The LinkedIn Content we Love to hate and Love to love!

It started out a couple of years ago as “Broetry” a writing trend where mostly men did what I like to call “Hustle Porn” on LinkedIn. Some wannabe tech dude leaning on the hood of an expensive sports car telling you to work as hard as him and you can get the fancy sports car as well.

Mostly young, attractive, social media influencer types have quickly turned hustle porn/broetry into something I’m sure we even have a name for yet! Maybe it’s “Empathy Porn” or “Positive Porn” I’m sure one of these folks will come up with a great title! This LinkedIn viral content has a definite flavor and structure to it. It’s so similar in its style that it’s actually funny once you’re able to identify it.

Whatever it is, it’s not professional content, which I think the vast majority of folks come to LinkedIn for, but you also can’t argue the successful viral nature of this type of content! It’s so popular you start to question why people actually come to LinkedIn! Are we sure it’s a professional networking site?!

This isn’t a LinkedIn bashing post. I love LinkedIn. I use it every day. I don’t like this new type of viral LinkedIn content that basically delivers zero value to anyone except the creator, whom I’m guessing is at a level of narcissism that is incomprehensible!

What does the LinkedIn Algorithm love in a piece of content?

  1. Positive. Maybe overly positive.
  2. A certain structure to how it’s written (see example below).
  3. A selfie and it helps if you’re ridiculously attractive and show some skin, but not too much skin.
  4. Some emoji bullet points towards the bottom.

These posts are getting hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of interactions in some cases! Thousands of comments.

Will all of this interaction and comments, you must think, “Tim, you’re just a hater. These people must be sharing some amazingly valuable content!” No. They mostly share personal stories, most I’m sure are made up, that has a narrative of overcoming and succeeding, lifting yourself up and succeeding. Failing and then succeeding, etc.

One of the best I’ve seen at creating this content is Cat Philip. Most likely, you’ve seen her content as the LinkedIn Algo loves Cat! Why? Well, she’s a young twenty-something who’s just trying to make it in the business world as a woman, but people keep judging her, but she’s not going to allow that to stop her! I mean, at least that’s pretty much every post, along with a selfie!

Cat Philip from LinkedIn (these are all actual LI post pics)

No judgment. Cat is killing it on LinkedIn. Her business is social media, and she’s good at it. It’s just not the content I thought I would ever see on LinkedIn. She is far from the only one, there are now millions of LinkedIn users doing this content in different ways, but the structure is almost always the same! I saw a Dad do one on his young daughter and her struggle, same exact format, same viral spin with the algorithm.

Another commonality of these viral positive porn posts is that almost always, they are done by someone in the “business.” The business of making or wanting to make viral content. Some sort of marketing person, influencer, speaker, author, bullshit life coach, someone selling essential oils, etc. It’s not about truly selling the “story” it’s about selling themselves. And it’s really effective if you want to make a viral post!

Can a normal person create a LinkedIn Viral post?

Yes! Because I made one up, and it worked!

Part 1
Part 2

So, this post was up for less than 24 hours, and I deleted it because I had so many friends in real life who know me who were making such nice, awesome comments about me as a person! And it was all fake! I didn’t want to embarrass anyone, I was just testing the algorithm!

I mean, a Homeless Puppy with One-eye! You can’t make that up! Well, yes. Yes, you can make it up, actually!

What did I learn about my little LinkedIn Viral Algorithm Test?

  1. Many people have figured out how to get the LinkedIn Algorithm to pick up their post.
  2. My own post wasn’t as popular but still strong because I didn’t make it personal enough about myself with a puppy. Also, because I’m a middle-aged, average-looking dude. Very attractive people have an easier time going viral, which is why I chose a cute puppy!
  3. It’s wrapped in “positivity” and “overcoming the struggle,” but that’s not what it’s really about.
  4. The format is fairly easy to follow, and it tends to work better from mobile, but you can create the post on word/Google docs and copy and paste it.
  5. If your audience knows you, I mean truly knows you, there will be a lot of favorable reactions since they believe what you’re putting on LinkedIn. And honestly, many of these folks believe their own bullshit. That’s very similar to the hustle porn culture.
  6. For some odd reason, the algorithm loves emoji bullet points 2/3s of the way down your post.
  7. I think LinkedIn as a platform is worse for this type of viral content.

