Are Your Executives Addicted to Leadership Porn?

On episode 65 of The HR Famous Podcast, longtime HR leaders (and friends) Tim SackettKris Dunn, and Jessica Lee come together to discuss electric vehicles, leadership porn, and ride-sharing companies ramping up signing bonuses for drivers due to wait times and fares being up significantly.

Listen (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!

Show Highlights

3:00 – KD asks JLee what the first electronic vehicle (EV) she’ll own will be. JLee’s husband wants the Tesla Model Y. Tim wants the Hummer EV Edition 1, but he might have to get it used.

8:00 – First topic: CEO and leadership clickbait! All HR people have seen a leader who will create a big email thread about an article they’ve become obsessed with.

10:00 – This is the CNBC article by Compass CEO Robert Reffkin about five quick tests for hiring. Some of these include the “good person,”, “energy,” and “another offer” test.  KD thinks it’s a hoot and representative of everything that’s wrong with leadership content.

12:30 – Tim thinks that Reffkin sounds like he’s trying to hire a grandmother with some of his rules. Do we really want everyone to live by the golden rule? And how do you freaking figure that out in an interview process?

14:30 – Reffkin discusses in the article how the term “culture fit” can be a disguise for discrimination, then proceeds to add ways he can hire whom he wants with his own, made-up principles.

18:00 – KD says the problem with “leadership porn” is when it gets passed down to the masses who maybe don’t have the experience or expertise to critically look at the lessons getting passed down.

20:30 – Don’t try to match your navy’s folks!

21:30 – Time for the CHRO move of the week! Snap (formally known as Snapchat) hired Darcy Henry as their new CHRO. She was poached from Amazon.

24:00 – If you want an entry-level HR job, try recruiting!

27:00 – Driver shortages are really crushing the ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft as reported by The Verge. KD reports that rid-sharing companies are adding their own stimulus program by way of signing bonuses for drivers.

29:00 – JLee reports that Peter Cappelli says that companies need to stop complaining about the labor shortages because they “broke trust” with workers in his new article. KD acknowledges that JLee is simply reporting what he said, then mocks Cappelli for blaming companies for eroding trust because they had to cut payroll or go out of business because of a global pandemic.

31:30 – Tim says that once the stimulus ends in September, hiring is not going to get magically easier and it’ll still be hard to hire hourly workers.

Apple Fires New Hire Based on Employee Petition

On episode 64 of The HR Famous Podcast, longtime HR leaders (and friends) Tim SackettKris Dunn, and Jessica Lee come together to discuss Apple’s firing of a new employee based on an employee petition. Also: cursing in the workplace.

Listen (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)

Show Highlights

1:30 – The whole gang’s back together again!

3:30 – KD is on the recruiting trail for recruiters! He’s learned a lot about the current market, and he says the biggest thing he’s learned is that a lot of recruiters viable recruiting jobs aren’t really that into the world of recruiting.  Many don’t work to create their own professional network, which means they’re just farmers, relying on direct applies.

6:00 – Tim thinks that there isn’t that big of a difference between a recruiter with some experience and a recruiter with a ton of experience that may be getting paid a ton more.

8:20 – When is it OK to swear at work? Shoutout to friend of the pod, Suzanne Lucas, for writing this piece for Inc. about when is it acceptable to drop some F-bombs in the workplace.

10:00 – BTS: KD wouldn’t run Tim’s episode of Best Hire Ever because he swore too much.

12:30 – JLee shares that when Marriott was vetting Tim to come speak, one of the lawyers said that Tim had to watch his cursing.

13:30 – Back in the day, Tim auditioned to do a “kitchen nightmares” type show, but for fixing businesses. The feedback he got was that he needed to curse more.

18:00 – Next topic: Apple terminated Antonio Garcia Martinez, author of Chaos Monkeys, a very successful book. He was fired from a paragraph in his book that some Apple employees found to be misogynist.

22:00 – Tim asks the question, “Do platforms like Slack and Teams give people an opportunity to speak online in ways that they wouldn’t speak in person?”

26:00 – KD thinks that the burden has never been lower and is easy to pile on. KD has read the book and talks about the fact that the book is written in a form of persona by the author. Also, Apple hired AGM even though he wrote a tell-all book on Facebook, which is interesting.

