Sackett Tips: Advice for Grads and Dropouts!

Every year around this time the content machine delivers an endless amount of “Graduation” advice to new grads. “As you leave the manicured lawns of your youth…” I’ve actually done the “wear sunscreen” posts myself from year to year. They are easy to write because it allows the writer to just wax poetically about all the mistakes we’ve made ourselves, which in turn becomes the advice for you to do or not do (thanks, Yoda!).

I realized just yesterday the problem with the grad advice columns is we’ve completely forgotten about dropouts! In today’s world, with declining higher ed enrollments (college starts are down 5 quarters in a row) it’s even more important that we talk to the dropouts as well. Of course, we see many more dropouts when unemployment is very low as it is now. With a ton of jobs open, young people can make really great money without going to college, so it’s a natural phenomenon.

The Sackett Tips for Grads and Dropouts

  • Work for the biggest brand possible right out of the gate. You most likely won’t have a great experience, but it will help your career out way more in the long run. We are all enamored with the person who worked for Amazon and Apple over JBE Automation in central Iowa. Like somehow that Apple job where you got to focus on a sliver of a project is way more valuable than actually owning an entire project. But that’s life. Go work for a giant brand.
  • Calculate the value of leaving a job and people you really like. You will hear estimates from “experts” telling you not to change jobs unless you get a 10-20% increase. And that is really a lot of money. But, what if the new job sucks and the new people suck. Is that $5,000-10,000 worth it? Each of us has to make that call. What I find is most people will tell you it’s not worth it. 
  • Maintain relationships with peers and co-workers from other jobs you left and with those who left your company. That network will pay you back in the future like nothing else you have.
  • Say, “Yes” to jobs no one else wants. Those are the jobs that get noticed by executives. We all know the stuff no one else wants to do, so when someone steps forward and “takes one for the team” you stand out above the rest. 
  • Protect your time, but have a reason. Executives totally understand the person who says, “I can’t this weekend, I’m coaching my little girl’s soccer team and I have to be there for her” vs. someone who just says “No”. 
  • Every executive is looking for people who treat the organization and the brand like their own. I get it, they make a crap ton more than you, but they always didn’t make more. At some point, they made peanuts as well but treated the company like it was their own. Protected assets, spent budget wisely, etc. 
  • Diversity isn’t about color, gender, etc. But it also is about all that. You want to hire great people who fit your culture and who are also from diverse backgrounds. Most organizations fuck this up by just hiring color or gender and forgetting about the fit. It’s not one or the other, it’s both. 
  • Don’t wait for an employer to develop you. Find ways to develop yourself. Build a business case as to why your employer should pay for you to take a class that costs money. 
  • Make yourself as pretty as possible. Every single study you can find will show that the more attractive you are the more money you make, the more likely you are to get promoted, work for a great company, etc. Turns out, everyone loves pretty people. You, like me, might not have been blessed with “pretty” DNA, but we can all make ourselves the best version of ourselves! Don’t believe people that tell you looks don’t matter. They matter greatly, they’ve just given up.
  • Put on your own oxygen mask first. I run into so many kind souls who are trying to protect and help co-workers, peers, etc., but not helping themselves. Take care of yourself, so you can properly help others.

Oh, and wear sunscreen.

So, what’s the difference in advice between the grads and dropouts? None. Turns out, once you start working no one gives a shit whether you have a degree or not, now you have to actually perform.

It’s a great time to be a hard-working, attractive, smart person in our society. Take advantage.

What do 2022 Grads want in a job?! @iCIMS

iCIMS released their 2022 Class of Covid-19 report, which is an annual report on recent college grad expectations around jobs and careers! Some very interesting findings that can help you and your organization better understand Gen Z.

So, what do the kids want?!

