Tim Talks – Are you worried about layoffs?

If you’re a close follower of mass media, we are currently being led to believe that the world is coming undone, and everyone is losing their job. That’s not really the case, so let’s dig into some reasons why that is…

Enjoy your day. Enjoy your weekend. Keep hiring great talent that produces excellent work, and your world will be a much better place!

What is the Health Insurance Design Impact to Employer Paid Abortions?

Obviously, we had major news recently around abortion rights in America.

What I really want to talk about today is an amazingly quick response by organizations to immediately offer a new health benefit. Within hours of the announcement, we saw major employers come out publicly stating they would pay for the expense of their employees to obtain legal abortions if they could not get one in the state they lived and worked. Some employers also announced that they would pay for relocations for their employees to live in states with legal abortions.

All of this, just from a health benefit plan design perspective is quite remarkable!

Most employers can’t agree on offering smoking cessation programs for their employees or paying for gym memberships, but within hours, we are now paying for abortions. We have severely unhealthy obese employees, but we won’t pay for bariatric surgery. Organizations tend to move very slowly in making benefit design changes, and those changes tend to mostly be around cost/benefit.

Are we being “Inclusive” by offering an abortion benefit?

Again – I’m 100% in favor of a woman’s right to choose!

But we need to have a conversation about the hypocrisy of some of these decisions being made around this issue. This is what we do as professionals in HR. We discuss decisions we make as organizations, and how each decision tends to lead to other issues we can’t yet know what they might be.

So, we are now offering abortions as a health benefit. Why?

Let’s say we are willing to pay $5,000 dollars for our female employees to get an abortion. It definitely makes us sound like we are a very progressive employer! It’s interesting, though, that many of the employers who are willing to pay for your abortion are not willing to pay for your parental leave if you chose to keep your baby. They are unwilling to pay for childcare assistance after you have your baby.

Why is that?

Could it be, that not having children make you a more productive and less expensive to insure employee?

We must ask ourselves this question, if not only to ensure we are being inclusive in our insurance offerings to our female employees.

If you want to be “inclusive” you offer a woman a full choice. Yes, you can choose to have an abortion and we’ll support you! Yes, you can have the baby, and we will still support you! If you only choose one side, you are being exclusionary. Why?

Abortion as an employer-paid health benefit

There are benefits we pay as employers that have very little financial impact but make us look like we are an employer of choice. College Tuition reimbursement was always the biggest one. We offer you college tuition reimbursement knowing almost no one actually takes advantage of it. It’s one of the lowest-used benefits a company can offer! But, we feel great about ourselves when we market this out to candidates and employees.

Are abortion benefits the next college tuition benefit? You offer it up, knowing it makes you look like a progressive employer, but you know it really has very little financial impact. On the flip side, offering paid parental leave and childcare assistance, well, those benefits actually cost us real money, so no, we won’t offer those!

All women should be allowed to make their own choice with their bodies. Period. Employers are going to decide if they should help women with that decision. I think we, as HR leaders and professionals, should be advising our executives that having a “Choice” is about more than one option. Our benefit plans should support any choice a woman wants to make, not just one.

Abortion is health care. Having and caring for a child is health care. Organizations need to support all choices that a woman might want to make.

The Baby Bonus Program You Never Knew You Needed!

In HR and Talent Acquisition, we tend to be in crisis mode constantly. We are some of the best firefighters are organization has! Our functions tend, by their very nature, to be short-termed focused. This month, this quarter, this year. Rarely are we able to think and plan further than twelve months ahead.

The problem is, currently and in the future, we (the U.S. and pretty much every industrialized country on the planet) are not making enough humans! In the U.S., we are early Japan. This means our birth rate has dipped below the replacement rate. Japan has been facing this crisis for decades; we are just starting down this path.

Why does this matter?

  1. If we can’t replace our humans, we have a shrinking workforce, and it’s very hard to grow.
  2. If we aren’t going to grow enough humans, we have to find another path to get more humans, and that’s immigration, and in the U.S., we have been awful at immigration.
  3. If we can’t get real humans, we have to build robots. The problem is, why robots will come faster than humans, it still takes time, and robots can’t effectively replace humans in most roles.

