#CoronaDiaries – Talent Acquisition Great Recession Mistakes We’re About to Make Again!

Hey gang! I’m out in St. George, UT for a couple of weeks and still bringing you another edition of the popular video series Corona Diaries!

During the Great Recession, we had many business struggles that most of us are going through right now during the pandemic. We did what we thought was right and in hindsight, we learned so much about some things we didn’t do very well.

If you are from St. George or visited, let me know some inside tips! Where’re the best places to eat? What do I need to see for sure? Hit me in the comments!

AI 4 HR! Understanding the most Misunderstood Concept in HR!

Jeanne Meister, Forbes 2020 Workplace Columnist, and HR executive brought together this incredible team of great HR pros/minds and developed an entire curriculum around using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in every single aspect of HR! What Jeanne and the team know is that AI is currently the most misunderstood concept in human resources, but it has the ability to become the biggest advantage to HR leaders and pros over anything we’ve ever seen! 

AI 4 HR is the one of its kind 5-week online course that will share the fundamentals of artificial intelligence and how 12 HR experts are using AI to completely re-imagine the employee experience. The course showcases specific use cases of how AI can and is already being used across HR for good in:

  • Talent Acquisition
  • Employee Onboarding
  • Internal Talent Mobility (my #1 trend for 2020!) 
  • Learning and career development
  • Performance Management (the single thing every manager needs!) 
  • Coaching

So, yeah, it’s an online, self-paced course of five modules that utilizes great video content from real HR pros/leaders from: IBM, Cisco, TIAA, Davita, GE, Schneider Electric, Hilton, Brigham Women’s Hospital, and more! So, pretty much every industry is represented with real-world case studies and actions. Jeanne made sure to get the SHRM/HRCI credits for you – 8 hours worth! 

What I like about the design of this course is that it goes live on January 20 and runs through February 21. One new module released each week for five weeks. This kind of forces us to be a bit more ‘self-directed’ in getting the content done, unlike other self-directed courses. If you miss a week, you can definitely go back and catch up, but I like that the design of AI 4 HR is set up to get all of us to get it done in a timely way! 

So, what’s the catch! 

It does cost money. Turns out all good things do! The full fee for the course is currently $499  (about half that of one national conference) and if you use the super-secret Tim Sackett code: AINOW – you’ll get $100 off at registration making it $399 (when you check out, go to “Show Order Summary” and you can input the code!). 

It’s a super deal for the content and learning around AI, and for the SHRM/HRCI credits. Go check out the site! I love that you’re hearing from actual real HR people who are using the tech and how they are using it, and not vendors, etc. There’s a big difference between what really happens in our organizations versus what vendors are telling us will happen, many times. 

Register Today! 

For those who go through this, please come back and comment and let the rest of the group know what you thought! I’m impressed with what is being presented, but I would love to get some feedback from others as well! 

The #1 Holiday Gift For Recruiting and TA pros Worldwide!

When I worked at Applebee’s in HR we talked about terminations as giving someone a “gift”. Every time I tell someone this, they kind of chuckle. “Yeah! Great ‘gift’ I get fired!”

Of course, there’s an explanation.

Imagine you are working in your dream job (whatever that job might be). You love your job. You love the people you work with. You feel valued. You do great work. The hours work well for you. The location works well for you. You have a really good balance. You are in your dream job.

Now, imagine the opposite. You hate your job. You can’t even stand getting out of bed in the morning, knowing you have to go to ‘that’ job. You don’t like the people you work for. You can’t stand your leadership team. It’s too far away from home. Nothing seems to be right. As such, you probably aren’t giving 100%. You probably aren’t performing at your best. You will probably be fired.

The person who is miserable and not performing in their job needs a gift. That gift is we stop kidding ourselves that this will work out and we terminate them so that they now have the time and motivation to go find that dream job! A job they love! We all deserve that gift! Our life is so much better when we are working at a job we love. It’s a true gift.

