Rerun – The #1 Cause of Bad Hires

It’s Spring Break in Michigan, so I’m going to step away from the daily grind and throw some Reruns at you! You guys remember Rerun, from What’s Happening? (look it up, kids!) So, enjoy the Reruns, they’re some of my favorites!

Originally ran May 2013 – 

A while back I interviewed a lady that would make a great recruiter. She was high energy, great on the phone, could source and an HR degree.  She applied for the job we had open for a recruiter and 100% positive she would have accepted the position if I would have offered it. I didn’t. 

She wasn’t a ‘fit’.  The job she truly wanted, her ‘dream’ job, was in straight HR, not recruiting.  She was willing to recruit – she really didn’t want to recruit.  We walked away from a terrific candidate.

Poor job fit is the #1 reason most people fail at a job.

Organizations spend so much time and resources ensuring they’re hiring the right skills, but most totally fail when it comes to organization and job fit.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy to determine organizational fit.  Sure you can design an assessment, do peer interviewing, etc. But it always seems like a moving target, and it is.  Job fit also has multiple components:

1. The job you have open.

2. The company culture.

3. The job the candidate actually wants to do.

4. The job the candidate is willing to do and how good of an actor they are to prove to you that is the real job they want.

5. Your inability to see your perception of the candidate and their perception of themselves doesn’t align.

How many of you have ‘Poor Job Fit’ as a reason for termination on your exit interview form?

My guess is almost none.  Most managers and HR pros will list things like: performance, personality conflict, attitude, low skill set, personal reasons, schedule, etc.  We don’t want to use something like “Poor Job Fit” because what that says is “We suck at our jobs!”

The reality is – probably 75% of your terminations are because of poor job fit.  You hired someone with the skills you wanted, but the job you have doesn’t use or need most of those skills.  The job you have doesn’t meet the expectation you sold to the candidate.  The job you have isn’t really the job the person wants.

Most organizations would be farther off to hire by fit, than by skills. True statement.  HR pros hate to hear that – because it discounts a lot of what we do.  Job fit is the key to retention – not skills.  Find someone who wants to be a recruiter – and they probably

HR pros hate to hear that – because it discounts a lot of what we do.  Job fit is the key to retention – not skills.  Find someone who wants to be a recruiter – and they probably be a decent recruiter.  Find someone with great skills who doesn’t want to be a recruiter – and they’ll be a terrible recruiter. 

In almost every occupation where you don’t need professional certifications (doctor, lawyer, CPA, etc.) this holds true.  I know a great Accountant who never went to accounting school – better than anyone I’ve met you graduated from accounting school.  Some of the best teachers – never went to college to become a teacher – but they love teaching.

Do one thing for me the next time you interview a candidate for a job – ask them this one question:

“If you could have any job, in any location, what job would you select?  Why?” 

Their answer doesn’t have to be the job they’re interviewing for to be the ‘right’ answer.  Their answer should be in line with what you’re asking them to do – or you’re going to have a bad fit – and either you will eventually be terminating them, or they will eventually be resigning.

There is a huge disconnect in mobile recruiting!

Pew Research  came out with some cool data recently on mobile usage and recruiting and a few things actually shocked me!  Check this out:

Americans with relatively low levels of educational attainment tend to lean heavily on their smartphones for online access in general, and this also play out in the ways members of this group utilize their smartphones while looking for employment. Among Americans who have used a smartphone in some part of a job search, those with higher education levels are more likely to use their phone for basic logistical activities – such as calling a potential employer on the phone or emailing someone about a job. On the other hand, smartphone job seekers who have not attended college are substantially more likely to have used their phone for more advanced tasks, such as filling out an online job application or creating a resume or cover letter.

If you’re an HR Pro like me, you believed the opposite of this was probably true! I think most TA pros and leaders would believe they couldn’t rely on mobile recruiting technology because those with lower education (thus lower income) would not have access to a smartphone. The opposite of this is true.

Lower educated individuals actually rely more on their mobile device to get online and communicate about things surrounding employment.