29:00 – KD says that Apple will likely settle with the author for $10 to $15 million, based on the fact they knew about the book, had talked to references about the book, and AGM is now unemployable in tech based on Apple’s actions.

If you can Recruit, you can Recruit!

I grew up and lived most of my life in Michigan. There are so many things I love about living in Michigan and most of those things have to deal with water and the 3 months that temperatures allow you to enjoy said water (Jun – Aug). There is one major thing that completely drives me insane about Michigan.  Michigan is at its core an automotive manufacturing state which conjures up visions of massive assembly plants and union workers. To say that the majority of Michigan workers feel entitled would be the largest understatement ever made.

We have grown up with our parents and grandparents telling us stories of how their overtime and bonus checks bought the family cottage, up north, and how they spent more time on their ‘pension’ than they actually spent in the plant (think about that! if you started in a union job at 18, put in your 30 years, retired at 48, on your 79 birthday you actually have had a company pay for you longer than you worked for them. At the core of the Michigan economy, this is happening right now and it’s disastrous! Pensions weren’t created to sustain that many years, and quite frankly they aren’t sustainable under those circumstances. Seniority, entitlement, I’ve been here longer than you, so wait your turn, etc. are all the things I hate about my great state!

There is a saying in professional sports – “If you can play, you can play”.  Simply, this means that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, how much your contract is worth. If you’re the best player, you will be playing.  We see examples of this in every sport, every year. The kid was bagging groceries last month, now a starting quarterback in the NFL!  You came from a rich family, poor family, no family it doesn’t matter, if you can play, you can play. Short, tall, skinny, fat, pretty, ugly, not-so-smart, if you can play, you can play. Performance in your specific field of play is all that matters. A few year back the NHL released this video supporting the LGBTQ community (if you can play…) –

This is why I love being a recruiter!  I can play.

Doesn’t matter how long I’ve been doing it.  Doesn’t matter what education/school I came from.  Doesn’t matter what company I work for.  If you can recruit, you can recruit. You can recruit in any industry, at any level, anywhere in the world. Recruiting at its core is a perfect storm of showing us how accountability and performance in our profession works. You have an opening – and either you find the person you need (success), or you don’t find the person (failure). It’s the only position within the HR industry that is that clear-cut.

I have a team of recruiters who work with me. Some have 20 years of experience, some have a few months. The thing that they all know is if you can recruit, you can recruit. No one can take it away from you, no one can stop you from being a great recruiter. There’s no entitlement or seniority – ‘Well, I’ve been here longer, I should be the best recruiter!’ If you want to be the best if you have to go out and prove you’re the best.  The scorecard is your placements. Your finds. Can you find talent and deliver, or can’t you? Black and white.

I love recruiting because all of us (recruiters) have the exact same opportunity.  Sure some will have more tools than others but the reality is if you’re a good recruiter you need a phone and a computer, and an ability to connect with people. Tools will make you faster, not better. A great recruiter can play. Every day, every industry. This is why I love recruiting.

Emotion vs. Logic is the Failure Point of Great Leadership!

“You can’t defeat emotion with logic.”

-Unknown

The biggest failures in my life in relationships have always been this singular issue. Someone was emotional, and I tried reasoning with logic. It’s the basis of almost every Twitter fight I see, Facebook fight, etc. It seems to the root cause of cancel culture in general.

I’m upset over something, no matter how trivial or inconsequential you might believe it to be, and you try and reason with me. Light fuse. Explosion.

I think one of the reasons logic fails so often when facing emotion is that emotion wants to be felt, and heard. When logic tells emotion, you are wrong, and here is a series of evidence of why you are wrong, emotion does not feel like it was felt or heard. I mean, logically, I think this is the reason!

I’m not a huge Star Trek fan, but I watched enough of it back in the day to get the gist. Captain Kirk was emotion, and Spock was logic. Captain Kirk was constantly frustrated with Spock because he addressed everything with simple logic. Spock on the other hand would constantly turn his head and look at Kirk like a dog when you talk to it, not understanding at all what you’re saying, but understanding you are trying to talk to it.

