Announcing the HQ for HR Game Show – Sign Up to Play Today!

Most of you know I founded another site called Fistful of Talent  we are getting ready to do something cool based off of the HQ series many of you play and have some fun in the process…

Fistful of Talent has teamed up with Paycor to bring you HQ for HR every Tuesday at 1 PM, starting May 1st. We’ll air five episodes with fifteen different HR leaders! Watching this could be the best 15 minutes of your day!

Here’s how it works – hit the link here or below to register for HQ for HR, and you’ll automatically receive email notifications each week about when HQ for HR is going live each Tuesday.  Click the link and join us and answer 12 HR body of knowledge questions digitally while you watch your peers answer them live on air.  You can do it from your desk or your phone, we just want you there!
After every episode, we’ll post a top 10 leaderboard at Fistful of Talent and here at the Capitalist showing who among the participants is an HR LEGEND.  We’ll use that leaderboard to invite you on the show live the following week – we’ll keep working down the list until we have 3 takers!  The top 5 cumulative scores across the 5 episodes will receive a major award to be announced during Episode 1.
PS – no Google allowed – or even Bing, people. We trust you because you look trustable, and let’s face it, most of you are in HR.
Check it as FOT’s Tim Sackett and your friend KD get down to the nitty-gritty with some of the sharpest minds in the HR/Talent industry!

The Anatomy of the Perfect Keynote Speech

I was recording a podcast last week with my friend and professional speaker, Jennifer McClure, last week for her new Impact Makers Podcast (check it out!). I won’t be for a while, but she has some great people she has already recorded including a brilliant session with William Tincup!

One of the secret ingredients to a well-produced podcast is that all the participants are somewhat ready for the conversation that is about to happen. So, Jen and I did some pre-gaming and post-gaming conversation that wasn’t recorded, and the topic of keynote speeches came up.

I was telling her that I had a new talk that I’m doing that is killing (speaker talk for doing well!) and I made a comment about it’s all just stories with bits of data thrown in to make the stories seem more important! (half joking) Jen commented saying, “That’s a blog post! The anatomy of a keynote!” So, here you go Jen!

Before I lay out the perfect keynote, you have to have some ingredients. Here’s the basic keynote ingredient list:

  1. A person who can speak. I would love to say an engaging person who can talk, but I’ve been to far too many conferences where this was a requirement to be a keynote!
  2. A book, working experience with a transcendent brand, or you’re famous. A book is always helpful, conference planners love to have keynotes with books. Books are like a driver’s license for a keynote speaker. But, you can also work Google or Facebook or Nike or just name a giant brand, and working for a brand like that takes the place of a book or your ability to speak.
  3. A price tag north of $20,000. You might be the most awesome speaker in the world, but if you tell them you’ll only charge $5,000, you’re out! Our conference deserves a much better keynote speaker than a $5,000 speaker, I mean we have a budget for $25K!
  4. It helps to be attractive, but the bigger the celebrity/brand the uglier you can be.
  5. Fashion that matches your speaking brand. If you’re a buttoned-up, semi-conservative speaker, you can’t get away with jeans and a hoodie on the keynote stage. If you cuss and drink a red bull and started a tech company and have a YouTube channel with 100K followers, you’ll look foolish wearing a suit and tie.

Okay, we have all the ingredients to a great keynote, what does the actual keynote look like? There are basically three types of keynotes:

Keynote #1I’m famous, you’re not! In America, especially, we are fascinated with ‘celebrity’. If you’re famous, you can keynote because somehow we believe you being famous gives you something important to say, even when it doesn’t.

The anatomy of Keynote #1:

– I’m famous!

– I have “being” famous stories!

– But I’m humble and I’m really just like you, but I’m famous!

– Here’s how you should live your life, because I’m famous!

Keynote #2I’m not famous, but I work(ed) for a famous brand/person. These keynotes can be fascinated because again we are all interested to know what the secret sauce is of other organizations, and our hope is this person will tell us.

The anatomy of Keynote #2 –

– I work for a famous brand, you don’t!

– Working for this famous brand is awesome! You should try it!

– Here’s what we do because we are a famous brand. You should try it!

– Here’s how you should live your life, because I work(ed) for a famous brand!