What is the solution?

This might sound a bit controversial, it’s definitely out of the norm, but HR needs to build a policy that encourages our employees to have babies!!

“Wait, what?! You want us to encourage our employees to have s…”

Okay, hear me out! Japan knew it had an issue decades ago and did nothing to address it, believing nature would take its course. But it didn’t! We have the opportunity to reward and compensate our employees for growing our next employees!

In the U.S., historically, we’ve also sucked at parental leave policies, and we’ve held parenthood against workers for promotion. Having kids, for the most part, has been a negative to your career. We need to change that! We need to make it a reward and benefit to your career. Like, imagine if Mark and Mary had seven kids! They both should be promoted immediately to Vice Presidents or Chief Growing Officers or something!

I’m only saying that half-joking! We are in a crisis and to get out of a crisis takes bold moves.

The hard part of encouraging our employees to procreate is that HR has spent its entire existence trying to stop our employees from doing this very thing! Now I’m asking you to become the Chief Baby Officer.

Um, are there other solutions?

Yes, but America tends to hate both of these options, traditionally.

The first option is to completely revamp our immigration policy and allow in millions of immigrants in both skilled/educated backgrounds and non-skilled/labor backgrounds. Traditionally, both political parties are against this because of the belief immigrants take jobs away from current citizens. Labor Unions hate this. Conservatives hate this. It’s usually a political non-starter.

The UK recently made a major change to their immigration policy because, like the U.S., they are facing a similar human challenge, and we should all take note because it’s an amazing policy. Basically, it allows professionals to come in with a Visa before getting a job, as long as they can prove they can pay their own way. This works because one of the biggest hurdles in U.S. immigration policy is we force an immigrant to have a job before they can enter, and for most U.S. employers, that just doesn’t work from a timing perspective.

The second option is more automation and robots. This is another one that labor unions tend to fight because it takes jobs away from humans. Unfortunately, this one is moving forward because we just don’t have enough workers, and even unions can’t produce more unions. More and more, we’ll see automation take the place of traditional roles we are used to seeing humans in. Cashiers, order takers, warehouse workers, truck drivers, etc. This is scary for many but a necessity for employers looking to run their day-to-day operations.

You might think that encouraging your employees to have babies is a very out-of-the-box idea, but in HR, we need to start thinking more long-term about how we’ll manage our workforce. If you believe your company will be around twenty years from now, a part of our job, strategically, should be thinking about this workforce concept.

Why is Walmart Struggling to Find $200K/Year Store Managers?

6.68% of Americans make $200,000 a year or more. Of course, that almost 7% is definitely centered around certain areas. States like California, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, etc., have a much larger percentage than the average. States like Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, most of the Midwest, etc., are under the average.

The Wall Street Journal had an article this week about how Walmart is struggling to fill their store manager jobs. Specifically, their General Manager job, the number one job in a Walmart store, which pays around $200,000 per year.

You would think with so few people making $200,000 a year, Walmart would have smart, ambitious folks knocking down their doors for a chance to make $200,000 per year!

But they don’t. Why?

First, most organizations tend to promote from within. Walmart is similar to this, but reality eventually hits the ceiling. An average Walmart store probably does a revenue of $50-100 million per year. The net income of those locations probably runs around $3-5M per year. There are roughly 350 employees in a Walmart store. Running a single Walmart store is like running a mid-sized enterprise business! Most SMBs in the country have a revenue well under $1M.

This means that Walmart can most likely train an hourly store employee to become a department manager, but to become a General Manager, they are looking for some formal business education. You have to run a giant P&L. You have major risk factors. You need real leadership skills. In many towns, “the Walmart” is probably the biggest business in town!

College kids, on average, don’t want to leave State U for a $65,000 a year job as a Manager in Training at Walmart. It’s not something you go back to the homecoming football game and brag about. Your friends took that $50k per year job with the tech firm in town as an entry-level, you make more, but they look down on you.

I know some folks are reading this and thinking, “So! You make more! You will continue to make more! You run are in line to run a giant business! You f’ing cares what others think!” Young adults do. Young adults care what other people think. If I’m frank, and I usually am, we all care what others think!