  • Entry-level applicants have high expectations for “securing the bag.” Recent grads expect an average salary of more than $70,000, while employers expect to pay entry-level candidates just under $53,000. When it comes to getting paid, one in five recent grads expects cryptocurrency as a compensation option. 
  • The gender pay gap continues to negatively influence females’ expectations. Female recent grads expect to earn $10,000 less a year than their male counterparts. For the past seven years that iCIMS has commissioned this research, females consistently expect to make less money in their first job than males.
  • An unprofessional interview appearance could cost candidates the job. Recent grads say dress codes are out, as more than one-third (37%) believe what they wear to work shouldn’t matter. However, hiring pros say that appearing unprofessional is the top reason that entry-level candidates are not hired. Whether taking a virtual interview in a bedroom or an in-person interview in a boardroom, a professional appearance is required to ace an interview and land the job. 
  • Recent grads pass the loyalty test. While entry-level workers have developed a reputation for job-hopping, the overwhelming majority (91%) say they care how long they stay with an employer and nearly 70% see themselves staying with an employer long-term.
  • They work to live instead of living to work. Gen Zers are loyal, but their well-being wins. Nearly half (49%) say a full-time job is “just a job” and they prioritize their personal passions. Many Gen Zers (48%) say they don’t need to work nine to five to be successful in their career.
  • Mental health matters. Two in three recent grads expect their employer to support their mental health and participate in open conversations about it. They also must personally align with a company’s mission and core values when applying for a job. 
  • Virtual reality isn’t just for gamers. Approximately a third of recent grads would be comfortable working in a virtual reality (VR) environment, such as the metaverse. But, other generations of workers aren’t ready for that, as only 13% of older generations report they’d like to spend their days in a VR workplace.

You can download the full report here!

Does this align with what you were thinking?

It seems like every single year I review this report, there is misalignment on what new grads believe they will earn and what they will actually learn, so I’ve come to expect this result now. I used to blame higher ed for not setting these expectations better. Now, I just think it’s dumb kids believing dumb things. We all thought we were worth more than we were!

Again, I totally get those young people who believe that how you dress has nothing to do with your ability to do a job. They are correct! But, first impressions and landing the job you want, appearance still matters to those selecting. So, you can fight the establishment on this, but the establishment will win!

Interestingly, I was expecting more around remote vs. hybrid vs on-premise. Most recent studies I’ve seen by Gen Z have the majority wanting on-prem experiences!

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.

The Big Regret! How’s that new job treating you?

When 4-5 million people per month change jobs, mostly for more money, there are going to be some consequences! Turns out, the grass isn’t always greener when you get more green!

A Muse survey, reported in the WSJ, recently found out that nearly 75% of workers who’ve changed jobs recently have regretted it, and 50% of those would try and get their old job back! That’s a lot! But it’s not surprising.

The biggest stressors we have in life are having kids, buying a house, and changing jobs. We tend to make bad decisions when stressed, and when you have 4-5 million people per month making that decision, well, that’s a lot of bad decisions!

What will we learn from the Big Regret?!

1. Money isn’t everything, but once you get more of it, it’s hard to go back to the old money level.

2. The old job and the old boss didn’t really suck, and the stuff we thought sucked at the old job, suck at the new job as well. It’s called “work” for a reason.

3. The power of someone paying attention to us and making us feel pretty is the most powerful force on the planet. Never underestimate it.

4. You can go back to your old job, but it will be different. It’s like going back to your ex. You are both a bit smarter and a bit more cautious now. There are some scars. Same people, same company, same job, but it’s not the same. Doesn’t make it bad, but you can’t expect it to be the same.

5. You can’t really judge a job until a couple of things happen: 1. You actually know how to do the job fully; 2. Co-workers stop seeing you as the newbie. In every case, that timeline is different. Be patient and do the job before you judge it.

6. If you find that you have an asshole boss at every job you work, the asshole might be you, not the boss.

7. In the future, when we have more jobs than available workers, let’s not act surprised when people start changing jobs. It’s happened in every similar economic cycle in the modern world. It’s called oppotunity. Don’t confuse that with the world has changed.

