Would You Be Willing to Guarantee a New Hire One Year’s Worth of Pay and Benefits?

“People don’t want more choices. They want to be more confident in the choices they make.”

– Scott Galloway

It’s hard to hire not because there isn’t enough talent. There are all kinds of talent. In fact, there has never been a time in our lives where it’s been easier to actually find that talent and connect with that talent!

The technology and access we have to candidates have never been better. So, why is it so damn hard to hire!?

Candidates are fearful of making a bad decision. I might not love my current job, but at least I know what I have. I know the good and the bad. If I move and make a change, I’m not 100% sure of what I’m getting myself into.

So, would your organization be willing to take that fear away from me? 

Just take it clean off the table. If you take our job, we know it’s a stressful decision, we’ll sign a contract where we will play you a guarantee one year’s salary and benefits, no-fault. Meaning, at any time in the first year, if you, or we, decide this just isn’t working out, we’ll pay you the balance of that first year’s salary. It’s a no-risk offer to come to work here!

Would you do that? Why or why not?

If we do our jobs really well, in terms of sourcing, screening, assessing, vetting, and selection, this is really a low-risk proposition for the company, and it might actually help us land some of the best talent that is just a bit more conservative in their decision making. Think about who is naturally conservative in their thinking? Engineers, highly intelligent, logical people like scientists of all types, medical professionals, accounting types, legal types, etc.

You know those hard to land hires!

The dirty little secret of doing something like this is it’s basically almost no risk because most professional hires, given a proper courting process, don’t leave within twelve months. You wouldn’t do this with high volume hiring, but you could do it with your hard to find, low volume hiring.

What do you think? What am I missing? Why would our executives support this or hate this? Hit me in the comments.

In Attracting Great Talent, What’s More Important: Employment Branding or Recruitment Marketing?

Like most stuff I write, I try to break down things in HR and TA that we make way more complicated than it really is. We’re just hiring people, and trying to get the most out of our employees that we can. We aren’t launching the space shuttle or performing brain surgery. This stuff really isn’t that complicated.

I asked some of the most brilliant minds in the space and they gave some great advice, tips, and tricks. Some started to get deep into the weeds, but most gave ideas that were simple in nature to execute. There was basically one theme for each function, employment branding, and recruitment marketing:

Employment Branding at its core is your organization just telling your stories to candidates. 

Not made-up stories of what you want people to think about you, but your real employee stories. Simple, straightforward, this is who we are and why we love who we are. Some will love you, some will not. The best EB does just that, allows people to choose, so they don’t make a bad cultural fit choice.

Recruitment Marketing at its core is ensuring your stories get in front of candidates in a way and time they would like to consume those stories. 

So, it’s less “We’re a great company to work for!”, because everyone says they’re a great company to work for. No one says, “Hey, we’re a better than average company to work for!” Even though, that’s probably the real truth.

There is a piece of this, though, that I think the true employment branding experts are missing.

As consumers, we are all mostly dumb. A company tells us they have the best most reliable cars and then they tell us this over and over a million times, and we believe that those cars are the best and most reliable. We actually don’t do any research to find out if these cars are actually the best and most reliable. We got ‘marketed’ to.

Recruitment marketing can work in the exact same way. Put enough content out saying you’re the employer of choice, and people will recognize you as an employer of choice. The reality is the difference between a ‘true’ employer of choice, and an organization that is not an employer of choice is pretty small. Small, like, most people wouldn’t see any differences.

Most employers are stuck in the middle of delivering a fairly stripped-down basic employee experience. We all offer basically the same thing for all candidates. Thus, there’s a great opportunity for marketing to tell people we ‘actually’ offer a ‘better’ experience. Say it enough times and people will believe it.

I know my EB expert friends will say this isn’t being transparent and once the candidates get hired they’ll realize it’s not an exceptional experience. But, this is also mostly bullshit. Most people don’t realize it. They’ll get hired. They’ll go to work. They’ll be super excited about the new job. They’ll post a pic on IG. Life continues. One day, three years from now, they’ll wake up and think nothing. They won’t think either way about your company from the last company.

