Can we stop using the phrase “Top Talent”!?

Rant warning! Proceed with caution! 
First off the vast majority of us wouldn’t know top talent for a specific position if it came up and slapped us in the face. What we know are people/candidates that are actually open to listening to what we have open right now.
“Pipelining top talent” makes you sound like a psychopath! You truly have no idea who is the most talented person in your market for a certain position. Absolutely no idea! And every technology that says they can tell you who is the most talented is lying to you, they can just tell you who is probably more talented amongst a group of known candidates.
But somehow you believe you not only have one “top talented” person but now you have a complete pipeline of top talent? Shut up! You look like an idiot! What you have is a list of people who might work for your position, but you truly have no idea if they’re ax murders or super talented in the skill set they’re telling you they have.
Hopefully, you get lucky and make a good hire that will produce good work. Every once in a while we hit the jackpot and find a person who truly seems better than the rest we have on the team. But we only hire “top talent” is the biggest lie we currently tell ourselves in talent acquisition!
We don’t actually go out and hire “top” talent. We go out and look for people who can do the job we have open at the time we have it open, who are also open to our average pay, average benefits, average leadership, average culture, and location. Let’s not kid ourselves, about 80% of us are average, so are slightly better, some are slightly worse.
“Top Talent”… Give me a freaking break!
“Hire Sally she’s Top Talent!” “Hire Jimmy he’s Top Talent!” Do you know who’s not top talent? The person using the phrase “Top Talent”!?
I love it when I see an agency have some stupid 4 part process or plan or dumb little 4 P’s of how we hire the Top Talent in the industry. Psychopaths! They aren’t doing anything but posting jobs and hitting their databases to find out who might actually be open to taking the interview. Top Talent? How about “might show up for the interview” talent!
“No, Tim! We use the 4 P’s, it’s a proven process to uncover top talent!” What are the 4 P’s? It doesn’t matter! Because it’s all B.S., made up to make you believe there’s some secret sauce. The secret sauce is they picked up the phone and called people instead of waiting around for someone who’s out of work to find your opening and apply.
“You can use our A.I. driven technology that uncovers and delivers right to your inbox the “Top Talent” your company is searching for!”  It reaches out to everyone, finds out who is interested, finds out who meets your qualifications, and sends them to you. Top Talent? Or warm body talent? They both mean the same thing.
Okay – I’m done. Not really, but I have some “top talent” I need to go searching for…

The Email Every Employee Wishes They Sent After Leaving!

Please raise your hand if you have ever drafted an email that you desperately wanted to fire off to your entire organization, or leadership, only to delete it, so to not ruin your career? I know most of you have because sometimes, in HR, we get to deal with those poor souls who didn’t have the willpower to push ‘Delete’ and instead pushed ‘Send’.

In the HR business, we call those employees ‘Former Employees’!  I’ve coined a name for those emails I like to call them ‘The Lotto Email’!  It’s the email you would feel comfortable sending the moment you return from picking up that overly sized Powerball check you just won.  You now have I-Don’t-Give-A-Sh*t money and you’re completely unfiltered.

I don’t hold out hope I will ever win the lottery but I imagine the email might look something like this:

Dear Fellow Employees,

I’m Rich Beeatch! (click here for context)

That being said I’d like to say a few things before not packing up any of this crap in my office and leaving forever.  To make this easier for you to cut and paste and send around later, I’ll bullet point this out into chunks – USA Today style – because I know most of you are slow and lose attention quickly:

– Mr. CEO – I know you think it’s probably adorable how you make comments about every woman in the office’s ass behind closed doors, but it’s not, it’s creepy. Just like you.

– Mr. CFO – You’re an accountant, calm the f@#K down, you’re not that important. Just tell us how much money we have and go back to being boring.

– Mrs. HR – Nobody likes you. This is just confirmation. BTW, everyone lies on your engagement surveys because all the managers use them as weapons, so it’s easier to lie and make you feel like what you do actually matters. It doesn’t.

– Mrs. COO – The CEO constantly talks about your ass. Hope that makes your meetings going forward more comfortable.

– Mary – I’ve always wanted to tell you that you are drop dead gorgeous, but your low self-esteem keeps you married to a complete asshole! I’m better than that. I won’t be that asshole. Here’s our chance, walk out of here with me Jerry Maguire style and let’s do this. Otherwise, I’m probably 5 drinks and 2 hours away from making some really bad decisions at a strip club.

