Driving Change

What is the worst buying experience you’ve ever had?  For many, it’s buying a car.

Whether it’s brand-new or a used one, the process often sucks. It kicks off with the salesperson, who accompanies you on a test drive, bombarding you with small talk because (duh) they can’t trust you to drive alone, when all you want is to assess the car in peace. Then comes the excruciating negotiation dance between you, the salesperson, and their “sales manager,” dragging on for what feels like an eternity. And either way you feel like you’re getting a raw deal. It’s all set up to benefit the dealerships, not the buyers.

Recruiting can feel the same way for companies and job seekers. It’s uncomfortable, with both sides holding back information, or not asking certain questions. In the end, one side usually feels like they’ve won, while the other feels like they’ve missed out.

So, how can we change this?

It’s a tough question. If there were an easy answer, the car industry would’ve figured it out already. The problem is a lack of trust. Companies assume buyers don’t understand their need to turn a profit, so they play games with pricing. Similarly, recruiting tends to focus too much on skills and not enough on cultural fit. This leaves both parties unsatisfied in the long run.

Recruiting should transition from a one-sided sales pitch to a matchmaking service. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not just seeking the best talent—I’m after the best talent that aligns with our culture and can seamlessly integrate into our existing team. These may not always be one and the same. Yet, traditional recruiting focuses predominantly on skill matches. The hiring manager needs a Java Developer, so recruiting delivers one—but if there’s no cultural fit, both parties end up unhappy. The issue lies in the time-consuming and subjective nature of this approach, which gives HR departments palpitations.

While I don’t have a solution, I can’t wonder how recruiting might evolve if it took notes from Match.com rather than traditional job boards. Imagine a world where compatibility and cultural fit are most valued, where recruiting isn’t just about filling a position but forging meaningful connections between individuals and organizations. Give me Tinder For Recruiting, I don’t ask for much!

High-Maintenance Who?

Ever wished there was a way to spot high-maintenance behavior during job interviews?

We hire high-maintenance employees because they’re very good at hiding their diva-ness during the interview process. Sometimes they even hide it through the probationary period of their employment. These are the really hard-to-handle ones because they know they’re divas and hide it long enough to make your life difficult.

So, what’s the best approach when you find yourself dealing with one?

Managing these individuals has been a recurring challenge in my HR career. They have a knack for causing trouble and thrive on being the center of attention. The key lies in redirecting their focus from their personal needs to what the organization requires. But how do you go about doing that?

Usually, high-maintenance employees become a problem because their direct supervisor doesn’t stop this issue immediately when it comes to light. But, this is common, especially with new hiring managers, so it’s critical to work with them and help them become better managers.

These employees are skilled at playing you against their manager. It’s essential to prevent this from happening. Collaborating closely with the hiring manager to create a unified approach is vital. When they attempt to stir up trouble, it’s important to intervene immediately: “Let’s bring in your supervisor so we can sort this out together.” Despite their objections regarding confidentiality, emphasize the importance of clarity and alignment among all parties.

High-maintenance employees hate to be on the same page because they get their power from the lack of communication within organizations. So the best way to limit their impact is to get everyone in the same room and nip the issue in the bud before it gets way out of hand.

The Future of HR Tech, AI, & ChatGPT #HRFamous

On episode 116 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Madeline Laurano, Jessica Lee, and Tim Sackett come together to discuss their favorite Super Bowl commercials, Chat GPT, and how you can utilize AI to be a better leader.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

:30 – JLee had Chat GPT write an intro for this episode! It didn’t do a good job the first time, so she had it do a second pass to make it funnier. 

2:00 – The crew didn’t think the Super Bowl commercials of 2023 were too exciting. Madeline and JLee’s favorite was the Clueless one, and Tim shouted out the Workday and Dunkin commercials

7:30 – Another podcast, another convo about Chat GPT and AI. Microsoft Bing is trying to become the top browser again, and JLee is on a waitlist to use the program. 

10:00 – Tim’s 2023 keynote is all about the future of recruiting with AI. He thinks that the only limit of what AI can do in TA is the limit of our imaginations. 

14:15 – Tim speaks to the importance of narration with AI. With AI, you have to be the expert on your topic, but you don’t have to produce anymore. 

17:00 – Madeline thinks another area that AI will completely change is travel. Imagine traveling and having the whole trip planned by AI. 

20:00 – Madeline is surprised that we haven’t seen more people talking about AI and Chat GPT in the TA space. She thinks some people may feel threatened by the topic. 

23:45 – JLee runs through examples of how to use AI to help handle a tough situation with an emotional employee. 

