You Have No F@cking Idea What You Want!

Can I be real a second?
For just a millisecond?
Let down my guard and tell the people how I feel a second?

We have a core problem in HR and Talent Acquisition that might be impossible to solve. On one side, we have hiring managers who think they know what they want, but any Recruiter can tell you that changes by the minute and by the candidate you put in front of them. Can you spell conscious bias?

On the other hand, we have candidates who truly believe they know what they want, but until they actually get into the job and work with the team and get a feel for how the culture works, they also have no clue of what they really want. Can you spell clueless?

All the while, the reality is that none of us really know what we want.

Oh, Timmy, I do! I want more money! Ugh, this new job with more money sucks!

Oh, Timmy, I do! I want passion and purpose in my work! Ugh, this new job doesn’t pay enough for me to live!

Oh, Timmy, I do! I want a job that pays me more than I should be making, makes me feel like I’m helping out the world in some major way, allows me to come and go as I please, and never asks me to produce any evidence of any work that I ever did!

Well, yes, yes, you do know what you want!

Even then, some idiot would find fault with that job. The brand isn’t cool anymore…(and here comes the throat punch!).

Humans are awful at knowing what they want and combining what’s best for them. We tend to pick things that make us feel good at the moment, but a week later, we hate ourselves for it. This makes employee selection super difficult. You have two people meeting each other for an hour, if you’re lucky and then making a life-changing decision. Turns out, that rarely works out well for either side.

We try to throw psychology and technology into the mix, and honestly, this would work better, but we still throw a human in the loop (candidate) at some point who basically can’t be honest with themselves or the A.I., and we can’t figure out why this entire thing keeps failing.

So, what should we do?

I think we should just select employees based on a lottery. “Are you interested in this job? and Do you meet the requirements?” Two yes’s, and you get a shot at the job lottery! Let the odds forever be in your favor! Good luck.

I mean, would it really be worse than what you’re doing right now?

I don’t know.

I hope you liked the picture of my puppy.

“Quiet Quitting” Isn’t New!

Over the past week or so, the term “Quiet Quitting” has been everywhere on mass media. LIKE, OMG, CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT THESE DAMN KIDS ARE DOING NOW!?! (Side note: Can journalists be any lazier than they are right now? Wheee, look what I created!? Um, what?)

Gag me with a spoon…

We’ve had employees basically decide to stop working but keep collecting a paycheck since the first caveman hired his cousin to help hunt and gather! We just weren’t creative enough to label it something cool. For years I would call them the “Walking Dead.” Same scenario. An employee decides they hate you and want to quit, but they don’t have another job to go to yet.

Quiet Quitting is the result of The Big Regret!

Now, if we want to get all creative and sh*t, I came up with the term “The Big Regret”! Look it up. I can point to the exact date and piece I wrote. In fact, I had a conversation with my friends at Oracle about titling a piece so we could get out in front of this concept before everyone else. Welcome to marketing, kids!

Because so many people have changed jobs over the past twelve months and hated the new job, we have a rash of “quiet quitting” going on. It’s all because they love the new money but hate the new job. They have, wait for it, “BIG REGRET”! Gawd, I love it when I’m smart and right and cute.

What can you do about “Quiet Quitting”?

Fire their ass immediately!

If you have someone who’s not performing and really just collecting a check and waiting for a better job to come along. I’m going all NSYNC on them – Bye, Bye, Bye!

Yes, finding and keeping talent is very hard. No, we don’t put up with quiet quitting because of that. The people you have working for you love their job. Love your company. They will hate you for keeping the quiet quitters.

Look, I don’t care if you want to quit. In fact, I’ll help you if you want. But while we are paying you, there will be performance expectations. That’s how the real world works. You get paid. You perform. If you decide not to perform, you better get ready to be terminated.

Happy Monday, HR Gang!

5 Signs You Should Not Make That Job Offer!

If I have learned anything at all in my HR/Recruiting career, it’s that everyone has an opinion on what makes a good hire. If you ask 100 people to give you one thing they focus on when deciding between candidates, you’ll get 100 different answers!

I’ve got some of my own. They might be slightly different than yours, but I know mine will work!  So, if you want to make some better selections, take note, my young Padawans:

1. Crinkled up money. Male or female, if you pull money out of your pocket or purse and it’s crinkled up, you’ll be a bad hire!  There is something fundamentally wrong with people who can’t keep their cash straight. The challenge you have is how do you get a candidate to show you this? Ask to copy their driver’s license or something like that!

2. Males with more selfies on their Instagram than all other photos. I don’t even have to explain this (also, don’t go do a count on my IG!).

3. Slow walkers.  If you don’t have some pep in your step, at least for the interview, you’re going to be a drag as an employee.

