“Betting on You” the Book Review! #BettingOnYouBook @lruettimann

Many of you know my friend, Laurie Ruettimann. She was the original Punk Rock HR, then the Cynical Girl, and then back to Laurie Ruettimann with a slice of her original Punk Rock HR! Welcome to the world of Social Media, Blogging, Podcasting, and HR, no one really wants to know how the sausage gets made!

Well, today, Laurie is launching her book, Betting on You! How To Put Yourself First And (Finally) Take Control Of Your Career! 

I’ve been lucky enough to be in Laurie’s Circle of Trust from the very beginning, so I get a special sneak peek at the book and was able to read it during the holiday break and it’s amazing! I’m so proud of the work she has put together!

First, Laurie’s been writing for a long time and she has a huge following, so we all knew she could write. Laurie’s strength as a blog writer, and now a book writer, is her ability to tell a story. She has that gift as a writer and a speaker.

Betting on You is full of Laurie’s stories as an HR professional and executive and her journey throughout her career in what she learned and how it can impact your career and job search. I’ll be honest, I read the entire thing in one sitting while sitting by a pool in Florida! It was a great read that I couldn’t put down. I’m one of Laurie’s closest friends and it was full of stuff even I didn’t know!

This is a book for every level of professional that is feeling a bit stuck at work or in their career, and Laurie lays out the plan on how to find the job of your dreams by putting yourself first and taking control of your career (you see what I did there!?). By the way, this is a great book for a team Book Club read if you’re looking for some team development in 2021!

Honestly, I don’t do book reviews. I get a lot of people who send me their books, and I’m sure I sent a lot of people my book when I released it, but I just don’t have the time and capacity to review every book I get. I made the exception for Laurie because I’ve always been a fan of her writing and I knew it would be one I would just love reading!

It’s clearly the best book I’ve read in 2021!

You can find Betting on You at all the regular online booksellers and at many of your national book retailers as well. Go order a copy today!

(Laurie and I in Vegas on our way to the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM!)

Your Superpower is Your Authentic Self!

I had someone ask me what my superpower is? I found that a hard question to answer. I mean do you think being able to write a 500-word blog post in 15 minutes a superpower!? Some bloggers probably do, but no one else!

I was told that my true superpower was me just being me. My authentic self. Then I asked this person how much I owed them for the life coaching session! 😉

We are told constantly to be ourselves, or live our true life, find a way to be yourself, etc. The reality is being your authentic self might be your superpower, but like all superpowers, they can be used for good or evil.

Let me give you the best example ever! Donald Trump is his authentic self. It’s his superpower and he rode that superpower right into the White House. His authentic self was a superpower he used for evil, and ultimately it destroyed him and his legacy.

What I find a leader of people is that employees living their authentic self either works wonderfully or awfully and rarely anywhere in between!

Here’s the thing about being your authentic self, you must first know if your “authentic self” something others want to be around or if your authentic self off-putting to others. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be yourself, but if your authentic self is a complete asshole, you might want to work for yourself and not someone else!

Let be really frank here, any gender can be an off-putting authentic self. It doesn’t mean you don’t love who you truly are, but you must also realize who you truly are isn’t what most people want to be around. Your superpower isn’t going to be asked to join the Justice League, you’re going to be asked to join the villain side.

In real life, you actually don’t become a villain, unless you’re DJT. Most likely you become your own boss, or you live a miserable existence trying to fit into a work world that doesn’t want you and you don’t want it. Some of the best and brightest people I know can’t work for others. Their superpower is something that allows them to be awesome, but not when working closely with others on a daily basis.

Why does this matter? 

It matters because if some idiot is trying to sell you the snake oil of “Just be your Authentic Self” you must first determine, is your authentic self something others will embrace and want to be around. If so, great, you’re going to probably have a great career. If it’s not, and you want to work in the corporate world, you’re probably in for a lot of therapy.

