Is Time or Money More Valuable?

You might have seen this in the news that Estonia has started experimenting with a new way to punish speeding drivers. Instead of making them pay a fine for speeding, they are giving them an option to ‘take a timeout’ instead for 45 minutes to an hour, right then and there. Which brings up the question, what is more, valuable to these drivers, their time or their money?

From the article:

Drivers caught speeding along the road between Tallinn and the town of Rapla were stopped and given a choice. They could pay a fine, as normal, or take a “timeout” instead, waiting for 45 minutes or an hour, depending on how fast they were going when stopped.

The aim of the experiment is to see how drivers perceive speeding, and whether lost time may be a stronger deterrent than lost money.

Early results of this pilot program are unclear, as it seems that those who can pay the fine will, while those who would be hit harder by a financial fine will tend to take the timeout.

These types of tests are what we should be doing with our own employees within organizations. Everyone has different values of certain things, but we tend to build rewards and punishment programs all the same. Do well and you’ll get a $500 bonus! Or do well and you’ll get an extra day off!

Rarely do we build them where we give people the option – do you want more time or more money as your reward, or on the flip side, for your punishment do you want money or time taken away?

I’ve used both and not one is 100% correct. I’ve had goals set that would reward is something was met, but also if it wasn’t met then the person or team would have to come in and work extra time. I can tell you, no one liked coming in extra to meet their goals. So, making some work extra, for the same pay, seems to be a big deterrent, but also a pretty crappy work experience.

On the flip side, being able to take more time off is really liked by some, but not all. You’ll have some folks who actually really enjoy coming into work, and taking a bunch of extra time off gives them anxiety to be away from the office.

Is there a magic solution? 

The one thing I see that consistently has the biggest impact on a positive employee experience in any environment I’ve worked in is simply flexibility. Treat employees like adults and let them integrate their life with their work and make the choices they need to make to make both work as effectively as possible.

Sounds easy, it’s super hard and complicated in real life! Because it’s complicated, we tend to do the opposite and have a bunch of rules, which then just makes it miserable for everyone. I prefer to give the flexibility, but and then take care of the outlier issues that crop up. We believe there will be many issues, but it’s fewer than you think.

One easy way to control for all of this is to have really great, non-subjective, measures of success. The reality is if someone working for me is successful, then they should have the freedom to have the flexibility they desire.  What I know is time and money are both valuable depending on the situation you are currently in, and those values can change daily for some people.

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! 

Today we Celebrate Recruiters! Happy Global TA Day! #Sept4 #RecruitersRock

Global TA Day was started in 2018 by the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP Global) and so today we celebrate the 2nd annual Global TA Day!

The idea is that we (recruiters of all types – corporate, agency, RPO, vendors) all need at least one day a year where our hard work and effort is recognized. Today is our day to celebrate the greatest profession in the world!

I’m proud to call myself a Recruiter. 

Every day when I get out of bed I know there is a possibility that I’ll be changing someone’s life for the better. Today could be the day I help someone find their dream job. That I help someone make that next step in their career they need to reach their goals. That I help someone get a job that helps them buy their first house, or first new car, or help pay for their grandchild to go to college.

Sure, I left the recruiting desk a number of years ago, but once you recruit, you really never stop recruiting. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not somehow working to help others find that next step in their career. At the end of the day, the best professionals in the world of Recruiting do just that, we help people get connected with the jobs they want.

Today we celebrate all those recruiters who helped you find that job that you love or that job that got you a bit closer to the job you are trying to get. Today you need to go out and thank those recruiters in your life for all they do!

Happy Global TA Day!

Want to continue to celebrate and drive the talent acquisition industry forward? Come join me at ATAP! An ATAP membership is a great step to take to move our profession forward and continue to support all of us as professionals!

The Plains are Covered with the Bodies of Pioneers!

I will speak at over 25 conferences in 2019. Mostly HR and TA, some leadership conferences. Every single talk I give will have some piece around innovation, at some point during the talk. The need to drive our organizations forward.

Here’s the problem with that concept. The ones that do things first are usually considered pioneers.

Do you know what happened to the pioneers? The ones that went first? I’ll save you time looking it up and going through the history. They died!

