A 30-Minute Commute is All Most People Are Willing to Take!

We all kind of know this fact. Once you get more than 30 minutes away from your job, no matter how you actually come into work, it starts to feel like a chore. You begin to hate the commute. Doesn’t matter if you drive, take a train, walk, etc. 30 minutes, one-way, is our max!

It’s called Marchetti’s Constant: 

Marchetti’s constant is the average time spent by a person for commuting each day, which is approximately one hour. It is named after Italian physicist Cesare Marchetti, though Marchetti himself attributed the “one hour” finding to transportation analyst and engineer Yacov Zahavi.[1] Marchetti posits that although forms of urban planning and transport may change, and although some live in villages and others in cities, people gradually adjust their lives to their conditions (including the location of their homes relative to their workplace) such that the average travel time stays approximately constant.

I can’t tell you how many times, as a Recruiter, I was talked into believing this wasn’t true by a candidate that then screwed me by ghosting on an interview after driving to the location and seeing it was too long, declining an offer late, started the job but then quickly left because the commute was too long, or we had to over-compensate to make up for the time the person spent on the commute.

Probably one out of one hundred people can actually take a longer commute and live with it. 99% of people will eventually crack if the commute is over thirty minutes. So, what does this mean for us trying to attract talent to our organizations? There are certain locations in the U.S. that are much easier to have a thirty-minute commute than others:

On average, large metro areas with the shortage commute time:

  1. Grand Rapids, MI
  2. Rochester, NY
  3. Buffalo, NY
  4. Oklahoma City, OK
  5. Salt Lake City, UT
  6. Kansas City, MO
  7. Milwaukee, WI
  8. Louisville, KY
  9. Hartford, CT
  10. Memphis, TN

All of these metro areas have the majority of their citizens with a commute time under 30 minutes.

Who have the worst commute times? Think about the largest metro areas, even when you take into account their transit options: New York, San Francisco, D.C., Philly, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, etc.

So, it’s thirty minutes one-way or one hour per day, or five hours per week that the average person is willing to commute. I wonder if this plays itself out when you begin to factor in work from home options?

Let’s say you ask someone to commute one hour each way, two hours per day, but you let them work from home two days per week. Total commute time is still more at six hours per week, but would that make a difference enough to retrain and attract more talent to your organization? I have a feeling it would. It’s worth a test for those who have longer commutes at your work location.

Also, I have seen this done by any company, but I would love to see turnover data by commute time! I have seen data on hourly worker turnover and it’s amazing to see the differences by miles from a worksite in a radiant pattern. Every mile you get farther from the work site, the turnover increases exponentially until you get to about five miles where it skyrockets. So, we know if you hire hourly, low-skilled workers, your best bet for retention is less than five miles from your location (this also is about a 15-minute commute – car, public, walking, bike, etc.).

So often we want to focus on the stuff we control, versus stuff the candidate or employee can control, but we think it’s ‘their’ decision. The problem is, we allow people to make bad decisions and don’t think it will affect us, but it does in high turnover. All things being equal, or close to equal with candidates, take the one with the shorter total commute!

Who are the best companies to work for? And why?

I don’t put much stock into “Best Company to Work For” lists. That said, the data provided by Universum in there World’s Most Attractive Employer Report is pretty cool and gives you some insight on how you can help move your organization in the right direction.

What’s wrong with the best places to work lists?

  1. It only measures those employers who actually do the work to be considered for the list.
  2. It’s based on data that someone, other than yourself, decided was criteria for being a great place to work. And that might not align with what your org considers to be a great place to work, or the talent you market to, etc.

All that being said, I find that organizations, every single one who tries out for these lists, probably care about their employee and candidate experience at a pretty high level. Are they really the ‘best’ place to work? I don’t know, but they’re trying and that’s more than most of us can say!

So, who are they?

So, you can already see the bias, right? Tech, Business services, big brands. There isn’t one company on the list you haven’t heard of. Doesn’t that seem strange? You mean in the top 50 companies in the WORLD, there isn’t one company we haven’t heard of who is just great? Well, it’s the “World’s 50 Most Attractive”, so the one thing about being “attractive” is you’re probably known, when it comes to lists like these.

What makes you an “Attractive” employer? 

