Why do you fight to keep what you have vs. fight for what you need?

I had a great conversation with the co-founder and President of Greenhouse Software, Jon Stross. Jon developed a model he calls the Hiring Maturity Model. Basically, it’s a scale or curve of where your recruiting department is in terms of technology maturity.

Part of that conversation was a fascinating piece about why we keep technology that isn’t moving us forward or making us successful. Don’t say budget! It’s not budget! Let me explain that.

What are the four reasons why we would rather keep stuff we have versus get stuff we actually need? 

1. We fear the pain of change. “Moving from one ATS to another ATS is hard work and takes years, and it’s just not worth it, Tim!” You’re wrong. It was that way when we had on-premise software, but with modern-day Saas platforms, this isn’t as painful by a mile! My most recent ATS change took six weeks, and we had zero downtime because we kept the legacy system going while we got used to the new system.

2. We fear short-term lower performance over the benefit of long-term gains. Well, it might not be great, but we know what we have. What if we change and it’s worse!? It won’t be because you will do your due diligence and research, and you’ll make sure it will be exponentially better! If what you have isn’t that good, you must be willing to build something better. Your organization needs you to do this.

3. We feel stupid and don’t know the technology enough to advocate for change. This is very legitimate. I feel stupid every single day about technology. I’ve got some stupid thing with my Macbook going on, and I can’t figure it out. And it drives me crazy! Demo. Demo. Demo. I felt stupid about our TA Tech space, and I just started demoing everything I could find, and it opened up a completely new world of what is possible in talent acquisition.

4. It was your call, originally, to get what you have, so bailing on it now looks bad on you. Do you still have an iPhone 4? No!?! What!?! Why not!? When the iPhone 4 was launched, it was AWESOME! Oh, wait, the iPhone 12 is better? Turns out, technology improves. What you thought was best two or three years ago is now a dinosaur in the technology world. So, just like IT, Finance, and Operations, it’s okay to say, hey, the tech we have now isn’t what we need today to stay competitive for talent.

Did I say demo? For the love of St. Petersburg, Demo! It’s the single best thing you can do to develop yourself around getting smarter about the technology in your functional professional area of expertise.

Too many of us keep processes and systems way too long for reasons that, when you really dig into it, don’t even make sense. “Well, Tim, we have to use this ATS because payroll is tied to it, and payroll says we can’t change.” Um, what!? Does payroll drive revenue for the organization? Does payroll find and develop talent for the future of the organization? Stop it! Stop the excuses.

Oh, Budget! 

I forgot it’s the pandemic. You don’t have a budget. Actually, you do. I mean, you’re already spending it on crappy software that isn’t working for you. Stop spending that, and you have all kinds of budgets! I have never met one CEO/CIO/CFO who, when shown a better, more efficient way of doing business wasn’t all in on giving it a try if it didn’t cost them more money. Same money? Okay, let’s do it!

Check out the Greenhouse podcast with Jon and me. He’s a great dude. I love his voice and cadence. I could listen to him all day!

The 1 Thing You Have to Do to Fall In Love With Your Job!

Do you know what it felt like the last time you fell in love?

I mean, real love?

The kind of love where you talk 42 times per day, in between text and Facebook messages, and feel physical pain from being apart? Ok, maybe for some, it’s been a while, and you didn’t have the texts or Facebook!  But, you remember those times when you really didn’t think about anything else or even imagine not seeing the other person the next day, hell, the next hour. Falling “in” love is one of the best parts of love; it doesn’t last that long, and you never get it back.

I hear people all the time say, “I love my job,” and I never used to pay much attention; in fact, I’ve said it myself.  The reality is that I don’t love my job. I mean, I like it a whole lot, but I love my wife, I love my kids, and I love Diet Mt. Dew at 7 am on a Monday morning. The important things in life!  But my job?  I’m not sure about that one.  As an HR Pro, I’m supposed to work to get my employees to “love” their jobs.  Love.

Want to know the difference between like and love? The next time your significant other tells you, “I love you!” just say in return, “Yeah, I like you as well!” Then get ready for an argument!