– Ted – You’re a douche bag, everyone hates you.

There’s a bunch of other stuff I could to say – but really the only thing I really want to say is: I’m Rich Beeatch!

See you in the parking lot, Mary.

Former Employee

Obviously, this wouldn’t be ‘my’ letter because I’m the President of my company!  My letter would be a lot of thanking everyone for everything and I’ll see you around if you’re ever in the South of France on a large yacht. Plus a bunch of positive stuff and how valuable each and every employee was to me personally.

Follow by – “I’m Rich Beeatch!”

Let’s face it, we love pretty people!

So, you’ve probably heard by now that some companies in Silicon Valley decided to hire models to attend their annual holiday parties and act as friends of executives. The purpose was not to show the executives had pretty friends, but to add some ‘prettiness’ to the party:

Along with a seemingly endless string of harassment and discrimination scandals, Silicon Valley’s homogeneity has a more trivial side effect: boring holiday parties. A fete meant to retain all your talented engineers is almost certain to wind up with a rather same-y crowd, made up mostly of guys. At this year’s holiday parties, however, there’ll be a surprising influx of attractive women, and a few pretty men, mingling with the engineers. They’re being paid to.

Local modelling agencies, which work with Facebook- and Google-size companies as well as much smaller businesses and the occasional wealthy individual, say a record number of tech companies are quietly paying $50 to $200 an hour for each model hired solely to chat up attendees. For a typical party, scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 8, Cre8 Agency LLC is sending 25 women and 5 men, all good-looking, to hang out with “pretty much all men” who work for a large gaming company in San Francisco, says Cre8 President Farnaz Kermaani. The company, which she wouldn’t name, has handpicked the models based on photos, made them sign nondisclosure agreements, and given them names of employees to pretend they’re friends with, in case anyone asks why he’s never seen them around the foosball table.

So, my HR brothers and sisters lost their minds over this on the social webs!

There were many comments all going down the path of: “Gross”, “Pathetic”, “Trumps America”, etc.

I have a different take. This is Recruitment Marketing in the real world. Most of us don’t live in Disneyland, and the real world of hiring is a bit different for the majority.

Here’s the deal. Tech hires are mostly men. White men, brown men, black men, really, really pale white men, but mostly men.

If you have a holiday party at a Tech company and it’s all dudes, well, that’s not very exciting. In fact, it’s pretty sad for all the dudes standing around looking at each other. If you were part of that party, as a dude, you probably wouldn’t tell your friends to come work with you.

Now, if you go to a party and there’s a bunch of hot women, hey, this place is pretty great! I’ve got a chance. Now, if you knew all that ‘talent’ was paid for, now it becomes depressing again. But, if you thought, these are just ‘friends’ of some of the other employees who got invited and they just love to hang with techy dudes, now it feels a bit better, again.

These models aren’t hookers. They’re at your company party to make the ‘atmosphere’ better. Basically, these models, are like the free laundry service and ping pong table you provide. It makes the environment better. You like where you work more. You don’t tell your employees, “Hey, we offer dog walking services for free because it really has been shown to help retain you.” Everyone kind of gets that.

This is no different. Having good-looking people at your employee events, makes it seem like this place is cooler than it probably really is. By the way, these pretty people, are in on the game! They are making money using their god given assets. Just as the techy people are using their big brains.

We love to hate. The reality is, America is addicted to pretty. We made the Kardashians millionaires for absolutely no reason except for their looks. We want to be pretty. We want to hang with pretty. We are a nation that values pretty over almost everything else.

Is that right? No! Is that part of the game we are in right now? Yes.

Pro Tip: I get around hiring pretty models (male and female) at my holiday party by just hiring pretty employees to begin with! Stay thirsty my friends.

 

Wait, what!? You want me to actually work…

I took this job because you guys have a rocking careers website…

I took this job because of your awesome culture…

I took this job because your employees wear whatever they want…

I took this job because you serve unlimited gourmet coffee, all day…

I took this job because you give unlimited time off…

I took this job because you offered me more than anyone else…

I took this job because you have the coolest office with a ping pong table…

I took this job because you take your staff to Vegas each year…

I took this job because I don’t have to pay anything for my benefits…

I took this job because you buy beer and pizza on Thursday’s after work…

I took this job because you allow me to bring my dog with me…

I took this job because so I could work from home in my pajamas…

I took this job because of the free dry cleaning service…

I took this job because everyone is on the same level…

I took this job because, oh wait, you have to do work here…

GenX Rant: You’re not lonely, you’re just an idiot…

So, the Washington Post ran an article this week where the former Surgeon General states that the U.S. has a “loneliness epidemic” it’s currently facing. A what?!

