The Pandemic has been hard on HR pros!

If we sat down and started to list out who has been most impacted by the pandemic on the jobs front, we would come up with a pretty interesting list! The vast number of unemployed would show us that almost everyone has been impacted, and, quite frankly, it kind of feels that way.

If we dig into the data side of what has really happened over the last six months, the picture looks less bleak for some, and a little scary for many, especially us HR pros. Appcast, a job advertising programmatic technology company, released its 2020 Midyear Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report recently that looks at all the activity around jobs. Stuff like which jobs are getting the most applies. What kind of jobs is being posted? Etc.

When we look at the macro-world of jobs, we begin to see some super exciting things around the winners and losers, in the job market, at this point in the pandemic. Some of the outcomes are certainly understandable. In healthcare, for instance, the number one job being posted is for epidemiologists. Okay, that makes complete sense! In the middle of a pandemic, we need more Epidemiologists to help us stop the spread.

One big thing that popped out at me instantly was the job function that had the greatest change in the rate of applies. Meaning, more people in this job function, started looking for a new job. Can you guess what job that would be!? Yeah, it was HR! An increase of 24.5% from Q1 2020 to Q2 2020.

Are you surprised by this? Why would HR, out of all jobs, be the one that is out looking at a higher rate than everyone else?

The reality is, and we saw this during the Great Recession as well. HR pros are often the first to be cut during poor economic times. After all the work, after all the words from the c-suite, after all the studies about the importance HR has on the success of organizations, we (HR Pros) are still one of the first to be cut when money gets tight.

Why does HR get cut first?

Over the next 12-36 months, most economist believes we’ll be in a tough job market. Pandemic hangover, the election, and an economy that was due for a pullback after a decade of expansion, HR jobs will be tough to come by for a while.

HR leaders and pros don’t lose their jobs if they clearly bring value to the organization. Our c-suite executives who are making these calls probably see value creation and sustainability by HR differently than HR sees itself.

We know, with the HR function, far too many of our peers are still too transactional in what they do. Of course, every function will always have a certain amount of work that is transactional, but in hard times, transactional work is the first to go. If you haven’t proven yourself to be strategic, and demonstrate what you’ll add value and increase productivity within the organization, you will always be a target to get cut.

HR is getting cut because too many of us still struggle to show organizations how great people practices drive the world’s most productive and profitable organizations.

The good news is we control this, and we can educate ourselves and prepare ourselves to be value-adders to any organization, no matter the industry or location.

I love the new SHRM Specialty Credential that focuses on Inclusive Workplace Culture. Think about where organizations are right now in the middle of the pandemic and all the energy around social justice. Organizations need HR pros who are going to drive change and make positive business results. Specialty Credentials educate HR pros faster than anything else on the market.

The HR Job market is not going to get easier anytime soon, and the best way to protect your career or put yourself in a competitive advantage over other job seekers, if to have skills and knowledge they don’t. We all make investments on ourselves. Some of those are health investments, or for our family, some are for our careers. The time to make those investments are when the world is changing the most.

This One Group of Employees Needs Performance Reviews Cancelled!

This week on the HR Famous pod we talked about Google suspending performance reviews until 2021. When I first heard about it, my initial reaction was, “okay, here we go, the softening of America continues!” Come on, buck up kids!

It didn’t take me long to come to my senses when I thought about my own team. I have a super-strong group of employees, many of them mothers. On a weekly basis, I get to hear their stories of remote work with kids.

The reality we are facing right now, whether you think it’s right or not, is that most of your female employees with children are taking on the brunt of assisting the kids in their schooling at home. I’m a modern man. I don’t think women should have to take on this burden, but men mostly suck at organization, and from what I can tell, kids need vast amounts of organization when learning at home.

What does any of this have anything to do with Performance Reviews!? 