You see, those who go first are always at a disadvantage in many respects. You don’t know what you don’t know. In the corporate world, in HR and TA specifically, what this means is you’ll probably fuck it up and be fired. And, yet executives wonder why ‘we’ aren’t more innovative!

It’s a super easy answer! I don’t like to be shot.

Most organizations do not have an appetite for innovation. 100% will tell you they do, but the old white guy sitting in the CEO chair will fire the first person who screws up. That’s not a culture of innovation and change, that’s a culture of “I’ve got a board meeting in two months, get sales up or heads are going to roll!”

So, it is unsurprising to me when an HR or TA leader tell me they would love to be innovative, but then they don’t really do anything differently year after year. Yeah, we know our current system sucks, but that new system is expensive and if the metrics don’t change, I’ll have a target on my back.

The plains are covered with the bodies of pioneers.

We see this happen in organizations constantly. Stuff isn’t going well. Big change must happen. Big change happens. A lot of people get fired. New people come in (walking on the bodies of the pioneers) and get to revel in the glory of a new world ‘they’ created.

You can either be a Pioneer or some Schmuck that thinks they created something amazing but didn’t have the guts to ever really do it themselves. Or just keep doing like you’ve been doing it and life goes on. That’s what most of us actually decide.

I want you to be a pioneer. I want you to drive innovation and help make your organization, your life, and your career better. That comes with some risk. So, I don’t judge anyone when they don’t become a pioneer. When they are unwilling to accept that risk.

The pioneer life isn’t easy. Those who choose to live it do so because they are drawn to a new world, a better world, but mostly they end up dead.

Your Weekly Dose of HR Tech: @Eightfoldai – AI Powered Talent Intelligence Platform

Today on the Weekly Dose I take a look at Eightfold. is a recruiting technology that kind of is hard to define, like many of the new AI-driven technologies within the TA space right now. Eightfold does automated matching of candidates to your jobs with rankings, it can build personalized career sites, help eliminate hiring and screening biases, and even be used for internal mobility.

See what I what I mean? What do you call that? They call it a talent intelligent platform. It can integrate with your ATS and/or CRM and help you automate much of the front-side of your recruiting screening and matching process.

What I find in most organizations is we have recruiters, and they might be really good at the job of recruiting, but they don’t have the specialized knowledge to truly know what candidate will be better at a certain job than another because they lack the technical skill knowledge. Eightfold uses AI and deep learning to match candidates much more accurately and quickly than a human recruiter can do.

The process of Eightfold is fairly lightweight. They can pull in your jobs from your ATS or you can create a job in Eightfold and it will go to work ranking candidates who are the best fit and most likely to respond to the job you have open. This gives an instant target list for your recruiters to go after.

What do I like about Eightfold? 

– Eightfold can help organizations better leverage the resources and data they have invested in talent attraction that has previously not been available to most organizations. Technology like Eightfold will move organizations faster, but also with a higher quality of hire.

– Eightfold personalizes the career site experience for candidates who are coming to your site. Candidate has the ability to upload their resume/application and immediately get a personalized experience that is different from the next candidate who comes to your site.

– Eightfold will help organizations do a better job at hiring for diversity by masking certain information on profiles, but also delivery funnel diversity statistics so TA leaders can have a real-time view of diversity pipelines within the organizations and see where diverse candidates are falling through.

– Because Eightfold’s match technology is so robust, organizations are using it for internal mobility as well, but uploading all of their internal talent and giving a view to leaders of the organization of where you might already have someone internally who is the best fit for a position, and should go down that path first, before looking externally. Too often we see great talent turnover because a position was filled from the outside, and they were never even considered for it, and didn’t even realize it was a possibility.

This type of technology can be used across all kinds of industries, not just tech. From a cost standpoint, and a data standpoint, it works much better at larger volumes, so you’re probably looking for at least 500+ employee organizations to be most effective. It’s certainly dynamic and eye-opening when you demo and I encourage to take a look! While there is an investment to get technology like Eightfold, the ROI is huge in comparison to hiring another recruiter or sourcing pro.

The Weekly Dose – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the tech space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on The Weekly Dose – just send me a note –

Want help with your HR & TA Tech company – send me a message about my HR Tech Advisory Board experience.

