When in Doubt, Hiring Attractive People Usually Works Out!

The first time I wrote that in a post, it was 2012 with a post called, “Hire More Beautiful People!“. In 2014, it was, “Do Managers Have a Bias for Hiring Attractive People!” (Spoiler Alert – Yes!) In 2016, I doubled down as the science continued to tell us, pretty people, make the best employees with, “Pretty People Make the Best Employees!”  In 2018, it was “The One Big Problem with Being Pretty!

All of them pre-Internet outrage wars. So, the fall out was minimal. A few ruffled feathers from some ugly folks, but all in all, people believe science! That’s hard for the extra-libs! They want to kill Trump for not believing science, but then it’s hard for them to kill me when I’m using science.

So, here we are in 2019, the height of #outrage culture and Business Insider feed my obsession to write about the Attractiveness Bias in hiring with, “11 Scientific Reasons Why Attractive People Are More Successful in Life!” I love science!

I think I write about our need to hire attractive people so much because it’s right there in our face and yet no one wants to admit to it! You see, I was raised a red-headed stepchild. I know what it’s like to not be attractive and lose out in life to some idiot who looks like Brad Pitt. To me, it might be the biggest travesty of our time!

So, what does “science” tell us about being attractive (remember – this is science, it’s not me!):

Since I’ve been writing about this concept of “Hiring Pretty” I haven’t really changed my position. When in doubt, hire an attractive one!

It’s a bit fascinating to me that there is so much research about this topic. But, like me, I think dorky smart people, who most of us wouldn’t consider attractive, are trying to prove all of this wrong, but we can’t! Those damn pretty people still keep coming out on top! It’s like they have pretty privilege.

There is one giant reason most people don’t get upset by this concept of “hire pretty”. For the most part, we all think we’re fairly attractive! Not all the time, but at our best, when our game is flowing great, we look in the mirror and go “yeah, I’d hit that!” Come on! Be honest! You believe that!

I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a hotel room getting ready to go down and speak and look in the mirror and think, “yep, they’re about to get destroyed by you, beautiful bastard!” Then, sixty minutes later, I see pictures of myself on social media and I look like a troll! A f@cking TROLL!

Every time I’ve ever struggled with getting a hiring manager to actually make a decision to hire, and they just won’t, I know the problem. I haven’t given them someone pretty enough to hire! Once I find an attractive candidate, they always pull the trigger and make the hire. It’s science, we can’t stop it.

So, kill me in the comments. I’m just sharing our reality that we continue to ignore. We love to hire pretty!

The Employee Walk of Shame

I’ve lost jobs and I’ve called old employers to see if they would want to hire me back. I’ve usually gotten a response that sounded something like, “Oh, boy would we want you back but we just don’t have anything. Good Luck!”  Many of us in the talent game talk about our employee Alumni and how we should engage our Alumni but very few of us really take true advantage of leveraging this network.

I was reminded of this recently when a friend of mine took a new job.  You know the deal, shorter drive, more money, growing company and oh, boy, just where do I sign!?  The fact was, it was all they said, shorter drive, more money and they were growing, but they forgot to tell him was our operations are broken beyond repair, you will work 7 days a week and probably 12-14 hours per day because of the mess we have, but keep your head up it’s the only way you won’t drown here!

So, now what does he do?

He already had the going away party, bar night out with the work friends with the promises to do lunches and not get disconnected, packed up and unpack the office into the new office.  Let’s face it, big boy, you’re stuck!  Not so fast.  He did the single hardest thing an employee can do he called his old boss after 7 days and said one thing, “I made a mistake, can I come back?”

Luckily for him, his past boss was a forward-thinking leader and so this past Monday he did the 2nd hardest thing an employee can do he made the “Employee Walk of Shame“.

You can imagine the looks from people who didn’t know him well, “Hey, wait a minute, didn’t you leave?” Having to tell the same story over and over, feeling like he failed, like he wasn’t good enough to make it in the new position.

HR plays a huge part in this story because it was HR who can make this walk of shame a little less rough.  Let’s face it, it is different.  You just don’t leave and come back as nothing happened. Something did happen, there was a reason he left and that reason isn’t going away.  A transition back needs to be put into place even though he was gone seven days.  It’s not about just plugging back in, it is about re-engaging again and finding out what we all can do better so it doesn’t happen again.

