The Tim Sackett Project HR Pro, Dad, Backup Point Guard on my over 40 men's team Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:58:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 4 Reasons You’ll Leave Your Job on Your Terms Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:17:05 +0000 There’s a million ways to lose your job.  Layoffs, company closes, smacking an employee on the butt, you name it and someone has lost their job over it!

The reality is, though, most people leave their jobs on their own terms and it has nothing to do with more money or a higher level job.

If fact there are four main ways people leave their jobs:

#1 – Crappy Boss.  Almost anyone who has left my company has left because they didn’t like me, or I didn’t like them. Well, to be honest, I probably didn’t like the way they were performing.  If they were performing well, I don’t really care if I like them personally. I’ll take the performance over me liking them!  So, for some I’m a crappy boss, for others I’m not.  The key to great leadership is having only a few believe you’re crappy!

#2 – Bad Job Fit. We hired you and thought you would be awesome. Yay! But, we all messed up with thinking you would fit.  You’re not the right fit. You know it. Doesn’t ‘feel’ right, so you you leave to something that feels better. In so many of our jobs that we hire for, fit is the most important part of success. Fit and showing up every day. Shocking how we can’t figure this out!

#3 – Commute.  Length of commute is subjective.  My friends in Detroit live 10 miles from work and drive an hour on good days to their jobs. They seem completely happy with this commute.  I drive 12 miles and it takes me twenty minutes and if I get slowed down and it takes me 22 minutes, I’m ready to shoot people!  People take a job and think the commute is no big deal, but it is a very big deal for so many people.  If the length of commute comes up in negotiation, run away from that candidate.

#4 – Cultural Fit.  I hate conservative, very political environments.  There’s something about kissing ass all day that makes me not a pleasant person to be around.  You need to know who you are and what kinds of culture you like.  Some of my best friends love ultra-professional conservative cultures and do exceptional working in those cultures.  Everyone has a preference. Find yours.  So many people get this wrong and stay in a culture they hate.

These four reasons make up about 99% of why people decide to leave a company.  People always want you to believe they left for money or a promotion, but all of that can usually be had at their current employer with a little patience and some conversations.


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T3- @HRCloud Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:55:59 +0000 This week on T3 I’m reviewing the HRMS system of record technology HRCloud. HRCloud is a HR system of record technology designed for the SMB market.  They compete in the same space as BambooHR.  Companies that are probably looking at their first complete HR system, or updating from a home-grown solution to their integrated suite.

HRCloud has a super clean User Interface and a very modern look and feel.  It’s HR software like you expect HR software to be.  Easy to use. Adaptable to how you want to work, and thought out in a way that makes sense for everyday HR and Talent Acquisition processes.

HRCloud has three main modules: Core HR, Onboarding and Directory.  Core HR is what you think it is. Employee file information, employee position tracking, compensation basics, data analytics, etc.  Onboarding is what you should have in today modern age or giving new employees the forms and access to information they need, before they even show up on their first day.

Directory is a new module for HRCloud which is basically an App that all of your employees can access from any device.  Directory allows employees to find contact information on anyone in your company (company contact, not personal!).  Connect their social feeds, put a face to a name, share information about yourself, etc. This fosters a higher level of connectivity amongst your employees, and allows employees to find others with similar interests, raising engagement.

5 Things I really like about HRCloud:

1. I’m kind of a design snob when it comes to software, I’m finding. HRCloud kills it! I like simple and clean, and their inhouse design team flat out gets it, far more than most HR software design teams.

2. HRCloud doesn’t view themselves as an ‘entry level’ HRIS system, although their price point is in that range. They want to be your system for as big as you grow and they are building out their software to be that vendor.

3. They really have positioned themselves to be the Core HR system for technology companies. They built their processes around organizations that embrace technology and believe in technology, as can be seen in both their Onboarding and Directory products.

4. I really like how HRCloud tries to build in interaction and collaboration amongst your employees wherever possible within the system. I’m a big believer that if your employees are engaged with each other, they’ll be more engaged with their work.  Your organization ultimately benefits from this. This goes way beyond where most core HR systems are.

5. HRCloud recently added a bunch of new stuff including time off tracking, off-boarding (which most of don’t really think about!), benefit tracking and even asset management (what stuff your employees have – iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc. – all that stuff adds up!).

If you are in the market for a Core HR system, HRCloud is definitely one you need to take a look at.

T3 – Talent Tech Tuesday – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on T3 – send me a note.