27:00 – JLee talks about how being open and not intimidated by AI can allow you to use it as leverage and become better.  She uses a Teams tool that critiques how she speaks on calls and helps her improve the words she chooses. 

31:00 – Tim thinks that Microsoft is the winner of the future of HR tech. 

Recruiter Experience Matters! (err. All Employee’s Experience Matters…) #HRFamous

On episode 115 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Madeline Laurano, Jessica Lee and Tim Sackett come together to discuss Ted Lasso, the everchanging recruiter experience, and Tim’s experience with the Michigan State shooting.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

1:45 – Ted Lasso season 3 is on the horizon! The crew gives their prediction for the new season coming in March. 

4:00 – Madeline and Tim did a roundtable recently about recruiter experience. Tim doesn’t think it matters anymore and JLee asks Tim to define it. 

8:00 – Madeline mentions that a lot of people don’t know what recruiters do. Tim says that recruiting is the job that everyone thinks they can do. 

9:15 – Tim says that when he was running TA at larger companies, senior leadership felt very comfortable giving advice to him about how to recruit, even though their advice was unfounded. 

12:00 – JLee and Tim talk about how being a recruiter isn’t one of the hardest jobs that one could have. There are a lot of other jobs that require a lot out of the people who hold those positions. 

15:30 – Madeline brings up a study they did at Disney where they found that the most important position at all of the Disney parks was the street sweepers. 

18:30 – Tim’s opinion is that Chat GPT is going to change the landscape of everything in TA & recruiting. He says that the only thing that can’t be replaced by AI is the real conversation a recruiter has with a candidate. 

21:30 – Madeline mentions a company who measures their recruiter productivity by getting them to “inbox zero”. She says she could never be a recruiter if this is a standard she was held to. 

24:00 – Tim and JLee say they’d never judge one of the people they manage by the number of emails in their inbox. JLee judges people by the battery level of their devices. 

27:30 – Tim’s son goes to Michigan State and he runs a business in Lansing. He talks about his experience with and the aftermath of the shooting that happened on campus recently. 

36:15 – Madeline asks Tim what he did about closing his business in the aftermath. Tim said that his Teams work groups were very active around the time of the shooting

Childcare issues for employers & Advice for Young Professionals #HRFamous

On episode 114 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee and Tim Sackett come together to discuss their favorite (and least favorite) Oscar-nominated movies, the difficulty of finding childcare, and how to handle annoying entry-level job tasks.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

1:00 – Madeline isn’t here because of last-minute child needs. Tim’s an empty nester who says his kids still interrupt his life! 

2:45 – It’s awards season, and JLee and Tim are on the opposite ends of the spectrum on a big frontrunner, Everything Everywhere All At Once. Tim thought it was terrible, and JLee adores it. (Producer Cam, Tim’s son, is here to say Tim is horribly wrong, sorry Dad!!!).

7:30 – JLee diagnoses Tim with a savior complex which prevents him from watching/liking a lot of media. He’s a papa bear!

9:00 – JLee shouts out the Banshees of Inisherin. She says it’s one of the strangest movies she’s seen in a long time but also one of the best. 

11:30 – This Wall Street Journal article has documented how childcare numbers haven’t recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Tim asks JLee if there are any things that JLee’s company is doing to help combat the loss of childcare. 

16:00 – Tim has an idea to replicate Uber surge pricing with childcare to help out the childcare companies and also help those who have flexibility with their working situations. 

19:00 – JLee notes that her colleagues know that when she’s working from home, there will most likely be children walking in her background. She gets good feedback from her team about the involvement of her kids in her work life. 

23:30 – KD sent in an article about a congressperson’s staffer who has filed complaints against their boss. They felt like they were being taken advantage of. Tim reminisces on the things that he was asked to do when he was in entry-level jobs. 

26:45 – Tim notes that a lot of the complaints over being asked to complete these kinds of tasks depend on who the person asking is. A specific person can make these tasks feel meaningful. 

29:30 – Tim’s advice to entry-level/young people in careers is to be one of the last few people to leave the office. He warns against being “the early person” in the office and urges them to become the late person. 

32:30 – Tim wants a “scoreboard” of badge swipes into the office. He thinks everyone will be in the office as soon as that’s implemented. 

Recession Proofing Your Career w/ @kris_dunn #HRFamous

On episode 109 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett and Kris Dunn come together to discuss the rise of tech layoffs, Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, and how to be a recession-proof recruiter.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

1:30 – Tim shares that it feels like the world is on fire with tech layoffs everywhere around us. KD says Marriott is still hiring strong. KD is finding that the “recession” is impacting particular industries more than others unlike any other recession before. 

