Do we need to redefine “Entry Level” jobs? #HRFamous

On episode 77 of The HR Famous Podcast, longtime HR leaders (and friends) Tim SackettKris Dunn, and Jessica Lee come together to discuss come together to discuss what back-to-school shopping looks like, Lululemon’s culture issues, and what a real entry-level job looks like.

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

2:00 – Back-to-school season is here! Tim saw an article about a Delaware school district that is paying their students’ families to drive their kids to school because there is a bus driver shortage.

6:00 – JLee’s son is obsessed with Nike Dry Fit, but he doesn’t know the difference between Target and Nike because he can’t read. Target it is!

7:45 – Tim’s youngest son does not care at all what he wears, so no new clothes for back to school!

10:00 – Some Lululemon employees have come forward recently and complained about a bullying environment in their workplace. Many employees get asked before they work if “they sweat today.”

16:00 – Tim thinks that this is a startup vs. a growth-company issue. Startups will go to great lengths to find employees who match their culture, but the more you grow, the more people will stray from that culture.

19:15 – JLee wants her kids to live as she did with no brand names. Tim said his dad would pay for half of whatever brand-name shoes he wanted in high school.

21:30 – KD mentions that this is a lighter version of the same issue that faces Hooters when hiring since the brand revolves around people’s appearances.

22:30 – JLee noticed a report on LinkedIn about the shrinking number of entry-level jobs and that now, entry-level jobs require years of experience.

26:00 – Tim says that a job is not an entry-level job when they require years of experience in the field of the job, and he doesn’t like it when companies act like these jobs are truly entry-level.

29:00 – Tim mentions Enterprise’s management training program and how everyone tried to replicate it because it was so successful.

33:00 – KD likes a group or a cohort of new hires where they can experience it together and demonstrate a strong alumni base post-entry-level position.

7 Quick Lessons to Improve Your Recruiting Immediately! #GlobalTADay

First, before we get into the juicy content, Happy Global TA Day to all my TA, Recruiting, Staffing RPO friends out there working the grind! Today is a celebration of our profession! For me, recruiting has always been one of the most important aspects of any organization. We, the Recruiters, work daily to increase the talent in our organizations, and I’ve yet to find a CEO who won’t say that is one of the most important things an organization can do!

The 7 Lessons:

  1. Advertising works – what I’m finding right now with most TA shops, SMB to Enterprise, are they are funding their job advertising like it’s 2019, and 2021 is a completely different animal! I’m seeing organizations spending 5-10X to get the same traffic. So, open the check book, it’s time to up your advertising budget!
  2. Push for Referrals. No! Harder! Employee referral hires make up on average 40% of your total hires for most organizations. They are on average some of our highest quality of hires. Work to get more of these! That doesn’t necessarily mean higher referral bonuses. Before you pay more, invest in some great referral automation technology.
  3. Establish an Employee Advocacy Group. We have a small set of employees who love their jobs, the company, etc. This small group can help us spread our employer brand message, jobs, etc. For little more than some recognition, a few lunches, and some inside access. Use the power of your employees to incraese your brand!
  4. Nurture your own Resume Database in your ATS. Your ATS database is your most underutilized resource you have in Talent Acquisition, by a thousand miles! Maybe a million miles. Every single person in there at one time applied to a job saying I love you I want to come work for you. If we actually threw some great CRM technology on top of that database, you would be amazed at how many additional hires you could make. We currently use two tools Loxo and Candidate ID.
  5. Old School is New School. I keep hearing from Enterprise TA leaders that old school recruiting activities like, in-person career fairs are working right now! Why? All of the new automation has made recruiting a bit more impersonal, and candidates actually like being able to talk to a real human and get told “yes” or “no” to their face. At the very least, they don’t get ghosted or lost in the black hole!
  6. Increase your Automation! But, wait, you just said…Yeah, it’s one or the other, it’s both! A.I. driven automation, especially in high volume hiring, will help you hire faster and better. Having an AI driven chatbot on your career site will drive more applies. The data is all pretty clear on this tech.
  7. Train and Develop Your Recruiting Teams! Want to be better at recruiting, how about putting some money into making your recruiters better! I love the training tool that Social Talent has. My entire team has been through it. SourceCon also has some good training.

