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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Stupid a Super Power?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

B. Yell out, “Wow, nice rack!”

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

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

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

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

If You Could Choose 1 ATS Which One Would It Be?

One of the most asked questions I get over the last decade of writing and speaking is “What ATS should I buy?” I don’t have one, because there are so many variables at play, plus there are most likely over one thousand ATSs in existence!

My buddy, Hung Lee, at Recruiting Brainfood, had this study put together and I love it! Basically, it was asking users of ATSs (a couple thousand, worldwide, so statistically relevant), if you could choose an ATS which one would you choose?

The results:

What can we learn from this data?

From the get-go, Greenhouse Software seems to be very popular with users! Greenhouse is definitely one of my top recommendations when people ask, and I truly think you can’t go wrong if you choose them.

You can also probably understand fairly quickly, that there isn’t a ton of big enterprise users that answered the survey because the vast majority of giant enterprise use one of the big 3: Workday, Oracle, or SAP. Taleo/Oracle and Workday are at the top of the big enterprise ATS world, with SAP/Successfactors coming in third, which seems to align with what I hear from enterprise Talent leaders.

You hear the big 3 enterprise recruiting modules get beat up a lot, but the truth is, when you’re hiring hundreds of thousands, if not millions of employees per year, you need a system that can handle that volume and complexity. Plus, you most likely need full global and you want something that won’t break. They tend to lower marks from users because they aren’t as feature-rich as the best-of-breed ATSs on the market, but all have a solid partner ecosystem that adds most of the features a big enterprise is looking for.

As you start to look at the lines that have more attractors than detractors, you see some interesting stuff. You see the large numbers of likes for SmartRecruiters, Lever, and SMB ATS Workable. All of which are great selections as well. Avature is a surprise, as they are an ATS, but were built as a CRM, but users seem to like the combination.

I use Loxo, so I’m excited to see them in a very positive light on a list with all these big brands and established ATSs. At the end of the day, the best thing that can happen for any brand or service is the people using you would choose you to use it again if given the option.

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

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

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

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

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

The Speakers!

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

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

The Location!

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

The sponsors!

Is it okay to be biased toward underrepresented communities in hiring?

I’m a big podcast listener. It’s one of the reasons we started HR Famous because we loved the format! One of my favorite podcasts to listen to is The Prof G Show with Scott Galloway.

If you aren’t familiar with Scott Galloway he’s a New York University professor of marketing and hugely popular. He’s a liberal and rails openly against Trump and also his own industry, Higher Education. I’m a moderate and he’s so freaking smart, I could care less about his political leanings, I just get smarter listening to him.

Besides being a professor, he has started and exited a few technology companies, sits on boards, has school-aged kids, and talks a ton about the stock market.

On a recent pod, Elitism: Money vs. Influence, he gave his top 3 attributes to the top-performing employees of the companies that he has started. These are:

  1. Most likely Female. “First they were female. If they were male I couldn’t say this but it’s okay because as long as you are biased for underrepresented communities your okay, but we try and ignore that…” (42:03 in the pod)
  2. Graduate from a world-class university. Ivy League, Penn, Michigan, Stanford, Berkley, Vanderbilt, etc. “Better schools matter…more applicants…start with better core human capital…better screening.”
  3. Athletes are very successful. They understand teamwork and discipline, and they can endure and push themselves harder. “Someone who can finish an Ironman isn’t lazy”, says Galloway.

So, a Professor of NYU, former business owner, and thought leader says it’s okay to be biased in selection.

I’m not sure I agree we should ever be biased in our hiring selection practices, but Galloway points out a reality in our culture. As long as we aren’t biased towards the majority, we will look the other way and ignore it.

What Galloway is saying is not different than how the vast majority of hiring managers are making their final selections. They take a look at past and current performances and they make some educated inferences about what those top performers have in common. Based on this knowledge, it will shape their hiring selection. Does this, or could this, lead to bias? Yes.

Does it make it wrong?