1. The ability to have high future earnings (you can make a lot of money) – 49.1%

2. You’ll get professional training and development – 43.8%

3. The job is secure (you won’t get laid off) – 39.1%

4. Working for this brand will help your career in the future – 38.8%

5. You have the ability to be creative – 38.7%

6. The company is successful within the market they compete in – 38.5%

7. The company encourages you to go home once in a while – 38.2%

8. You like the people you work with – 38.2%

9. You have leaders who support and they know how to develop talent – 38%

10. Competitive base salary – 37.6%

Anything pop out at you from the list?

What about #1 and #10? Oh, so, really base salary doesn’t mean anything, as long as I make a lot of money from what I’m doing!?! Turns out we release research and data for a reason. If you’re trying to sell employer branding software, it’s important for employers to understand it’s not about how much you pay because at that point you don’t need a brand, you need to pay the most.

But, it’s not what this data says. Like all modern research around this topic, what you make, is significantly more important than things like ‘being developed” and having “challenging work”. The person has to know and understand that financially this will work out very well for me, and then, all the other stuff becomes important once that question is satisfied.

You can not act like the most important thing on the list (#1 – High Future Earnings) is really that different than the last thing on the list (#10- competitive base salary). Those things are married at the hip if we have any inkling about basic compensation theory on where someone starts their career in base salary vs. the impact that has on future earnings, in the millions of dollars, going forward.

Let’s face it, as an employer you want to be able to deliver each of the ten things on the list in a really good way. If you do, you will not have trouble attracting talent or keeping your best talent.

Amazon just got 200,000+ Applications and That is a Giant Problem!

You probably saw the headline from Amazon: “Hiring 30,000!” Let’s face it, Amazon is a rocketship. Have you seen the Amazon vans coming down your street? I’m 100% sure the “Amazon Guy” who drives the van in our neighborhood stops by our house about 250% more times then the mailperson stops by our house!

I’m not actually surprised they have 30,000 openings, but I am surprised that they only got 200,000 applications!

The headline is from Business Insider and they’re mostly professional journalist thinking that when they write the headline everyone will be wowed by the big number, but in reality, that number is scary low! Do the quick math 200,000/30,000 = 6.6 applications per position.

Also, we (Talent Pros) know the reality. For positions that Amazon has no trouble filling, they probably got 600 applications per positions and for the ones they are having trouble filling they got zero or one, and that one wasn’t even close to being qualified!

I’m not sure exactly what Amazon’s applicant funnel looks like but if the top of the funnel only has 6 applicants, that’s a problem! A giant problem! The big question is how many applicants does Amazon need to fill 30,000 currently open, or anticipated open positions. If Amazon has 30,000 positions to fill, right now, how many applicants would they have to plow through to fill those jobs?

This is where the rubber hits the road with your Talent Strategy. There are a number of factors:

  • What’s the average pay per position?
  • Can we group these positions into various categories to better understand how long the process will take?
  • How many are skilled vs. unskilled vs. semi-skilled vs. white-collar?
  • What are the locations?
  • How fast do these need to be filled?
  • How picky are your hiring managers?
  • What’s our comp strategy? Trailing, leading, etc.?

Let’s just throw out some numbers assuming the average pay is around $15/hr. Probably low for many of the openings they are filling, but I’m also assuming the vast majority are warehouse, drivers, service level type roles. Scattered all over the country, but most white-collar positions will be in highly competitive markets.

Let’s say you need at least 20 applicants on average per position. That would mean at a minimum they will need around 600,000. But, there is a massive turnover of those lower-level positions, plus Amazon is known to have a demanding work culture that tends to push folks out even quicker, so you would probably need at least double that to around 1.2 million applications to fill 30,000 openings.

That means, in the real world, Amazon’s TA team is probably right now having a panic attack! A panic attack of being around 1 million applications short to fill 30,000 positions, and that’s not even considering current turn and churn of their giant employee base already, plus who knows what Bezos and the team have cooked up for future growth.

The numbers are staggering, but at scale this the job. It’s just a funnel whether you’re filling 30,000 or 30. You better know how many applications you need on the topside to ensure you get the hires at the end!

Words matter! If you want more gender diversity in your applicants!

New data study released by LinkedIn this week titled “Language Matters Gender Diversity Report” has some awesome insight to how the words we use in job descriptions and job postings have a dramatic impact to who actually applies to jobs. We’ve known some of this for a while, but the LinkedIn data is very robust and compelling at a new level.

Some highlights from the report:

– Women are 16% less likely to apply to a job after viewing it than men.

– Research shows that when words like “aggressive” are used in a job description to describe a company’s workplace, 44% of women (and 33% of men) would be discouraged from applying.