Currently, in the TA space most of the mobile recruiting push is around Tech hires.  Everything you read in regards to mobile recruiting will speak to the importance of having if you hire IT, but almost nothing if you’re trying to hire unskilled workers.  In fact, conventional wisdom still holds court when it comes to unskilled recruiting – paper applications, career page applications, job fairs, etc.

So, what is the major issue facing unskilled and lower skilled job seekers?  

Employers are still stuck on resumes and applications to get someone to apply.

Have you ever filled out an application on the screen of an iPhone 5?  It sucks! You won’t complete it. You’ll go to another company that is hiring and makes it easier to apply via another means, or by giving way less information.

Employers who are struggling to hire lower-skilled workers need to make some major changes to their mobile recruiting strategy.

Here are some tips: 

1. Have a mobile recruiting strategy, specifically designed for unskilled and lowers skilled candidates

2. Figure out what is the bare minimum of information you need to have some apply to a position via their mobile device. Get the rest when you see them in person.

3. Start measuring how your candidates are coming to you. Understand, while they might come to from a job board or online resource, that is still probably done by a mobile device. We need to change our mindset about how we attract lower-skilled workers via mobile.

This is a huge eye-opener to TA pros and leaders. Take note. Lower educated workers are more likely to use a mobile device to apply to your jobs than a highly educated worker!



Live Streaming Today @Glassdoor’s Employer Branding Summit

Today from 10am EST to 6:30pm EST – Glassdoor is Live Streaming their entire Employer Branding Summit from San Francisco!

Kris Dunn and I will be hosting the Live Stream with a Special Kick Off show starting at 10am EST, Halftime show at 3pm EST and special segments at breaks throughout the day!  We will be giving out special prizes to those watching the Live Stream and interacting with us throughout the day!

You can watch Live Stream for FREE by clicking on this Link.

The agenda is packed with some of the best Employment Branding minds in the business:

Glassdoor Speakers



Check it out! It’s like the next best thing besides actually being there with us, which is pretty cool. I mean you have Kris and I doing our best ESPN SportsCenter acting jobs!


T3 – @RocketLawyer

This week on T3 I take a look at legal benefit provider Rocket Lawyer.  Rocket Lawyer allows your employees to manage, virtually, all of your legal needs online. Employees can create legal documents and legal forms instantly with safe & secure storage, e-signatures and lawyer review.

This is one of many fringe benefit options that an employer can pick up for their employees, like pet insurance, dry cleaning, free lunch, etc.  Some employees will find this service invaluable, and some will never find a use for it.  What I know is HR pros get way to many inquiries from our employees for legal advice and help!

While my employees might like a free lunch, the HR person in me really would like them to have another outlet for legal advice and services!

The one issue that I see happening constantly, and it’s only going to get worse based on demographics, is employees having to care for aging parents.  Rocket Lawyer can help your employees set up power of attorney, ask real lawyers in their state and area about their legal rights and advice in regards to dealing with their parents estates, etc.  This is one issue I just continue to hear from more and more employees on, where they need real legal advice, not my ‘legal’ HR advice!

Rocket Lawyer is not an EAP.  It’s a full blown legal technology that allows employees to take care of a ton of legal documentation on their own for no additional fees.  Handle landlord and rental contracts, Immigration and Visa issues, Pre-nuptial agreements, set up a will, etc. It’s self serve legal services, online, for a few dollars per month, per employee.

The other piece I like about Rocket Lawyer is that as an organization and HR the service is totally separate and confidential.  This takes the burden off you and your organization in dealing with your employees legal issues, but at the same time you are giving the professional support to help them take care of their business.

I was impressed. Great, easy to use interface.  Simple to set up documents online.  The service could easily save your employees thousands of dollars in basic legal fees.  Check them out, and get a demo.  Could be a great add to this years open enrollment plan!

T3 – Talent Tech Tuesday – 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 space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on T3 – send me a note.

7 Realities for Negotiating Salaries

I think we all know that one person in our life that thinks they get the best deal on everything!  They consider themselves the ultra-negotiator, the person sales people hate to see coming! You know the person -they go and buy a $40,000 car and call and tell you how they got it for $27,000, and the car dealership actually lost money on them.

