DisruptHR Detroit 3.0 Speaker Applications Now Being Accepted!

For those who don’t know, I’m involved with DisruptHR Detroit with an amazing team of HR pros and leaders, and we are putting on our 3rd event on Thursday, September 19th at 6 pm.

Great DisruptHR events start with Great content and we are now Accepting Speaker Applications for DisruptHR Detroit 3.0!

Due Date is August 2nd!

Tickets for this event will go on sale on August 5th and we’ll announce the full slate of speakers and the agenda on August 9th.

The location of DisruptHR 3.0 will be downtown Detroit at The Madison. Click through to the DisruptHR Detroit site for more information.

Who makes a Great DisruptHR Speaker

Anyone with a passion for HR, Recruiting, People and pushing the envelope around what, why and how we do what we do every day in the world of work!

We especially love practitioners of all experience levels. You don’t know have to be a twenty-year vet to be great at DisruptHR! You can be an HR pro in your first year on the job. It’s all about passion and ideas!

So, what makes a great DisruptHR Talk?

  1. It’s 5 minutes – so you better be tight around what your topic and idea is!
  2. 20 slides that move every 15 seconds – you don’t control this, we do. So you better practice!
  3. No selling products or services – Yes to selling ideas and passions!
  4. Make us feel something – laugh, cry, anger – have a take and be proud of that take!
  5. We see and feel your passion.

We’ve built DisruptHR Detroit to be a supportive hub of HR and Recruiting. We want people to come and challenge us, but know you’ll be rewarded with an audience that will support you and cheer you on. These talks aren’t easy, and we get that! The audience gets that!

How can you speak at DisruptHR Detroit 3.0?

APPLY to Speak it’s easy! It’s a great development opportunity for those looking to get on stage and have some professional experience speaking. You actually get a professionally produced video of your talk that you can use as evidence of your ability. It’s also a great networking opportunity with the Detroit metro HR and Talent community!

You Can’t Teach Your Employees to be Human! #Transform

You might have seen this in the news a few weeks back. Mom and Dad take their Autistic son to a Universal Theme Park in Orlando. The son is over the top excited for the Spiderman ride, and Murphy’s Law comes into play.

The family gets to the ride and it’s broken down. The son loses it. Full blown, five-alarm tantrum on the ground in front of the ride. Mom and Dad are doing all they can to help him calm down, he’s having none of it, when this happens:

So, you see the son with his headphones and you see an actual park employee from Universal from the Spiderman ride who came over and got on the ground and just laid down with this child. Let everyone know who was gawking that you know, it’s okay, some days the Spiderman ride breaks down and it sucks and we all want to scream about it.

The child eventually calmed down with the help of the employee. The parents were all so grateful for the assist and help.

This is a great human story. This is also a great story for Universal’s recruiting team! Let’s be honest. The reality is, the TA team really had nothing to do with this. They ran their process, and out of that, got lucky enough to hire a person who had these capabilities and a giant heart.

You can’t expect or set out to hire, individuals like this woman. She’s a unicorn. In fact, I would bet that Universal in their training would probably use an example like this of what not to do from a liability standpoint! All that said, it happened and it was wonderful.

You might see a story like this and say to yourself, “we need to add this example into our onboarding so that our new employees know this is what we want them to be like!” That’s really unfair to your new hires. Some might see this and think that’s the scariest thing I can imagine, but they might be willing to do a thousand other great things.

The biggest learning from an HR standpoint on this for me is that we can’t eliminate risk in our environments. Things are going to happen. We hope we hire and train employees to do the ‘right’ thing. To be kind. To be human. To do what they would want someone to do for them in a similar circumstance.

Also, to know, when we ask our employees to take the risk of being kind, being human, etc. that sometimes it’s going to backfire, but if it was done with positive intent and good heart we are willing to take that risk.

Are you ‘Manager Shaming’? #WorkHuman

Do you know what’s wrong with companies and organizations?