Let me go all Dr. Phil on you for a second. Do you know why most relationships fail? No, it’s not cheating. No, it’s not the drugs and/or alcohol. No, it’s not money. No, it’s not that he stops caring. No, it’s not your parents. Ok, stop it. I’ll just tell you!

Relationships fail because expectations aren’t met.  It seems logical knowing what we know about how people fall in love and lose their minds.  Once that calms down, the real work begins.  So, if you expect love to be the love of the first 4-6 months of a relationship, you’re going to be disappointed a whole bunch over and over.

Jobs aren’t much different.

You get a new job, and it’s usually really good!  People listen to your opinion. You seem smarter. Hell, you seem better looking (primarily because people are sick of looking at their older co-workers). Everything seems better in a new job.  Then you have your one-year anniversary, and you come to find out you’re just like the other idiots you’re working with.

This is when falling in love with your job really begins. When you know about all the stuff, the company hid in the closet. The past employees they think are better and smarter than you, the good old days when they made more money, etc.  Now is when you have to put some work into making it work.

I see people all the time moving around to different employers and never seeming to be satisfied.  They’re searching. Not for a better job or a better company. They’re searching for that feeling that will last.  But it never will, not without them working for it.

The best love has to be worked for. Passion is easy and fleeting. Love is hard to sustain and has to be worked on, but it can last forever.

I’m back from London – What did I learn?

I was over in London during the 4th of July holiday. I hosted the DisruptHR London event and attended RecFest 2022. The weather was very un-London like in that it was amazing!

This was my third time in London and every time I learn a little more:

London –

  • Still the best mass transit system around. Nothing beats the Tube!
  • London is a better New York. Big city. Big city stuff to do. Smells wonderful and seems like a smaller city. Flowers everywhere. There’s so much to see.
  • Food is improving, but mainly that’s all the non-English food coming in.
  • Shopping is funny in London. So many people from different countries and middle east tourists love the gaudy logo brand clothing! The gaudier the better! They wait in line to get into the biggest brand name stores! Like, you never have to ask what they are wearing, you can read it clearly across their chest! The English, tend to not be so loud about their dress.
  • They still laugh at how much soda Americans drink, but that’s only because instead of drinking soda they drink the same amount of beer.
  • The English men dress exponentially way better than American men on average. Also, almost none of them wear shorts. I had folks comment on my “American” shorts, mostly that it was too cold for shorts. It was in the ’70s every day.
  • It’s one of the most diverse cities I’ve been to. You meet people from so many countries it’s unbelievable. And no one is complaining that England is trying to make the country their country. London is London, you came here, welcome to London. We’re going to stay being London, we hope you like it. If you don’t, you’re free to leave. That doesn’t mean they aren’t accepting and welcoming, they are. But they are also English, no matter your skin color or nationality.
  • I had drivers from six different countries – Afghanistan, Italy, South Africa, Iraq, Norway, and Croatia. Each one was excited to talk about America and all couldn’t wait to go back or go for the first time. They seemed truly excited. Also, unfortunately, most wanted to go to Las Vegas or New York. To them that’s America! This wasn’t normal driver chit-chat, these folks really wanted to talk about America and many had stories of them trying to get to America, but England was easier.

DisruptHR London –

  • Just an amazing group of HR professionals and speakers. The London HR crowd was so engaging.
  • We struggled to get 200 folks to sign up. Which is strange, but it’s really about advertising and marketing. Everyone who came raved about the event, but almost 100% said they had never heard of it. It felt like we hammered the marketing for eight straight weeks. Also, this was actually the 16th DisruptHR London, so it begs the question of who was coming to the first 16?!
  • If you’ve never done a 5-minute DisruptHR talk – as a speaker – it might be your greatest challenge! You must try one!