Because it’s unfair to judge your employees who are parents and besides doing their job, they are also forced to be a part-time educator because remote schooling is failing across the board. AND, the majority of these parent employees are women, who also just happen to face great equity issues already in your organization.

“Okay, Tim, we’ll suspend performance reviews for our employees who are parents, but we are going to continue with everyone else! Why would we stop all performance reviews?” See below…

Here is what will happen if you don’t cancel performance reviews in 2020, and maybe for a while after:

  • Your non-parent employees will get performance reviews and raises and promotions, life is great for them. Your parent employees, mostly women taking the brunt of the workload, won’t get a review and fall behind or will get a review and be judged unfairly based on what our crazy world has thrown at them.
  • Your pay equity issues and lack of gender diversity at leadership levels will continue and increase.
  • You’ll begin to see divisions amongst your employees, that will hurt your culture and productivity.
  • Eventually, you’ll create unwanted turnover or high performing talent.

I’m not saying we should stop feedback. Continue to do feedback all the time. Draft comms out to your employee base that speaks to the inequity our peers are facing and why you will suspend reviews until the pandemic is over and things get back to normal.

Some will read this and go, “yeah, I get it, but we are just going to have continued open dialogue with each team member and if someone says they don’t want a review right now, we’ll table them.” That’s a mistake because the women I know who are doing both roles right now will never tell you they don’t want a review. They are too proud for that, but it’s what’s best for them.

So, I’m a dude talking for women – because that’s what dudes do – we love to do some mansplaining! We also love to protect women. It’s a crazy genetic thing our mom gave us. Let me know what you think in the comments. Have you had this conversation in your organization? What are you going to do?

Are your Recruiters wasting your Hiring Manager’s time?

I had a conversation the other day with a corporate HR Director and we were talking recruiters, corporate recruiters.  My friend had a dilemma, a classic corporate recruiting scenario. The problem is she has recruiters who are doing a decent job, but they won’t get out from behind their desks and get out into the organization and get face-to-face feedback from the hiring managers. But, here is the real reason:  the recruiters feel like they are “wasting” the hiring manager’s time.

“So,” she asked, “How do I get them out to build these relationships?”

Great question, but she asked the wrong question (was partially my answer).  Her problem isn’t that her recruiters aren’t building the relationships face-to-face with managers. The problem is they feel they are “wasting” someone’s time.

They don’t value or understand the value they are providing to the hiring manager. If they did, it sounds like they wouldn’t have a problem with visiting with the hiring managers.  It’s a classic leadership failure, solving a symptom instead of solving the actual problem.

I don’t think that this is rare, recruiters feeling like they are wasting hiring managers time. It happens constantly at the corporate level.  Once you train your recruiters (and hiring managers) on the value the recruiters are providing, you see much less resistance of the recruiters feeling comfortable getting in front of hiring managers to get feedback on candidates, and actually making a decision.  This moves your process along much quicker.

What value do recruiters provide?  Well, that seems like a really stupid question, but there aren’t stupid questions (just stupid people who ask questions).  Here are a few that will help your corporate recruiters understand their real value to hiring managers:

  • Corporate recruiters are the talent pipeline for a hiring manager. (or should be!)
  • Corporate recruiters can be the conduit for hiring managers to increase or better the talent within their department.
  • Corporate recruiters are a partner to the hiring managers in assessing talent.
  • Corporate recruiters are a strategist for the hiring managers group succession planning
  • Corporate recruiters are your hiring managers first line of performance management (setting expectations before someone even comes in the door)
  • Corporate recruiters are tacticians of organizational culture.

So, the next time you hear a recruiter tell you “I don’t want to waste their time.” Don’t go off on them and tell them to “just go out there and build the relationship”. Educate them on why they aren’t wasting their time. Then do an assessment for yourself to determine are they adding value or are they just wasting time. All recruiters are not created equal and some waste time, and it’s your job as a leader to find ones add value.

