I Hate Lists! But Less When I’m On Them…Sackett’s Top HR & TA Influencers of All Time!

It seems like there are fewer lists out recently as content. Five years ago lists as content were huge! It was the go-to content for every crappy content marketing professional in HR and TA technology. Why? Because they get traffic! People like to see their names on lists, or not see their names on lists and wonder why “he” is on the list and I’m not on the list.

Recently, Engagedly came out with the ‘Top’ 100 HR Influencers of 2017. The list is alphabetical but it also has numbers, so it looks like Uncle Lou Adler is #1 on the most influential list of HR pros for 2017. I’m number 77. Stacey Zapar is #99. Kris Dunn is #26. If you know the alphabet you can almost play a game guessing what number you might be! (Editor question – if it’s not ranked, why put numbers on it?)

So, anyway, I hate these lists, but I hate them less when I’m on them because, well, I’m human. It feels nice that someone thinks you might know something about something and put your name on a list of other people you probably think are smart. The problem with most lists, like this, are that the person putting them together probably hasn’t met or spoken to 97% of the people they’re putting on the list.

The Engagedly list added a ton of ‘influential’ HR people I’ve truly had never heard of! Most are heads of HR for giant Fortune 100 type companies. I’ll say that’s smart. If you want to sell your product to an enterprise buyer, butter up the heads of HR at big companies and tell them how smart and influential they are. That’s just good business!

The problem is ‘these’ people, for the most part, really aren’t influential. Big giant HR is usually vanilla. They use big giant vanilla technology and they do things that are safe. That’s not really influence, is it?

Outgoing SHRM CEO Hank Jackson is on the list. Hank definitely has some influence in HR, but he’s also retiring in December, wouldn’t Johnny Taylor, the incoming CEO, be a better selection? Penelope Trunk is on the list. Has Penelope done anything in HR in the past decade? She recently said she was sick of her own advice! That seems influential.

William Tincup, my friend, and a super smart guy is on the list. He’s also on the board of Engagedly. Shocking he made the list…

Like I said, I hate lists, because what I did above is what everyone does when they see these lists. No one is like, “Oh. My. God. Thank you for this list! I had no idea who I should listen to in this space!”

Okay, I’ll stop being a dick. The criteria I would use for a list would be something like: People I have had dinner with and I would pay; People that have taught me something in HR and/or TA and/or Life; People I’ve hugged because I like them, not because I felt like I had to; People I think are smarter than me; People that get it.

Here’s my list of Sackett’s Most Influential HR/TA People of All Time (also the best dinner party ever or the most dysfunctional family get together of all time, and every single person on this list I’ve met in person and probably hugged!):

Celinda Appleby – Employment Brand expert at Nike, an Awesome smart lady with some sass! 

Jason Averbook – HR and TA Tech genius, one of the best presenters in the world, first person I forgot to add to this list!

Chris Bailey – CaymanHRGuy is his claim to fame, but he might be the best person in HR period. Smart, fun, giant heart.

John Baldino – My HR guy on the East Coast, Smart, Caring, Just good people!

Kassandra Barnes – HR technology marketing leader, sassy, smart, always open to trying new things.

Michelle Berg – HR Executive and consultant out of Canada, super involved in HR community, hustler to the n’th degree.

Josh Bersin – Everyone knows Josh, some dislike him, some love him. I like how he thinks.

Steve Boese – Mr. HR Tech, #8ManRotation, One of the nicest guys you’ll meet in HR and he really knows his stuff!

Bill Boorman – The most connected HR/TA guy in the world and always willing to go for a drink. Super kind, super smart.

Sarah Brennan – One of the most underrated HR/TA Tech minds on the planet, expert home flipper, awesome person.

Terryl Bronson – Trench TA Leader, my friend from my days at the Bee’s, always willing to help others, world class stick man.

Steve Browne – Mr. SHRM, nicest guy in HR. The most positive, uplifting HR leader you’ll ever meet.

–  Dawn Burke – HR Leader who flat out gets it, funny, high energy, one of my closest friends in HR, she’s just good people.

Heather Bussing – The one employment attorney on the list, which means she is my go to for all this stuff, and a damn good writer!

Johnny Campbell – Ninja. Always looking to move forward. Pushing the envelope of recruiting worldwide. Charismatic.

Teresa Carper – My VP of HR in my own shop at HRU. Super stud, won’t be outworked, ferociously loyal, brilliant.

Glen Cathey – Boolean Black Belt Dude. The smartest guy in sourcing you’ll meet who doesn’t believe he’s the smartest.