Keynote #3I’m a Professional Story Teller. A good portion of keynotes falls into this camp. Someone worked their butt off to learn how to be a professional speaker, paid their dues, probably wrote a book or two along the way, probably had a decent actual career to a point, people liked hearing them speak and they turned that into a full-time gig.

The anatomy of Keynote #3:

– Start with a story that will endear the audience to you, even if that story has nothing to do with you.

– Share some data or research, that might not even be yours, but the audience is like “Wow” that can’t be.

– Share another story (that isn’t even about you) that reinforces that data/research and ties to the concept of your new book that was written about other’s people research and stories.

– Another piece of research and data, that ties to the model you present in your book. Plus, acts as motivation for the audience to change something in their life.

– The final story, this is a big one (not yours, again), that you foreshadowed in the first story, and that will wrap up the entire keynote like a bow! This ending story is a crescendo of laughter, tears, and motivation to change your life in ways you didn’t dream of just sixty minutes before.

– Here’s how you should live your life, because I just entertained you for an hour and you have no idea why you want me to sign a book.

Okay, you guys know I love to joke and make fun of life. I get that it’s super hard and takes a ton of practice and talent to pull off a great keynote. I’ve seen keynotes that were brilliant and I know it’s a skill! I’ve also seen keynotes where the keynote speaker stole my time and the conference organizers money!

Great keynotes at any level start and end with great storytelling. The best tie those stories to an actual takeaway that will help you get better at something. That takeaway could be personal or professional, it doesn’t matter. The best keynotes also entertain you a bit. They are masters at almost instantly getting you to trust them and like them.

My least favorite keynotes are famous people. I’m not impressed by celebrity. The worst ones are the new Q&A’s with celebrities. It’s an insult to my intelligence that you’re getting paid $150K for an hour and you couldn’t even come prepared with an hour of material, instead, you just show up and we’ll ask pre-sent questions and listen to your lame answers.

My favorites are people you entertain me, teach me something, take me on a journey with them for an hour. It seems like the hour was over in twenty minutes. I want more. My all-time favorite is Malcolm Gladwell. He’s a masterful storyteller and I could sit and listen for hours.

Who is your favorite all-time keynote speaker and why? Hit me in the comments!

The Life Span of a Crappy Recruiter!

I have to give credit where credit is due, and Aerotek is the one that originally discovered how long it takes to figure out you suck as a recruiter! It’s right around 9-14 months. The TA world is littered with people who have worked at Aerotek for 9-14 months! If you’ve spent 13 minutes in Talent Acquisition on either the corporate or agency side, you’ve seen a ton of these resumes.

Just having recruiting experience, especially IT or Technical, can guarantee you a recruiting career for at least ten years or more, even if you are completely awful at recruiting! As a President of a recruiting firm, and someone who has run corporate TA shops for years, I see these candidates come across my desk on a weekly basis:

A crappy Recruiter looks like this:

1. First Recruiting job right out of college, working for a big agency recruiting sweatshop and this position lasts 9-12 months. They left because “they didn’t agree with the management style” of said agency. The truth is they weren’t meeting their goals, but we give them a pass because these sweatshops churn and burn through people.

2. The next gig is usually another agency or small corporate recruitment gig. This one usually lasts under 9 months. It’s more of the same, they couldn’t do it the first time, what makes you think they’ll do it for you!?

3. Now, if they’re smart, they jumped from the second gig before getting fired to a very large corporate gig where they have so many recruiters they truly have no idea what they actually do, this will buy you at least 24 months before you’re discovered as a recruiting fraud. In these big organizations you don’t even recruit, just post and pray, anyway, so you should be able to survive.

4. Big organizations finally figured out you’re worthless, but you now know the game, so you leveraged this big corporate name on your resume into your next gig, this time as a senior recruiter, with another big firm who wants you to sell out your last firm and all their recruiting secret. The big secret is, you have no idea, and the last big org gig you had, well, they had no idea.  Once you run out of fake secrets to share, you’ll be kicked to the curb, so start looking for a recruiting manager gig in about 18 months.

5. You jump at the first recruitment manager gig you’re offered. A mid-sized firm, who loves your big company experience and can’t wait for you to save them from themselves. They have super high expectations on what you’re going to do for them, this is not good for you, remember, you suck at recruiting! You’re gone in 9 months.

