Archive for the ‘200 Words’ Category

I think I have read and digested my share of “10 things that you should do better” or “get training because you can’t do THIS” or “stop doing this and do that” or “why job postings suck” or “you aren’t (big company) but you need to be like them”


We know there are efforts that have low return. That we have 4 poeple who get interviewed and we have to turn about 3, and we know that some technology or social media company has come out with something better, faster, and whatever that will make you rethink how you have done everything because its dated.

Its now mid year, and you have been barraged with media on what you don’t do. 

Well I am here to say keeping kicking ass and keep taking names. Recruiters, both good and bad ones, get up each day and have to deal with saying NO, or I’m sorry, or hear it from managers on something that probably isn’t their fault. And of course we screw up too. We make mistakes because we when you do something 100 times a day, especially manually, maybe you have a miss. 

Remember what you do – you help your company find people work they want to do or need to do. Help those people help their families. Live their dreams or aspire for more. You are part of the team that designed the new product or service, made it better, and got it to market. You are part of the team that found the educators, managers, leaders, and key team members that make your company a place that you want to stay at. Doesn’t matter if you are RPO, contract, corporate, or agency. PART OF A TEAM GETTING IT DONE AND GETTING BETTER.

My contribution to this barrage of “this is what you don’t do?” media blitz?

1) I am going to stop liking, sharing, thumbing, or commenting on ANYTHING that is negative. Our world has so much NO in it anyway. I’m certainly not going to participate in making negativity viral.

2) Anything I write or present I will have a “here is an idea or improvement” or “here is a great story in how” and will not have a dialogue on all the things that teams do wrong or can’t do. You want that negative BS..you can find it somewhere else, but not by me or my team. If you hear or read something from our team that is negative, call me right away so we can adjust and make it constructive.

3) I am going to keep asking people to do both of the above. To stop acknowledging negative thought leadership and start embracing the constructive kind. 

Happy Friday all – I hope everyone had a great week, and has a killer weekend 😉




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That’s the edited title.

I hear some people keep talking about lack of data, dirty data, or not using the data they have in making business decisions. In fact they are using the data an obstacle.

If you have lots of anything, consider using it as fuel, rather than simply waste. You have bad data? Spread that all over the place and light it up.

Talk about getting attention. That’s right – expose it. Put it center stage and let everyone know this is the majority of what we have and this is how we make decisions – either using this data or using NO data.

Of course you can’t leave a burning heap in the middle of the stage. Harness the energy it produces to make action. Capture it, and repurpose it.

You can use that energy to produce new methods and then have cleaner fuels.

If people can turn landfills, weeds, grasses, used fryer oil, and manure into fuel, then we can use our dirty, bad, or poor data in order the get some energy and advance.

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The last few months, maybe even the last year, I had forgotten all about this. But it just flooded over me again and washed me clean of all the jargon around big data, analytics and so on.

What use does data and evidence from all kinds of places have to help us make decisions? Is it better? Do we do it because we will make more money? Gain more efficiency? Get more clients? Well – those are by products of good decisions, but those are not the reasons we use data. Nope, not at all.

Data and its analysis allows us to quickly step back and ask the one question that data can’t ask – WHY?

Why do you want to work here?
Why do want to bring ideas here?
Why do you want your family to be proud of what you do?
Why do you want to get up early and be eager to go?
Why are you going to change everything?
Why should we let you into our cool club of people?
Why will you make my team better?

So how often do we ask those questions of our incoming talent? Probably not enough. Are we afraid to ask? Or is the reason simpler than fear….

Maybe it’s because we need to spend time gathering all the other evidence on what and how that we feel we don’t have time to ask “why”.

As talent folk, we consult the most on the why. We spend lots of time gathering the how and what. And the how and what is rooted in data. It’s found in data. It’s proven with data.

But the why needs to be asked. I have seen all kinds of amazing data stuff – but none of it supplants the simple question of WHY

Let’s think about that for a second. So why do people do whatever they do? Do they do it for money? For free food at work? For perks? For recognition? Maybe…but ultimately they do it because they believe that’s it’s a good thing.

They do…
To create next great engineering feat.
To find the next cure.
To educate our kids better.
Built a better mousetrap.
Stop hunger.
Stand on a new planet.
Create new energy.
Or something awesome, fun, cool or makes them feel good

That’s WHY we do. And that’s what we need our interviews to be about. Why this brand? Why our company? Why does your drive going to change our company?

People LOVE to make stuff WORK. Not as sure they like to make stuff JOB. It’s not about the job – it’s about the work.

Back to the data – the evidence on what people do and how they do it is all around us. It sits in systems and discussions and can be plotted and proven using all kinds of data techniques. We actually can use evidence from systems and data to reveal the what and how.

But we still need to ask “why”. And that is where recruiting is going. And that is why assessments haven’t replaced recruiters or interviews. And they won’t. They will offer data points and insight, but not the WHY. Even if you ask questions around the why, we want to hear it as humans.

You ever see somebody light up when you ask them WHY? When they have passion, you can see it in their face and body language. The tone of their voice changes. They get personal and human. They smile. A great recruiter can even know when a person is smiling on the phone – and they certainly know when they are not 🙂

So WHY would we ever stop that? Let’s get the data we need spend less time asking about what and how, and spend more time on the WHY.

