#DisruptHR Detroit was a Yuuggee Success!

Hey, gang! It’s Friday and I’m buried from a busy week. Do you feel me!?!?

We held the first DirsuptHR Detroit event this week in midtown Detroit at the Graden Theater. We sold 330 tickets for a space that held 300, we had 50 people on a waiting list. The space was awesome. The speakers were awesome. The food and drink were awesome. The crowd was awesome.

I have to give up to the DisruptHR Detroit Team – Kristen Cifolelli, Patrice Matejka, Ursulla McWhorter, Colleen Schmerheim, Bridgette Morehouse, Christie Hecht, and Christie Reeves. It takes a village and this team was awesome!

Also, I have to thank all the sponsors who made this wonderful event possible: American Society of Employers, Marsh & McClennan Agency, Ultimate Software, Grace & Porta Benefits, Cambridge Consulting Group, QuadWest Assc., Walsh College, Sift, HRU, and Qualigence. Plus, a special shoutout to SkillScout who did all of our videos for the speakers!

So, it was a great night, that was until one nice young lady decided that somehow I reminded her of Donald Trump! WTF!?!?! You can see the picture above I had on a Tiger’s cap (yes, very disruptive at an HR event!), so I’m still perplexed on how I reminded of her Trump because I was super careful not to say anything racist while on stage!

We can’t wait for the next event! More details on that coming soon. In the mean time, if you want to speak at the next DisruptHR Detroit – send me a message and I’ll make sure to invite you when we open up speaking submissions!

What Would You Ask For If Your Workplace Went Union?

If you didn’t see it last week a Nissan automotive plant in Mississippi went through a union vote deciding on whether the 6,000 workers at the plant wanted to represented by the UAW. It’s 2017, right? Is it just me or does it seem strange that we are still having union votes?

Here’s what the Nissan workers who support the union vote say they are looking for:

“Union supporters complain that the company has been stingy with benefits and bonuses, that workers on the production line are pressured to sacrifice safety to keep the line moving briskly, and that supervisors arbitrarily change policies about discipline and attendance.”

So, basically:

  • Pay
  • Benefits
  • Retirement
  • Safety

The UAW is trying to make this out about race. Be careful thinking this is the real issue. When you have a predominantly diverse workforce it’s an easy tactic to use to drum up votes. This is about the UAW increasing membership, period. They could care less about race issues, pay issues, or safety issues, just come ask all the out of work former UAW members in Flint! The UAW would try and unionize a girl scout troop if it increased their coffers.

Have you been in a modern day automotive plant? You could eat off the floors. There are so many safety precautions in place you would have to be blind to put yourself in harm’s way. The average UAW employee makes twice the average salary of an American worker. These workers don’t need a union, they need a reality check.

This got me thinking though of what I might ask for if my company decided to go union. Or, what would any of us in a modern society ask for from a union? The reality is in today’s world with the current competitive talent landscape there really isn’t much a union can offer. Pay and benefits are pretty competitive, pensions are no longer viable with current life expectancies, and laws are in place to protect workers from most safety issues.

Here’s what I think most people would want from a modern union:

Flexibility in working hours. Not work from home, although in many cases that could be argued, but the ability to be treated as an adult when it comes to my schedule and getting my work done. It’s not too much to ask to allow me to drop my kids at school at 8 am then come into work by 8:30 am. Just because you want everyone at the office by 8 am, doesn’t mean it has to be that way. That’s just silly. Not all of your employees are living the same life.

Different Financial Benefit Options for Time in Life. A college graduate with student debt needs different financial benefits than your employees who are ten years away from retirement. A recently married employee looking to buy a house has different financial needs than the employee having his first kid go off to college. Having one company 401K match no longer makes sense to all of your employees.

Diet Mt. Dew Fountain Machine. Unions are stupid so I might as well ask for stupid stuff! If you want to represent me, you better install a Diet Mt. Dew fountain machine in the break room or will not get my vote and union dues. I’m paying you $17.63 out of every check for what? No, Diet Dew?! That’s not happening!

College Education or Free Skill Training for my Kids. Oh, wait, now I’m listening. Don’t you think if unions are truly invested in their members that they should be able to invest the dues and make this happen? We’re talking billions of dollars per year paid in union dues across America, for a very little amount of negotiating every few years. If you can guarantee my kids a college education or to learn a trade, now you’re earning your keep!

What would you ask from a union in today’s world?


DisruptHR Detroit Speakers Announced!

Detroit HR and TA Disruptors!!!

A month ago we announced that DisruptHR was coming to Detroit and asked for speaker submissions! Today we are happy to announce the 12 individuals who were chosen to speak from an outstanding group of submissions!