6. Welcome back to the agency world! You will now bounce around these companies for a while, selling the fact you have ‘contacts’ at big companies of which agency owners want to get into. You’re now 8-10 years into your Recruiting career, and you’re an awful, crappy recruiter.

If you’re truly lucky as a crappy recruiter you’ll fall into some recruiting gig with a college or university or some other sort of fake, non-profit. Those are like wastelands for crappy recruiters. Absolutely no expectations that you’ll do anything of value, just show up, collect a check and follow a process. It’s never your fault, and hey, they don’t want you to move to fast anyway!

Beware TA leaders. There’s a reason a recruiter has had 4 – 6+ jobs in ten years, and it’s not because they’re good at recruiting! The best recruiters don’t move around because they’re so valuable the organizations they work for won’t let them leave! If you’re crappy, people are hoping you leave and take your crappy recruiting skills to your competition!

What Paid Holidays Should You Be Paying Your Employees?

Every year, American employees leave 430 million vacation days up for grabs. (If you were wondering, that’s 1,178,082 years of unused vacation every year.)

Or in other words, way too much time.

We already know Americans are by and large workaholics. But still, if you own a small business, there are some days you should definitely give off to your employees. And it’s helpful to know what that mix of days should be.

That’s where I come in. I’ll show you how to build your own paid holiday schedule for your small business, using benchmarking data as our trusty guide.

The bigger PTO picture.

Let’s start with the main question on your mind: How much time off do people normally get? An average full-time employee in a small, privately-owned business in the U.S. receives about 7.6 paid holidays per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number also breaks down even further:

  • Technical/professional employees get 8.5-ish days a year.
  • Clerical/sales employees get 7.7-ish days a year.
  • Blue-collar/service employees get 7 days a year.

While that’s the average, other studies have shown most employees report getting about nine paid holidays per year. Think about these benchmarks as you decide on the number that will work best for you business.

There are no federal laws requiring employers to give PTO, but most companies offer it anyway. Why? Because it’s a must to attract and retain great employees. In fact, PTO is the second most important benefit to employees, right after health insurance.

Now, onto the next layer of the paid holiday puzzle: Choosing the actual days you give off.

So, what paid holidays should I offer?

Click through this link to my Gusto post to get the rest of this riveting content! 

No, really, I promise, it’s good stuff! Have I ever steered you wrong?

We’re Like the Venmo of Recruiting

So, for the Gen-X and older folks reading this I first probably need to explain what Venmo is. Venmo is a digital payment system, like PayPal (Venmo is actually owned by PayPal) but different. It’s a mobile app that allows you to make payments between friends and socialize the exchange. Out to dinner, want to easily split the check, one person pays, the others “Venmo” them their share and you get this cool friend feed to see what everyone is doing.

I’ve got three GenZ sons and they Venmo. They don’t carry cash anymore, so when they need to exchange funds with friends, it’s all done on their smartphones.

So, we constantly see talent acquisition and HR technology call themselves the “Tinder” of recruitment, or the “Uber of HR”, or some other stupid comparison to make themselves sound way cooler than they really are. I figured no one is saying they’re the “Venmo” of Recruitment, so what the hell, I’m stealing it before anyone else can!

Here’s my Venmo for Recruiting product. It’s a mobile, crowd-sourced app that shows your network where everyone is interviewing and allows you to share information, contacts, questions, reactions, etc. of your interview experience. Candidates can crowd source positions with each other, ask for help in making connections with companies they’re interviewing with, and share how a certain hiring manager might be to work for.

I’m going to start there. Only candidates, no employers, to build traction. Completely free, I’ll live off my angel funding for the first three years on our way to 50 million users. Then, we turn on the employer portion, ala Glassdoor but better, that will allow employers to see what networks are saying about them and their jobs, but not allow any responses or interactions.

You get to see this new voyeuristic kind of experience that is hidden camera in nature to know what candidates truly think about your organization, your hiring managers, your interview experience, your jobs, etc. Then, it’s up to you to make some decisions on how to change what you don’t like, highlight what’s going well, and basically find ways to use the data from our “Venmo of Recruiting” (it’s trademarked!).