I know the answer because I go to a lot of conferences and listen to a lot of speakers. All of them will tell you exactly what’s wrong with your organization and every other organization. Turns out we all have the exact same thing wrong! Which is comforting in a way.

Our Managers Suck!!! 

Yay!! We figured it out!! We all agree!! Good for us!!

Can I tell you something? I hate Manager Shaming!! HATE IT!

Almost every speaker, at every conference, who speaks about the employee experience or employee engagement, or just about anything to deal with people blame managers. It’s lazy analysis for the most part. Let’s find someone or something everyone loves to hate and then we’ll blame them for everything, and then I’ll give them some great plan that you can’t possibly pull off, filled with funny little stories about my kids.

Look, I get that we have managers that are struggling, but the reality is we put them in a position to fail and now we just want to shame them and blame them for every single ill we have in an organization.

We have to be better than this. We were the idiots who put these folks in charge, didn’t teach them to properly lead people, or hold them accountable to properly lead people, or actually select them based on who had the right DNA to lead people, and not who is the best individual contributor but truly has no ability to lead people. It’s so stupid.

I want us all to start calling out Manager Shaming at conferences.

Cool tell me all my problems are my terrible managers, but you better be super quick to help figure out how to solve this or we get to throat punch you right on stage! If I hear about one more ‘study’ on how they found out managers suck and this is the ‘real’ problem with helping our organizations be successful I’m going to vomit.

So, how do we stop “Manager Shaming”:

1. Understand we are all part of this problem. It’s not ‘managers’, it’s all of us. We all suck because we all allowed this to happen. Also, most of us are managers.

2. Stop picking people to be managers based on they were the best at something, that has nothing to do with actually managing or leading people!

3. Build a leadership program that not only teaches and mentors employees on how to be effective leaders, but then hold them accountable to be that person.

4. Stop blaming and start fixing. It’s not a ‘manager’ issue. If it’s broke. If you are not successful. That’s an organizational issue. We all own that.

5. Move people out of management roles who are unable to lead people. You know who they are, just make the move.

6. Celebrate, publicly your great managers, and be very specific about the behaviors you are celebrating.

Select, educate, measure, reward, repeat. We aren’t trying to launch the space shuttle. We are trying to do something way, way harder. We are trying to lead people!

Stop Manager Shaming!

Your Weekly Dose of HR Tech: I Failed @SHRM’s new Talent Acquisition Credential!

So, you guys know I wrote a book, right? A book on talent acquisition! I truly believe I actually know something about Talent Acquisition and Recruiting! So, it came as a pretty big shock when I took SHRM’s new TA Specialty Credential and Failed It! Well, kind of…

I’m the President of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), so I have a real interest in training and learning programs for talent acquisition. Also, because I’ve been in the TA space for a couple of decades I wanted to take the TA credential cold. No studying. Don’t even look at the materials or what it involves. If I’m good, I should still be able to pass it, right?

Right away I knew I made a mistake. Part of it is just simple word usage. What I might call something, the instructional designers at SHRM call it something else. Another part of it is how the material is taught. What’s the most important of the following four….? Well, I might believe something is more important based on my experience and situation, but if I actually studied the material and took the two-day course, I would know what was ‘the’ most important based on how the material was put together.

All of that being said, I was really impressed with the questions! 

Every single question (there’s 50 that you take for the test) were really legitimate TA questions, and the questions were designed around a really modern, up to date talent acquisition function. The questions spanned a broad area of TA from workforce planning, to recruitment marketing, to sourcing, to technology.

Now, you also have to put this into perspective. SHRM didn’t launch this believing a micro-certification was the answer to educating someone to take the credential course, pass the test, and then go run a Fortune 500 TA shop. The credential is meant to help educate an HR professional who is moving into TA, or works as the sole HR pro/leader of a company that also has TA responsibility. So, you might only be doing TA as part of your role.