The event is September 27th at 6 pm in Detroit at the Garden Theater! REGISTER TODAY!

Here are the first ever DisruptHR Detroit event speakers (in alphabetical order):

Susan Bailey – “Go Ahead…Don’t Take Care of Your Employees and See What Happens”

Jasmine Burns – “Who Said Sales and Recruiting Aren’t the Same Things”

Shenandoah Chefalo – “Building a Resilient Workforce”

Rita Fields – “When Your Emperor Has No Clothes: Staying Motivated When You Work for a Jackass!”

Travis Furlow – “Paperclip Thinking: How many ways can we…”

Christie Hecht – “Confessions of a Millennial”

Nicholas Larche – “Your Employer Knows Where You Are, How You Shop, & Has Seen You Naked!”

Steve Lowisz – “The Drift & Shift”

Greg Modd – “No Excuses, Just Results”

James Reid – “HR from a Legal Perspective: Stories better than fiction”

Susun West – “Stop the Havoc!”

Patrick Wright – “True Intelligence vs. Artificial Intelligence”

I’ll be your host and Emcee for the evening, so you can expect tasteless jokes and hugs!

Also, we have some very generous sponsors and we’ll have prize giveaways, food and drinks all night. The Garden Theater is a wonder location right in the heart of midtown with attached parking.

Come support the speakers and become a part of the revolution that is pushing the envelope in HR and TA across the world!








Disrupt HR Detroit! September 27th – Tickets On Sale Now!

DisruptHR is coming to Detroit!!!  

I’m pretty excited about it and I’m part of the great team that’s putting this event together. The date is September 27th with registration starting 5:30 pm and the event starting at 6 pm at the Garden Theater in midtown Detroit. The tickets are only $25! We should be done around 8 pm. Food and drinks. A ton of networking and laughs! REGISTER HERE! (we do anticipate this will sell out – we have limited seating)

What’s DisruptHR Detroit? 

It’s fun and fast 5-minute presentations/talks by HR and Talent pros. Powerpoint presentations of twenty slides where the slides automatically change every 15 seconds. It’s done in a TEDx-style format and the speakers are there to challenge how we think about HR and Talent, or maybe to just to poke some fun at the profession we all grind at every day.

Want to speak at DisruptHR Detroit?

Our goal is to have 12 speakers for this first event. We already have some folks who have applied and we welcome everyone who has the interest to apply to speak. It’s super simple! Follow this link and submit your idea! The DisruptHR Detroit team will pick 12 great ideas and save the others for our next Disrupt!

Why should I come to DisruptHR Detroit?

First, I’ll be there as the Emcee! I mean who doesn’t want more Sackett in their life!?!

Second, if you are passionate about our profession of HR and Talent Acquisition, this is the one place on the planet you should be to be around like mind professionals and leaders within SE Michigan!

Third, there’s a great chance you’ll take back to your organization some great ideas from the speakers and from the conversations everyone will be having about the topics!

What does a DisruptHR talk look like? 

Here’s me doing one so you can get a flavor:

Failure Is The New Black | Tim Sackett | DisruptHR Talks from DisruptHR on Vimeo.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign Up! 

See you there! This is going to be so great! The first 200 people who sign up get a personal hug from me!!!

This Job Sounds To Good To Be True!

When I was 18 years old I packed up my 1979 Ford Mustang and drove 20 straight hours from Grand Rapids, MI to Laramie, WY to go to college at the University of Wyoming. My air conditioning didn’t work, the radio didn’t work well and I had a Rand McNally Atlas (look it up kids) to guide my way.

It took me roughly 4 months to blow through every single dollar I had, then I took that same trip back to Michigan to find a job. One college semester done, and I was dead broke, and I didn’t have parents who were going to pay my way to college. I needed to find a job!

When you’re 18 and have completed one semester of college you tend to think you’re pretty freaking smart, or maybe that was just my personality. My mom did buy me a new suit, dress shoes and a Topcoat (again, look it up, kids). She was a boomer who never went to college, was successful and firmly believed you only needed to look the part to get the part.

Well, I looked a part, but I’m not sure what part that was!

I started applying for ‘management’ positions. I mean I had a suit! Not sure what I would wear on day 2, but certainly, that was a secondary issue. No one gave me the time a day. My previous work experience up to this point was running concessions for the world’s largest movie theater, at the time! That didn’t seem to have much pull with anyone, except one company!

I still remember the call! They were impressed with my ‘qualifications’, could I come an interview? Of course! They were looking for “Territory Managers”, people who wanted to make unlimited income. That sounded like me!

