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.

The Big Regret! How’s that new job working out for you? #HRFamous

On episode 104 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Madeline Laurano, Jessica Lee, and Tim Sackett come together to discuss catalogs, the follow-up to The Great Recession, and Tesla’s latest drama. 

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

2:15 – Does anyone still get catalogs? Tim and Madeline still get tons sent to their houses. 

4:30 – Tim thinks that a mailer would work well as a recruitment tactic, even better than email or texting. 

5:15 – Tim shares a story that he’s going to put in his book! You heard it here first, folks. 

8:30 – Tim’s story revolves around a marketing study where they asked a community what the top realtor in their area was. They created a fake realtor, did some marketing, and then re-asked the community who the top realtor was. 

10:00 – Studies are showing that a large number of people who left their jobs during The Great Resignation are regretting their decision to leave their previous position. Madeline thinks that these shifts were pay-driven, and people didn’t take into account other factors. 

13:40 – Tim said he had regrets when he left Applebee’s. Although it seemed like the right decision, he felt the repercussion of the decision almost instantly. 

20:30 – Tim was at SHRM a few weeks ago, and a lot of the discussions had “The Great Recession” in their title. 

21:30 – Tesla and Elon Musk are tracking office attendance by following the “office ID swipe-ins.” If you can’t come in, employees are supposed to email in a message that they won’t be in the office today. Tim thinks this is draconian and feels very similar to calling in sick for your kids at school. 

24:45 – Tim says that he’s embarrassed by the number of people he’s had to fire by “pulling swipes”. 

30:00 – JLee hired someone recently that was affected by the Tesla layoffs, and the new hire said that the reports of the layoffs are pretty accurate. 

33:00 – JLee mentions how often, when layoffs are happening, HR professionals are given scripts for legal reasons, but there are ways to make it seem more human and empathetic. 

36:30 – Madeline was a part of an analyst firm where there were secret talks about layoffs, and she felt like they handled it poorly in comparison to JLee’s Marriot example. 

Would You Hire a Reality TV Star to Work at Your Company? #HRFamous


102 – Hiring TV Stars and Ghosting

On episode 102 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Madeline Laurano, Jessica Lee, and Tim Sackett come together to discuss hiring reality TV stars, ghosting of new hires, and if ghosting in the dating world is seeping into the work world. 

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

1:30 – JLee asks the crew what they’ve been watching recently. Madeline tried watching Ozark again because she wasn’t into it the first time.

3:15 – Now for the trash TV! Madeline and JLee are watching The Ultimatum and are loving it. 

7:45 – JLee is really curious about what the people on reality TV shows do in their real lives. She asks the crew if being on a reality show disqualifies them from being hired for a job. 

11:30 – Tim is concerned about retention because he assumes this type of person is just waiting for the next big show to come around. 

15:00 – Tim mentions that this is similar to star college athletes that may not be good enough to go pro. He says that those who stay local may have that past celebrity status. 

16:45 – JLee found an article in The Wall Street Journal about the rise of ghosting with new hires. Madeline mentions that she thinks we’re going to see this for a bit longer but may pass when or if a recession hits. 

21:30 – Tim got killed on Twitter for talking about the importance of a 2-week notice. He says that ghosting your employer will follow you. 

25:00 – Tim demoed a new preboarding software that gives a buddy to a new hire to hopefully retain the new employees at your organization. 

28:00 – Madeline wonders if mental health is playing a factor with new hires not showing up for onboarding, especially with the heightened struggles of the last two years. 

32:00 – The article discusses how a younger generation is used to ghosting in the dating world, and it could be seeping into the work world. JLee wonders if they’re grasping this extrapolation. 

E101 – Female Breadwinners: Do you bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan?!

On episode 101 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Madeline Laurano, Jessica Lee, and Tim Sackett come together to discuss paper straws, female breadwinners, and how people react when a husband cooks more for his family than his wife.

The HR Famous Crew Celebrates 100 Episodes!

On episode 100 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Kris Dunn, Jessica Lee, and Tim Sackett come together for their 100th episode! They discuss what they remember, what they struggled with and what they loved in doing 100 episodes of HR Famous together!