I’m actually teaching one of these SHRM TA credential courses in San Francisco May 13-14th. That was the main reason and desire for me to take the exam, I wanted to see what those going through the program would experience, and I can confidently say that if someone goes through and does the self-paced modules, does the two-day workshop, studies, and passes the exam, I would feel very comfortable that they have a working knowledge of how a modern-day TA department functions!

The reality is no one certification, credential, training course, etc. is going to make you an expert. You become an expert by doing many of these things and becoming a continual learner. What I love about SHRM Speciality TA Credential is that it exposes HR pros to a new world in a way that lets them know what’s important in talent acquisition, some baseline knowledge, and teaches them how to pursue each part further for expertise.

So, who should take the SHRM TA Credential?

  1. HR Pros who don’t have TA background, but want to expand their tools across HR.
  2. HR Pros/leaders who have TA as part of their function and they don’t feel comfortable in the modern world of recruiting
  3. Corporate TA pros/leaders who feel behind and want some freshening up of their skills.

I think this is a great development opportunity for HR Pros who are looking to develop themselves for future promotion. Having a Talent Acquisition skill set, with your HR skill set, is a differentiator when it comes to hiring HR leaders. Modern organizations are desperate for great TA, and for HR Leaders who understand how to leverage the TA function to drive business success.

So, for all those who love to dump on SHRM for being dated or behind the times, Kudos SHRM! Your TA Specialty Credential is something that is really helpful to individuals and organizations looking to modernize their TA practices!

Using Email Activity as a Performance Metric!

So, the other day I was reading this article by Josh Bersin. You know Josh, right? Bersin by Deloitte, big time voice in the HR Industry for decades. Josh might be one of the most recognizable thought leaders in our space. He recently left Deloitte and is back on his own. Josh has forgotten more about HR than I’ve ever known.

I’ve probably met Josh personally 15 times. Sat at dinner with him one night, at an industry event, for about 3 hours and had some really good conversation. Just saw him at LinkedIn’s Talent Connect as I was coming off the live stream and he was coming on, went to say “hello” and he looked at me as if I was about to mug him! LOL! I think he legitimately thought I was coming to ask for his autograph! Turns out, I know Josh, way more than Josh knows me! That’s okay, he’s still brilliant.

The article is titled: “What Emails Reveal About Your Performance At Work”:

After analyzing months of communication patterns using messaging metadata (data about the messages, not the messages themselves), the company can now statistically prove that certain types of communication behavior directly correlates to business performance. In fact, using employee communication data with a Deep Learning Model, Genpact can predict “Rockstar” performers with 74% accuracy. (This process works for emails, slack messages, skype messages, etc.)…

What did they find? The highest performing leaders use simpler words to communicate, they respond faster, and they communicate more often. In other words, they are more engaged, more efficient, and more action-oriented.

Now there’s a ton of data science that comes into play to get to this outcome. I’ve written about the power of Microsoft’s Workplace Analytics using data to help organizations and individuals improve their performance by analyzing how we work, and this is basically doing the same thing.

How do you improve your performance through email?

1. Respond quickly to messages.

2. Use language everyone can understand.

Let’s unpack those two things a bit because it sounds way too simple to actually work!

When you respond quickly to any kind of messaging a person has sent you it triggers a couple of things. One, the person who sent the message feels validated that not only did you get the message, but you thought ‘they’ were important enough for a quick response back. Don’t discount the impact that has on your influence at a larger level.

Two, a quick response shows the people you are communicating back to that you’re on top of your stuff. When you get a response to a message you sent from three days ago, I assume that person is way over their head. Look, I asked if you were interested in doing this thing or not. It’s a seven-second response, just respond, it’s not difficult!

Using simple, straightforward language ensures that everyone on the message can be crystal clear about what the message was about. Nothing was vague or left to interpretation. “No, I will not attend this meeting. Instead, Sandy will be coming as she is the one who has the data you need, and my full support on any decisions that need to be made.” Bam! Done. Simple.

Sometimes I think we overcomplicate what really good performance looks like. Turns out if respond quickly and make sure people understand you, you meet a couple of really important qualifications to becoming a strong leader!