Also, let me be very clear, not living your authentic self while you are at work isn’t the worse thing in the world. You can be one thing at work and another thing in your personal life. Is it ideal? No. But, I’ve seen many people in my career be successful in doing this. It’s a little like Clark Kent and Superman. I can be Clark Kent at work and then go home and be Superman in the rest of my life.

The worse thing that can happen is you try and force your authentic self onto others and believe they should “accept” your authentic self. Nope. That’s not how it works. You can’t make anyone accept your authentic self, you can only make yourself accept that. If I don’t like your superpower, you can’t make me like it, and if I’m in a position to determine the trajectory of your career, you’re in trouble.

Superpowers are awesome, but they can be super for good or super for bad. Love who you are, but don’t expect others will necessarily love it.

Hiring Managers! Job Seekers are only judging you on two things!

If you’re out looking for a job it usually feels like you’re being judged on every little thing you do, has done, or potentially will do in the future. Interestingly enough, a Harvard professor discovered you’re actually only judged on two things:

“People size you up in seconds, but what exactly are they evaluating?

Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy has been studying first impressions alongside fellow psychologists Susan Fiske and Peter Glick for more than 15 years and has discovered patterns in these interactions.

In her book, “Presence,” Cuddy says people quickly answer two questions when they first meet you:

 – Can I trust this person?

 – Can I respect this person?

Psychologists refer to these dimensions as warmth and competence respectively, and ideally, you want to be perceived as having both.

Interestingly, Cuddy says that most people, especially in a professional context, believe that competence is the more important factor. After all, they want to prove that they are smart and talented enough to handle your business.”

Trust and Respect.

I’ll add this is probably the two things you’re being judged immediately following the judging that gets done on your overall appearance, which is almost instantaneous! Let’s face it, we like to hire pretty people.

Once you open your mouth, you’re being judged on how well can I trust what this person is telling me, and can I respect their background, work ethic, where they came from, etc. Most of this is based on the person doing the judging, not you. I know, that sucks.

How do you help yourself?

1. Try and mirror the energy of the person who is interviewing you. If you come in all calm and cool, and the person who is interviewing is really upbeat and high energy, they’ll immediately question you as a fit.

2. Do research on who you’ll be interviewing with and try and get some sense of their background and story. Try and make some connections as fast as possible in the interview. This will help build trust and respect with this person. In today’s world, it’s not that hard to find out stuff about an individual. If HR sets up your interview, just politely ask who you will be interviewing with (the name).

3. Be interesting. Have a good story to tell, one that most people will find funny or interesting. Not too long. A good icebreaker to set off the interview on a great tone.

I tell people all the time. An interview isn’t a test, it’s just a conversation with some people you don’t know. We have these all the time. Sometimes you end up liking the people, sometimes you don’t. If you don’t like the people you’re interviewing with, there’s a good chance you won’t like the job!

Bad Hires Worse!

If I could take all of my education and experience and boil it down to this one piece of advice, it would be this:

Bad Hires Worse.

In HR we love to talk about our hiring and screening processes, and how we “only” hire the best talent, but in the end, we, more times than not, leave the final decision on who to hire to the person who will be responsible to supervise the person being hired, the Hiring Manager.

I don’t know about all of you, but in my stops across corporate America, all of my hiring managers haven’t been “A” players, many have been “B” players, and a good handful of “C” players.  Yet, in almost all of those stops, we (I) didn’t stop bad hiring managers from hiring when the need came. Sure I would try to influence more with my struggling managers, be more involved but they still ultimately had to make a decision that they had to live with.

I know I’m not the only one, it happens every single day.  Every day we allow bad hiring managers to make talent decisions in our organizations, just as we are making plans to move the bad manager off the bus. It’s not an easy change to make in your organization. It’s something that has to come from the top.

But, if you are serious about making a positive impact on talent in your organization you can not allow bad managers to make talent decisions.

They have to know, through performance management, that:

1. You’re bad (and need fixing or moving);

2. You no longer have the ability to make hiring decisions.

That is when you hit your High Potential manager succession list and tap on some shoulders.  “Hey, Mrs. Hi-Po, guess what we need your help with some interviewing and selection decisions.” It sends a clear and direct message to your organization we won’t hire worse.

