Today on the Weekly Dose I review the recruiting technology and machine learning-based sourcing tool, Recruitbot. There are a handful of really good sourcing technology tools on the market and each of them is working to carve out how they are unique and stand out from the rest. Recruitbot definitely has some key characteristics that help them achieve this.
RecruitBot uses machine learning to understand your hiring preferences, so you can intelligently source from our exclusive database of 350+ million global candidates, as well as every resume in your ATS. But, wait, Tim, I’ve seen others say they have 700+ Million candidates!? Isn’t that better? That’s one of the first things you notice about Recruitbot is the candidates you source from their database are constantly being verified for active email addresses. So, yes, the number is smaller, but all have been validated!
What do I like about Recruitbot?
The great thing about sourcing tech is that you can literally find millions of candidates! The bad thing about sourcing tech is you can literally find millions of candidates! Sourcing tech is not a resume database, the vast majority of these profiles have no idea who you are, so this really takes you back to true outbound recruiting.
Recruitbot has a very efficent and easy to use interface that allows day-to-day recruiters to build simple and effective nuturing campaigns in minutes to reach out to these candidates and work to get them to respond.
Recruitbot has a unique feature that allows a recruiter to pull a search and then easily send those profiles to a hiring manager who can then “Thumbs Up” or “Thumbs Down” each one, so the machine learning can quickly begin to learn what it is your hiring manager likes and doesn’t like, and it will continue to learn over time making it even more effective.
I mentioned above, but it can’t be understated, it’s not all about the number of profiles, but the number of profiles you can actually connect with! This is a Recruitbot strength.
My team got to test out Recruitbot for the past six weeks so we got a great inside look at what works great and what the challenges are using sourcing tech.
With any outbound recruiting/sourcing tool, you can not treat it the same as inbound. It’s awesome to be able to pull a great list of potential candidates, but you then just can’t spam them and think you’ll get any kind of decent response. You might, and it’s worth a try, but don’t hold your breath. It’s very “profession” and “market” specific. I can send out a mass campaign for “Sales Pros” and I”ll get a decent response. If I do the same thing for “Software Engineers” I might get zero response.
The key is personalization, on a mass scale, which is an art form when sourcing at a large scale. Being able to word your outreach in a way that feels and sounds personal, but that can also be sent to 25 potential candidates. You learn very quickly with Recruitbot, you need this still to take full advantage of the tech.
One of the great things my team loved about the tool was the ability to source a list of candidates, build the campaign and then just let it run and forget about it, while they sourced and recruited on other things, and then through the next days candidates would pop up from the campaign that had an interest. This did change their workflow a bit, but it was welcomed. We get so set in source, contact, source, contact, repeat. Instead of sourcing a bunch, then letting the tech do its thing!
Recruitbotis well worth a demo if you’re in the need of some sourcing technology, and your TA team has made the decision that some outbound recruiting is needed at your organization.
I’m a huge believer in results. When I test, my results orientation is off the charts! So, naturally, I’ve always believed you should reward outcomes/results. The world is filled with folks who put in the effort, but in the end, can’t close the deal, was how I’ve thought about it.
Over the past few years, I’ve softened a bit on this. I still love and want results, but I started to believe that obtaining success isn’t about failure, but small successful efforts that lead to success. I was reminded about this recently when I overheard a story.
The story was being told by a parent who was watching his son’s youth soccer match. A boy on his son’s team scored a goal and all of the kids and parents were cheering, but this father noticed that the boy’s dad who scored was not cheering. “Oh, boy,” he thought, “another crazy sport’s parent, never satisfied with what their kids do…”
After the match, this guy really wanted to talk to the Dad, to tell him what he was doing was wrong, and eventually was going to push this kid to hate sports. So, he waited around looking for the perfect time, when the boy walked up to his dad and the dad asked him, “how did you score that goal?” The boy thought a minute and walked through the play, how he got the ball from the opponent, how he ran really fast to get in front of the opponent, and then went as fast as he could dribbling the ball down to the other end, and kicked the ball past the goalie.