So, what’s the #1 gift for Recruiting and TA Pros!?

No, it’s not to terminate them!

It’s to buy my book! The Talent Fix! Yay! It’s back in stock over at Amazon just in time for the holidays, and you can order it in bulk right now! If you want to buy signed copies for your team – send me a note (timsackett@comcast.net) and we can work out the details! I’ll even personalize them with funny messages if you send me what you want to say!

Dear Tina,

I can’t think of a more amazing recruiter who has ever graced the

earth. The world is a better place because you’re in it. Last night, 

I wept with joy from the idea of “you”! 

Tim (but really fancy signature type “Tim”)

You like what I did there!? 😉 It’s really the gift that keeps giving all year long!

Also, you should probably fire some folks who aren’t performing well and hate their job! They will not consider it a gift in the moment, but if they are lucky enough to find that awesome dream job, a job they love, eventually they might come to see it as the best gift they were ever given!

Adoption of HR & Recruiting is NOT Hard! #iNFLUENCE19

Hey, gang! I’m out this week spending some time at iCIMS Influence event. It’s part analyst event, part iCIMS customer event. Basically, bring a bunch of recruiting nerds together, that think alike, and see if some cool stuff happens. Turns out, no matter where you are in the world of TA, we all basically have the same problems! We need to fill jobs.

One of the topics that came up is the adoption of the recruiting technology we purchase. How do we get higher user adoption, etc? A very classic issue that won’t go away and there’s all this wonderful research around how we should ‘gamify’ and ‘reward’ and tell folks how great they are, even when they aren’t!

I get that ‘forcing’ someone to do something they don’t want to do, does not have great long term success! Especially in an ultra-low unemployment market. I get that we want our recruiters to have a great experience and love their jobs. I get that we want candidates to have a great experience and love our companies. I. Get. All. Of. That.

So, can get real for a second?

The adoption of technology is not difficult. It’s actually a super easy concept. Here are the 4 steps:

1. Integrate your actual work processes within the technology so that work can’t be completed without using the technology. I.E., Workarounds will not show up on data, virtually meaning, the work did not happen.

2. Do you believe the technology you purchased actually makes you a better organization? If so, then it is a condition of employment that we/you/they use the technology to make our organization more successful. Yes, Karen, that means you’ll have to change and use the new system, even though you’ve used the old way for 32 straight years. If you decide not to use the technology that will make our organization more successful, we will find someone who will. Period.

3. Part of technology adoption is a continued desire to test and innovate, so ensure our technology is still our most successful choice, or maybe something better has come along and we need to adapt and adjust. So, we’ll have an actual measure around testing potential new technology to replace or enhance our stack.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 on an ongoing basis.

Numbers one and two should be very clear to you. Great process design fully utilizes your tech. Great performance management ensures your people use the tech.

Number three is the one some folks will decide isn’t needed, but here’s why it’s critical! Billy decides your tech sucks and his way is better and Billy goes rogue. You tell Billy that a decision, above his pay grade, has been made that to ensure the success of our organization we are going to utilize the technology we’ve purchased to its fullest capabilities (step 1).

You also let Billy know that he will not be forced to use this technology, and we will certainly miss having him around the office. (step 2). But, Billy, we have another option for you, because we love you and value you, we want you to work the tech we have 100%, but we have a side project that we want you to test, and maybe, this side project will demonstrate to our decision-makers there is a better, more effective way to run our process (step 3).

Adoption is maintained. Billy is helping us get better. All is right with the world.

The adoption of technology is not a technology problem, it’s a leadership communication problem, and it’s easily solved.


BREAKING NEWS: Symphony Talent Acquires Smashfly! @symphonytalent_ @Smashfly

Well, the M&A activity in the TA Technology industry doesn’t seem to be slowing down as this morning Symphony Talent announced it has acquired the recruiting CRM technology platform Smashfly. You had a feeling that something was going to happen as you began to see the major recruiting CRMs in the industry align themselves with core ATS or enterprise HCM recruiting modules.