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Taking a Vacation from my Vacation Mon, 27 Jul 2015 11:40:32 +0000 I’ve got three sons, which I mostly love.  My youngest will ask frequently who I love most.  I always tell him I love him the most, unless his brothers are around, then I tell him it depends on the day.  Of course my wife, she takes the easy route and says she loves them all equally, which I think is scientifically impossible.

Taking a vacation with three kids is not a vacation.  There should be a different name for taking a vacation with three kids.  It doesn’t matter where you go with three kids, it’s not relaxing, in fact it is the opposite of relaxing.  If you go on vacation with kids coming back to work is the real vacation.  We all know it, but no one wants to admit it because you just burned valuable days off and giant pile of cash.

This concept of vacation is very personal to your employees.  It has a huge impact to helping your employees keep a good balance in their lives.  That’s why I was excited to read about some research being done to determine the what is the perfect amount of time on a vacation to get to an ideal state of relaxation.  From the WSJ:

“In a study of 54 people vacationing for an average of 23 days, Dr. de Bloom and co-researchers found that measures of health and wellness improved during vacation compared with baseline, peaking at the eighth day before gradually declining.

“It could be that eight days is the ideal to fully gain the benefits of a holiday,” said Dr. de Bloom. The study was published in 2013 in the Journal of Happiness Studies.

Laura Beatrix Newmark, of New York, has tried getaways of different durations. Her ideal vacation: nine days. “You really feel like you can get into a different zone and then when you come back you feel like you’re in a different mind-set,” said the 38-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two young children.”

Eight days. Seems about right. You take off on a Friday after work, maybe sneak out a little early. You then have Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Eight days.  The problem is that first day never seems like a vacation as you get settled in and try to unwind and that last Saturday you need to start packing and getting stuff together because you leave on Sunday. That final Sunday might as well be a work day because you definitely aren’t on vacation any longer!

One other thing the study found that could really help your employees if getting people to think and visualize their vacation in the days leading up to their time off. We’ve all heard that: “Oh, Tim, he’s already on vacation!” But, I’m sure it helps people start to unplug from the job and get ready for the full time role of just enjoying some down time.

Those who are working like mad right up until the time they leave, have a really hard time shutting if off!  A great engagement idea would be getting employees little care packages of things that will help them on their vacation: some extra sun screen, bug repellent, a Starbucks card, etc. Help them start to get their mind on having a relaxing time.

If they’re parents, select a safe word they can text you to call them and tell them they are urgently needed back at work!



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Your Company’s History, is History Fri, 24 Jul 2015 11:19:54 +0000 Is it important to KFC that Colonel Sanders wasn’t really a real Colonel?

Is it important to suburban teen clothing company, Hollister Co. that none of it’s history is real?

Is it important to your company about how it was started, who started it, etc. You know, the backstory.  Is your company’s backstory important to your business?

We like to believe it is, and I think for some organizations it’s important to their guiding mission. But, let’s face it, for most of us, it’s just a story. Culver’s has tells us some of their story about burgers and frozen custard in their commercials, but let’s face it, I’m not eating their because of their history.  I eating their because their cheeseburgers and ice cream are delicious!  I don’t care if their beginnings were in a prison kitchen, I’m buying!

Most people think like this.

Walmart has one of the best American made beginning of all time, and people hate them! They are arguably America’s biggest success of a company, but since they are no longer a small retailer from Arkansas, and began world domination, we hate them. We hate they became successful, and now sell stuff to us really cheap from China.

I believe it’s great to know your company’s history. Where you came from and how you got started. The problem many organizations run into is that they try to live in that past.  “Well, we started out selling washers, and we need to keep selling washers.” Even though our clients can now buy them overseas for 90% less than what you sell them for. This is why companies go under. This is why so many companies who were once great, are no more.

Your company’s history is valuable if people believe it’s actually a differentiator of your brand and success.  Once it no longer holds this designation, it’s just another old story.

Most organizations put way more value on their beginning, on their history, than is needed.  They do this because usually the person, or people, who were are apart of this history is still around.  This is ‘really’ important to them.  This is their legacy.  It might not be the ultimate legacy of the organization, but it is their legacy, now.

One of the hardest things you’ll ever come against as a leader is moving past your organization’s history, if it becomes a roadblock to moving your organization forward.  For many employees this becomes that one thing they can hold onto as true.  It’s what they know, and it doesn’t change. Creating new history is scary and unknown.  So, employees tend to fight back and hold on to the organizational history hard!