4. My Last Employer was so Awesome! Yeah, that’s great. We aren’t them. Let’s put a little focus back on what we got going on right here, sparky. Putting too much emphasis on a job you love during the interview is annoying. We get it. It was a good gig. You f*ck’d it up and can’t let go. Now we’ll have to listen about it for the next nine months until we fire you.

5. Complaining or being Rude to waitstaff.  I like taking candidates to lunch or dinner, just to see how they treat other people. I want servant leaders, not assholes, working for me. The meal interview is a great selection tool to weed out bad people.

What are your signs not to make an offer?  Share in the comments!

What’s Your Beauty Premium at Your Remote Job?

If you know me, you know I love talking about beauty and attractiveness and the impact it has on work! We like to think that how you look has nothing to do with how you perform. Ugly people are told that from birth! “It doesn’t matter how you look, Timmy. You can still be great!”

Academically, that actually does prove out very well, in study after study. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite, and it might be the biggest thing no one talks about at work. This week the newest beauty study hit the street titled, “Student beauty and grades under in-person and remote teaching.”

Okay, I know you’re saying this says student, not employ, so it doesn’t count! Bare with me…

First, this is a legit study, not some vendor survey thing. This was done by a legit PhD at a legit university.

What does the study say?

  1. Both men and women have a beauty premium in terms of their performance. This means, that more beautiful you are in a university class, the more likely you are to be graded higher. (This is real!)
  2. With in-person classes, the beauty premium is the same for men and women. Basically, pretty boys and girls equally get an advantage in grading.
  3. With remote classes, the beauty premium only works for men!

Why does this matter to remote work?

If we know there is a beauty premium in human behavior when judging the performance of students, how hard is it really for us to believe our supervisors and managers also don’t have a beauty premium when it comes to determining work performance? I would argue that there is very little difference between the two judging activities.

This means as many of our jobs switch to remote, we now have an issue with women having their performance judged harsher than men when working in a remote environment because they will no longer get any beauty premium. Again, this only works with beautiful people. The ugly ones were already getting judged more harshly.

We love to believe that remote work favors females for a number of reasons. Saving time on the commute, easier to arrange care for kids and those they might be responsible for, etc. But now we have this issue!

The work beauty premium is real, and it’s not!

The beauty premium is measurable and has been proven in a number of studies. When judging people, we find it more difficult to judge pretty people harshly but easier to beat down ugly people. It’s not real because it’s totally an unconscious bias that even when we know it’s a problem, we ignore it and keep promoting pretty people over maybe higher performing people who aren’t as pretty.

I just find all of this so fascinating! Two-fold, one in that I’m not what any study would find as traditionally “beautiful” from the male standpoint, and that over a long period of time, centuries, genetically, this actually plays out across all cultures. While one culture might like light skin, tall, slender, and those people will have a beauty premium. Another culture might prefer dark, short, chubby people, and that beauty premium plays itself out.

I just need to find the one culture that likes gingers!

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!

Backdoor Job Searches Work Better Than Front-door Applies!

This might seem rather obvious, but it’s not. I have people reach out to me frequently looking for a job. Most out-of-college job searchers are only doing front-door applications/applying online. The more experienced you get, you are probably doing a little backdoor work, but honestly, even with experienced professionals, I’m shocked at how much time they spend on job boards applying for jobs with zero success.

There was a great Twitter thread recently by a hedge fund professional answering the age-old question about how do you get a job in a hedge fund? Here’s a link to the thread

Brett gets way more detailed in his thread about the process, and he also gives two different scenarios of how people can get in – one traditional A-school education and one B-school grinder. I’m taking some creative liberty with his concept to talk about Front Door applying for a job and Back Door networking for a job!

Talent Acquisition Spends 99% of Their Time on the Front Door Process!

I’m not sure this is a problem. It’s more of a philosophy. TA/HR are true believers in the process. Build a great process that is repeatable and equal for everyone. There’s a ton of merit in that philosophy. It’s hard to argue with the righteousness of that philosophy.

Repeatable. Equitable. Fair. (Even though that’s in theory, not, in reality, we control what we control)

In many organizations, there are as many positions filled via the back door as the front door. I like to tell the kids this is called “networking.” It’s how LinkedIn was built. And before LinkedIn, it’s how most business and job filling got done, at a high level. The lower down the pay scale, the more front door work is needed. As you rise up the pay scale, the more the back door process comes into play. But, this isn’t just about how we fill executive roles. Mid-level and entry-level professional roles get filled in this way a lot.

The question really is, what’s more valuable?

If you’re an applicant and if you’re an organization?