The boy’s dad said, “so, you gave great effort, to get that goal?” Yes, said the boy. The dad congratulated the boy’s efforts. “That was a tremendous effort you gave that led to that goal”, said the dad.
The other father stood there listening, now more than ever wanting to talk to the dad to apologize for thinking he was such a jerk. So, he went up and told him what he was about to do, but glad he stopped himself to overhear his conversation with his son. “Well, he will never be able to guarantee the outcome in sports, but he can always guarantee his efforts”, said the boy’s dad.
In the business world, it’s really about both effort and outcome.
My business is recruiting. We reward “outcome” all the time. Did you actually find and hire the person for this job? Pretty black and white!
But, the reality of recruiting is so often the recruiter has very little to do with the outcome. Yes, they have to find a candidate, but ultimately you have a hiring manager who has some say, you have a candidate who has some say, you have others who have input to the final say. So, only rewarding for an outcome they don’t necessarily control, seems like we are missing a piece.
I often see great effort put in by the recruiters I work with to find and uncover talent, to talk that talent into interviewing and getting them interested in the job, the hiring manager, and the organization. The entire process can be measured and viewed in bursts of effort.
It’s one of the biggest failures most recruiting departments, agencies, RPO’s, etc. do in recruiting. We only reward outcomes and not efforts.
I advise people all the time if you want more employee referrals, stop rewarding the final outcome, and start rewarding all the small efforts that lead to an employee referral getting hired. Reward an employee for just giving you a name and contact information, reward the employee when that referral comes in to interview, reward that employee when that candidate they referred show up on the first day of work, etc. Most of us only reward our employees when the referral has stayed on working for us for 90 days or six months.
The problem is, the employee has so very little to do with that referral getting hired, the outcome. They have plenty they can do to help lead a referral down the path to the outcome, the efforts!
There’s a time and place for outcome rewards. Ultimately in business, we need outcomes to be successful. That is just a fact of life. But, if you believe in your process, your training, your tools, etc. Rewarding efforts can lead to awesome, sustainable results, that can be very rewarding to those grinding it out every day.
I went to hireEZ‘s (formerly called Hiretual) Outbound RecruitCon this week and the big topic of conversation was recruiting isn’t working! Surprise! It’s broke!
Well, recruiting probably isn’t broke, it’s just what we normally do isn’t working as well any longer. The reality is, about 90% of corporate recruiting is some form of posting jobs and waiting for candidates to apply. That clearly isn’t working right now! And, it probably won’t work for a long time to come.
Outbound recruiting traditionally has been something only agency recruiters really did a lot of. It’s why recruiting agencies are a multi-billion dollar industry. Even RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) companies don’t do outbound recruiting, they also, primarily just replace the normal inbound recruiting done by corporate talent acquisition departments.
Why don’t we do more Outbound Recruiting in Corporate TA?
First, it’s exponentially more difficult to do outbound recruiting than inbound recruiting.
Why? It’s fairly obvious, one is just contacting people who have already told you they want to work for you (inbound) and the other is convincing someone to come work for you that might have never even heard of you and your organization!
Second, we don’t really train our recruiters to do outbound recruiting.
And since TA leaders grew up only doing inbound recruiting, their training consists of, “Look, it’s not hard, just pick up the phone and call people!” Which is actually really shitty training! It’s incredibly hard, and it takes skill.
Third, we don’t give our recruiters the technology and tools to do outbound recruiting properly.
Almost all corporate talent acquisition budgets are focused on inbound recruiting. It takes a lot of money to fill the inbound recruiting funnel, and since that’s what most of us do, that’s where the money goes. And, no, LinkedIn isn’t an outbound recruiting technology!
What percentage of our recruiting should be Outbound vs. Inbound?
This is a very organizational, job, and industry-specific question. If you do a ton of hourly hiring, your organization will do more inbound recruiting than outbound. If you hire highly skilled workers, healthcare, technology, etc., you definitely should at a minimum be doing a 50/50 split of inbound and outbound recruiting, and some will be in the 70-80% outbound the more specialized you get.
