How to Help Your Company to Stop Sucking at Hiring!

Hiring people to work for you directly is probably the single hardest thing you’ll ever have to do as a manager of people. To be fair, most people are average at hiring, some are flat out killing it, and probably 20% are awful at hiring.

The first sign you suck at hiring is your new hire turnover is an outlier in your organization, your market, or your industry.

So, what constitutes new-hire turnover?

I find most organizations actually don’t measure their hiring managers on new hire turnover but use this to judge effectiveness on their talent acquisition team. That’s a complete joke! That is unless you’re allowing your TA team to make hiring decisions! New hire turn is a direct reflection of hiring decisions. Period.

When should you measure new-hire turnover?  Organizations are going to vary on this based on your normal turn cycles and level of the position. Most use 90 days as the cap for new hire turnover. That is safe for most organizations, but you might want to dig into your own numbers to find out what’s best for your own organization. I know organizations that use one year to measure new-hire turnover and organizations that use 30 days.

How do you help yourself if you suck at hiring?

1. Take yourself out of the process altogether.  Most hiring managers won’t do this because their pride won’t allow them. If you consistently have high new hire turn comparable to others, you might consider this, you just have bad internal filters that predispose you to select people who don’t fit your org or management style. Don’t take it personally. I suck at technical stuff. I shop that part of my job off to someone who’s better. You might be an exceptional manager of your business, but you suck at hiring. Shop that out to someone who’s better!

2. Add non-subjective components into your hiring process and follow that 100% of the time. Assessments are scientifically proven to tell you what they’re designed to tell you. If you follow what they’ll tell you, you’ll be much more likely to make consistent hires. If that assessment gives you better hires, then keep following it, or find an assessment that does give you that consistency.

3. Analyze your reasons for each misfire hire. Were there any commonalities in those? What I find is most poor hires stem from a hiring manager who gets stuck on one reason to hire, which has nothing to do with being successful in your environment. Example: “I want high-energy people!” But then they work in an environment where they are stuck in a 6X8 foot cube all day. It’s like caging a wild animal! 

Numbers don’t lie. If you consistently bomb your new hire turnover metrics, it’s not the hires, it’s you! In the organizations where I’ve seen the best improvement in reducing new hire turnover, it was in organizations where new hire turnover metric results were solely the responsibility of each hiring manager, and nothing to do with talent acquisition.

It’s the 80/20 rule. 80% of most new hire turn is usually coming from around 20% of your hiring managers. Fix those issues and ‘magically’ your new hire turn improves.

9 Types of Employee Recognition That Suck!

I run a small business.  When I need to know something, I usually reach out to my employees and find out what they think.  It’s not some big fancy ‘research’ survey with thousands of responses, but it’s real.

Recently, I wanted to know what people might want in terms of a recognition award.  Ironically, what I found goes against some big fancy research done by recognition companies who are in the business of selling the crap on the list below, crazy how that works in the research game! Anywho, what I found wasn’t surprising to me.

Here’s the list of the Top 8 things my employees don’t want when it comes to Recognition Awards:

1. Anniversary Pins! If you give me one of these I will stick it back in your eye! “Hey, Tim, Thanks for 10 years! Buddy, here’s a pin!” A What!?!? I’ve given you ten great years and you’re giving me a pin. Is this 1955?

2. A Plaque. Or any other kind of trophy thing. If I wanted a trophy to show me that I’m a salesperson of the year, you hired the wrong person. JayZ said it best “we can talk, but money talks, so talk more bucks”.

3. Corporate logo wear. Giving out corporate logo wear as a form of recognition screams you have executives that haven’t actually spoken to an employee in the last twenty years!

4. A watch. Wait, if it’s a Rolex, I’ll take a watch. If it’s a Timex you better ‘watch’ out, I’m throwing it at someone! Nothing says we don’t really care about you like a $50 watch with it engraved on the back ‘You Matter! 2019!’

5. Luggage. The ‘experts’ would like you to believe that your employees would really ‘appreciate’ luggage because it’s an item they don’t normally like to spend their money on. The reason why people don’t like to spend their money on luggage is that it gets destroyed after one trip through O’Hare! That’s just what you want to see coming around the luggage carousel – “Hey, look, honey, it’s your employee of the year award all ripped up and stained”. Sign and symbols.