I was speaking at an HR conference, and I was telling some people this story and how I created it. Across the board, 100% of people all immediately recognized the content I was describing, and all didn’t like it. But, many also admitted to interacting with this type of content because we all actually love a positive, uplifting story! We also love when people bare their souls, even if it is a bit weird to do in a professional setting.

I get frustrated because really great professional content gets lost in this type of algorithm environment. People I follow and respect share some great stuff, and instead, the algorithm feeds me homeless one-eyed puppies because everyone else, apparently, wants homeless puppies!

FWIW – to the audience who interacted with my test and thought I was some amazing person, I apologize! I mean, I am amazing, but I’m not a homeless one-eyed puppy amazing!

7 Things a Tech Startup Can Teach You About Your Own Success!

My buddy John Hill works for Techstars as the VP of Network. Go connect with him, he’s completely an awesome guy who will sit down and have a beer with you and talk about how to change the world for hours!  Last week he got to meet the latest crop of Techstar startups and came away motivated with some great learnings.

Here are John’s takeaways from the newest Techstar startups:

1. Nothing beats hustle. Nothing.

2. The world is full of good ideas, but only a few will execute them.

3. Relational capital is vital.

4. Networks matter. Surround yourself with those who can help you.

5. There are some wicked smart people in the world.

6. To build a great company, you need help with funding, talent, and connections to business/industry to scale and the understanding of how to navigate each.

7. Suspend disbelief!

I’m drawn to each of the seven for different reasons, but #2 jumps out because I witness this on a daily basis. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who execute and those who talk about executing. Hire those who execute. Understand that they are rare, and you should overpay for this ‘skill.’

Do you notice nowhere on his list does he talk about failure. John is a motherfucking doer! He gets shit done. Techstars will only take a chance on startups led by people who will execute. John talks about ways to succeed, not about just throwing caution to the wind and failing. The reality is most will fail. Setting yourself up for success is key.

I love that he ends his list with “Suspend disbelief.” The world is a critic. Those who make it big have that special combination of John’s list. Great idea, ability to execute, the right network to make it happen, super smart, etc. What they also have is true belief! At the end of the day, you have to believe 1000% of your idea is going to work. No part of you even questions that it won’t.

If it didn’t work, you would be destroyed because your belief was so strong that you never saw it coming when it failed. That’s how most great ideas actually make it. You find a combination of all of these things and you put money and resources behind it.

These seven learnings aren’t about how to make a startup successful. These are how you make anything successful that you’re working on.

The Mid-Year 2022 Top 5 HR Trends Report!

On Wednesday, July 20th at 2 pm EST – next week! – I’ll be leading a webinar and discussing the Top 5 HR and TA-related trends for 2022 and moving into 2023! If you can’t make it, register anyway and the content will be sent to you once we’ve completed it!

You can register for free simply by clicking the button below:

Interview Intelligence technology, Pillar.hr, and I will be hosting this webinar, and we have gathered a bunch of data around what is trending today in HR, but also what I see as the trends that will continue into 2023 and beyond. It’s perfect timing in that it’s well before budgeting season for most HR and TA functions!

What will be talking about?

  • The role of data and insights in every aspect of HR and TA.
  • What many organizations are doing to attract more talent and make more hires.
  • What world-class organizations are doing today and planning on doing in the future to meet the needs of their business, their candidates, and their employees.
  • What’s happening with DEI and Recruiting?

This will be a live event and I’ll be taking questions – so hit me with your best shot!

2022 has been an amazing year for HR and Talent Acquisition, and 2023 looks to be another year where our organizations will be relying on world-class people practices brought to you by the HR and TA pros that bring it every day. Use this webinar to stay on top of where the industry is moving in our fast-paced world!

The HR Technology Conference Pitchfest Competition is Open for Applications! @hrtechconf

I’ve said this at least a thousand times but my single favorite event of the year is the HR Technology Conference’s Pitchfest competition! 30 HR/TA Technology startups competing for the honor to be named HR Tech Startup of the Year! $30,000 dollar prize, plus a booth at the 2023 HR Technology Conference, and an invaluable amount of publicity that comes with participating and winning this event!