RecFest2022 –

  • 4,000+/- Recruiting professionals at an outdoor festival. Jamie Leonard, the founder of RecFest, hates when I call it the world’s largest Recruiting party, but it is! It’s also a festival and conference and it’s amazing.
  • It was a warm, sunny day, and I and like 50 other people had on our American shorts!
  • Word is, RecFest might be coming to America in 2022, but if you have a chance to go over to London for RecFest 2023, it’s a must-do!
  • People in the UK seem to love to queue (that’s standing in line, for Americans). When I arrived at the festival there were 1,000 people in the queue just waiting to get in! Eventually, they just opened the gates, then people went right back into the queue for coffee, food, and beer. I think the English just walk around looking to stand in a queue! That won’t work in America. Jamie and the crew will have to figure that out. If Americans stand in line for ten minutes, they’ll never come back!
  • There is nothing like this anywhere in the world! The RecFest folks truly have something special on their hands.

Don’t Offer Yourself Up to the Burden.

I was on TikTok the other night. TikTok for me has become my mindless tv. You know when you’ve had your normal busy day and you just want mindless interaction before you go to bed. The TikTok algorithm is amazing. I get all my golf vids, funny vids, political vids, puppy vids, and out of nowhere last night the algo snuck in Conor Crippen.

I was now all in down the Conor Crippen rabbit hole. I don’t even know why the algo surfaced this up, but damn it, I love it! it’s an inspiring story and I’m laying there watching Conor videos and I’m laughing and crying and smiling and if anyone saw me they would have thought I was probably having a breakdown of some sort!

Here’s Conor’s story:

On Conor’s site, he has this saying and it won’t get out of my brain: “Don’t offer yourself up to the burden.” He goes on:

“Every day, no matter what you are going through, you have a choice. You can either give in to the burden you’re facing or refuse to let it define you.”

I needed to hear that. Almost everyone I know needs to hear that.

Conor’s story is inspiring not just because of this perseverance and strength, but also because of his mother’s perseverance and strength! His aunt wrote their story in the book titled, “Just Give Me the Road” based on a quote his mother said just hours after his accident. It’s an amazing story.

Make sure you follow Conor on TikTok:

https://www.tiktok.com/@crippenconor/video/7081670691757575466?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7094594753518913067
@crippenconor on the TikToks

You can also hire Conor to come to speak at your event! I hope that I get to meet Conor at an event I’m speaking at in the near future!

Also, shoutout to TIkTok for taking my mindless activity time and helping me find such an amazing person!

Being Fully Authentic Is The Worst Advice You Can Give Someone!

I went to the SHRM Annual Conference this past week. I bet there had to be six different sessions, all jammed packed, with speakers telling HR Pros to “Become their Authentic Selves”. Just typing that makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

I call this content, HR Lady Candy. You might think that is sexist but it’s just data. 80%+ of the SHRM audience is female. Those of us that speak at SHRM are building content for women. Viewing the packed rooms, HR Lady Candy sells and it sells well!

But, it’s awful advice!

If you are truly authentic and bring your whole self to work, you are bringing all of you and I’m just going to take an educated guess that there are parts of you better off left at home. Parts of you that you yourself aren’t extremely proud of at certain times. Yes, these parts are part of you, but just as I don’t walk around outside my house naked, there are certain things I don’t need others to see.

I don’t judge these speakers and their full rooms. It’s so good damn empowering to feel like you aren’t true to yourself and have someone on stage in a power position telling you to “just do it!” It’s freeing. You want to run out of that room and just let your freak flag fly! But usually, in reality, that freak flag isn’t the freeing and empowering tool you hoped it would be.

The vast majority of us in the world, need a good-paying job with good benefits. The vast majority of us want to work hard and get promoted. We want to be the best version of ourselves as much as we can. We want to be wanted by others and grow our relationships with like-minded people. “Like-minded” means how we think like most of the time. Not how we think in our worst and most vulnerable moments. No one wants to be judged in those moments. Yes, that is part of our true self, but it’s not the true self I want others to see.

But, that content isn’t very sexy. No one wants to go sit and watch a speaker say, “Just be more normal!” it’ll work out, on average, a ton better for your career!

Freak flag flyers are awesome. We celebrate them. It usually works out for about 1 out of 1,000. Are you willing to bet your career on a .01% chance of success? What if I said the freaks are successful 1 out of 5! Oh, 20% of the time they are successful. Will you stake your career on that? Doubtful, that’s still really risky!