6. Fruit Baskets. First, most people don’t want to be healthy or we wouldn’t have the obesity problem we have in our society. Second, people like chocolate, candy, salty snacks, and diet soda. If you want to send food, send food they’ll actually eat!

7. A Parking Spot with Their Name On It. This goes bad two ways: 1. I drive a $100K Mercedes and you don’t, now you know I drive a better car than you and it’s awkward; 2. I drive a beater and I’m embarrassed to let everyone know I make so little I can even afford a 2014 Chevy Cobalt.

8. A Hug! Wait! I totally want a hug! Just not a creepy hug. You know what a creepy hug feels like when you’re about 13 seconds into it and the other person won’t let go! But nothing says “we recognize you” in the totally wrong way, like inappropriate hugs at work!

9. Anything Virtual! Get the hell out of here with your stupid virtual card and virtual balloons! Or a virtual Zoom high five. No one wants virtual recognition, they want some tangible and real.

What do employees want?

Well, that’s an entire post by itself, but my 20 years of HR ‘research’/experience shows people want their peers and leaders to appreciate their efforts. Nothing says ‘we truly care about you’ like having one of your peers tell you in some sort of way. When teams can do that, they become special! It might be a quick handwritten note, a face-to-face meeting in the hall, etc. It really doesn’t matter the avenue of how it comes, it just matters that you have the culture that it does come and it’s encouraged to keep coming.

Can Being Vulnerable at Work Hurt Your Career? #HRFamous

In episode 55 of The HR Famous Podcast, longtime HR leaders (and friends) Tim SackettKris Dunn, and Jessica Lee come together again to discuss big sisters, vulnerability in the workplace, and what the best question is to ask someone if you’re looking for negative information on a candidate.

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:

4:00 – JLee has two kids: an older daughter and a younger son. JLee’s daughter has got to set a good example for her brother!

5:00 – KD asks Tim what’s the worst injury his big sister inflicted on him. He tells a story about how she almost burned the house down!

7:30 – Next topic: vulnerability in the workplace! An article about Brene Brown’s stance on vulnerability came out in Inc.

11:00 – Tim thinks you have to draw the line when an employee comes to a manager and says they don’t think a person can fulfill their duties.

14:40 – KD thinks some people will use certain talk points and be more vulnerable than they actually should be.

16:30 – JLee likes Brene Brown’s points on vulnerability guard rails and how there is a need for boundaries in this regard.

18:00 – What are some things that cross the boundaries of workplace vulnerability? JLee thinks it’s best, to be honest about what’s going on especially while working from home.

21:55 – “In hard times you can’t ignore hard times.” — Tim

24:00 – Tim mentions that his wife knows he’s off before he knows he’s off. He asks the crew if it’s the same with their spouses.

27:00 – How do we best extract negative information from candidates? KD asks JLee what the best question to net negative info when interviewing candidates.

How long should it take a candidate to decide on a job offer?

When you make a candidate an offer, how long do you give them to tell you they want the job or not? 24 hours? 3 days? 1 week? Immediately?

For two decades I’ve been in the camp of a candidate should be able to tell you ‘yes’ or ‘no’ immediately, or you (the recruiter and hiring manager) did something wrong in closing! But, I think I’ve changed my stance on this, if “fit” is really important for the position, your culture, etc.

Here’s the deal, if the job and/or company fit is really important to your organization. The candidate should take as long as they need to, to make sure that your organization is the one for them. That might mean they need to finish up other interviews, do more research, go through counter-offers, etc.

So, if that takes two or three weeks, so be it. The fit is critical for you and you actually want the candidate to take their time with this decision.

I feel so strongly about this, I think you should actually make candidates wait 72 hours after you offer them the job, to give you an answer! Yes! You won’t accept an acceptance from them until they’ve taken 72 hours to really think about the job, the new boss, the organization, everything!

Why wait 72 hours if they already know!? 

A “cooling down” period will give them some time to get through the infatuation period of getting the offer! It will give them some time to really think about your job, their current job, other jobs they might be considering. This time is important because too often, too many people get that offer and at that moment everything feels so awesome!