The Application Deadline is July 29th, so you have to get on this if you want to try and get into the competition! Huge shoutout to the Randstad Innovation Fund for their continued support of the Pitchfest. The lifeblood of great HR Tech is more and more startups are given access and opportunity to develop the next generation of technology. Last year the Pitchfest had more female founders presenting than I’ve ever seen, and they were amazing!

For Pitchfest 2022 I’ll again be one of the judges and I’m looking forward to seeing all the great tech!

One of the most difficult things for HR Tech startups to do is break through all the noise. There are roughly 10,000 different HR technology products on the market worldwide. Most buyers can name just a handful, and usually, it’s only those they are currently using, or have used in the recent past. It’s events like the Pitchfest that give these startups a chance to break through all the noise.

What Am I Looking Forward to For The 2022 Pitchfest at HR Tech?

  • Pandemic Tech! So many great workplace pandemic-related HR technology solutions are hitting the market with real applications to the modern workforce.
  • Talent Acquisition Tech! Double the amount of current openings today than in 2019 and even a recession will leave us with million of jobs to fill. AI has made major advances in recruiting tech and more keep hitting the market.
  • Intelligence and BI Tech! Data is king, but actually being able to easily understand and use the insights of your data is even a better king! HR Tech is finally understanding this in a major way.

If you haven’t signed up for the 2022 HR Technology Conference, I’ve got a special code that can save you $300 off the current early bird rate! Code – “HT22MA26” for your special Tim Sackett discount!

I’m back from London – What did I learn?

I was over in London during the 4th of July holiday. I hosted the DisruptHR London event and attended RecFest 2022. The weather was very un-London like in that it was amazing!

This was my third time in London and every time I learn a little more:

London –

  • Still the best mass transit system around. Nothing beats the Tube!
  • London is a better New York. Big city. Big city stuff to do. Smells wonderful and seems like a smaller city. Flowers everywhere. There’s so much to see.
  • Food is improving, but mainly that’s all the non-English food coming in.
  • Shopping is funny in London. So many people from different countries and middle east tourists love the gaudy logo brand clothing! The gaudier the better! They wait in line to get into the biggest brand name stores! Like, you never have to ask what they are wearing, you can read it clearly across their chest! The English, tend to not be so loud about their dress.
  • They still laugh at how much soda Americans drink, but that’s only because instead of drinking soda they drink the same amount of beer.
  • The English men dress exponentially way better than American men on average. Also, almost none of them wear shorts. I had folks comment on my “American” shorts, mostly that it was too cold for shorts. It was in the ’70s every day.
  • It’s one of the most diverse cities I’ve been to. You meet people from so many countries it’s unbelievable. And no one is complaining that England is trying to make the country their country. London is London, you came here, welcome to London. We’re going to stay being London, we hope you like it. If you don’t, you’re free to leave. That doesn’t mean they aren’t accepting and welcoming, they are. But they are also English, no matter your skin color or nationality.
  • I had drivers from six different countries – Afghanistan, Italy, South Africa, Iraq, Norway, and Croatia. Each one was excited to talk about America and all couldn’t wait to go back or go for the first time. They seemed truly excited. Also, unfortunately, most wanted to go to Las Vegas or New York. To them that’s America! This wasn’t normal driver chit-chat, these folks really wanted to talk about America and many had stories of them trying to get to America, but England was easier.

DisruptHR London –

  • Just an amazing group of HR professionals and speakers. The London HR crowd was so engaging.
  • We struggled to get 200 folks to sign up. Which is strange, but it’s really about advertising and marketing. Everyone who came raved about the event, but almost 100% said they had never heard of it. It felt like we hammered the marketing for eight straight weeks. Also, this was actually the 16th DisruptHR London, so it begs the question of who was coming to the first 16?!
  • If you’ve never done a 5-minute DisruptHR talk – as a speaker – it might be your greatest challenge! You must try one!