We love to believe the SHRM HR Lady audience is super conservative. That tends to be the profile of HR professionals. This just might be why we are so attracted to the “live your true self” content. We like it because we know we’ll never really do it, but it feels so good to dream!

Sackett Tips: Advice for Grads and Dropouts!

Every year around this time the content machine delivers an endless amount of “Graduation” advice to new grads. “As you leave the manicured lawns of your youth…” I’ve actually done the “wear sunscreen” posts myself from year to year. They are easy to write because it allows the writer to just wax poetically about all the mistakes we’ve made ourselves, which in turn becomes the advice for you to do or not do (thanks, Yoda!).

I realized just yesterday the problem with the grad advice columns is we’ve completely forgotten about dropouts! In today’s world, with declining higher ed enrollments (college starts are down 5 quarters in a row) it’s even more important that we talk to the dropouts as well. Of course, we see many more dropouts when unemployment is very low as it is now. With a ton of jobs open, young people can make really great money without going to college, so it’s a natural phenomenon.

The Sackett Tips for Grads and Dropouts

  • Work for the biggest brand possible right out of the gate. You most likely won’t have a great experience, but it will help your career out way more in the long run. We are all enamored with the person who worked for Amazon and Apple over JBE Automation in central Iowa. Like somehow that Apple job where you got to focus on a sliver of a project is way more valuable than actually owning an entire project. But that’s life. Go work for a giant brand.
  • Calculate the value of leaving a job and people you really like. You will hear estimates from “experts” telling you not to change jobs unless you get a 10-20% increase. And that is really a lot of money. But, what if the new job sucks and the new people suck. Is that $5,000-10,000 worth it? Each of us has to make that call. What I find is most people will tell you it’s not worth it. 
  • Maintain relationships with peers and co-workers from other jobs you left and with those who left your company. That network will pay you back in the future like nothing else you have.
  • Say, “Yes” to jobs no one else wants. Those are the jobs that get noticed by executives. We all know the stuff no one else wants to do, so when someone steps forward and “takes one for the team” you stand out above the rest. 
  • Protect your time, but have a reason. Executives totally understand the person who says, “I can’t this weekend, I’m coaching my little girl’s soccer team and I have to be there for her” vs. someone who just says “No”. 
  • Every executive is looking for people who treat the organization and the brand like their own. I get it, they make a crap ton more than you, but they always didn’t make more. At some point, they made peanuts as well but treated the company like it was their own. Protected assets, spent budget wisely, etc. 
  • Diversity isn’t about color, gender, etc. But it also is about all that. You want to hire great people who fit your culture and who are also from diverse backgrounds. Most organizations fuck this up by just hiring color or gender and forgetting about the fit. It’s not one or the other, it’s both. 
  • Don’t wait for an employer to develop you. Find ways to develop yourself. Build a business case as to why your employer should pay for you to take a class that costs money. 
  • Make yourself as pretty as possible. Every single study you can find will show that the more attractive you are the more money you make, the more likely you are to get promoted, work for a great company, etc. Turns out, everyone loves pretty people. You, like me, might not have been blessed with “pretty” DNA, but we can all make ourselves the best version of ourselves! Don’t believe people that tell you looks don’t matter. They matter greatly, they’ve just given up.
  • Put on your own oxygen mask first. I run into so many kind souls who are trying to protect and help co-workers, peers, etc., but not helping themselves. Take care of yourself, so you can properly help others.

Oh, and wear sunscreen.

So, what’s the difference in advice between the grads and dropouts? None. Turns out, once you start working no one gives a shit whether you have a degree or not, now you have to actually perform.

It’s a great time to be a hard-working, attractive, smart person in our society. Take advantage.

Why is Walmart Struggling to Find $200K/Year Store Managers?

6.68% of Americans make $200,000 a year or more. Of course, that almost 7% is definitely centered around certain areas. States like California, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, etc., have a much larger percentage than the average. States like Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, most of the Midwest, etc., are under the average.

The Wall Street Journal had an article this week about how Walmart is struggling to fill their store manager jobs. Specifically, their General Manager job, the number one job in a Walmart store, which pays around $200,000 per year.