Lis Cervenka – Employer branding expert, TA tech executive, great marketing mind, respect the hustle.

Matt Charney – Brilliant writer, sharp wit, wickedly funny, gets the game better than almost anyone in the industry.

Joel Cheesman – One of the few ‘experts’ I listen to, truly knows his stuff and isn’t afraid to let you know it.

Jackye Clayton – Awesome HR/TA Tech knowledge, a better person, funny, my sister from another mister.

Graeme Close – Professor, best and most interesting wellness speaker on the planet, Nutrition consultant to Olympians & professional athletes.

Connie Costigan – C.C.! One of the top HR tech marketing and communication executives on the planet, and just a great person.

Gerry Crispin – The Godfather of Candidate Experience and TA, who I hope to become when I grow up. Life long learner.

Amy Cropper – Quietly one of the smartest TA minds in the room who doesn’t feel the need to throw it in your face.

Jim D’Amico – My partner in the Michigan Recruiter’s Conference, passionate TA leader, awesome person, brilliantly funny.

Paul DeBettignies – Kindest, hardest working TA pro on the planet, always willing to get involved and help, gets recruiting at another level.

Mervyn Dinnen – Super smart HR writer/blogger out of the UK, always asks the right questions to make you think.

Kelly Dingee – Sourcing expert to the stars. Kelly can break down sourcing for the masses like no other person in the industry.

Jim Durbin – Get recruiting and finding talent at a completely different level than 99.9% of the world and can show you how.

Holland Dombeck-McCue – The Kid! Recruitment marketing genius, under the radar, oh, the places she will go!

Kris Dunn – The OG, my ride or die, simply the single best HR/TA blogger on the planet and my best friend. #8ManRotation

Ben Eubanks – The analyst from Alabama, and the nicest HR analyst you’ll ever meet! Smart, hardworking, always willing to share.

Mary Faulkner – HR leader who is always on and willing to get involved, takes no prisoners and one of the few willing to tell it like it is.

Craig Fisher – Employment brand expert, good people, respects the hustle. Gives back to our community constantly.

Melany Gallant – HR Tech content marketing guru who is unafraid to try new stuff, which makes her stuff industry leading.

Joe Gerstandt – Freak flag flier, one of the top D&I speakers/minds on the planet, someone most of us would aspire to be.

Jamie Gilpin – HR and TA tech marketing executive, started most of the stuff others are doing right now, awesome lady.

China Gorman – Great leader, period, gets the HR industry better than most, she’s the boss you wish you had.

Ben Gotkin – Co-founder of ATAP, super passionate TA pro willing to work behind the passion.

Shane Gray – Tireless advocate for TA worldwide, always willing to help and has outstanding ideas. Hustle times infinity.

Kevin Grossman – Mr. Candidate Experience, gets HR marketing at a different level than all of us. Super nice dude.

Chris Harvilla – Super brilliant TA Tech mind and leader, could run any TA shop in the world better than you’re doing it right now.

Lance Haun – Kind, wicked funny, always helpful, truly understands the industry and how to help make it better. #8ManRotation

Michael Heller – HR Tech CEO, grinder, an executive who truly works to understand the practitioner’s pain, and that’s rare! He’s good people.

Maren Hogan – Marketing expert, hustles her ass off, a brilliant writer, so helpful. Never leave your credit card with her. 😉

Paul Hebert – No one gets recognition, incentives, and employee engagement better than this man. Plus, he’s an awesome hang.

Chris Hoyt – The recruiting guy, loved by all including my wife who is super hard to win over! I love talking shop with Chris.

Carmen Hudson – One of the smartest TA consultants you’ll ever meet, has always shared her time with me, Talent42 Co-founder.

John Hudson – He ran HR for Oprah, fools! Drop mic. Truly an awesome guy, always willing to help, great HR mind.

Teela Jackson – Recruiting leader out of the ATL, true pro, super funny, gets recruiting at another level.

Linda Jonas – An Aussie, living in Berlin, who just works tirelessly within the industry. Respect her hustle and willingness to always ask questions to make both sides smarter.

Matt Jones – Recruiting leader who is an expert in the game, gives back constantly, great positive energy, closer.

Charlie Judy – HR leader/expert who gives back to the industry constantly, gets workplace culture at a completely different level.

Micole Kaye – Influencer marketing expert, a millennial who acts like a Gen-X, super high ceiling because she’s unafraid.

Katrina Kibben – Employer branding, marketing pro, writer, involved. Someone who is always willing to help and give back to the community.

Kyle Lagunas – My favorite TA/HR analyst, wicked funny, fabulous, will poke fun at his own industry, smart.