It seems like both parties are served better in the back door process if you have the network, and therein lies the problem. Not all people have the same networks. If you graduate from a great school, you have a better network than someone who didn’t. If you have professional parents who have a long history and network in the market and industry you want to get into, your network will be more helpful than someone who didn’t have those advantages.

Getting hired through the back door isn’t wrong for organizations, though. Many will tell you it is, but in so many ways, this networking uncovers high performers much more efficiently. The problem truly lies in nepotism when hiring managers don’t hire for high performance but only for relationships. But throwing the baby out with the bath water doesn’t make sense either.

The Reality of How People Get Hired That Isn’t Going to Change.

Most people will get hired by their network. Everyone has a network. Every network is different. I can’t get you hired at Apple, I don’t have a good network in that world. But I can get you hired by a lot of companies! I can get you hired if you’re a teacher, but I can get you hired if you’re in HR or TA. My network is robust, but it’s specific.

I will never discount anyone who uses their network to get hired. That’s just intelligent. You use what you have to be as successful as you can be. If you got the job you don’t deserve from your network, it will play itself out in the end when you fail. People like to think this isn’t true. “Tim! My boss’s nephew is horrible, and he got promoted!” Yep, that might happen, but 99% of the time, it doesn’t play out that way in reality.

I have had CEOs I’ve worked with in my career come to me and demand I hire one of their relatives. “Put Timmy in this job. Period.” What did I do? I put Timmy in the job. If Timmy worked out, it is what it is. Timmy has to deal with that. If Timmy failed, I went directly to the CEO, and we had that conversation, and 100% of the time, they supported me in getting rid of Timmy!

Hate the game, but if you fight the game, you’ll lose. Front door hiring is inefficient and doesn’t have a better success rate than back door hiring. So, you can hate it, but you look foolish to your executives who know the reality.

The Most Important Question You’ll Ever Ask A Hiring Manager!

How are those hiring manager “intake” meetings going?

You know, those meetings you have with a hiring manager every single time they have an opening. You sit down with your hiring manager face to face and ask them a page full of questions.  Why is this position open? What would make a candidate most successful in this role?  What color of skin would you like this candidate to have? Boobs or no boobs? Whoops! Scratch those last ones. We would never ask those…

We begin to hate these meetings. They feel forced.

The reality is Talent Pros really only have one question they need to ask hiring managers. That question is this:

“Do you trust that I can find the talent you need?”

Ultimately, this is all that really matters for your success.  If they trust you, they’ll give you all the information you need to be successful.  If they don’t trust you can find the talent they need, they tend to hold stuff back.

Yes, I know that doesn’t make sense, but that’s real world talent acquisition stuff! Welcome to corporate America. A lot of stuff doesn’t make sense!

Most hiring managers have no faith you’ll find them great talent.  They have this belief because of so many bad Talent Pros before you failed them.  So many before you didn’t really go out and find the best talent, they just delivered whatever warm body came into the ATS.

I just come out and ask the question.  The first answer you’ll get from 99% of hiring managers is a weird, “Well, sure, I do.” If you really dig into this answer, you’ll get the true answer which 90% of the time is, “Hell no! Why would I?  Your department has really never gotten this right!”

Thank you! That’s what I really needed.  I needed to get that out in the open, so now we can really build trust and make great things happen.  They’re mostly right. Talent Acquisition fails many of our hiring managers for a number of reasons. Right now, your hiring manager doesn’t need to hear those reasons, they need to hear why this time will be different.

Then, you have to live up to ‘different’! You have to be better.  You have to get it right. Getting it right earns trust.

Once they trust you, great things will happen. Earn that trust.

The State of Hourly and High-Volume Hiring in 2022

It’s Friday. It’s the Summer. Blog traffic is crap on Fridays in the summer! You get my raspy, deep morning voice instead, enjoy! So, here’s a vlog instead:

It’s Your Boy!

Here’s the link to the report – The State of Hourly and High-Volume Hiring in 2022 by HR.com. Here’s the link to Matt Charney.

Is it okay to be biased toward underrepresented communities in hiring?

I’m a big podcast listener. It’s one of the reasons we started HR Famous because we loved the format! One of my favorite podcasts to listen to is The Prof G Show with Scott Galloway.

If you aren’t familiar with Scott Galloway he’s a New York University professor of marketing and hugely popular. He’s a liberal and rails openly against Trump and also his own industry, Higher Education. I’m a moderate and he’s so freaking smart, I could care less about his political leanings, I just get smarter listening to him.

Besides being a professor, he has started and exited a few technology companies, sits on boards, has school-aged kids, and talks a ton about the stock market.