What would I do if I was at Walmart?

I love this game. It was the basis of my entire book! What would Timmy do if he ran your shop!

#1 – Stop trying to hire or require any form of formal education. Yes, you need smart folks, so give cognitive assessments. Find smart people who can learn quickly, who also have some “hustle” and “grind” to them. You probably have a ton of folks already working for you that you won’t consider. You also have to look at talent pools we tend to discount, most notably, in this case, 50 years and older, retired military commanders, etc. Walmart wants to solve this by talking new college grads into these jobs, I’d be talking failed executives into these jobs! Big salary. Big team. Big job. College grads don’t want that, your Dad does, and a retired military leader who is used to leading hundreds of soldiers does. Also, your Dad will work 60 hours a week and think it’s normal. A new grad will work a solid 40 and think it’s North Korea.

#2 – Build the Manager School. If a great GM in a Walmart environment makes them $3-5M a year, there are margin dollars to build more great GMs! Part in-person instruction. Part on the job training. Part virtual instruction. All the way in on fully engaging non-stop. Send them to manager boot camp. Make it exclusive. Bring in big-time celebrity speakers around leadership and performance. Do graduation with a gold watch.

#3 – Make it so lucrative they won’t want to leave. $200K is really nice, but you need some other stuff. You need to make folks say, “F! You!” To their friends that don’t think Walmart is cool enough. What is that? I don’t stock options. Partner programs on profit sharing. Company SUV.

Here’s what I know. The profit difference between Walmart’s worse GM store and their best GM store is so big it would make you blush. It’s millions of dollars. So, making sure you hire, train, develop, and take care of the great ones is priority number one. Building the talent pipeline to successful GMs would be the job of a team of people that included great recruiting leaders, brand and marketing leaders, and technology and data leaders.

I’m not saying this is an easy job. It’s enormously difficult and complicated. But, it’s doable. The problem is, that every organization thinks the solution to their problem is new college grads. They can help, but it’s only one sliver of the full pie that is needed.

You Don’t Have a Recruiting Problem!

I met with a CEO of a tech startup company last week. He had a very familiar story. “Forever (or at least what’s seemed like forever for him) we have never had a problem recruiting talent to our company, but now we can’t hire anyone”, he said to me. Seems like I have this exact same conversation with an executive at least weekly these days.

So, I put on my consultant hat to try and figure out what the real problem is. It’s rarely a recruiting problem and it’s always a recruiting problem. Let me explain.

When you have a recognizable positive brand, a fun place to work, lead the market in pay, and work in a cool industry, everyone wants to come work for you. Your top of the funnel is filled with candidates. You believe you must be super awesome at recruiting. You actually might be super awesome at recruiting, but you also could suck super bad as well.

You see in the history of the world it’s actually never been easier to find talent. Yes, you read that correctly. In the history of the world! Today, it is also one of the most difficult times in the history of the world to get that talent you found to accept your job. Both of these things are true simultaneously.

You can find them, you just can’t close them.

This has almost nothing to do with the pandemic. People in recruiting love to blame the pandemic, but this is simple economics at play. You have twice as many jobs open, in the US, as unemployed people, and most of those unemployed people do not have the skills needed for the open jobs. So, if you have 6 million unemployed people and 12 million jobs, you really still have almost 12 million jobs to fill.

In 2018 and 2019, before most of us even knew what a pandemic was or became vaccine experts, economists were ringing alarm bells over the lack of workers currently and in the future. But we ignored them because that’s what we do in organizations. We fight today’s fire, not tomorrow’s fire. And, honestly, even if we did decide to do something about it in 2019, what would we have done? Lobby for better immigration policy? Pay our employees to start having sex and create more babies? Truly, what would you have done?

The long-term vision strategy problem.

My startup CEO friend does have a recruiting problem. Because they made most of their hires through referrals, they never built the recruiting machine. No tech. No team. No strategy. No budget. Dead in the water, because we love to believe what’s working today will always work forever. Until it doesn’t.