George LaRocque – Always knows where the money is, constantly letting the industry know stuff before anyone else, I listen to him.

Sharlyn Lauby – The vast HR community loves the HR bartender and so do I, straight talk in a way that doesn’t talk down, she writes for those HR pros in the trenches.

Madeline Laurano – In a world of puff out your chest analyst, Madeline is a pros-pro who quietly knows more than 90% of the room. Flat out produces great research.

Jason Lauritsen – Super HR leader, better guy, truly wants to see you be a better you. One of my favorite people in the industry.

Jessica Lee – The most talented young TA leader on the planet, period. Brilliant mind. Tireless worker. Great spirit.

Tony Lee – Working constantly to evolve SHRM from the inside, awesome guy, always working to make his business better.

Steve Levy – Polarizing TA genius who will tell you exactly like it is, even if you don’t want to hear it. Truly knows his stuff.

Roy Maurer – Expert writer in our space, not a hack blogger like me, kind, giving, always willing to help hacks like me get better.

Jennifer McClure – The one HR speaker everyone wants to hear and see, self-made, constantly improving, such a good person. Knows what she talks about.

Trish McFarlane – No one in HR in the past decade has come farther in their career. HR leader, analyst, HR Tech executive.

Debbie McGrath – Founder of HR.com, she’s forgotten more about this industry than I’ll ever know. Constantly innovating.

Rob McIntosh – Executive TA advisor that is a top 1%er in terms of knowing more about TA than all of us. One of the few I read and listen to in this industry.

–  Victorio Milian – A better human than you and I will ever be, HR consultant and leader, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, with a keen eye.

Crystal Miller Lay – Employment branding and recruitment marketing expert and leader, constant hustle, unapologetic in a good way.

Jessica Miller-Merrell – The queen of HR/TA blogging, HR/TA tech expert, constantly pushing forward, challenges the norm.

Danielle Monaghan – The only head of TA for a giant corporation I’ve ever met you will tell you exactly how it is, publicly. So awesome!

Neil Morrison – HR Executive out of the UK. Might be smartest HR dude on the planet. Great writer and thinker. I’m love listening to him.

Kevin Mullins – HR Tech marketing executive, flat out ‘gets it’, a driving force behind WorkHuman, had great vision.

Shannon Pritchett – Worldwide sourcing leader, Ms. SourceCon, super smart and willing to give back to the community.

Laurie Ruettimann – Friend. Original HR blogger with snark and sass, showed everyone else how to do it. Mentor of mine. Smart beyond our industry.

Tim Sackett – Like I said, I hate lists, but I hate them less if I’m on them!

Lars Schmidt – HROS co-founder, Fast Company author, employment brand strategist who is super nice, helpful and giving.

Robin Schooling – Trench HR leader, blogger, an awesome lady who just gets HR at a level most will never get to.

Jason Seiden – Branding genius, overall genius, one of the few people I shut up and listen to when they speak. Always has great ideas.

Mary Ellen Slayter – Content marketing expert, good people, knows where the bodies are buried in our industry and can use that knowledge to help her clients.

Leela Srinivasan – Top 3 HR/TA Technology CMOs on the planet who also never invites me to her events. She’s smart that way.

Marcus Stewart – HR professor at Bentley Univ., best friend since junior high, the single smartest person I know.

Matt Stollak – The only HR professor on the planet who has been able to make the transition into mainstream HR writing. Sparty. #8ManRotation

Mark Stelzner -HR advisor to the who’s who of HR leaders on the planet. Might be the person in HR who can fix you the fastest, and he’s just a great guy.

Will Staney – TA consultant, industry expert, always willing to give back and work to make the industry better overall.

Bret Starr – Marketing genius who doesn’t believe he is. Nice dude, great leader. Some of the best ideas on the planet.

John Sumser -Brilliant dude, industry guru respected by all, one of the few who will ask the toughest questions and get the answers.

Ronda Taylor – HR marketing expert, Twitter hashtag guru, constantly helping others get better at the game.

Ron Thomas – Global HR leader, tireless industry advocate, awesome person, your guy on the ground in Dubai!

William Tincup Part of my tribe. Great sense of humor I’ve ever met. Smartest guy in our industry. I envy his mind. He’s my go to on most things in life.

Ambrosia Vertesi – Exceptional HR leader who is wise beyond her years, HROS co-founder, creative with a great sense of humor.

Jess Von Bank – Tireless industry sales executive who is in constant hustle mode, not constant sales mode.