It will improve our decisions. The candidate experience. The hiring manager experience. All experiences. Treat people as individuals, not applications in a pile.

Happy Friday.

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Fall is here, and I am eager for October baseball. Phillies won’t be there but there is always next year.

Stats on each player will be on display. Every at bat there will be a review of the player stats for the playoffs and for the season, with Joe Buck rattling off the stats and Tim McCarver saying something that bothers me.

It’s the business card of baseball. Name, team, position AND stats. One always follows the other. Makes me wonder why we don’t have stats in the back of our business cards.

Imagine that. People see your average, scores and so on. They see that you were rookie of the year. That you have been with 2 teams in 10 years.

That’s crazy right? Well maybe – but certainly not impossible. Put a pic on the front, title, company – jersey is optional. On the back, list your team you played for each year, a rating (grades, tests, 360, performance, or customer satisfaction), stack years into rows, a fun fact or two and maybe your salary. Yep – I went there with compensation. Why not?

If you flipped over somebody’s card and saw their ranking for the last 7 years as X, an estimate of earnings, and they were on Z teams, you make assumptions on their talent right away.

Growing up my friends and I traded cards and bubble gum in the basement. Arguing on how one player wasn’t worth the same as another because of his stats – always looking at the stats. Maybe that’s too easy…maybe.

Fun idea – have to get a mustache though. Enjoy fall ball 🙂

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Getting hammered with invites on training and certifications lately. Sourcing, recruiting, human capital strategy, analytics etc. Most have the same concept – come for a day or two, or week – or take 40 hours of training and get “credentials”.

I am all for training – take everyone you get invited to, learn, use and share. Pass the learning to friends and colleagues. Even I took all the coursework for being a PMP years ago, and learned a ton.

But you know what – recruiting and sourcing are quite a bit different than they were a few years ago – and they will be different in a few years. So here is my POV

1 – find a program like that mirrors the Project Management Institutes way of thinking – you need to recertify and take new courses all the time. Make sure you have to maintain your credentials or you will lose them.

2 – do a certification that is mandated by one party, but taught by another. HRCI credits are an example. I could make up a “certification” and charge for it – but who is auditing our work? Align with academics if possible here.

3 – expertise is honed by using training and techniques over time. I’m a big fan of the 10,000 hours of time in anything makes you an expert – so think carefully about your certification and if it will stand up 10000 hours from now

Have a great weekend all!!

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The last two days I have been meeting with heads of talent mgmt and development from over 60 companies. Straight up – TM and TD has its work cut out for itself in data.

There are not systems of record that record daily or weekly activity in relation to leadership, competencies, succession planning, or development. Not that the PMS, engagement survey, LMS, or other systems can’t handle being engaged regularly – they just aren’t:
Engagement survey – 1x per year
Performance reviews – 2x per year
LMS review – sporadic but maybe 4x
Competency review – 1x a year – maybe

So for the last 48 hours its been about how do you track if management is exhibiting training, is leadership getting better, or if people learning.

Well folks…you could start using your systems more than once a year. Break up the engagement survey into groups, do reviews more, track learning weekly rather than monthly – but I know the politics and resource behind that maybe a hot mess.

It’s time to get the data from the business. Mfg quality data, sales, customer service, market share, impromptu feedback, and supplier / vendor feedback from the business. Those areas are being tracked more regularly and you can start analyzing if business outcomes are moving and if HR processes are directly linked to those outcomes. If leaders are able to increase output, start investigating if they are using different engagement and mgmt methods, and where did they get it from.

You could do text based analytics of work product, emails, messaging, CRMs and so on to see if culture or communication is shifting – but that’s a double diamond ski slope – in Colorado. Don’t break your neck. We can ski that slope – but hopefully you can make it down 🙂

It may be better to have an approach that allows for a higher frequency of data enables trending earlier. If you want to see if you are engaging more or if people are learning or executing better – ask more often, assess more often, and check the every day data. That’s the short answer.

The most logical answer is usually the right one – if you want to know if you are engaging people better within a 12 month time frame, not sure you should do the engagement survey only once a year.

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At some point, all of them can put you to sleep. So to perk up the conversation, let’s bring all three back to jobs.

Until we hit 200,000 per month in job adds monthly in the US for three months straight, I am not going to get too excited about anything. What will changing the tax rates do for job creation? Well a small cut stands to have the same impact as a small bonus – like the tax credit for hiring veterans. It wasn’t enough to have a large shift in veteran hiring, so why would an increase greatly impact employment?

Companies (mine included) will make choices on hiring because of ROI and need. For me, as a small business owner, the difference in any tax structure isn’t going to sway my decision to investment many times that tax difference in an employee, and if my business is growing, I will hire.

So watch the job creation numbers in the coming year – this year none of the monthly job growth numbers were 2xx,xxx – but they need to be there next year, otherwise is just more of the new normal.

My prediction? Regardless of tax decisions and fiscal cliff, we average less than 150,000 new jobs per month all next year.

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