Getting employees to buy into the fact they can create and be apart of your new history moving forward is key to getting past your old history.  Your organizational history is just that, history.  Don’t make your history more than it has to be, especially if it isn’t adding value to your future.  If your history equals your brand, you better make sure that is what people want to buy!

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Checking Work Email, Isn’t Working! Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:29:59 +0000 For most of their careers, my parents could never check their work email at home.  It did mean that they probably stopped working when they got home, unlike most professional employees today.  My parents also rarely made it home at 5pm, and worked in the office many Saturdays and Sundays when the work needed to get done.

When did we start defining work as sitting in the bathroom at home and replying to email in five minutes as work?

Let’s face it, most people aren’t really working when they are home.  They like to believe that what they’re doing is real work, but if can also wait to be done the next morning when you arrive at the office, you’re not doing real work, you’re just narcissistic.  Oh, I better immediately get back to John and tell him I can definitely do that interview at 8am, next week Friday…

We act like checking work email at home is like we’re donating a kidney, or something.

CareerBuilder released a new survey today that shows that 59% of males and 42% of females respond to emails when out of the office.  Those numbers actually sound low to me. The survey also shows that younger workers are more likely to think about work when going to bed and when waking. Just wait! Pretty soon thinking about work will be the same as work!

Are we losing our minds!?

Seriously! I want to know.  Having the ability to check and respond to emails outside of the office increase your work-life flexibility, but we talk about it like it’s an anchor.  That iPhone is only an anchor if you make it an anchor!  Tomorrow I’m taking a half day to go watch my son play baseball.  In between innings I always check my email and respond if necessary.

Making the decision to take a half a day to watch my son play baseball is easy, because I know I can balance both jobs I have, running a company and being a Dad.  Does my son care that I’m checking email while he’s warming up in between innings?  No. He doesn’t even notice.  It’s not like I’m behind the backstop giving a performance review over the phone while he’s up to bat! I’m just checking and following up on some emails.

If you decide you want to stay connected to your job and organization while you are out of the office, that is a personal decision. Don’t act like you’re going above and beyond by keeping up on your emails.

If keeping up on your emails is the real work you’re doing, you’re way overpaid!

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You Can’t Copy Culture Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:46:06 +0000 I want our company to be just like Zappos!

No you don’t.

First, Zappos has a very strong culture, of which, most people couldn’t handle or wouldn’t like.  They hire very specific talent based on this cultural fit and desire to be in their certain culture, it’s not for everyone.  Now drink. Yep, that’s the new game sweeping the nation at HR and Recruiting conferences.  If a speaker says “Zappos” or “Google” you need to take a drink.  We might be HR nerds, but we party.

Second, you couldn’t replicate their culture even if you hired every single one of their employees and moved them into your offices.  You can’t copy culture. You can’t grow it again.  Culture is very specific to an organization, the leadership, the employee mix and time.

It’s not something you can just cut and paste into another organization. Believe me. It’s been tried about a million times and failed a million and one.

Remember when it was cool to hire folks from Disney because you wanted some of that Disney customer service culture in your organization? Yeah, how did that work out? You’re also not Disney. Or Southwest. Or some fun tech startup that plays ping pong and wears expensive hoodies.

You are you.  Stop trying to copy some other organizations culture and just do you.

Your culture is fine.  The people who are cancer to your culture are not. Get rid of them.  Communicate. Have an idea about where you’ve been and where you’re going and tell your employees.  Get them involved. Find out what tweaks their curiosity. Hire people who want to work for you.  No, not people who want a job. People who, specifically, want to work for your company.

I had a brilliant man once mentor me during a big merger between our companies.  I was young in my HR career and the company I worked for didn’t have a positive culture.  I wanted to change that. He told me that was useless.  He said we could change every single employee one by one, and would still be the same a year from now.

He said, “Culture always wins.” Good or bad, positive or negative. The culture you have will win. It will beat you.

Don’t fight the culture you have. Work with it, make it work for you.  Culture evolves, it doesn’t change quickly.  That’s your biggest problem. Too many leaders think they have the power to change culture overnight, but they don’t.

Leaders are like salt to culture. Salt exaggerates the taste of the food it is added to.  Leaders can add to the culture you have. They can make good culture even better, and they can bad culture even worse. What they can’t do is make bad culture, good.  Or, good culture, bad. An organization with a strong positive culture will beat a bad leader trying to betray it.

Don’t be discouraged.

You can keep fighting the good fight, just don’t get too down on yourself when you don’t see results right away, and don’t copy another culture!