There are like 3 actual companies that offer up this ‘unicorn’ level employee experience that can actually match your brand. The reality of employment branding is far less sexy and fun than we make it out to be. Our stories are uniquely our own, and yet, very similar to those stories of every other employer.

I love your stories, but don’t discount the power of marketing will have on candidate behavior.

College Students Have No Idea You Want to Recruit Them!

For part of my career, I did the standard corporate college recruiting gig. It sounds “super-cool” when you first think about it. “Wait, I get to fly around the country and go the best college campuses and recruit people who actually want to be recruited?!”

The reality is college recruiting as a corporate recruiter is much less sexy. Think a lot of Courtyard Marriotts, a pizza, and a six-pack, while you watch crapping hotel TV and follow up on work email. Then wake up early and get to the next campus. You quickly begin to hate travel, hate college campuses and miss actually being in the office!

But, corporations believe they must be on campus to recruit the best and brightest college students. Here where the problem begins. College students don’t even know you’re there! A recent study by Walker Sands found out that the majority of college students don’t even know you were on campus:

Walker Sands’ new Perceptions of Consulting Careers study, 56 percent of college students don’t even know if consulting firms recruit at their school. On top of that, 82 percent feel that major firms only recruit from a limited group of select universities.
Okay, this study focused on consulting firms, but the reality is the students don’t really know the difference between Deloitte and Dell when it comes to getting a job!
What can you do to make your company stand out and be remembered while you’re on campus? Try these five things:
1. Develop a Pre-visit communication strategy. Work with the schools you want to recruit from most to find out how you can get your message in front of them (email, text, the student newspaper, geo-targeted social media campaign, billboards on campus, etc.). Each school has a way to reach every student, you need to find out what that is, and how you can tap into that, even it costs a little money.
2. Come in early and take over classes in the majors you’re most interested in. Professors are like most people, they don’t want to work hard if they don’t have to. So, if you build 45 minutes of great content, most Professors will let you ‘guest’ lecture as long as it’s not one big sales pitch. Come up with great contact professors will find valuable for their students, then go deliver it the day before the major career fair. Then invite each class to come see you.
3. Make a splash in high traffic areas on the day of your visit. College kids haven’t changed much, they like free food and drink, free stuff, basically anything free! So, find the highest traffic area on campus and give away free stuff college kids will like. If you’re only interested in one specific school within the university, find out where those students hang out.
4. Stay a day later after everyone else leaves. Whether it’s the day after or even another time altogether, find a time to be on campus when you don’t have any competition to getting your message out. 99% of employers only show up on career fair day. Stand out and be the employer that is there when no one else is!
5. Post-visit communication strategy. Most organizations never contact the students who show interest in them after they leave campus.  They’ll contact a handful of the ones who stood out to them, but so is every other employer. Recruiting kids after you leave is more important than the time you spend on campus. Most kids will see 20+ employers and will only remember a couple. If you stalk them after the fact, they’ll remember you!

You Can’t Teach Your Employees to be Human! #Transform

You might have seen this in the news a few weeks back. Mom and Dad take their Autistic son to a Universal Theme Park in Orlando. The son is over the top excited for the Spiderman ride, and Murphy’s Law comes into play.

The family gets to the ride and it’s broken down. The son loses it. Full blown, five-alarm tantrum on the ground in front of the ride. Mom and Dad are doing all they can to help him calm down, he’s having none of it, when this happens:

So, you see the son with his headphones and you see an actual park employee from Universal from the Spiderman ride who came over and got on the ground and just laid down with this child. Let everyone know who was gawking that you know, it’s okay, some days the Spiderman ride breaks down and it sucks and we all want to scream about it.

The child eventually calmed down with the help of the employee. The parents were all so grateful for the assist and help.

This is a great human story. This is also a great story for Universal’s recruiting team! Let’s be honest. The reality is, the TA team really had nothing to do with this. They ran their process, and out of that, got lucky enough to hire a person who had these capabilities and a giant heart.

You can’t expect or set out to hire, individuals like this woman. She’s a unicorn. In fact, I would bet that Universal in their training would probably use an example like this of what not to do from a liability standpoint! All that said, it happened and it was wonderful.