After a couple of days, they come down from the high of being desired by you and start to think clearly, and all of sudden you’re not as pretty as you looked two days ago, or you’re even more pretty by playing hard to get.

But what if a candidate gets cold feet by this technique? 

That’s a real concern especially with historic unemployment in many markets and fields. If you force a candidate to wait 72 hours there is a good chance someone else might come in and offer them a job!

Yep! That actually would be awesome if that happened, because then you would really know! Do they love you, or did they just fall in love with someone else!? Remember, this isn’t for every organization. This is only for organizations where fit is critical to your organizational culture.

If a candidate gets cold feet by another offer or by waiting 3 days, they don’t really believe your organization is the one for them. They don’t believe what you have is their dream job or organization. Also, if you get cold feet by having them wait, you don’t really believe fit is important!

So, how long should it take a candidate to decide if your job offer is right for them? 

There is no one right answer. Each of us has our own internal clock to make those decisions. If you force a candidate to decide immediately upon an offer, that speaks to your culture. If you let candidates decide on their timeline, that also speaks to your culture.

In a perfect world, I still believe if the process works as designed, and everyone pre-closed as they should, both you and a candidate should be able to make a decision when the offer is placed on the table. But, honestly, how often does our process work perfectly?

Hit me in the comments with what you believe is the proper amount of time you should give a candidate to decide whether or not they’ll accept your job offer?

The Weekly Dose: Talent Intelligence Platform – Loxo

Today on the Weekly Dose I review Loxo. Loxo is a Talent Intelligence Platform and a global leader in artificial intelligence recruitment automation software. What does that even mean? Well, you know me, let me break it down in layman’s terms!

First, my team actually has been a Loxo user for the past three years. When we found Loxo I was on an 18-month search to find a great Applicant Tracking System (ATS). I looked at everyone! Then, I started to hear about Loxo from my super cool recruiting friends in the industry, folks like Stacy Zapar and Lars Schmidt, and they were like “Tim, you have to take a look at this new company, Loxo”.

I did, it was exactly what I was looking for, so we purchased it and started using it, and we are still using it. So, really the big question is why did I choose Loxo over all the rest? We are a recruiting shop, and three years ago Loxo kind of was built specifically for the kind of recruiting we do. Hard to find, technical talent, but we had to move very fast. (Since then, Loxo has built out all the bells and whistles for corporate talent acquisition as well). We are not a post and pray shop, I needed next-generation recruiting software that let my recruiters be fast, efficient, and repeatable.

So, yes, Loxo does have an ATS, but that is only a small part of what they are today. Loxo is also a world-class sourcing engine, an AI-driven matching engine, a best-in-class recruitment CRM, and a data intelligence engine. Basically, with Loxo, I’m getting great recruiting tech in about four areas, all under one umbrella, intuitively linked together, that drives my recruiters to be super recruiters.

What do I like about Loxo

  • This is a recruiting platform for recruiting shops that actually recruit. Software built around the concept that we have hard-to-fill jobs and we can’t just post openings and hope someone applies.
  • I love that my recruiters aren’t jumping from across multiple technologies all day. They can source, build pipelines, set up nurture campaigns, and communicate with talent all under one roof.
  • From Loxo, my team can call, email, and text candidates from within the platform. They can actually do all three of these things at the same time in a nurture campaign. This allows them to be everywhere at once, with multiple candidates.
  • Unlike a lot of the sourcing tech on the market, Loxo gives you live, active connections to the talent you find in their sourcing engine. They are gathering data from over 95 sources and it’s constantly updating in real-time.
  • Loxo was created by a Technologist, turned Recruiter, who decided to build great recruiting tech. So, it works like a recruiter. It feels natural to use. Less steps, fewer clicks, things seem to be where you think they should be.
  • As a recruiting leader, I get real-time funnel analytics on my team. I can easily breakdown where my team, or an individual, is struggling and immediately know where we need help.
  • If you’re already using an ATS, Loxo integrates with your ATS to give your team all the AI, automation advantages to recruit fast, but still, get the data you need back into your ATS and HRM systems.