Remember, this isn’t just an operational issue it happens at all levels, in all departments.  Sometimes the hardest thing to do is look in the mirror at our own departments. If you have bad talent in HR, don’t allow them to hire (“but it’s different we’re in HR, we know better!” No you don’t – stop it).

Bad hires worse, over and over and over. Bad needs to hire worse, they’re desperate, they’ll do anything to protect themselves, they make bad decisions, they are Bad. We/HR own this. We have the ability and influence to stop it. No executive is going to tell you “No” when you suggest we stop allowing our bad managers the ability to make hiring decisions they’ll probably hug you.

It’s a regret, I have something I will change. If it happens again, I won’t allow it. I vow from this day forward, I will never allow a bad hiring manager to make a hiring decision at least not without a fight!

Big Companies are Announcing their Return to Work Plans! #HRFamous

In Episode 44 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim SackettKris Dunn, and Jessica Lee come together in the new year to discuss that Gary V requested Jessica on LinkedIn, the CHRO move of the week, and Google calling their employees back into the office (eventually).

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

Show Highlights:

1:30 – Happy New Year! Tim is thinking (and hoping) that 2021 is going to be a great year. JLee is looking forward to drive-through vaccinations.

2:45 – JLee got a LinkedIn request from Gary Vaynerchuk. Tim is extremely jealous (he’s a super fan), and JLee is very confused on how she got this.

6:00 – The gang wonders aloud how many people send invites out on Gary V’s behalf. Tim thinks that JLee needs to leverage her brand and her title to get Gary V on the phone in 2021.

9:00 – Time for the CHRO move of the week! UPS announced a new CHRO Darrell Ford after their old CHRO (Charlene Thomas moved to a new role at the company).

10:30 – KD thinks Thomas got a demotion.

12:30 – Tim thinks that Thomas was potentially underperforming so they brought in a new one to try out in the head HR position.

15:30 – Tim also wonders that they are potentially setting up Charlene Thomas to take over a COO or a CEO role eventually at UPS.

17:20 – In KD’s youth, the UPS driver was a person of note in his life. KD thinks it’s a transactional job now because there are so many drivers and people aren’t making a lifetime career out of being a driver.

21:00 – JLee thinks that KD would be a shorts-only UPS type of driver. No brown pants in sight!

22:30 – Next topic of the day: Google’s CEO announced that they will continue being remote, but they will be returning back to the offices eventually and will not be remote forever. The announcement said that employees should eventually return to a place that is in a commutable distance from their office.

25:00 – KD thinks this is the revert back from the earlier pandemic announcements of full time, forever remote transitions.

30:45 – KD also thinks that Google is trying to prevent a mass exodus from California to places like Texas, as companies like Tesla are moving there.

32:00 – JLee is coming up on her 100th Peloton ride and she found out that her husband ordered 100 balloons on their shared Amazon account to celebrate.

The NCAA Transfer Portal in the New College Athlete Job Board!

If you are into college athletics, you have heard of the NCAA Transfer portal. If you are not into college athletics, basically the transfer portal is the technology used for an athlete of one school to let everyone involved know they intend to move from their current school to a new school.

There are over 500,000 student-athletes at NCAA sanctioned schools.

For the most part, we only hear about athlete transfers for the big sports of football and basketball, because that’s what the media covers, but it’s happening in all the sports.

So, what’s the big deal? 

Let me give you a quick history lesson. For centuries these NCAA schools have pretty much held all the power. Kids want to go to school to play sports, coaches at these schools recruited the athletes they wanted, and once they got that kid to sign his/her letter of intent that kid was basically stuck. Of course, they could leave, but if they did the transfer rules were so restrictive they almost always had to sit a year at the very least.

The coaches could leave for other schools, without any waiting period. Could be fired, etc. All the while the kid just had to stay and put up with whatever was thrown at them.

Recently though, the transfer rules have been relaxed allowing the vast majority of kids to transfer without having to sit out, if they are willing to give some reason that the NCAA feels are remotely close to being true and in the kid’s best interest.