We all know there are some roles that you can post and advertise and they are so specialized you will never get a candidate remotely close to being qualified. And yet, the money is spent because, “well, you never know…” Actually, yes, yes we do know, and I’m not burning any more cash just for the fun of it! All of those resources should be spent on outbound recruiting.
The key to increasing your outbound recruiting is two-fold:
You’ve got to measure the two, inbound and outbound, separately.
You’ve got to have recruiters who aren’t asked to do both, because they won’t. I’ll add here, these two types of recruiters have to be paid differently and you can’t expect the same outcomes from both types.
What we know today is having a talent acquisition strategy that is mostly inbound recruiting will and is failing for most organizations. It’s hard, but in current times, its what is needed.
I had a question the other day from an executive outside of HR and Talent. A C-suite type who was frustrated by the lack of hires his “HR” team was making. My first question was, does HR hire for you, or do you have a recruiting or talent acquisition team? He didn’t know. Problem number one.
This guy wanted my opinion, well, he really wanted my agreement if I’m honest, to something he was forcing his HR team to do with job offers. You see, they had many job offers turned down to accept another job offer. Basically, almost all candidates we have are interviewing at multiple places, and these are technically skilled candidates, in IT, engineering, etc.
His plan was to start offering expiring job offers so that the candidate would be forced to accept their offer at risk of losing it!
Brilliant, right!? He asked me…
Here’s my exact reply:
“So, in an employment market where the unemployment rate is around 1% for technical candidates, you feel the best strategy is to force someone to make a decision to come to work for you? Also, who says that they won’t just accept your offer, continue in the process while waiting on other offers to come, and eventually just leave you high and dry? Also, do you really want to start off an employment relationship with someone who felt forced to take your offer?”
“Well, the hell should we do?”
The Problem with Exploding Job Offers
Expiring job offers only work on candidates who are lower end of the value chain, or have no other vaiable offers to choose from. The best talent, won’t even consider you if you pull that strategy.
If you aren’t a “unicorn” brand (Google, Apple, etc.) you have no shot at getting good talent to accept your exploding job offer.
While it might in theory “end” your hiring process faster, you have a higher chance of a late no-show/decline that puts your team even farther behind in hiring. Especially, if they went back to your other viable candidates and told them they were silver medalist.
What’s a better way? Because it’s not unheard of in today’s world where we put some timing around job offers. The reality is, we can’t wait forever. So, the real question is, how long should we give someone to consider our offer before we have to pull it back?
I like to use this as a great way to find out what I’m up against. Let the candidate tell you a time, and then negotiate it down if you don’t feel like it’s appropriate. First, when I make an offer, I expect a full acceptance the moment I make it! What?! But, you just said…! Yeah, I don’t like exploding job offers, but I also work as a recruiter who has already pre-closed the candidate and knocked out all the objections, so when I make the offer, the candidate and I have already agreed, if I get X, Y, and Z, you’re answer is “Yes”, correct?
That doesn’t mean it works every time!
In the case where the candidate, legitimately needs some time, I give them some time, but also I need reasons to go back to the hiring manager with. Why do you need the time? Are there other offers you are waiting on? What would make you take those other offers over ours? Again, keep closing, with demanding an answer. Changing jobs is one of the top three most stressful things a person does. These decisions don’t come lightly, and we need to respect that.
Offering Exploding Job offers is old advice that has turned into bad advice, similar to not accepting a counter-offer from your employer. Job negotiation has changed a lot over the last few decades, some of the traditional things we did in the past just don’t work anymore.
Have you noticed it’s become super fashionable to dump on corporate jobs? The ‘super cool’ thing today is to be an entrepreneur or work for a start-up, get a solo gig, etc. The last thing that is cool is to work in a large, stable, profitable corporation. I mean, the humanity of it all!