His problem now is he’s playing catchup. Hire the recruiting talent. Build the recruiting stack. Create an employer brand. Do the recruitment marketing. Etc. The plan is actually pretty straightforward. But painful when you’ve only posted and prayed for your entire existence. All he wants to know is why can’t we just keep posting and praying, or when will post and praying start working again.

Posting and praying isn’t working right now, but it will work the next time that unemployment shoots up to 7%+, and that might happen again. We can always hope for a major recession to make hiring easy again. Most likely we won’t see high unemployment for a long time because of our current state of demographics, but a major recession, war, and pandemics are always our best hope!

Let’s just say we actually might have known this hiring problem was coming. Let’s just say. I mean because of millions of baby boomers leaving the workforce, a birthrate that is under replacement rate for years, closing our borders to skilled and unskilled workers, etc. Let’s just say we might have known this was coming, what could we have done?

We could have started growing our own talent by lessening formal education for jobs that didn’t education but we’re lazy as recruiters so we add in education to limit our candidate pool. We could have looked at candidate pools that have historically been deemed less desirable by executives: older workers, workers with records, workers with disabilities, etc. We could have automated more quickly and deeper into our processes. We could have added in more benefits and work environment options that retained and attracted more workers.

So, yes, you have a recruiting problem, but it’s not because you don’t know how to recruit, it is most likely because you don’t know how to plan and strategize. It is because we didn’t view recruiting like we do other business problems we have. We viewed it as an administrative function that you can just muscle through. You have a recruiting problem, but it’s not really a recruiting problem, it’s a business problem.

Should Corporate Recruiters Get Paid Salary & Commission?

First, shoutout to @Hervbird21 (Recruister) on Twitter for starting this conversation (Editor’s Note: Hervbird21 I don’t know who you are but send me a note and I’ll share your LinkedIn if you’d like) Also, take a look at the Twitter thread as there are some exceptional recruiting thought leaders who had thoughts on this subject.

Link to the thread

I’ve written about this a number of times over the years, but with the recruiting market being so hot right now, I’ve actually had a number of Recruiter compensation calls with corporate TA leaders trying to figure out three main things: 1. How do we retain our recruiters; 2. How do I attract more recruiters; 3. How do we reward great recruiting performance?

First, I’m all in on the fact that recruiters should be paid in a pay-for-performance model. That doesn’t mean that corporate recruiters, agency recruiters, and RPO should all be paid the same way. All three of those roles are different and should be compensated based on what the organization needs from each recruiter.

Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of Performance Pay for Corporate Recruiters

Pros:

  • You get more of what you measure and more of what you reward.
  • Your best recruiters will be compensated more, and higher compensation is tied to longer tenure.
  • Low performers and internal recruiters who actually hate recruiting will hate it and self-select out.
  • It will most likely raise individual recruiting team member performance in the aggregate.

Cons:

  • You will most likely have turnover with this type of change
  • Potentially, you could get behaviors that aren’t team-oriented. (IE., senior recruiters not helping junior recruiters)
  • Potentially, you could lower your quality of candidates as recruiters move quickly to gain performance comp. (the quantity over quality argument)
  • It actually might increase your compensation budget, initially, until you can find the model that is most effective.

Okay, wait, why did I say “potentially” on the Cons? Primarily, because it truly depends on the model design. Just making a decision to pay more for hires is ridiculous and leads to bad outcomes. But, developing a model that rewards individual performance that is based on recruiting behaviors that lead to better hires, quickly, and in a team setting, well, now you diminish the negative outcomes of pay for performance.

How could we make pay for performance work for corporate recruiters?

I’m not trying to dump on all the folks who commented on “Quarterly Bonuses” but stop that! “Quarterly Bonus” really means, “I don’t want to be individually measured and held accountable, but I also want more money on top of my great base salary”. Quarterly bonuses in most corp TA shops are a joke. They are usually based on Hiring Manager satisfaction and days to fill, two of the most subject measures that have zero correlation to better recruiting.

Also, internal recruiting pay for performance is not just a modified agency or RPO model. Corporate recruiters do much more than just recruit in most TA departments, so if you reward them to just recruit, understand, you’re just standing up an in-house agency model. Your internal recruiting model for corporate has to be unique to the job.