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

2:45 – KD couldn’t stay away! He’s back for the extra special 100th episode. 

5:00 – Many of the HR Famous episodes are about the differences of life during the pandemic. Tim talked about the difference of COVID caution between going to a college basketball game and a Broadway show.

8:30 – JLee just said that her daughter is now going to elementary school (for the first time) without a mask! 

10:45 – Tim asks the crew what they’ve learned doing 100 podcast episodes. JLee said that she’s learned to have an opinion and it’s helped her in her career development. On the flip side, she’s learned how to see both sides of an issue. 

12:45 – KD asks Tim and JLee if they made any changes to how they speak after the first episodes. JLee said she tries to start fewer sentences with “well” or “so”. KD tried to be crisper with his speaking cadence. 

16:30 – KD says the text group should be a podcast. Release the messages!

18:30 – Is KD the most guarded on the podcast? Tim says so and JLee thinks that could be true. Tim says it’s his political savviness that leads this. 

20:00 – Any other flat pillow lovers? JLee is a flat pillow person. KD likes a fluffy pillow you can sink into. 

22:30 – JLee asks the crew what episode they thought was interesting and offered a different perspective. JLee’s answer is Episode 79 – Why Are Males Increasingly Opting Out Of College. 

25:00 – Tim and KD are still bitter that Gary V requested to connect with JLee on LinkedIn instead of them. JLee is still pining for him to come on the pod!

28:00 – Episode 66 – Geriatric Millennials and HR Influencer Lists is still a point of contention!

31:00 – Tim asks the question “who did you learn the most from?”. Tim says KD because he always thinks he knows what he’s going to say but he comes in with different takes often. 

Periods in the Workplace #HRFamous #PeriodPolicy

Yeah! This is the content you come to TimSackett.com for! Periods! Who better to give you the down-low of periods at work than an aging white dude! Okay, I’ve brought along two females with decades of period experience!

Episode 99 – Periods In The Workplace

On episode 99 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Madeline Laurano, Jessica Lee, and Tim Sackett come together to discuss our new co-host, mailing lists, and periods in the workplace!

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

2:00 – We have a new co-host! We’re excited to welcome Madeline Laurano to the HR Famous family. 

4:15 – Madeline is an analyst on TA and HR tech. She’s been in the game for 20 years and started her firm, Aptitude Research 7 years ago. 

6:20 – Do any of us remember the days of blogger vs. analyst? The good ole days. 

9:30 – JLee gets upset when she makes a “new friend” and then all of a sudden, she’s on their mailing list. 

10:30 – JLee asks the crew if they check who unsubscribes from their mailing list. Madeline gets an email every time someone removes themselves from her mailing list. 

14:30 – The lost episode is unfortunately lost for good 🙁 

16:00 – JLee references the lost episode which was centered around an older man writing into a help column asking what to do when their younger female co-workers talk about their periods in the workplace. 

19:00 – JLee’s first reaction to the period PTO is that women are more productive so they’ll make up for their time off but then, she started to think about women being treated differently and other logistical issues. 

20:30 – Madeline mentions a company in Sweden that asked their female employees to track their menstrual cycle in an Excel spreadsheet. 

24:30 – JLee found a Wikipedia page for menstrual leave

27:30 – Tim mentions how a lot of these benefits stem from paid family leave and how other countries are really passing the US with their family leave benefits. 

28:45 – Madeline ran a study at her firm and they found that only 11% of participants were comfortable talking about childcare at work. 

32:00 – Madeline mentions how when she was nursing, she had to pump in a dark utility closet where she had to bring a flashlight in to see. 

36:00 – Tim mentions that in his 30-year HR career, he has never had a period-related issue with a high-performing female. 

The Human Resource Executive 2022 Top HR Tech Influencers! Do Lists Matter?

A big list got released yesterday and I wouldn’t be writing about it unless I’m on it, right?! Well, I might write about it if I wasn’t on it. I mean, it feels great to be recognized for something you have passion for and enjoy. Recognition at any level tends to feel good, which is why it’s so powerful.