Inc. online recently had an article from a GenXer, corporate leader-type, Scott Mautz, who decided to step away from the corporate world and become a “Life Coach” and “Professional Speaker”, so basically unemployed. But he does have advice on why we also should step away from corporate America and go out on our own:
– Two things will be the death of us: Death and Meetings. (Okay, I hate meetings, this is mostly true)
– I miss the people, but none of the processes. (Yeah, that’s because “processes” are the actual work!)
– It’s less about being impressive, and more about making an imprint. (An imprint to whom? Your cat?)
– All the little stuff is really little stuff. (Gawd, I love Life Coaches!)
– Flexibility is intoxicating. (Yep, and so is a regular paycheck you can count on!)
– My presence is more of a present. (I just threw up in my mouth a little.)
– There’s no greater pick me up than feeling challenged and growing again. (You couldn’t do that in your job at Proctor & Gamble? Sounds like a “you problem”.)
– Your health belongs on a pedestal. Period. (Life Coach advice 101, use “Period” at the end of a sentence to show it’s really, really important!)
I don’t know Scott, I’m just having fun. I’m sure he’s super nice and is loving his life. Good for him!
I don’t like that he believes the best advice to reach all of his points is to walk away from working at a corporation. I think there are two types of people: ‘corporate’ employee types, and there are people who are unemployable in the real world. By the way, I fit much closer to the latter, and Scott sounds like he probably struggled in corporate America as well.
I’ve got very close friends who love working for giant corporations and brands. Doing so comes with some cachet for sure! Plus, the pay and benefits are usually really great. You also have to be high on the political savvy side of things, and you probably hold your tongue more often than you wish to. But, the perks are pretty freaking good!
Almost everything Scott said above is controllable no matter what size organization you work for. Do you want more flexibility? Be a great performer. Turns out, great performance gets flexibility. Want to be more healthy? Okay, then focus on your health and find balance. I find most giant companies do a much better job focusing on the health of their employees than small companies. Good health costs a lot!
Want to be challenged and grow? Take some freaking initiative and do some stretch assignments. I’ve never been told not to challenge myself in an enterprise corporate environment. In fact, it was the one thing that propelled my career in a large company.
The problem isn’t corporate America. Corporate America is great for millions of people. The problem is probably you just don’t fit in that environment, because the reality is corporate gigs can be pretty awesome!
On episode 89 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett,Jessica Lee, and Kris Dunn come together to discuss gifted book recommendations, letting employees hire for new roles, and helping your children negotiate job offers.
5:00 – Tim is on yet another vacation with his wife and family to Hawaii! He bought a few books for this trip and he asked the crew if they were going to give a book to someone for the holidays, what book would they give?
6:30 – KD’s recommendations include Conspiracy by Ryan Holiday and American Kingpin by Nick Bilton.
8:00 – JLee recommends Plant Therapy for the Plant Lovers and Act Like a Leader, Think like a leader by Herminia Ibarra for the business folk. Tim recommends Living, Loving, and Learning by Leo Buscaglia.
13:00 – Lots of great book recs this episode! KD recommends fiction writer Douglas Copeland
14:20 – Tim recently wrote a blog post asking “what if we let our normal employees make a hire?”. This would involve almost none of the normal application process; no interview, no resumes, no filler.
17:00 – KD says that to an extent, companies already do this with the adage “everyone’s a recruiter”.
19:45 – Tim thinks that small orgs can test this hiring practice and do it on a much smaller scale rather than a huge scale at a major corporation.
23:45 – JLee tells a story about her first interview at Marriott. JLee wasn’t a typical hire since she didn’t come from a huge brand and a prestigious university.
26:00 – Tim says you have to be careful on who you hand this hiring responsibility to but notes that some companies that are struggling to find employees have nothing to lose.
27:00 – Tim’s son and podcast producer, Cam, just recently accepted a new job offer. He asked Tim if he should negotiate his job offer and Tim said of course. Tim was super nervous that as soon as he negotiated, that his offer would get pulled.