Some thoughts and ideas:

– Spend a bunch of time deciding what you actually want from your recruiters and from your function as a whole. Those two things must be aligned.

– Before going to a pay for performance model you need to get your arms around your recruiting funnel data. Otherwise, you’re just guessing at what and who to reward.

– In most cases, you can’t make the rewards the same because recruiters have different requisition loads and levels of position. Also, in most cases, certain areas of your organization hire at different times. So, get ready to test and be flexible to do the right thing at the right time.

– It’s okay if a recruiter makes more than you think if the model is producing what you want it to produce. Too often I hear from TA leaders that are like, “Jill is making too much!” But, Jill it killing it and the top recruiter.

– If you can’t get your head around paying for hires, pay for the behaviors and activities that lead to more hires.

– Start with a month or quarter test, make sure during the test no one will lose money. The goal is to try and reach some sort of outcome of better performance, to see if it can work. If they are only concerned they might make less money, you won’t truly see what can work or not work.

– It’s not about quality or quantity. It’s about quality and quantity. I’ve never led a recruiting team in a corporate or agency where good recruiters would ever send a crappy candidate on purpose. That just doesn’t happen, normally. If it did, that recruiter didn’t belong on the team.

I don’t believe in recruiting “team” rewards as pay for performance in most cases. Most teams are not designed and measured for “team” performance, so many on the team are getting the reward for a few doing most of the heavy lifting. You can still have team rewards, but you truly have to think about how you reward your most effective recruiters, short and long-term.

I think the ideal ratio for compensation for corporate recruiters should be 75% base salary and 25% pay for performance, where your best top recruiters can make 125% of their normal total comp if they are killing it. As I mentioned above, you will have recruiters quit because you have “recruiters” on your team that didn’t take the job to recruit, but to administer a recruiting process and collect a nice base salary.

Okay, tell me what I missed in the comments or if you have a model that is working you would like to share with everyone!

Mailbag: Can an experienced Recruiter be any good with 378 LinkedIn Connections?

I had a Talent Acquisition Leader reach out to me this week. She is having a hard time hiring recruiters and was looking for some insight. Now, she was looking for more of a professional generalist recruiter. Someone who can hire some hourly, but also corporate positions that include: finance, IT, operations, marketing, etc.

She mentioned she had gotten a resume of a recruiter who had four years of experience, but when she looked her up on LinkedIn, she only had 378 connections. Could this recruiter be any good with so few LinkedIn connections?

The Answer

No.

Okay, before you become unglued, let me explain.

Let’s say this four-year recruiter was only hiring high volume hourly. That would mean this person would never spend time on LinkedIn, since hourly workers, for the most part, do not have profiles on LinkedIn. So, now you’re thinking, “yeah, Tim, LI connections don’t matter for this person so they could be a great recruiter!”

Still, I say no!

Because, for me, a great recruiter builds a network of other recruiters and sourcers to constantly learn from. It basically takes almost no effort or skill to connect with 500 other recruiters, sourcers, HR pros, and your personal network on LinkedIn. Once you get to the 500 mark, no one knows if you have 501 or 30,000.

I challenge my own entry-level recruiters that have no recruiting experience to get to 500 connections as quickly as possible. Within six months, they should be able to do this very easily. So, if you run into a recruiter who is three or four years into their career, and they are under 500, they are showing you that they probably have very little interest in expanding their network and learning from others.

500 LinkedIn connections are like training wheels for a recruiter. I don’t expect every profession to have over 500, but recruiters, sales pros, and people looking for jobs should always have over 500. There’s no reason not to, it’s literally the easiest professional networking available to everyone for free.

Do more LinkedIn connections then equal someone is a better recruiter than another?

No.

But, wait, you just said…

Recruiters, of all types, need to get to 500. After that point, it really becomes more about the quality of the connections that you build. If you just accept every Open Networker on LinkedIn, that network will be full of Life Coaches and Pyramid Scheme sellers!

Great recruiters build networks that help them learn more and recruit better. I would say once you establish a network, you then become much more selective about who you invite and which invites you to accept. Right now, with my network that runs over 20,000, I only accept about 1/3 of the invitation requests I get based on the criteria I want in my network.

