Are Low Deductible Health Insurance Plans Really the Best Plan?

It seems like right now so many folks are paying attention to their actual health insurance for the first time! Turns out, when people are dying in a pandemic, we will finally pay attention to what kind of health insurance we have from our employer.

There are basically a few kinds of plans that most folks have in the U.S.:

– Low deductible plan – you pay more upfront, but if you get sick you pay very little in terms of bills overall.

– High deductible plan – you pay less out of your check on a weekly basis, but when you get sick you will end up paying a much larger portion of the bill.

– HSA plan – this plan is less used because it’s confusing but basically it’s a combination of you paying a portion to a savings account which helps you pay for normal healthcare expenses, but also has a high deductible safety net in case something major happens to you, you won’t go broke.

Most people have a bias towards low deductible health plans. Low deductible plans are chosen the most because we fear that what rarely happens. So, we pay a ton of money to have great healthcare coverage, but most of us will never come close to using the coverage we have. Few chose high deductible because we are scared something might happen and we don’t have the money to pay for it. Even fewer chose HSAs, even though it might be the better overall option, but again, we really fear the cost of something bad happens.

This is the basis of almost all insurance, fear.

We almost always choose the most coverage we can get, even when it costs us more in the short-term and long-term. We love safety. We are also, for the most part, really stupid when it comes to math and more specifically statistics. If we did understand basic statistics we would always choose the high deductible plan and put the weekly difference into a conservative investment portfolio. After a decade or two or three we would have this giant mountain of cash, at least about 99.6% of us would!

Fear is a powerful drug.

We buy car insurance and are given options like $250, $500, or $1000 deductible in case we get into an accident. Most of us will choose the lower amounts even those the vast majority of drivers never get into an accident. We buy flood insurance for our houses even when we aren’t in a flood plain because the one hundred year flood plain is a mile away from our house.

So, why am I talking about healthcare deductibles?

We are moving into a high unemployment environment. People are also going to be short on cash, so there’s a good chance when your next open enrollment happens you’ll have more people who will choose a high deductible, cheaper plans. In HR, this pains us greatly, because we want everyone to have the “best” insurance possible.

Why does HR want this? Because we deal with the fallout when someone chooses the high deductible insurance and then something happens and all of sudden it becomes ‘our’ problem to help this employee. So, to not have this pressure, just push everyone to a low deductible.

I’m telling you this is bad advice. HR is giving bad advice. Safe advice, but bad advice, based on math. Real math, not HR math.

 

Amazon just got 200,000+ Applications and That is a Giant Problem!

You probably saw the headline from Amazon: “Hiring 30,000!” Let’s face it, Amazon is a rocketship. Have you seen the Amazon vans coming down your street? I’m 100% sure the “Amazon Guy” who drives the van in our neighborhood stops by our house about 250% more times then the mailperson stops by our house!

I’m not actually surprised they have 30,000 openings, but I am surprised that they only got 200,000 applications!

The headline is from Business Insider and they’re mostly professional journalist thinking that when they write the headline everyone will be wowed by the big number, but in reality, that number is scary low! Do the quick math 200,000/30,000 = 6.6 applications per position.

Also, we (Talent Pros) know the reality. For positions that Amazon has no trouble filling, they probably got 600 applications per positions and for the ones they are having trouble filling they got zero or one, and that one wasn’t even close to being qualified!

I’m not sure exactly what Amazon’s applicant funnel looks like but if the top of the funnel only has 6 applicants, that’s a problem! A giant problem! The big question is how many applicants does Amazon need to fill 30,000 currently open, or anticipated open positions. If Amazon has 30,000 positions to fill, right now, how many applicants would they have to plow through to fill those jobs?

This is where the rubber hits the road with your Talent Strategy. There are a number of factors:

  • What’s the average pay per position?
  • Can we group these positions into various categories to better understand how long the process will take?
  • How many are skilled vs. unskilled vs. semi-skilled vs. white-collar?
  • What are the locations?
  • How fast do these need to be filled?
  • How picky are your hiring managers?
  • What’s our comp strategy? Trailing, leading, etc.?

Let’s just throw out some numbers assuming the average pay is around $15/hr. Probably low for many of the openings they are filling, but I’m also assuming the vast majority are warehouse, drivers, service level type roles. Scattered all over the country, but most white-collar positions will be in highly competitive markets.

