Online Ghosts or Privacy Hosts

Ever come across a candidate who seems to have almost no online presence? No LinkedIn profile, no Facebook or Instagram account, not even a trace on Google? It’s like they’re a digital ghost, right there in front of you with a resume in hand, but little else to go on.

Let’s say you meet someone like this – let’s call her Karen (not her real name, of course, I’m in HR – her name is Jill). She shows up for the interview with a solid resume, work history, and references, but beyond that, she’s pretty much a mystery online.

In today’s world, where social media is everywhere, this kind of absence can be scary. Usually they’re an Instagram story away and I know what you had for breakfast, how you like your steak, your husband’s name, cat’s name, the whole damn thing.

It raises questions. Why the secrecy? Is it a deliberate choice for privacy reasons, or could there be something more to it?

During the interview, ask about it. Karen might mumble something about valuing her privacy – a word that still holds a lot of weight to some. As an employer, it’s tricky. Privacy matters, but so does transparency. Trying to balance these can be tough.

In the end, you might not get clear answers. But it’s a reminder that in today’s world, having no online presence can be a red flag when hiring. Or not. What do you think?

The 2024 Conference Season is Here! Here is what I’m looking forward to

The HR/TA/LOD/Payroll/Etc. conference season is upon us. I’ve got a new book launching at SHRM Talent in April, so it will be an especially busy season for me this year. I’m excited for 2024 for a number of reasons.

I think the one thing I enjoy about conference season more than any other is connecting with peers and friends in the industry. I have the most inspiring and challenging conversations at conferences. I’ve found lifelong friends at professional conferences. I genuinely find it an awarding and educational opportunity that I love being a part of.

It came to my attention late last year that a group of professionals is working to put together a movement called #OperationPurpleLight that helps protect individuals from getting assaulted at conferences. I’m not naive to the problem of mostly women getting drugged and raped in our society. I was shocked to hear the rate at which this happens at professional conferences. Especially at HR-related conferences, with a demographic upwards of 80%+ female, we have to find ways to keep all participants safe.

It’s disgusting that anyone would ever feel threatened at a professional conference to begin with, especially if the perpetrator is a peer! So, as you are out this season, make special note of the efforts by Operation Purple Light, the conferences that are supporting this effort, and what you can do personally to ensure the peers around you have an enjoyable and safe experience attending conferences!

What am I looking forward to?

  • TransformHR – Vegas, March – Transform has a unique format where almost all of the content is done in a panel format with actual practitioners. Many of them are from SMB and Mid-enterprise organizations, and it leads to some amazing conversations that can really get into the weeds about the what, why, and how we do things!
  • Michigan HR Day – Lansing, MI, April – 2,500 HR pros all coming into Lansing, MI, for a day full of content and development. It’s one of the largest HR conferences in the US at that number! And it’s in my backyard! How the heck?! Over 15 years ago, the governor of Michigan decided to declare the second Wednesday of April to be a state-wide day of celebration and development for HR, and this thing has gotten big! The majority of state SHRM conferences can’t get 2500 attendees!
  • SHRM Talent – Vegas, April (I spend way too much time in Vegas) – Besides the aforementioned book launch, I’ll also be the closing keynote speaker at SHRM Talent this year. I’m super excited about that and a bit nervous. It’s a big crowd, but I’m speaking to my peeps, so that’s comforting. I believe this is the best Talent Acquisition conference currently running.
  • HR Tech Europe – Amsterdam, May – The sister conference to the world’s largest HR Tech conference in Vegas, HR Tech Europe is going on the road overseas, and it will be an amazing show. The HR Tech Conferences are amazing, and I’ve gone every year for the past decade. This is one I won’t miss on my calendar.
  • SHRM Annual – Chicago, June – Ted Lasso is keynoting!! Always huge. Always fun. I’ll be speaking and signing books. It’s the single largest HR conference on the planet, and really, no one else is even close. It’ll be 20,000+ HR pros in one place. If you ever have the ability to attend, it’s an HR bucket list must-do.
  • RecFest USA Nashville – Nashville, September – This is an outdoor recruiting festival, big tents and all, in the heart of Nashville. There is nothing else like this on the planet! It’s completely unique, and I’m taking my entire TA team with me to this event this year. In 2023, the best TA conversations I had all year happened at RecFest!
  • Workday Rising – Vegas, September – One of the fastest-growing and largest HCM suites in the world, Workday seems to be taking over the universe! Workday Rising brings together thousands of enterprise Workday clients for development, education, and a little bit of fun. If you’re a Workday client, you should be investing to send your team here.
  • The HR Technology Conference – Vegas, September – If you’re an HR Technology nerd, like I am, this is another bucket list conference to attend. You’ve got the startup pavilion, Pitchfest competition, HR tech products of the year awards, and the biggest HR Tech expo in the world; it’s by far the top HR Tech conference on the planet.

