Do these pants make me look fat?

I’ve got a bit of a problem.

I love buying new clothes, jackets, and shoes. You see, I’m kind of built like a fire hydrant. Picture a fire hydrant in your mind right now. Not very sexy is it!

So, I compensate, not by eating a great diet and working out constantly! Hell, no! That’s really hard work. I compensate by buying more clothes that I think will make me look skinnier than I really am!

Do you do this?

We do this in HR and Talent Acquisition all the time!

Just replace ‘clothes’ with ‘technology’. Yeah, we suck at HR, so instead of going out and fixing our foundational issues, let’s go buy a new pretty technology to cover up all of this fat, err incompetence!

Yeah, baby, with this new shiny technology no one will ever suspect we really suck as bad as we do!

The new stuff we buy screws with our heads. Every new shirt and sports coat I buy, I look at myself, and go “oh yeah! you’re going to look so awesome when you wear this!” Then I get on stage and someone tags me in a picture and I want to starve myself for a year!

Buying new stuff to make us look better than we are is the biggest lie we tell ourselves, ever.

So, before you go buy that new technology to fix all of your problems of why you suck at HR or TA, you have to know one truth. That truth is technology doesn’t fix why you suck. If you suck, great technology will make you suck faster. Bad technology will still make you suck, you just won’t be as fast as sucking!

Just like clothes won’t make me skinnier, new technology won’t make your function perform better.


The Talent Fix – My new book is now available to purchase! If your organization is having trouble hiring, this is a must buy! 

Talent Fix Review: My mom says it’s her favorite book that I’ve written!!! (I’ve only written one book!)

Purchase The Talent Fix now! 

Talking Talent Acquisition Tech w/ Madeline Laurano (@madtarquin)

Madeline and I are back with our second “Vlog” as the kids like to say! We are Vloggers! Which is like one step below “Influencers” but you get to keep your dignity!

In this episode of Vlogging with Talent Nerds (not the real name, we aren’t naming it) Madeline and I talk Recruiting CRM technology. It’s part of the recruiting landscape that keeps morphing into other areas of the stack, and honestly, we find it pretty complex for the average TA leader.

Madeline Laurano and Tim Sackett – Vlogging TA Nerds!

Question: Do you use a Recruiting CRM? If so, about what percentage do you feel you and your team actually use?

Hit me with your answer in the comments!

Do people really not want to work?

On my way to work this morning, I saw seven businesses that had “Help Wanted” signs out front. The sign above is from a fast-food restaurant requesting you be nice for the few staff they have that are working their butts off to get you fat! Please be patient, your fries, double cheeseburger, and shake will be with you shortly.

I was on vacation for Spring Break (yeah, I said it), and traveled out to St. George, UT, and spent time outside hiking. Stopped at a McDonald’s for a Diet Coke on our way back from Zion and the manager was locking the doors at 2:30 pm in the afternoon. He apologized and said he normally has 50 employees on the schedule, but currently only has 16 and can’t keep the doors open!

Do People Really Not Want To Work? 

1st – Of Course People Don’t Want To Work!?! How stupid is this question!? (Wait, so let me get this straight, I don’t have to work? And I’ll get money? And I don’t have to pay rent? Okay, I’m not gonna work.)

2nd – Read #1.

3rd – If you give anyone the choice to not work, but still get their bills paid, they will not work. This is what is currently taking place in this great country of ours. In fact, some folks are making more not working than they were working. So, none of this is surprising!

The surprising part is politicians seem to be the only people alive, in America, who don’t understand that businesses can’t get people to come to work right now. They like to point to unemployment numbers, but those numbers are not telling the true story of what’s happening across the vast majority of industries.

Certain companies and industries got hurt super bad by Covid. We needed a policy that was sniper rifle accurate to help those people. Our government, instead gave us a nuclear bomb acting like everyone was in trouble. Which lands us in the position we are in right now. Too much work, not enough people who need to work at this moment.

No, Really!? Do People Not Want To Work? 

Here’s my take:

People want to do things that make them feel valued. Things that make them feel satisfied. Where they have some freedom of choice. And at the end of the day they feel safe, secure, and that they matter.