A critical component of all of this is building an expectation of your hiring managers of what they should expect from your recruiters.  They should expect value. They should expect a recruiter who is a pro, and who is going to help them maneuver the organizational landscape and politics of hiring. They should expect a recruiter is going to deliver to them better talent than they already have. They should expect a partner, someone who is looking out for the best interest of the hiring managers department.

Ultimately, what they should expect is someone who won’t waste their time!

E30 – HR Famous – Is Johnny Taylor good for @SHRM and HR?

(Shout to the Tim Cook, Ivanka, Johnny selfie above – I had to put that one because it’s totally a pic I would have gotten if I had the chance!)

In episode 30 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Kris Dunn, Tim Sackett, and Jessica Lee link up to discuss Senator Tom Carper’s senate hearing mishap, Tim’s most embarrassing leadership moment, and Johnny Taylor’s time at SHRM. In this episode, KD talks about the worst boss ever and the crew answers the question “is Johnny Taylor good for HR?”. 

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)! 
1:30 – Do you like “what’s up?” or “how are you?” better? HR Famous prefers what’s up as a greeting!

2:30 – Do you have any monster.com swag from an HR conference? Tim still has it on his desk! KD isn’t a swag guy and wants to avoid the lines at all costs. 

5:00 – First topic of the day: tech mishaps in US Senate hearings! Senator from Delaware Tom Carper didn’t realize he wasn’t muted and was caught using some profanity in this video. KD wrote about this occurrence on his blog and called him the worst boss ever. 

9:15 – Tim calls this the most embarrassing leadership moment that a leader can have around their staff. What is your most embarrassing moment as a leader?

11:30 – KD thinks the abrupt nature of Senator Carper’s three f-bombs to a staffer gives the signal that he’s the worst boss ever. He thinks the nature of the interaction gives off bad boss vibes. 

14:00 – Second topic of the day: is Johnny Taylor good for HR? Business Insider discusses the reign of the CEO of SHRM in their new article and the cutthroat culture he has created for SHRM employees. 

17:00 – Although some may call Tim a Johnny Taylor fanboy, he praises him for turning a company around and helping SHRM start to turn a profit again. Tim says that the out of touch SHRM of the past is being transformed under Johnny and the new culture he’s creating is trying to update the company.

19:20 – JLee thinks that it’s important to try and bifurcate some of Taylor’s accomplishments from some issues that have arisen at SHRM. She says that it’s hard to deny some of his results even though there have been issues with SHRM’s work culture and their handling of certain situations with their employees. 

22:00 – So, is Johnny Taylor good for HR? KD mentions a past potential book that Taylor was going to write called “Fire half your staff then hire and keep the staff you need”. Tim is glad that the title is up for grabs!

25:00 – Johnny’s wins: financial turnaround, diverse leader of an organization, speaking out about recidivism, DEI programming among others. Tim comments on his charisma and how his dynamic presence may positively affect membership. 

29:15 – Johny’s losses: alignment with the Trump administration, SHRM’s slow response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the killing of George Floyd, and a relationship with the Koch brothers on issues of recidivism. 

32:00 – Tim thinks the messaging about police brutality and the BLM movement is something that SHRM could’ve clarified in order to create a more clear message. 

35:15- The crew answers the question of the segment. What do you think?

HR’s Worst Enemy!

I’m always amazed to hear about all of the Enemies that HR has!  You have employees, and hiring managers, and the EEOC, and employment attorneys, and staffing firms, and insurance firms, and HR software providers. I mean, if I hadn’t been in HR, I would think that everyone is against HR!

It feels like that some days, doesn’t it?

HR’s real worst enemy, though, doesn’t get that without your organization’s service or product being successful, no one is successful.

HR’s worst enemy doesn’t get that more hurdles to jump through, just means less time for operations to focus on the real business at hand.

HR’s worst enemy doesn’t get that treating everyone the same way, doesn’t create a high-performance culture.