Let’s say you need at least 20 applicants on average per position. That would mean at a minimum they will need around 600,000. But, there is a massive turnover of those lower-level positions, plus Amazon is known to have a demanding work culture that tends to push folks out even quicker, so you would probably need at least double that to around 1.2 million applications to fill 30,000 openings.

That means, in the real world, Amazon’s TA team is probably right now having a panic attack! A panic attack of being around 1 million applications short to fill 30,000 positions, and that’s not even considering current turn and churn of their giant employee base already, plus who knows what Bezos and the team have cooked up for future growth.

The numbers are staggering, but at scale this the job. It’s just a funnel whether you’re filling 30,000 or 30. You better know how many applications you need on the topside to ensure you get the hires at the end!

Words matter! If you want more gender diversity in your applicants!

New data study released by LinkedIn this week titled “Language Matters Gender Diversity Report” has some awesome insight to how the words we use in job descriptions and job postings have a dramatic impact to who actually applies to jobs. We’ve known some of this for a while, but the LinkedIn data is very robust and compelling at a new level.

Some highlights from the report:

– Women are 16% less likely to apply to a job after viewing it than men.

– Research shows that when words like “aggressive” are used in a job description to describe a company’s workplace, 44% of women (and 33% of men) would be discouraged from applying.

– 25% of women would be discouraged from working somewhere described as “demanding”.

– 61% of women associate the term “soft skills” as a female-gender preferred role vs. 52% for men.

– Women are 4 times more likely to want to be perceived as ‘collaborative’ in the workplace.

So, how do you put all of this into practice?

The reality is the words we choose, thinking these words are going to get us the dynamic talent we desire, might actually be hurting our ability to get the dynamic, gender-inclusive talent we desire. There are a number of technologies on the market currently that can help with the wording (Textio is probably the most known).

The data is very clear, the language you use on your job postings and job descriptions will attract or detract certain people from applying. Want to give yourself a chance to get more females to apply, use phrases like “soft skills” or “collaborative” as a desired skill set you’re looking for. Don’t use words like “aggressive” and “demanding” or you’re more likely to get fewer females to apply, and there are a whole host of these types of words.

If you can’t afford the technology that will help you catch this language, I would ask for help from females in your organization (not necessarily in HR) to give you feedback around language and suggestions for things that would get them to be more likely to apply. I find most employees welcome the chance to give TA and HR feedback about our work! 😉

What we know is cutting and pasting the same job description you’ve used since 2004 isn’t working or helping. Most job descriptions, even today, are written in a male-dominated voice that discourages females from applying. It’s very hard to read and see, but the data is screaming at us that it’s a problem that we aren’t paying attention to. We all (male, female, non-binary, etc.) all write in a male-dominated voice because that’s how we’ve been trained to write. That’s what we read. So, it’s natural for us. It’s unnatural for us to change it. Welcome to bias in hiring.

 

Should You Measure a Candidate’s Desire to Work For You in Response Time?

I have expectations as a leader in my organizations for other employees who are in a leadership position in my company. One of those expectations is, if I call or text you on off hours, weekends, vacations, etc., for something that is urgent to the business, I expect a reply in a rather short time frame.

Some people would not like that. I don’t care. You’re a leader, the business needs you, there’s no time clock for that.

That expectation is set for someone at a leadership level in my organization. They know this expectation before taking the job. Also, I’m not an idiot about it. I can probably count on one hand the number of times in the past five years I’ve reached out to someone on weekends or vacations expecting and needing a response.

But, what if you measured candidate quality in the same manner? Seems unreasonable, doesn’t it!?

Well, check this out:

Nardini is the CEO of the sports and men’s lifestyle site Barstool Sports. In a New York Times interview, she detailed her process for vetting job candidates. After saying she was a “horrible interviewer” because of her impatience, she explained a unique process for gauging potential hires’ interest in the job.

“Here’s something I do,” she said. “If you’re in the process of interviewing with us, I’ll text you about something at 9 p.m. or 11 a.m. on a Sunday just to see how fast you’ll respond.”

The maximum response time she’ll allow: three hours.

So, Erika believes if a candidate doesn’t reply back to her on a Sunday at 9 pm within three hours, they are not interested in a job.