Jeff Waldman – Social HR Camp founder, constant industry advocate north of the border, brilliant TA mind.

William Wiggins – Exceptional HR Leader, one-half the great Wiggins-Hudson duo, one of the funniest HR pros I know.

Mike Wood – Marketing leader for Globoforce, never stops, behind the force that has become WorkHuman, one of the good guys!

Stacy Zapar – Constant hustle. Super talented TA leader. Uses her skill sets better than anyone on the planet. Beyond nice.

Shaunda Zilich – Employment brand leader at GE, can build a motor cycle, thinks about EB completely differently than everyone else!

Okay, I know I’ve forgotten about fifty people, so I apologize to all those friends and smart people I’ve left off this list! Also, I know it’s not in perfect alphabetic order. Look it’s my list, I can arrange it any way I want!

Damn, this list thing is harder than it looks!

 

 

People Who Are Always Late Are the Real Terrorists

I have a confession to make. I’m anally retentive on time. I’m so on time, that if I’m ‘on time’ I think I’m late. For me, being on time means I’m ten minutes early to whatever it is I’m scheduled to do.

If I know I might be late, I get anxiety. My close friends, and my wife, know this about me and usually if they know I’m feeling frisky, they’ll push this button!

Look, I get it, I’m not proud of this. We all carry around our own demons…

My take on this is there could be worse things in the world I could have problems with! I could be a drug addict. I could kick puppies. I could be completely rude and annoying and show up late to stuff and put other people out and show how I don’t care about them by not respecting their time and making them believe I must be more important than them by showing up after the agreed upon time! Yeah, like those things!

So, one of these always late terrorists put together an article recently and basically said that people who are always late are “more successful and live longer, says Science”.

You can bet, I took offense to this! It goes against every fiber of my being not to be late!

So, here’s a bit from the article and the ‘science’ they claim to have to back this up:

In DeLonzor’s book ‘Never be late again’, she says: “Many late people tend to be both optimistic and unrealistic, she said, and this affects their perception of time. They really believe they can go for a run, pick up their clothes at the dry cleaners, buy groceries and drop off the kids at school in an hour…

In a study of salesmen carried out by Metropolitan Life, “consultants who scored in the top 10 percent for optimism sold 88 per cent more than those ranked in the most pessimistic 10 percent”. Their performance is better because their outlook is better…

People who are late, but genuinely don’t mean to be – the ones who want to be considerate, often live in the moment and find it hard to save for the future, says Alfie Kohn on Psychology Today. Some people “can’t summon the self-control to be on time” which would mean that person “probably has trouble getting his or her act together in other ways as well – say, around saving money or saying no to junk food.” Oops.

So, if you read the entire article the ‘science’ is basically this:

1. People who are late are optimistic.

2. Optimistic people in a sales role will sell more.

3. Selling more means you’re more successful.

4. Thus, People who are late are successful.

Apparently, people who are late also are bad at math and regression. Since you can not correlate being late to optimism to success to jump and put all those together!

Let’s face it, people who are late are awful people, and usually unsuccessful because they’re probably constantly trying to catch up from being late, and most likely fired often because they fail to keep commitments they made. Because they’re fired and constantly running behind, they’re most likely, also, stressed out more often than the fine, well-standing folks who show up on time, and that stress is a killer!

I have to assume the person who wrote the article was running late so they just made up some data and science to fit their lateness. I don’t condone it, but I understand. The habitually late need our help. It’s really more of a disease than a conscience decision. We might want to put in some legislation to give them extra protections. I want to be empathetic to their difficult plight of showing up to commitments on time! I’m not a monster.

Seriously, if you’re one of these terrorists, just know that everyone, deep down, hates you with a passion.

Help Me Name My New Podcast

Every once in a while in life you get really lucky and find a true friend. Back about eight years ago I had that happen in the strangest of circumstances. I was running talent acquisition at Sparrow Health System when I found an HR blog written named The HR Capitalist, written by Kris Dunn.

The dude wrote, exactly like I thought in my head. I had never read a blog before, and truly had no idea what the heck it was. But, I knew I had to reach out to this guy, because he was my brother from another mother. So, I sent him an email. I mean I sent him an email the moment I got done reading the first post I found of his.

Kris emailed me back within minutes, with his phone number, and said, “call me”. Okay, now I’m a bit scared, creeper! So, I called him, because I started the creeping by sending him some fanboy love note. We talked for at least an hour on the phone that day, and soon after I started writing for his Fistful of Talent blog and the rest you can say is history.