You might see a story like this and say to yourself, “we need to add this example into our onboarding so that our new employees know this is what we want them to be like!” That’s really unfair to your new hires. Some might see this and think that’s the scariest thing I can imagine, but they might be willing to do a thousand other great things.

The biggest learning from an HR standpoint on this for me is that we can’t eliminate risk in our environments. Things are going to happen. We hope we hire and train employees to do the ‘right’ thing. To be kind. To be human. To do what they would want someone to do for them in a similar circumstance.

Also, to know, when we ask our employees to take the risk of being kind, being human, etc. that sometimes it’s going to backfire, but if it was done with positive intent and good heart we are willing to take that risk.

Transform Recruitment Marketing Live Stream Registration is Now Open! (Free!)

June 20-21st I’ll be in Boston as the Emcee at Transform Recruitment Marketing conference. This is the 5th year of Transform and I’m super excited to be attending, but also super excited that Transform has opened up this conference to a virtual audience for those who can’t attend in person, for free!

I’m constantly speaking and writing about all kinds of Recruitment Marketing tactics, ideas, and strategies. It’s still a very new and fast evolving function within talent acquisition. What I love about Transform is they’ve gone out and really worked to bring in actual corporate TA pros who are recruitment marketing practitioners to share what they are doing and what’s working for them!

The 2019 Transform conference will have speakers from: Delta Airlines (“The Kid” – Holland Dombeck), Intel, CVS, Washington Post, IBM, Sprint, Fiserv, Cox, etc. It’s loaded with practitioners sharing all of their secrets and best practices around recruitment marketing and talent attraction.

So, what do I expect to learn at this year’s Transform?

– Connecting Employee Experience and Candidate Experience

– Next generation Talent Analytics

– Increasing Conversion Ratios of Career site Visitors

– How do we recruit Gen Z vs. all the rest

– Enabling and Sustaining Your RM Strategy

– Activating Talent Communities at Scale

Plus so much more!

I love that Transform is opening up the content to a virtual audience. Let’s be honest, so many of us just can’t afford to attend a live event each year, or you already have planned a different event. Is it the same as being there in person, no, but in TA we make do with the resources we have! If you get the chance to come next year, the real miss of not being there in person is building the connections and community of other like-minded folks that you can share and build ideas from. It’s really the reason we all go to live events!

Register for the Free Virtual Transform Recruitment Marketing Conference (who won’t get all of the content, let’s be fair some great folks paid a ton of money to be with me in Boston at the Live event, but you’ll get a lot!) Already thousands have registered, so I know this content is needed by so many!

 

I tried an Impossible Burger and Here’s my opinion…

So, I’ve been hearing for a while all the great publicity of the Impossible Burger (or other plant-based meat products). I even got pictures sent to me by my friend Laurie Ruettimann who was cooking Beyond Burgers and Sausages over the holiday weekend. It seems like meatless burgers that taste like real meat burgers are a thing, especially for people who don’t eat meat because it’s murder but they want that great murder burger taste!

Let’s be clear, I actually didn’t order the Impossible Burger or make one for myself, one of my son’s, Cameron, ordered it and said I could have a bite of his. I actually took two bites.

Very first thought that came into my head when I could actually taste the burger in my mouth:

-College cafeteria burger. I’m not sure if you remember your college cafeteria in the dorms, but this literally was the only thought that came into my head. Not a bad taste, but instantly I was transported back to eating a burger that was looked like a burger, somewhat tasted like a burger, but didn’t really seem 100% like a burger I was used to getting at home off the grill. Those cafeteria burgers are cooked and then they ‘float’ them in hot water for hours until the college kid comes and says “give a burger”.

-A bit of different texture to a real burger, but not that drastically different. I wasn’t mushy or dry, it was actually kind of juicy in a weird way.

-Looks like a burger. Talks like a duck, walks like a duck, it must be a duck, right?

Thoughts after the experience:

-If you like a real burger, Impossible Burger isn’t a replacement. When I go to Shake Shack and order a double cheese Shake Burger and the bun is completely soaked with grease and you take that first bite, well that my friends is what life is all about. Clogged artery deliciousness and gold old red meat, ground chuck, just run it by the fire until it stops mooing love!