From the article:

“Vivek H. Murthy, who became the U.S. surgeon general in late 2014 after a lengthy confirmation battle over his remarks about guns being a health-care issue, added emotional well-being and loneliness to his list of big public health worries.

Now he’s writing about the impact the workplace has on those issues, taking his concerns to employers and speaking out about how the “loneliness epidemic” plays out on the job. In a new cover story in the Harvard Business Review, Murthy treats loneliness like a public health crisis, and the workplace as one of the primary places where it can get better — or worse. “Our social connections are in fact largely influenced by the institutions and settings where we spend the majority of our time,” Murthy said in an interview with The Washington Post. “That includes the workplace.”

Have we lost our f#*king minds!?

So, Timmy doesn’t make friends at work, goes home and spends eight straight hours on social media, or binge watches 8 episodes of Breaking Bad and feels like no one is his friend. That not an epidemic. Tim is an idiot!

I wasn’t a lonely kid, and I didn’t grow up being a lonely adult. Why? My parents would physically lock me out of the house from like after school to whenever the street lights came on. I was no ‘allowed’ in the house. They forced me to got out and make friends. It’s a learned skill, making friends. They said only one thing, “Go make friends.”

No instructions. No scheduled playgroups. Get your lazy ass outside and make friends. It’s not hard, just don’t be an idiot to the other kids who are were also forced outside. A ‘friend’ is not a social connection. It’s someone you physically talk to, touch, you know what each other’s likes and hates. You know their dreams and fears.

So, here we are in 2017, we can’t find enough talent, we’re struggling to help our leaders manage the performance of our workforce, and now we have to teach adults how to make friends? You have to be freaking kidding me!

A decade ago Gallup found out the ‘trick’ too happy employees is they have a ‘best friend’ at work. Little did we know, then, but apparently we do today, HR would become best friend matchmaker for friendship illiterate millennials who couldn’t look up from their phones for fifteen seconds to say an actual “hello” to Timmy as he walked by.

I give up. We’re all morons. Society is lost. China, please come takeover already…

Everyone has their own rules. These are mine. The Sackett Rules!

I’m heading back from South Africa today, so I’m re-posting a blog post I wrote six years ago. The day I wrote it I was at SHRM with Matt Stollak and Matt Charney, who gave me the motivation for this! It’s fun looking back on some old posts and reminding myself of some of these.

I think we all have rules, our own set of rules, but rarely do we let others know, which is why it’s so hard dealing with people. If we just knew everyone’s rules, we would probably all get along just fine!

Here are my rules:

The Sackett Rules

1. Don’t call in sick on Mondays or Fridays – no one believes you. (My staff knows this one well)

2. Everyone has a price, it’s a recruiters job to figure that out.  Never take “I’m not interested” as a reason. You just haven’t found out the price where they would be interested. (I don’t want to shovel cow manure, but if you pay me enough, well, heck, where’s the shovel?)

3. It only costs a little more to go, first class.  (My Grandpa use to say this, then my Mom, now me. It’s about doing things right.)

4. People won’t remember what you said, but they’ll remember how you made them feel. (That’s why I bring great snacks to meetings, and try and have a funny story!)

5. Always be nice to Moms with young kids. (Their day is always much harder than mine.)

6. There’s always a reason to kick an old man down the steps, just don’t do it. (via Chris Rock – this just makes me laugh)

7. Don’t cross the streams. (from Ghostbusters: I use this one with my youngest son, it makes him laugh, and he’s never seen the original movie)

8. No touching of the hair or face. (Ron Burgundy in Anchorman: my wife will laugh at this. I don’t like people touching my almost gone hair and I had Lasik surgery years ago and don’t like anyone touching my face, and I don’t like bees!)

9. Don’t be a victim. (Yeah, you pretty much control what happens to you, I have very little patience for people who play the victim.)

10. If you are scrubbing the kitchen floor in your boxer shorts, don’t do it with the shades to the sliding glass door open, while your neighbors behind you are having your other neighbors over for drinks on the back deck. (enough said I believe)

What are your rules, that you wish everyone would know? Hit me in the comments!