So, yeah, we’re sorta BFFs. Our wives get sick of us texting each other at weird times. In 2017, middle-aged men don’t really have ‘friendship-friendships’. You know a lot of guys. You call them your friends but you never really talk about anything real. It’s mostly sports and weather. KD and I get on the phone and we have to schedule ourselves or we’re an hour into the call and haven’t even talked about what the hell we called each other on. That’s rare for dudes.

So, why am I telling you this? I asked my friend, Kris, to start a podcast with me. We figure other people would love to hear our conversations because we think we’re so freaking smart and have the world figured out. Or, maybe they would like to hear our snarky take on everything from pop culture to leadership theory. Anyway, it’s going to be a weekly show. Probably thirty minutes in length (we told each other this, but I can’t remember the last time we actually talked for under thirty minutes).

We want to do a Leadership Podcast. We both have strong recruiting and HR background, but most of our career the stuff we found most interesting was when we got to coach hiring managers to be better leaders. So, we need your help finding a name for this podcast. Here’s what we came up with:

  • Leadershipping with Kris Dunn and Tim Sackett
  • Never Boss Alone with Tim and Kris
  • Ready to Manage with KD and Me

Click on this Link to Vote for the Title you like best! (Or you can also give us your idea for a better name as well on the survey!)

The goal is to make this a leadership based podcast that HR and TA leaders can pass onto their hiring managers and say, “You need this!” or maybe they’ll just say, “I really liked this and thought you might too!” (which is way more politically savvy!)

Thanks for helping Kris and I out. We are looking forward to sharing this with all of you!

 

 

Pretty People Make the Best Employees

What do you think of, in regards to smarts, when I say: “Sexy Blond model type”?

What about: “Strong Athletic Jock?”

What about: “Scrawny nerdy band geek?”

My guess is most people would answer: Dumb, Dumb, Smart – or something to that context.

In HR we call this profiling and make no mistake, profiling is done by almost all of our hiring managers.  The problem is everything we might have thought is probably wrong in regards to our expectations of looks and brains.  So, why are ugly people smarter?

They’re Not!

Slate recently published an article that contradicts all of our ugly people are more smart myths and actually shows evidence to the contrary. From the article:

Now there were two findings: First, scientists knew that it was possible to gauge someone’s intelligence just by sizing him up; second, they knew that people tend to assume that beauty and brains go together. So they asked the next question: Could it be that good-looking people really are more intelligent?

Here the data were less clear, but several reviews of the literature have concluded that there is indeed a small, positive relationship between beauty and brains. Most recently, the evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa pulled huge datasets from two sources—the National Child Development Study in the United Kingdom (including 17,000 people born in 1958), and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in the United States (including 21,000 people born around 1980)—both of which included ratings of physical attractiveness and scores on standard intelligence tests.

When Kanazawa analyzed the numbers, he found the two were related: In the U.K., for example, attractive children have an additional 12.4 points of IQ, on average. The relationship held even when he controlled for family background, race, and body size.

That’s right HR Pros, pretty people are smarter!  I can hear hiring managers and creepy executives that only want “cute” secretaries laughing all over the world!

The premise is solid though!  If you go back in our history and culture you see how this type of things evolves:

  1. Very smart guy gets great job or starts a great company and makes a ton of money.
  2. Because of his success, this smart guy now has many choices of very pretty females to pursue as a bride.
  3. Smart guy and pretty bride start a family which genetically result in Pretty-Smart children.
  4. Pretty-smart children grow up with all the opportunities that come to smart beautiful more affluent families.
  5. The cycle repeats.

First, this is a historical thing so my example of using a male as our “Smart guy” and not “Smart girl” is just how this originally developed in society. I’m sure in today’s world this premise has evolved yet again adding women as breadwinners, but attractiveness probably remains. We are talking about how we got to this point, not where are we now.

Additionally, we are looking at how your organization can hire better.  So, how do you hire better?  Hire more pretty people. White, black, male, female, American, Hispanic, gay, straight, it really doesn’t matter, just make sure they’re attractive!

Seems simple enough. Heck, that is even a hiring process that your hiring managers would support! The one thing I’ve never had a hiring manager tell me, male or female, is “hey, you know Tim, they’re just too pretty, they won’t work here.” Never happened. Never will.

Want to increase the talent in your organization? Just hire pretty people!

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Boss’s Day! #MakeBossesGreatAgain

Does anyone really celebrate National Boss’s Day?  It seems like something made up by some drunk employees one night and then the next day they realized it went too far!

What’s next National “White Man’s” Day? Oh wait, my black friends, women friends, Native American friends, Hillary, etc. say that’s every day! Or was that last week for Columbus Day? I get confused, they keep changing what we can and can’t celebrate.