RecFest2022 –

  • 4,000+/- Recruiting professionals at an outdoor festival. Jamie Leonard, the founder of RecFest, hates when I call it the world’s largest Recruiting party, but it is! It’s also a festival and conference and it’s amazing.
  • It was a warm, sunny day, and I and like 50 other people had on our American shorts!
  • Word is, RecFest might be coming to America in 2022, but if you have a chance to go over to London for RecFest 2023, it’s a must-do!
  • People in the UK seem to love to queue (that’s standing in line, for Americans). When I arrived at the festival there were 1,000 people in the queue just waiting to get in! Eventually, they just opened the gates, then people went right back into the queue for coffee, food, and beer. I think the English just walk around looking to stand in a queue! That won’t work in America. Jamie and the crew will have to figure that out. If Americans stand in line for ten minutes, they’ll never come back!
  • There is nothing like this anywhere in the world! The RecFest folks truly have something special on their hands.

You are underestimating the number of stupid people you work with?

Look, I get it, I’m not the smartest person in most rooms, so this is definitely the pot calling the kettle black!

I ran into Professor Carlo Cipolla’s Basic Laws of Human Stupidity recently, here they are:

1.      Everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals among us.

2.      The probability that a certain person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

3.      A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person while deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

4.      Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals.

5.      A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

I love this! I need to give Carlo a hug for developing this!

Is Stupid a Super Power?

I’ve worked long enough in HR to know stupid people can really screw stuff up! You can have an entire team of people working their butts off to solve a problem or develop a new product and it only takes one stupid person to bring it all down.

HR was kind of built around the concept of we’ll have a few stupid people working for us, let’s have one function in place to try and limit their impact! Its kind of like HR is the Super Friends and Stupid People are the Legion of Doom.

Every single HR policy that has ever been written was because of a stupid person. One stupid person couldn’t figure out something, no one else had an issue with it, but now we have to have a policy because Timmy doesn’t get you can’t stick your arm into the machine that cuts metal bars.

Stupid people are the reason for centuries we couldn’t be treated like adults at companies. “Hey, cool, Jill, you need to go to the doctor? No worries, we know you take care of your work, we’ll see you tomorrow.” Then Timmy steps in and says he needs to go to the doctor as well, but then posts a pic of himself drinking a cocktail by the pool, and then doesn’t come back until three days later, because apparently, his doctor is in Bora Bora.

How do you know who the stupid people are at your work?

First, let’s clarify there’s a difference between flat-out people who lack intelligence stupid. Like they had no choice! Their dumb Mom and dumb Dad got it on in the back of a Chevy one night and now you have stupid babies running around. That’s a different stupid. Because those folks can actually be great employees!

The stupid we are talking about is from #3 above. They know better, or should no better, but they are stupid enough to not only hurt others but hurt themselves. Now that’s stupid!

We need to create an assessment to uncover stupid people in our organizations. Maybe it’s something like a multiple-choice exam:

Scenario: Your co-worker, who is attractive, enters the conference room you are also in. You:

A. Make a pleasant welcome, something like, “Hi, Mary, Great to see you!”

B. Yell out, “Wow, nice rack!”

C. Immediately turn to another co-worker and say, “I’d hit that”

D. Get on Teams and message your “Bro” group about Mary

We all know how to answer this simple example question unless you’re stupid. Stupid people get confused by normal stuff. Normal behavior is like Kryptonite to a stupid person.

Here’s what I know. You should never underestimate the power of stupid and the influence it has on your organization. You have to be on guard and ready at all times because stupid never rests. It’s always lurking. Just waiting to do something…stupid.

DisruptHR London (UK) is on! July 6th, Tickets Available Now!

DisruptHR London returns with a bang this summer! July 6th at 6 pm! Join us at the Royal Institution, home of the world-famous Christmas Lectures, to hear from stellar HR and Talent experts, network, and enjoy the iconic surroundings.
DisruptHR London Speakers!

DisruptHR London is an information exchange designed to energize, inform and empower executives, business leaders, and people in HR.

100s of professionals will come together at the Royal Institution on July 6th for an evening of inspiring speakers and networking.

  • Hear what HR leaders and workplace innovators are doing in 2022 to improve the workplace
  • Discover innovative approaches to how companies are disrupting current practices and adding value to the London HR community
  • Drinks and networking with London’s most forward-thinking HR and Tech professionals

The Speakers!