“Oh, Johnny, didn’t get to play this year and he’s upset. Oh, his Mom is stressed out!? Well, we better let Johnny leave State U and go to HomeTown U so he can close to her and play football.”

So, yes, it’s become a complete cluster of movement!

What if this was your company? 

Now, I know what you’re going to say. Tim, this isn’t one company, this is thousands of schools that compete against each other, it’s just fair market dynamics at play. But, that is not quite true!

While we like to think of schools competing against each other, they’re all still staying in the NCAA! All the money is still being split up amongst the NCAA institutions. And just like a real company, some “divisions” are getting more resources than others, even though we talk about “equity” all the time!

HR gets less budget than sales because guess what, sales makes us money.

Football gets more resources than Men’s swimming because guess what?

D1 gets more resources than DIII because guess what? Turns out, some things are more important than others, or at least someone at the top made that decision.

This is more like one organization with 500,000 employees who all of sudden went out to all 500,000 employees and said if you don’t like your current job, or boss, or team members you work with, go ahead and apply for any job in the company, and we’ll let that manager determine if they want you or not!

Can you imagine the chaos?

All that said, I love it! 

The recruiter and leader in me love the transfer portal! I work hard to attract great talent and get them to sign on the line that is dotted. I then have this obligation to live up to what I sold this recruit on. If I don’t, I lose. If I do, well, that’s what the hell I was supposed to do, right?!

Too often, we are asking 17 and 18-year-old kids to make decisions on their life that isn’t reality. We wine and dine them, they show up to campus and learn that real life isn’t the recruiting trip. But then we expect them to live by this decision their adolescent mind made. This makes zero sense when you put into play that all these coaches lie and say whatever it takes to get them to sign.

Traditionalists in college athletics hate the transfer portal. They want it back to where they can control kids through a contract. I think this is the best, long term, for all involved. It is less likely you’ll have a few elite programs stash away all the great athletes. Once these athletes get to school and find out they won’t be playing any time soon, they can make a move that better fits them.

College coaches will have to be more transparent to recruits, or risk having a roster they need to rebuild each year. Kids will have to take more time to think about their long term future, or risk being seen as the kid who just jumps around when they don’t get their way.

This has all kinds of angles to corporate internal mobility! 

We love talking about internal mobility in corporate HR, but rarely can we point to organizations where it works great. Why? No, it’s not about technology. It’s about the same thing college athletes are facing. I thought I signed up for “X” and I got here and it’s “Y”, but oh, hey, great, I see “Y” over there in that department, let me move!?

Well, sorry, you can’t move, at least, not right now. First, you need to stay here for a year, and perform great, and get your boss to like you, and… “But, I just want to move over there and be great!?” Yeah, no.

It leads to the question, why don’t we allow employees to post and move jobs whenever they want? You hired them believing they would be great. They show up and almost immediately determine that the position they have isn’t right for them, but another one is. If you hired them believing they would be great, we should let them go be great, without waiting, right?

It’s messy. Like the transfer portal. Messy isn’t always wrong, it’s just messy as we work through it and figure it all out. The reality is, overall, the number is way lower than we think.

Should You Build or Buy Talent in 2021?

Two rules of thumb in acquiring talent:

  • In a good, long-term economic outlook, building talent will ultimately be better.
  • In a questionable, short-term economic outlook, buying/renting talent is the best bet.

2021 is not the time to decide to build talent, at least not in the first two quarters. Most organizations have already started renting talent and we see contingent labor as a percent of the workforce rising in Q1 and Q2 as organizations determine how the economy will come back.

We actually saw this start to increase in Q3 and Q4 of 2020.

If the economic uncertainty continues into later 2021, we’ll see these numbers continue to rise.

With so much talk about “Internal Mobility” in the HR Tech space, it seems like the opposite is being spun as the better solution. For a few organizations, who have continued to stay busy during the pandemic and believe they’ll continue after, this is probably the right strategy.