The vast majority of jobs from $10/hr to $20/hr can’t meet those basic needs.

If anyone of us was given the choice to not work and have our basic needs met, even for a short period of time (like the current Stimulus package) most would take it and do things they would rather be doing. Some will help others and volunteer. Some will take time for themselves. Some will actually do nothing and just wait until the time comes around when they have to go back to work to meet their basic needs.

So, basically, if you are hurting for workers and you pay below $20/hr, you are going to be in a world of hurt through at least this summer and maybe longer.

What Can You Do To Get More Workers? 

First, do everything in your power to keep the workers you have. Be kind. Be helpful. Be understanding. If they are overworked, be empathetic and try to do what you can to help them and their quality of life.

Second, don’t give new employees stuff you won’t give your current employees. I see this constantly. Oh! Hey, come work for us and we’ll give you a $500 signing bonus! But you won’t give your current employees a $500 retention or Hard Work bonus.

Third, stop thinking you are all that and a bag of chips! You can’t just throw up a Help Wanted sign and get workers. Be Better! Yep, that means you might actually have to put money into recruiting. Yes, hourly recruiting is as important as salaried recruiting and in many businesses more important. But, I find most organizations that hire a lot of hourly workers are vastly under-resourced when it comes to hourly recruiting as compared to salary recruiting.

Fourth, it’s time to take some chances with all those biases you have. Hire folks who test positive for weed. Hire folks who went to prison. Hire folks who aren’t your “Norm”. It’s time to take some chances, which really aren’t chances, but being more inclusive in hiring, but that’s an entire other post.

Finally, vote differently. If one employer is having a problem hiring, most likely that employer isn’t really that great to work for. If tens of thousands of employers are struggling to hire, something went wrong at a macro-scale. In terms of our current situation, we know exactly what went wrong. Bad policy is causing some short/long-term pain for employers.

Economics will eventually take care of this problem. Employers will pay more, offer more, change. This means we’ll all pay more for stuff we used to get cheaper. Some businesses will go under because you won’t agree that paying more is worth what they offer. This will cause workers to be unemployed. Making it easier for employers to hire at market wages. The law of supply and demand is undefeated.

 

Recruiting Idea! This Might Actually Work!

Why don’t potential candidates pick up your phone calls? Well, yes, no one picks up phone calls anymore, but, no, people still pick up phone calls for certain reasons. We don’t pick up phone calls when we don’t know who it is or we don’t want to talk to the person who’s calling.

Why do we pick up phone calls? 

  1. We actually like the person who is calling and we want to talk to them.
  2. We actually believe the incoming call is super important.
  3. It’s a return call we have been waiting for.

Under number 2, let’s put things like, it’s your boss calling, the kid’s school, your spouse, the police or fire department, hospital, etc. You see who it is on your cell phone screen and you instantly believe you need to pick up that call!

My family hates me! 

There’s this fun game I like to play with my family. You see, my monthly cell phone bill is equal to the GDP of a small country. So, I will, from time to time, get onto my cell phone account online and change the names of my family to something I think is funny. So, now when they call someone, instead of the receiver seeing “Tim Sackett” they might see something like “DJ TImmy T”, as an example!

Did you know you could do that!? You can, and it’s super fun! At least, it’s super fun if you have the power to be the person who can change those names to anything you desire!

My wife’s phone still says, “Kimmy” and I chuckle every time she calls me. I’m sure my son, Cameron, would love it if I changed it to “Queen”.

What does this have to do with Recruiting!? 

Oh, be patient little baby birds! I’m going to feed you!

Let’s say you’re trying to track down a potential candidate. You’ve sent the emails, the In-Mails, and even tried texting, but you are being shut out. You even *69 direct-dialed, and still, no pickup or response! The average recruiter/sourcer would have given up, but are not average! You’re slightly above average and you want to keep trying!

You see it now, right?

You go into your cell phone account and you start testing different names to see who will this potential candidate pick up for! Let’s say this person works for General Motors, here is what I might try:

  • “Ford” , “Chryseler”, “Toyota”, “Tesla”, etc.
  • “City” Police or fire – of whatever town they might live
  • “College” where they graduated
  • “Your Dream Job” they probably won’t pick up, but they’ll laugh!
  • “General Motors” who isn’t going to pick up a call coming from their own employer!