If I know anything, I know TA leaders will pay for inside information to what candidates truly think about them. They’ll pay a lot! Also, they’ll continue to pay to see how that data changes with the changes they make. How cool would it be to have this kind of lab environment and be able to test out pieces of your candidate experience and see real-time feedback?

Also, how cool would it be to have a network sharing real information about interviewing, jobs, organizations, etc., on a mobile platform within your trusted network if you’re a candidate? Venmo for Recruiting. I’m calling it “” – Feedback and More. is now taking meetings with angel investors. Just send me a note if you’re interested in being a part of Venmo for Recruiting!

How Big Is Your Hotel Room? Measuring your HR Influence! #SHRM17

Just got off the spring HR conference season, although it seems like the HR/TA conference season is now never ending. It used to be the conference season for HR and TA conferences were spring and fall, with the one outlier being SHRM National at the end of June. Now, you can go to a conference in any month of the year!

As one of the many people in our industry that writes, speaks, etc. Some folks would consider me a person who has some influence in the space. I certainly don’t have the most influence, but I do okay. My wife likes to call me a ‘micro-celebrity’, meaning I have about 23-ish HR pros around the world who know who I am, and might want a hug when they see me!

When you go on the HR/TA conference circuit, as an influencer, you get humbled very quickly, as you run into conferences where your influence is minimal, and come conferences where you’re the rock star. I just came back from a conference where I was humbled, so I wanted to share how you can tell your value at a conference as an influencer!

It’s the size of the hotel room they give you!

Let me break down the ratings of Influence “5” being the highest influence, “1” being the lowest influence in the HR space:

Level 5 HR/TA Influencer:  You’re in the suite life! Gerry Crispin is a level 5 influencer! I was at a conference with him recently and his “room” was actually 4 rooms with a breakfast nook, two fireplaces, and a hot tub! That’s influence! We won’t talk about my room as compared to his! Level 5 Influencers also are picked up at the airport by someone holding a sign with their name on it. Probably have a gift basket in their room that includes something cool like a pair of Beats by Dre or Oakley sunglasses or something. Most level 5 influencers do not attend conferences for free, many of these gigs are paid gigs. (I’m not saying Gerry was paid, just that those at level 5 can get paid if they desire)

Gerry is a level 5 influencer because TA buyers listen to what he has to say. If Gerry says buy “X” software/product, people will buy. If he says “Y” software/product is crap, people won’t buy. Don’t tell me you’re a level 5 influencer without being able to move the market!

Level 5 HR/TA Influencer upgrade moment – Kyle Lagunas had a giant suite on top of the Bellagio in Vegas this year. I got invited. It was HR nerds acting like rappers, and it was awesome!

Level 4 HR/TA Influencer: You get to stay at the same hotel as a Level 5 influencer but you don’t get the same room! You probably don’t get the private ride to your hotel from the airport, but they’ll send you a note on what shuttle to take, you might even get the gift basket, but you will never get the breakfast nook! Level 4 and 5 influencers also are personally invited to these conferences, they never have to ask to attend. You’ve reached a certain level when you’re no longer begging to come to an event and work for free!

Once you reach level 4 you start getting invited to private dinners with vendors. Really nice meals at restaurants you would never go to unless someone else was paying and ordering drinks you wouldn’t if you were paying the tab.

Level 3 HR/TA Influencer: Welcome to the Hampton Inn, are you a Hilton Honors member? If so, we can get you a free bottle of water and move you to the top floor! Level 3 Influencers have made it to the land of not having to pay their own way to a conference, congratulations, that’s actually a huge step! The expectations though for this honor will be you’ll be writing, tweeting, IG’ing, Facebook live’ing, Snapping your life away for two straight days. It’s a big step to reach level 3, but that step comes with a lot of work conference organizers expect from you. At level 3 you’re probably booking your own hotel, flight and sharing an Uber to the event. But, you can turn those expenses in and get reimbursed.

Most likely at level 3 you probably had to ‘apply’ to attend the conference. Someone took a look at your name and others who applied and determined you carried enough influence to make the ‘list’. No one was contacting you asking you to come, but to be in the game, you must play the game! Level 3 influence comes with VIP access to the big HR parties, which usually means you don’t have to stand in line!