This is just a tip of what’s available and out there for your own professional development. There’s been a giant growth of HR Tech user conferences as well – Workday Rising, Oracle World, LinkedIn Talent Connect, etc. are a few giant ones. This isn’t even getting into the SHRM state conferences, industry-specialized conferences, etc. Then you have local DisruptHR events, local SHRM events, etc. If you wanted to, you could go to an HR event every single week of the year.

Let me know if you’ll be attending any of these conferences that I’ll be at. I would love to connect and share ideas.

HR and Parking – Parallel Practices

Did you know parking lots are their own big industry, just like Healthcare or Banking?

For city folks, dealing with parking lots is a daily thing. Like other industries, parking is using tech to get more profitable and efficient. Supposedly, people waste about 20 minutes per trip looking for parking. Yet, booking parking in advance is still kind of new. Ideally, folks should know where spots are, compare prices, and pick the best one.

Here are three things HR can pick up from parking lots:

  1. Smart Talent Use: Drawing from the parking lot playbook, HR should take a closer look at whether having a full crew around the clock is really necessary. In Europe, they’ve figured this out by using more contractors and adapting to the demands of the moment. However, the US is a bit slow to jump on the bandwagon, possibly due to sticking to traditional hiring practices that may not be as efficient.
  2. Pay for Good Work: Similar to forking out more for a prime parking spot, companies should be willing to invest more in top-notch talent. HR needs to break free from the shackles of outdated pay systems and embrace a new approach that rewards the best talent available in the entire job market. It’s not just about acknowledging the best within the company; it’s about recognizing and compensating those who stand out in the broader talent pool.
  3. Teamwork: Taking a cue from the cooperative spirit of parking lots, HR could explore the idea of sharing employees with neighboring companies. Imagine two adjacent companies both in need of similar skills, like developers. Why not collaborate and share the talent pool? Sure, there are hurdles like legal considerations, sorting out the pay scale, and managing benefits, but with some effort, it’s a feasible strategy worth exploring. This kind of teamwork could lead to mutual benefits, just like parking lots sharing information on open spaces.

Any others I’m missing? How about don’t be an ass? Keep it between the lines?

A Referral Revolution

HR Rockstars! Guess what’s coming your way on Jan 31? I’m teaming up with Scott Sinatra, CEO and Co-Founder of Bountiful, to spill the beans on turning your good old referrals into a competitive advantage.

Now, I get it. Referral management might not be everyone’s cup of coffee. But we’ve got your back. Worried that referrals lead to cookie-cutter teams? Yep, got your back there too. Here’s a little secret from Scott: 90+% of you aren’t using any tech wizardry to manage a source that’s dishing out 20-50% of your hires. Let’s change that, shall we?

In this webinar, we’ll cover:

  • How to build, automate, and scale a referral program (because who needs extra headaches?)
  • Tackling the common challenges organizations face when rolling out a referral program – and trust me, we’ve seen them all.
  • Scaling your referral program externally, so you can tap into talent from anywhere on the map.
  • and More!

Ready to up your referral game in 2024? Register now at and I’ll see you there!

Challenging Corporate Complacency

There’s this persistent buzz about technology stealing our jobs in our line of work. The staffing industry, a massive half-a-trillion-dollar global business, thrives on a rather bold assumption: corporate laziness.

I’m not banking on your laziness, though. At my company, we focus on contract work, not only the typical direct hiring. But this laziness perception isn’t exclusive to us; other industries are guilty too.

Look at the diet industry—it’s full of expensive shortcuts like bars, shakes, and pricey gyms, all because we sometimes prefer an easy fix over healthier habits. Guilty as charged!

Here’s the kicker: if corporate Talent Acquisition (TA) simply did their job—filling openings—the direct hire staffing industry might vanish. It’s not that complicated, yet we do everything but fill the position.

It might not seem lazy outright, but it’s sidestepping the core task, which is just as harmful. Ever seen a kid dodge mowing the lawn by doing indoor chores instead? Same principle, different setting.

Recognizing how others bank on our presumed laziness is crucial for TA leaders. And doing something about it? That’s where the real game starts.

Here are some actionable steps from one of my previous blogs:

  1. Set clear, measurable goals for each TA team member.
  2. Make these goals visible daily.
  3. Address performance issues immediately.
  4. Adjust measures to fit business needs.
  5. Keep at it consistently.