Just like Sex Panther, 60% of the time, this works every time!

Want to know why recruiting can sometimes get a bad reputation? Because I have the ability to come up with ideas like this!

If it works. It works. Don’t hate the players, friends, hate the game!

The Weekly Dose: Talent Intelligence Platform – Loxo

Today on the Weekly Dose I review Loxo. Loxo is a Talent Intelligence Platform and a global leader in artificial intelligence recruitment automation software. What does that even mean? Well, you know me, let me break it down in layman’s terms!

First, my team actually has been a Loxo user for the past three years. When we found Loxo I was on an 18-month search to find a great Applicant Tracking System (ATS). I looked at everyone! Then, I started to hear about Loxo from my super cool recruiting friends in the industry, folks like Stacy Zapar and Lars Schmidt, and they were like “Tim, you have to take a look at this new company, Loxo”.

I did, it was exactly what I was looking for, so we purchased it and started using it, and we are still using it. So, really the big question is why did I choose Loxo over all the rest? We are a recruiting shop, and three years ago Loxo kind of was built specifically for the kind of recruiting we do. Hard to find, technical talent, but we had to move very fast. (Since then, Loxo has built out all the bells and whistles for corporate talent acquisition as well). We are not a post and pray shop, I needed next-generation recruiting software that let my recruiters be fast, efficient, and repeatable.

So, yes, Loxo does have an ATS, but that is only a small part of what they are today. Loxo is also a world-class sourcing engine, an AI-driven matching engine, a best-in-class recruitment CRM, and a data intelligence engine. Basically, with Loxo, I’m getting great recruiting tech in about four areas, all under one umbrella, intuitively linked together, that drives my recruiters to be super recruiters.

What do I like about Loxo

  • This is a recruiting platform for recruiting shops that actually recruit. Software built around the concept that we have hard-to-fill jobs and we can’t just post openings and hope someone applies.
  • I love that my recruiters aren’t jumping from across multiple technologies all day. They can source, build pipelines, set up nurture campaigns, and communicate with talent all under one roof.
  • From Loxo, my team can call, email, and text candidates from within the platform. They can actually do all three of these things at the same time in a nurture campaign. This allows them to be everywhere at once, with multiple candidates.
  • Unlike a lot of the sourcing tech on the market, Loxo gives you live, active connections to the talent you find in their sourcing engine. They are gathering data from over 95 sources and it’s constantly updating in real-time.
  • Loxo was created by a Technologist, turned Recruiter, who decided to build great recruiting tech. So, it works like a recruiter. It feels natural to use. Less steps, fewer clicks, things seem to be where you think they should be.
  • As a recruiting leader, I get real-time funnel analytics on my team. I can easily breakdown where my team, or an individual, is struggling and immediately know where we need help.
  • If you’re already using an ATS, Loxo integrates with your ATS to give your team all the AI, automation advantages to recruit fast, but still, get the data you need back into your ATS and HRM systems.

Loxo might be the best ROI in Talent Acquisition Technology

Quite honestly, we eliminated three other pieces of recruiting technology when we started using Loxo and in three years we never felt like we needed to add anything back. The three technologies we stopped using, by the way, all cost more than using Loxo, and Loxo was better! Plus, the Loxo product team continues to keep innovating faster than the market, so as I’m seeing new tech come to market, the Loxo team usually is already building those features within the platform.

Sounds like I’m a fanboy, right?

I am. I look at over a hundred different technologies a year, and this is the one I bought and use. Quite frankly, and I say this to their CEO, Matt Chambers, all the time, I can’t believe someone hasn’t backed up a Brinks truck full of money and bought them! The reason you haven’t probably heard of them is they haven’t taken a bunch of VC money. Instead, they are a heads-down technology company that is just building great sh*t. And because they don’t have investment, they don’t have to over-price it, like a bunch of the “cool” recruiting brands on the market that cost a ton because you’re paying for their sales and marketing, not better technology.