Bonus Tip! Actually, measure your recruiting funnel and react accordingly. I find most TA shops measure things that really don’t move the needle in recruiting. You need to know the baseline activity of your recruiters, so you can actually understand what your overall recruiting capacity is, and if recruiters are meeting a level of activity to produce results.

I actually wrote all of this in my book (The Talent Fix), along with some other stuff! But, as it turns out, most people hating reading books! 😉

Happy Global TA Day my friends!

Adjust Your Recruitment Packaging!

I talk to a lot of TA leaders and pros who tend to get stuck when it comes to their employer branding and messaging. They want to be transparent and tell candidates exactly who they are and what these candidates should prepare for. The problem being, they believe if they are transparent then candidates will not want to apply or join their company.

The problem with this type of thinking is every single employee, and every candidate for that matter will look at your company and your jobs through different lenses. Take your most loyal employee of all time (Timmy), the person who loves working for your brand more than anyone. What they believe is their truth. Our hope and dream is everyone sees the world, and our company, the exact same way!

Now, take the employee who is the exact opposite end of the spectrum as Timmy! This employee hates you, the company, their job. They are a walking work cancer. The only question you really have about this employee is can we fire them faster than they might be able to quit.

The reality is, your brand and your jobs are truly no different to these two employees, yet they see it as completely different.

When it comes to your employer brand there are some key things you should not adjust for:

  1. This is who we are.
  2. This is what we stand for.
  3. This is what we do.

The rest is just packaging!

Now, I’m not saying you should put out a video that shows daily ice cream socials and free Tesla’s. That would be lying. But if your packaging of your jobs and your company aligns more with how Timmy sees your brand, that’s the packaging. This world is real for at least one person at your company. It’s not a lie, it’s one employee’s truth.

You can change your packaging constantly. By location, by job, by month, etc. The core of your brand doesn’t change. This is who we are, and what we stand for, and what we do. You might even add to this with some this is what we will do for you or help you become. As long as that’s your core and you can deliver on it.

Each of us works for a brand and a job that can sometimes suck and sometimes be amazing, but mostly is a job that we like fine enough, but not as much as a puppy giving you a kiss, or your child running to you after you’ve been gone on a trip. And that’s okay!

So many of us are struggling to get people to apply to our jobs and come work for us right now, and the truth is, we need to step up our marketing game! We need to make our stuff more attractive! More desirable! We need to adjust our packaging. You’re trying to sell high-end jobs with generic branding, and you’re getting generic results.

Leaders Secretly Hate Succession Planning!

Do you want to know what you’ll never hear anyone on your leadership team say publicly? Well, let me stop before I get started, because there are probably a ton of things leaders will say behind closed doors, off the record, and then open the door and say the exact opposite. Welcome to the PC version of corporate America.

One of the obvious, which always causes a stir is veteran hiring. I’ve written posts about Veteran Hiring many times, in which I state that companies will always, 100% of the time, publicly say they support veteran hiring, but behind closed doors they don’t really support veteran hiring. At best they want to offer veterans their crappiest jobs, not their best jobs.

If they did truly support veteran hiring, we would not have a veteran hiring crisis in this country! If every organization that claims they want to hire veterans, would just hire veterans, we would have 100% employed veterans! But we don’t. Why? Well, it’s organizational suicide to ever come out and say we don’t really want to hire veterans.  The media would kill that organization. Yet, veterans can’t get hired.

Succession planning is on a similar path. Your leaders say they support succession planning. They’ll claim it is a number one priority for your organization. But, every time you try and do something with succession planning, it goes nowhere!

Why?

Your leaders hate succession planning for a number of reasons, here are a few:

1. Financially, succession planning is a huge burden on organizations, if done right. Leaders are paid for the financial success of your organization. If it comes down to Succession Planning, or Michael getting a big bonus, Succession Planning will get pushed to next year, then, next year, then, next year…You see Succession Planning is really overhiring. Preparing for the future. It’s a long-term payback. Very few organizations have leadership in place with this type of long-term vision of success.