HR’s worst enemy doesn’t get that having employees fill out open enrollment paperwork just so you have a document to prove what they filled out, spends more resources then it saves.

HR’s worst enemy doesn’t get that adding five additional steps to a process doesn’t make it simpler, it makes it more complex.

HR’s worst enemy doesn’t get that not leaving your department to go out and build relationships in other departments isn’t a good thing.

HR’s worst enemy doesn’t get that eliminating all risk isn’t something that is possible nor should it be a goal.

HR’s worst enemy…is itself.

6 Things That Make Great HR Pros Great!

The one great thing I love about going to HR and Talent conferences is that you always get reminded about what really good HR should look like.  It doesn’t mean that your shop will be there, but it gives you something to shoot for.  I’ll admit, sometimes it can be frustrating listening to some HR Pro from a great brand tell you how they ‘built’ their great employment brand through all their hard work and brilliant ideas.  All the while, not mentioning anything about “oh, yeah, and we already had this great brand that marketing spends $100 million a year to keep us great!”

Regardless, seeing great HR always reminds me that great HR is obtainable for everyone. Great HR has nothing to do with size or resources. It has a lot to do with an HR team, even a team of one, deciding little by little we’re going to make this great!

I think there are six things you need to know to make your HR department great:

1. Know how to ‘sell’ your HR vision to the organization and your executives.  The best HR Pros I know are great storytellers and in turn great at selling their visions.  If you don’t have a clear vision of what you want your HR shop to look like, how do you expect others to get on board and help you get there?  Sit down, away from work, and write out exactly what you want your HR shop to look like.  Write it long-hand. Write in bullet points. Just start.  It will come.

2. Buy two pairs of shoes: one of your employees and one of your hiring managers. Try them on constantly.  These are your customers, your clients.  You need to feel their joys and pains, and truly live them.  Knowing their struggles will make you design better HR programs to support them.  Support them, not you.

3. Working hard is number 1.  Working smart is number 1A.  Technology can do every single transaction in HR.  Don’t allow tasks and administrative things to be why you can’t do great HR.  Get technology to do all of this busy work so you can focus on real HR deliverables.

4. Break something in your organization that everyone hates and replace it with something everyone loves.  This is usually a process of something you’ve always done, and people are telling you it still has to be done that way. Until it doesn’t, and you break it.  By the way, this doesn’t have to be something in HR.  Our leaders and our employees have so many things that frustrate them in our environments.  Just find one and get rid of it.

5. Sometimes the path of least resistance is the best solution. HR people love to fight battles for the simple act of fighting the battle. “NO! It has to be done this way!” “We will NOT allow any workarounds!”   Great HR finds the path of least resistance.  The path of greatest adoption.  The path which makes our people feel the most comfortable, even if it isn’t the path we really, really want to take.

6. Stop being an asshole. You’re in HR, you’re not a Nazi.  Just be nice.  We’re supposed to be the one group in our organization that understands.  Understands people are going to have bad days and probably say things they don’t mean.  Understands that we all will have pressures, some greater than others, but all pressure nonetheless. Understands that work is about 25% of our life, and many times that other 75% creates complete havoc in our world!

Great HR has nothing to do with HR.  Great HR has a lot to do with being a great leader, even when that might not be your position in the organization.

What Is Your 3 Minute Interview Monologue? This is mine!

Right now, with high unemployment and seemingly endless competition for jobs, nailing your interview is critical! Almost every failed interview can be traced back to the first three minutes. Experts will tell you the first ten seconds, but these are the same experts who have never interviewed or haven’t interviewed in the past twenty years. The reality is a little longer, but not much.

An interview doesn’t really start until you’re asked to open your mouth. And, not the small talk crap that you do while people get settled and wait for Jenny to get her coffee and find your resume.

When you get asked that first question, “So, tell us a little about yourself.” Bam! It’s on. Start the clock, you have 180 seconds to show them why they should hire you.

