Recruiter Experience Matters! (err. All Employee’s Experience Matters…) #HRFamous

On episode 115 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Madeline Laurano, Jessica Lee and Tim Sackett come together to discuss Ted Lasso, the everchanging recruiter experience, and Tim’s experience with the Michigan State shooting.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

1:45 – Ted Lasso season 3 is on the horizon! The crew gives their prediction for the new season coming in March. 

4:00 – Madeline and Tim did a roundtable recently about recruiter experience. Tim doesn’t think it matters anymore and JLee asks Tim to define it. 

8:00 – Madeline mentions that a lot of people don’t know what recruiters do. Tim says that recruiting is the job that everyone thinks they can do. 

9:15 – Tim says that when he was running TA at larger companies, senior leadership felt very comfortable giving advice to him about how to recruit, even though their advice was unfounded. 

12:00 – JLee and Tim talk about how being a recruiter isn’t one of the hardest jobs that one could have. There are a lot of other jobs that require a lot out of the people who hold those positions. 

15:30 – Madeline brings up a study they did at Disney where they found that the most important position at all of the Disney parks was the street sweepers. 

18:30 – Tim’s opinion is that Chat GPT is going to change the landscape of everything in TA & recruiting. He says that the only thing that can’t be replaced by AI is the real conversation a recruiter has with a candidate. 

21:30 – Madeline mentions a company who measures their recruiter productivity by getting them to “inbox zero”. She says she could never be a recruiter if this is a standard she was held to. 

24:00 – Tim and JLee say they’d never judge one of the people they manage by the number of emails in their inbox. JLee judges people by the battery level of their devices. 

27:30 – Tim’s son goes to Michigan State and he runs a business in Lansing. He talks about his experience with and the aftermath of the shooting that happened on campus recently. 

36:15 – Madeline asks Tim what he did about closing his business in the aftermath. Tim said that his Teams work groups were very active around the time of the shooting

Inbox Zero as a Measure of Performance for Talent Acquisition!

I have a new #1 question I get asked by Talent Acquisition Leaders! My old number one question was, “Which ATS should we be using?” That stood the test of time for almost a decade! But I now have a new number one.

“How should we be measuring success in Talent Acquisition?”

That question comes in a lot of versions:

  • What is the best metric in recruiting?
  • What do you use to measure the productivity of your recruiters?
  • How do you show your organization that TA is doing its job?
  • What are the metrics you use to measure TA?

I like using “Measures of Success” terminology primarily because of how I want to live my life. I never want our metrics, analytics, and data to be used as a hammer to obtain performance. I want to hire people who want to be successful in what they decide to do in life. Once they make that decision, I want to treat them like adults and help them obtain that success. I use data to help them track outcomes and measures of success to lead them on this journey.

Does that sound like a load of B.S. hustle culture or what?! LOL!

But, honestly, I genuinely believe in this philosophy, even though it’s sometimes hard to follow.

If a recruiter wants to be successful, I know there is a specific set of measures that will help them be successful if they follow the process, use the technology, and are diligent in their follow-up. They don’t have to work over 40 hours per week. They just have to work the 40 hours they work.

Every company could have a varied set of metrics that will make them successful. Most will have some similarities, but the actual numbers within the measures will be uniquely yours.

Inbox Zero is a measure a few TA Teams are using as a measure of success.

First off, I don’t necessarily believe that “Inbox Zero” has a high correlation to TA Team or Individual success, but herein lies the problem with measuring the success of TA teams today. The measures most of us use, suck! Time to fill = awful, zero correlation, you should be fired as a leader. (Editor’s note: Okay, Tim, breathe in, we know you’ll die on this hill.)

I find about 90% of TA Leaders work to build measures of success that look good without really having any real impact on actual recruiting success in their organization. That hurts, I know, but it’s true. Inbox Zero is just another sexy attempt at measuring sh*t with little accountability to success, but you can actually measure it, so it must be important. (sarcasm alert)

Just because you “can” measure it, doesn’t mean you “should” measure it.

Okay, what the hell is “Inbox Zero”?

It’s basically what it sounds like.

As a recruiting measure, some brilliant TA lead believes if every recruiter ended their day with zero emails in their inbox, they must be more successful than someone who didn’t end their day with email in their inbox.