– 25% of women would be discouraged from working somewhere described as “demanding”.

– 61% of women associate the term “soft skills” as a female-gender preferred role vs. 52% for men.

– Women are 4 times more likely to want to be perceived as ‘collaborative’ in the workplace.

So, how do you put all of this into practice?

The reality is the words we choose, thinking these words are going to get us the dynamic talent we desire, might actually be hurting our ability to get the dynamic, gender-inclusive talent we desire. There are a number of technologies on the market currently that can help with the wording (Textio is probably the most known).

The data is very clear, the language you use on your job postings and job descriptions will attract or detract certain people from applying. Want to give yourself a chance to get more females to apply, use phrases like “soft skills” or “collaborative” as a desired skill set you’re looking for. Don’t use words like “aggressive” and “demanding” or you’re more likely to get fewer females to apply, and there are a whole host of these types of words.

If you can’t afford the technology that will help you catch this language, I would ask for help from females in your organization (not necessarily in HR) to give you feedback around language and suggestions for things that would get them to be more likely to apply. I find most employees welcome the chance to give TA and HR feedback about our work! 😉

What we know is cutting and pasting the same job description you’ve used since 2004 isn’t working or helping. Most job descriptions, even today, are written in a male-dominated voice that discourages females from applying. It’s very hard to read and see, but the data is screaming at us that it’s a problem that we aren’t paying attention to. We all (male, female, non-binary, etc.) all write in a male-dominated voice because that’s how we’ve been trained to write. That’s what we read. So, it’s natural for us. It’s unnatural for us to change it. Welcome to bias in hiring.

 

DisruptHR Detroit 3.0 Speaker Applications Now Being Accepted!

For those who don’t know, I’m involved with DisruptHR Detroit with an amazing team of HR pros and leaders, and we are putting on our 3rd event on Thursday, September 19th at 6 pm.

Great DisruptHR events start with Great content and we are now Accepting Speaker Applications for DisruptHR Detroit 3.0!

Due Date is August 2nd!

Tickets for this event will go on sale on August 5th and we’ll announce the full slate of speakers and the agenda on August 9th.

The location of DisruptHR 3.0 will be downtown Detroit at The Madison. Click through to the DisruptHR Detroit site for more information.

Who makes a Great DisruptHR Speaker

Anyone with a passion for HR, Recruiting, People and pushing the envelope around what, why and how we do what we do every day in the world of work!

We especially love practitioners of all experience levels. You don’t know have to be a twenty-year vet to be great at DisruptHR! You can be an HR pro in your first year on the job. It’s all about passion and ideas!

So, what makes a great DisruptHR Talk?

  1. It’s 5 minutes – so you better be tight around what your topic and idea is!
  2. 20 slides that move every 15 seconds – you don’t control this, we do. So you better practice!
  3. No selling products or services – Yes to selling ideas and passions!
  4. Make us feel something – laugh, cry, anger – have a take and be proud of that take!
  5. We see and feel your passion.

We’ve built DisruptHR Detroit to be a supportive hub of HR and Recruiting. We want people to come and challenge us, but know you’ll be rewarded with an audience that will support you and cheer you on. These talks aren’t easy, and we get that! The audience gets that!

How can you speak at DisruptHR Detroit 3.0?

APPLY to Speak it’s easy! It’s a great development opportunity for those looking to get on stage and have some professional experience speaking. You actually get a professionally produced video of your talk that you can use as evidence of your ability. It’s also a great networking opportunity with the Detroit metro HR and Talent community!

Job Descriptions vs. Job Postings with @LRuettimann and I (Video) @HRTMSInc #SHRM19

Laurie Ruettimann and I discuss the differences between a job description and a job posting and review a great piece of technology called, JDXpert, we did a demo on. Check it out!

HRTMS Inc. is a human resources software company that specializes in Job Information and Description Management. Its groundbreaking solution JDXpert allows you to bring structure and efficiencies to the way job information is constructed, managed and stored. HRTMS works with a wide range of organizations including manufacturing, healthcare, education, retail, finance, pharmaceuticals, energy, technology, hospitality, professional services, and media services. Since its release in 2010, JDXpert continues to be the most comprehensive and powerful job description management tool on the market.

HRTMS is allowing Laurie and I to give away a free Ebook – “10 Ways To Improve Your Job Descriptions”! (Just click on the link to download!)