4:30 – Tim shares some stats around hiring and unemployment. The projected unemployment rate isn’t expected to increase that much in the next 10 years. Tim notes that we’re not making enough people to fill jobs. 

6:40 – KD has a rising senior in college and he is nervous about an impending recession so he made a move to secure a job at a past employer for post-grad. 

11:40 – As we all know, Elon Musk bought Twitter and gutted the Twitter staff. There have been a lot of rumors swirling around that Twitter is on the edge of shutting down any day. 

16:00 – Elon made an email to the Twitter employee saying that it’s going to be a hard place to work at. KD references Tony Hsieh from Zappos when he would give his employees money to leave if their company wasn’t for them. 

20:00 – Tim notes that these are mature companies, not start-ups and they have to be cognizant of their burn rates. 

21:45 – Tim asks KD what recruiters aren’t going to lose their jobs. KD notes that it will be highly dependent on the type of positions being recruited for and the culture of the company they work for but ultimately, it depends on how many positions they close. 

24:20 – Another trait that KD notes in a recession-proof recruiter is the handling of a hiring manager relationship. This depends on how they handle updates and how they help and influence the efficiency of the process. Tim also thinks it’s important to have the skill set of an HR generalist. 

29:30 – Tim thinks it’s vital to be visible as an employee. Although that doesn’t mean you have to be in the office, you have to put yourself out there in whatever space you’re in. 

Creepy Bosses and Cool Moms! #HRFamous

On episode 108 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee, Madeline Laurano, and Tim Sackett come together to discuss problematic executives, all the functions HR serves, and Tim’s campus recruiting experience!

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

1:00 – JLee asks the crew what famous movies they haven’t seen that they should see. JLee has never seen The Shining or Princess Bride. 

4:20 – JLee mentions the news of a senior Apple executive due to him making a vile joke in a TikTok video. This viral TikTok format asks people how much money they make and what they do for work. 

7:15 – Madeline brings up a similar situation in the Boston Celtics coach getting fired for having an affair with one of his co-workers. 

11:00 – JLee and Madeline are the cool moms in town!

13:00 – JLee brings up the extra functions that HR often gets assigned to, like party and events planning. She thinks that this could be a failure upon managers and leaders for not taking accountability in something like career growth for their employees. 

16:00 – Tim talks about the 3 responsibilities he sees for a people manager: fiscal responsibility, building a well-rounded team, and maintaining and developing that well-rounded team. Then, HR can help support these functions in whatever way they can.  

22:30 – Tim asks the question “why would you outsource the most important thing to your company” while talking about RPOs and outsourcing recruiting. 

27:00 – Madeline brings up the trauma of the 2021 hiring craze and how this may impact the job security of recruiters. Tim talked about a company that he talked to that re-positioned their recruiters when there was a downturn in their company, so they didn’t have to lay anyone off. 

30:30 – JLee mentions that the people who stayed on at Marriott during the pandemic were the “swiss army knives”, the people who were versatile and could fit in anywhere. 

31:30 – Madeline asks if people will seek out being a recruiter or if it will be seen as a stepping stone to different jobs. Tim thinks that more colleges and universities will develop programs for recruiters and the importance of recruiters at companies will grow. 

34:00 – Anyone want to see a sitcom about Tim’s campus recruiting experience??

E107 – What Would It Take For an Enterprise HR Leader to Show Up At a HR Conference? #HRFamous #HRTechConf

On episode 107 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee, Madeline Laurano, and Tim Sackett come together to discuss all things 2022 HR Tech!

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

1:30 – Tim has recently been on the conference circuit and he’s loving the in-person energy!

2:00 – JLee was recently speaking at an event and she was asked for pictures after her talk. She asks the crew what to do in that situation. 

7:30 – Tim and Madeline went back to HR Tech and felt the big energy at the conference. Madeline says the expo was bigger than she’s ever seen

11:45 – Madeline says that the Women In Tech sessions were so packed that they couldn’t let anyone else in! 

14:45 – Tim asks JLee what would get her to come to HR Tech on a regular basis. She says that she doesn’t know if she would since she’s so inundated with content and pitches from vendors and it would feel duplicative for her to go to a vendor event. 

17:40 – Tim thinks it’s a mistake by vendors to try and influence big VPs and CHROs rather than talking to director and manager levels about their products who are actually in the trenches. 