I have to say I’ve been a ‘boss’ for (well, let’s face it I was born a ‘boss’!) twenty-some years and the only Boss’s Day gift I’ve ever gotten was being taken out to lunch back in the 90’s! Ever since then I was told it was a bad thing to be a boss. I needed to be a leader and leaders don’t get gifts, we give gifts!

I can’t enjoy being white. I can’t enjoy being male. I can’t enjoy being a boss. The struggle is real!

So, since I can’t enjoy Boss’s Day I decided to develop a list of gifts I would like to receive on Boss’s Day is we lived in let’s say Trump’s America! I’m sure part of his political platform is to Make Bosses Great Again!

The Ultimate Boss Gift Guide for Bosses Day:

Free Back Massage Coupons! Can you imagine anything more magical than giving your well-respected boss a nice good old fashioned in office back rub! Yeah, I thought so!

Liquor! Hey, this boss in-office bar doesn’t stock itself! Top shelf don’t try and drop off anything you’d find on the rail, no boss wants second tier liquor!

A nice tie! Just kidding, you should be fired if you give your boss a tie on Boss’s Day! Unless that tie comes with an invitation to tie you up! Now we’re talking boss language!

Signed copy of “Mean Business” by Chainsaw Al Dunlap!  You kids might have to look up the career of Chainsaw Al, it’s brilliant and inspiring for real bosses. Every boss loves a good bookshelf filled with books they haven’t read but one that scares the hell out of any employee who sees the titles!

Your Employee of the Month parking spot! Just kidding, again! Ha! Suckers, I park in covered parking or the driver drops me off up front. Keep your Row 1 parking spot, your 2007 Honda Civic looks really nice there.

Boss’s Day! It seems like it only comes around once a year. I’m not quite sure how that happened, you would think bosses would have made it monthly!?

So, remember today isn’t about you, it’s about your Boss! Make them feel special. Treat them with respect. Kiss the ring.

The 2016 Fall Michigan Recruiter’s Conference!

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

This year’s lineup includes:

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

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

Ambrosia Vertesi – Mrs. HR Open Source

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tech Companies Should Move To Detroit!

You might have seen this chart recently over at Business Insider:

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 11.10.07 AMWe all probably got this. It costs a TON to live in San Fransico! Way too much. You’re crazy if you want to start a tech company in San Fran.  So, what do all those super smart folks do? Yeah, stay west coast and just go a bit more north to Seattle, still expensive, but seemingly cheap in comparison to San Fransico!

It’s one of the main reasons Austin, TX became a hotbed of tech startups and headquarters about a decade ago. Relatively cheap to place to live. Access to a major university (Univ. of Texas), which gives you young, talented, tech savvy folks. Nice weather.

Here’s the magical formula to picking a place to house your tech company:

  1. Access to talent.
  2. Place people want to live.
    1. Good weather.
    2. Hip vibe.
    3. Affordable. (not necessarily an important factor – but increasing in importance!)

Give this magical formula, I’ll give you the number 1 destination of new tech startups!

DETROIT!!!!

Well, actually it’s Ann Arbor, which is about a 15-minute drive from Detroit’s International Airport, a Delta hub and one of the nicest airports around. Which means direct flights to almost everywhere. Home to the University of Michigan and great talent pipeline (Michigan State is also 50 minutes away). So, you have two Giant universities and roughly 80,000 students within easy driving distance.  A ton of other smaller universities within a 50-mile radius as well (Eastern Michigan, Wayne State, Oakland Univ., Univ. of Toledo, etc.).

It’s super cheap to live. Ann Arbor is a great college city, with access to the bigger Metro Detroit area within a thirty-minute drive. Access to someone of the world’s largest freshwater lakes. Toronto is an easy, cheap flight, or 4-hour drive away.

Okay, you won’t get super nice weather. You’ll get four seasons, midwestern work ethic and so much more for your money you won’t understand why anyone ever went west to begin with!

Oh, I hear you. What about the talent?  The Detroit Metro Area is one of the world’s largest engineering centers in the world! You know about all the auto companies, but what you don’t know is that Google has been growing an empire in Ann Arbor for years, and doing it quietly because they don’t want others hoarding in on the secret!

So, yeah, Seattle is way cheaper than San Fransico. You only have to pay 35% of pay towards rent. In Detroit, you only have to pay about 15% of your pay towards rent!

Detroit! The new San Fransico! We even have a bridge!