31:30 – KD asks JLee about how many managers would step away from an offer if someone tried to negotiate with them. JLee thinks less than 10%.
Let’s start with I’m not a travel blogger, but I like to travel and I like to think I can vacation with the best of them! I spent the last two weeks in Maui, part family trip with the boys, part anniversary trip (with no boys) with my wife and eye. I’ve traveled all over the world, but for some reason never went to Hawaii.
First, I spent all two weeks in Maui, don’t @ me! I get Kauai is “way” better and Oahu is your favorite and Oh, I can’t believe I didn’t do the big island. Shut it! After flying 10 hours, I wasn’t looking for more stupid flights during Covid! It’s a nightmare flying right now between Covid, low staffing levels, etc. I wanted two weeks of fun and relaxation and fish tacos.
Shoutout to the twenty+ folks who gave me ideas of what to do. Too many to mention, but I think 95% of the stuff folks shared with me was awesome!
Okay, let’s breakdown Maui according to Sackett
1. We stayed the first week in Kannapali (west Maui) big resorts – Marriott, Hyatt, Westin, etc. Easy for families, big pools, average hotel food, good golfing. If you like big giant hotels and a lot of people west Maui is for you. Everything is right there, it’s simple. It was good. Great weather, lighter winds. Easy to get out and spend time on the beach.
2. We stayed the second week in Wailea (South-west Maui). Wailea is higher end. Fancy resorts, way better restaurants, higher daily trade winds, great beaches, better snorkeling, felt way less busy than Kannapali. Tremendous sunsets. Whale watching right off our balcony.
Things I did on a 5 Star scale – 1 Star = Never do this; 5 Stars = Must do.
– Snorkel Trips with Trilogy. We loved this so much we did it twice! Once out of Kannapali and once out of Kihei. These guys were amazing and you have a lot of options for these types of trips. Trilogy costs more than most, but it was worth it. Great newer boats, very clean, great staff, great food (not joking! one of the better lunches we had on the island!), great drinks. I actually would have done more of these they were so enjoyable! I also did Snuba on one of these trips and it was amazing! (5 Stars)
– Ultimate Whale Watch was cool. We were a bit early for great whale watching but we still saw five whales in two hours. They have small boats, so everyone is basically in the front row. The crew would call around and find whales and were knowledgeable. The small boats make it easier to zip around and find more whales. (4 Stars, but only because we were early in the season, better in late January, early February, but we did see whales both weeks – 2 breaches which are unheard of)
– Kapalua Golf, Plantation Course – Super expensive, but it’s always rated the number one course in Hawaii and one of the top courses in the world, and it was amazing! The views are outrageous, it’s difficult but playable. If you’re a serious golfer this is a must-do when you go to Maui. I only golfed twice in Maui and both courses had great rental clubs. (5 Stars)
– Helicopter ride around Maui – we went with Pacific Helicopter Tour and it was awesome. Now, we were hoping to do the entire island, including the north shore, Road to Hana, but the weather kept us on the west and northwest side, and it was still one of the most amazing things I’ve done and seen. You see parts of Maui no one can see and it will remind you of Jurassic Park! thousand-foot waterfalls, rain forest, coastline crashing waves, etc. Plus, flying on a helicopter with the doors off is just fun! (5 Stars)
– Surf Lessons – We used Maui Wave Riders and it was good. Look, I get it, most people aren’t going to take surf lessons, but I’ve got three boys (err. men) and we like to try adventurous stuff. I’ve now taken three surf lessons: Sydney, Hermosa Beach, and now Maui. It’s hard and tiring, but it’s so much fun! You fall a lot and it can be frustrating trying to get up, but a great instructor is a key to getting you up on a board, and then you get addicted. (4 Stars – waves were good, but it’s a packed place in Lahania where you can catch them, but great for beginners)
– Haleakalā Sunrise Tour – We used Skyline and they were good. So, this is very weather-dependent on how great it can be, we had a lot of clouds, but still got some good sunrise views, but not awesome. Understand, they pick you up at 2:45 am to get there and when you get there an hour early it’s 30-40 degrees, so you freeze! I definitely would not take kids on this! It’s a long day, cold, and you are hoping to get a view of an amazing sunrise that lasts like 20 minutes. Then a long ride back. The positive was the tour gives you a ton of information and history, plus they gave us warm coats, but when they tell you to dress warm, they are not kidding! (3 Stars)
– Road to Hana – this one will be the hardest to rate, it almost needs multiple ratings because there are pieces of the Road to Hana that are 5 stars and some that are 1 or 2 stars. We bought an app to guide us and it was super helpful (Gypsy Guide – $10). FYI – you will need hiking shoes or shoes you don’t mind getting dirty, and most likely they’ll get wet, so bring a change of clothes as you’ll most likely want to swim as well. We left Wailea at 6:30 am, skipped Ho’okipa Beach because we had already been there, and pretty much beat the traffic out on the road, we made Hana by 1:30 pm and that was with 90 minutes at Wai’anapanapa State Park.