21:45 – Tim and Madeline are really excited by some up and coming texting technologies, especially for frontline workers. 

25:45 – Madeline calls out some providers who are doing the work around skills but she notes that there are some start-ups and ATS’s who are lumped in that maybe shouldn’t be. 

29:00 – Tim asks the crew what these HR conferences are missing. JLee thinks that the conferences should provide a deck for attendees to take back to their teams and share what they learned. 

34:20 – Can we pick a better place for HR conferences? JLee is sick of Vegas but Tim and Madeline think it’s hard to host anywhere else because of the size of the conferences. 

35:30 – Tim shares a story about the “BFF Happy Hour” where Kyle Lagunas came in and started the whole party. Tim and Madeline had to play mom and dad in order to keep the event in check.

Which Recruiters Will Get Laid Off First? #HRFamous

On episode 106 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Madeline Laurano and Tim Sackett, with special friend Kyle Lagunas come together to discuss Global TA day, the first people to be laid off in a recession, and why recruiters won’t be laid off as quickly as we think. 

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

1:00 – Welcome to the pod, Kyle Lagunas! JLee is a busy gal and is out this week. 

3:30 – Tim asks if they go to the grocery store or if they get their food delivered. Kyle likes his time at the market, and Madeline tries to do delivery. 

5:00 – Tim has a whole setup for his Global TA Day: prizes, ice cream social, lunch & learns, and more! 

7:00 – Tim put up a LinkedIn post leaning into “hustle porn” and ripped on quiet quitters and how he can’t wait to pass them. Kyle says he’s going to rip him to shreds. 

9:30 – Business Insider, a pod favorite, put out an article about the first to be laid off in an economic downturn. The categories offered are recent hires, high earners, Millennials, 

12:30 – Madeline talks about why she thinks recent hires may not be fired as quickly as they suggest due to the re-skilling turnover. 

15:30 – Tim talks about how Ford had a pretty major layoff, but it was for a very specific reason, the emphasis on EVs. 

19:00 – Madeline brings up how we’re still writing and talking about Millennials as if they’re kids. Many Millennials are 40 or pushing it. 

21:15 – Tim and his oldest son told a guy they were golfing with that, “I didn’t get good until my Dad stopped coaching me.” Tim said it was a dagger to the heart. 

23:00 – This list shares that recruiters are the most likely to be laid off. The crew is quite surprised that this is still the case in a world where companies are having a lot of trouble hiring recruiters. 

26:00 – Kyle is really worried about the ramifications that something like this list could have. He says that morale is really low in the TA space, and this could force people to leave the profession. 

29:00 – Madeline is surprised that there is nothing on this list about the number of hours worked per day. She thinks there is a signifier in the likelihood of being laid off with the number of hours worked per day. 

33:00 – Tim thinks one of the hardest things is to plan a workforce, and HR can struggle at interpreting data and inputs to plan accordingly.

E105 – HR Famous Pod – Work Spouses and Service Awards!

On episode 105 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Madeline Laurano, Jessica Lee, and Tim Sackett come together to discuss work spouses, length of service awards, and the best new candle to buy as a gift!

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

2:00 – Tim’s headed on vacation to the Cayman Islands. Although it’ll be hot, he’ll be by the ocean!

5:00 – JLee loves these candles, and Tim sent a cheeky one to the crew.

7:20 – JLee asks Tim about his 2 work wives. They’ve been working with him for over 10 years and have been through a lot together. She wonders how he has work wives when he’s in charge of the company. 1

0:00 – Madeline said her work relationships have changed since she started her firm. Now, her work wives/husbands are other industry people, not people that work for and with her.

12:30 – Tim talks about someone who he worked for a long time with that left recently and how her leaving was a lot harder than he expected.

15:00 – JLee brings up the topic of “length of service” awards and how people want to be recognized. She asks the crew what we should be doing with these awards.

18:30 – Madeline did research in 2021 if they had received any recognition in that year for their work. She found that only ½ employees received a “thank you” in the first year of the pandemic.

21:30 – Tim likes the “points” system where you give out other recognition gifts and points to people you find doing a good job at the company.

24:00 – JLee notes a study where at their hotels, smaller gestures are more impactful and meaningful than really big events and “wows” that require a lot of time and work.

25:30 – Amazon color-coded their badges to reflect how long they’ve been at the company. JLee says that they got a lot of hate for this, but Tim says that he likes the idea.

30:00 – Tim mentions that when he’s doing recognition with his team, he tries to get them something they would never get for themselves and something that is really high quality. He thinks recognition gifts should be good quality regardless of price point.