On a recent pod, Elitism: Money vs. Influence, he gave his top 3 attributes to the top-performing employees of the companies that he has started. These are:

  1. Most likely Female. “First they were female. If they were male I couldn’t say this but it’s okay because as long as you are biased for underrepresented communities your okay, but we try and ignore that…” (42:03 in the pod)
  2. Graduate from a world-class university. Ivy League, Penn, Michigan, Stanford, Berkley, Vanderbilt, etc. “Better schools matter…more applicants…start with better core human capital…better screening.”
  3. Athletes are very successful. They understand teamwork and discipline, and they can endure and push themselves harder. “Someone who can finish an Ironman isn’t lazy”, says Galloway.

So, a Professor of NYU, former business owner, and thought leader says it’s okay to be biased in selection.

I’m not sure I agree we should ever be biased in our hiring selection practices, but Galloway points out a reality in our culture. As long as we aren’t biased towards the majority, we will look the other way and ignore it.

What Galloway is saying is not different than how the vast majority of hiring managers are making their final selections. They take a look at past and current performances and they make some educated inferences about what those top performers have in common. Based on this knowledge, it will shape their hiring selection. Does this, or could this, lead to bias? Yes.

Does it make it wrong?

That’s the big sticky question, isn’t it?

We want to say, no, it’s fine, continue to hire the females if those are your best performers. But, just because your current females are your best performers doesn’t mean they’ll be your best moving forward, or that maybe one of the males will be even a better performer.

Flip the scenario.

Galloway now tells us that one of the three attributes for high performance is they are “male”. Do we have a problem with this now? Most likely, you do have a problem with it based on hiring equity issues, broadly, but it’s hard to say specifically since maybe this organization doesn’t have gender equity issues.

Want to know what Inclusion is difficult when it comes to organizational dynamics? It’s because what Galloway laid out is exactly what every organization lays out. The difference is, it isn’t always friendly to the underrepresented community.

Like I said, regardless of your feelings on this one subject, Galloway’s podcast is money! It’s on my must-listen to pods each week.

Give me your thoughts on this in the comments?

Are Recruiters Wasting Hiring Manager’s Time?

I had a conversation the other day with a corporate HR Director and we were talking recruiters, corporate recruiters.  My friend had a dilemma, a classic corporate recruiting scenario. The problem is she has recruiters who are doing a decent job, but they won’t get out from behind their desks and get out into the organization and get face-to-face feedback from the hiring managers. But, here is the real reason:  the recruiters feel like they are “wasting” the hiring manager’s time.

“So,” she asked, “How do I get them out to build these relationships?”

Great question, but she asked the wrong question (which was partially my answer).  Her problem isn’t that her recruiters aren’t building relationships face-to-face with managers. The problem is they feel they are “wasting” someone’s time.

They don’t value or understand the value they are providing to the hiring manager. If they did, it sounds like they wouldn’t have a problem visiting with the hiring managers.  It’s a classic leadership failure, solving a symptom instead of solving the actual problem.

I don’t think that this is rare, recruiters feeling like they are wasting hiring manager’s time. It happens constantly at the corporate level.  Once you train your recruiters (and hiring managers) on the value the recruiters are providing, you see much less resistance of the recruiters feeling comfortable getting in front of hiring managers to get feedback on candidates, and actually making a decision.  This moves your process along much quicker.

What value do recruiters provide?  Well, that seems like a really stupid question, but there aren’t stupid questions (just stupid people who ask questions).  Here are a few that will help your corporate recruiters understand their real value to hiring managers:

  • Corporate recruiters are the talent pipeline for a hiring manager. (or should be!)
  • Corporate recruiters can be the conduit for hiring managers to increase or better the talent within their department.
  • Corporate recruiters are a partner to the hiring managers in assessing talent.
  • Corporate recruiters are a strategist for the hiring managers group succession planning
  • Corporate recruiters are your hiring manager’s first line of performance management (setting expectations before someone even comes in the door)
  • Corporate recruiters are tacticians of organizational culture.

So, the next time you hear a recruiter tell you “I don’t want to waste their time.” Don’t go off on them and tell them to “just go out there and build the relationship”. Educate them on why they aren’t wasting their time. Then do an assessment for yourself to determine are they adding value or are they just wasting time. All recruiters are not created equal and some waste time, and it’s your job as a leader to find ones to add value.

A critical component of all of this is building an expectation of your hiring managers of what they should expect from your recruiters.  They should expect value. They should expect a recruiter who is a pro, and who is going to help them maneuver the organizational landscape and politics of hiring. They should expect a recruiter is going to deliver to them better talent than they already have. They should expect a partner, someone who is looking out for the best interest of the hiring managers department.

Ultimately, what they should expect is someone who won’t waste their time!