It’s also about making sure you let those employees who you truly want back, that they are welcome to come back (assuming you have the job) and not just saying that to everyone.  There are employees who leave that you say a small prayer to G*d and you are thankful they left!  There are others where you wish there was a prayer you could say so they wouldn’t leave.

Make it easy for your employees to do the Walk of Shame, it helps the organization, but realize they are hurting, they are embarrassed, but they are also grateful!

It’s Super Hot outside, do I need to come to work?

With all the heatwave stuff hitting the news this week I’m assuming someone has gotten this request. I get it, if you’re working outside, this could be dangerous! I’m not talking to you!

I’m talking to the moron who works a job inside, but somehow they think it’s too hot outside to get their butt to work and work in air conditioning! The true HR pros know what I’m saying!

I’m in the north, in Michigan, so we get this when it gets super cold in the winter. Again, if you work outside, super cold is dangerous so it’s a concern for us as HR pros and leaders. If you work inside, what you’re really saying is “yeah, I hate to work. I hate this job. I hate this company. I’m trying to figure out anyway not to come to work…”

Nope! You don’t need to come to work! In fact, you don’t ever have to come to work again. You. Are. Fired! (Like “fire” Fired with hot flames, beat it!)

I want to hear from you on this super hot Friday! Hit me in the comments!

Have you, or do you expect, getting some calls today from any of your employees asking if they need to come to work because there is a heat emergency on the news!?!

Enjoy the Nelly cut!

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!

You Can’t Teach Your Employees to be Human! #Transform

You might have seen this in the news a few weeks back. Mom and Dad take their Autistic son to a Universal Theme Park in Orlando. The son is over the top excited for the Spiderman ride, and Murphy’s Law comes into play.

The family gets to the ride and it’s broken down. The son loses it. Full blown, five-alarm tantrum on the ground in front of the ride. Mom and Dad are doing all they can to help him calm down, he’s having none of it, when this happens:

So, you see the son with his headphones and you see an actual park employee from Universal from the Spiderman ride who came over and got on the ground and just laid down with this child. Let everyone know who was gawking that you know, it’s okay, some days the Spiderman ride breaks down and it sucks and we all want to scream about it.

The child eventually calmed down with the help of the employee. The parents were all so grateful for the assist and help.

This is a great human story. This is also a great story for Universal’s recruiting team! Let’s be honest. The reality is, the TA team really had nothing to do with this. They ran their process, and out of that, got lucky enough to hire a person who had these capabilities and a giant heart.

You can’t expect or set out to hire, individuals like this woman. She’s a unicorn. In fact, I would bet that Universal in their training would probably use an example like this of what not to do from a liability standpoint! All that said, it happened and it was wonderful.

You might see a story like this and say to yourself, “we need to add this example into our onboarding so that our new employees know this is what we want them to be like!” That’s really unfair to your new hires. Some might see this and think that’s the scariest thing I can imagine, but they might be willing to do a thousand other great things.

The biggest learning from an HR standpoint on this for me is that we can’t eliminate risk in our environments. Things are going to happen. We hope we hire and train employees to do the ‘right’ thing. To be kind. To be human. To do what they would want someone to do for them in a similar circumstance.

Also, to know, when we ask our employees to take the risk of being kind, being human, etc. that sometimes it’s going to backfire, but if it was done with positive intent and good heart we are willing to take that risk.

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!

 

The Myth of Being a “Highly Selective Employer”

We all think about it, don’t we?  We all want to believe in this notion that we only hire the best and brightest. We only hire the highest quality candidates.  We are ‘highly’ selective!

We’ll show our executives really cool data that shows how ‘highly’ selective we are.  The number of applicants per hire, 25,000 people applied for this position and we only took the best one!

I read something interesting from Time magazine and college admissions at highly selective colleges. Think Harvard, Yale, MIT, etc.  Schools that are super hard to get into because of how selective they are much like the hiring process of your organization. From Time’s article:

“What many parents and students don’t realize is that increasing numbers of applications isn’t necessarily a sign that it’s harder to get into a selective school; rather, it’s a sign of changes in behavior among high school seniors. More and more people who aren’t necessarily qualified are applying to top schools, inflating the application numbers while not seriously impacting admissions. In fact, it has arguably become easier to get into a selective school, though it may be harder to get into a particular selective school…

The most recent study available from the National Association for College Admission Counseling shows that between 2010 and 2011 (the most recent years available), the percentage of students applying to at least three colleges rose from 77% to 79% and the percentage of students applying to at least seven colleges rose from 25% to 29%. In 2000, only 67% of students applied to three or more colleges, while 12% applied to seven or more.