That’s the big sticky question, isn’t it?

We want to say, no, it’s fine, continue to hire the females if those are your best performers. But, just because your current females are your best performers doesn’t mean they’ll be your best moving forward, or that maybe one of the males will be even a better performer.

Flip the scenario.

Galloway now tells us that one of the three attributes for high performance is they are “male”. Do we have a problem with this now? Most likely, you do have a problem with it based on hiring equity issues, broadly, but it’s hard to say specifically since maybe this organization doesn’t have gender equity issues.

Want to know what Inclusion is difficult when it comes to organizational dynamics? It’s because what Galloway laid out is exactly what every organization lays out. The difference is, it isn’t always friendly to the underrepresented community.

Like I said, regardless of your feelings on this one subject, Galloway’s podcast is money! It’s on my must-listen to pods each week.

Give me your thoughts on this in the comments?

Being Fully Authentic Is The Worst Advice You Can Give Someone!

I went to the SHRM Annual Conference this past week. I bet there had to be six different sessions, all jammed packed, with speakers telling HR Pros to “Become their Authentic Selves”. Just typing that makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

I call this content, HR Lady Candy. You might think that is sexist but it’s just data. 80%+ of the SHRM audience is female. Those of us that speak at SHRM are building content for women. Viewing the packed rooms, HR Lady Candy sells and it sells well!

But, it’s awful advice!

If you are truly authentic and bring your whole self to work, you are bringing all of you and I’m just going to take an educated guess that there are parts of you better off left at home. Parts of you that you yourself aren’t extremely proud of at certain times. Yes, these parts are part of you, but just as I don’t walk around outside my house naked, there are certain things I don’t need others to see.

I don’t judge these speakers and their full rooms. It’s so good damn empowering to feel like you aren’t true to yourself and have someone on stage in a power position telling you to “just do it!” It’s freeing. You want to run out of that room and just let your freak flag fly! But usually, in reality, that freak flag isn’t the freeing and empowering tool you hoped it would be.

The vast majority of us in the world, need a good-paying job with good benefits. The vast majority of us want to work hard and get promoted. We want to be the best version of ourselves as much as we can. We want to be wanted by others and grow our relationships with like-minded people. “Like-minded” means how we think like most of the time. Not how we think in our worst and most vulnerable moments. No one wants to be judged in those moments. Yes, that is part of our true self, but it’s not the true self I want others to see.

But, that content isn’t very sexy. No one wants to go sit and watch a speaker say, “Just be more normal!” it’ll work out, on average, a ton better for your career!

Freak flag flyers are awesome. We celebrate them. It usually works out for about 1 out of 1,000. Are you willing to bet your career on a .01% chance of success? What if I said the freaks are successful 1 out of 5! Oh, 20% of the time they are successful. Will you stake your career on that? Doubtful, that’s still really risky!

We love to believe the SHRM HR Lady audience is super conservative. That tends to be the profile of HR professionals. This just might be why we are so attracted to the “live your true self” content. We like it because we know we’ll never really do it, but it feels so good to dream!

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

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

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

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

Let’s take a look at the Final Four:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inclusivv – Jenn Graham, founder and CEO

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

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

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

Does being HR or Recruiting Certified Matter? #SHRM22 #CauseTheEffect

This is the million-dollar HR and TA career question. SHRM will tell you of course being certified matters and will have a positive impact on your HR Career. I tend to agree with this and will explain why. On the talent acquisition side, this is more problematic, but I’m hopeful some opportunities are on the horizon for recruiters as well.

I first got certified in HR in 2001 and have maintained a certification ever since, even though I don’t work in a full-time HR capacity. I do run a company with hundreds of employees, and as a CEO having some great HR knowledge is very helpful! So, it makes sense for me to continue to sharpen my HR saw.