I find logic comforting. There is an order to the world, and that is calming to me. I find emotion exciting because you are never fully sure where this might be going. One second you are screaming at each other, the next second you are passionately kissing. Um, what!?! Emotion does some crazy stuff! Logic stays in its lane.

Great Leaders tend to be “Logically Emotional”!

When I think of the best leaders I’ve worked for and with, they were mostly logical. I mean of all the characteristics you want in a leader, being “unstable and emotional” will not make the Top 100 of that list! It’s one reason why employees will constantly say things about leaders in surveys like, “I don’t think she even cares!”

I can guarantee you that leader cares more about the success of the organization than you do, by a million percent! That she is living, eating, breathing every element of the organization. But, she is most likely not emotional enough for you to believe she cares as much as you. That’s because you’re getting emotional and she is staying logical.

At the same time, my great leader examples in my career tended to know the exact perfect time to show some emotion. It was usually specific, on the right side of history, and would fall within popular opinion with the employee base. Standing up for an employee going through a very difficult time, standing up for the company in a very difficult time, etc. They were experts in being logically emotional. Never a robot, but also never out of control.

The next time you find yourself feeling like you might be getting close to getting into a conflict, take a moment to just ask yourself, am I on the emotional side of this conflict or the logical side. Understand, if you are really emotional, you will tell yourself you are being logical! So, you might also have to ask yourself, is the other side of this conflict being emotional or logical. If they are being logical, most likely they are viewing you on the other side, because two people having a logical discussion about a topic that might be on opposite ends are not in conflict.

Does “Motherhood” belong on your resume? #HRFamous

On episode 63 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett and Jessica Lee come together to discuss Motherhood On The Resume (MOTR), time off from working, and how being a parent raises your levels of empathy. 

Listen below (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

2:00 – JLee was out last week because she was vacationing in a tiny house! She wasn’t the biggest fan of it…

4:00 – Have you ever seen anyone put being a parent as an experience on a resume? Tim has seen it a few times for people coming back to work after taking an extended break away to raise a family.

5:30 – There is a new movement to “add mother to your resume” in hopes to destigmatize the duty of being a mother in a workplace environment. 

7:00 – Are you okay with your kids’ calling you by your first name? Tim’s son calls his wife by a nickname that is similar to her first name and she’s alright with that but Jessica thinks it would be weird if her kids’ called her by her name. 

10:00 – Tim thinks that there are going to be lovers and haters regardless if you make a decision like putting “parenthood” on your resume. He says go do it if you want!

14:00 – MOTR: Motherhood On The Resume! Check it out here!

15:00 – JLee came across a viral LinkedIn post about getting asked ‘what you have been doing to occupy your time’ after being laid off. 

16:45 – Tim thinks that it’s a valid question to be asked from a TA perspective because you never know what could be going on in that person’s life, even if it’s in the middle of a recession/pandemic. 

21:00 – JLee asks Tim what’s the longest gap where you’re feeling extra weary. He says he only gives executive employees 12 months of a break on their resume before he gets curious.

24:00 – JLee mentions that empathy training for recruiters and TA pros could be really helpful in order to get honest answers from candidates. 

28:00 – JLee and Tim both note how parenthood has made them more empathetic in job interviews and recruiting settings. 

32:00 – Thanks to JLee and Tim for shouting out my (hi, this is Cam!) first BuzzFeed article. You can check it out here!

—————Jessica Lee, Kris Dunn and Tim Sackett

Kinetix

HRU Tech

Jessica Lee on LinkedIn

Tim Sackett on Linkedin

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

The Tim Sackett Project

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Boss Leadership Training Series

Should Candidate Response Time Be a Measure We Care About?

I have expectations as a leader in my organizations for other employees who are in a leadership position in my company. One of those expectations is, if I call or text you on off hours, weekends, vacations, etc., for something that is urgent to the business, I expect a reply in a rather short time frame.

Some people would not like that. I don’t care. You’re a leader, the business needs you, there’s no time clock for that.

That expectation is set for someone at a leadership level in my organization. They know this expectation before taking the job. Also, I’m not an idiot about it. I can probably count on one hand the number of times in the past five years I’ve reached out to someone on weekends or vacations expecting and needing a response.