3 Big Questions about the acquisition of Smashfly by Symphony Talent? 

1. Who the heck is Symphony Talent? 

I know some of you are asking that because Symphony Talent is the biggest name in the industry! Symphony Talent is the ATS built by Hodes a few years ago, and the first and only ATS that has built-in Programmatic advertising ability. Maybe a bit ahead of the game, when it was launched I was really impressed with what they had. Their CEO, Roopesh Nair, is a super-smart dude that has major passion around the TA industry.

2. Does this merger of brands make sense for both Smashfly and Symphony Talent?

It does because what I am seeing from organizations that truly care about attracting better talent is you better have an end to end recruitment platform that includes a core ATS at the center and a great recruitment marketing platform on the front-end. With this marriage, you also get the strength of Symphony’s industry-only builtin programmatic engine.

3. Will this integrated platform be able to gain market share in the industry?

That’s really the biggest question. For how advanced Symphony Talent’s technology was in the ATS space, they struggled to sell it, mainly because it probably seemed too advance more most corporate TA leaders.  CRM tech is also very advanced and complex and the reality is Smashfly was probably the best in the industry at selling CRM by making it not seem as complex. So, great tech and great marketing/sales should work for these two brands, in my opinion.

What would I do if I was Roopesh? 

To be fair, I’ve met Roopesh a couple of times and I’ve really enjoyed those conversations and his knowledge of the talent acquisition industry. The reality is Smashfly is a great brand because they’ve been great at marketing, and I would drop the Symphony Talent brand, adopt the Smashfly brand, and built out the integrated platform.

To me, you run with a better-known brand, that has a solid reputation in the industry and use that to sell the full end-to-end recruitment platform. Most enterprise HCM users are stuck with vanilla recruiting modules who can’t buy an ATS but can buy recruitment marketing. It just makes sense for them to buy a recruitment marketing platform that just happens to have an ATS built-in!

This opens up their ability to sell to SAP, Oracle, Workday, Infor, UltiPro, Ceridian TA shops, as well as chip away at the best of breed market currently owned by iCIMS, Greenhouse and SmartRecruiters in the mid-enterprise market.

To be perfectly clear, Roopesh didn’t call me and ask, but he has my number if he needs it! 😉

Who are the best companies to work for? And why?

I don’t put much stock into “Best Company to Work For” lists. That said, the data provided by Universum in there World’s Most Attractive Employer Report is pretty cool and gives you some insight on how you can help move your organization in the right direction.

What’s wrong with the best places to work lists?

  1. It only measures those employers who actually do the work to be considered for the list.
  2. It’s based on data that someone, other than yourself, decided was criteria for being a great place to work. And that might not align with what your org considers to be a great place to work, or the talent you market to, etc.

All that being said, I find that organizations, every single one who tries out for these lists, probably care about their employee and candidate experience at a pretty high level. Are they really the ‘best’ place to work? I don’t know, but they’re trying and that’s more than most of us can say!

So, who are they?

So, you can already see the bias, right? Tech, Business services, big brands. There isn’t one company on the list you haven’t heard of. Doesn’t that seem strange? You mean in the top 50 companies in the WORLD, there isn’t one company we haven’t heard of who is just great? Well, it’s the “World’s 50 Most Attractive”, so the one thing about being “attractive” is you’re probably known, when it comes to lists like these.

What makes you an “Attractive” employer? 

1. The ability to have high future earnings (you can make a lot of money) – 49.1%

2. You’ll get professional training and development – 43.8%

3. The job is secure (you won’t get laid off) – 39.1%

4. Working for this brand will help your career in the future – 38.8%

5. You have the ability to be creative – 38.7%

6. The company is successful within the market they compete in – 38.5%

7. The company encourages you to go home once in a while – 38.2%

8. You like the people you work with – 38.2%

9. You have leaders who support and they know how to develop talent – 38%

10. Competitive base salary – 37.6%

Anything pop out at you from the list?