2.  Leaders get too caught up in headcount. We only have 100 FTEs for that group, we couldn’t possibly hire 105 and develop and prepare the team for the future, even though we know we have a 6% turnover each year. Organizations react. Firefight. Most are unwilling to ‘over hire’ and do succession in a meaningful way.

3. Leaders are like 18-year-old boys. They think they can live forever!  Again, publicly they’ll tell you they’re planning and it’s important. Privately, they look at some smartass 35-year-old VP and think to themselves, there is no way in hell I’ll ever let that kid take over this ship!

So, what can smart HR Pros do?

Begin testing some Succession Planning type tools and data analytics in hot spots in your company. Don’t make it a leadership thing. Make it a functional level initiative, in a carve-out area of your organization. A part of the organization that is highly visible has a direct financial impact on the business, and one you know outwardly has succession issues.

Tinker. Get people involved. Have conversations. Start playing around with some things that could have an impact in terms of development, retention, cross-training, workforce planning, etc.  All those things constitute succession, but instead of organization level, you are focusing on departmental level or a specific location.

Smart HR Pros get started.  They don’t wait for the organization to do it all at once. That will probably never happen. Just start somewhere, and roll it little by little. Too often we don’t get started because we want to do it all. That is the biggest mistake we can make.

Delta Airlines Charging Unvaccinated Employees $200/mnth! Why?

At this point, if you’re in HR, you have seen news of Delta Airlines charging unvaccinated employees an additional $200 per month in health insurance premiums. Needless to say, there has been a strong reaction from the HR community to this announcement.

It’s interesting for sure as you have most HR pros believing everyone should get the vaccine, but also that corporations should not be charging employees if they do not get the vaccine. Some other reactions have been why should an employee be charged a premium, now that we know the vaccine won’t stop you from getting Covid. And an unlimited amount of other opinions as well!

Isn’t this just the smoking premium?

About a decade ago employers started charging employees who smoke higher health care premiums. Walmart charges employees who smoke an additional $2000 per year in increased health insurance premiums. When this was first done by a small employer in Lansing, MI a decade ago, lawsuits were filed, the HR community became unglued, and we had these huge ethical arguments over whether this was right or not to do to an employer.

What right is it of an employer to charge me more if I want to smoke or not! You’re not charging Tim over there eating a Big Mac and drinking a gallon of soda!?

Delta’s Covid decision is causing similar outrage about the vaccine.

Here’s the thing…

From the data we currently have, and the recent FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, we know statistically those with the vaccine are much less likely to be hospitalized or die from Covid. The “average” cost of a Delta employee who gets the virus and is hospitalized is $50,000!

$50,000 is not a small cost! Multiply that by hundreds of employees and it’s becoming a major issue. The issue being, on individual employee’s personal decision to not get the vaccine, is actually costing every single Delta employee, with upcoming increased insurance costs!

“Yeah, Tim, but someone made the personal decision to light up a cigarette. No one is making the personal decision to get the Covid!” Ugh…

You know you can’t send your kid to public school in the U.S. unless they have their approved vaccines. Millions of kids each year, go get their vaccines and go to school. We’ve pretty much eradicated all kinds of terrible diseases. An extremely tiny amount of parents have an issue with this. Ultimately, science has proven to be effective in helping our kids stay alive. Yay! Science!

More employers will go down this path.

Already we are seeing more and more employers mandate vaccines for employment. SHRM, the largest HR association in the world, has mandated vaccines for its employees. This isn’t a political statement. It’s actually not a statement of empathy, either, although most PR teams will try and turn it into one. It’s a financial statement of fact. We can’t afford for you to be stupid and play Russian Roulette with the virus.

All of this does lead us down a slippery path. It started out with something we all now know is harmful to our health, smoking. If you smoke, you will pay more for health insurance. Now it’s Covid. If you don’t protect yourself, by getting a vaccine, we will charge you more for health insurance. What’s next?

If you’re fat…don’t think it’s not coming…

Why is Google Cutting Pay for Remote Workers?

On episode 76 of The HR Famous Podcast, longtime HR leaders (and friends) Tim SackettKris Dunn, and Jessica Lee come together to discuss back-to-school season, Google’s new internal calculator for pay cuts and secretly working two remote jobs.