 

Do you do Capacity Modeling in Recruiting? You should be! #ghOPEN

Out at Greenhouse OPEN this week and I was completely captivated by one of the sessions and the topic of Capacity Modeling in recruiting. It was introduced at the conference by Shane Noe of Box, and he was cool enough to share a url so everyone can download the information to do it on your own.

I love that!

So, what is Capacity Modeling and why is important for TA and HR Leaders add this to their recruiting operations?

In simple terms, Capacity Modeling is the process of determining the production capacity needed by an organization to meet changing demands for its products. In recruiting then it’s the process of determining your recruiting capacity needed by the organization to meet the demands of your talent needs.

Here’s what happens in real life. Your talent acquisition team is working their butts off day in and day out. Little by little you keep getting a bit better, but most days you’re still just keeping your heads above water. But still, you’re making it happen!

Then the CEO comes into your office on an idle Thursday and says we’ve made some decisions and it’s going to have an impact on recruiting. We’ve decided to make an investment in “X” and as such we will need to hire an additional 300 employees in the next 12 months. Can you make this happen?

The savvy TA leader will say “No!” immediately! Most TA leaders will say “Of course! Just let us know what you need and we’ll make it happen!” That’s failure point number one.

You truly have no idea if you can make this happen. What you know is it feels like you’re at full capacity and hiring an additional 30 new people will kill you, 300? You might as well just quit now.

Capacity Modeling allows you to tell your CEO, “let me show you some data about where we are at, and how we can meet your needs”. We are currently at 87% capacity. The best practice is to be at 85% since we will always have stuff pop up and we need that extra cushion. If you would like us to hire an additional 300 that would put us at “X” over capacity, so we will need the following time and resources to meet that need.

That my friends is a powerful conversation that puts you at a completely different level in your career. Too often we just throw ourselves on the sword and say we can do something when we really have no idea if we can do it, and we mostly fail. We have to better than that. Take a look at Shane’s information. It’s a bit technical but very doable and worth it!

Greenhouse Open is a non-user user conference. GH has put a ton of time into producing some of the best recruiting content on the planet for its users, but I would say as a recruiting conference alone it’s one of the better ones I’ve attended. Kudos to them. If you’re looking for a top Hiring Platform that meets your end to end talent needs, you should be demoing Greenhouse.

Transform Recruitment Marketing Live Stream Registration is Now Open! (Free!)

June 20-21st I’ll be in Boston as the Emcee at Transform Recruitment Marketing conference. This is the 5th year of Transform and I’m super excited to be attending, but also super excited that Transform has opened up this conference to a virtual audience for those who can’t attend in person, for free!

I’m constantly speaking and writing about all kinds of Recruitment Marketing tactics, ideas, and strategies. It’s still a very new and fast evolving function within talent acquisition. What I love about Transform is they’ve gone out and really worked to bring in actual corporate TA pros who are recruitment marketing practitioners to share what they are doing and what’s working for them!

The 2019 Transform conference will have speakers from: Delta Airlines (“The Kid” – Holland Dombeck), Intel, CVS, Washington Post, IBM, Sprint, Fiserv, Cox, etc. It’s loaded with practitioners sharing all of their secrets and best practices around recruitment marketing and talent attraction.

So, what do I expect to learn at this year’s Transform?

– Connecting Employee Experience and Candidate Experience

– Next generation Talent Analytics

– Increasing Conversion Ratios of Career site Visitors

– How do we recruit Gen Z vs. all the rest

– Enabling and Sustaining Your RM Strategy

– Activating Talent Communities at Scale

Plus so much more!

I love that Transform is opening up the content to a virtual audience. Let’s be honest, so many of us just can’t afford to attend a live event each year, or you already have planned a different event. Is it the same as being there in person, no, but in TA we make do with the resources we have! If you get the chance to come next year, the real miss of not being there in person is building the connections and community of other like-minded folks that you can share and build ideas from. It’s really the reason we all go to live events!

Register for the Free Virtual Transform Recruitment Marketing Conference (who won’t get all of the content, let’s be fair some great folks paid a ton of money to be with me in Boston at the Live event, but you’ll get a lot!) Already thousands have registered, so I know this content is needed by so many!

 

Career Confessions of Gen Z: Make Your Data Work For You

When you think about the top companies in the world, what are the first companies that come to mind?

I would bet that Google was one of the first companies that popped in your mind.

I am positive that HR professionals around the world are trying to figure out the formula to building such a great workplace environment for employees. After reading the book, Work Rules: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Block, I learned that one of the keys to Google’s continued success is metrics.