Michael J Fox’s Perspective on Co-Workers #WorkHuman

Michael J. Fox was one of the closing day keynotes at the WorkHuman conference this year, and he killed it like you expect. One of the key takeaways I took from his talk was in regards to all those people you work with on a day to day basis.

Mike Fox laid out two things you should think about when you think about how you interact with your co-workers:

1. Enjoy the people you work with for what they can positively contribute to you and your organization.  This is all about focusing on the strengths of those around you. If you constantly focus on what someone can’t do, you make them miserable and you stress yourself out as well.  People perform better when you allow them to do what they’re good at. When you recognize them for what they bring to the organization, not what they don’t bring.

2. If you can’t enjoy the person you work with, be thankful you’re not them. We are all going to have people in our life that we have to work with that we frankly just don’t like. Could be personality, or skills, or attitude, etc. Mike Fox said you can still find a positive out of this by focusing on the fact you’re grateful that you don’t have their challenges, and by helping those people be the best version of themselves.

I love this philosophy!

Mike Fox was very big on this concept that judging others will get you nowhere. It’s such a big part of culture. I know I do some this myself, and it’s not something I’m ever proud of. The reality is judging others says more about your inadequacies than it does about the persons you are judging. It was a great reminder.

It was a great reminder. In HR and TA we tend to believe ‘judging’ is part of our job description, but it’s not. The best HR and TA Pros I know don’t judge candidates or employees but find what is most useful of those individuals and try and put those people in positions to be successful.

Finally, Mike spoke about fear. Fear others have when they look at him. They look at him expecting to find fear in him and instead see their own fear in his eyes. That statement made me pause. He’s not fearful of his situation. He’s happy life gave him this enormous platform to change lives.

Perspective. We shouldn’t assume we know others based on our own beliefs and fears. Here’s a guy who is facing an uncertain future, but he’s embraced the joy of living one day at a time. The real secret, he didn’t share, is we all are facing life one day at time, he’s just figured it out way before us!

 

Don’t Apply to College if You’re White, Middle Class and Male

I heard a female comedian the other day say one of the truest things I’ve ever heard:

Look, if you’re a white dude, and you’re failing in America, you’re really a failure! You’re like the definition of failure! You can’t be a white dude and complain about how hard life is. If you’re a white guy and you’re failing at life, you’re basically saying, “I can’t find a way to be successful in a society that was built for me.” That’s America.

Which is probably why Trump is trying to make it white great again!

What this comedian was saying is no one wants to hear white dudes whine about stuff. “Oh, it’s so hard to find a job.” “Oh, I can’t afford a house in the richest part of town.” “Oh, I’m not going to be able to retire until I’m 62.” In comparison to real people problems in the world, it all sounds stupid.

Did you hear the whole Kelly and Michael drama that blew up this past week? All said and done, Kelly comes out and says, “My Dad, who drove a bus for thirty years, thinks we’re all crazy!” Privilege, at any level, isn’t supposed to whine about shit.

So, all that being said, here’s my privilege whine:

College Acceptance and Tuition Payment is completely broken! 

My middle son is about to make his college choice. He’s got some great schools that have accepted him. He has some great ones that did not. His dream school was Duke. He also really liked Northwestern, Dartmouth, and UCLA. He has a 4.05 GPA on a 4.0 scale (honors classes give you additional GPA) and a 31 on his ACT (97th percentile of all kids taking this test).  He had the grades and test scores to get into all of those schools.

What he didn’t have was something else.

What is the something else?

He didn’t come for a poor family. He didn’t come from a rich family. He wasn’t a minority. He doesn’t have some supernatural skill, like shooting a basketball. He isn’t in a wheelchair. He isn’t from another country.

He’s just this normal Midwestern kid from a middle-class family who is a super involved student-athlete, student government officer, award-winning chamber choir member, teaches swimming lessons to children, etc., etc., etc.

Basically, he falls into this no-man’s land of what colleges and universities don’t want these days. Male and White.

Can I keep whining? Whatever, it’s my blog – buckle up! 

What is the other something else, from a financial perspective?

He got into Boston College, another dream school for him, and one that wanted him to come and continue his swim career at the Division 1 level. BC also costs $68,000 per year.

Colleges and U.S. Federal Government hate kids who come from families that do the right thing.  What’s the “right thing”?  He comes from a family that pays their mortgage, saved some money for his tuition and put money away for retirement.

Apparently, all those ‘positive’ things, like being financially responsible, are not liked by colleges and the federal government. Colleges and the U.S. Government would have preferred that I didn’t work, let my house go into foreclosure and was in debt up to my eyeballs. If that was the case, both the college and U.S. Federal Government would reward my bad decision making and pay for my son to go to school, fully!