The net effect of this behavior is to create an illusion of increased selectivity.

Especially at the most selective schools, an increase in applications generally leads to the acceptance of a smaller percentage of the students who apply. However, students who meet the academic and extracurricular thresholds to qualify for competitive schools will still get into a selective college; it’s just less likely that they’ll get into a specific competitive college.

These schools work hard to not admit students who won’t attend;  the acceptance rate and the matriculation rate (the percentage of accepted students who attend) are key measures in many college ranking methodologies, so both admitting too many students and admitting students who don’t attend can hurt a college’s ranking.”

An illusion of increased selectivity, you see, just because you turn down a high number of candidates doesn’t make you more selective, it makes you popular.  Too many organizations and HR departments are marketing that they are highly selective based on some simple numbers that give an illusion of being highly selective when in reality, they’re just good at processing a high number of applicants, but not really being ‘more’ selective.

Just because you turn down 24,999 candidates doesn’t make you selective it just means you have a high number of applicants.

So what does make you selective?

Quality of hire. Which I can argue is another very subjective metric in most organizations, but at least it’s a start.  Can you demonstrate with real measurable items that the applicants you’re hiring are better or getting better than those previously hired?  This creates real evidence that you’re becoming ‘more’ selective and on your way to becoming ‘highly’ selective.

You are only “selective” if you’re are actually only hiring the best candidate in your market in the position you have open, not the only candidate who just happens to apply to your job and is the tallest of the seven dwarfs at the time you have the job open.

 

Are you measuring the Intelligence of your candidates? You should be!

Hire for Smarts. Train for Skill. It doesn’t sound right, does it?

The old adage is “Hire for attitude, train for skill”. The reality is, we probably have done this wrong for a long time. We hire for attitude, thinking we can train the person to do what we need if they just have the right attitude. Then Timmy turns out to be dumb and we can’t train him to do anything!

Lazlo at Google tried to tell us this, but we didn’t really listen in his “Work Rules” book. Scientist have been trying to tell us for years as well, that if you don’t have the ability to watch someone actually do the job you need them to do, the best bet across the board is to hire the smartest person you can, that actually wants to do the job you have available.

Smart + Desire to do the job = a pretty good bet on a hire. 

A new study just out doubles down on this concept that hiring smart people will actually give you an employee who is also more cooperative:

Our experimental method creates two groups of subjects who have different levels of certain traits, such as higher or lower levels of Intelligence, Conscientiousness, and Agreeableness, but who are very similar otherwise. Intelligence has a large and positive long-run effect on cooperative behavior…Note that agreeable people do cooperate more at first, but they don’t have the strategic ability and consistency of the higher IQ individuals in these games.  Conscientiousness has multiple features, one of which is caution, and that deters cooperation, since the cautious are afraid of being taken advantage of.  So, at least in these settings, high IQ really is the better predictor of cooperativeness, especially over longer-term horizons.

The great thing about intelligence is it has nothing to do with actual educational success. A person can be a high school drop out, but still, be intelligent. You might also see a number of bachelor degreed individuals who test fairly low on intelligence. So, whether you are hiring for a low-skill job, or a high-skilled job, intelligence is a fairly good predictor in hiring, as compared to things like personality.

I would love to see a large organization, someone who does thousands of hires per year, actually measure the intelligence of those who term from their employment! We haven’t seen this, because of the obvious difficulty of getting a past employee to take an intelligence test, but I think the right organization/research partner could make this happen. I theorize that when taking a look at performance and tenure, you would see lower intelligent employees performing lower and having less tenure than those employees who have higher intelligence.

Cognitive assessments are actually fairly cheap and quick, and some organizations are using gamification to measure cognitive ability of applicants as an application pre-screener currently.

I have a bias against personality profiles. I think they are mostly witchcraft and sorcery. In my career, I just haven’t seen them consistently predict better hires during the interview screening process across all levels and kinds of candidates. So, I know I have that bias. On the other hand, I’ve seen cognitive ability raise the level of an organization when used consistently over time.