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T3 – Life Guides Tue, 21 Jul 2015 11:58:47 +0000 This week on T3 I’m reviewing Employment Branding technology Life Guides.  Life Guides philosophy is that pretty much all candidates are Googling you to find out more about your company. In fact, there research shows that 73% of candidates report that they first Googled an employer before applying for a job.

Add in sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn, and you can imagine that 100% of candidates are probably checking up on you in some sort of fashion. So, the big question is how do you get a transparent, real version of who you are out to potential candidates?  They won’t believe the marketing you put on your own career site, and you might not want them to listen to disgruntled employees on Yelp type site. This is where Life Guides fill in the blanks.

A Life Guide is information about certain position you choose in your company that can be displayed on your career sites, social media feeds, etc. The employees who actually in the job are the ones who fill out the information about the actual job, environment, interview tips, true career path, what it’s like working day to day, etc.  You can have individual Life Guides for the same job in different locations as well, knowing this sometimes changes based on location.

5 Things I really like about Life Guides:

1. Life Guides give your candidates some real information to help them decide if you’re the right fit for them, and if so, more information on how to actually succeed at getting the job.

2. Filling out Life Guides has a secondary benefit for your employees in the way of positive engagement.  When your employees write about their actual experiences, it gives them a positive outlook on their job, their company and their career.

3. Life Guides help you control your brand. Unlike other ‘transparent’ sites Life Guides does keep the control of the message in the hands of the organization and HR.  HR has edit capability. Is this fully transparent?  No, but I like that! I want transparent light! Like the aging movie star who uses fuzzy filters to make themselves look younger. I want the truth, just the best looking version of truth I can get!  To Life Guides credit, they recommend to their clients not to edit, but sometimes, especially for English as a second language employees, it might be necessary.

4.  There is some gamification components with badges and such to help encourage your employees to get active with Life Guides, and also use their Life Guides as a portfolio for their own career advancement.  Life Guides sees their client employees linking their Life Guide responses in their LinkedIn profiles.

5. It’s really inexpensive, and super easy to use, and takes just minutes to complete on both the HR end, and the employee end.

If you’re concerned about your employment brand and want to leverage your great employees to help share your true brand, give Life Guides a look.  The demo takes thirty minutes or less, and they can show you some great examples of how some of their current clients are using their solution.

T3 – Talent Tech Tuesday – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on T3 – send me a note.

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The Most Important Question You’ll Ever Ask a Hiring Manager Mon, 20 Jul 2015 11:30:51 +0000 How are those hiring manager “intake” meetings going?

You know, those meetings you have with a hiring manager every single time they have an opening.  You sit down with your hiring manager, face to face, and ask them a page full of questions.  Why is this position open? What would make a candidate most successful in this role?  What color of skin would you like this candidate to have? Boobs or no boobs? Whoops! Scratch those last ones, we would never ask those…

The reality is Talent Pros really only have one question they need to ask hiring managers. That question is this:

“Do you trust that I can find the talent you need?”

Ultimately, this is all that really matters for your success.  If they trust you, they’ll give you all the information you need to be successful.  If they don’t trust you can find the talent they need, they tend to hold stuff back.

Yes, I know that doesn’t make sense, but that’s real world talent acquisition stuff! Welcome to corporate America, a lot of stuff doesn’t make sense!

Most hiring manager have no faith you’ll find them great talent.  They have this belief because so many bad Talent Pros before you failed them.  So many before you didn’t really go out and find the best talent, they just delivered whatever warm body came into the ATS.

I just come out and ask the question.  The first answer you’ll get from 99% of hiring manager is a weird, “Well, sure, I do.” If you really dig into this answer, you’ll get the true answer which 90% of the time is, “Hell no! Why would I?  Your department has really never gotten this right!”

Thank you! That’s what I really needed.  I needed to get that out in the open, so now we can really build trust, and make great things happen.  They’re mostly right. Talent Acquisition fails many of our hiring managers for a number of reasons. Right now, your hiring manager doesn’t need to hear those reasons, they need to hear why this time will be different.

Then, you have to live up to ‘different’! You have to be better.  You have to get it right. Getting it right earns trust.

Once they trust you, great things will happen. Earn that trust.

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The New “Radio” Job Ads Fri, 17 Jul 2015 11:57:00 +0000 Have you listened to an actual radio station lately?