There is some science behind inbox zero, although not a measure of recruiting success, just life success. It was developed in 2006, and here are the tenets of this email management strategy:

  • Some messages are more equal than others. On any given day, only a handful of emails are important and timely. Stop treating every email “like a Christmas present that must be savored.”
  • Your time is priceless and wildly limited. Few people have time to respond to every email they receive or even read them in detail. Accept that your workload exceeds your resources and slavishly guard your time.
  • Less can be so much more. Quit thinking that one-line email responses are rude — you’re not helping anyone by sending wordy responses. When it comes to email, economy is key, at least for most messages.
  • Lose the guilt. Out-of-control email is bad enough. Don’t make it worse by beating yourself up because of your overflowing inbox. Forget the guilt and just get busy cleaning up the mess.
  • Lying to yourself doesn’t empty an inbox. Learn to be honest and realistic about your true priorities and time expectations, while developing a “baseline gut check on what you really intend to do about any given message.”

The reality is we are addicted to data that we can measure that is clean. We love “time to fill” because we can accurately measure it. We like things like Inbox Zero because we can accurately measure it. We can show the business the black-and-white numbers we are confident in. No matter if they actually matter or not!

Inbox Zero is a time management strategy. The hope is if you can manage your inbox well, you’ll be a better recruiter. It’s a hope. That is all it is. It’s not a measure of success for talent acquisition. That being said, I need to manage my inbox better!

“Bare Minimum Mondays” is a thing?

From the world of viral media, apparently, Bare Minimum Mondays are trying to become a thing on social media. Before we get too deep into this, this is the worst of social media, without a doubt. The people who put out this content are ignorant at a level I can’t comprehend. Because it’s not tongue-in-cheek humor, they are serious.

To make this matter worse, you have a legitimate media outlet covering this story like it’s real news. So, now we have two stupid people involved. One person who creates the content and one person who believes they are a journalist giving it air to breathe.

Here’s the original video:

@itsmarisajo #BareMinimumMonday ♬ Summer Background Jazz – Jazz Background Vibes

Okay, let’s steelman this video from an employee’s point of view:

  • Why give more when you are surrounded by other employees getting paid the same who do less than you?
  • If I don’t kill myself on a Monday, I’ll actually be fresher for the rest of the week, and maybe my skills will be needed more later in the week than today.
  • Prioritizing your physical and mental health helps you be more productive long-term for your employer.

Okay, that’s all I have in the steelman argument! It’s hard to support this side!

The “good” folks at Fortune decided this was newsworthy:

“Bare Minimum Mondays” are a version of the Monday blues, with potential ramifications to employee productivity and the employer-employee equation. It’s a practice where employees show up to work to only do the bare minimum on a Monday, often starting the day late after a productive morning of self-care rituals. 

This term has been popularized by Marisa Jo, a TikToker, who describes it as a way for her to quell the work pressure and hold herself accountable to “completing the least amount of work necessary to get by that day.”

Is there a professional business mentor in the house?

It seems like this young lady doesn’t have any business role models to help her understand this strategy doesn’t end well for her career. Look, I get it. Maybe she had a hard-charging Mom or Dad who always worked and missed her field hockey games. She probably had to take an Uber to catch her flights to Barcelona for the summer. I mean, that has a significant psychological impact on a kid!

Look, here’s the thing.

Even if your career aspirations don’t include running a Fortune 500 company, doing the minimum is just a sh*tty way of going through life. I’m not saying you have to be the most productive, type-A person in your company. You don’t have to worship at the altar of Hustle Culture. But tell me, what’s wrong with just being a solid B player? Being that employee that others look up to and appreciate.

Also, this is why C-suite executives hate remote work. This is what they believe is actually happening with their workforce. Their belief is at least if they are in the office, maybe we’ll have a shot at ensuring they do slightly more than the bare minimum.

Being a bare minimum employee. Being a bare minimum person. Is an awful way to go through life. What’s the Animal House quote?

“Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

I am not saying she’s fat or drunk! I am not! She is stupid for giving the bare minimum.