I know recruiters that quickly maxed out their LinkedIn networks with garbage and had to go back and scrub their networks, and it’s very time-consuming. But, I also see recruiters who switch industries and skills who do this as well. Your network should grow and change with you based on where you are at in your career.

So, LinkedIn connections matter and they don’t. That’s just reality in today’s world of recruiting. Whether you are recruiting doctors or truck drivers, you should still be using LinkedIn for your own professional development on an ongoing basis.

Your LinkedIn Newsletter Sucks, and Other Truths No One Is Telling You!

Before I get into this rant, let me give a shoutout to Hung Lee. Hung runs the Recruiting Brainfood newsletter out of the UK and it is seriously the best recruiting newsletter on the planet. Also, Hung believes everyone should start a LinkedIn Newsletter, which leads me to believe that maybe he caught the Covid or something and his brain is slipping!

First off, is there a glitch in the Matrix or something? Since the beginning of the year, I’ve seriously received over 50 LinkedIn Newsletter invitations. Somedays I’m getting over 5 per day! What the heck is going on?

Second off, no one needs all these dumb newsletters!

Have you seen some of these!? Most are bad life coaching newsletters or professionals who are working at home and just flat bored with nothing else to do. I have yet to receive one that looked half-interesting. Here’s a sample of the newsletter titles:

  • Leadership and You
  • The Cup’s Half Full Newsletter
  • Leadership Insights
  • The Thoughtful Leader
  • The Top Talent Newsletter

Reading these again just made me fall asleep, where was I again?

Why Shouldn’t You Start A LinkedIn Newsletter?

You shouldn’t primarily because you won’t sustain it and ultimately it makes you look like you’ve got a follow-through problem professionally!

Look, here’s the deal. Most people suck at writing. Some are good, but will just run out of things to say in around ninety days. Either way, all of these newsletters will just sit there with old content. Then one day, someone will find it and their first thought won’t be, “OMG! This newsletter is amazing and changed my life!” It will be, “this is odd, this person hasn’t written in 18 months, I wonder if the Covid got them!?”

To Hung’s belief, yes, everyone has a voice. But this is where Hung I part ways. He believes because you have a voice you should use it. I believe most voices suck! If yours sucks, don’t use it, use something else you’re good at! What the last twelve years of writing have shown me is most people’s writing voice isn’t very good, and no one wants to read it. But you’re bored and you think what the heck, someone might turn their life around by me sharing my “Thoughtful Leadership” thoughts, but they won’t, in fact, you might actually be the catalyst that finally pushes them over the edge! Let that sink in, you LinkedIn Newsletter Murderer!

By the way, this is not an indictment on LinkedIn! That would be like me blaming Taco Bell for fat people. No, Taco Bell is awesome, I love it. My low willpower is to blame, not Taco Bell. I don’t blame LinkedIn for stupid people. LinkedIn just provided a great tool for stupid people to spread their stupid. How did LinkedIn know stupid people wanted to share their stupid?

Another reason you shouldn’t start a LinkedIn Newsletter is that you actually don’t have an opinion. “Racism is bad!” Groundbreaking, thanks. Any other hot takes, Sparky? You actually have to have an opinion. Have a legitimate take on something. Stating the obvious, while probably be cathartic at some level for you, isn’t readable!

This isn’t to say that LinkedIn Newsletters can’t be ultra-popular. One of the Top 5 LI Newsletters is a dude who gives career advice. He has over 750K followers. I’m sure it’s great stuff, like, don’t stink and don’t throw up during an interview. All the ‘real’ stuff job seekers need to know. I haven’t read his newsletter but I’m guessing he had a 13-minute career as a recruiter which makes him highly qualified to now give out this life-changing advice.

I know. I know. You’re going to make so many new sales and clients with your newsletter, plus your Aunt Jenny who’s a retired accountant told you how great she thinks it is. No, you won’t and No, it’s not. Stop it. Stop sending me your damn invites. I hate your Newsletters! They’re awful! Someone needs to tell you the truth!

Okay, I have to go start my Linkedin Newsletter before I miss out on this gravy train!

