get a bargain! If you’re super smart, you’ll sign a multi-year contract and lock that bargain in for when it will no longer be a bargain! Right now, you have some major negotiating power if you are in the market for technology or if you’re getting pushed to sign your next contract. Vendors are super competitive with their pricing at this moment.

That’s what I got today.

Moving forward for the rest of the year, I’m going to be hitting the reviews and updates hard on the recruiting technology market. There’s a lot of stuff being developed and the space is moving really fast again with AI development, so my hope is I can help keep you all informed on what’s new and hot and worth your money!

Welcome back!

The #1 Trend in HR, in the world, is the Hiring Crisis!

For many of us, it probably feels like we’ve been in a staffing crisis for half a decade. Before the pandemic, it was very hard to hire and then the pandemic, in many ways, made it even more difficult. The reality, though, is the current US staffing crisis is hitting employers unevenly.

Prior to 2019-2020, the staffing crisis was thought to be in the technology space, primarily. But if you are in healthcare, trucking, or skilled trades hiring you also felt that crisis in a big way. Today, technology doesn’t seem like it’s in a crisis, but it’s still hard to hire great tech talent. Healthcare is still hurting, no one can find teachers, local, state, and federal government can’t hire, the military is having massive trouble hiring civilians, and hospitality and dining are getting killed.

It’s 2023 and we have a massive hiring crisis that most non-HR and Talent pros don’t understand because the media doesn’t talk about the reality. If it bleeds, it leads, so let’s talk about MASSIVE LAYOFFS! In reality, layoffs are at a predictable historical amount as compared to other years. We don’t have a layoff problem, we have certain industries that overhired for years using free money and banker came calling.

I did a webcast a few weeks ago on my mid-year HR trends. My friends, Madeline Laurano and Kyle Lagunas, are doing their mid-year trend webinar today. Neither of us talked about a trend being a hiring crisis! Why?

A crisis is something that is short-term in nature. We’ll find a solution and we’ll solve our crisis. Our hiring issues are not short-term in nature. Hiring was hard. It’s getting harder. It will continue to get harder. It will ultimately cost our economy because we don’t have enough workers. Politicians don’t care. They don’t care because they love having 9 million open jobs. You know what a politician doesn’t want to see, no jobs open! Those politicians, regardless of party, lose their re-election.

There is no end in sight to how hard it is to hire great talent!

Our demographics are working against us. We are not making enough humans to replace the workers we are losing. There are only 3 potential solutions that I can think of:

1 – Make more babies! Like, start paying your employees to go home and have sex and make babies! Heck let them have sex in the stairwells like they did at Uber! Uber got crushed for what might be the best replacement strategy of all time. I’m only partly joking. Our younger workers are not having enough babies and it’s mostly because of how expensive it is.

2- Immigration reform! This is another tough one because neither Democrats nor GOP want to tackle this. It’s a lose-lose situation. But we need many more skilled and unskilled immigrants let into this country! We need this changed today. We need our CEOs of companies to rattle politicians’ cages and start putting money toward those politicians who will actually do something.

3 – Technology/Automation/Robots! This is already happening in the natural course of things. We hear how AI will kill us and save us every day. What we need it to do is make one human into 2 or 3 humans. The promise of 10X humans is a great story, but I’ll take a 2X human first!

There will be winners and losers in this crisis.

Some organizations will take a victors mentality to this fight and find ways to attract and hire more talent. They build better hiring machines. They’ll lay out a better vision for their employees who will stay longer and work harder. They experiment more in delivering the experiences that both candidates and employees desire.

If you’re in HR and TA right now you need to make one thing very clear to your organization. There is a big problem in our world. There isn’t enough talent to go around. Our battle is to get our fair share of talent and hang on to the talent we have. That is the only battle we care about. That is the only “trend” that matters.

DisruptHR Lansing 3.0 Tickets On Sale Now!

You already know the deal for those who have been to a DisruptHR event. Get your tickets now before they sell out, and you can’t come! It’s 6 pm, Thursday, September 21st, at The Graduate in East Lansing, and it’s going to be a party!!

For our first-timers! What’s DisruptHR?

– 5-minute HR-inspired talks by people like us – nerdy HR pros who love what we do! We’ll do 12-14 talks, so it’s a quick two-hour evening. It can be longer if you come to the after-party!

– The talks are fast and fun. Some will make you laugh. Some make you cry. Some will inspire you. We support every brave soul who comes to the stage!

– Each talk has a slide deck of 20 slides that auto-move every 15 seconds. So, there’s always a chance for a train wreck!

– It’s a free open bar! What could go wrong? HR pros. Unlimited drinks. Fast presentations.

I genuinely believe it might be the best HR team-building activity out there. You learn something. You have fun. You can network with a fantastic community of HR professionals in the Greater Lansing Area.

DisruptHR was developed to build an HR community at a local level. It’s about developing ourselves and strengthening our ties to our profession and each other. We look to rise all boats.