If you want Genius, You Can’t manage to Ordinary

Most leaders I know want brilliant, creative, genius outcomes from their employees. Awesome! I love high expectations.

Genius, though, is a fickle thing. 99.99% of us will never reach the genius stage in anything we do in life. If you’re lucky enough to work with, be friends with, or manage a genius personality, you know these cats aren’t normal.

Some folks can reach a genius level in one aspect of their life. This lady is a genius at selling software, no one is better. This dude is a genius at creating and improving processes like no one else.

Leaders usually try to manage the genius like every other ordinary employee.

Therein lies the problem. The genius isn’t ordinary, they’re extraordinary. We have a hard time wrapping our small leadership brains around this idea of treating one person differently than the rest is the right thing to do. We were ‘trained’ to treat everyone equally.

Some times the right leadership decision to set precedent. To treat someone differently than the rest because that’s what needs to be done to reap what the genius has to give you. It’s not that the genius necessarily wants or asks to be treated differently. It’s the fact that if you want genius you can’t manage them like their ordinary, otherwise, you’ll probably just get ordinary.

 

The day Political Correctness Jumped the Shark

You know what “Jump the Shark” means, right? It’s basically saying that something has lost its relevance and is past its time. In today’s always on social media train, things can jump the shark very quickly. Something that is hot today, is totally forgotten about within hours.

Obviously, there are certain things that will never jump the shark. Racism can not jump the shark. There will never be a day when racism is irrelevant. Political correctness and companies trying to be politically correct, though, can jump the shark!

Robert E. Lee.

That infamous Confederate General with all the statues and car named after him on Dukes of Hazard has been really popular in the news lately. After the tragedy at Charlottesville, VA recently, folks around the U.S. have come to the conclusion maybe it’s time we stop celebrating people who fought for slavery and take down those monuments that are awful reminders of things we should not be honoring or celebrating.

ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, has a really great announcer that happens to be named Robert Lee. Not Robert E. Lee. Just Robert Lee. In fact, ESPN’s Robert Lee is an Asian-American, not even a white dude, like the original Robert E. Lee.

ESPN’s Robert Lee was supposed to call a football game on ESPN being hosted by the University of Virgina. The same place where white supremacists marched and killed a person recently. When all the brilliant folks at ESPN put their heads together, they thought it best not to put “Robert Lee” on the telecast of the University of Virginia game.

Why?

Well, that’s a great question! ESPN believes folks will be offended by a person named Robert Lee calling a football game on TV in which the University of Virgina is playing in Charlottesville. The Asian guy, Robert Lee. Not the dead Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which appears ESPN leaders don’t believe those watching the game could tell the difference, between an alive Asian-American and a dead Confederate White General.

Political Correctness has jumped the shark. ESPN is everything that is wrong with Corporate America.  We’ve gotten to the point where we’ve tried to dumb down everything to a level that it no longer makes sense to anyone.

Of course, Robert E. Lee is not something we need to celebrate in our country. But, does that mean that a guy named Robert Lee can’t call a football game?! ESPN, how dumb do you think America is? Wait, don’t answer that, I think we get the picture.

The 3 Conclusive Steps to Getting Sh*t Done

There are times when I struggle to get things done.  I’m a really good starter of things. In fact, I love starting things.  I can always see how I want it finished (a little shout out to Covey – Begin with the end in mind).  But like most things you start, eventually things get bogged down, and getting them over the finish line can be hard.

It’s probably why most projects fail, it gets tough, so we stop and move onto the beginning of something else because that’s fun and exciting.  I’ve learned this about myself over the years and I do two things to help myself. First, I surround myself with people who have great resolve to getting things done, the type of folks who don’t sleep well at night because they know there was that one glass left in the sink, and they should really get up and put in away.  I love those folks, they aren’t me, I hire them every time I get the chance.  I even married one of those types she makes me better!

Second, I force myself to not start something new, until I finish what I’ve already started.  This can be annoying, I’m sure, for those around me because sometimes projects have to go on hold while you wait for feedback, or other resources, etc.  This makes me antsy, I like to get things finished!