You would think with so few people making $200,000 a year, Walmart would have smart, ambitious folks knocking down their doors for a chance to make $200,000 per year!

But they don’t. Why?

First, most organizations tend to promote from within. Walmart is similar to this, but reality eventually hits the ceiling. An average Walmart store probably does a revenue of $50-100 million per year. The net income of those locations probably runs around $3-5M per year. There are roughly 350 employees in a Walmart store. Running a single Walmart store is like running a mid-sized enterprise business! Most SMBs in the country have a revenue well under $1M.

This means that Walmart can most likely train an hourly store employee to become a department manager, but to become a General Manager, they are looking for some formal business education. You have to run a giant P&L. You have major risk factors. You need real leadership skills. In many towns, “the Walmart” is probably the biggest business in town!

College kids, on average, don’t want to leave State U for a $65,000 a year job as a Manager in Training at Walmart. It’s not something you go back to the homecoming football game and brag about. Your friends took that $50k per year job with the tech firm in town as an entry-level, you make more, but they look down on you.

I know some folks are reading this and thinking, “So! You make more! You will continue to make more! You run are in line to run a giant business! You f’ing cares what others think!” Young adults do. Young adults care what other people think. If I’m frank, and I usually am, we all care what others think!

What would I do if I was at Walmart?

I love this game. It was the basis of my entire book! What would Timmy do if he ran your shop!

#1 – Stop trying to hire or require any form of formal education. Yes, you need smart folks, so give cognitive assessments. Find smart people who can learn quickly, who also have some “hustle” and “grind” to them. You probably have a ton of folks already working for you that you won’t consider. You also have to look at talent pools we tend to discount, most notably, in this case, 50 years and older, retired military commanders, etc. Walmart wants to solve this by talking new college grads into these jobs, I’d be talking failed executives into these jobs! Big salary. Big team. Big job. College grads don’t want that, your Dad does, and a retired military leader who is used to leading hundreds of soldiers does. Also, your Dad will work 60 hours a week and think it’s normal. A new grad will work a solid 40 and think it’s North Korea.

#2 – Build the Manager School. If a great GM in a Walmart environment makes them $3-5M a year, there are margin dollars to build more great GMs! Part in-person instruction. Part on the job training. Part virtual instruction. All the way in on fully engaging non-stop. Send them to manager boot camp. Make it exclusive. Bring in big-time celebrity speakers around leadership and performance. Do graduation with a gold watch.

#3 – Make it so lucrative they won’t want to leave. $200K is really nice, but you need some other stuff. You need to make folks say, “F! You!” To their friends that don’t think Walmart is cool enough. What is that? I don’t stock options. Partner programs on profit sharing. Company SUV.

Here’s what I know. The profit difference between Walmart’s worse GM store and their best GM store is so big it would make you blush. It’s millions of dollars. So, making sure you hire, train, develop, and take care of the great ones is priority number one. Building the talent pipeline to successful GMs would be the job of a team of people that included great recruiting leaders, brand and marketing leaders, and technology and data leaders.

I’m not saying this is an easy job. It’s enormously difficult and complicated. But, it’s doable. The problem is, that every organization thinks the solution to their problem is new college grads. They can help, but it’s only one sliver of the full pie that is needed.

Things That Should Require You To Take An IQ Test!

I was sitting in an airport last week just doing some people-watching. Airports are a good place to do this. I was watching a mom drag her kid down the hall on one of those kid leashes. Now, the kid was being an idiot and not wanting to walk, but the parent was the bigger idiot just dragging them across a gross airport hallway!

You hear this all the time, “People should have to take an IQ test before having kids”. But of course, this would make too much sense for society!