-I will say I had a strange sense of wanting to vote for further environmental regulations after eating the Impossible Burger, but I think that had more to do with the “Soy Protein Isolate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Methylcellulose, Zinc Gluconate, Cultured Dextrose, etc.” in the ingredients than it actually changing my political identity.

-Science is amazing. If you gave me this burger on a plate with fries and never told me it was an Impossible Burger, I’m not 100% sure, after five gin and tonics, that I could tell the difference.

I’m not a person who’s going to go all red-blooded American who eats meat on you. I like all kinds of foods and I could care less what you want to eat. I’m not, and will never be Vegan or Vegetarian or Gluten-free, but if that’s what you like, good for you! More power to you. I love a great Filet from a really expensive restaurant, with asparagus and some kind of cheesy potatoes. I cook some kind of meat on the grill at least twice a week on average all year long.

What was your experience with Impossible Burger? Did you like it, love it, gotta have it? I’m 100% sure I could make it up into meatballs and put it in sauce and no would know the difference!

Hit me in the comments.

The Myth of Being a “Highly Selective Employer”

We all think about it, don’t we?  We all want to believe in this notion that we only hire the best and brightest. We only hire the highest quality candidates.  We are ‘highly’ selective!

We’ll show our executives really cool data that shows how ‘highly’ selective we are.  The number of applicants per hire, 25,000 people applied for this position and we only took the best one!

I read something interesting from Time magazine and college admissions at highly selective colleges. Think Harvard, Yale, MIT, etc.  Schools that are super hard to get into because of how selective they are much like the hiring process of your organization. From Time’s article:

“What many parents and students don’t realize is that increasing numbers of applications isn’t necessarily a sign that it’s harder to get into a selective school; rather, it’s a sign of changes in behavior among high school seniors. More and more people who aren’t necessarily qualified are applying to top schools, inflating the application numbers while not seriously impacting admissions. In fact, it has arguably become easier to get into a selective school, though it may be harder to get into a particular selective school…

The most recent study available from the National Association for College Admission Counseling shows that between 2010 and 2011 (the most recent years available), the percentage of students applying to at least three colleges rose from 77% to 79% and the percentage of students applying to at least seven colleges rose from 25% to 29%. In 2000, only 67% of students applied to three or more colleges, while 12% applied to seven or more.

The net effect of this behavior is to create an illusion of increased selectivity.

Especially at the most selective schools, an increase in applications generally leads to the acceptance of a smaller percentage of the students who apply. However, students who meet the academic and extracurricular thresholds to qualify for competitive schools will still get into a selective college; it’s just less likely that they’ll get into a specific competitive college.

These schools work hard to not admit students who won’t attend;  the acceptance rate and the matriculation rate (the percentage of accepted students who attend) are key measures in many college ranking methodologies, so both admitting too many students and admitting students who don’t attend can hurt a college’s ranking.”

An illusion of increased selectivity, you see, just because you turn down a high number of candidates doesn’t make you more selective, it makes you popular.  Too many organizations and HR departments are marketing that they are highly selective based on some simple numbers that give an illusion of being highly selective when in reality, they’re just good at processing a high number of applicants, but not really being ‘more’ selective.

Just because you turn down 24,999 candidates doesn’t make you selective it just means you have a high number of applicants.

So what does make you selective?

Quality of hire. Which I can argue is another very subjective metric in most organizations, but at least it’s a start.  Can you demonstrate with real measurable items that the applicants you’re hiring are better or getting better than those previously hired?  This creates real evidence that you’re becoming ‘more’ selective and on your way to becoming ‘highly’ selective.

You are only “selective” if you’re are actually only hiring the best candidate in your market in the position you have open, not the only candidate who just happens to apply to your job and is the tallest of the seven dwarfs at the time you have the job open.

 

If Your Company has a Chief Happiness Officer you Should Rethink Your Career Path!

In the past three weeks, I’ve been pitched by some well-meaning PR person about a story on how Google, Salesforce, Zappos, Airbnb, etc., have “Chief Happiness Officers” and how important they are to corporate success. Or at least, how “Happiness” as a measure is important to corporate success.