Your Job Posting Requiring a Bachelor’s Degree is Discriminatory!

From the world of sports this week in 2019 –

The NCAA (collegiate sports governing body) came out with rules for agents working with college athletes who are underclassman but trying to make a decision to test the NBA waters before graduation. Take a look at what they had to say:

“With this in mind, we benchmarked our new rules against requirements for other organizations that certify agents, like the NBPA, which also requires agents to have a bachelor’s degree. While different and distinct, our rules taken together, which is the manner they were meant to be examined, provide a clear opportunity for our student-athletes to receive excellent advice from knowledgeable professionals on either the college or professional path they choose.”

So, this is being called the “Rich Paul Rule” around the NBA circles. Rich Paul is Lebron James agent, the most famous basketball player on the planet. Rich Paul is a childhood friend of Lebron James, both of them skipped ‘college’ and went directly to the pros! James went and played basketball in the NBA, Paul went and trained as an agent and now has his own sports agency, Klutch, which Lebron happens to be a minority owner.

So, why is this discriminatory?

Rich Paul, like Lebron, grew up black and with little resources. He probably could have gone to college, given the right support system, but when you grow up black and poor, usually access to those support systems are non-existent. Lebron and Rich have had some great success getting young NCAA basketball players to want to sign with them. So, the NCAA makes a rule whereas Paul will not be able to ‘tamper’ with these young men.

Rich Paul, by all accounts, is a successful sports agent for his clients. He’s a very wealthy man, running a very successful business. He’s smart enough to have an army of lawyers, CPAs, etc. surrounding him to ensure his clients have the exact representation they need to be successful in negotiating great contracts.

Rich Paul does not need a bachelors degree. The role of a sports agent does not need a bachelors degree. The NCAA is forcing agents to have a bachelor’s degree if they want to have access to these athletes.

So, let’s get back to HR. We, organizations and HR pros, are pretty much like the NCAA. We often require education for positions where there is no correlation between educational obtainment and success on the job. We do this, like the NCAA, because we are either:

  1. Discriminatory
  2. Lazy
  3. Lazy and Discriminatory

Well, we’ve always hired Account Managers with bachelor’s degrees, so that is why we keep requiring a bachelor’s degree. I would say probably 80% of the positions we hire for in organizations do not need a formal education to do that job, but there will be a formal education requirement on the job description.

Let’s not be stupid and you make comments below about how we definitely want doctors to have degrees. Of course, there are formal educational programs that are critical to success. But there are more jobs that require education where it’s not critical for success. Using education as a screener because you have too many candidates is flat out lazy and you’re probably missing great talent.

Since we know who has and doesn’t have access to higher education, requiring higher education for jobs that don’t really need it, you’re basically saying “we just really don’t want to hire minorities”. The NCAA doesn’t want Rich Paul around “it’s kids”, so they change the rules. The reality is, these are more Rich Paul’s kids than the NCAA’s. At least Rich is upfront with his clients about how he’s making money on them!


Your Weekly Dose of HR Tech: @SparcStart launches Amplify Video Management System

Today on the Weekly Dose I take a look at SparcStart‘s newest product, Amplify. Amplify is a video management system/platform where you can store all of your employment branding and recruiting-related content no matter where it was produced. So, you can bring videos in from professional third parties, YouTube, employee-generated videos from their phones, videos generated on other video-enabled apps, etc., and have all of that content in one place.

Why is this a big deal? Video has increasingly become the go-to content for talent acquisition, and the growth of video being used is off the charts when it comes to employment branding and recruiting. The problem is we don’t have one place to catalog all of this content. We don’t have one place to share this content and measure the views. We don’t have one place to approve and ensure the right video content is being used by our teams.

Well, until Amplify.

What do I like about SparcStart’s Amplify VMS (Video Management System)

– Super simple and easy to use dashboard to upload all of your EB & recruiting videos so you have them all in one system. Plus, from the dashboard, you can share them on social, get a URL to share with candidates that will bring them to your company branded micro-site to view (less noise then sending them to YouTube).