For the vast majority of companies, the focus on hiring more contingent is a better strategy over the next 12-18 months, to ensure they will have much more flexibility and the ability to move quickly to move their headcount up and down based on immediate business needs.

In Questionable Economic Times, You Need Workforce Flexibility! 

I run into a lot of mid-sized enterprise organizations (500-2500 employees) who freak out when you talk about contingent labor. “We only hire direct, Tim!”

Um, okay, so all those Fortune 1000 organizations that have anywhere from 15-30% of their workforce as contingent are doing it wrong? You know better than they do, is what I’m hearing? Or, are you feeling like hiring contingent labor is somehow a sign of weakness for you as an HR/TA Leader?

Our reality is we saw a decade of crazy growth since the Great Recession. Many organizations during that time forget. Forget the need for a fast flexible workforce that you can ramp up and ramp down very quickly. Large organizations, tend to move slower and forget less. They probably have people around who remember what bad economic times look like.

Quite frankly, I don’t care how or who you hire. 

I do know those TA leaders who move up in their careers tend to understand total workforce strategies better than those who stick to one strategy no matter what the external circumstances they are facing. Also, they are more likely to incorporate multiple strategies and test what works more.

In 2021 we see more organizations buying and renting talent in the short-term. They want to make sure, before adding a permanent headcount, that the organization can sustain itself in the long term. If it can’t, quick and easy ramp down. If it can, they already have some trained and proven workers to pick from for the long term.

You only get talent in two ways, buy or build. Both are valid strategies for corporate TA leaders, and both are used often together. What will you be doing in 2021?

Are you running out of time to get your nose pierced?

I have three sons, two of whom just graduated from college.  They can do anything right now!  If they wanted, they could fill a backpack and walk the earth. No one is going to stop them, in fact, many will congratulate them for taking this leap while they’re young.

In just a few years, people won’t say that.  They’ll tell them it’s crazy and you’re going to hurt your career, etc.

I’m a few years older than my sons (turns out that’s how it works!).  I have a feeling that I’m getting to an age where I no longer can make a change in my career path.

Before you start commenting with things like, “Tim, age is a state of mind”, or “You can do anything you want”, or “Follow your passion”.  Stop it. I’m a grown-ass man.  I like to think I’m an adult, although my wife and kids question that frequently. I have adult obligations: mortgage, college tuition, kids to raise, health insurance.

I can’t just go off and polish rocks.

We all get to certain points in our life where you can no longer just go do ‘it’. Whatever ‘it’ is for you. I feel like I’m at a point where I can’t change careers, not because I don’t think I could, but because society doesn’t look well upon middle-aged dudes looking to change careers. Something is now wrong with me if I wanted to change careers. BTW, I don’t want to change careers, I actually think what I do is pretty cool. Or hip. Or Hella. Or whatever the kids are saying.

If I decided to go back and become a nurse, right now, at my age, with all of my responsibilities, people would say something is wrong with me. You know what? I would think there was something wrong with me.

My question is more around what is ‘that’ time when if you’re going to do it, you better do it now?

For traveling the world: I think it’s 18-22 yrs old, or after 60.

For completely changing careers: I think you have to do it around 30-35 years old. Later, and you just look like your reaching. (I think most people won’t agree with this, but it comes from my recruiting background and how hiring managers look at older candidates who have made this move)

For having kids: this one has changed a bit, but before 40 seems safe. Otherwise, you’re just tempting science to give you problems. One caveat, if you’re adopting, I’ll push out this age because those kids just need someone who will love them.

For completely your high school or college education: I’m really open on this one. I would say anytime before death! I’m a huge advocate of lifelong learning!

For having grandkids: After 45 years old for sure. If you have grandkids prior to becoming 45, you did something wrong as a parent.

For getting your nose pierced: 17-28 years old. Yeah, I’m looking at you 37-year-old mom with the kid with a mohawk not wearing his seatbelt in the back of your Ford Mustang.