This is why recruiting is hard.

You have moron leaders who come up with stupid ideas of what they think is ‘important’ and then they make you live by these dumb rules. This rule is ridiculous. Erika’s assessment of why this works is ridiculous. But, she’ll get a pass.

Why?

She’s a she. If some dumb white dude came up with the same rule the New York Times would write an expose on how this guy is a complete tyrant and out of touch with today’s world, and how crappy this candidate experience is, and how bad leadership this is, etc. But, no one will. She’s just leaning in and doing what the guys do!

Yes, she is. She’s being an idiot.

Now, I’ll say I actually agree with her on her assessment on response time, assuming the roles she is expecting a reply from in three hours are time critical roles. She runs a media site with breaking stories. Twitter has these things up in seconds, media sites need replies to what is happening within minutes and hours. So, there could be some legitimacy to something as arbitrary as measuring candidate desire by response time.

It’s fraught with issues, to be sure, but for certain roles, it might find you some good talent. Should it be a golden rule of hiring for your organization? No, that’s just dumb.

If you really want a silver bullet I ask every candidate if they’re a dog person or cat person. Works every time!

Do you do Capacity Modeling in Recruiting? You should be! #ghOPEN

Out at Greenhouse OPEN this week and I was completely captivated by one of the sessions and the topic of Capacity Modeling in recruiting. It was introduced at the conference by Shane Noe of Box, and he was cool enough to share a url so everyone can download the information to do it on your own.

I love that!

So, what is Capacity Modeling and why is important for TA and HR Leaders add this to their recruiting operations?

In simple terms, Capacity Modeling is the process of determining the production capacity needed by an organization to meet changing demands for its products. In recruiting then it’s the process of determining your recruiting capacity needed by the organization to meet the demands of your talent needs.

Here’s what happens in real life. Your talent acquisition team is working their butts off day in and day out. Little by little you keep getting a bit better, but most days you’re still just keeping your heads above water. But still, you’re making it happen!

Then the CEO comes into your office on an idle Thursday and says we’ve made some decisions and it’s going to have an impact on recruiting. We’ve decided to make an investment in “X” and as such we will need to hire an additional 300 employees in the next 12 months. Can you make this happen?

The savvy TA leader will say “No!” immediately! Most TA leaders will say “Of course! Just let us know what you need and we’ll make it happen!” That’s failure point number one.

You truly have no idea if you can make this happen. What you know is it feels like you’re at full capacity and hiring an additional 30 new people will kill you, 300? You might as well just quit now.

Capacity Modeling allows you to tell your CEO, “let me show you some data about where we are at, and how we can meet your needs”. We are currently at 87% capacity. The best practice is to be at 85% since we will always have stuff pop up and we need that extra cushion. If you would like us to hire an additional 300 that would put us at “X” over capacity, so we will need the following time and resources to meet that need.

That my friends is a powerful conversation that puts you at a completely different level in your career. Too often we just throw ourselves on the sword and say we can do something when we really have no idea if we can do it, and we mostly fail. We have to better than that. Take a look at Shane’s information. It’s a bit technical but very doable and worth it!

Greenhouse Open is a non-user user conference. GH has put a ton of time into producing some of the best recruiting content on the planet for its users, but I would say as a recruiting conference alone it’s one of the better ones I’ve attended. Kudos to them. If you’re looking for a top Hiring Platform that meets your end to end talent needs, you should be demoing Greenhouse.

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!

 

Starting 2019 off with a Recruiting Bang!

If you’re like me you took some time over the holidays to reflect and to think about how you could make your next year on this earth the best one yet!

One of my “areas of opportunity” (HR speak for “stuff I suck at”) is I’m rarely satisfied with my outcomes. So, of course I want to do more in 2019!

I’m an advocate of doing the hard stuff first. The stuff we don’t want to do. The stuff we put off way too easily. So, as we all get back into the groove, let’s get the stuff done we don’t want to do!