I showed up for the interview in my suit, new shoes, and topcoat. I was excited. I was a bit nervous. When I got to the location there were others in the waiting room. I was dressed way better than everyone else, that had to help me right!?

I got called into a small office. I was asked a few questions by a guy who seemed way to excited to be doing his job. But he must have liked me, he offered me the job, on the spot! Thanks for the suit, Mom!

He then asked if I could start right away? Well, of course, just show me to my office and I’ll get right to work managing that territory of mine!

He then took me to a much larger room where there were chairs against the wall, probably 40, and the entire rest of the room was open. About 30 of the chairs were filled, most by the less-dressed folks, I already discounted in the waiting room. Apparently, they also got hired.

The guy who hired me came in next to ‘congratulate’ us on this great opportunity on selling home cleaning systems to the American public, something the American public desperately needed to pay $1200 for. This would be the best value buy of their lives, and we were lucky enough to be able to offer it to them!

I just got roped into selling vacuums door to door.

For the next 4 hours we were trained on how to sell these vacuums, showed how to get into the homes of the buyer. I got down on my hands and knees in my new suit and broke apart the vacuum home cleaning system to show the ‘Miss’s of the house’ how easy it was to use.

At around 1 pm they unlocked the doors and let us leave the building to get something to eat. I drove home. Called my former boss at the theater and asked if I could come back to work. He said yes. I then began saving to go back to the University of Wyoming to get my degree.

99.9% of the time, the job that sounds to good to be true, is.

Okay, Your Candidate Won, Don’t Be An Asshole!

I’m writing this before the election, because either way it turns out, I would feel the same way!

Congratulations! Your candidate won! It’s like when OJ was acquitted of murdering his wife and Ron Goldman. A bunch of people ran around so freaking ecstatic that he ‘won’. Chris Rock famously said,”We won, we wonnnnn!” “What the fuck did we win? Every day i look in the mail for my OJ prize and it ain’t there.”

I’m waking up today, knowing 100% I won’t be getting a Hillary check or a Trump check! In fact, regardless of who won, there’s a great chance I’ll be getting an invoice!

When Michigan State plays the University of Michigan and MSU wins. I’m going to be an asshole to a lot of UofM fans. Why? Because mostly their douchebags and that’s kind of how fandom works in college athletics. If you beat your rival, you can be an asshole until they beat you, then you know it’s your turn to take it for a year, or whenever you beat them the next time.

Politics are not college athletics.

Voting for President isn’t about winning or losing. We’re all on the same team! The team is called America.

That’s the hard part. America has turned into this giant multi-national organization. Within that organization you have mergers that have taken place, we’ve tried some spinoffs, we’re constantly trying to launch startups, we have our main product line that is a cash cow but every new hire thinks it sucks, etc.

America just got a new CEO. Regardless of who that CEO is, some employees aren’t going to like it. A few will actually leave the company, but it’s mostly employees blowing smoke. Leaving takes real work, most people say they’ll leave and then have selective amnesia when the topic comes up after the fact.

So, I’m in HR. It’s now my job to get as many people as possible to follow the new CEO. That’s how a company stays successful and/or turns itself around. Develop a vision, get behind it and see how good we can make it. Americans for the most part, have always been fairly decent employees. We’ll voice our opinion, but when stuff gets real, we support each other.

So, today, when you walk by that co-worker who voted for the other person and lost, don’t be an asshole. Be sympathetic. They want, what you want, to be the best country we can be for those here now and for those who will be here in the future.



Michigan Recruiter’s Conference 2016 Takeaways

Last week the 3rd annual Michigan Recruiter’s Conference took place in Grand Rapids, MI onsite at our corporate host Amway World Headquarters. 150 Corporate Talent Acquisition Leaders and Pros participated and heard from an outstanding lineup of speakers including Gerry Crispin, Laurie Ruettimann, Chris Bailey, Kerri Mills and Katie Born.

I leave each time amazed at the talent we are able to bring into Michigan! Some of the brightest minds and ideas in the talent acquisition industry, but also the passion the TA pros in Michigan show in coming in and engaging with each other on a peer level.

My Takeaways from MRC 2016: 

– It takes a very confident HR and/or TA Leader to want to bring in another 150 corporate TA pros into their own shop. We’ve been extremely lucky with Accident Fund, Spectrum Health and now Katie at Amway over the past three years. I think it demonstrates how important TA is to the organizations that host and how important developing their team is to that leader.