Please come join us on Thursday, September 21st, at The Graduate in downtown East Lansing. The doors and bar open at 6 pm. Talks begin at 7 pm. The after-party starts at 9 pm!

Want to get a feel for what the night will look like? Here’s a link to all the DisruptHR Talks that have been done over the years.

Thousands of previous DisruptHR Talks from around the globe.

DisruptHR runs events in over 150 cities globally. This is our third event in Lansing, and we like to think ours is the best!

The DisruptHR Lansing Site.

What does it mean to be a male leader in today’s business world?

This is a complex subject to write about because it’s a hot-button issue for so many. Men still make up 2/3 of Congress. There have only been male US Presidents. Roughly 90% of the Fortune 500 have male CEOs. All that being said, over the past few decades women have made some tremendous strides professionally, and those strides are accelerating.

For every 74 males who receive a college degree today, 100 women receive their degree, and the gap is growing. Men account for 70% of the decline in college enrollment. 50% of women now outearn their male partners. That number was 4% in 1960. Women now hold 50.04% of all jobs in the US (Women in Canada hold 61%). Pay equity is still an issue. In 1980 women were paid 40% less than men. Today that number is 15.5% in some fields, like Software Engineering, pay equity has flipped to favor women over men.

As I said, this is a complex issue because so much work still needs to be done to elevate women. A successful female business owner raised me. When my mother started her business is was rare for women to own businesses. Today over ten million women are business owners.

All of this also doesn’t change the fact that the role of men in work is also drastically changing during this time. Both of these concepts can be true at the same time. The Washington Post recently had an article discussing the issue of these changes to men: Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness by Christine Emba. Here are some takeaways from the article:

It is harder to be a man today, and in many ways, that is a good thing: Finally, the freer sex is being held to a higher standard.

Even so, not all of the changes that have led us to this moment are unequivocally positive. And if left unaddressed, the current confusion of men and boys will have destructive social outcomes, in the form of resentment and radicalization.

The truth is that most women still want to have intimate relationships with good men. And even those who don’t still want their sons, brothers, fathers and friends to live good lives.

The old script for masculinity might be on its way out. It’s time we replaced it with something better...

…for all their problems, the strict gender roles of the past did give boys a script for how to be a man…People need codes for how to be human. And when those aren’t easily found, they’ll take whatever is offered, no matter what else is attached.

What is a good definition of new masculinity?

The phrase “toxic masculinity” gets thrown around too much in today’s world. Yes, there are traits of men that are historically toxic. But it’s also a mind-f*ck we are throwing on heterosexual young men who still hold the majority of roles in our society as men. Don’t act like a “man,” but women are only attracted to you if you act like a “man.”

More from the Washington Post article:

This is especially compelling in a moment when many young men feel their difficulties are often dismissed out of hand as whining from a patriarchy that they don’t feel part of. For young men in particular, the assumption of a world built to serve their sex doesn’t align with their lived experience, where girls out-achieve them from pre-K to post-graduate studies and “men are trash” is an acceptable joke...

I’m convinced that men are in a crisis. And I strongly suspect that ending it will require a positive vision of what masculinity entails that is particular — that is, neither neutral nor interchangeable with femininity. Still, I find myself reluctant to fully articulate one. There’s a reason a lot of the writing on the crisis in masculinity ends at the diagnosis stage…

“Where I think this conversation has come off the tracks is where being a man is essentially trying to ignore all masculinity and act more like a woman. And even some women who say that — they don’t want to have sex with those guys. They may believe they’re right, and think it’s a good narrative, but they don’t want to partner with them.”

I, a heterosexual woman, cringed in recognition.

“And so men should think, ‘I want to take advantage of my maleness. I want to be aggressive, I want to set goals, go hard at it. I want to be physically really strong. I want to take care of myself.’”

Galloway leaned into the screen. “My view is that, for masculinity, a decent place to start is garnering the skills and strength that you can advocate for and protect others with. If you’re really strong and smart, you will garner enough power, influence, and kindness to begin protecting others. That is it. Full stop. Real men protect other people.”

I like Galloway’s definition of “real men”! Real men protect others because it positively shapes behavior. It’s easy for men to follow.

Many people don’t see this as a crisis. Being a dad of three young men, I try to see the trends before it’s too late. A friend of mine is keen on saying “Idle men are bad business for America.” We are heading down that slippery slope.

Society has gotten comfortable in not supporting men. The view is women need support, but men have had such a historical headstart they don’t need support. All of our young people, regardless of gender, need our support. We should not diminish any of them and their potential in our societal structures. The world needs men who are masculine and care for others as much as the world needs strong, feminine women. These are not competing forces. They should be complimenting forces.

I tried not to make this a gender issue, but it’s complex. In our world today it’s not just male and female anymore. My intent for writing this was to share an insightful article by a really good writer, Christine Emba. I encourage you to read the piece as it goes much deeper than the few pieces I shared here. In the end, we are quickly going down a path that ignores men. While men still hold so much power, we can see a horizon where that won’t be the case. My hope is that women will do a much better job in the next century in holding that power than men did previously.