Also, go connect with Josh Bersin and tell him Tim said “Hello!”

How Can You Become a Great HR/Talent Professional?

I met an aspiring HR college student recently. The question was asked, “Tim, how can I be great at HR?” I told them to buy my book and read my blog and that’s really all there is to it! Just kidding, I said something after that as well! 😉

It’s a great question that ultimately has very little to do with HR or Talent Acquisition. To be great at HR, or anything, rarely do you have to be great at that certain skill set. For some things, it’s important: doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc. But most professions you can learn the skills, so it’s about these other things that I told this young Padawan:

Go deep on a few things. The world needs experts, not a generalist. Don’t kid yourself to think being a generalist is really what your organization wants. People say this when they are an expert in nothing. Be an expert in something and a generalist in a bunch of stuff.

Don’t be super concerned with what you’re going deep on, just make sure it interests you. While it might not seem valuable now, at some point it probably will be. I’m not in love with employee benefits, but someone is and when I need help with that I’m searching for that person.

Consume content inside and outside of your industry. Those with a never-ending appetite to learn are always more successful.

Connect with people in your field outside of your company. We are in a time in the world where your network can be Pitbull Worldwide! Use that to your advantage. There is someone smarter than you a thousand miles away just waiting to help you.

Just because someone older and more experienced than you might think something is unimportant, don’t give up on it. We all get used to what we are used to. Older people think Snapchat is stupid and it might be, but it also might unlock something awesome in our employment brand. Experience and age are super valuable until they aren’t.

Constantly make stuff and test it. Some it will fail, most of it will be average, some of it will be awesome. Give yourself more chances for awesome! Don’t let someone tell you, “we tried that three years ago and it didn’t work”. Cool, let’s do it again, but this time change the name!

Take a big chance early in your career. Find a company that you absolutely love and just find a way to work there in any position, then be awesome for a couple of years and see what happens. Working for a brand you love is beyond the best career feeling you’ll have.

Don’t expect to be “HR famous” overnight, but the work you do right now will make you HR famous ten years from now. Do the work, fall in love with it, the fame will come down the road. “I want to blog and speak just like you, Tim!” Awesome, I started doing this a decade ago. Let’s get started right now!

Don’t discount social skills in the real world. You can be the smartest most skilled person in the room, but the one with a personality is the one people will pay attention to. This is a skill that can be learned and constantly improved upon if you work at it.

Spend time with Great HR and Talen pros. No one is really hiding their secret sauce, you just aren’t asking them questions. The key in spending time with others is not asking them to invest more in helping you than you’re willing to invest in making it happen. I get asked weekly for time from people who rarely are willing to help me in return.

Okay, as internships are concluding for the summer let’s help these aspiring professionals out! Give me your best advice in the comments!

The “Real” Man Talent Crisis in America!

I have to admit, I’m not much of a  “real man”. I don’t know many ‘man’ things. I don’t fix cars. I’m horrible fixing almost anything. I have a lot of tools, but the reality is I usually cost myself more money by trying to fix something myself than just paying to have a ‘real’ man fix it.

That’s hard to admit. I want to be a real man. I want to have something go wrong in my house and instantly know what to do and how to correct it. I usually just go to YouTube and watch a real man show me how to fix it, then I call a real man to come over and fix it.

It seems like there is a huge need for real men right now in the world. It’s a shrinking talent pool for sure!

My mother is at a point in life where she finds herself without a man, real or fake, but she needs the skills of a real man to help her keep up her house. We found her someone and all I can think is I really need this guy for myself, not her! I need her real man for me!

I have three sons and none of them are real men, and unfortunately, I don’t see them becoming real men. I’m teaching them to pay for a real man. It’s cheaper and less frustrating in the long run. I don’t really have a desire to learn to plumb, do electrical work, appliance repair, engine repair, carpentry, etc. I mean I wish I had those skills, but that’s a lot of life experience and it’s almost too late for me to pick those up and be any good at them.