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 – It’s back-to-school season! JLee is feeling ready for the season after getting back from a vacation to Turks & Caicos. Her kids are going to be in person at school all day.

3:45 – Tim’s last child is a senior in high school and they are ready for him to get out of the house. His wife doesn’t know how she’s going to make it through the year…

5:30 – In a shoutout to “no one really knows anything,” KD mentions a report from the UAB that said 40% of a state is going to get Covid between July and September because of the Delta variant. The majority will show no symptoms. Is that bad? No one really knows. Songs from the band Chicago are cited.

9:30 – Google’s rolled out a new internal calculator explaining potential pay cuts to employees who choose to work remotely and people are getting penalized. Reuters reported on screenshots of this calculator.

12:00 – JLee gives Google a thumbs up for being a leader on the forefront of salary changing by location.

14:00 – Tim discusses the thought process that this is built on: I should get paid the same regardless of where I live. The reality is that every market substantiates different pay levels.

17:45 – JLee mentions that this decision is a hard one to make and someone has to be the leader on this forefront. She also mentions that there’s definitely room to change if there’s backlash.

22:45 – Are people taking on second jobs while they work from home? There’s a book coming out from an individual about their story working two remote jobs. Check out more at their website. They came out with 12 rules about working two remote jobs, the top of the list is “don’t talk about your other job.”

26:50 – One of their rules is “be average.” JLee says that this is when it falls apart. She says to kick butt at job No. 1 and work your way up there, instead of being average at two different jobs.

29:00 – KD asks the crew what percentage of adults work two jobs. JLee says 10% and Tim and KD say 1%.

30:30 – Tim had this happen to him with a contractor who was working two jobs.

34:30 – Tim thinks that people are too afraid of retaliation/being found out so he’s sticking with his 1% guess of people that work more than one job remotely.

Reactions From My First In-Person Conference Since the Beginning of the Pandemic! #SHRMTalent

Out in Vegas at one of my favorite conferences, SHRM Talent, this week. I love and missed interacting with all the TA pros and leaders, so this week was really energizing!

There are so many takeaways from this week at SHRM Talent. It seemed both odd and familiar all at the same time. I’ve been going to conferences for over a decade and very few put on a better conference than SHRM, it’s always first-class, and the 2021 SHRM Talent was at the new Cesar’s Forum conference center which is super nice.

The Reactions:

  • SHRM has opened up their 2021 conferences to be both in-person and virtual. This combination has been unique. After a year and a half of only doing virutual, as a speaker, you have to get back into practice of the cadence of in-person speaking. In virtual, you have very little audience reaction to what you’re saying, so you just plow through the content. In-person you get reactions, so you have timing that you have to be concerned about. Funny line, hold for laughter, wait I actually heard some laughter!
  • At the same time, you still have a virtual audience that you have to engage. What I found, across many sessions, that quesitons from the virtual audience were usually 3-4 times more than the in-person audience. I think in the future, SHRM and others, will figure out a way for people to ask questions all through one format, so those in-person attendees can have the same comfort level of asking their questions as well.
  • Those attendees who chose to be in-person seemed to be very engaged! It’s like these were the folks hungry for real-life interactions and they are making the most of being out in the wild for the first time in long time. Everyone has been very friendly, talkative, welcoming. I think we are all just happy for a bit of back to normal.
  • SHRM has caught some criticism for going back to in-person, but I applaud them for making the hard decision to figuring this out. It’s not going to be perfect, but at some point we must rip off the band-aid and get back to some normalacy, while trying to be safe. Masks were required and you were reminded immediately if you forgot. I was asked upon checking in if I was vaccinated and had to sign off on that. It wasn’t required, but highly encouraged, and definitely tracking attendees.
  • The difficult piece of all of this Covid/Vaccine stuff. You go to breakfast and sit down at a round talbe with four or five peers and all of sudden no one has masks on and everyone is talkign and interacting. You go from your hotel room through a Vegas casino cesspool and into the conference and back and forth. Is anyone really believing that any one is safe? It’s all kind of a game of make believe. This isn’t a SHRM issue, this is an issue every single in-person conference has to navigate. The HR Tech Conference has mandated vaccines, but the same reality will be experienced there as well. The reall world is all around us, just because we protect ourselves some part of it, doesn’t mean the rest isn’t all around us.
  • The content and the practitioners desire to learn and grow is still so inspiring to witness live. To see people really getting nuggets they can take back to the office and make them better, and see a speaker talking passionately to an audience can not be replicated virtually. I think we’ve found that when you can’t do virtual and good second place is virtual, but in-person just hits differently.
  • I don’t think SHRM will ever be able to put the toothpaste back into the tub when it comes to having virutal attendees. I also think this is awesome for those pros who can’t afford the travel, or can’t travel for so many reasons. But it does mean that in-person SHRM audiences will probably be smaller moving forward. SHRM National is rumored to be around 11,000 attendees this year, down from over 17,000 (in-person) for 2019. Also, around 25-40% of those 11,000 will attend virtually. Virutal attendees are very profitable for SHRM, so it’s not all bad to the bottom-line for SHRM. I do think in the future SHRM, and others, will have to figure out some unique things to do for virtual attendees verse the in-person. Transform Recruitment Marketing did an unboxing for their virtual audience, and I can definitely see SHRM working with vendors to put something like this together to help make those virtual attendees feel more connected to the conference experience.
  • Finally, I got some “real” hugs this week from friends I haven’t seen in a long time and it felt amazing! And, yes, we were all masked and vaccinated!