Loxo might be the best ROI in Talent Acquisition Technology

Quite honestly, we eliminated three other pieces of recruiting technology when we started using Loxo and in three years we never felt like we needed to add anything back. The three technologies we stopped using, by the way, all cost more than using Loxo, and Loxo was better! Plus, the Loxo product team continues to keep innovating faster than the market, so as I’m seeing new tech come to market, the Loxo team usually is already building those features within the platform.

Sounds like I’m a fanboy, right?

I am. I look at over a hundred different technologies a year, and this is the one I bought and use. Quite frankly, and I say this to their CEO, Matt Chambers, all the time, I can’t believe someone hasn’t backed up a Brinks truck full of money and bought them! The reason you haven’t probably heard of them is they haven’t taken a bunch of VC money. Instead, they are a heads-down technology company that is just building great sh*t. And because they don’t have investment, they don’t have to over-price it, like a bunch of the “cool” recruiting brands on the market that cost a ton because you’re paying for their sales and marketing, not better technology.

So, Yes, you should demo Loxo, even if you’re stuck in a long-term relationship with an ATS, because they’ll do everything your ATS doesn’t. Or if you’re just looking for sourcing or AI match, all of that can be used separately as well. At the very least, you’ll get to see a better way your TA team should be recruiting.

@SHRM CEO, @JohnnyCTaylorJr Accepts Board Seat with @iCIMS!

For those who know me, you know I’ve been a fan of SHRM’s CEO Johnny Taylor since before he was SHRM’s CEO. The first time I ran into Johnny was on the speaking circuit when he was an HR Leader, in the corporate world, and we spoke at the same conference.

My initial impression of Johnny was, “Who the hell is this guy!? He’s an amazing speaker!”  Johnny is a smart, confident, dynamic speaker, and leader, so I thought it was a great hire when SHRM hired him as CEO. Plus, he was a “real” HR person! There have been some folks who have thrown him shade over his tenure, but I think the majority of the SHRM membership has actually liked how he has pushed to elevate the HR function during his tenure.

This week iCIMS, a leading applicant tracking system and talent acquisition platform for enterprise organizations, announced that Johnny Taylor was joining their board. Here’s a bit from Johnny in the press release:

“I’ve been closely following iCIMS for years and have been consistently impressed,” said Taylor. “I am proud to be joining the iCIMS team. No other company has demonstrated how well it understands what talent professionals and business leaders require to succeed, and iCIMS is leading the market and its customers to success in the new world of work.”

Taylor was selected as a board member through Vista Equity Partner’s independent board program, which leverages the firm’s network to source qualified board candidates for its portfolio companies.

Why should we care about this move? 

CEOs of large organizations frequently take board seats at other big organizations. So, this isn’t surprising. I think the one surprise SHRM members might ask themselves is, why would Johnny, the CEO of the world’s largest HR organization, take a board seat with an HR/TA Technology vendor? Couldn’t that be viewed as a conflict of interest? I mean companies like iCIMS, and their competitors, spend millions of dollars with SHRM each year in sponsorships at SHRM conferences and other virtual events.

What if he took a board position with Workday or Oracle, would that be considered a conflict? I don’t know. Like I said above, Johnny is a smart guy, I’m sure he could get a paid board seat at almost any F500 company. I do also think this move speaks to Johnny’s increased attention within SHRM of Talent Acquisition professionals overall. When I first became a SHRM member in 2001, Talent Acquisition pros were the red-headed stepchildren of HR and we didn’t feel very welcome in SHRM. That has changed drastically over recent years.

From the iCIMS standpoint, this is a brilliant hire. Dynamic, smart people, with that kind of network and leverage, are hard to find, it’s a definite big win for them. Hire? Yes, it’s a hire. This is a paid position. People at that level don’t join boards to make themselves look cool on their LinkedIn profile! Johnny brings with him exceptional insight of hundreds of thousand SHRM members that will be super valuable to iCIMS.