I have some great qualities that most ‘real’ men probably don’t. I’m awesome at gardening. I love to shop. Go to the movies. I love to go to the theater. I can cook up a storm. I do some basic sewing. I’m awesome with children. Just don’t ask me to ‘fix’ the front door when it won’t close properly.

While you might think this is a ‘me’ problem, it’s not. This is an “us” problem. I can foresee a time when ‘real’ men are so scarce we won’t be able to find anyone to fix our stuff! We have a real man talent crisis on our hands and I don’t think people really understand how bad it is, and how bad it’s going to get.

I don’t need someone to show me how to play Fortnite! That is a skill I can live without. But I can’t have the deck falling off my house and just let it dangerously hang there! I don’t need someone to show me how to watch the entire series of The Office on Netflix, but I do need someone to help me fix my garage door when it won’t go up or down!

I’m sure there is a correlation between skilled trades leaving public education and downfall of “real” man skills in the U.S. I’m also sure that there is a correlation between white collar jobs and blue collar jobs and real man skill level. You could probably add in a number of other factors around higher education, income level, etc. But, it’s all really meaningless, I still need have a need for real man skills no matter the reason I lack them!

So, I’m wondering. Is this just me or are others feeling the real man skill pinch as well? Hit me in the comments with how you lack real man skills, or how you got your real man skills, even if you’re a lady with ‘real man’ skills!

DisruptHR Detroit Speaker Applications Now Being Accepted!!! But, you probably can’t handle it! #8Mile

Look, I just like being honest. This isn’t DisruptHR Brentwood or DisruptHR Nantucket! This is Detroit! We do real HR in the D!

Come on, just be real with yourself for a moment, you can’t handle Detroit. It’s okay, you’ll do fine at DisruptHR Sun City. Just slow down and do some tour stops before you come to Detroit!

You see, we actually make stuff that sells for money in Detroit. We have employees who get their hands dirty. We have to live in snow and cold for six months out of the year, which tends to leave us a little less likely to be willing to consume your weak B.S. When you come to DisruptHR Detroit, you better bring it!

Alright, I hear you feeling yourself. You just might be ready to hit 8 Mile and the rap battle that is HR in Detroit. DisruptHR Detroit will take place on September 20th onsite at Quicken Loans awesome event space in the heart of downtown Detroit.

Want to speak at DisruptHR Detroit? (what you need to know) 

– It’s 5 Minutes, 20 slides, the slides automatically move every 15 seconds (this is not something you can change!)

– If you’re a vendor you try selling your product in the 5 minutes, we’ll Gong Show your ass right off the stage!

– DisruptHR is about emotion – make us laugh, make us cry, make us angry, make us motivated. Just make us feel something!

– There will be over 250 HR and Talent Pros in the audience cheering you on. (FYI – many in the audience will be drinking!)

– You will get a video recorded, professionally produced copy of your presentation!

Apply to Speak at DisruptHR Detroit! 

Career Confessions from Gen Z: How Painful is Your Onboarding?

One of the most painfully awkward experiences of my life was my college orientation. I remember being so excited to go; this is the start of a whole new journey where you’re supposed to meet all of your lifelong friends and become a whole new person! I failed to remember that forcing a group of 17 and 18-year-olds to try and become friends in an 8-hour time span probably won’t work that well. Not only did I have to suffer through one college orientation, I had to do ANOTHER one when I decided to transfer to my current school. College orientations are absolutely necessary but absolutely agonizing.