Shout out to the SHRM staff for putting on a great event under a lot of uncertainty. As always they handled it with class and professionalism, and I’m sure it was a great trial run for them to get ready for the upcoming annual conference!

SHRM Annual Conference is happening on September 9-12th and I’ll be back in Vegas to present to a live audience again, and I’m so excited to see how this goes as well since the numbers will be much larger, and then soon after back again to The HR Technology Conference in Vegas on Sept 28 – Oct 1. Come join me!

3 Things to Stop, Start, and Keep Doing in Talent Acquisition! #SHRMTalent

Hey, gang, I’m out at SHRM Talent this week, and I have to tell you, it feels amazing to be back doing some in-person events! I’ve been a part of some exceptional virtual events during the pandemic, and the content is always very strong, but there’s something about interacting live with practitioners, face-to-face, that can’t be replicated!

As I’ve been hitting sessions and talking with corporate TA pros and leaders this week, it’s clear that the pandemic has given us some new challenges in TA, but we also have so many things that were broken before that we keep doing. Usually, at SHRM Talent, I find a lot of stuff that speakers are telling us we should start doing, some will tell us some things to stop doing, almost no one says “Hey, keep doing this…”

The Top 3 Things I Heard You Should Start Doing:

  1. Find automated ways to include all applicants in the selection process. Currently, we eliminate too many candidates that we believe aren’t a candidate, by taking a five second view of their application or resume. Hello, unconscious and conscious bias! Also, this kills are diversity and inclusion. We need to find ways to let everyone in the process, without slowing the process down!
  2. Go back to old school techniques! I’ve been hearing from everyone at SHRM Talent that many are finding success by going back to some old school techniques like, in-person career fairs (no black hole!), actual newspaper advertising, community networking with religious organizations and community organizations, etc. Yes, digitial is important, but when everyone turns right, some will find success by turning left!
  3. 95/5 – Still only 5% of organizations are using Programmatic for job advertising. 95% of organization’s marketing teams are using Programmatic to sell your organization’s products and services. More organizations are going to have to start testing and using programmatic for job advertising.

The Top 3 Things I Heard You Should Stop Doing:

  1. Stop treating candidates like crap. Okay, you aren’t, but everyone else is! The fact remains that candidates are telling us in survey after survey they keep getting ghosted and not getting feedback after applying and interviewing.
  2. Stop spending money on “job boards” without knowing what your actual stastics are regarding that spend. Which “job boards”? Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, etc. If you are spending money to post a job you need to know what is actually happening or not happening. Too many of us are still posting jobs and spending a ton of money without really understanding what is happening. More spend doesn’t always equal more of what you want.
  3. Stop allowing HR to pre-board and on-board all those candidates you worked your butt off to get to a “yes”! The candidate has the relationship with a recruiter, and they are more likely to work with a recruiter on issues they might be having intially. It’s too easy for them to break-up with HR, because they don’t know HR.