Here’s what I would say:

“I was raised by 6 women. My grandmother is the matriarch of our family. I was raised by a single mom, who had four sisters, my aunts, and my sister was the first grandchild born into the family. As you can imagine, I was dressed-up a lot! The women in my life love to laugh and I have always had a stage with them to make this happen. 

The other thing it taught me was to cook, sew, and iron. All of which I do to this day. My wife is a baker, but I’m the cook. Mending and ironing fall in my chore bucket around the house.

The real thing it taught me was the value of women in the world. I did my master’s thesis on women and leadership. My mother started her own company in 1979 when no women started companies. Not only that, but she also started a company in a male-dominated technical field.  I was nine years old, and she would pay me ten cents to stuff envelopes for her. We would sit on her bed and she made calls to candidates, and I would stuff envelopes with the volume off on the TV.

Living with a single mom, who started a business during a recession was a challenge. I learned the value of work and started my first real job the day I turned sixteen. I paid my own way through college, my parents who could afford to help, but believed I would get more out of college if I found a way to pay for it on my own. I did. In hindsight, I’m glad they taught me this lesson. It was hard but worth it.

All of these experiences have helped shape my leadership style. I set high expectations but work hard to ensure people have the right tools and knowledge to be successful. I hold people accountable for what we agree are our goals. I believe hard work leads to success, and in business when you are successful you have way more fun! 

What else would you like to know about me?”

That’s it. I shut up and wait for a response.

What did I tell them in my three minutes?

I told them my story.  People don’t hire your resume, they hire your story.

If you want to get hired, you need to craft your story. A real story. A story people want to listen to. A story people will remember when it comes time to decide whom to hire.

Once you craft that story, sit down with as many people as possible, and tell them that story. You need to perfect it. You need to be able to “perform” that story in the interview so that it’s 100% natural. Pro tip: try and get people that don’t like you very much to listen to your story and give you feedback. They’ll still be nice, but you’ll get more honest feedback from them, then your fans.

You have 3 minutes! How are you going to use that time?

Is it okay to be biased for underrepresented communities in hiring?

I’m a big podcast listener. It’s one of the reasons we started HR Famous because we loved the format! One of my favorite podcasts to listen to is The Prof G Show with Scott Galloway.

If you aren’t familiar with Scott Galloway he’s a New York University professor of marketing and hugely popular. He’s a liberal and rails openly against Trump and also his own industry, Higher Education. I’m a moderate and he’s so freaking smart, I could care less about his political leanings, I just get smarter listening to him.

Besides being a professor, he has started and exited a few technology companies, sits on boards, has school-aged kids, and talks a ton about the stock market.

On a recent pod, Elitism: Money vs. Influence, he gave his top 3 attributes the top-performing employees of the companies that he has started. These are:

  1. Most likely Female. “First they were female. If they were male I couldn’t say this but it’s okay because as long as you are biased for underrepresented communities your okay, but we try and ignore that…” (42:03 in the pod)
  2. Graduate from a world-class university. Ivy League, Penn, Michigan, Stanford, Berkley, Vanderbilt, etc. “Better schools matter…more applicants…start with better core human capital…better screening.”
  3. Athletes are very successful. They understand teamwork, discipline, they can endure and push themselves harder. “Someone who can finish an Ironman isn’t lazy”, says Galloway.

So, Professor of NYU, former business owner, and thought leader says it’s okay to be biased in selection.

I’m not sure I agree we should ever be biased in our hiring selection practices, but Galloway points out a reality in our culture. As long as we aren’t biased towards the majority, we will look the other way and ignore it.

What Galloway is saying is not different than how the vast majority of hiring managers are making their final selections. They take a look at past and current performance and they make some educated inferences about what those top performers have in common. Based on this knowledge, it will shape their hiring selection. Does this, or could this, lead to bias? Yes.

Does it make it wrong?

That’s the big sticky question, isn’t it?