Here’s what we saw on the Road to Hana with star ratings:
Ho’okipa Beach – (5 Stars) – great surfing beach, turtles, huge shore breaks. This is like 10 minutes from the airport and is at the start of Road to Hana. Really an amazing site to see being so close to the airport.
Town of Paia – (3 Star) cool little north shore surf town, if you want to stop to grab something to eat, etc. But not that different than most small towns on Maui.
Twin Falls – about a mile walk to a fairly decent fall into a muddy pool. Private land, so you pay $10 to park. (3 stars – but after the Jurassic Park Helicopter falls my ratings are probably skewed)
Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees (5 stars) so cool, you get a view of some from the road, but you can also stop at Ke’anae Arboretum to get some up close pics. They are so cool.
Ke’anae Peninsula – (5 Stars – must stop) first Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread is here, and you have to get some, but the coast line here is breath taking and little ocean front town is very cool.
Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach – (6 Stars) we spent an hour and half here exploring the cliffs and could have spent all day. Sure the black sand is cool, but that’s only the half of it. You must buy a pass here before you go for a certain time period. You can not buy the day of. DO THIS! We got ours for 12:30pm and actually had to drag our feet a little because we got there a bit early.
We didn’t even stop in Hana, there isn’t much to see, but took off for what we were told was must see things past Hana – 7 Sacred Pool and Pipiwai Trail, which both basically sucked. Plus it cost $30 bucks to do it and it was on the worse stops of they day, primarily because the water wasn’t running, so not much to see, but you don’t know that until you get there. (2 Stars – but I think that is time of the year specific)
At this point, most people turn around at Oheo Gulch – 7 Pools and go back, but we kept going around the Reverse side and it was really cool! Extremely narrow road, puts you a few feet from the ocean for some magical views. I would only do this with a four wheel drive vehicle, even though we saw some normal rental cars doing it slowly. It’s about the same distance getting back to the beginning but you get so much cool shore line to check out. (5 Stars) FYI – Watch out for the wild goats on the road and local drivers coming at you super fast with very little room.
There are a ton of road-side water falls you see on the Road to Hana and it’s probably worth stopping at a few and taking pics.
– Snorkeling at local beaches – Bring, rent, or buy snorkel gear, you can see awesome stuff every day at local beaches for free. We snorkeled almost every day and spent hours swimming with sea turtles and all kinds of stuff. I don’t think there was one time I went out snorkeling that I didn’t run into a sea turtle no matter where we went.
– Sunsets – Wailea has way better sunsets than Kannapali, so if you’re into amazing sunsets, spend some time over in Wailea/Kihei. Kannapali sunsets aren’t bad, but you are usually blocked by another island, so you’re getting the sunset over an island, whereas in Wailea you get full ocean sunsets.
What we didn’t get about Hawaii
Tourist bring their kids! Like a lot of kids! I’ve been on flights to Orlando home of Disney World with fewer kids! I’m not sure why people spend all that money to bring kids to Hawaii. It’s perplexing. First, it’s a miserable flight from the mainland, basically an international flight. It absolutely makes no sense! We saw non-stop meltdowns by kids and parents.