Here are some things you might want to put on the list:

  • Discover and establish the measures that have the actual most impact to your recruiting success. I’m going to tell you right now, those probably aren’t “Time to Fill” and “Quality of Hire”. Those actually have little impact to you recruiting talent to your organization and filling jobs.
  • Start measuring recruiter activity metrics and establish a baseline of activity, then work to increase those outputs. Every year the recruiter in my environment who sends out the most screened candidates to hiring managers makes the most placements. This is not by accident.
  • Fire the person on your team that needs to be fired. Well, I had a talk with Timmy and he assured me he’s going to try harder in 2019. No, he isn’t. Do yourself and your team a favor and give Timmy a gift of finding a job and place where he actually wants to give great effort.
  • Sit down with the hiring manager of your most difficult to fill position and have them tell you what they will be doing over the next 30 days to fill that position. Not what you will do, what they will do! One suggestion to help them – bring in their entire team and take thirty minutes to source their networks live all together in the same room.
  • Figure out which part of your technology that your team is not using and call that vendor and tell them you need the entire team retrained on how to get the most out of that tool or you won’t be signing a contract with them to continue in 2019.

I start with measurements because that will have the fastest impact on your recruiting success. If you don’t measure now, or have weak measures, understand when you put in strong measures your team will revolt. So, it might get worse before it gets better, but it will get exponentially better!

Hit me in the comments and tell me what’s number 1 on your list for 2019. I’m told that putting stuff in writing and making it public gives you a much higher chance of actually making it happen! Let’s do this!

The 2018 Emerging Jobs Report is Here!

LinkedIn released their 2018 Emerging Jobs Report today and as always it’s packed full of some great information that speaks to where we see the world of Recruiting today, but also what we need to keep our eye for the future! 

So, what stood out in the latest report? First and foremost it’s what jobs are hot this year to last – 

So, I think we’ve all been hearing all of this A.I. and Blockchain stuff. The reality is, we aren’t really talking about true A.I., it’s Machine Learning (ML) and we’ve seen giant increases in the needs for these skills. 

Out of the top 15 emerging jobs (those jobs growing the fastest on LinkedIn) 6 of those were related to ML, Data, and Blockchain. That’s significant in terms of the products and technology that are being built by companies for the future. 

What else did we learn? 

While the report is designed to make us believe it’s all about Tech hiring, it’s not really all about tech hiring! 

  • Sales Executives
  • Recruiters
  • Realtors 
  • Account Executives (another title for sales)
  • Administrative Assistants 

Were all super high on the list as well. What does that mean? Well, those really aren’t emerging or growing jobs, it’s more about who’s living, searching, and spending time on LinkedIn. That might not be the patronage that LI really wants long term for the health of the site, in terms of your normal mix. 

The largest skills gap is still good old fashion oral communications! 

Again, I’m not sure how much of this is truly a skills gap and how much of that coming up in the data is just a function of the types of roles people are trying to recruit for on LI. If the report shows that all of these A.I., Blockchain, and Data jobs are what’s truly hot, oral communication wouldn’t be the most critical thing in those roles. 

But, oral communication is definitely a skill that is in short supply for most professions, and much needed by most professions outside of tech, like sales type roles. 

Machine Learning is definitely a skill set that employers are begging for. I reached out to my buddy and Recruiting savant, Steve Levy, just the other day as we had a search for a client demanding 10 years of ML experience. I was like, I don’t even remember ML being used as a term ten years ago! 

Steve confirmed, it most likely wasn’t. We did find some mention from 2009, but that was about it. So, the hysteria is real. Entry level position, five years of experience! 

I was surprised not to see Autonomous vehicle knowledge on there as this is another skill set we see companies begging for and we are constantly helping our clients in these searches. It’s not just about cars. It’s about delivery vehicles, mass transit, freight hauling, garbage trucks, etc. If it moves people or things, it’s going autonomous eventually. 

Check out the report. It’s great read at the end of the year as you’re preparing for recruiting plans for 2019! 

5 Things Great Employers are Doing to Drive World Class Candidate Experience in 2019!

I’m still struck at how for the most part, we treat candidates like garbage. Historically in Talent Acquisition, we had this really weird power dynamic that took place. We believed we (TA) had jobs to give out or not give out, like prizes, so we would force candidates into our processes and make them jump through hoops.

It’s been a super hard habit for many of us to break! Even with historic low unemployment numbers!

I have some help for you! 

I’m partnering with the folks over at Candidate Rewards to put on a free, live 1-hour webinar titled:

5 Things Great Employers Are Doing to Drive World-Class Candidate Experience in 2019! 

What can you expect to get from this webinar?