Because he comes from a family that made good decisions, Boston College, and the Federal Government thought it was a good idea for him to pay $68,000 per year to attend their fine university.

My wife and I have spent our son’s entire lives saving for them for college. We sacraficed to basically give them a fund that would pay two full years of tuition and living at a normal state four-year college. The other two years are on their own. We feel they need to shoulder some of that cost to appreciate what it is they’re investing in.

I get it. No one wants to hear about how the middle-class kid can’t go to the super high-end school of his dreams because he can’t afford it.

I’m struggling with this. I’m no different than any other parent who tells their kid when they were little, work your butt off and one day you can go to Harvard! When I should have said, work your butt off, I’ll make awful financial decisions, and then you’ll be able to go to Harvard.

Here’s what I know, and it’s a hard pill to swallow, if my son did exactly what he did (grades, involvement, etc.) and he was Hispanic (or Black, or American Indian, or from a poor country) and I had no money, he would be getting ready to enroll into Duke. But he’s not.

What did he do wrong? He was born into a white family that worked their ass off to give him every advantage in life.

White privilege is a privilege until it’s not. Until a kid’s dream is broken for something he can’t wrap his brain around. Believe me, I understand this goes both ways. I understand there are black kids who don’t even get an interview for a job because some white kid’s Dad already got them the job ‘behind the scenes’. That isn’t right either! In my mind, I don’t see the difference between these two examples.

Rant over. Colleges are going the route of corporate America. White guys are bad, everyone else is desirable, do whatever it takes, at any cost, to make sure this happens. Well, unless, your old, corporate America doesn’t like older people either, no matter what color or gender you are – but that’s a rant for a different day!

Hit him in the comments and tell me how out of touch I am, then remember this is all about a 17-year-old boy with a dream. A dream he worked his ass off to achieve.

Death of the Millennials

I was at a conference recently and one of the keynotes actually gave a presentation on how to work with millennials. I thought to myself, “how 2009 of this person to do this!” I’ve vowed at this point to never sit through another presentation on millennials in the workplace. Millennials are now dead to me.

Just as Baby Boomers, GenXer’s, GenZs, The Founders, etc., are all dead to me. All of us are people. All of us are in the workplace. All of us have to work together and get along. Focusing so much on one group over another just perpetuates dysfunction and confusion. I actually heard executives talking about kids graduating high school and believing they also are ‘millennials’. Just stop!

That all being said, IBM came out with an infographic about the myths, exaggerations and uncomfortable truths of millennials, last week, which sparked my little rant. I wanted to share these five myths and add some commentary:

1.Millennials’ career goals and expectations are different from those of older generations.

Turns out we all still, for the most part, want the same thing. Good job. Good pay. Stability. Don’t buy into the hype that any of your workers want to jump around from company to company. They don’t.

2.Millennials want constant acclaim and think everyone on the team should get a trophy.

Again, every generation wants feedback and told they’re a rock star, even when they’re not. As we age, we start to gain a little better self-insight that we might suck. When we’re young we think we’re awesome, even when we’re not.

3.Millennials are digital addicts who want to do everything online.

I have 8 aunts who are all in their 60’s, pushing their 70’s, all of whom spend most of their day on digital devices gaming and on social sites. This is the world we live in. My Mom would rather order a pizza online then pick up a phone. Welcome to modern day life.

4.Millennials, unlike their older colleagues, can’t make a decision without first inviting everyone to weigh in.

No one wants to be the one who made a decision that went wrong. In most corporate settings all workers play the CYA game by sharing decision-making responsibility. We all say we want to make decisions until we’re actually given that responsibility, then we turn into bowls of jello on the floor hoping we didn’t ruin our careers!

5.Millennials are more likely than others to jump ship if a job doesn’t fulfill their passions.

Guess what? Young people today have a ton of debt. That means you have to work and make money to pay down that debt. Then you decide to buy a house, get married, have a litter of puppies, etc. Passion is awesome. If you get a job you’re super passionate about, good for you, you’re winning at life. 99% of people will work in a job they like, make decent money, pay their bills, and probably will be passionate about other parts of  their life. I think they’re winning as well.

For the record, the last Millennials entered the workforce two years ago. Can we start talking about these snotty-nosed, spoiled brats who are beginning to enter the workforce right now with their Snapchatting and their video and their ability to brand themselves and never-ending gaze to the glow of their smartphone!? They’re calling themselves “The Founders”.

Go have fun with that. They named themselves…