Childcare issues for employers & Advice for Young Professionals #HRFamous

On episode 114 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee and Tim Sackett come together to discuss their favorite (and least favorite) Oscar-nominated movies, the difficulty of finding childcare, and how to handle annoying entry-level job tasks.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

1:00 – Madeline isn’t here because of last-minute child needs. Tim’s an empty nester who says his kids still interrupt his life! 

2:45 – It’s awards season, and JLee and Tim are on the opposite ends of the spectrum on a big frontrunner, Everything Everywhere All At Once. Tim thought it was terrible, and JLee adores it. (Producer Cam, Tim’s son, is here to say Tim is horribly wrong, sorry Dad!!!).

7:30 – JLee diagnoses Tim with a savior complex which prevents him from watching/liking a lot of media. He’s a papa bear!

9:00 – JLee shouts out the Banshees of Inisherin. She says it’s one of the strangest movies she’s seen in a long time but also one of the best. 

11:30 – This Wall Street Journal article has documented how childcare numbers haven’t recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Tim asks JLee if there are any things that JLee’s company is doing to help combat the loss of childcare. 

16:00 – Tim has an idea to replicate Uber surge pricing with childcare to help out the childcare companies and also help those who have flexibility with their working situations. 

19:00 – JLee notes that her colleagues know that when she’s working from home, there will most likely be children walking in her background. She gets good feedback from her team about the involvement of her kids in her work life. 

23:30 – KD sent in an article about a congressperson’s staffer who has filed complaints against their boss. They felt like they were being taken advantage of. Tim reminisces on the things that he was asked to do when he was in entry-level jobs. 

26:45 – Tim notes that a lot of the complaints over being asked to complete these kinds of tasks depend on who the person asking is. A specific person can make these tasks feel meaningful. 

29:30 – Tim’s advice to entry-level/young people in careers is to be one of the last few people to leave the office. He warns against being “the early person” in the office and urges them to become the late person. 

32:30 – Tim wants a “scoreboard” of badge swipes into the office. He thinks everyone will be in the office as soon as that’s implemented. 

How do you “practice” HR?

We are constantly told that if we want to be good at anything in life, we must practice. It starts when we are kids, and we want to be our heroes. If you want to be good at sports, or dance, or computer games, you must practice. Not just “play” but specific steps that lead to success in the endeavor we’ve chosen.

Tyler Cowen released his book “Talent” in 2022 and I really like this quote from it:

“What is it you do to practice that is analogous to how a pianist practice scales?”

What do you do each day to practice your profession?

What I find when I ask HR and TA professionals this question, and we really dig in, is there “practice” is showing up and doing the job. That is akin to an NBA player just showing up and playing games but never putting in time and effort outside of the game to increase or maintain their basketball skill level. They wouldn’t be successful for long.

Just showing up and doing the job isn’t practice. That’s the job.

Are we talking about practice…


Let me tell you how I practice my skill in HR and TA:

  • I write on this blog that has nothing to do with my paying job.
  • I design and present content for roughly 20+ webinars every year.
  • I design and present content to present live on stage for around 20 different talks every year.
  • I consciously reach out and schedule calls with experts in our industry to “talk shop” each month that has nothing to do with my paying job.
  • I network on sites like LinkedIn to expand my professional network and ask and answer as many questions as I can.
  • I will do upwards of 100 tech demos per year in the technology that impacts my industry.
  • I will attend upwards of 12 HR and TA professional conferences.

Okay, I’m a complete freak around personal development, primarily because I actually really like this stuff. That makes it easier to do, for sure.

But, I rarely get into a professional dilemma where I don’t feel prepared to handle the situation. I believe that is because I’ve “practiced” a whole bunch!

I get asked frequently, “How did you learn this stuff?”


Honestly, my hope is one day, I’ll take this love of practice in my professional life and turn it into some other sort of practice in my personal life. Like, someday, I’ll roll out of bed and be like, “okay, today is the day I stop being an out-of-shape dough ball and get back into shape like I was in college!

I mean, if I can put this level of practice into my professional life, it stands to believe I could put that same level of practice into any part of my life.

Do you want to be “Great” at your Career?

I find almost 100% of people I would ask this question to will say, “Yes, of course!”

But like my lazy butt sitting on the couch at night watching Netflix, they are willing to put in the practice of being great. They are just showing up to work and doing the job. That usually doesn’t lead to greatness.