5 Rock solid strategies and tactics you need to be using to deliver more candidates to your organization!

3 Things great organizations never do to candidates, and that you can easily change in your own TA Shop!

Candidate Experience data that will give you the ammunition you need to change your executive’s mind and give you more budget money to fix your Candidate Experience issues!

Live Q&A with me on your toughest Candidate Experience questions!

Candidates Experience has been one of the hottest topics over the past five years, and it’s never been hotter when it comes to the hiring environment that we are in right now! Right now is the perfect time for most of us to look at our 2019 strategies around Candidate Experience, because for most of us it’s TA Budget Time!

If you don’t plan, you plan to fail! That’s what we are always told, right!? So, let’s sit down for an hour and discuss how to make 2019 the best year you and your TA team has ever had!

REGISTER NOW for this free webinar! 

I’m looking forward to presenting this information, it’s the first time I’ve ever done a Candidate Experience presentation, and I’m sure my takes will probably be a bit different than most, but you’ll have to let me know!

Your Weekly Dose of HR Tech: @LinkedIn Talent Insights – LI’s newest product!

Today on the Weekly Dose I take a look at LinkedIn’s newest product, LinkedIn Talent Insights, which is getting released today for public consumption. Talent Insights is LinkedIn’s first self-serve data and analytics product. Talent Insights provides companies with access to LinkedIn’s global database of 575M+ professionals, 20M+ companies and 15M+ active job listings, to help talent professionals and business leaders develop a winning workforce strategy and make smarter talent decisions more quickly.

What we know is if LinkedIn has anything, it has data! I first got to see this product at the 2017 LinkedIn Talent Connect conference when it was still in beta and they weren’t even quite sure what they had yet, and I was like, “Oh, boy! this is crazy cool!”

Here’s how it’s crazy cool. Talent Insights provides access to LinkedIn’s global, accurate and up-to-date data through two reports:

  • With the Talent Pool report, companies will be able to precisely define and understand specific populations of talent with global insights including skills the talent has, what industries and locations they’re in are, how in demand they are, what schools and degrees they have and what companies are hiring them.
  • Using the Company report, companies will be able to understand their own talent at the company level and see how well they are doing in attracting and retaining talent, and develop branding and recruiting strategies to get even better.

Here’s what companies can expect.

  • On-demand data: Talent Insights users will have the ability to access LinkedIn insights, in real-time, to quickly answer complex talent questions. As members update their profiles, the aggregated data within LTI also updates, providing real-time updates to help companies keep up with the market.
  • Actionable insights: The tool is simple and easy to use making it possible for recruiters, HR, and talent leaders to understand the most accurate view of labor market trends at any given moment, without relying on a team of data scientists.

So, why is this something HR, Talent Acquisition, Marketing/PR, Sales, and a lot of other functions in your company will want to get their hands on it? 

Talent Insights provides some super cool competitor data you can’t get anywhere else!

Need to know what kinds of people your competition is hiring and where? Talent Insights can show you that! In fact, it can give you insight to stuff your competitors are working on that isn’t even public if you can just connect a few dots!

“Hey, why is ABC, Inc. hiring a ton of autonomous developers in Omaha!? Oh, no they aren’t, are they!? Yes, they are!”

Talent Insights also gives HR leaders insight to your current workforce, like who’s coming after your talent, where are your employees going, where are the best coming from, where should you be looking to build your next headquarters (I bet Amazon is looking at this!), etc.

This is definitely a product that TA Leaders will want to leverage, and I’m in love with it’s ability to pull competitor data. Just know, as you’re pulling your competition’s data, so might they be pulling yours, and there’s nothing you can do about it. LinkedIn Talent Insights is available to anyone who wants to pay for a subscription, and you don’t have to be a customer of other LI products to get it.

LinkedIn Talent Insights is definitely worth a demo. You might find it’s just not data that your organization needs, but I think the more competitive you are within your marketplace, executitves are always willing to listen to you a little longer when your wrap your needs and wants around competitive data, so take a look!


The Weekly Dose – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the tech space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on The Weekly Dose – just send me a note – timsackett@comcast.net

Want help with your HR & TA Tech company – send me a message about my HR Tech Advisory Board experience.