I’ve been pitched this idea four times, primarily so I would talk about their client, Snappy, which apparently is a chatbot of some kind that asks your employee questions to probably gauge their happiness or something, and in turn, you can then turn to your Chief Happiness Officer to fix the happy that is broken. (BTW – look for my new book in 2020 – “Fix the Happy!”)

Snappy might be some awesome tech, but I don’t like the pitch. I think that pitch is broken, for the real world. The real world is not Google and Zappos. Those are unicorns. Real companies have real issues and making their entitled employees happy is not one of those real issues.

I want to punch every Chief Happiness Officer in the smiling face!

Seriously, how completely warped do you have to be to think you actually bring happiness to another human being, let alone an entire company of human beings!?!

Will Smith is my Chief Happiness Officer:

Turns out CHO’s don’t make employees happy. Employees make themselves happy. No amount of money, or time off, or Taco Tuesdays, or standup desks or seven flavors of Kombucha in the employee cafe, will make a person happy. Happiness is an emotion controlled by the individual, no matter the environment they’re in.

There are great stories of prisoners at Auschwitz that chose love and happiness in the darkest hours and circumstances that anyone could imagine. There are people who win $500M lotteries that blow their head off because of how depressed they are. A CHO can’t change that.

Chief Happiness Officers are what happens to organizations when leadership gets out of control. When we stop actually leading and managing the business, and we ‘become’ leaders. When we start believing our own bullsh*t to a level where we think we actually control the emotions of our employees.

Look, I get it. I also want to drink the Kool-aid and believe in Santa Claus. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful, fantasy-filled life?! But that is life. 99.99% of us have to work to pay bills. Within that, we can choose to be happy, or miserable, or somewhere in between and that actually might have many times in the same day. No one person is going to make me happy or miserable unless I make that choice to allow that to happen.

There you go. That’s my take. Chief Life Officer, out.

2019 Transform Recruitment Marketing Conference

Recruitment Marketing is on the hottest trends and functional areas in talent acquisition right now! I hate even calling it a trend, because the conference is in it’s 5th year, so five years ago it was a trend! Now it’s a must have in your talent strategy!

What I love about Transform is it’s less about “thought leadership” and more about actual in the weeds TA leaders giving the tools and insight to do great Recruitment Marketing on your own. I’m always inspired about how freely they share their knowledge with this community!

The Transform Conference will take place on June 20-21st in Boston and the lineup is a who’s who of RM leaders and strategist including:

  • Holland Dombeck – Delta Airlines Head of Employer Branding & Recruitment Marketing
  • Julie Levy – Global TA Leader at Fiserv
  • James Ellis – Former Head of Employment at Groupon
  • Torin Ellis – Diversity Strategist & Author
  • Erik Qualman – Digital Futurist
  • Leon Logothetis – creator of the Netflix show Kindness Diaries
  • A couple of idiots that call themselves Chad and Cheese! 😉 (fyi – the run the single best podcast in the HR & TA Tech space)

Oh, and me! I’ve Emceed every Transform conference because early on they saw I was a super geek for this stuff, so they let me geek out both days and ask the speakers all the dumb questions that pop into my head as a practitioner trying to figure this stuff out!

So, come join me and hundreds of others in the EB and RM space who are trying to get smarter. The space is extremely limited, so don’t delay your decision to attend (No, really, I mean it – this will be a tight group of smart folks at a cool venue that has limited seating capacity)! 

You can register by clicking on this link for Transform 2019! When you register use the code: Sackett for an extra $100 off your registration fee. 

Career Confessions of Gen Z – Great Recruitment Content

Welcome to the reboot of Career Confessions of Gen Z! I started this in 2018 with my Gen Z son, Cameron, and the response was off the charts. So, in 2019 I found 8 great Gen Z HR, TA, and Marketing pros to continue the Gen Z content. Enjoy! 


Skyler Baty is a Videographer and Video Editor for SkillScout and lives in the Detroit Metro Area in Michigan. 

Skyler loves doing video work and helping organizations with their video projects. Connect with him, he’s a genius with this stuff!