So, hit me in the comments with your age ranges on when you think it’s no longer socially acceptable to change careers or do any of the other things listed. And, yes, I get it, I’m old and you can do any of these things at any time, and why are you judging. Because I can, it’s my blog, go start your own, Karen.

I hear you…

It’s what you hearing…Listen!

It’s what you hearing…Listen!

It’s what you hearing…LISTEN! (DMX – X Gon’ Give It To Ya)

I hear you…

2020 was not what you expected or what you wanted. I hear you.

You aren’t where you want to be in life. I hear you.

You didn’t accomplish all you wanted this year. I hear you.

You lost more than you won this year. I hear you.

You took some big losses in 2020. I hear you.

You felt like the world has turned upside down. I hear you.

You’re afraid that 2021 might not be much better. I hear you.

You’re not sure your career is on pace for where it should be. I hear you.

I hear you.

What I love about New Years’ is we are given this freedom, once per year, to start over or continue, or do just make a decision to move in another direction and go, “yeah, in 2021 I’m going to do “X”!”

We are congratulated on this announcement. Good for you! I can’t wait to see how that turns out!

So, I hear you, and now is the time for you to make a decision. You can continue being your version of 2020 or you can try and be something else in 2021. Quite frankly, this has worked really great for me in some years, and not at all in other years. Still, I like the exercise.

If I could be “X” in 2021, what would that be and how would I get there, and am I willing to put in that work or change to get there? 

This isn’t about anyone or anything else. It’s just you. We love to believe it’s about other things. If I just had another job. If I just had a different significant other. If I just lived someplace else. If I just wasn’t so unmotivated. Then, my entire life would be better!

I hear you.

Now, write down what you want to do in 2021 and email it to me at sackett.tim@gmail.com. Let’s get to work on that.

How to get promoted to the job you want in 2021!

I read an article recently where a “former” Google HR executive shared his wisdom. (editor side note – are all Google HR executives “Former”? Have you ever heard from a “current” Google HR executive? Why does Google have a hard time keeping HR execs?) The dude’s name is Justin Angsuwat and he’s the current VP of People at Thumbtack, which not ironically does not make thumbtacks but it would awesome if they did. And he gives his inside Google advice to Business Insider on how to get promoted. Are you ready?
Why is this promotion important to you? Justin Angsuwat
Um, what?! Seriously, that’s your advice Justin? Okay, I’m sure Justin is brilliant, he’s Australian and worked for PwC and Google, and let’s face it, American’s will hire any idiot with an Australian accent, but I’m sure Justin is not an idiot, but I hate the “I’m going to answer your question with a question” because that’s how ‘real’ leaders do it. What Justin is saying is most people have no idea why someone wants to be promoted. We just get this idea in our head that’s what we are supposed to do, so as leaders we need to figure out why, because most don’t really care if they get promoted, they just want you to pay attention to them! Okay, Justin, I’ll agree with that. Now tell me why there are so many former Google HR executives!? What do you really need to do if you want to get promoted?
  • Tell your current boss you want to get promoted and why.
  • Tell the boss that you’ll be under when you get promoted that you want to get promoted and why. This is a must-do if your current boss is a tool and won’t raise you up to the organization.
  • Get a specific development plan around what the organization needs to see from you to get promoted. If you can, try to get some realistic timing around the plan. Understand, 90 days, is not realistic. 3 years, might be. I find most people who want to get promoted believe they have already put in the work, but those above them don’t see it that way.
  • Do the work and be patient.
  • Be a positive advocate for your boss and the company. Yes, you might even cheerlead a little. Don’t ever underestimate the power of positivity on your ability to get promoted. Executives hate promoting assholes. Right, Justin?
I teasing Justin, but I actually really like his question. Way too many people chase titles but don’t really know why they’re chasing it. They get there and it feels unsatisfying because the reality is it’s not what they expect it to be. Getting promoted because you want more money, probably isn’t the reason you really want. It’s legitimate, but you won’t be happy. Wanting to lead teams or functions is better, wanting to help others reach their goals is even better, wanting to help the company reach its mission and you’re all in on the company is probably the best. Most of us don’t even think about those things, though.