What should you do if you hate your new Great Resignation Job?

  • Take some time to really determine what you hate. Was that different from the old job? Was it the same? Will it be that way at the next job? Too many folks don’t know what they hate and they just keep selecting the same jobs they hate time and time again, but with a new pay rate and new address.
  • Some of us immediately want to return back to our old job. That might work, it might not. A psychological thing happens to so many managers once you leave them. It’s like you broke up with them and now you want to run back to that comfort. You’ll find many have no interest, and it has nothing to do with your value and performance, and everything to do with them feeling like you’ll hurt them again.
  • Try and find something you like to do, but call it “work”. This is different than the B.S. you’re told about work doing something you love and you’ll never work another day in your life! I’m no life coach, but that crap doesn’t work. You call it “work” even if you love it, because one day you’ll show up to do what you thought you loved and find out its work, and you’ll be depressed and broken. You don’t love work. You love your family and your God and puppies. You work to put yourself in a position to be able to do what you love. If you’re super lucky, every once in a while those two things will overlap.

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.

It’s Harder to be a Corporate Recruiter than an Agency Recruiter, Today!

And in this corner, weighing at 185 and standing 6 feet 1 inch, from Shrimp Taco Capital of the World, Mr. Corporate Recruiter! And in this corner weighing in at, “wait, what? what do you mean she won’t give us her weight?” Weighing in at the same weight she was the day she got married, and standing 5 feet, 6 inches with heels, from City of Night Lights, Ms. Agency Recruiter!

It’s been an argument that is as old as the profession. Who is better? Who has the tougher job? Etc.

For the most part, it’s an easy breakdown. Corporate recruiting folks, on average, do far more inbound recruiting, than outbound recruiting. Agency folks do far more outbound recruiting than inbound recruiting. Corporate folks have way more meetings and politics. Agency folks have to way more ass-kissing, but get to do way more actual recruiting. Corporate folks do way more administering of the recruiting process. Agency folks do way more contacting of candidates.

All that being said…

Corporate Recruiters Have a More Difficult Job, Today!

Why?

Basically, in today’s market of ultra-low unemployment and way too many open jobs, corporate recruiters are put in a no-win, highly stressful situation. Yep, they get paid salary and very little performance pay, but they are being forced to perform right now, so that big salary is really meaningless when your quality of life sucks!

Let’s breakdown all the reasons:

  • Corporate C-suites are pushing their TA teams over the edge. The c-suite thinks their TA teams suck, but really have no data to support it except for all the open jobs. But when you take a look at what those same TA teams did in 2019 vs. today, in almost all cases they are performing better. But, hey, the job isn’t getting done so let’s bash them over the head with extreme pressure.
  • Corporate recruiters can’t go tell a hiring manager who sucks to just f’off. Oh, you want me to find you someone but your JD sucks, you won’t give me feedback, you won’t give me interview times, and you throw me under the bus in board meetings! Agency recruiters won’t tell you to f’off, but they’ll just not work on your awful opening. Espeically right now when 99% of companies have needs and there is always someone better to work with.
  • Corporate recruiters have been conditioned and trained to do mostly inbound recruiting and for decades it’s actually worked okay. That is what made the job so desirable! Oh, hey, I get paid full salary and great benefits and I just have to post jobs and wait for someone to apply!? Yes! Sign me up! Inbound recruiting, by itself, is not working very well right now. Corporate recruiters are being forced to do heavy lifting and work longer hours. All the while, without the tools and training they need to be successful.
  • Corporate TA teams have worked for decades under this notion from our finance team that every year we should be able to reduce our budgets. Than we have a hiring crisis and some dumb corporate Accountant in finance who thinks they know everything says you can have 10% more to “help” out. When in reality you’re probably closer to around 300% underfunded to actually make it work. Agency folks are historically cheap, but they spend money when they can get the business! And they can turn that around over night!
  • This one stings a little, many Corporate Recruiters didn’t actually take the Corporate Recruiting job because they love to recruit. They took it because they love to administer a recruiting process. Those are two very different things, but now they are being forced t recruit. That sucks. If you took a job that you loved and now someone changed that job, that sucks.