Every new initiative or process that they introduce to employees is calculated and analyzed to determine how successful it was. They often use a small sample group to test and get feedback on the new idea.

The problem with most companies is that when they introduce something new, they don’t have a strategy as to how they will determine the program’s success. Companies are basing the success of initiatives purely on opinion.

In 2016, fewer than a third of all projects were successfully completed on time and budget over the course of the year (Capterra). Here are a few tips to using metrics to properly gage the success of a project:

Set Clear Goals and Objectives

What are we trying to accomplish with this project that is measurable? What benefit will this project bring to involved stakeholders? What is our budget and time frame for this project?

These are all simple questions that should render the data that you need to measure the success of the initiative.

For some companies, there may be historical data from the past that you can use to compare a new project in terms of success. This can be helpful for looking at what was done in the past and how it can be improved upon.

However, not every company has been around long enough to use historical data. These companies can use data from other companies who have done something similar as a benchmark. No need to reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to.

Get Feedback From Those Involved

Getting the proper feedback from the people involved in a project is essential for improving on that project in the future. How else are you going to know what employees like and what they don’t like? Come up with a creative way to get honest, useful responses.

Make Sure it Aligns with the Company Strategy

I’ve seen companies come up with great ideas that are successful as soon as they are implemented. The only problem is that the project does not fall in line with the vision and values of the company. Whether that project has success or not, you must consider what message you are sending to your employees.

Not everybody likes dealing with numbers, I know, but numbers can be very beneficial if used properly. I’ll leave you with a quote by the musical genius Jay Z:

“Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t lie”


Jonathan Sutherlin is a human resource professional with experience in the engineering and automotive industry. Currently going for his Master’s in Organizational Change Leadership in a hybrid program at Western Michigan University. He is very passionate about reading, philanthropy, basketball, and fitness. You can connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn or through email at jonsutherlin@gmail.com. When Jonathan is not at work trying to impact lives, you can either catch him in the gym or nose deep in a good book!

The 2018 Emerging Jobs Report is Here!

LinkedIn released their 2018 Emerging Jobs Report today and as always it’s packed full of some great information that speaks to where we see the world of Recruiting today, but also what we need to keep our eye for the future! 

So, what stood out in the latest report? First and foremost it’s what jobs are hot this year to last – 

So, I think we’ve all been hearing all of this A.I. and Blockchain stuff. The reality is, we aren’t really talking about true A.I., it’s Machine Learning (ML) and we’ve seen giant increases in the needs for these skills. 

Out of the top 15 emerging jobs (those jobs growing the fastest on LinkedIn) 6 of those were related to ML, Data, and Blockchain. That’s significant in terms of the products and technology that are being built by companies for the future. 

What else did we learn? 

While the report is designed to make us believe it’s all about Tech hiring, it’s not really all about tech hiring! 

  • Sales Executives
  • Recruiters
  • Realtors 
  • Account Executives (another title for sales)
  • Administrative Assistants 

Were all super high on the list as well. What does that mean? Well, those really aren’t emerging or growing jobs, it’s more about who’s living, searching, and spending time on LinkedIn. That might not be the patronage that LI really wants long term for the health of the site, in terms of your normal mix. 

The largest skills gap is still good old fashion oral communications! 

Again, I’m not sure how much of this is truly a skills gap and how much of that coming up in the data is just a function of the types of roles people are trying to recruit for on LI. If the report shows that all of these A.I., Blockchain, and Data jobs are what’s truly hot, oral communication wouldn’t be the most critical thing in those roles. 

But, oral communication is definitely a skill that is in short supply for most professions, and much needed by most professions outside of tech, like sales type roles. 

Machine Learning is definitely a skill set that employers are begging for. I reached out to my buddy and Recruiting savant, Steve Levy, just the other day as we had a search for a client demanding 10 years of ML experience. I was like, I don’t even remember ML being used as a term ten years ago! 

Steve confirmed, it most likely wasn’t. We did find some mention from 2009, but that was about it. So, the hysteria is real. Entry level position, five years of experience! 

I was surprised not to see Autonomous vehicle knowledge on there as this is another skill set we see companies begging for and we are constantly helping our clients in these searches. It’s not just about cars. It’s about delivery vehicles, mass transit, freight hauling, garbage trucks, etc. If it moves people or things, it’s going autonomous eventually. 

Check out the report. It’s great read at the end of the year as you’re preparing for recruiting plans for 2019!