– Create videos as well, without the need for your employees to download an app. Basically, through the dashboard, invite them, tell them what it’s about, they get an email to click through on their phone, record, and upload all in two clicks total! You then have the ability to view and approve to be added to the content library on the dashboard. (click the pic below to see me use Amplify in action)

– Having a video management system allows you to have one spot for quality control across your entire environment. The one problem with quick-video is that we lose control of our brand when all of this is being generated and no one seems to be in charge. Amplify is a great tool to have for any organization that potentially has many locations, divisions, regions, and countries using corporate branded video.

– Early users are already figuring out how to use this system in ways it wasn’t even designed for! Some early adopters are increasing their offer acceptance rate by having hiring managers send a quick offer video link, along with the offer letter, to make the offer super personalized for each candidate. Organizations can send out personal interview videos within seconds.

SparcStart was started as a video job description tool, which is how most of us will know them. The addition of Amplify, which is a stand-alone product, really is something that is needed in the industry and most people are just figuring out they need as video content has exploded. The pricing model is very affordable (like $1K/month for 50 vids!), especially when you figure out all the ways you can use it. The video below literally took me under thirty seconds to click on the email link, record, and upload, with the ability to use! The simplicity of Amplify is why I really think it will take off! Well worth a demo!

The Weekly Dose – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the tech space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on The Weekly Dose – just send me a note –

Want help with your HR & TA Tech company – send me a message about my HR Tech Advisory Board experience.

Top ATSs used by the Fortune 500!

One of my favorite reports of the year, from one of the guys I really respect in the industry, Rob Kelly at Ongig, the Top ATS Systems Used by the Fortune 500 was released last week. Now, Rob has been releasing ATS use data for a few years across all segments, SMB, Large, Enterprise. This time around he stuck with just the Fortune 500, because, quick frankly, it’s fairly easy to know, exactly, what every one of the Fortune 500 is using.

Here’s what he found in 476 (Yes, they couldn’t determine 24):

Big takeaways:

– The growth of Workday, in the talent acquisition space, isn’t shocking, but it is concerning. It speaks to HR’s, and more specifically Talent Acquisitions, lack of voice in picking their own technology. It’s very rare, even amongst the Fortune 500 clients using Workday Recruit to find a TA leader who would tell you they actually had a say in choosing the technology they are being forced to use. Not a criticism of Workday, just a fact of the reality of what is happening.

– Workday Recruit and getting it to not just work, but thrive, should be something TA tech vendors are trying to figure out, and it would help if Workday would welcome in the industry on this work. Too many TA leaders and their organizations need this help, desperately. I’m not a Workday hater. I hear from my Finance friends, my Payroll friends, and my HR friends that Workday is great, solid tech. I truly want them, and anyone in our space supporting TA, to get Great!

– Taleo market share is shrinking and Oracle has been slow to market with a Taleo replacement. I expect we’ll see start to see a push from them in 2020, but it might be too late. BUT, like Workday, Oracle, SAP, etc. will have the advantage of shoving down their recruiting tech in suite form onto unsuspecting TA leaders, who aren’t in the know about what’s going on with technology in their organizations.

– There are better ATSs on the market than Workday, Taleo, and Successfactors by giant margins. Yet, they take up most of the enterprise market share. My Enterprise HR and TA friends will tell me that the enterprise ‘suite’ is a necessary evil they can’t get away from. I will continue to argue there is no real reason to have your employee data (HRIS) and your candidate data (ATS) in the same database. Any basic Business Intelligence tool can pull the data you need from either one of these systems to give you anything you might need in combining those two data sets. Which, in reality, is rare.

– The evolution of the Talent Acquisition/Recruiting Platforms/Marketplaces being built out by many high performing ATSs (Greenhouse, SmartRecruiters, Jobvite, iCIMS, etc.) will be a competitive advantage for organizations that use it, over the enterprise HRIS recruiting modules, and it won’t even be close. But, the reality is, F500 organizations have brands that probably make this somewhat negligible in the short-term.

– Wait, people are still using Brassring?


Do you have an expiration date on your offer letters? #ghOPEN

I was out at Greenhouse OPEN this week and got into a conversation with a group of TA leaders about whether or not you should have expiration dates on offers. Which brings up a couple of things we need to discuss:

  1. Do you have candidates first verbally approve an offer before you send them the ‘official’ offer in writing?
  2. If you have expiration dates on an offer, how long do you give someone?