So, Yes, you should demo Loxo, even if you’re stuck in a long-term relationship with an ATS, because they’ll do everything your ATS doesn’t. Or if you’re just looking for sourcing or AI match, all of that can be used separately as well. At the very least, you’ll get to see a better way your TA team should be recruiting.

@SHRM CEO, @JohnnyCTaylorJr Accepts Board Seat with @iCIMS!

For those who know me, you know I’ve been a fan of SHRM’s CEO Johnny Taylor since before he was SHRM’s CEO. The first time I ran into Johnny was on the speaking circuit when he was an HR Leader, in the corporate world, and we spoke at the same conference.

My initial impression of Johnny was, “Who the hell is this guy!? He’s an amazing speaker!”  Johnny is a smart, confident, dynamic speaker, and leader, so I thought it was a great hire when SHRM hired him as CEO. Plus, he was a “real” HR person! There have been some folks who have thrown him shade over his tenure, but I think the majority of the SHRM membership has actually liked how he has pushed to elevate the HR function during his tenure.

This week iCIMS, a leading applicant tracking system and talent acquisition platform for enterprise organizations, announced that Johnny Taylor was joining their board. Here’s a bit from Johnny in the press release:

“I’ve been closely following iCIMS for years and have been consistently impressed,” said Taylor. “I am proud to be joining the iCIMS team. No other company has demonstrated how well it understands what talent professionals and business leaders require to succeed, and iCIMS is leading the market and its customers to success in the new world of work.”

Taylor was selected as a board member through Vista Equity Partner’s independent board program, which leverages the firm’s network to source qualified board candidates for its portfolio companies.

Why should we care about this move? 

CEOs of large organizations frequently take board seats at other big organizations. So, this isn’t surprising. I think the one surprise SHRM members might ask themselves is, why would Johnny, the CEO of the world’s largest HR organization, take a board seat with an HR/TA Technology vendor? Couldn’t that be viewed as a conflict of interest? I mean companies like iCIMS, and their competitors, spend millions of dollars with SHRM each year in sponsorships at SHRM conferences and other virtual events.

What if he took a board position with Workday or Oracle, would that be considered a conflict? I don’t know. Like I said above, Johnny is a smart guy, I’m sure he could get a paid board seat at almost any F500 company. I do also think this move speaks to Johnny’s increased attention within SHRM of Talent Acquisition professionals overall. When I first became a SHRM member in 2001, Talent Acquisition pros were the red-headed stepchildren of HR and we didn’t feel very welcome in SHRM. That has changed drastically over recent years.

From the iCIMS standpoint, this is a brilliant hire. Dynamic, smart people, with that kind of network and leverage, are hard to find, it’s a definite big win for them. Hire? Yes, it’s a hire. This is a paid position. People at that level don’t join boards to make themselves look cool on their LinkedIn profile! Johnny brings with him exceptional insight of hundreds of thousand SHRM members that will be super valuable to iCIMS.

This does beg the question, is Johnny getting ready to leave SHRM? It has been rumored over the past couple of years that he had bigger aspirations and plans than “just” being the CEO of SHRM. I say “just” because that job is a pretty great job, but he definitely has the resume and the intangibles to secure even bigger positions and make even more money. In my opinion, it would be a big loss for SHRM, as he’s by far the best CEO they have had in decades. Again, I know a bunch of folks who will disagree with that statement, but SHRM is in a far better position today than at any single point in the past twenty years as an association.

iCIMS and its CEO, Steve Lucas, have definitely been one of the most aggressive TA tech companies in the marketplace as of late. Product growth, tech acquisition, and increasing talent at a rapid pace over the past two years, it’s very interesting times for them. Make sure you keep an eye out, I hear they have some big things coming in April. If you haven’t demoed them lately, it might be time to get an update and see a different iCIMS than you’ve seen in the past.

@madtarquin and I talking about what’s hot in Talent Acquisition Technology! #Video

For those of you who don’t know Madeline Laurano, she’s this super smart lady out of Boston who runs Aptitude Research. Madeline and her firm are recruiting technology experts and she’s been an analyst in the space for a long time with some of the world’s largest firms. She’s also a friend and we love talking shop!