What about #1 and #10? Oh, so, really base salary doesn’t mean anything, as long as I make a lot of money from what I’m doing!?! Turns out we release research and data for a reason. If you’re trying to sell employer branding software, it’s important for employers to understand it’s not about how much you pay because at that point you don’t need a brand, you need to pay the most.

But, it’s not what this data says. Like all modern research around this topic, what you make, is significantly more important than things like ‘being developed” and having “challenging work”. The person has to know and understand that financially this will work out very well for me, and then, all the other stuff becomes important once that question is satisfied.

You can not act like the most important thing on the list (#1 – High Future Earnings) is really that different than the last thing on the list (#10- competitive base salary). Those things are married at the hip if we have any inkling about basic compensation theory on where someone starts their career in base salary vs. the impact that has on future earnings, in the millions of dollars, going forward.

Let’s face it, as an employer you want to be able to deliver each of the ten things on the list in a really good way. If you do, you will not have trouble attracting talent or keeping your best talent.

What I learned at Workday Rising 2019! #wdayrising

I love HR Technology. You all know that. So, I was super excited to get invited to Workday Rising since it’s arguably the hottest HR Tech company on the planet, and quite frankly, in the past, they really haven’t engaged the influencer community much, and probably didn’t need to with all of their success.

I’m interested because Workday is disrupting the HR Tech world in a major way, and really the entire ERP landscape. It seems like every single day I speak to a CHRO or CPO who has made the switch to Workday or are in the process of getting ready to make the switch. Currently, they have about half of the Fortune 100, and if you have 2000 employees and above there is a good chance your CFO, CIO, and, we hope, the CHRO are in discussions on whether they should be looking at Workday as their core system.

I came to Workday Rising on a mission. I hear from Workday Recruiting users mostly and many looking for help on how to make it work better for their organizations. I’m not a Workday Recruiting expert, in fact, until this week I never saw the product. I was just hearing stories from those using it and implementing it. So, everything I had was out of context. Getting that context this week certainly helps me understand where Workday is and where they are going with a number of their products and technologies.

So, what did I learn at Workday Rising? 

– Workday sells the “Power of One” really heavily and I never really bought into the pitch, but when you dig into the core tech side of it, it’s certainly compelling based on how organizations should be and will be using data in the future to be more competitive and better performing. And the plans that Workday has using Machine Learning across their platform moving forward. Other enterprise HCMs will struggle to compete with Workday’s capabilities in this area.

– Workday Recruiting – is a core HCM job requisition system. It was launched five years ago and they are building out features as fast as they can. Workday Recruiting doesn’t try and see itself, at this moment, as an end to end recruiting platform. It’s a large enterprise applicant tracking system built for enterprise-level hiring and compliance on a global scale. That isn’t easy to pull off at scale. They have invested in some great add-on technologies to build out your TA tech stack, like Beamery (CRM-Recruitment Marketing), Mya (recruiting chatbot, AI, automation), and Pymetrics (talent matching AI), all of which by the way are top Best of Breed TA Technologies.

– The Workday Recruiting pain point with many clients has been lack of LinkedIn integration and I got to see what Workday will be launching soon around their LinkedIn integration and it’s impressive, and current Workday Recruiting users who are also heavy LinkedIn users will be excited for this.

– Maybe the miss, from my conversations with current and upcoming Workday Recruiting clients, is these clients believing they’ll just use Workday Recruiting for recruiting and won’t have to build out the rest of their TA tech stack. You will and you should, especially if you need to do a higher amount of external recruiting. I still believe “we” (me, you, Workday, etc.) can build out some great tech stacks around Workday Recruiting that will rock. That’s a goal of mine! (Sackett Stacks!)