Since I detest college orientations, I am not looking forward to the lifetime of onboarding processes that I will have to endure. The average person will hold 12-15 jobs in their lifetime, and Gen-Z’ers will definitely raise that number significantly. I’m already on my 5th job and I’m 19! While I may need to accept the fact that I have many onboardings ahead of me, here is what I suggest to make them as painless as possible for everyone involved:

  1. Short and Sweet: The general rule for all onboardings should be the shorter, the better. Just because you have a full day set aside, doesn’t mean you need to use the whole thing! Many people hold the same resentment to onboardings and orientation as me and will immediately forget approximately 97% of the information given at these sessions. So, instead of spending more time droning on, have your employees get started and let them figure things out as they come!
  2. Specificity is key: I get that there’s a lot of general information that needs to be relayed to your employees, but the more specific you can be with every person’s individual needs, the better. Not only is it more efficient because it is straight to the point, but it will force your onboardie’s to pay attention because the information directly applies to them!
  3. Food, food, and more food: If you are going to make your new employees sit through a full day of onboarding, there better be food. And not just some crappy sandwich platter. Food is essential in keeping your new employees awake and alert. Also, coffee, soda, or other refreshments should be widely available as well.
  4. Cut Out the Fluff: While preparing onboarding procedures, do your best to cut out all non-essential information. We don’t need an hour presentation on your company’s culture. Let us live and learn by experiencing it ourselves!

The goal of an onboarding process should be to make everything as clear as possible to your newbies. You don’t need to get us excited about working or pump us up: odds are that us Gen-Zer’s are already excited because it’s our first real job! I just started my internship this week and I didn’t need the constant pump-up music and overdone cheering and applause (for literally everyone and everything); I’m already excited to start! So, stuff us with junk food, coffee, and essential information and then send us on our way to get started!

This post was written by Cameron Sackett (not Tim) – you can probably tell because it lacks grammatical errors!

HR and TA Pros – have a question you would like to ask directly to a Gen Z? Ask us in the comments and I’ll respond in an upcoming blog post right here on the project. Have some feedback for me? Again, please share in the comments and/or connect with me on LinkedIn.

5 Things Leaders Need to Know About Developing Their Team!

I think we try and deliver a message to organizations that all employees need and want to be developed.

This is a lie.  

Many of our employees do want development. Some don’t need it, they’re better than you.  Some don’t want it, just give me my check.  Too many of our leaders truly believe they can develop and make their employees better than they already are.  This is a lot tougher than it sounds, and something most leaders actually fail at moving the needle on.

Here are some things I like to share with my leaders in developing their employees:

1. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time” -Maya Angelou.  I see too many leaders trying to change adult employees.  Adult behaviors are basically locked. If they show you they don’t want to work.  They don’t want to work.  Part of developing a strong relationship is spending time with people who are not a waste of time.

2. People only change behavior they want to change, and even then, sometimes they’re not capable of it.  See above.  When I was young in my career, I was very ‘passionate’. That’s what I liked calling it – passionate.  I think the leaders I worked with called it, “career derailer”.  It took a lot for me to understand what I thought was a strength, was really a major weakness.  Some people never will gain this insight.  They’ll continue to believe they’re just passionate when in reality they’re just really an asshole.

3. Don’t invest more in a person than they are willing to invest in themselves.  I want you to be great. I want you to be the best employee we have ever had work here.  You need to be a part of that.  I’m willing to invest an immense amount of time and resources to help you reach your goals, but you have to meet me halfway, at least. Don’t think this means a class costs $2,000, so you should be willing to pay half. It doesn’t. Financial investment is easier for organizations to put in than for employees, but if you pay for the class and it’s on a Saturday and the employee turns their nose up to it, they’re not willing to ‘invest’ their share.

4. It’s usually never the situation that’s pissing you off, it’s the mindset behind the situation that’s pissing you off.  Rarely do I get upset over a certain situation. Frequently, I get upset over how someone has decided to handle that situation.  Getting your employees to understand your level of importance in a situation is key to getting you both on the same page towards a solution. Failure to do this goes down a really disastrous path.

5, Endeavor to look at disappointment with broader strokes. It’s all going to work out in the end.  It’s hard for leaders to act disappointed.  We are supposed to be strong and not show our disappointment.  This often makes our employees feel like we aren’t human.  The best leaders I’ve ever had showed disappoint, but with this great level of resolve that I admired. This sucks. We are all going to make it through this and be better. Disappointment might be the strongest developmental opportunity you’ll ever get as a leader, with your people.