– Gerry Crispin comes in and looks like he’s been in TA for 40 years. Wait, he has! But, for those who haven’t seen him, they believe, “oh, here comes some old dude to tell us how he recruited people back in WWII!” Gerry always blows them away!!! He is so on top of how the best, most innovative TA shops are doing it on the planet, he leaves with jaws dropped. I always chuckle at the young bucks who had no idea they are about to get completely schooled by an old dude!

– You know you have a great speaker when people can’t write down the ideas fast enough! Kerri Mills had pens burning up at MRC. I had a feeling she would kill after seeing her presentation at SourceCon and she did awesome. Side note: when you work at Indeed, people expect you to know everything about Indeed!

– People who can tell a good story, are great speakers. Laurie Ruettimann and Chris Bailey both killed with great stories! They had great content as well, but you could tell me how to make Mac and Cheese and if it’s wrapped in a great story I’ll be entertained for an hour! Also, if you have a British accent you’re automatically considered brilliant, funny and adorable by an American audience. (Note to self: work on British accent)

– In classic HROS.co fashion, Amway’s TA Leader Katie Born figuratively opened her Kimono and shared what she and her team were working on to the entire talent market in their area. The good and the bad. What’s working and what they still need to get better at? What tech we’re using and what tech we’re looking at? It was a great example of what we should all strive for as TA Leaders.  Bravo!

I had one trainwreck moment. The idea was to speed network. I hate when people go to a conference and either sit alone or sit with the only people they know, so my idea was to get them to meet 4-5 new people and make some connections. Great idea! But 150 people trying to find smaller groups of three in a room was comical and loud! In the end, people did meet new people!

Our goal for MRC 2017 is to be in the Detroit Metro Area! To bring Detroit its first ever corporate talent acquisition conference specifically for Michigan TA Pros and Leaders! Want to be a part of it?  We are currently looking for a corporate host! What does that mean? We need a big room that can hold 150 or so people, with tables and some AV equipment!

We’ll bring the food, the talent, and the TA Pros!  We just need to use your space for the day. Let me know if you’re interested (timsackett@comcast.net).


Want to live like a rock star? Move to Detroit!

Glassdoor recently published a list of the Top 25 Cities where your pay will go the furthest. Who topped the list!? Yep, it’s DETROIT! GD found that the Cost of Living ratio in Detroit is 50%! That basically means that when living in Detroit you get to use 50% of your income for things other than bills! What is the Cost of Living ratio in San Fransisco (the lowest of all American cities)? 11%! Basically, you only get to use, for your own enjoyment $.10 of every dollar you earn in San Fran!

What is the Cost of Living ratio in San Fransisco (the lowest of all American cities)? 11%! Basically, you only get to use, for your own enjoyment $.10 of every dollar you earn in San Fran!

So, if you read this blog a couple times you know I’m a fan of Detroit! Everyone loves a comeback story and Detroit might be the single biggest comeback story on the planet right now. Being at the top of this list just confirms what others in and around the Midwest have already been seeing.

Here’s the Top 10 in order:

  1. Detroit, MI
  2. Memphis, TN
  3. Pittsburgh, PA
  4. Cleveland, OH
  5. Indianapolis, IN
  6. St. Louis, MO
  7. Cincinnati, OH
  8. Birmingham, AL
  9. Kansas City, MO
  10. Louisville, KY

So, what jumps out about this list?  For the most part, it’s mid-sized, midwest cities.  Low cost of living. Four seasons. A lot of Applebee’s restaurants (at least that’s what the people on the coasts think!). One southern city on the list in Bham – which I hear from Kris Dunn and Dawn Burke is a hidden treasure.

I’m a midwest guy, born and raised. Went to college in the front range of the Rocky Mountains. Have visited every big city in the U.S., multiple times. Big cities are great, but not the best place to raise a family. California’s weather is awesome if you like paying $1 million dollars for 700 square foot home next to a highway.

The reality is startups and Fortune 500 companies are beginning to see what Glassdoor found in putting this list together. Google has a growing campus in Ann Arbor, MI, located about 40 miles from downtown Detroit, about 15 miles from the Detroit airport. It’s easier to attract and retain a Midwest workforce than it is when you’re primarily trying to recruit to the coasts.

This is especially true when your workforce starts to get to the age where they want to settle down, start a family and buy a house. Sure, it’s fairly easy to get college-aged kids to relocate from the midwest to California, New York or Boston. The trick is keeping them there! In Michigan, I see this every summer. The kids come back to have their weddings. Once they’re back, they begin to feel that pull to stay ‘home’.

This is why Midwest companies that are great at recruiting all have some sort of Boomerang recruitment strategy. Most are diving deep in their databases to find students who graduated over the past five years and building a database of 1-5 year experienced pros they are reaching out to constantly, ‘welcoming’ them to come back and enjoy the riches of the Midwest!