TA isn’t a handout; it’s an investment. Great leaders get this and act against corporate complacency.

It’s not just about working harder; it’s about working smarter. It’s time we all took that step forward.

A Christmas Present for Your CEO

This holiday season, you’ve got the chance to make your CEO’s Christmas wish list come true. It’s time to give them the gift of insights into what they really want from their HR and Talent Acquisition teams.

I created a short survey designed just for CEOs, all about what they wish HR and TA would do more of or start doing. It’s all about improvements, tech stuff, and making magic happen within your organization. They get to rate your HR team’s current performance, spot areas for improvement, and even prioritize the issues they care about most. Psst, CEOs, your secrets are safe with us – this survey is anonymous.

Spread the Joy

So, spread some holiday cheer and share this survey link with your CEO or hook me up with their email.

As HR pros, you have the power to make some serious magic happen. By getting your CEO involved in this survey, you’re not just boosting your own game but helping us all understand what makes CEOs tick across different industries!

I’m making this holiday season all about shaping killer HR strategies. Are you with me? Share the link with your CEO and let’s sprinkle some HR magic together!

A Holiday Wishlist for HR Pros

As the holiday season approaches, let’s get into the gifts that HR professionals across the board are actually asking for this Christmas. And no, it’s not just about world peace or the wishful return of a discontinued Starbucks flavor—let’s get real about what the HR world truly desires.

Among the top items on this list are new HR AI Tools. Imagine getting our hands on some AI Tools that could turn us into HR superheroes, making us 10 times more efficient! It’s like getting a power-up in a video game, but for real-life HR adventures in 2024.

Another contender for the ultimate gift? The ability to hire more staff. It’s not only about filling positions but about alleviating the burden on overworked teams and managers. And a gift that keeps on giving to the candidates hired!

Then there’s the gift of a revamped employment brand. Imagine having the appeal of companies like Google, Marriott, and Apple. Being in a workplace that has that kind of pull seems amazing. Even though it’s not all glitz and glam, having a standout brand makes you daydream about being part of that crew.

Of course, there’s also the quest for top-tier talent. This isn’t merely a single wrapped present but more of an ongoing pursuit. Securing the cream of the crop is the ultimate aim and promises to make an HR professional’s life exponentially easier.

Working in HR is like having a secret Santa superpower. With a sprinkle of time, a dash of influence, a pinch of strategy, and a dollop of luck, we wield the magic to grant these wish-list items to our organizations. It’s like being the HR wizards making holiday miracles happen all year round!

What’s your ultimate gift for HR this holiday season?

Your Weekly Dose of HR Technology: @Workday and AI #HRTechConf

This week on The Weekly Dose, I’m going to discuss some recent announcements from Workday around some AI functionality they’ve launched. Workday might be the biggest brand in HR. You would have had to been completely sleeping through the past twenty years not to understand the giant impact Workday has made in HR Technology. There might not be another single brand in HR Tech that has taken more overall market share in the past couple of decades than Workday.

I think it’s important to have a productive conversation around Workday because of how many users use Workday in HR, Learning, and TA on a daily basis. Large HCM technology runs most HR shops across the globe, and while they might be as nimble as HR startups, they do the vast majority of blocking and tackling in HR.

In January, when ChatGPT and Generative AI became the most talked about topic of the year, my feeling then, and now, was that we would really have to wait and see how companies like Workday build out this new AI technology within the systems and processes we use every day. This is truly how most of us will experience AI, so I’m excited to see Workday’s recent announcements because this will really be the future of HR Technology for most of us.

What are the big Workday AI announcements?

  • “Ask Workday” – one of the major announcements that will feel most familiar to many of us is the Ask Workday feature built on Generative AI. In an everyday sense of how most users use HR Technology, this feature, to me, is how I imagined AI would impact us! Having a hiring manager ask something like, “What is the activity on my open jobs?” Instead of waiting to get a response from a recruiter, the hiring manager can get a real-time data-driven narrative, which is truly a game changer. But it’s more than that because this is also something employees can use to shape their career path, etc.
  • “Manager Insights Hub” – This is a new feature that truly uses the power of AI and Workday’s data insights. This is a completely integrated Manager portal that lets any manager of people look at employee goals, development plans, feedback, and other information in a single integrated page. This is a feature completely designed to solve one of the major deficits we see in so many organizations – making our leaders better! This feature also helps the manager and employee create a growth plan.
  • Automatically create Job Descriptions from Workday’s LLM, create policies, how-to guides, etc. This is what so many of us expected from GPT-like AI built into our HR systems, so this wasn’t unexpected, but it’s nice to see how quickly some of this tech has been rolled out and able to be used in real-world everyday HR use cases.