All of this leads to the fact that being an Agency Recruiter, today, is a better job than most Corporate Recruiting jobs. Agency Recruiters have far less stress. There is still stress, but not like corporate. Agency recruiters can pick and choose, way more than corporate, on the openings they work and focus on. The commission stress that agency recruiting gets a bad rap for, isn’t really an issue, today, because everyone is so busy.

Do you agree or disagree? Give me your reasons in the comments!

Is your corporate gig really that bad?

Have you noticed it’s become super fashionable to dump on corporate jobs? The ‘super cool’ thing today is to be an entrepreneur or work for a start-up, get a solo gig, etc. The last thing that is cool is to work in a large, stable, profitable corporation. I mean, the humanity of it all!

Inc. online recently had an article from a GenXer, corporate leader-type, Scott Mautz, who decided to step away from the corporate world and become a “Life Coach” and “Professional Speaker”, so basically unemployed. But he does have advice on why we also should step away from corporate America and go out on our own:

Two things will be the death of us: Death and Meetings. (Okay, I hate meetings, this is mostly true)

I miss the people, but none of the processes. (Yeah, that’s because “processes” are the actual work!)

It’s less about being impressive, and more about making an imprint. (An imprint to whom? Your cat?)

All the little stuff is really little stuff. (Gawd, I love Life Coaches!)

Flexibility is intoxicating. (Yep, and so is a regular paycheck you can count on!)

My presence is more of a present. (I just threw up in my mouth a little.)

There’s no greater pick me up than feeling challenged and growing again. (You couldn’t do that in your job at Proctor & Gamble? Sounds like a “you problem”.)

Your health belongs on a pedestal. Period. (Life Coach advice 101, use “Period” at the end of a sentence to show it’s really, really important!)

I don’t know Scott, I’m just having fun. I’m sure he’s super nice and is loving his life. Good for him!

I don’t like that he believes the best advice to reach all of his points is to walk away from working at a corporation. I think there are two types of people: ‘corporate’ employee types, and there are people who are unemployable in the real world. By the way, I fit much closer to the latter, and Scott sounds like he probably struggled in corporate America as well.

I’ve got very close friends who love working for giant corporations and brands. Doing so comes with some cachet for sure! Plus, the pay and benefits are usually really great. You also have to be high on the political savvy side of things, and you probably hold your tongue more often than you wish to. But, the perks are pretty freaking good!

Almost everything Scott said above is controllable no matter what size organization you work for. Do you want more flexibility? Be a great performer. Turns out, great performance gets flexibility. Want to be more healthy? Okay, then focus on your health and find balance. I find most giant companies do a much better job focusing on the health of their employees than small companies. Good health costs a lot!

Want to be challenged and grow? Take some freaking initiative and do some stretch assignments. I’ve never been told not to challenge myself in an enterprise corporate environment. In fact, it was the one thing that propelled my career in a large company.

The problem isn’t corporate America. Corporate America is great for millions of people. The problem is probably you just don’t fit in that environment, because the reality is corporate gigs can be pretty awesome!

The Tim Sackett Commencement Speech!

It’s that time of year when universities and high schools go through graduation ceremonies and we celebrate educational achievements.  It’s also that time of year when you get bombarded with every great commencement speech ever given.  There is clearly a recipe for giving a great commencement speech.  Here are the ingredients:

1. Make the graduates feel like they are about to accomplish something really great, and not just become part of the machine.