– Workday Talent Marketplace is impressive. The reality is in large organizations is that you have 3-4 main buckets of hires: 40-60% will come internally; 20-40% will come from referrals; 10-20% will come from external recruiting; 1-10% will come from your contingent workforce (contractors, temps, consultants, etc.). That means internal hiring and mobility is truly your most important type of hiring the larger you are, and it’s what younger generations are demanding from employers of choice. Workday’s Talent Marketplace is a better internal hiring experience than you’ll find in any other tech on the market.

– I tend to judge HR and TA Technology on their leadership, mostly. Do I believe the leadership at all levels, executive, technology, product, sales, etc. have the capability to pull this off? I’ll start with the Workday Talent Optimization and Recruiting product folks because after spending some time with these teams they are loaded with talented folks who ‘get it’. While you might want changes and updates faster, this isn’t some best of breed SMB technology that can just whip out features on a daily basis. Enterprise-level buyers and users have different needs on so many levels that it takes time to build and test before launching out globally and ensuring it works at scale.

– I met a ton of enterprise clients using Workday Recruiting that were very happy with the product and the direction and the consistent deliverables of the roadmap for the Recruiting product. They are also understanding that this power of one platform across the organization is important for the future of what they want to do in establishing systems that will deliver a better overall employee experience. I actually thought I would show up and hear bitching, and honestly, I didn’t. I heard way more excitement over the new stuff and a customer base that feels like they are being heard and an understanding that there’s a bigger picture to enterprise ERP than just core HCM or Recruiting, or payroll.

– The CEO of Workday, Aneel Bhusri, and his leadership team, especially their technology team, really have a strong grasp of where they are going with the platform into the future. You get the feeling from them, almost like parents with kids about Santa Claus, like they know something the rest of us don’t, in a good way. They are confident their direction will not only be successful for Workday, but ultimately for their clients, and you can’t doubt it with their growth. They are pushing the Machine Learning around their data really heavily and I think they’ll be an industry leader their very soon based on the tech they’ve built across the platform.

So, Did I sell out to Workday?

I know some folks in the industry are going to read this and think that. I will say I’ve been super consistent over the past five years writing about my learnings in HR and TA Technology that I will tell you what I like about a product and then encourage you to go demo and make your own conclusions. I’ve been super consistent in writing on this blog to help others in our community understand all of this a bit more easily.

I’m not an HR and TA Technology hater, I’m an HR and TA Technology geek! Can Workday get better at certain things? Yep. Does Workday have an understanding they need to get better at certain things? Yep. Is Workday going to be all things for all people? No, and they don’t want to, which is part of their strength. They know exactly who they are and who they want to become.

I was asked to come to Workday Rising as an “Influencer”. They put no constraints on me on what I could say on social media or write on my blog. They took a risk and I want to thank the team for trusting me enough to let me in on the inside and giving me such great access to your leadership teams and product teams.

These were just some of the highlights from my own lense of interest, there is really so much more I could share about some other really cool stuff Workday is doing. Here are some links on some of the other stuff that is worth reading:

Advice We Need, but It’s Super Hard to Take! #wdayrising @Lin_Manuel

I’m out at Workday Rising this week in Orlando and yesterday I got the pleasure of listening to Lin-Manuel Miranda speak for the morning keynote. For those who follow me socially, I’ve seen Hamilton the musical four times (almost a 5th, but I got swindled!). So, I’m a bit of a super fan! Hamilton tickets aren’t cheap, it’s an investment to be a fan!

Miranda’s first big break was one he created himself when he wrote his first musical called “In the Heights“. Lin-Manuel is a Puerto Rican-American and in musical theater, there were basically almost zero rolls, so if he wanted to do musical theater he felt he needed to write his own role, so he did.  It was successful, which led to other opportunities and to him being able to develop Hamilton.

The advice so many of us need, but it’s super hard to accept is that many times to be successful, or chance your dreams, you have to create your own opportunities to make that happen.