There has been so much happening in our space in the first half of 2021, and we wanted to give some of our opinions. Check it out:

Go check out Madeline’s blog on her site and follow her on LinkedIn. She is constantly sharing amazing research, and she is just someone you want to follow and gain her knowledge!

The Future of Work, Is More WORK!

I’m sure you’ve read an article or listened to a podcast in recent weeks that had something to do with “the future of work”. It’s a hot topic to talk about, primarily because it’s all just a big fat guess and the best content is content where I just get to tell what I think will happen, but really have no idea for sure.

When I take a look at the HR technology landscape this week at The HR Technology Conference and see the tech that is hitting the market around work and performance, I think the future of work is actually just more work!

When I say ‘more’ work I really mean “More” work! Much of the technology that is being created and launched around HR Technology falls into a few buckets:

  1. How can we make workers more efficient at what they are currently doing?
  2. How can we monitor workers on what they are doing (tracking)?
  3. How can we leverage A.I. to do certain tasks workers are doing right now?

Don’t get me wrong, the technology doesn’t scare me in the least, I think it’s amazing, but the reality is much of it is designed to help us humans reach our full potential. If my couple of decades in HR has taught me anything it’s that very few of us humans want to reach our full potential!

Reaching your full potential means you are working really hard!

I have a great story about working in a union job the summer I first got out of high school. My Dad got me the job working in a grocery warehouse picking orders to be delivered to supermarkets. The warehouse just implemented a new software system that tracked the productivity of each worker.

Basically, I would be given an order and the system had estimated how long that order should take for me to complete. If the order was complex I got more time, it is was simply pulling a full pallet of one type of item, I might only get ten minutes or so to complete, some orders were estimated to take 75+ minutes to complete.

The union had negotiated that I only had to work 77% of the time. Yes, you read that correctly! If you added up all of my order minutes, in theory, to keep my job, I had to be 77% efficient. So, in an eight-hour shift of 480 minutes, once I reached my 369.6 minutes of work, I could actually just stop. In fact, I was encouraged very strongly by my union brothers to stop at the exact point!

Now the “new” computer system didn’t account for the extra effort. So, if I had an order that was supposed to take 60 minutes, but I worked really hard and completed it in 45 minutes, I just earned myself an extra 15 minutes. By the end of the summer, I was efficient enough in getting orders completed that I spent about three hours a shift playing cards with my union brothers in the back of the warehouse until my shift was done!

The new HR Technology that is in play right now, based on AI and machine learning, would have made these corrections individually within a few shifts, knowing I could do that work more efficiently than another person and soon my orders would have been adjusted. The technology would have ensured that my ‘extra’ effort turned into my normal effort.

We already know that my warehouse work will be replaced by robots, so my example is already dated. But what about that office job? Will a robot replace you? No, not right away, we are a ways off from that, but that same AI/Machine learning technology will track and measure everything you do and soon you will feel as busy as ever, because ‘down time’ is unproductive time and the tech can compute that!

The future of work is more work.

 

Why Does Spam Recruiting Work?

I just got done deleting the 17th phishing email from my personal email inbox today. Comcast, Amazon, Princes from far-off lands, I’ve never been more popular and, apparently, soon to be rich!

I was asking our Cyber Security company why phishing is still such a big deal. I mean don’t we all know by now that some Nigerian Prince isn’t going to give us a million dollars, or that Amazon doesn’t send us emails asking for our credit card numbers, or passwords!? There is no way someone can be this stupid, right!?

Apparently, I’m way wrong, we are all still a lot stupid! 

The reason phishing and spam are not because they are really tricking us. It’s the sure volume of messages and cadence. While we can all spot a fake fairly easily, can you always spot a fake when it’s sent a thousand times, all different times, with all different designs and strategies. Scammers will send a million to get one click. That one click will pay off.

Therein lies the strategy of why Spam Recruiting still works. It’s not about being good, or the best, it’s about being there all the time, knowing a certain percentage of the time will be the right time! Do we like it? Well, I guess that depends on who you are. If you happen to be that one person who gets the spam recruiting message at the exact time you’re desperate for a job, then yes, you will like it!