This does beg the question, is Johnny getting ready to leave SHRM? It has been rumored over the past couple of years that he had bigger aspirations and plans than “just” being the CEO of SHRM. I say “just” because that job is a pretty great job, but he definitely has the resume and the intangibles to secure even bigger positions and make even more money. In my opinion, it would be a big loss for SHRM, as he’s by far the best CEO they have had in decades. Again, I know a bunch of folks who will disagree with that statement, but SHRM is in a far better position today than at any single point in the past twenty years as an association.

iCIMS and its CEO, Steve Lucas, have definitely been one of the most aggressive TA tech companies in the marketplace as of late. Product growth, tech acquisition, and increasing talent at a rapid pace over the past two years, it’s very interesting times for them. Make sure you keep an eye out, I hear they have some big things coming in April. If you haven’t demoed them lately, it might be time to get an update and see a different iCIMS than you’ve seen in the past.

@madtarquin and I talking about what’s hot in Talent Acquisition Technology! #Video

For those of you who don’t know Madeline Laurano, she’s this super smart lady out of Boston who runs Aptitude Research. Madeline and her firm are recruiting technology experts and she’s been an analyst in the space for a long time with some of the world’s largest firms. She’s also a friend and we love talking shop!

There has been so much happening in our space in the first half of 2021, and we wanted to give some of our opinions. Check it out:

Go check out Madeline’s blog on her site and follow her on LinkedIn. She is constantly sharing amazing research, and she is just someone you want to follow and gain her knowledge!

Who will win the Chicken Sandwich War? And why is #HRFamous Talking About this!?

On episode 54 of the HR Famous Podcast, longtime HR leaders (and friends) Tim SackettKris Dunn, and Jessica Lee come together again to discuss the chicken sandwich wars, 2021 compensation trends, and Meghan Markle calling the royal family’s HR department.

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 – Is the Ford Pinto making a comeback?

5:30 – Who has been keeping up with the chicken sandwich wars? McDonald’s has entered the race against Chick-fil-A and Popeye’s to see who has the best-fried chicken sandwich. Who do you think is going to win the war?

8:30 – JLee wants to enter Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich into the race for best fast-food chicken sandwich. Tim thinks it’s a solid entry.

11:30 – KD asked JLee when was the last time that she taught her kids a life lesson? She’s just trying to teach her young children to put their dirty clothes in the hamper.

15:20 – Next topic of the pod: compensation. An article came out recently about the trends of compensation and pay in 2021 and what employees think will happen.

17:00 – JLee thinks that those companies that haven’t made a statement about geographic locations and compensation leave it open for them to call all employees back to the office eventually. She thinks that WFH is not really here to stay.

21:30 – The article reported that only 83% of respondent’s spouses know how much they make. Tim thinks that number is very low.

27:45 – Tim asks the crew what job Prince Harry would do best at. JLee thinks he’ll take an entrepreneurial route in the mental health space. KD thinks he’ll be a host at a mid-tier steakhouse in the burbs. Tim will hire Harry to be a recruiter because Americans love a British accent.

30:45 – KD watched some of Netflix’s The Crown. KD thinks that the situations in The Crown and the people being portrayed are very inconsequential in the terms of history.

32:15 – One of the big takeaways from the Meghan Markle/Prince Harry and Oprah interview is that Meghan went to the royal family’s HR department to receive mental health help.

36:00 – Tim recently had his 100th Peloton ride. JLee joined him for his century club ride and helped him reach his record. They ended up tying! Accidentally, his son Cameron did his 100th ride. Sorry Dad!

The Future of Work, Is More WORK!

I’m sure you’ve read an article or listened to a podcast in recent weeks that had something to do with “the future of work”. It’s a hot topic to talk about, primarily because it’s all just a big fat guess and the best content is content where I just get to tell what I think will happen, but really have no idea for sure.

When I take a look at the HR technology landscape this week at The HR Technology Conference and see the tech that is hitting the market around work and performance, I think the future of work is actually just more work!

When I say ‘more’ work I really mean “More” work! Much of the technology that is being created and launched around HR Technology falls into a few buckets:

  1. How can we make workers more efficient at what they are currently doing?
  2. How can we monitor workers on what they are doing (tracking)?
  3. How can we leverage A.I. to do certain tasks workers are doing right now?

Don’t get me wrong, the technology doesn’t scare me in the least, I think it’s amazing, but the reality is much of it is designed to help us humans reach our full potential. If my couple of decades in HR has taught me anything it’s that very few of us humans want to reach our full potential!