What do you think?

Career Confessions of Gen Z | The Power of Seeing – B-roll!

Hello everyone!

Thank you for joining me on this Gen Z journey. In the last episode, I talked about what verbal and spoken content can do for your recruiting methods, but I think it’s just one side of things to simply hear what a job is like. It takes it to a whole other level when you can visually capture what the processes of a job are like. So follow me into the world of b-roll!

(Don’t worry, I’ll explain it all in the video) 😉


Skyler Baty is a Videographer and Video Editor for SkillScout and lives in the Detroit Metro Area in Michigan. Skyler loves doing video work and helping organizations with their video projects. Connect with him, he’s a genius with this stuff!

 

 

 

 

It’s International Women’s Day! Is Your CEO Female? #ReferHer #BalanceForBetter #IWD2019

6% of CEOs in the S&P 100 are female. 50.8% of the population is female.

I’m not super at math, but that seems like a disconnect, right?

Today is International Women’s Day and a young lady (Tatiana Hollander-Ho) reached out to me this week. She’s an entry level marketing pro for The Ladders, 2018 grad from NYU and she said, “Hey, you have a passion around women in the workplace and I want to get this #ReferHer going and make a difference. Can you help?” (FYI – go connect with her – she’s going to be a great one in our industry!)

I can do what I do, which is write about and socialize it and support it! #ReferHer is an awesome idea. We need to refer more women to leadership positions, period.

I’m not one of these dudes who just goes out and flies the female flag because it’s the politically correct thing to do. I’m also not one that buys into the bullshit studies that say “Female CEOs return better financial returns!” – those are bad studies with flawed data – you can’t run a regression on companies run by women and the financial performance and call that good data.

There might be a correlation, but there is absolutely no causation. If you believe in those studies, you also believe in the study that says if your name is Mike and you’re over six foot and you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you will have higher financial returns than anyone else, not named Mike. Those two studies say the exact same thing.

That’s the problem, right!? You see it, right!? You can’t just throw out garbage and expect smart people not to get it and just blindly support females. The opposite actually happens. Smart people see that and go, that’s not what that says, so now I don’t buy any of it. Smart people – both women and men.

I’ve worked for great women. Strong women who are great leaders. These women, in my opinion, had many traits that most of the male leaders I’ve worked for didn’t have. In most cases, these traits made them leaders employees wanted to follow, not forced to follow.

We have this awful bias that says white dudes over six feet make better leaders. It’s literally been drilled into us for 100 years. Look at the Presidents all the way up to Obama and after. White dudes over six foot have nothing buy stature. We are betting that the trait of stature is the most important thing for running a high functioning organization. It’s insanity, right?

The reality is we can solve this. We can. Not overnight, but little by little.

It starts with flooding your leadership ranks with women. That means we have to give opportunities to women to move into leadership in ways we haven’t before. We have to develop Women Leadership Councils in our organizations who can tap on the shoulders of female employees and invite them in and mentor them into leadership roles. We have to purposeful about doing this. It won’t happen organically, we’ve been waiting for a hundred years for it to happen organically.

So, how do you start?

It’s super simple!

Step 1 – Tell your c-suite you are starting a Women’s Leadership Council in your organization and you need their support. 100% will give their support because if they don’t the backlash would be tremendous.

Step 2– Be inclusive, not exclusive. If a woman in your organization shows any sign of potential leadership you pull them into your council.

Step 3– Focus on hard leadership skills, not soft skills. Give them the inside information around how the company makes money or doesn’t make money. Show them how to budget and write a budget. Teach them how to performance manage. Show them how to balance themselves for great success. Show them how to support each other in this drive upward.

Step 4 – Make your C-suite come, present, participate, and watch. They need to see your smart females in action.

Step 5 – Draft your high potential leader internal mobility charts and scoreboard it publicly within the c-suite. Tell them the minimum goal is 50/50. Show it to them monthly.

Step 6 – Make female leadership goals/hires part of your c-suite annual bonus. At least 30%.

It can be done. This isn’t hard. But it has to be purposeful.

Check out LinkedIn’s Gender Insights Report as well it’s loaded with great information on helping solve this problem!