Enjoy 12-15 5-minute talks from well-known HR and Talent experts including:

  • Tim Sackett, HRU Technical Resources President, Senior Faculty Member at Josh Bersin Academy, Chief Storyteller at Fistful of Talent HR Blog
  • Kirstin Furber, People Director at Channel 4
  • Torin Ellis, Diversity Strategist, author, and contributor on SiriusXM.
  • Professor Graeme L. Close, Professor of Human Physiology. Head of Nutrition European Tour Golf and Nutrition Consultant to England Rugby.
  • Dave Millner, Author, Futurist and Consulting Partner at HRCurator
  • Adam Pacifico, Partner at Heidrick & Struggles, Barrister, Host of ‘the Leadership Enigma’ Podcast
  • Dr. Rochelle Haynes, Good Work Advocate, GigHR Expert, Senior Lecturer at UWE and CEO at Crowd Potential
  • Neil Usher, Chief Workplace & Change Strategist at GoSpace AI
  • Dr. Martin Littlewood, Principal Lecturer in Sport Psychology & Development and BASES Accredited Sport & Exercise Scientist at Liverpool John Moores University
  • Perry Timms, Founder & Chief Energy Officer at PTHR
  • Simon Haigh, Founder, and CEO at Simonhaigh.com and GCM Growth Group

The Location!

The Royal Institution! Home of the World Famous Christmas Lectures!

The sponsors!

SHRMLab’s Better Workplace Challenge Cup HR Tech Winner! #SHRM22

This is the second annual Better Workplace Challenge Cup competition that SHRM has put on. The BWCC is an HR Technology Startup Competition that goes through three rounds of vetting over one hundred new HR Technology startups. The final four make it on stage at the SHRM Annual Conference and they get to pitch who they are and what they do, then an expert panel of judges decides a winner.

The winner receives a bunch of stuff including a $50,000 first-place prize! But honestly, the recognition and promotion alone of being the winner at SHRM is probably worth more than the $50,000! That means really, all of the final four are winners because they all get great exposure.

The 2022 Final Four are also unique in that all four were led by female founders! This seems appropriate given that 80% of HR professionals are female, we need more females developing the technology we use every day to help make our workplaces and our workforces better!

Let’s take a look at the Final Four:

Vinco (Your 2022 Winner!) – Lissy Giacomán, Founder and CEO based in Monterrey, Mexico.  

Vinco is an ed-tech company whose primary mission is to serve as a bridge between employers who wish to upskill, individuals who want to earn credentials, and institutions who want to drive their enrollment online. Vinco works to assist HR teams in upskilling their employees through connections at over 2,000 top educational programs.

Automation Workz – Ida Byrd-Hill, founder and CEO based in Detroit, MI (so you know I was rooting for Ida!)

The Automation Workz Life Culture Audit is a mobile app assisting HR professionals and corporate leaders to motivate front-line workers to digital career and training success. The Life Culture Audit reduces turnover and absenteeism by coaching front-liners through coding games and creation of their life vision so they realize they have the skills and potential success for new digital careers. 

Included – Laura Close, co-founder and chief business development officer

Included helps companies hire and retain a diverse workforce and drive measurable progress on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) goals. The platform provides step-by-step guidance based on your own people data trends. Included makes sure you never miss an opportunity to hire the most qualified diverse talent. 

Inclusivv – Jenn Graham, founder and CEO

Inclusivv is a technology platform that brings people together for courageous conversations. Our conversation design process combines thorough research, psychology and the power of storytelling and follows a simple but powerful framework for hosting small group conversations: three big questions, one voice at a time, and equal time to share. 

Shoutout to the SHRMLabs team, led by Guillermo Corea, they have done an amazing job with this competition, but beyond that, they are truly bringing an in-depth focus to HR Technology that has never been at SHRM and it’s impressive.

Last year at SHRM Annual 2021, SHRM CEO Johnny Taylor, said he wants the entire HR profession to think of SHRM when they think about HR Technology and the SHRMLabs team is truly taking purposeful steps to make this happen.

The birth of new recruiting tech for hourly hiring.

 I’m old. I mean, I don’t feel old. But in the world of recruiting technology, I’m old.

I’ve been around long enough to see the birth of some pretty cool technological advances in talent acquisition. When I started recruiting, the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) was a green screen Rolodex (look it up kids!) akin to using an excel spreadsheet to do all of your recruiting.