Meals basically come in two price points if you’re eating out: $50 per person and $100 per person (includes alcohol drinks). $50 per person is a basic bar food meal, think Applebee’s but in Hawaii with fish tacos. No matter where we went, after tip, it was about $50 a person. Good meals, fresh fish, steaks, etc. at a nice place push it to $100 per person. Everything on islands is expensive, but this seems strange.
Nowhere on the island is the speed limit greater than 55 mph, and it’s usually 45 mph and under. Don’t be in a hurry, you get nowhere fast on Maui.
Pictures do none of this justice! We took pics of everything and nothing really comes close to capturing the beauty of it all.
HR Blogger Turned Maui Travel Blogger Insider Pro Tip:
We had the world’s best cinnamon roles at a place in Kehei called: The Cinnamon Roll Place. I kid you not, these were to die for and I’ve had cinnamon rolls all over the world! For $5 it’s by far the best deal on the island. It’s in some little strip mall behind a staircase being guarded by a wild rooster. You can’t make this stuff up!
Okay, friends, what did I miss? Hit me in the comments!
I think most employment brands are completely fake. The reason I feel this way is because HR and Executives approve the messaging. We, HR and Executives, are the last people who really know what our employment brand truly is.
So, we end up with stuff like this:
Seems really cool! Makes us feel good about ourselves and our organization. But for the most part, it’s one big lie.
That’s marketing. It’s not marketing’s job to tell you the truth. It’s marketing’s job to get you to buy something. Sometimes it’s just some crappy product or service. Sometimes it’s the church down the street with the cool young pastor and rock band. Sometimes it’s working for your organization.
Many HR Pros and Executives get really pissed off when I say something like this.
That’s because they drink their own Kool-aid. They truly believe the messages brought forth are the truth. Those messages are what they hope and dream the organization to become, so they’re all bought in on making it happen. I actually really like these people. I like people who are bought into making their organizations what their commercials are telling us they are, even when they aren’t.
Who wants to go work for an organization that puts up a commercial of some manager unable to communicate what needs to be done, and Bobby down in the accounting bitching he only got a 14 lb. turkey from the company when last year he got a 15 lb. turkey?
But that’s truly your organization. Organizations are like families. You have some folks in your family you don’t want the rest of the world to see, but when you take the family photo it looks like everyone is fairly normal and well adjusted.
So, how fake is your employment brand? On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being Goldman Sachs and 10 being Google, where does your organization fall?
The worst advice you can get as a new professional in the world is to follow your passion. I’ll blame social media and the fake B.S. that proliferates Instagram, TikTok, etc. This one phrase, “Follow Your Passion” is probably the main culprit for the growth of the entire life coaching industry, and has probably ruined more careers than alcohol and drugs combined.
This is the first time I’ve written about this. I love puppies. Petting puppies is my passion. Puppies are awesome! Turns out, no one wants to pay me six figures a year to pet puppies. Ugh…there goes my passion. Honestly, from a talent standpoint, I’m not even sure I’m very good at petting puppies. I mean, I love it, but I don’t think I am necessarily better at it than anyone else.
The other day I heard someone say, “Follow your talent, not your passion.” and I thought, Oh, I like that!
When I tell some young person, you’re stupid, don’t follow your passion. I look like an old ogre who doesn’t get it. I mean I do get it, but when you’re young the world hasn’t beaten you down enough yet to understand what’s real vs. what’s fantasy. What every person can easily understand is “what is your talent”, what are you good at. There might be a number of answers to this. Some of the answers might seem like there isn’t much value, at least to a young person.
“I can easily talk to people I’ve just met.” What value does that have?! Oh, boy, let me tell you! You can work in all kinds of great positions because that skill isn’t something everyone has. I went to school for marketing, and I can talk to people easily, and I actually really like technology. Okay, now we are building up some really great skills that lead to some cool career opportunities.