It got me thinking about when we should give someone an IQ test and when we shouldn’t. I came up with some ideas:

Things that should require you to take an IQ test:

  1. Having children
  2. Having the ability to post on a social media platform
  3. Operating any type of vehicle that goes over 12 miles per hour
  4. Being allowed to “reply all” to a work email
  5. Ordering at Starbucks
  6. Investing in Crypto, stocks, real estate, basically any investment you can’t tell me specifically how it works
  7. Getting through TSA and loading onto a plane
  8. Joining an organized religion
  9. Running for political office
  10. Buying a gun

Things you shouldn’t need an IQ test for:

  1. Most jobs
  2. Filling out taxes in America. We know how much you owe, but we’re going to force you to tell us how much you owe!
  3. Attending college
  4. Being nice to others
  5. Demonstrating civility in normal societal interactions
  6. Setting up email on your new smartphone
  7. Streaming TV shows and movies
  8. Logging onto WIFI
  9. Understanding extended warranties
  10. Understanding how a vaccine works

Turns out, you can’t fix stupid.

What did I miss? Add your comment below with the thing you believe needs an IQ test attached!

The Big Regret! How’s that new job treating you?

When 4-5 million people per month change jobs, mostly for more money, there are going to be some consequences! Turns out, the grass isn’t always greener when you get more green!

A Muse survey, reported in the WSJ, recently found out that nearly 75% of workers who’ve changed jobs recently have regretted it, and 50% of those would try and get their old job back! That’s a lot! But it’s not surprising.

The biggest stressors we have in life are having kids, buying a house, and changing jobs. We tend to make bad decisions when stressed, and when you have 4-5 million people per month making that decision, well, that’s a lot of bad decisions!

What will we learn from the Big Regret?!

1. Money isn’t everything, but once you get more of it, it’s hard to go back to the old money level.

2. The old job and the old boss didn’t really suck, and the stuff we thought sucked at the old job, suck at the new job as well. It’s called “work” for a reason.

3. The power of someone paying attention to us and making us feel pretty is the most powerful force on the planet. Never underestimate it.

4. You can go back to your old job, but it will be different. It’s like going back to your ex. You are both a bit smarter and a bit more cautious now. There are some scars. Same people, same company, same job, but it’s not the same. Doesn’t make it bad, but you can’t expect it to be the same.

5. You can’t really judge a job until a couple of things happen: 1. You actually know how to do the job fully; 2. Co-workers stop seeing you as the newbie. In every case, that timeline is different. Be patient and do the job before you judge it.

6. If you find that you have an asshole boss at every job you work, the asshole might be you, not the boss.

7. In the future, when we have more jobs than available workers, let’s not act surprised when people start changing jobs. It’s happened in every similar economic cycle in the modern world. It’s called oppotunity. Don’t confuse that with the world has changed.

What should you do if you hate your new Great Resignation Job?

  • Take some time to really determine what you hate. Was that different from the old job? Was it the same? Will it be that way at the next job? Too many folks don’t know what they hate and they just keep selecting the same jobs they hate time and time again, but with a new pay rate and new address.
  • Some of us immediately want to return back to our old job. That might work, it might not. A psychological thing happens to so many managers once you leave them. It’s like you broke up with them and now you want to run back to that comfort. You’ll find many have no interest, and it has nothing to do with your value and performance, and everything to do with them feeling like you’ll hurt them again.
  • Try and find something you like to do, but call it “work”. This is different than the B.S. you’re told about work doing something you love and you’ll never work another day in your life! I’m no life coach, but that crap doesn’t work. You call it “work” even if you love it, because one day you’ll show up to do what you thought you loved and find out its work, and you’ll be depressed and broken. You don’t love work. You love your family and your God and puppies. You work to put yourself in a position to be able to do what you love. If you’re super lucky, every once in a while those two things will overlap.

Could You Buy Yourself Out of a Metric You Rely On?

Here’s the thing, any metric you can buy your way out of probably isn’t a great metric to measure you or your team against.

Why?

First, if money is going to help you get better at something and you have the money, then by all means make yourself better.

But the most helpful metrics are the ones where money has little impact on the ultimate success.

Example:

If you can’t get enough candidates in the top of your funnel you can always spend more money to solve that issue. It’s a simple advertising spend issue. You can buy yourself into great top-of-funnel results.

What you can’t buy is the number of screened candidates you send on to your hiring managers. That’s an effort metric. You have to do that work. The metric is achieved will always lead to more results and more success.