Level 2 HR/TA Influencer: You’re paying your own travel, but enough level 3-5’s didn’t want to come to our event, so we’ll give you a free pass to get in! With this free pass, we’ll make you dance like a monkey and do anything else we ask. Where a t-shirt with your logo? Sure! Many level two’s will bunk up in a two queen room. I once asked Kris Dunn if he wanted to share a room and he wouldn’t talk to me for a month! He was definitely not at level 2!

Level 1 HR/TA Influencer: At level 1 you’re paying your own way for everything. Travel, conference admission, etc. You’re probably sharing an Airbnb with other level 1’s and 2’s to help offset the cost, but you’ve got a dream, the Gerry Crispin 4-room suite dream! Plus, you can probably make at least a meal or two from snacks and candy given out at expo booths, and some giant HR vendor will have a huge party you can attend with the rest of the heard!

Some vendors completely screw themselves when they don’t understand the levels! If you’re a level 5 and a vendor treats you like a level 3, you can best believe you’ll never go back to that event! But, if you treat a level three, like a level 4 or 5, you just created an influencer friend for life! It works both ways!

The key for vendors is to try and get the most value for the level. It’s Moneyball! I want an up and coming level 3, who will probably be a 4 or 5 soon, to be at my event! I can get level 4 or 5 influence, on a level three budget. The hard part for all vendors is understanding who actually has real influence and who’s just pretending. Since I wrote the HR/TA Influence levels, I’m putting myself down as having some influence! 😉

T3 – Fastest Growing Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) on the Market

I’m going to share some data today because it’s the single most requested question I get in my life, professionally. Here it is:

“Tim, what ATS do you use and what ATS do you recommend?”

This got me thinking that one day people will stop asking this question, but they don’t, every month, every year, for probably the past five years! I find that fascinating, the longevity and frequency of this question.

It tells me a few of things:

  1. ATS vendors have done an awful job at positioning themselves in the market (there are an estimated 1,200 ATS systems in the world!)
  2. An average ATS system could dominate the market with some exceptional marketing.
  3. TA Leaders can’t tell the difference between ATS systems.
  4. TA Leaders have no idea how many choices they actually have to choose from.

Interesting enough another talent acquisition software, an employment branding play, Ongig, actually runs a poll (The Top 70 ATSs) and publishes the results a few times per year around the ATS market. The poll has about 3,300 participants, most in the U.S., and it’s pretty straightforward – what ATS do you use?

From this poll, they can estimate market share and growth change. Here are some of the results:

Top ATS by Marketshare:

ATS 2015 Share
Taleo 36.43%
Homegrown 11.10%
Jobvite 8.58%
Kenexa – Brassring 7.56%
iCims 6.39%
ADP 4.79%
SAP-SuccessFactors 3.72%
PeopleFluent (Formerly PeopleClick) 2.52%
Silkroad 2.27%
iRecruitment/PeopleSoft 1.74%
Ultipro 1.67%
Greenhouse 1.67%
HRDepartment 1.28%
Newton Software 0.78%
Jobscore 0.50%
Lumesse 0.50%
WorkDay 0.46%
Lever 0.46%

Top ATS by % Growth:

ATS % Increase
WorkDay 570.52%
Kronos 467.36%
HRDepartment 209.47%
ApplicantPro 209.47%
ATS OnDemand 209.47%
eRecruiting 157.89%
Cornerstone OnDemand 157.89%
Lever 123.51%
PeopleAnswers 123.51%
Ultipro (UltimateHCM) 120.38%
ADP 111.00%
HireBridge 106.31% 106.31%
CATS ATS 106.31%
SmartSearch 106.31%
Greenhouse 102.02%

What do these two charts tell us? 

– Taleo is dominate in the market, but not growing at the rate of most others. Taleo got that growth not by being the best ATS but because Oracle bought them and then in large organizations IT forced TA to use Taleo. Welcome to corporate politics.

– Workday must be awesome because they’re growing so fast! See the first bullet! Workday is winning huge HRIS RFPs and corporate IT is twisting some arms in TA to use the Workday recruiting platform. Workday isn’t sold a separate ATS point solution, so the only way you use is it, is if you’re the core Workday HRIS product.

– Kronos – see the bullets above! They’re not an ATS, in terms of what people think of when you think of the best ATS technology.

– Homegrown systems are always big because the ATS industry does an awful job showing us why we should pay for something we can basically build on our own. Now, the best ATSs on the market are clearly light years ahead of anything you built in-house.