But, what if you measured candidate quality in the same manner? Seems unreasonable, doesn’t it!?

Well, check this out:

Nardini is the CEO of the sports and men’s lifestyle site Barstool Sports. In a New York Times interview, she detailed her process for vetting job candidates. After saying she was a “horrible interviewer” because of her impatience, she explained a unique process for gauging potential hires’ interest in the job.

“Here’s something I do,” she said. “If you’re in the process of interviewing with us, I’ll text you about something at 9 p.m. or 11 a.m. on a Sunday just to see how fast you’ll respond.”

The maximum response time she’ll allow: three hours.

So, Erika believes if a candidate doesn’t reply back to her on a Sunday at 9 pm within three hours, they are not interested in a job.

This is why recruiting is hard.

You have moron leaders who come up with stupid ideas of what they think is ‘important’ and then they make you live by these dumb rules. This rule is ridiculous. Erika’s assessment of why this works is ridiculous. But, she’ll get a pass.

Why?

She’s a she. If some dumb white dude came up with the same rule the New York Times would write an expose on how this guy is a complete tyrant and out of touch with today’s world, and how crappy this candidate experience is, and how bad leadership this is, etc. But, no one will. She’s just leaning in and doing what the guys do!

Yes, she is. She’s being an idiot.

Now, I’ll say I actually agree with her on her assessment on response time, assuming the roles she is expecting a reply from in three hours are time critical roles. She runs a media site with breaking stories. Twitter has these things up in seconds, media sites need replies to what is happening within minutes and hours. So, there could be some legitimacy to something as arbitrary as measuring candidate desire by response time.

It’s fraught with issues, to be sure, but for certain roles, it might find you some good talent. Should it be a golden rule of hiring for your organization? No, that’s just dumb.

If you really want a silver bullet I ask every candidate if they’re a dog person or cat person. Works every time!

What makes me truly happy?

I read an article the other day about happiness. All the science, all the research, Shawn Achor acting like we can actually make our employees happy, etc. It’s all a bunch of bullsh*t really, right? I mean, Shawn doesn’t think so, because he has studies and stuff, and he’s a nice enough fellow (Editor’s note: Who says “fellow”? Like ax murders and 90 year old men, right?), but can we be real for a second? You and I? We are not “making” anyone happy!

The reality is you can make yourself happy, but no one else can do that for you. Now surrounding yourself with assholes doesn’t help you, you must help yourself to become happy. But that’s not the asshole’s fault, that is your fault for making the decision to stay around the assholes! Or the phenomenon of “This guy just makes me so happy!” It’s not the guy. If you deciding that you’re going to open yourself up enough and allow yourself to be happy with this person. The guy is the guy, they come and go, you are the constant.

Thanks, Tim, I though you weren’t a Life Coach!?

I’m not. It just got me thinking about what truly makes me happy. Right now in my life, because it’s changed over the years and stages. Here’s what I came up with, it’s not an exhaustive list, that would be impossible, but just a few things that make me happy:

  1. Dogs. I have a great dog. When I get home he’s the first to greet me. He’s excited. He wants to snuggle, or I want to snuggle, it seems like we both want to snuggle. He follows me around. If I go outside he wants to be with me. There’s a new puppy in the neighborhood and I’m drawn to want to go play with that puppy. Pretty much any dog, I’m going out of my way to touch.
  2. Alone time with my wife. When you raise three kids and are very involved you realize that you have very little alone time. So, it can be on the water, in the mountains, at a restaurant, in the bedroom, just time alone with my wife, with no one else around. That seems rare, but we are always our best selves when we are alone.
  3. Talking with my buddy Kris Dunn. It’s rare as an adult male that you find someone you can pretty much tell anything to, and I found that in KD. Adult males rarely have “real” conversations about “real” sh*t. I always feel like KD and I can do that. Having that has brought real joy into my life as a grown-ass man. I wish more guys had that.
  4. Being outside on a beautiful day. On the golf course, on a lake fishing, hiking in the mountains, sitting on a beach, anywhere where it seems like you could be a million miles away from the stresses of real life. Alone or with folks I love, away from phones and computers, just enjoying the beauty the world gives us if we are willing to pay attention.
  5. Having a Gin and Tonic in the Cayman Islands on the deck of this restaurant called Catch. Wow, that’s specific! Yep, it’s the world’s best Gin and Tonic, and I’ve tried a lot! Combination of great atmosphere and a perfect drink. It has never let me down each time I’ve gone. The drink is simple enough, Hendricks, Fever-Tree tonic, one giant ball ice cube, a twist of lemon peel, one small thin dried chili pepper, served in a large stem balloon wine glass. I’ve tried to replicate it and I can’t. It’s the combination of drink, place, atmosphere.
  6. Helping people, when I don’t feel like I’m being taken advantage of. At my core, I love to help people. Brainpower, sharing ideas, physical labor, whatever, I’m down to help. Especially when it feels like the people you are helping truly values the help they are getting. Yes, this can sometimes get overwhelming and I spread myself thin, but in the moment of helping, it never feels that way.
  7. Laughing. I’m the first to admit I have a fairly dark sense of humor and some stuff that makes me laugh would trigger a lot of other folks. That’s why I value those friends and family I can share my sense of humor without judgment. Or at least without judgment to my face!

Bonus round – interacting with co-workers face-to-face, seeing my niece smile and hearing her laugh, hugging my Dad and he gets emotional, watching my kids succeed, hitting a pure golf shot, sitting by the fire and listening to music, watching live sports, a great steak, cooking in my kitchen without interruption, creating/writing something new that challenges my own thinking, babies, sh*t that works like it’s supposed to, unexpected great service, a perfectly cut lawn, new shoes, and hugs.

What makes you happy? Hit me in the comments.

Every First Internship Should be a Sales Internship!

So, it’s that time of year. Bring in the interns and 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 – I’ve got two sons in college!) aren’t coming close to teaching young adults what it’s like to really work a job in your company.

If 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 to first 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, 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 your 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 about 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 health care 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.

Do you care about Ethical A.I. in HR and Talent Technology?

Or should you care, could have been an alternate title to this post!

The reality is, almost everyone in HR and TA will be using technology that has some built in Artificial Intelligence and/or some IA (Intelligent automation/machine learning), either currently or in the near future.

What does this really mean? It means, machines will be making decisions we used to make and that can be amazing and problematic all at the same time. My super smart friends, Madeline Laurano and Tyler Weeks discuss this concept with me in the video below.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

This is a phrase my wife is fond of saying. I read it recently in an article from a college football coach who was talking about recruiting and social media. He said it in terms of these 18-22-year-old kids on social media, and that it was really difficult to come to grips with this concept.

These kids are daily showing you who they are, but so many times we refuse to believe them. We make excuses, like well it’s just Twitter or the Gram, or whatever, that’s not really who they are. But it is! Whether we like it or not, they are showing us exactly who they are.

It doesn’t mean that as a young dumb kid we don’t make bad decisions. We all did, and they all do. It’s when the behavior becomes a consistent pattern.

We forget about this with candidates and employees!

Especially in a candidate-driven market. We start making excuses for candidates. “No, I’m sure it’s completely normal that his Mom died and he car trouble, and then he came down with Dengue Fever!” “Okay, it’s fine she ghosted us two times, let’s give her one more shot, but not three!”

Our employees are also constantly showing you who they are, both good and bad. I’ve seen the most amazing, giving behaviors in my life come from people I work with, and the most toxic, selfish behaviors come from those I’ve worked with. Almost always, I discounted the bad and didn’t appreciate the good, enough. All the while, each was showing me exactly who they are.

I have these moments after almost every single termination I’ve ever done. I’m usually sitting with the supervisor of the person who just got terminated and we start to reminisce back on this terminated employee’s time with us, and almost 100% of the time we have multiple examples of them showing us who they were and us ignoring it.

It’s quite normal. As humans, we want to give people the benefit of the doubt. We hope that people can change for the better. Also, people believe and hope that they can change themselves for the better, but it truly rarely happens. That sounds cynical! Just know, that’s your heart playing tricks with you! Your brain is also trying to yell at you to listen! But our hearts are often much louder than our brains!

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.