Reaching your full potential means you are working really hard!

I have a great story about working in a union job the summer I first got out of high school. My Dad got me the job working in a grocery warehouse picking orders to be delivered to supermarkets. The warehouse just implemented a new software system that tracked the productivity of each worker.

Basically, I would be given an order and the system had estimated how long that order should take for me to complete. If the order was complex I got more time, it is was simply pulling a full pallet of one type of item, I might only get ten minutes or so to complete, some orders were estimated to take 75+ minutes to complete.

The union had negotiated that I only had to work 77% of the time. Yes, you read that correctly! If you added up all of my order minutes, in theory, to keep my job, I had to be 77% efficient. So, in an eight-hour shift of 480 minutes, once I reached my 369.6 minutes of work, I could actually just stop. In fact, I was encouraged very strongly by my union brothers to stop at the exact point!

Now the “new” computer system didn’t account for the extra effort. So, if I had an order that was supposed to take 60 minutes, but I worked really hard and completed it in 45 minutes, I just earned myself an extra 15 minutes. By the end of the summer, I was efficient enough in getting orders completed that I spent about three hours a shift playing cards with my union brothers in the back of the warehouse until my shift was done!

The new HR Technology that is in play right now, based on AI and machine learning, would have made these corrections individually within a few shifts, knowing I could do that work more efficiently than another person and soon my orders would have been adjusted. The technology would have ensured that my ‘extra’ effort turned into my normal effort.

We already know that my warehouse work will be replaced by robots, so my example is already dated. But what about that office job? Will a robot replace you? No, not right away, we are a ways off from that, but that same AI/Machine learning technology will track and measure everything you do and soon you will feel as busy as ever, because ‘down time’ is unproductive time and the tech can compute that!

The future of work is more work.

 

Covid made us fat, lazy, and depressed! How do we turn that around?

My go-to answer for most things is, Cocaine. I’m sure if I did Cocaine I would be less fat, less lazy, which would lead to me being less depressed. Most likely, this is flawed thinking, but I never have tested it to know for sure.

A brand new study on the effects of Covid on our mental well being was just released and to no one’s surprise, it’s not a rosy picture:

What does this tell us? 

  1. We are moving way less than we did pre-Covid.
  2. We are sleeping more.
  3. We are getting up later.

Also, in the study, depression has increased by over 90% in the past year! That is massive, and while we love the flexibility of remote work, we are also craving the need for personal contact and normalcy. Humans are pack animals by genetics. We don’t thrive in cages (like being locked in our homes).

By the way (from the picture at the top), who are these people who don’t wake up until 10 am!? And even more puzzling, pre-covid, who are these monsters who didn’t get up until 8:30 am!? Surely, I gest. But, only for free of being canceled by some new pro-sleeping, don’t judge us movement.

How can we turn this around? 

I was raised by Baby Boomers who weren’t all too keen on schedules and the importance of a consistent schedule on mental and physical wellbeing. They just grew up during a different time in our world where you just kind of went with the flow. Yes, hippies, kind of.

My wife, bless her soul, rescued me and trained me to understand how having consistency in your life leads to a less stressful life. Less stress leads to less depression. Turns out, we as humans, actually do really well when we know the parameters of our world. We actually like being put in a box. It’s warm and cozy. We perform better. Covid took us out of our boxes, out of our schedules, out of our routines.

And like a flower without water and sunlight, many of us wilted. We stopped moving. we started putting on weight, we started sleeping more, and we became depressed.

We love the newfound flexibility, but we want some semblance of our lives back. Getting up, going to work, hitting the gym, etc. We need to turn these negative trends in our health, physically and mentally, back in the right direction. Even if you stay remote or hybrid, really work to build a more permanent, more healthy schedule into your day.

Part of building that new schedule is an understanding that we aren’t living a temporary life. We all have this belief that once Covid is over, we’ll be back to normal and then I’ll start getting healthy again, but our reality is we aren’t getting back to the old normal. For most of us, we’ll have a new normal, and we need to adjust to that new normal now.

It starts with moving more. Spring is a great time to start!