The reality about professional certifications

  • Certifications don’t ensure you’ll be great at your function, but it does show a potential employer that you are working on getting better and smarter. Very few in any profession put in the work to get there, so it does show your desire to truly want to be in the profession.
  • You can be great without a certification. You can, no one denies that.
  • Certification obtainment and continual learning to maintain is the real value and key to why people pursue this lifelong learning path.
  • Certification also opens you up to an international group of like-minded people all of whom are probably open to connecting and helping. This is of massive value to you professionally.
  • Most executives hiring in HR tend to look for three things: experience, education, and certification.

Okay, the HR thing we get, what about Recruiting?

I can ask 100 leaders of talent acquisition how they ensure they hire good recruiters, not even great, just good, and 100% of them will not be able to give me that magic formula. Most will say it’s a coin flip. The world is littered with recruiters who have great brands on their resumes, but each stop is around 9-18 months. That is the time frame it takes to get “found out” in most corporate TA roles.

If they are smart, they jump to another big brand before they get fully found out, so after a few stops, they have this resume that looks really good. Three or four stops at big brands, better titles, completely awful at recruiting, but now they’re up for a recruiting leader role. The TA leaders I speak with frequently are nodding their heads right now, this is the biggest issue TA faces, we have no idea how to select good recruiters. It’s a coin flip at best.

But, certification doesn’t guarantee good! So, why am I pushing for a Recruiting Certification?

Because it’s more likely someone who puts in the work and effort will be good. I’m only looking to be Lazlo Bock at Google, 1% better than the coin flip! Every little bit helps and it’s my belief that when a really great internationally accepted recruiting certification program is launched, it will have a huge impact on raising the TA game corporately around the world.

I’m looking for a TA certification program that can teach someone who knows very little about recruiting to be a fully functioning recruiter. No more post and pray, but real recruiting, hunting, great hiring manager control, awesome candidate experience, and understanding how to leverage their technology. This is what our c-suite expects from our TA functions.

SHRM are you listening!?! I’ve been begging for this since 2001!

Some inside SHRM Influencer News from this week – I think SHRM is working on something beyond their current TA micro-credential (which is a great solid TA foundation for HR pros who also have to do TA – I’ve taught this class and it’s really good.), not sure if that will be a full-blown certification program like they have for HR, but potentially starting down a path where I can see a day when SHRM has both HR and TA certification that are desired by employers!

The Two Things HR Is Most Concerned With @SHRM22 #CauseTheEffect

Okay, I’m officially one of the biggest HR nerds on the planet because I love talking shop to everyone! (Shout out to Lindsey from GoGo squeeZ who I trapped on my flight here and talked shop for two hours!) I’ve spent the last twelve hours talking shop to the point I’ve almost lost my voice before I need to speak tomorrow!

I spent time today at the SHRM Annual Conference in sessions, on the expo floor, at the SHRM store, in the hallways, etc. Basically, at SHRM Annual, you’re always about an arms reach away from someone in HR, if not closer, so, yeah, I’ve talked to some folks. What is on the minds of HR pros and leaders at SHRM 2022? Two things:

1. We need to hire more people.

2. We need to retain our people.

Number three is so far down the list, I’m not sure anyone even cares!

The cool thing about this, is I love these two concepts. The second cool thing about this is this is core HR at its finest. The business needs us to find talent and keep our talent. HR engaged!

This is what we do! We got the people’s side of our business. You need some more folks, okay. You need to keep the folks we have longer, okay. This is what we got into HR for! To increase the talent in our organizations. By bringing on great talent. Through developing the talent we have. By engaging the talent we have to keep them longer.

Our organizations are in crisis mode and it’s not sales-related or operations related or finance-related. It is simply HR related, and I’m here for it!

Of course, we still need to do all we do around learning, benefits, DEI, payroll, etc. We do what we do, and that doesn’t stop. But right now, our organizations are telling us they specifically have a problem that they need us to solve. That’s very cool!

Johnny Taylor, the CEO of SHRM, spoke about HR causing the effect. This is our time. And he’s right. At no other time in the history of the HR function have our organizations needed us more than today.