– In the market share list I can basically put them into three buckets: Bucket #1 – Giant Enterprise plays with average and below average ATS technology, Bucket #2 – Super cheap SMB and Mid-market plays, bought by TA leaders who don’t really know what they’re doing; Bucket #3 – True best of breed ATS technology that should be leading the market.

It’s somewhat sad that so many giant enterprise level HRIS systems are dominating the ATS market, but it speaks to how HR and Recruiting were lead ten years ago. “We need everything to talk to each other so we can get all the data!” Yeah, you can still get that with a best of breed solution and open APIs. Too many great organizations are settling for below average technology and vanilla solutions while failing in recruiting.

This data also speaks to the fact that most ATSs today are not bought, they’re sold.  TA leaders have no idea which one to select, what the differences are, and what their choices are. So, you sell them on the fact your ATS is ‘by far’ the best one and ‘unlike’ anything else on the market. The data says different. It says that basically all of these ATSs are the same, otherwise you would see a few grab most of the market.

The Super Bowl Should be on Saturday: An Employer’s Plea

So, it’s the Monday after Super Bowl and 15% of your employees didn’t show up. As HR professionals we are not shocked by this, it happens every year after the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl has become an unofficial national holiday. You don’t even have to like the teams playing to want to go to a Super Bowl party, or throw a Super Bowl party, because it’s become a national social event.

Kraft Foods understands this and instead of trying to move the Super Bowl started an online petition to declare the Monday after the Super Bowl a national holiday, since, they claim, more than 16 million employees call in ‘sick’ the day after the Super Bowl costing organizations over $1 billion in lost productivity.

Think you have a God-given right to be off the day after the Super Bowl? Kraft Heinz agrees with you. So the food company’s giving all of its salaried employees the day off on February 6 after Super Bowl LI…

In addition to letting its employees stay home, Kraft Heinz is launching a campaign to push for everybody to be off after Super Bowls. It’s started an online petition to essentially create a new national holiday it calls “Smunday,” which extends Sunday’s Super Bowl fun into Monday.

Okay, some of this is just good old fashion marketing. Kraft Heinz food group makes a killing on Super Bowl weekend, so why not try a marketing stunt like this to drum up even more business and brand recognition!

The problem with this solution is it doesn’t really help employers gain back lost productivity and revenue, in fact, it only increases expenses by now having another paid holiday (an expense), with nothing to return the lost productivity of having your entire workforce off for a day.

The issue is that the NFL should move the Super Bowl game to Saturday evening or day. Can you imagine the nationwide party that would take place, over what it already is, if the Super Bowl was on Saturday night!

The NFL already gives both teams an extra week off to prepare. Starting the game on Saturday, instead of Sunday, wouldn’t harm the players, wouldn’t harm the NFL, and bars and restaurants would have even a bigger day than they do already.

If Kraft Heinz really wants to help America, they should change their petition to move the Super Bowl to Saturday, not just make up another work holiday.

The Worst Holiday Gifts You Can Give Your Employees

It’s usually HR’s job to come up with the annual employee gift. Most companies are lame and will do the exact same thing every year. If they don’t give a turkey on Thanksgiving, they’ll definitely give out turkeys at Christmas. If they did give a turkey at Thanksgiving, you’ll likely get a ham or a fruit cake for Christmas.

Can I just say Christmas, instead of the “holiday season” or list all the possible options? My family is Jewish, but we get it, almost no company will ever recognize Chanukah, and if they do, it’s usually and insulting, “Oh, isn’t that the Jewish Christmas?!” Ugh. Most of the American workforce follows some Christian-based religion that celebrates Christmas, so it’s just easier to play along with the majority.

At some point, usually right around the pagan holiday of Halloween, someone in HR will raise the question to leadership, “Hey, what are we doing this year for ‘Christmas’ for the employees?”  What they really are asking is, “How much money are we spending per employee for some gift that looks more expensive than what it really is?”  Depending on the organization, it’s a wide range!