Don’t get me wrong. Some folks can show up and be great, just like freak athletes. That is about .001% of our society. So slow your roll. That isn’t you.

I want to be great at my job, but I don’t really do anything other than the job to ensure I’ll be great at it. Doesn’t that sound funny? It goes against everything we know about greatness in our lives.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe I’m great at HR and TA. I think I’m pretty good at certain parts of it, but I know people who are so much better than me at so many parts. When you compare yourself against the top 1% in your profession, you feel small. You feel like you need more practice.

When you compare yourself against Kevin in payroll, that constantly loses his way back to his cube, you feel like you’re a giant. Practice isn’t needed to be greater than Kevin. That’s our problem. Most of us are surrounded by average players, and your slightly above-average performance makes you feel like you no longer need practice.

Pick higher performance targets. Chose to emulate someone who amazes you in your profession. Chase greatness through practice.

Your first internship, in your career, should be in sales! No matter your major.

So, it’s that time of year when we begin to think about our interns for the summer. I love interns because we get to show them what they’ll never do or see again in the real world when they get their first job! I’m only half-joking. Most internships I hear about today (and I hear about a lot) aren’t coming close to teaching young adults what it’s like to really work a job in your company.

Suppose I was Chief of HR for the country like I got to make all the HR decisions and make rules and stuff (wouldn’t that be a fun job!) – Chief Justice of HR! I would force every kid who ever did an internship first to do a sales internship with whichever company they decided to do an internship with. Great, you want to be in HR, or an Accountant, or an Engineer, or a Developer, etc., first, you need to go out on the road or sit on the phone with Jerry, he works in sales for our company.

Why sales?

Too often, I see entry-level grads come into organizations with this strange sense of how the world works based on what it is they do in their chosen profession. Do you want to know how to really impact your chosen profession? Go find out how the sausage is made! The ‘sausage’ in most organizations is sales.

Want to find out how to save the organization money as an Engineer or Accountant so you better understand your customer and what and how they’re buying? Want to be a great designer or developer? Sales will teach you what your priorities should be. Want to find out how to impact employee development and career growth? Go find out how hard it is to sell $1 of the product your company sells every day.

This isn’t some plan to get everyone in the world to think sales is hard and you should pity them. Sales are hard. Great sales pros also make a ton of money. No one usually feels bad for sales. This is truly about getting the new grads coming into your organization to have a better perspective on what’s really important.

If we don’t sell our stuff, you can’t ride down the slide into the lobby on your way to hot yoga.

So, no matter what you do in the organization. You should know how to sell. Well, Tim, I’m going to be a nurse. Hospitals don’t sell. We save lives. Congratulations on becoming a nurse. It’s such a great profession. You’re a moron. Every organization sells. Hospitals compete against other hospitals for high-margin healthcare business. Nonprofits compete for donations and grant dollars. Churches compete for your soul!

Every organization is selling something, and you should know what it is you’re selling and how it’s sold.

We do a disservice to new grads when we make them think that their profession is only about the skills they’re learning for some title they’ll one day have after graduation. Your profession, every profession, is about ensuring crap gets sold.

The Best Recruiting Conference/Festival on the planet is coming to the U.S.!

I go to a lot of HR and TA conferences. All over the world. I’ve consistently said the top recruiting conference in the world is RecFest in the UK. Its outdoor summer festival meets business conference, and it’s magical! Well, I’ve got great news! RecFest US is coming to Nashville, TN, in September 2023!

Check this out:

I love RecFest, especially for a Talent Acquisition Team event. Beyond the great recruiting content and amazing speaker lineup, RecFest at its heart is a festival, so at the end of the day, you have live music, drinks, and food. Over the past three years, so many TA teams have been working overtime, so this could make a great team event to plan for.

Early Bird Tickets are on sale right now –

I hope to see you there! I’m planning on attending with so many other TA Influencers, thought leaders, and friends. I already know of a large number of enterprise-level TA leaders who are also attending with their teams! I can’t wait!

Here are some highlights from RecFest UK 2022 that I attended:

Do Your Employees Have Unrealistic Pay Raise Expectations? #HRFamous

On episode 112 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee, Madeline Laurano, and Tim Sackett come together to discuss what they’re hoping to learn in 2023, the extra burden placed on women in Executive level roles, and unrealistic hopes for pay increases. 