I always get energized being around HR pros who are trying to get better. Who are learning. Those who want to bring stuff back to their organizations that they can start doing immediately to have an impact. This is what the SHRM Annual conference is about for me. Like-minded pros, learning from each other, to raise our organizations and our profession.

Now, the hard work begins – finding more talent and keeping more talent! Let’s do this!

Are there HR Tech buyers at #SHRM22 #CauseTheEffect

Sunday afternoon in New Orleans, the location for the SHRM Annual Conference 2022 and the Expo is open. If you haven’t come to a SHRM Annual Conference the expo hall can be a bit overwhelming. There are 800 or so vendors with booths, most are in the HR Tech space, and some are services, but it’s a lot!

Today in 2022, 99% of those attending SHRM are coming from companies that are struggling to hire more workers. Hourly and salary alike, the funny thing is there are a relatively small number of recruiting technology companies in the expo!


Well, the recruiting technology vendor community will tell you there are no buyers at the SHRM Annual Conference, so I wanted to see if that was true. I set out to speak with ten expo attendees that were Director title and above and ask them why there were attending the expo, did they have the budget to buy, and if they did, how much was that budget.

Here are the findings:

I was able to easily find ten folks to talk to at those titles. The company size ran from 100 to 100,000. Most were under 1000. 90% were in the expo looking at “what was new in the tech space”, visiting current vendors, looking to replace a current vendor, and one was looking for swag!

The big question was did they have a budget they controlled to buy and if so, how much? Here are some of the people I found at the expo –

Mary, HR Director from Illinois, of a 250-person marketing firm. She had $15,000 to spend and was looking for some technology to help with engagement and connection for remote and hybrid workers. Also, anything that could help in recruiting.

Mark, VP of HR from Denver, 2500 person medical manufacturing company. $50,000 of budget he had discretion over to buy technology. Needed help with getting more hourly workers and retaining hourly workers.

Yolanda, Director level from California, 500-person warehouse and trucking. She had $5000 she could spend and was looking for something to help with retention.

Barb, CHRO out of Atlanta, Law firm, 300 total employees, $25,000, but maybe more depending on what she found. She needed some compensation help and sourcing help for her recruiter.

Robert, Director out of Dallas, 5,000 person electronics manufacturing company. $10-25,000 and he was looking for something like internal mobility but sounded more like just internal job board help.

The one enterprise buyer I spoke with wouldn’t give me a number and realistically, she told me, anything major would have to go to RFP, but she was here looking at everything, especially things that she could add onto their SAP stack.

Across the board, everyone I spoke to was in the market at different levels and many mentioned while they might be able to make this decision on their own, this was the “just shopping” phase to see what is out there. They would take back ideas and findings to their team and decide who to demo.

So, I followed up with many with the question, “What about all those that aren’t here?” The resounding answer was, “Everyone is here, or if they’re not, we probably wouldn’t be interested” assuming those were only small players. There was an assumption all the major players in the HR Tech space were there, which we know is far from true, but it was an interesting finding!

The HR and Recruiting Tech space assumes SHRM only has SMB buyers so why come, and if I’m honest, there are a lot of those types at SHRM, probably 65% or so are in the SMB space. But, it doesn’t mean SMBs don’t have money to spend.

So many of the best-of-breed recruiting technology companies are not in attendance and I know for a fact their average deal size is under $20,000. Seems like a massive missed opportunity as these buyers were looking at a lot of lower-end techs and believing it is the next greatest thing!

It seems like with most HR Technology buys, outside of enterprise system buys, the add-on market is about being seen, being found, and delivering to an audience that needs you, but they don’t know they need you until they see you. With thousands of HR pros and leaders all in one location, it leaves me scratching my head on why these vendors don’t make the investment to come.

Are there buyers of HR Technology at the SHRM Annual Conference? The simple answer is, Yes!

The birth of new recruiting tech for hourly hiring.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What did we need to make hourly recruiting simple?

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