These are the same people that believe they can also ‘negotiate’ their salary.  There are some realities we face as HR Pros that most candidates don’t get.  While we have rules and processes and salary bands, quite honestly, very little negotiation goes into any salary offer.  Younger people are always told, usually by their Dad or some cheesy uncle, to “Negotiate” their salary, “Never take the first offer!”

To me, there are 7 main realities about negotiating salaries, and here they are:

1. A good HR/Talent Pro will pre-close you one what you are expecting. This is truly the point where you should be negotiating. The first call and 99% of candidates miss this opportunity.  This is also where you can truly find out what the position pays by playing ‘the game’. Go in super high and work backwards, you’ll eventually get to the ceiling.

Example of what this looks like:

HR/Talent Pro: This position is ‘wide’ open for the right person and skills, we just wan to judge your interest.

Candidate: I’m interested. I’ll need $350K!

HR/Talent Pro: Oh! My! That is above our range!

Candidate: Okay, give me  ballpark.

2. Health Benefits, 401K match, holidays – are all non-negotiable, unless you’re negotiating a C-suite offer.

3. Vacation days are usually negotiable, but only if you’re coming in with experience. Most entry levels have no room to negotiate this, and if you did negotiate, as an entry level, and get more vacation than they originally offered, calm down, they were willing to give this already. It was a test.

4.  In most positions you have a 10% range within a position to negotiate salary for an experienced professional. This means if they offer $60K, you can probably get $65K without much hassle.

4a. There are 2 schools of thought on this:

-The fewer the people in a position, the easier it is to negotiate salary. The theory being we can hire Tim at $65K, we have  Jill is already hired and working at $60K. but it will only cost us $5K to move her up to that same level. Everyone’s happy.

– The more people in a certain position, the harder it becomes to negotiate because the example above, pay inequity now becomes very expensive, and ‘pay creep’ is more of a concern when you have 200 people in a position vs. 2.

5. You can raise your salary up quickly by moving around early in your career and jumping from company to company, but it won’t help you move ‘up’ in your career.  Congratulations you’re making $95K as an Engineer, but you won’t be the first choice to a manager or director position. That will go to the person who has been there for 8 years while you were working for 4 different companies.

6. HR/Talent Pros (the good ones) expect you will negotiate something. They usually are holding something back to help seal the deal.  If you don’t negotiate, you missed out an opportunity to get something and that will follow you as long as you are with that company.  The $5K you left on the table initially, compounds each year like bank interest. If you’re with the company 20 years, that one little $5K negotiation will cost you $100K+.

7. The best HR/Talent Pros will tell you up front if they have don’t have room to negotiate. Very rarely are they lying.

Share some of your salary negotiation stories in the comments below.

There is No Kill Switch On Awesome!

Happy Monday Friends!

Let’s make this week completely Awesome!

Spring is upon us! (well, some of us)

There is no better time to be alive! Well, I hear the sixties were pretty great, and the fifties, possibly the twenties…anywho…

Remember –

No kill switch


What awesome stuff are you going to do this week?


T3 – @OrgVue #HRTech

T3 – Talent Tech Tuesday – 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 space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on T3 – send me a note.

Today on T3 I get the pleasure of reviewing OrgVue a London based tech firm and management consultancy, that built one of the most awesome HR specific Business Intelligence tools I’ve ever seen!  OrgVue is an integrated software platform bringing Org Design, HR Analytics and WOrgVue logoorkforce Planning together in a single product. Gartner named them the ‘Cool’ product of 2014, and ‘Cool’ is an understatement!

Think about this way, you have many systems in your organization that have employee data, and even in a suite environment, rarely does everything come together nicely.  It’s messy. OrgVue takes all this messy data and brings back to you clean answers.  One thing every HR shop gets tasked to do is developing Org Charts. OrgVue takes Org Charts into the next millenium.  It does, intuitively, what we always wished Org Charts could do. Click on a person and gives you all their data, performance, roles they’ve been, etc.

From a workforce planning perspective it does real-time workforce modeling.  Lose your head of design? What impact will that have downstream? OrgVue can show you in a few clicks. Want to re-org? OrgVue can show you cost savings of the new org before you even make the move through it’s modeling tool.  OrgVue takes the HR Business Partner model to a whole new level.