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!

1:00 – JLee asks the crew what is one thing that they want to learn in 2023.  JLee has only ridden a bike a few times, and she wants to master riding a bike this year. Madeline’s goal is to get better at golfing. 

4:15 – Tim is taking his Jewish family to Israel this year. His youngest son, Cooper, is learning Hebrew at school, and Tim wants to learn some of that language. 

6:15 – JLee brings up an article from Fortune about women in C-Suite or Executive level positions and how they may have to pay a lot of money on childcare and household help. JLee asks Madeline if we are talking about this topic enough. 

8:50 – Madeline tells a story about her son, who had a female friend over. She told the kids she just needed to take some time to clean up and her son’s friend said to her, “don’t you have a cleaner?”. 

11:30 – Tim mentions how when his mom was starting her business, she hired Tim’s Grandma to come to clean the house while she worked. 

14:00 – Madeline thinks that there is more stigma around people hiring for childcare help than household help.

16:45 – Tim wonders how much of this is American culture vs. culture from all around the world. He mentions how shocked he was when he visited South Africa, and he saw how much help middle-class white families had for their everyday life. 

20:30 – Lesson of the day: parenting is not easy, and it’s nearly impossible to do it all by yourself! 

21:30 – Bloomberg reported on the unrealistic high hopes that employees have for pay hikes in the new year. JLee asks the crew if they are seeing this in the workplace. 

24:45 – Madeline notes how it still is an employee/candidate first market due to the number of jobs available. She does think that due to the layoffs happening across the workforce, the behavior of asking for raises may change. 

29:00 – JLee notes that any publicly traded company has to listen to its shareholders and what they think is best for the business. A big question for these companies is, “who are we in service to?”. 

31:30 – When can you stop saying Happy New Year? Madeline thinks she could go to 1/30, but Tim only gives it two weeks. 

ChatGPT 101 for HR and TA Pros!

n “Making HR Tech Easy,” work tech expert Tim Sackett, SHRM-SCP, makes complex HR technology understandable for all HR professionals, because having a high competency in HR technology is critical to moving your HR career forward.

It’s been really hard not to hear about Open.AI’s ChatGPT over the past couple of months. It seems like everyone has been talking about it since its recent release in 2022. But if you’re just now encountering it, ChatGPT is a conversational SaaS artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that understands the intent of complex, specific questions and has the potential to produce human-quality responses. Yes, really human!

I say “potential” because it’s still learning. Although it’s already pretty good, and it gets better every minute as millions of people use it.

Why should you care about an AI chatbot that can answer questions like a human? Because it will most likely change work in both significant and minor ways in the near future, similar to what we saw during the first industrial revolution.

Are chatbots going to take our jobs? Well, if I’m honest, some jobs will be lost for sure, at least initially. But it will also create new jobs, many of which we don’t even know yet. Again, similar to the first industrial revolution.

Will ChatGPT Take HR Jobs?

ChatGPT can…

Click here to read the rest of this article on the SHRM website. 

Utilizing your PTO get 40 days off per year! Yes you can!

We all know of that one co-worker that just finds a way to take advantage of every possible benefit to the fullest extent possible! These are the folks who, when on a work trip, will find a way to use every single penny of that per diem! “Hey, can I get a $3.27 gift card added to my dinner bill?”

Well, I think I found one of those folks who cracked the code on PTO! Take a look:

@johnsfinancetips Here is how you can take 40 days off with only 15 vacation days. If you had 19 vacation days, you could take up to 47 days off. Also, do you take all your vacation days every year? #pto #vacation #paidleave #work #vaca #timeoff #personalfinance ♬ original sound – John Liang

So, there’s some creative PTO math in this video for sure, but I love it. Of course, how he’s doing this by also adding in paid holidays and weekend days with his PTO, which I hate to tell a young millennial that workers have been doing this since the advent of paid time off, but he’s so excited I don’t want to burst his little bubble.

I wonder what he could do if he added in his “work from home” days! OMG! He would have like 400 days off a year!

What is your favorite PTO trick? Hit me in the comments!