Especially, if you don’t have the same privilege as others trying to do what you’re doing. My mom started her own company because she was sick of outperforming dudes in the same company and not getting the recognition. Miranda wrote his own roles, not thinking it would be ‘broadway’ successful, but that it was something he could perform locally and show people his abilities and that would lead him on his path.

It would be easy to say he was lucky with In the Heights, but it’s not really luck, he’s truly a genius when it comes to musical theater. He created his own luck by putting in years of work creating something that was perfect for him. It’s a great reminder for any of us who are feeling that there just isn’t the ‘perfect’ opportunity for you in the world.

My favorite quotes and ideas from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s keynote:

  • He came out on stage at a giant technology conference and said, “I feel like I’m launching Windows 95!” which drew huge laughter from the crowd.
  • When asked if he accepted the offer to do the Mary Poppins movie immediately he said, “NO! I had to go ask my wife!” And explained when you have a partnership you have to discuss these types of things because it has a huge impact on the other person, on your life, even if it’s a dream come true. (he seems super grounded!)
  • Hamilton musical stuff:
    • Burr came from a privileged background, a famous grandfather, father was the president of Princeton, he had so much to lose by saying or doing the wrong thing, and this shaped his decision making. Hamilton came from nothing and had nothing to lose. This clearly shaped his behavior and decisions and gave his enemies much to use against him, but he had nothing to lose, in the beginning. Imagine if we all went through life as if we had nothing to lose? What could we accomplish?
    • When you get criticism, and Lin-Manuel as an artist gets a lot of it, it’s important to understand the point of view from where it’s coming. Then, you can make the decision, do I accept that and change, or do I go back and try to change them.
    • “The best idea always wins” – Miranda talking about his writing and production process with his team.
    • “The teller changes the story” – Each person who tells a story will change it slightly based on their perspective. In HR we see this all the time as we get multiple sides of issues in our environments.
    • The interview asked Hamilton how he decided to use all minorities in the cast of Hamilton. He said if I made a hip hop founding father story and used all white dudes, you would have thought I messed up! We do Shakespeare and we constantly change the characters to whatever and it’s accepted, why can’t we do that with the founding fathers? It doesn’t change the story.
    • How did he come up with doing a Hip Hop version of the founding fathers? Hamilton’s story is a perfect hip hop/rap story. He came from nothing. Had huge bravado. Rose up to be powerful and wealthy. Got into a gun battle. Sounds like hip hop!

More to come tomorrow on my breakdown of Workday Rising specifically! But I had to write about Lin-Manual Miranda!

I’m a Proud ATAP Member! Are you?

At every talk I do I put up a logo slide. All of the logos that I personally support in my normal, everyday work world. My company HRU Tech. My blog, The TS Project (this one right here!). Fistful of Talent, where I still write, and the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP).

I always get the question, what’s ATAP!?

Quite simply, ATAP is an association that supports all aspects of the talent acquisition profession. It’s similar to an association like SHRM for HR, or ATD for learning and development professionals. It was the brainchild of Ben Gotkin and Gerry Crispin. The membership is a whos-who of the greatest recruiting and sourcing minds on the planet!

At ATAP we have teams of TA volunteers who are constantly working on solving and improving Recruiting’s biggest issues and opportunities. One of the ATAP committees developed and released a universal set of Sourcing metrics, and are currently working on a similar set for TA as a whole.

ATAP founded Global TA Day where we had thousands of TA pros and corporations support the profession on Sept. 4 this year with some awesome celebrations!

A talent acquisition body of knowledge has been developed and the association put together a complete database of every recruiting certification on the planet (there’s way too many, BTW!). One of the committees has developed an on-going series of developmental webcasts for members.

I’m writing about this today because today I’m in Washington D.C. meeting with the ATAP Board of Directors, of which I’m a part of, and discussing ATAP’s strategy for the future. Our goal is to be the one association that every recruiting professional on the planet can join and have a community that supports them at all levels. An association that for once and all support Talent Acquisition as a full-blown profession, and not a career we fall into.