We all have talents. Individually some of those talents don’t seem like much. You might have a talent of I can get up each day full of energy and ready to work. Great! That isn’t as common as you think! The reality is most of our talents, by themselves don’t seem like much, but when we combine them with other talents, and training, and the right culture fit, some amazing results can happen.
Follow Your Passion is the World’s Worst Advice
Unless your passion has some real value. That part is always missed by people giving that advice. Usually, those giving out that advice have abnormal passions. “My passion was coding and developing game theory and design…” Oh, really, well following that passion in this economy is probably a great idea!
The combination of talent + passion is really difficult for most people. People would say, oh, you love puppies, you should become a breeder or trainer of dogs. No, I have no desire to watch a dog give birth, yuck! Or work with dogs and train them, I just like snuggling them and petting them. I have passion, but no talent.
So, we begin to see there are caveats to following your passion. Basically, you should follow your passion if:
Your passion has real value to earning a living.
Your passion aligns with your talents.
Your passion doesn’t cost your parents their retirement.
Now, my friend, Kris Dunn, believes that the most talented people you will run into usually have a high passion for the industry and/or profession they are thriving in. I believe this is true. So, in that case, yes, follow your passion. But, I wonder, is this a little bit of the chicken or the egg scenario. Do I have passion for this job, because I happen to be really freaking good at this job?!
I think many of us found success in professions we never even thought about doing when we were young. I know I wasn’t in high school thinking, “Oh, boy, I can’t wait to be a Recruiter!” I wasn’t in college thinking that either! But, I became a Recruiter, I became successful recruiting, and I’m really passionate about our profession! I love it! I talk about it every day! I’m proud to call myself a Recruiter.
My passion in college was coaching volleyball. Not very many people know that about me. I was actually pretty good at it as well. Turns out, coaching pays for crap for a lot of years and there aren’t many jobs that pay well. So, I had to make a business decision. Be a poor volleyball coach, or go make some good money and then do some coaching on the side. Some folks will say, I should have stuck it out with my passion, but it all worked out well for me in the end, and I found a passion I didn’t even know I had.
You will never hear me in front of young people telling them to follow their passion. At best, that statement is incomplete and bad advice. I will tell young people to try all kinds of stuff. Find out what you’re good at and determine if that thing is also something you can see yourself doing for a long time. Follow your talent and see if it might turn into a passion. At worse, you’ll be successful, but unhappy with your choice, and still have choices, because you’re successful.
On episode 86 of The HR Famous Podcast, longtime HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Kris Dunn, and Jessica Lee come together to discuss new Peloton users, Blink 182, how to multitask during in-person meetings and Adam Grant’s future of work.
1:45 – We have a new Peloton user! KD is now on Peloton and JLee picked his username.
6:45 – Tim asked KD to make a meme with the “change my mind” format. He added the text “Michael Bolton should be at SHRM every year.”
8:40 – JLee proudly notes that while Kim Kardashian has been staying in NYC, she’s been choosing to stay at a certain Marriott hotel (location undisclosed).
10:00 – This is now a Blink-182 podcast!
11:30 – JLee is stressed because of the impending return to office. She’s worried she can’t openly multitask during meetings. She asks her co-hosts for some advice.
13:40 – Tim reminds us that people often had laptops open during in-person meetings and many of them were not just taking notes.
18:30 – Recently, Adam Grant wrote an essay in the Wall Street Journal titled “ The Real Meaning of Freedom at Work”. He discusses the Great Resignation and notes that this is part of a longer shift in work trends that has been happening for a long time.
22:00 – Tim notes that Adam Grant’s perspective on work is probably very different than most due to his job as a college professor at an elite university.
25:15 – JLee discusses how the notion of “positive liberty” entails some privilege and that those within the service industry are most likely not able to exercise this liberty.
28:45 – Everyone brings up individually and how a lot of the population doesn’t want to have their own freedom in the workplace and just wants to be told what to do and how to do it.