I was re-introduced recently to a quote from the novel Alice in Wonderland that I think really puts in perspective what it takes to get something done.  The quote is from the King of Hearts and it is quite simply:

“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

Your 3 Steps:

1. Begin

2. Go till the end

3. Stop

We make it much harder than that, but it really isn’t.  I like simple stuff, it fits into my mind quite well.  It might be the best advice I’ve gotten in a really long time.  I don’t need pre-planning, or post project assessments, or update meetings, or budget reviews, etc.

Naive?  Probably.  But, sometimes you just need to begin, go to you come to the end, then stop.

10 Ways Old White Dudes Can Stay Relevant in the Workplace

I don’t consider myself an old white dude, but I’m sure most of the twentysomethings working for me probably think I’m the old white dude! Old white dudes are at a crossroads of the American workplace. They used to be on top. There was no better role to have in the American workplace than to be an old white dude!

But times they are a-changin (only old white dudes and hipsters will get that reference!).

In today’s workplace old white guys are as desired as foot fungus. Somewhere between WWII and last Tuesday old white dudes became irrelevant, well, I mean unless you’re a Fortune CEO or President, besides that stuff.

But, I’m here to help. I mean, eventually, I’m going to fall into the old white guy category on the diversity and inclusion surveys so I better find a way to pull us out of this funk and make us super cool again! Here what you need to be doing old white dudes:

1. Denounce all other old white dudes. That way you’re not ‘that’ old white dude, you’re the cool new old white dude who got ‘woke’ (look it up on Urban Dictionary old white dudes).

2. Stop wearing cargo shorts. Apparently, the kids decided cargo shorts are lame and only old white guys where them. Remember those shorty-shorts we wore in the 1970s and 80s? Yeah, those are super cool now. Wear shorty-shorts and show a ton of leg!

3. Hide the fact you like money, small government, and hate taxes. If you want to be cool you have to be willing to give up most of your money to a government who has continually shown to have no idea how to spend our tax dollars for people who claim they can’t find a job.

4. Buy comfortable marching shoes – but not those lame white Nikes or New Balance sneakers all the old white dudes have – go for Nike Air Max’s. Cool old white dudes march with our brothers and sisters who have been wronged. If you don’t march, or at least show up at their parties in downtown areas, you can’t join their click. Also, get ready to wear a ton of rainbow stuff. Calm down, no one looks good in rainbow, but the after parties are super fun!

5. Sell your $60, 000 pickup or sports car and buy a Prius or some kind of Subaru. Only old white dudes drive expensive pickups and sports cars. Cool old white dudes drive Prius’s and Subarus. A good second option is a bike and ride it to work.

6. Talk about Tacos like they’re your new religion. Cool folks in the workplace ‘love’ tacos. Not only are they great food but you’re also supporting a diversity group by eating them, I think. You can’t just ‘like’ tacos. You have to want to have sex with tacos. Tacos should be your primary conversation point each day until you die.

7. Get into a workout routine and then push what you do onto anyone within ten feet of you at all times. It’s cool to workout, but it’s more cool to workout and then make everyone else feel stupid who doesn’t do your workout. Old white guys golf and go boating. Stop all of that. If you want to get into the water buy a paddle board and a rack for the top of your Subaru.

8. Complain about your super long eight hour work day and how you could do all of this working at home in two hours. The goal of becoming a cool old white guy is to fit in. Sure work-life balance has never been better in the history of America, but that shouldn’t stop you from railing against the machine.

9. Be super chill about all dumb decisions people make. To be a super cool old white guy, you have to be super chill about how everyone else decides to live their life no matter how stupid it might seem. “Hey, Mikey, love the new face tattoo! I’m sure that will really help your career path! Super cool!”

10. Never say anything about diversity and inclusion. Old white dudes can’t have an opinion about diversity and inclusion because you don’t know the struggle. Even gay old white dudes should probably keep quiet. I mean Tim Cook is an old gay white dude and he runs Apple! Does he really know the struggle!?

There will come a time when old white dudes will become a minority in the world, but you pointing this out just makes you sound like a racist old white dude, so cut that stuff out. Just suck it up, buy some slim fitting jeans and throw away all y0ur Docker Khakis, no one wants your theories on changing demographics.

You might grow a crazy long beard. Many old white dudes have found that really awful long beards help them blend in a bit better. Like ‘hey, I’ve got a way too long beard, so maybe I’m not an old white dude, but a Viking!” People love Game of Thrones in the workplace, so it might help.

Hey, hit me in the comments about how ageist this is or what other great ideas you might have to keep old white dudes relevant in the workplace!