5 Things I Really Like About OrgVue: 

1. OrgVue gives an organization one source of true data maintained through seamless integration of multiple systems and locations. Want to compare hiring analytics between Michigan and Texas, just a few clicks. North America and Europe, a few more clicks. It’s crazy powerful!

2. OrgVue constantly is intaking and cleaning data in real-time.  This means the charts and reports you pass along to decision makers are accurate and not dated.

3. So many of our executives are visual learners. OrgVue understands this and brings your HR data to life visually. Also, executives are known for asking for ‘one-more-thing’, “Can I just see this data sliced a bit differently”. It’s the vain of HR pros around the world. Not with OrgVue.

4. The organizational modeling and scenario planning tool is unlike anything I’ve seen from any other vendor, ever. In fact, I’ll say that OrgVue probably could take the jobs of some highly paid consultants that you pay to do this now!

5. Everything you create and see in OrgVue is turned easily with a click into Excel, PowerPoint and PDFs.  Why fight it?! Big orgs want their paper, spreadsheets and slides, so give it to them, when they need it.

I say this too often, but I was completely blown away by this product.  I would invest in this company, that’s how blown away I was!

But, let me be clear, OrgVue is for a sophisticated HR buyer.  This is a big shop, Fortune 1000 type product.  Regardless, I would encourage every HR executive you must demo this product. Even if you aren’t in the market, treat this a personal development, the OrgVue folks will teach you some stuff on this demo.  You will never look at your data the same way again!

Will Your Kid Grow Up to be in HR?

The website had an interesting article titled “Hey Kids, Pick A Career“, in which they give certain odds on what occupations your child (or any child born for that matter) will become a certain profession. This is of particular interest to me since I have one son entering college this year, and another, next year.  Both of my sons are weighing those normal options of doing what they think they want to do vs. how much money can I make.

As you can imagine the article gives some of the obvious careers first, like the odds my kid will be a:

  • Surgeon: 1 in 2,872
  • Professional Athlete: 1 in 9,684
  • Fashion Model: 1 in 81,440
  • Fire Fighter 1 in 452
  • Elementary Teacher 1 in 87

Because you know, we all thought we were going to be one of those when we grew up!

I don’t know about you, but I when I took the career interest assessment in my junior year of high school it didn’t say I was going to be a HR Pro.  In fact, mine gave me my top 3 “best” career choices, which honestly in order were: 1. Teacher; 2. Floral Designer; 3. Sales.  Not sure how the Floral Designer got in there, but to this day I love working out in the yard! There wasn’t even a category for HR or Personnel or Hiring Guy or anything.

So, Book of Odds really got me thinking about what my 3 son’s will be when they grow up. I know their personal choices right now (oldest to youngest) are: 1. Exercise Science or Accounting, 2. Musical Theater, 3. Stay at home with Mom.  Fairly normal given their ages of 18, 16 and 11.  In reality they are more likely to be:

  • Administrative Role: 1 in 5
  • Sales: 1 in 9
  • Food Service:  1 in 11
  • Healthcare: 1 in 19
  • Education: 1 in 16

What about HR?

  • Human Resources: 1 in 656.9
  • More interesting: 1 in 10 HR Pros make under $28,030 per year (ouch!).

Well, I can hope, like most parents that my kids find careers that pay the bills and make them happy. The odds are I’ll probably have at least one living with me until their late 20’s!

HR and Snow Days

Based upon the ‘historic’ snow storm on the east coast this past week, I pulled one from the archives on my feelings about how HR should handle snow days. Enjoy.

Look I get it.  I have 3 sons and Snow Days are a big deal…if you’re 10!   So, if you’re an HR Pro, right about this time tomorrow, you’re going to feel like you have an entire organization full of 10 year olds,  as we begin to see the first signs of Snowmagedon!