Sourcing technology was basically cold calling into a company and trying to get the person at the front desk to push your call to some unsuspecting employee who was about to be recruited hard with a sales pitch that usually started with something like, “Wait, don’t hang up!”

In the past year, we’ve all witnessed the rise of an entire segment of hiring technology that wasn’t really around pre-pandemic: conversational AI. This technology now moves the world of hourly recruiting into the forefront of organizations that have long treated it as an afterthought.

What’s amazing about conversational AI is that it’s a new breed of recruiting technology that is virtually invisible to everyone using it. Candidates just believe they are applying for a job and getting immediate interaction from your company. Recruiting teams don’t have to do anything, and the technology seamlessly pulls candidates through the process to completion. Unlike a traditional ATS that forces candidates to jump through hoops and recruiters to push candidates from step to step, conversational AI does away with all of that by automating it

Thankfully, we’ve finally gotten to a point where our recruiting technology is actually working for us, not against us. Conversational AI works exactly how we always hoped recruiting technology would — like recruiters designed the perfect hourly hiring system in a lab to fit all their needs and solve all their problems.

A candidate decides they want to apply to your job. They find the job through all the ways and means we give them (text, QR codes, URL links, career sites, etc.). They do the entire process on their phone. It takes a few minutes. They immediately feel engaged with your company, and the technology works to make sure they don’t disengage before you can actually screen and hire them.

It’s so simple it’s hard to believe it took this long to come to life, but that’s what great technology is: simple. Turns out, making simple technology that works is super hard!

What did we need to make hourly recruiting simple?

  1. Creation of conversational AI that felt real to the candidate.
  2. A screening assessment that could accurately predict better hires and only take 90 seconds to complete.
  3. .. Check out the rest of this article over on Paradox’s Blog! CLICK HERE.

Are you a people-first company? #Open22

I’m in NYC this week for the annual Greenhouse Open. Greenhouse is a best-in-class ATS with over 7,000 customers, and this is their annual user conference. So, a whole bunch of recruiters and recruiting leaders nerding out on recruiting stuff! Meaning a perfect place for me!

Greenhouse has a philosophy that they are the perfect hiring engine for organizations that consider themselves “People-First”. What does that mean? That’s the big question because every company I know, or at least every executive I know, would claim to be People-First. But, what I know is very few actually are people-first.

Daniel Chait, the co-founder of Greenhouse laid out what he considers people-first. The hallmarks of people-first companies:

  • Organizations that invest in tools that allow employees to be their best selves.
  • Organizations that work to improve collaboration amongst employees, cultivate belonging, and increase fairness.
  • Organizations that really care about culture, values, DEI&B, and allyship.
  • Organizations that care deeply about recruiting talent because the only way you lead and stay competitive is through great talent.

The hard part about being people-first, because I will tell you right now, every single one of your executives will read the list above and go, “yeah, that’s us!” is just that. They, being an executive, believe you are people-first, but as move down the food chain, it begins to feel less and less like people first.

I think about my own company and go, “yeah, we are people-first!” but I know for a fact that the feeling of individuals is very different based on a lot of variables. Great performers vs. low performers. New employees vs. experienced employees. Higher paid vs. lower paid. Etc.

That is the difficulty of being a people-first company. It’s the difficulty with the concept of belonging. It is super hard to make every single person in your company feel like they belong every day. You can do all the right stuff, and one day, one employee with a certain mindset, comes in the hears the wrong thing, and all of a sudden, they don’t feel like they belong. Does that not make you a people-first organization?

I think what Daniel is saying is that you espouse to do all the hallmarks the best you can today, and you keep trying to improve. Part of having a great culture and a great hiring process is finding a diverse and inclusive set of employees who match your culture. The feeling of belonging is critical to your hiring process and selection, as much as the environment you will ask them to work in.

Why is a recruiting software company talking about people-first? Because what they have discovered over the past ten years of being in business is you can sell software to anyone, but if they don’t share your same values and beliefs, it probably doesn’t work out very well for either party! Your tech isn’t just lines of code. It was built on a philosophy and continues to be developed and improved by a certain philosophy. A true partnership with your technology comes when your philosophies align.

Check out the Greenhouse Open this week virtually if you can!