I’m guessing you probably haven’t. You see radio, as a media consumption, is down to 12% of your total consumption, from 19% in 2009.  One big change during that same period, is that a large number are switching to from 25% in 2009 to 55% today. Also, listening off various Apps on your smartphones, in your car, have increased to 35% today. In 2009, it was under 5%!

We are changing the way we consume music and talk programs.  Radio used to be a solid medium to advertise jobs. Especially, those jobs in the service sector, skilled trades, etc.  The advantage of job advertising on the radio was that the radio station had great data on their demographic of listeners. Age, location, gender, income, etc.  This meant you could select fairly accurately who was listening to your job message.

Today, over 140 Million people are listening to Pandora and Spotify.

No longer when entering an office building do you hear the local ‘easy listening’ station, with about 20 minutes of commercials per hour.  Now, you usually hear some version of internet radio, and usually that means Pandora or Spotify.

So, what does this mean for HR and Talent pros who still want to advertise their jobs on radio?

I think there is a huge opportunity, depending on your hiring demographic, to test using Apps like Pandora and Spotify to market your job openings.

Think about the advantages you could get using internet radio for job postings:

– They have similar demographics as traditional radio, plus you can get more targeted by location. Pandora and Spotify take user information to target local advertising, for unpaid subscribers.  Let’s say you have a major competitor in Lincoln Park, IL.  You want to advertise in just that market, and those users who self-identified to be in that market.

– The advertising model is based on impressions, so you can say I have a $100 per day budget, and only want it to run for 5 days. The ads will stop once he limit is hit. If it’s not hit, let’s say your advertising in a small market, the money comes back to you.  So, this type of advertising is fairly inexpensive, as compared to traditional radio and other formats.

– The audience is going to skew millennial and younger.  For those looking to hire in that demo, it’s not a guarantee, but the numbers don’t lie.

Truth be told I haven’t done this, but I would love to hear from someone who has tried this medium for job advertising.  What I know is that there is a huge audience, and almost no employers are advertising in this space.  That means one of two things: 1. It’s ripe for some great, cheap hiring; 2. It’s a total bust.  I don’t think it’s a total bust.  I think it’s just something people haven’t thought of, yet.

Let me know if you try it, and what your results are!

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The Power of Written Notes Thu, 16 Jul 2015 11:24:11 +0000 My oldest son graduated from high school this spring and we had one of those big old traditional open houses with a tent and tables and a slushy machine.  It was a nice gathering of 200+ family, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, people I don’t recall ever meeting, kids looking for a free desert, bums looking for a free drink, etc.

The whole idea of an open house is so your kid can get cash to start off their life in the ‘real’ world.  Invite as many people as you can. Update and clean your house for a year.  Decide on a menu that won’t break your bank account, but will impress all the other moms in attendance who are also throwing open houses.  Put up a lot of pictures and awards.

Side note: My wife won the 2015 Open House competition.  It wasn’t an unanimous vote, but she pretty much ran away with it. Also, she is a front runner for 2016 and my middle son’s graduation open house. We’re Sackett’s, we only get bigger and better!  I’m already having the back-2-back Open House Champs shirts printed up! #Confidence

We got lucky.  His real world consists of a college scholarship to play baseball.  The big expenses like tuition and books will be paid for, he has to pick up some living expenses, but his hard work paid off.  He now feels what it’s like to have more than a few hundred dollars in his bank account.  Which basically means he eats out almost every meal. He’s ghetto rich.

One really cool thing happened from having the open house.  Our son had to write thank you notes to all those who came, and all those who sent cards and cash.  He was lucky to have to write a ton of thank yous!

I voted on just getting the preprinted Thank You notes.  I bet half of the thank you notes we received of were this variety. Thanks for coming. I’m so grateful! Here’s a post card that was preprinted and my mom addressed the envelope. I probably would have went with a 10% off your next appetizer at Applebee’s or something to make it more special, but again, Sackett’s go big!

My wife is a traditionalist, he was going to be hand writing his notes.

It took some time to get them done, but to his credit, he really put in some time and thought into writing these notes.  I’ve heard from so many people congratulating me on his thank you notes!  Most commented on how much detail he added, and how he made it personal to them specifically.  That definitely makes us proud parents!

The entire experience just reminds me of how important it is to sometimes take the time to write a note out by hand.  In our world of messaging and emails, it just gets so easy to tune out so many of these communications.  Rarely, does a handwritten note get tuned out.  Remember that kids when you go looking for a job.  Your resume might get eaten up by an ATS, but most handwritten notes and cards get passed on directly to decision makers without being opened by a gatekeeper!

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