We want to say, no, it’s fine, continue to hire the females if those are your best performers. But, just because your current females are your best performers doesn’t mean they’ll be your best moving forward, or that maybe one of the males will be even a better performer.

Flip the scenario.

Galloway now tells us that one of the three attributes for high performance is they are “male”. Do we have a problem with this now? Most likely, you do have a problem with it based on hiring equity issues, broadly, but it’s hard to say specifically since maybe this organization doesn’t have gender equity issues.

Want to know what Inclusion is difficult when it comes to organizational dynamics? It’s because what Galloway laid out is exactly what every organization lays out. The difference is, it isn’t always friendly to the underrepresented community.

Like I said, regardless of your feelings on this one subject, Galloway’s podcast is money! It’s on my must-listen to pods each week.

Give me your thoughts on this in the comments?

Female Mechanic, Amateur Porn, and Lawful Termination #TheProjectTakeover

I’m on vacation this week so my friends are taking over the Project! Enjoy their content, connect with them, and share the content with new people! Some amazing voices coming to you this week! 

Enjoy this post by Greg Modd!

Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are entertaining but there is an adult side to social media platforms. One is called OnlyFans that HR professionals need to be aware of that is in the market. Kirsten Vaughn, 24, created an account to pad her bank account while working as a mechanic at Don Ayres Honda dealership in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She had the potential to be the first woman master technician at the dealership. However, Kirsten’s colleagues discovered her OnlyFans account and she claims that was when the sexual harassment began. A month after she created the account, she was terminated from her mechanic position for violating company policy.

Management met with Vaughn prior to her termination and in a recorded conversation the dealership’s HR leader Jason Johnston said “If there were coworkers over there who had access to your page, that might encourage them to approach you with unwanted sexual conduct or comments,” wow… suppose this could be interpreted as a blame the victim defense.

How should HR professionals handle these situations? The Association of Workplace Investigators have guiding principles to assist investigators to enhance the quality of workplace investigations:

  1. The decision to Conduct an Investigation
  2. Choice of Investigator
  3. Scope of Investigation
  4. Investigation Planning
  5. Communicating with Employer Representatives and Witnesses
  6. Confidentiality and Privacy
  7. Evidence Gathering and Retention
  8. Witness Interviews
  9. Documenting the Investigation
  10. Investigation Findings
  11. Reports

Wow, that’s a long and complicated list of guiding principles. What do they mean “decision to conduct an investigation” can an HR department ignore sexual harassment complaints? No, as employers are legally mandated to investigate harassment, retaliation, discrimination, and certain other types of complaints. Common mistakes made by HR departments in employee relations investigations are failing to plan, ignoring complaints, delaying an investigation, and losing objectivity. Bias is real folks…

Employee relations are complex and workplace investigations are an important piece to the puzzle. Business is about relationships. More importantly positive relationships. For HR professionals to be successful in the workplace they must be trusted advisors to both the business managers and employees. This is a challenging position to be in for most HR pros and one that sometimes can appear to be in conflict.

The bottom line, the sights and sounds human resources professionals are exposed to can be some of the strangest human interactions. Some HR pros aren’t equipped to manage the employee relations complications that come, and it can be an expensive lesson for the employer. My dear friend calls it a lesson in litigation. We can do better and be better if we simply leverage our network’s knowledge to help in these challenging situations. You don’t have to do this alone as we are truly better together.

Bio – Greg Modd is the Principal Consultant at PPC, DisruptHR speaker, and a United StatesAir Force veteran who served two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan. PPC aims to mitigate risk for small business owners through outsourced workplace investigations.

 

 

3 Ways You Can Extend the Work Lifecycle of Older Employees

One of the biggest biases we have as leaders is ageism. If you’re 35 years old and running a department and you are looking to fill a position on your team that will be your righthand person, the last thing you’re looking for is a 55-year-old to fill that spot! That’s just me being real for a second.