2. Make graduates believe like somehow they will be difference makers.

3. Make graduates think they have endless possibilities and opportunities.

4. Make graduates think the world really wants and need them and can’t wait to work with them.

5. Wear sunscreen.

I think that about sums up every great commencement speech ever given.  Let’s face it, the key to any great speech is not telling people what they need to hear, but telling them what they want to hear!

I would like to give a commencement speech.  I think it would be fun.  I like to inspire people.  Here are the main topics I would hit if I were to give a commencement speech:

1.  Work sucks, but being poor sucks more. Don’t ever think work should make you happy.  Find happiness in yourself, not what you do.

2.  You owe a lot of people, a lot of stuff.  Shut your mouth and give back to them. Stop looking for the world to keep giving you stuff.

3.  No one cares about you. Well, maybe your Mom, if you had a good Mom.  They care about what you can do for them.  Basically, you can’t do much, you’re a new grad.

4.  Don’t think you’re going to be special. 99.9% of people are just normal people, so will you.  The sooner you come to grips with this, the sooner you’ll be happy.

5.  Don’t listen to your bitter parents.  Almost always, the person who works the hardest has better outcomes in anything in life.  Once in a while, a person who doesn’t work hard, but has supremely better talent or connections than you, will kick your ass.  That’s life. Buy a helmet.

6.  Don’t listen to advice from famous people.  Their view of the world is warped through their grandiose belief somehow they made it through hard work and effort. It’s usually just good timing.

7. Find out who you care about in life, and make them a priority.  In this world, you have very few people you truly care about, and who care about you in return.  Don’t fuck that up.

8.  Make your mistakes when you’re young.  Failure is difficult, it’s profoundly more difficult when you have a mortgage and 2 kids to take care of.

9.  It’s alright that sometimes you have to kiss ass.  It doesn’t make you less of a person.

10. Twitter is not what the majority thinks. Twitter are the 10% on the fringe, right and left, don’t confuse what is trending on Twitter with reality, it’s not. The vast majority of America is still Moderate. Smart enough to see a topic probably has at least two sides and willing to understand both and form an opinion.

11.  Wear sunscreen.  Cancer sucks.

So, do you feel inspired now!?  Any high schools or colleges feel free to email me, I’m completely wide open on my commencement speech calendar and willing to give this speech in a moment’s notice!

The Secret Sauce to Landing Your Dream Job? Apply Less!!!

Robert Combs over at Fast Company had a brilliant article recently, and if you’re in Recruiting or HR, it’s a must-read! If you’re looking for a job, it’s also a must-read!

Here was Robert’s concept. A.I. (robots) are running the world. It’s the biggest innovation to come into recruiting since Big Data (wait, didn’t we always have data…). If robots can run the application process and find you where ever you are, Robert thought, why not use a robot to apply to jobs for him. Let the robots fight it out!

So, that’s what he did, he built a robot to go out and find jobs he would want, apply to those jobs, and then even follow up!

He applied to hundreds of jobs in minutes! It got a bit out of control:

So I started slowly casting about for new challenges, initially by applying (perhaps naively) to openings at well-known tech companies like Google, Slack, Facebook, and Squarespace.

Two things quickly became clear to me:

  1. I’m up against leaders in their field, so my resume doesn’t always jump to the top of the pile.
  2. Robots read every application.

The robots are “applicant tracking systems” (ATS), commonly used tools for sorting job applications. They automatically filter out candidates based on keywords, skills, former employers, years of experience, schools attended, and the like.

As soon as I realized I was going up against robots, I decided to turn the tables–and built my own…I fired it up I accidentally applied to about 1,300 jobs in the Midwest during the time it took me to get a cup of coffee across the street. I live in New York City and had no plans to relocate, so I quickly shut it down until I could release a new version.

After several iterations and a few embarrassing hiccups, I settled on version 5.0, which applied to 538 jobs over about a three-month period.