While just a start, it shows how serious Workday is at moving as fast as they can to leverage this new technology and help HR teams become more productive. I’m excited to see the direction they continue to evolve this technology around things like skills measuring, matching of skills to jobs, and the potential for screening both candidates and internal candidates to jobs.

It’s clear from these recent announcements that we should be prepared to see ongoing announcements coming from the large HCM players in our space. AI is transforming all of our functional systems and technology, and Workday is moving fast to take advantage of the productivity gains that can be made, but also how AI can transform your HR practice across the enterprise.

Your Weekly Dose of HR Technology: This week is @JobSync

Okay, it’s been a minute since I’ve been sharing my HR/TA Technology reviews. I’ve been busy finishing Volume 2 of the Talent Fix. Honestly, I’ve missed looking at a lot of tech, so get ready, I’ll probably be talking about more than you want! I’m excited to be writing tech reviews again.

If you’re new to my reviews, let me give you a little insight. None of these reviews are paid for. I just like this stuff, and I find the audience doesn’t know a lot about it, so I share what I know. I also try and focus on what is useful and what I like. Someone might think a piece of technology is junk, and the next person thinks it’s brilliant. If I share it on this page, I think it’s worth you doing a demo and finding out more about it, and you decide if it can work for you. Most likely, I would not be talking about a certain technology if someone hadn’t told me it was working for them!

This week, I revisit a technology that I’ve talked about before, but like most technology in our space, it evolves. Some change completely, some just become more feature-rich (marketing speak for adding more bells and whistles), and some pivot but stay in the space. JobSync didn’t add features or change or pivot, but they did become a little more laser-focused on their messaging, and as their client base will tell you, it just works.

What is JobSync?

JobSync solves a problem that most TA Teams have: getting more candidates to apply for your jobs. Specifically, it works well for enterprise, high-volume hiring. At this low-skill, no-skill candidate level, most candidates are coming from sites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, etc. They find your open job on one of these sites, and then they get pushed to your site and your mostly vanilla, painful, large recruiting HCM module that asks them to register and jump through hoops.

Most candidates drop off at this moment. Seriously! 95%+ drop off. The conversion is awful.

The solution then becomes how do we get candidates to apply to our job when and where they are at the moment they find your job? This is where JobSync steps in and builds the workflow that gets all the information you need and makes it less painful for the candidate without the candidate even knowing anything is different.

Your conversions of applicants go from 3-5% to 20-50%. You can see your applicant flow 8-10X overnight!

Honestly, it seems too good to be true, and you have to be thinking to yourself, it probably costs an arm and leg. It actually very cost-effective and has a large ROI; when you factor in, you will be reducing a lot of your job ad spend because of your higher conversion. I hate to even say this because it’s just a tech marketing pitch, but it’s one of the few techs in our space that pays for itself almost immediately.

So, why isn’t everyone using JobSync?

Our space is very noisy. It’s hard to get heard, even when you’re good at what you do. Also, they’re selling an invisible solution, so it seems a bit like you’re buying magic! Your CFO and CIO can’t see it, so you have to actually know what you’re talking about to get it through all the decision-makers.

It’s way easier to show them other solutions to fill your top of the funnel that they can see and might be easier for them to comprehend. That’s also another major problem. Most executives have no idea that only 3-5% percent of potential candidates turn into an applicant. Hell, most TA leaders don’t know this! When I ask for a room of C-Suites, they’ll usually land on 60-75%. So, it’s hard for them to comprehend it’s so low and that connecting with candidates where they are can make such a huge difference.

JobSync has a couple of things going for them and their clients. They have one of the smartest teams in our space. I mean people that I listen to and ask questions. Don’t underestimate hiring smart people to solve your problems. They’ve figured out the psychology of high-volume hiring applicants and what it takes to get them to apply, and the data shows it’s really working.

Give them a demo and take a look. They are a technology that is recommended to many of the recruiting consulting clients I work with at the enterprise level.

The Biggest Trends in Recruiting Technology in 2023! #HRTechConf

Next week, my good friend and super smart lady, Madeline Laurano, and I will be leading a session at The HR Technology Conference and Expo in Vegas. We did a short video to give you a sneak preview of what to expect:

The Great Duo in TA Tech History

Also, I’ll be introducing “Tim Sackett’s TA Technology Product of the Year!” sponsored by Aptitude Research! I’m dropping this on Madeline right now – she didn’t even know I was going to do this! You have to come to see who and what it will be!

If you can’t be in Vegas, I’ll announce it right here on the morning of Friday,hr t October 13th! Stay Tuned!