It was about 50/50 with the TA leaders on obtaining verbal approval first on offers. Basically, there seem to be two types of philosophies around this. Either you train your recruiters to pre-close and get them to verbally accept hoping that there will be limited negotiation once the final offer goes out. Or you just send, either believing you are offering what they want or hoping you are, and there won’t be much negotiation that takes place.

I’m fully in support of the pre-close and getting a verbal acceptance before sending out a final offer. I think it’s a massive misuse of resources to send out an offer, formally, then begin negotiations and continue to send out more offers. But, I also get that in many industries, still today, sending out a formal offer is needed because candidates have multiples coming in all at the same time.

In terms of expiration dates on offer letters, I think giving a candidate five working days is more than enough, especially if you’ve pre-closed. The leaders I was speaking to were between 48 hours and two-weeks.

I did bring up the concept of what if you explicitly made the offer letter have a much longer expiration like six months or one year? Could you potentially pick up some great talent that chooses to take another offer, for whatever reason, but got into that job or company and felt like they made a mistake and wanted a second chance with you?

We tend to never go back to candidates who turn us down, but in reality, they are all talent worth continuing to pursue. A certain number of candidates who turn you down will regret it soon after, and if you make them feel like they are welcome to come back and accept a later time, it might have a very happy ending.

Of course, extended expirations would only work in organizations and positions where you are continually going out and recruiting for those spots on an ongoing basis. Also, you could always rescind an offer at any point if you feel you no longer needed that talent in the organization.

It’s an interesting conversation to have with your hiring managers. Even if you’re not the “prettiest girl on the block” in terms of the offer, you still want to put some pressure on the candidate to make up their mind. Having an expiration time on the offer letter does put some pressure on them to make up their mind and move forward.

What do you think? Do you put expiration dates on offer letters? If so, how long?

Celebrating #PrideMonth at Work!

I want to celebrate Pride month. I run a small SMB recruiting shop. I’m not even sure I have an LGBTIQA+ person working for me. I mean, I wouldn’t ask, I would hope they were comfortable enough to share if they wanted, but I can’t tell you 100% either way. They would have my support, is what I’m saying.

You see, it’s clumsy for me, and I like to consider myself an ally of the LGBTIQA+ community. Imagine what it’s like for other SMB leaders who don’t have the experience and support easily available.

If I worked for a large/enterprise company I think it’s easy to celebrate Pride month. You know if you have hundreds and thousands of employees, you definitely have some LGBTIQA+ working for you and applying to your jobs, and you want to show them support.

If you’re an SMB it’s a bit harder to determine how to celebrate.

I’ve already seen at least a dozen blog posts from large employers saying how you should or how they will be celebrating Pride month. It’s awesome stuff like:

  1. Attend a Pride event.
  2. Volunteer or Donate to Pride causes.
  3. Be an advocate.
  4. Educate yourself (I love this one!).
  5. Consider your company’s LGBTIQA+ inclusivity.
  6. Become an Ally.

Most companies in the U.S. are SMB. I was in New York City this past week and I’m going back next week and Pride month is alive and well in NYC! As it is in most large cities around the country.

If you come to small to midsized cities in most parts of the U.S. you would have no idea it’s Pride month. It’s just June.

So, what can SMB organizations do to celebrate Pride month? (please share your ideas in the comments!)

  • You could raise the flag. Does your company have a flag pole? In June, fly the rainbow flag with pride.
  • Hold an inclusivity event. Pride month is as much about celebrating as it’s about educating. We still have so much education to do.
  • Establish Inclusivity Policies. The majority of SMB employers do not have inclusivity policies.
  • Encourage your employees to show support. Have a day where you all wear signs of support – pins, LGBT themed clothing, etc.
  • Collect donations for a local LGBTIQA+ charity.

All of this does something in your community. It shows them what and who you value. You are taking a stance that you are inclusive for everyone in your community and welcoming.

I’m no expert. I’m just a dude running a small company who wants to support Pride month. I won’t get it 100% right, not even close, but I’m going to start and try.