There are so many people on the 2022 Top HR Tech Influencers that I admire and call friends including my two HR Famous podcast partners – Jessica Lee and Madeline Laurano! They both made the list. Also friends like: Steve Boese, Sarah White, Laurie Ruettimann, Jeanne Achille, Stacy Zapar, Jackye Clayton, Torin Ellis, Kyle Lagunas, George LaRocque, Trish McFarlane, Erin Spencer, Joey Price, Jason Averbook, and so many others.

What the heck is an HR Tech Influencer?

I know, personally, probably 65% of the Top 100 list. So, I can only speak about those individuals, but I’m guessing the rest of the list is fairly similar. First, they are super passionate about HR technology. We are all super nerds for this stuff and when we get together the talk gets deep into nerdy. Second, they all care about making technology and the function of HR, and all the sub-functions of HR, better.

Some do this through working as an actual practitioner in the weeds of day-to-day HR. Some do it by working on the vendor side to improve and create the next generation of technology we will come to rely on. And others work in the analyst space building a bridge between the vendor and practitioner improving the knowledge base about what we buy and why.

Every single one of these folks is a 1%er when it comes to HR Tech knowledge. Meaning, on average, they would know more about HR Tech than 99% of the other folks working in HR. They are the definition of Gladwell’s 10,000 hours. They made themselves into experts and that by itself is a pretty amazing accomplishment. Not many folks in the world could call themselves an expert at anything!

Who has the “real” juice?

Damn! That’s the million-dollar question! And I literally mean, a million dollars! Because vendors and conferences are trying to figure out who has the juice! What’s the juice? It’s that something special that a person has, through a combination of a lot of factors, where they command a large audience of potential buyers. It’s a combination of expertise, personality, access, charisma, honesty, giving back, etc. No two folks have the same factors or create the same juice.

In the HR Tech World, there is one person who has more juice than anyone at the moment. That guy is Josh Bersin. Josh is like the gallon-size bottle of juice and most of the rest of us are like the 6 oz glass of juice in comparison! That’s just a fact. I’m lucky that Josh invited me to be a faculty member in his academy, but I’m not saying this because of that. The reality is he moves the market like no one else in our space.

Vendors are always trying to figure out who has the juice. Who is going to bring buyers into the tent? Honestly, if you can’t afford Josh, it’s probably a combination of a lot of folks on that list, as well as a bunch of folks who aren’t on the list but still have juice (William Tincup, Matt Charney, Kris Dunn, Deb McGrath, Rob Kelly, Hung Lee, Guillermo Gorea, Chris Hoyt, Gerry Crispin, Erica Young, Chris Harvilla, etc.).

Juice has little to do with the social footprint, but you can’t ignore a large audience. Some folks might have a ton of juice on Twitter, but nothing on LinkedIn, or IG. No presence on Twitter, but a great following on Facebook. The key is interaction on whatever platform they are on. Like, are you really on Twitter if you tweet and no one engages?

TL;DR – There’s Josh Bersin, then there is a cliff, and then there are the rest of us at the bottom of that cliff. Also, no one wants to see their real “juice” number, it’s humbling.

Do these lists matter?

So many people will say, No. I get that. But, for the millions of HR pros out in the world, this is a great start if you are trying to educate yourself about technology within HR. So, in that vein, these lists do matter. I got into HR Tech because of a conversation I had with William Tincup seven years ago! I met him through my interactions with other influencers on the list. I became an expert in this space because of that interaction.

Because of lists, like the Top 100 HR Tech Influencers, I have people reach out to me daily with questions they have about the technology in our space. A list like this gives people an avenue to pursue and access expert opinions.

Are these lists inclusive of every voice that should be heard? Of course not, that would be impossible. It’s also super hard to get minority and young voices on these lists, based on the demographic of HR Tech nerds in general. But this list does an exceptional job at adding these voices, especially around female voices (which make up the majority of HR pros!). It’s a snapshot of a moment, and the list is ever-evolving. Also, vendors rarely make it on because of conflict of interest with selling, but some of the best minds in HR Tech are working at vendors. But they do matter to a great number of people who are trying to better their HR Tech knowledge.

Shout out to the HR Exec team, including, Elizabeth Clarke and Rebecca McKenna for putting in the work to create and edit this list. It’s a thankless task usually that only comes with criticism.

You can check out the full list right here.