So, what did Robert find out? Here were his biggest learnings:

1. Even your ATS robots suck at giving responses! Around 70% of his applications never got a response!

2. Only 4% of 538 jobs he applied for, got a personal email response from a recruiter.

3. Only about 6% of your hires come from people applying to your career site.

Robert found out what most of us in the business already know. Applying to jobs doesn’t actually work. Yet, we spend so much time, energy, and resources building these great tech stacks and apply processes for just his!

So, what works?

Turns out about 85% of jobs are filled by good old fashion networking. You know someone, who knows someone, who has a friend, whose cousin works in the department you really want to work for.

“Out-of-the-box hires rarely happen through LinkedIn (or any job board, career site) applications. They happen when someone influential meets a really interesting person and says, ‘Let’s create a position for you.’”

I disagree somewhat with the above quote. I’ve worked in large corporate TA shops, we just didn’t run around all willy-nilly creating jobs for really cool, smart people! We did many times find really great people and then stick them into a job we already had open, and usually, the reason we found the person was someone who knew the job was openly referred the person to us.

My advice to job seekers is always the same. Stop applying to jobs, start networking with every person you have a possible shred of connection with, and let them know you’re looking for a position, what position you prefer, what position you would take, and where in the world you would work.

Every minute you spend networking is a thousand times better than every minute you spend online applying for jobs. Robert just proved this!

The Single Most Desired Trait Employers Want: Being an Adult!

Don’t buy into the hype! “Oh, just do what you love!” That’s not being an adult, that’s being a moron! Just do what makes you happy! No, that’s what a child does.

“Tim, we just want to hire some ‘adults’!” I hear this statement from a lot of CEOs I talk with currently!

That means most of the people they are hiring, aren’t considered adults by these leaders. Oh, they fit the demographic of being an adult from an age perspective, but they still act like children!

I tell people when I interview them and they ask about our culture I say, “We hire adults”.

That means we hire people into positions where they are responsible for something. Because we hire adults, they take responsibility for what they are responsible for. If I have to tell them to do their jobs, they’re not adults, they’re children. We don’t employ children.

I think about 70% of the positions that are open in the world could have the same title –

“Wanted: Adults”.

Those who read that and got it could instantly be hired and they would be above average employees for you! Those who read it and didn’t understand, are part of the wonder of natural selection.

How do you be an Adult?

You do the stuff you say you’re going to do. Not just the stuff you like, but all the stuff.

You follow the rules that are important to follow for society to run well. Do I drive the speed limit every single time? No. Do I come to work when my employer says I need to be there? Yes.

You assume positive intent on most things. For the most part, people will want to help you, just as you want to help others. Sometimes you run into an asshole.

You understand that the world is more than just you and your desires.

You speak up for what is right when you can. It’s easy to say you can always speak up for what is right, but then you wouldn’t be thinking like an adult.

You try and help those who can’t help themselves. Who can’t, not who won’t.

My parents and grandparents would call this common sense, but I don’t think ‘being an adult’ is common sense anymore. Common sense, to be common, has to be done by most. Being an adult doesn’t seem to be very common lately!

So, you want to hire some adults? I think this starts with us recognizing that being an adult is now a skill in 2021. A very valuable skill. Need to fill a position, maybe we start by first finding adults, then determining do we need these adults to have certain skills, or can we teach adults those skills!

The key to great hiring in today’s world is not about attracting the right skills, it’s about attracting adults who aren’t just willing to work, but understand the value of work and individuals who value being an adult.

I don’t see this as a negative. I see it as an opportunity for organizations that understand this concept. We hire adults first, skills second. Organizations that do this, will be the organizations that win.

The Motley Fool has a great section in their employee handbook that talks about being an adult:

“We are careful to hire amazing people. Our goal is to unleash you to perform at your peak and stay out of your way. We don’t have lots of rules and policies here by design. You are an amazing adult and we trust you to carve your own path, set your own priorities, and ask for help when you need it.”

You are an amazing ‘adult’ and we trust you

If only it was so simple!