You and I both know that 35-year-old hiring manager is looking for a 25 – 28 year old to fill that spot

That’s mainly because at 35 you’re still basically stupid. I was. You were. We think 35ish is the pinnacle of all knowledge, but it’s really when we just start learning for real.

So, we have this core issue to deal with in workplaces right now. Our leaders are mostly Millennial and GenX, and Millennials are increasing into these roles at a rapid rate. Because of the Boomers leaving in large amounts, there aren’t enough talented young workers to replace the knowledge gap that is being left. So, we are left grappling with what we think we want (youth) with what really needs (experience!).

A recent study at the University of Minnesota found that employers need to add programs to focus on older workers:

The study argued that programs aimed at training workers won’t be enough to satisfy the state’s need for workers between 2020 and 2030. New policy directives and incentives may be needed, including offering pathways for baby boomers to delay retirement, drawing in workers from other states and supporting immigration from other countries

“There’s all this focus on workforce development, but none of it is guided to older workers,” said Mary Jo Schifsky, whose business, GenSync, advocates for meaningful career pathways for older adults and who helped initiate the study for the Board on Aging with the U’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. “We need career pathways for older workers just as much as we do for younger workers.”
 
In the U survey, managers ranked baby boomers high on loyalty, professionalism, engagement, and their commitment to producing quality work.
Employers need to find ways to extend the Work-Life Cycle of the older employees that work for them until the workforce, technology, and retraining programs can catch up to fill the void. Most employers are only focused on programs that are looking at younger workers.
So, what can you do as an employer to extend the life cycle of your older employees?
1.  Have real conversations with older employees about what they want. Most employers shy away from having the ‘retirement’ conversation with older employees because they think it’s embarrassing or illegal. It’s not. It’s a major reality of workforce planning. “Hey, Mary, Happy 55th Birthday, let’s talk about your future!” Oh, you want to work 18 more years! Nice! Let’s talk about a career path!
I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard a hiring manager say, “I don’t want to hire him because he’s 59 and is going to hire soon.” Well, I spoke to him and he wants to work until he’s 70 (11 years) and our average employee tenure is 4.7 years. I think we’re good!
2. Stop, Stop, Stop, believing that all you can do is hire full and part-time FTEs into roles. If Mary, my 63-year-old financial analyst wants to give me five more years of work, but only wants to work three days per week, in role ‘traditionally’ we’ve only had a full-timer, I’m taking Mary for three days! HR owes it to our organizations and hiring manager to push them out of the box when it comes to schedules and how we have always filled positions. 3 days of Mary is probably worth 3 weeks of an entry-level analyst in the same role!
We do this to ourselves. I hear it constantly from hiring managers, “HR won’t allow me to do that.” Why? Have you asked? No, but HR doesn’t allow us to do anything. We need to come to our hiring managers with solutions and let them see we are open to doing whatever it takes to help the organization meet its people’s needs.
3. Develop programs and benefits specifically designed to retain older employees. I work with a plant manager who developed an entire engineering internship program around having his retired engineers come back and work three days a week with interns and paid them ‘on-call’ wages for the days they weren’t there, so interns could call them with questions at any time. These retired engineers loved it! They could come to do some real work, help out, and still have a great balance.
It went so well, he kept some on all year, on-call, and partnered them with younger engineers who needed the same support and assistance from time to time. The on-call rate was pretty inexpensive, the support and knowledge they got in return, was invaluable.
It all comes down to flexibility on our part as employers to extend the life cycle of our older employees. We no longer have this choice where we can just throw our older employees away and think we can easily replace them. We can’t! There physically isn’t anyone there!
This is about using each other’s strengths. Younger leaders will be stretched and we need to help them stretch. We need to help older employees understand their roles. In the end, we need to find a way where we can all see each other for the strengths we bring to the table, not the opportunities.
It’s our job as HR professionals to work on how we can extend the life cycle of each of our employees.