Here are the worst holiday gift ideas to give your employees:

  • Company Logo Portfolio – you know those fake leather bound binders with a legal pad inside. Twenty years ago those were so hot! Now, they’re sad. If you give this out as a gift you should be shot. “Oh, great, thanks, a pad of paper I can’t wait to take a picture of this and post it on my Snap making fun of the lame company I work for!”
  • Company Logo Bag – Any bag really. Duffle. Messenger. Backpack. The only time this isn’t lame is when it’s a really nice bag. Meaning the bag, minus your stupid logo, better cost at least $100 per bag. Your $12 limit per employee just makes any bag you choose, sad. Oh, it’s a Herschel bag, okay, you’re good, send me one to!
  • Any Company Logo Item Your CEO Wouldn’t Buy For Themselves – Let’s face it no one wants a crappy polo shirt, or cheap hoodie, or water bottle made in China. If your leadership team wouldn’t buy this on their own and use it, don’t buy it for your employees. If your CEO is a cheap SOB, ignore what I said above and just skip logo items altogether!
  • Any Mass Pre-packaged Food Items – You know what really sucks? Getting a gift basket of elf-sized trial-sized food items made to look gourmet that were probably made seventeen months ago.
  • A Charitable Gift in “My” Name – I love being charitable. I hate when some tries to be charitable on my behalf. You don’t know what I support! I might hate sick puppies and I don’t want money going to them. That’s not your call. My favorite charity is my kid’s college fund! Are you giving me money for that?

Employee gift giving, especially the bigger your organization is, is a tough game.  You don’t want to be cheap, but if you have 10,000 employees, that one endeavor becomes super expensive! The best thing to do is just stop it all together!

You go through one negative year of people complaining they didn’t get their lead-based painted candy corporate logo candy dish, then the next year no one remembers. Instead, let your hiring managers throw potluck lunches and have some fun. People will remember those, have more fun, and they might actually interact with each other!



The Newest HR Certification on the Market! Get it Now!

If you read my post yesterday on the frustration HR pros and leaders have in deciding between getting their HRCI certification and/or their SHRM certification, you’ll see why I decided to write this!

I’ve officially decided to launch my own HR certification! This will put the rest the unanswered question of, “Which HR Certification Should I Get?” You’ll get mine fool!

Let me lay out my certification designation and marketing position for HR Newest (and Hottest) Professional Certification!

Introducing The HR Kingdom! Where you can now all become HR Queens and Kings!  I mean don’t you already feel like the Queen of HR!? Now you can officially be the Queen of HR, with my certification. Here’s out you get yours:

The HR Kingdom designation certification:

Step 1 – Send me $350 dollars if your female and $500 if your male. If you’re Transgender, you can pick whichever one you self-identify with, or have both, I don’t care, just send the check. It’s less for females because they get paid less. Once we fix this, I’ll charge them the same as males.

Step 2– You will then have a live video Skype call with a member of my court. After this call is completed you’ll be given one of a number of designations as follows:

 – Queen or King of HR – Senior level HR Pro/Leader who ‘gets it’. You know what the heck you’re doing in HR and you’re also not afraid to plan the company picnic and tell the CEO they’re full of shit. You’re a change leader, a silo breaker, and process be damned you get the job done!

Princess or Prince of HR – HR Pro/Leader who is will eventually get it, but you’re too green to get most of it, but you’re on your way. Most likely you’re a millennial who thinks they get it, but you’ve only been in HR for five minutes and have no freaking idea what you’re talking about.

Fool of HR – A member of my court has figured out you’re basically working in HR, but you have no freaking clue what the hell you’re doing. You’re basically a fool trying fool everyone you actually know what you’re doing, but we know better.

Step 3 – I’ll send you your official “Crown” to worn anytime you’re working in an official capacity of HR. You’ll also get to officially use the ‘crown’ emoji behind your name on your resume, LinkedIn profile, on your license plate, tattoos, etc. If you’re a “Princess” you’ll get a tiara, if you’re a “Fool” you’ll get one of those funny hats.

Step 4 – You must now officially recognize those other members in the Kingdom by their official designations. So, if you run into another Queen of HR, the official greeting would be, “Hello, your Majesty”, if it’s a fool, “move aside fool!”

I don’t know much, but I know a hell of a lot of HR ladies who will want to be Queens and Princesses of HR! Now that’s marketing your certification to your audience! Give them what they want. Give them something special. Give them royalty!

If you want to be a part of the HR Kingdom, it’s really simple, just send me some cash fools!