We launched in 2016 as a 100% volunteer organization and we have recently added our first full-time staff in the role of Executive Director, Kristen LeBlanc. Our President, Jim D’Amico, head of global TA at Celenese, has big ideas and plans for growth. And we have a board of great TA leaders and committees full of volunteers, from all over the country, who give their time and knowledge endlessly.

What can you do to help? 

I got involved with  ATAP as a founding board member because I believe there is no more important function in a company than Talent Acquisition when it comes to improving the talent and success of what we all do. Is that a little over the top? Maybe, but I love our industry!

I need more TA pros and leaders to come join us. To invest in your development and your team’s development on an ongoing basis. Do you know what our peers in HR do? They support SHRM and the HR profession.  You know what most TA pros and leaders do, right now? They show up to work.

The vast majority of our industry does not belong to any professional association or do any professional development on an ongoing basis. We need to change that!

Come join us at ATAP and help us shape the future of talent acquisition! 

If you can’t do it today, build it into your budget for 2020. All of our organizations want and need TA to be better. Joining ATAP is a great step in putting yourself and your team in a community of the top TA minds in the world.

TA Tech Vendors – become a sponsor and support the profession that buys your products! 

Where Does Corporate Logo-wear Go to Die?

This is the very first blog post I ever wrote! It was 4-12-09 over at Fistful of Talent. I just got back from HR Tech, this past week, where I was wearing a bunch of corporate logo-wear (see the pic above wearing at Patagonia vest from Candidate.ID) and it made me think for as far as I’ve come, I haven’t really come that far at all! 😉 

If you are like me, you’ve had a job or two in your career, and each stop along the way you pick up a few extra pieces for your wardrobe that you wouldn’t have necessarily picked out on your own.  These pieces usually are of the polo shirt variety, but they need not stop there as I’ve been given dress shirts, t-shirts, baseball hats, jackets, watches, sweatshirts – to date no undergarments – Thank you!

In almost every situation, these items were encouraged to be worn on casual Friday’s (check on Punk
Rock HR’s post on Casual Fridays).  My question is once you leave an organization, what do you do with this corporate logo wear?  Also, where does it all go?

I have to admit that most of my previous corporate wear went to Goodwill and I imagine (in my own little fantasy world) that somehow it all gets funneled into the international Goodwill community.  From there I know that there is some guy in need in West Africa wearing my “Applebee’s  #1 HR Peoplestacks 2007” jacket, not knowing what Applebee’s is or what he is wearing such a limited edition item.  I can say that I’ve never seen anyone locally wearing my gear, so at the very least I appreciate Goodwill for not re-selling my stuff local!  Can you imagine seeing someone at the movies wearing your shirt – how do you start that conversation “Hey – that was me – I’m the Applebee’s Peoplestack Guy!”

So, what’s the point?

I have to admit, it is usually us in HR who has this bright idea to reward our people with logo merchandise.  On one level we believe our associates will appreciate the gear and having the ability to promote the company they so proudly work for.  On another level, we are probably missing the boat completely, especially when looking at generational differences in terms of rewards and recognition.

I do believe Baby Boomers and the older Gen X set probably do feel appreciated when getting some of these rewards (assuming these aren’t the only rewards).  But, I would dare say, Gen Y probably doesn’t view this as reward and recognition and actually might take this as a negative now feeling like they have to or should wear these items at work.

Rule of Thumb:  Save your money and challenge your department to come up with other ways to reward and recognize.  That being said, I’m wearing my Careerbuilder.com Logo Nike golf shirt right now which just goes to show you, HR vendors need to go high-end to get into my closet!

(BTW – none of this has changed. If you want to get in my closet it better be branded swag! Shout out to Smashfly, OC Tanner, and Saba for great branded swag this year!)