I understand people freaking out, that is, if you live in some place south of the Mason-Dixon line, and you’ve never seen snow before. But, I live in Michigan and it snows here. The snow starts around Halloween and ends around Easter.  What I don’t understand is anyone that lives north of, let’s say, Chicago, is even blinking an eye at a snow storm coming.  Let it snow, clear your driveway and get your butt to work.

It’s not a difficult concept! No, I don’t want you to drive to a client if the roads are dangerous, and, no, I don’t want you to drive to work if the roads are dangerous, and, no, I don’t want you to run around the office with scissors and your shoes untied!  But I do expect, we’ll all be adults.

If it looks like there’s going to be a lot of snow tomorrow, you need to make a plan. How about packing some work to do from home, or just plan on watching Lifetime all day, because I completely understand you missing the 3 days’ of warning that the snow was coming! (he screamed to himself in a mocking voice…)

Snow Days are the kind of crap that drives HR and Leadership completely insane!

Why is it, the CEO finds his way into the office, driving his Lexus sedan, but Perry in IT just can’t seem to get his 4X4Chevy Tahoe out of the garage?   If you want a day off that damn bad, take a day off,  but don’t insult the intelligence of all those who found a way to come in.

Be sensible, give your local snow plows some time to clear roads, give yourself extra time to get to work, but at the very least give it a shot. Then, when you get stuck, take a picture with your phone and send it to your boss, they’ll appreciate the effort!

ACA Complaince – HR, You’re In Trouble!

I wanted to title this – “The most boring post ever!” But you guys know I couldn’t write a boring post!

Going through my debrief of HR Tech and I had a meeting with ADP regarding health care reform compliance.  Yes. It was as boring as it sounds!  But there’s a catch, this is stuff that the real HR folks are really concerned about, especially small and medium sized HR shops (50 – 999 employees).  Let’s face it, we don’t have the staff or budget to really feel 100% confident we know what we really need to be doing!  It’s something that can make us look like fools to our executives.  So, I wanted to pass along some stuff I think might help.

ADP has data coming out of their ears! They surveyed our executives in the SMB space and here’s what they are saying:

  1. 69% are concerned with the cost of health coverage and other benefits
  2. 54% are concerned with health care reform legislation

I’ll bet you that 54% is really 100%, but the other 46% believe you (HR Pro) have it under control, and most of us probably don’t!

ACA is confusing, and it seems like a moving target.  Most vendors will tell you they can help, but when you really look into the folks who are giving them the information to give you, they’re really no different than you or I.  What I really liked about my meeting with ADP is they have the resources to throw some really, really smart people at this, and they have the size and influence to probably get insight directly from those writing the legislation.  With great size, comes great access!

ADP has launched a new solution called ADP Health Compliance.  ADP Health Compliance combines Software as a Service (SaaS) with rigorous managed services staffed by ACA experts who can help to enable compliance while managing all of the complex regulatory requirements: Eligibility, Affordability and Regulatory Management.  And you don’t even need to be an ADP client to sign up to use this solution!

“The ACA has transformed the practice of workforce management into a fluctuating system of checks and balances, and one missed step can be the difference between compliance and significant financial penalties,” said Saliterman.  “ADP Health Compliance’s managed service feature is truly unique and can provide large employers with the expertise that only a leader in tax and compliance can deliver.”

“In our restaurants, the vast majority of our employees are variable hour workers whose time will change shift to shift, week to week.  We need to constantly monitor employees hours—12 months a year—to determine who is required to be offered  health coverage benefits and whether or not that coverage is affordable, which can be a heavy lift,” said Bruce Clark, Chief Financial Officer of Hooters Management Corporation, an early adopter of ADP Health Compliance.  “Restaurant operators are good at running restaurants, but that doesn’t mean that they’re good at complicated compliance tasks.  Our plan is to keep doing what we do and do that great, and we’ll leave ACA administration to our expert partner…“

Yeah, ACA isn’t sexy.  It’s not employee engagement platforms, and digital interviewing and big data.  ACA compliance is where HR Pros earn their chops, it’s real-life HR, and it’s something we can’t afford to get wrong.  ADP isn’t paying me.  I think they have a product a lot of you could actually use, and it protects your organization.  Check it out. It’s probably worth your time to take a look and see where you might be at risk!