The Top 3 Things I Heard You Should Keep Doing:

  1. Keep picking up the phone. Turns out, very few candidates claim they will accept a job without first speaking to someone either via phone or live about a job.
  2. Keep trusting your remote recruiters by fully understanding and knowing what they are actually doing through measurement of funnel recruiting metrics that validate why you trust them so much!
  3. Keep communicating non-stop with your executives, and really your entire organization, weekly on what’s really happening in recruitment. Be transparent and ask for help. When a crisis hits any part of your organization almost all employees would be willing to help. We are in a hiring crisis, it’s not time to be quiet, it’s time to be loud and get everyone on board!

My Interview with Visage_Jobs @JossLeufrancois on Better Sourcing!

I recently posted about Visage, the AI smart sourcing tool that my own team has been using with great success. Today, I bring on Visage’s co-founder and CEO, Joss Leufrancois to talk about what organizations are doing today to better at sourcing and hiring overall.

Very cool technology to take a look at. It’s different from many of the other sourcing technologies on the market in that it’s not a database to search, but actual real-life sources doing the work and giving your recruiters a short-list to attack!

Enjoy!

Don’t Mistake Credentials for Intelligence!

I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. I was the first person in my family to obtain a master’s degree. I continue to have the grammatical skills of a middle schooler!

My parents are “real” people and have “real” conversations. My family has reached high levels of what most people would call successful. My Mom and Dad didn’t go to college, but both I would consider being very intelligent. They “get it” at a very high level, but one of their biggest strengths was never assuming someone was smart or dumb based on a credential.

This fact allowed them, in their careers, to speak to anyone on an equal footing. The guy swinging a hammer, or the woman running the billion-dollar company, both started on the same level in my parent’s eyes. Both the hammer guy and female CEO have great knowledge, although most likely different knowledge, to share and learn from. Depending upon the specific time, each brought high value to the interaction that was being had.

I get told all the time, “oh, you are just like your mother”, and I see why people make that comparison. I also believe I’m very much like my father, in that both of my parents feel very comfortable fitting into almost any situation. Because they don’t measure a person’s value based on their credentials or the size of the bank account, but on the value, that person brings overall to the interaction that they are having in that exact moment.

At the same time, I’m very pro-credential!

I married a woman who has her master’s degree. My oldest son, at 24, already has his master’s degree, my middle son has his bachelor’s and I’m sure eventually something beyond that, and my youngest son will attend university very soon. So, if credentials don’t equate to intelligence, why did I push my own children to obtain said credentials?

Just because a credential doesn’t equate to intelligence, doesn’t mean that most people don’t make this mistake as a first impression! Also, we are still in a society that overvalues a credential for the most part when it comes to getting jobs and promotions. So, you set your kids up the best you can with the hope this will assist them in being successful.

The real challenge is to get them to understand that just because you are educated, doesn’t mean you’re smart! To have that super valuable skill my parents have! That I hope I have some of! To truly value those around you without the credential that many times have so much more to offer you than you have to offer them.

I believe the best leaders in the world have this skill. The ability to look at each individual and know they probably possess all kinds of strengths that I don’t have, regardless of pay grade or formal education, and to treat them accordingly. It seems like an easy concept, but every day I see examples of highly credentialed people looking down on those less credentialed than themselves.

It goes both ways, we all judge…

I also understand that this type of judgment goes both ways. I have many friends and family who are blue-collar and tend to think less of those who are credentialed for the simple fact they view these people as less hardworking. Sure, they might not get dirty and sweat on a daily basis, but it doesn’t mean they don’t work their butts off.

Covey has the classic line, “Seek first to understand”. You swing a hammer, I try to sell the project that allows you to swing a hammer. Without each of us, business does not happen. One is not more important than the other, and both are keenly needed for success. If more of us understand this very simple concept, the world would be a much more civil place to live in.