If you are the superstar performing software engineer getting twenty spam recruiting messages a day, you hate our industry!

Spam Recruiting Works Because It Works Some of the Time

I have never met one American-based TA Leader who believes that Off-Shore Recruiting firms (you know the off-shore RPO spam emails you get constantly all day long) actually are good. For the most part, they don’t recruit, they spam. Because they pay next to nothing to their workforce, they can spam a whole bunch and still make money, even if the entire process truly sucks.

They don’t have to be good. When you’re being paid like $10 a day, all you have to do is spam a couple of thousand people a week to get one placement a month and you’re making a profit for the “man”! Any company engaging in off-shore recruiting for hiring in the U.S. is basically engaging in slave labor. But, I digress. Back to crappy recruiting.

Bad recruiting is a lot like bad sex. If you really need a job, you don’t care how you get it. Which perpetuates you just continuing to be bad.

Spam recruiting works, and will always work, because the world will always have candidates who just need a job. They don’t care that you’re awful at your job. They don’t care that you are spamming them. All they care about is getting the job. Also, if you do care. If you do hate bad spammy recruiters. It turns out you also are fine with them being awful when you’re out of a job!

Spam works because we are all vulnerable at some point. It feeds on us being weak, naive, and desperate. But, at the end of the day, it works. It doesn’t work well. But it does work. And that sucks.

The Weekly Dose: @Pandologic – The Job Advertising Platform

Today on the Weekly Dose I review the programmatic job advertising platform, Pandologic. Programmatic job advertising has been around now for a decade, but still, it hasn’t caught on as it has with our Marketing peers who have been using the technology successfully to lure customers for decades.

95% of Talent Acquisition job advertising budget is still mostly spent on traditional types of job posting products: Indeed sponsored jobs, LinkedIn job postings, ZipRecruiter, other job boards, some radio, some TV, billboards, a sexier career site no one sees, etc. 95%! 

For the most part, TA hasn’t changed how we advertise for jobs in decades. 

While there are a number of programmatic job advertising tools on the market, Pandologic has truly gone all-in on utilizing artificial intelligence to make their technology more efficient and easier to use. One of the reasons so many great TA shops haven’t yet tested using Programmatic Job Advertising is that it quite frankly seems complex. And while the science behind can be complex, Pandologic has made a simple and intuitive platform that any TA pro can easily use to get better results on their job postings.

I like to think of Pandologic as Programmatic 2.0. It’s not just about distribution (traditional programmatic – put the job everywhere at once), but the utilization of AI-driven decision-making of when and where. Precisely placing your jobs in front of the kind of job seeker you’re looking for when they’re engaged on the internet.

What do I like about Pandologic?

  • Really the only fully-automated programmatic job advertising platform. You can set it and forget it, many of the programmatic tools take some constant watching.
  • Pandologic’s AI will constantly make micro-adjustments to get the best results, including constantly testing and making small language changes to your posting to get the best results.
  • Full AI, no human in the loop. You set your campaign goals and it goes out and gets the applicants.
  • An overall reduction in job advertising spending for the same traffic you have now or increased traffic for the same spend.
  • Easily integrated with your ATS to pull in job postings.

I’m a big fan of programmatic job advertising technology. I think too many TA leaders continue to play this game trying to figure out which “site” is the best one for them, getting into long-term relationships that cost too much money and quite frankly are inefficient. At the end of the day “advertising” is about the best results for the lowest cost.

One word of caution that I constantly try and educate TA pros and leaders on. Programmatic isn’t a silver bullet for hard-to-find talent. If you need Software Engineers in a market where there are very few Software Engineers, Programmatic technology can’t magically make Software Engineers where there are no Software Engineers! But, it can help get your job advertising in front of those few, for less money.

Pandologic for the most part is an enterprise-level TA tool. More than likely they are best utilized with organizations that hire at volume, 500+ hires per year, or it also would work for organizations hiring less, if the vast majority of roles are similar in nature (I.E., we hire 200 Nurses a year, etc.) I think every enterprise and large volume TA shop should be testing Programmatic in 2021.