The 2016 Fall Michigan Recruiter’s Conference!

This is the third annual conference we’ve done and they just keep getting bigger and better! We’ll have 150 Corporate TA Pros and Leaders joining us this conference, all working to become the best damn TA pros we can be!

This year’s lineup includes:

Laurie Ruettimann – Mrs. Punkrock HR-Cynical Girl-Marathon Runner!

Gerry Crispin – The Godfather of Candidate Experience & Co-Founder of CareerXRoads!

Ambrosia Vertesi – Mrs. HR Open Source

Chris Bailey – Mr. TEDx Seven Mile Beach, the King of Cayman Islands HR & Anything Over Ice!

Kerri Mills – 2015 SourceCon Grandmaster Sourcing Champion, Indeed TA Pro & @TheJobGirl

Friday, October 14th onsite at the Amway World Headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan!  You can check out more details here – Michigan Recruits! 

Registration is now open! It’s $49! Why?  Because we think paying thousands of dollars to attend a great conference is out of reach for most Talent Acquisition budgets! At least it was in almost every organization I went to!  We wanted to bring great recruiting content, national level content, to our own backyard in Michigan!

REGISTER HERE! (It’s filling up quickly, we have limited space!)

We’ve designed this conference to be a corporate Talent Acquisition safe-zone! What does that mean?  Third party agency recruiters will not be invited. It’s not that we don’t like the agency folks. It’s that agency folks can’t shut themselves off when it comes to selling!  We want an environment that is about learning and development, about raising the recruiting game of all those attending.

Check it out! You won’t find a better one-day lineup anywhere in the world for $49! It’s crazy. Also, a big shout out to our two main sponsors – ViziRecruiter and CareerBuilder – without them we couldn’t keep it this cheap!


5 Things You Should Be Doing in June to Prepare for Your Open Enrollment in the Fall

It’s a beautiful day here in Michigan! 75 degrees and sunny, not a cloud in the sky. In the north, we get only a limited time to enjoy summer, so when it finally arrives you better believe I’m taking full advantage! (For, me that’s tending to my flowers and doing some yard work.)

What’s my point? The last thing you probably want to be doing right now is brainstorming ways to prep for open enrollment!  But guess what—you don’t have to…Because, while I’m still here in the office, I’m going to do it for you, so you (and I) can spend a little more time enjoying this great summer weather!

Here then is my list of Important OE Stuff You Should Be Doing Right Now:

  1. Schedule employee roundtable meetings to get the feedback you need on the last benefit design. Make it fun. Provide an ice cream sundae station! It will work twofold: you’ll get the feedback you need to start your next design, and people love ice cream! You connect talking about benefits with having a positive experience. Simple psychology is the best psychology!
  2. Do a mid-year follow-up with your benefits broker.They should already be on top of this and begging you to go out to lunch, or golfing, but if they haven’t, remind them. Specifically, this is a great time to look at your brand-name drug utilization and talk about some strategies to increase generic use and reduce this cost to the organization.
  3. Executive cost foreshadowing should be happening right now.At this point in the year, your broker can have a pretty good guess at where your new premiums are going to come in at, and what this might mean to your new benefits design. Schedule a meeting with the C-Suite to give them some insight now, so they’re prepared when budgeting season comes. The best way not to ‘shock’ an executive is to get to them early in the process.
  4. Deliver your own Summer Tips and Tricks communication to your employees on proper benefit utilization!Summer seems to be the time when people find their way to the emergency room when maybe the could have gone to urgent care. These are also a great time to highlight wellness initiatives since we are all trying to get into those swimsuits before vacation! Simple reminders like these save the organization money and keep your most important messages top of mind to your employees.
  5. Schedule an OE marketing session before all the summer vacations start.As benefit pros we spend a lot of time and care figuring out what to say to our employees. What we tend to figure out too last minute is HOW we want to market these changes to our employees. Summer is a great time to not only think about the how—but to play around with some new ideas. What if you texted employees tips about OE on top of emailing them? What if you decided to send postcards to everyone’s homes? Now’s the time to figure out what you want to try—and establish a schedule for getting it done in time.

(Speaking of schedules, if you want even more ideas on what to be doing in June and July for OE, check out this excellent post—What to Do 12-16 Weeks Before OE, by the folks at Jellyvision.)

Anyway,  I really do believe you can never be too prepared for Open Enrollment. A little extra effort now will lead to a great experience for you and your team come fall—and let you have more fun this summer, knowing you’re ahead of the game.