The Point is Finality

Most work becomes a series of urgent events and tasks. We run from one urgency to the next, constantly fixing things to make them work better at the moment. Solving these urgencies gives us a great feeling of satisfaction. That was broken and I fixed it! Oh wait, there’s another one…

This might be the biggest cancer in organizations.

Quick fixes don’t ever really solve the underlying problem of why something isn’t working the way it should. We rarely work to solve the core issue and put a permanent solution in place. The time that does happen is usually after someone gets fired and the entire process has collapsed under a mountain of urgent fixes that have been cobbled together over months and years.

I see this on a monthly basis with leaders I speak with. I’m lucky to be on the front side of many of these conversations with leaders new in position who are working on building it the ‘right’ way. Finally, trying to get away from urgent fixes and put permanent solutions into play. To jump off the treadmill and add some finality to the process.

“We have always done it this way“.

That statement has gotten a bad reputation. We make fun of people who say it. When in reality, we should all be striving to say this statement. We’ve always done it this way because it freaking works amazingly! We had a problem. We worked our butts off to find the right solution for the long term, and unsurprisingly, it works and we kept doing it.

Jumping from one shiny new thing to the next, adding in stuff to cover up something that stopped working for now, because we don’t have time to truly fix the root cause, has become the norm for almost every department and function we have in organizations.

We’ve lost the view of “oh, I might have to live what I’m building here for the next twenty years, so I should probably make it work properly.” Instead, it’s “yeah, our process sucks, but we (add in excuse here), so we’ll just have to deal with it for now”. “For now” means until I either find a new job, or I get fired, or I move to another job or department.

I hate workarounds.

When someone tells me they are going to do something as a workaround I immediately have anxiety. Because what I hear is, “I don’t want to fix this the right way” I would rather fix it temporarily so it can be someone else’s issue down the road.

We have this belief that we can’t stop and fix things the way they should be. We don’t have the time, we can’t stop what we are doing. Until of course you get fired or leave, then someone ‘magically’ has the time to fix it the right way.

The worse spot you can be in is a cobbled mess of systems, processes, and people who don’t give a shit. If you find yourself in this spot there are only two options: 1. Leave; 2. Stop everything and fix it the right way.

Supply and Demand are Undefeated!

Why can’t you find talent?! Why are your workers resigning at all-time highs? Why can’t I buy the car I want? Why does my local supermarket keep running out of diet Mt. Dew in the 16 oz bottles!?

The law of supply and demand is undefeated in the history of the world! That’s why!

When there is a feeling of equilibrium in the talent market, meaning we seem to have enough workers and enough jobs, but not crazy on either side, our world works fairly well. For sure, there are outliers, but all of those have a real business answer to why you’re an outlier. Right now, it seems like no one has a real business answer to why everyone is an outlier!

That’s because there isn’t one answer. Well, I take that back, there is, and it’s fairly simple, but your executives don’t want to hear it, we have more demand than supply of talent.

I find it super ironic that really smart executives won’t hear this when it comes to talent, but will go into every single board meeting and using different words tell their boards the reason they can’t sell enough products or services is because of supply and demand. But, when asked about talent, they truly believe TA/HR has a magic machine they can keep filling up with more candidates and employees that is never-ending!

There. Is. No. Magic. Employee. Machine!

By the way, everyone is to blame for this supply and demand issue. It’s not people who work. It’s the entire system failure that causes supply chain issues. What are these failures:

  • We are crappy at educating kids for future jobs. We take way to long to react to what our world needs for skills, from a public and private education standpoint.
  • Those that have the money are unwilling to properly incentize people for their labor and efforts.
  • Those who buy products and services are unwilling to pay more for all the crap we want.
  • Employers are unwilling to invest what is needed to grow their own talent and then do all they need to do to ensure they retain that talent.
  • We have a government that is basically incapable of doing anything besides work to get voted in again. Rinse. Repeat. Do nothing of consequence.

Gawd! That seems pessimistic, right!?

But, I don’t think so, because every single one of those bullet points we can control as a society, which is why we are all complicit in this problem!

This is not a complex problem. This is simply a supply and demand problem. Create more supply and bring back some equilibrium and everything will be back to normal. I have no fear that this won’t happen because supply and demand are undefeated!