The Tim Sackett Project http://www.timsackett.com HR Pro, Dad, Backup Point Guard on my over 40 men's team Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:20:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Live from #SHRM15 – We All Just Want Attention http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/30/live-from-shrm15-we-all-just-want-attention/ http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/30/live-from-shrm15-we-all-just-want-attention/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:20:06 +0000 http://www.timsackett.com/?p=2748 Monday’s big keynote speaker was the ever popular Marcus Buckingham.  Marcus has the great English accent, high energy and great leadership content to share. He’s strong every time I’ve seen him, going on way too many times at this point in my life!

The big bomb he dropped on the SHRMies this session was the money-shot quote of the conference: Millennials don’t want feedback!

We’ve all been told by thought leaders and Millennial experts for a decade that all Millennials want is feedback and work-life balance!  They don’t want money or power or ice in their beer.  Just feedback and time off.  Marcus put a stop to all of this, and had the data to back it up!

In reality, Marcus told us the truth.  Millennials, and the rest of us, don’t want feedback, we all want attention. Pay attention to us!  Stop by frequently and see how we are doing, give us some insight to our near future, help us get our jobs done.  But, please, don’t give us feedback on what we are doing wrong!

No one wants that.  The whole reason performance reviews fail is because they don’t deliver what we truly want, attention, not feedback.  So, our “HR” answer to this is to do what?!? Let’s do more frequent, smaller, feedback sessions! NO!

Unfortunately, this is going to be big old Titanic to turn around.  The wheels have been in motion to long to stop what we’ve already started.  HR technology platforms and your processes are already in place. Your managers have already been trained, and now you want us to stop?!?

Basically, yes.

Those organizations with high engagement are not the ones who are giving more feedback. They are the ones who are paying more attention to their employees.  Yes, there is a difference.

This is fraught with issues for most HR pros and organizations because it feels a little pie in the skish.  There is an assumption that you pay attention to your employees and they’ll just magically do what they’re supposed to do, and we live happily ever after, cats and dogs living together.

We know that isn’t reality.

Some employees need to be managed to get the most out of them.  They need to be held accountable. I do think there is a balance that we can get to when it comes to paying attention to our employees, like they want, and being able to ‘manage’ them like the business needs.

Managers need to know that even with those employees they’ve worked with for a long time, it’s critical that they don’t stop paying attention to what they’re doing, professionally and personally. Also, our employees need to understand that, yes, we care about you, but that doesn’t mean you can just not perform the job you were hired to do.

I don’t need engaged employees that don’t do the job they were hired to do. I want engaged, productive employees.  It’s all about balancing your approach, and I love that Marcus put to bed the concept that Millennials just want feedback!

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Live from #SHRM15 – S#*t HR Tech Salespeople Say! http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/29/live-from-shrm15-st-hr-tech-salespeople-say/ http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/29/live-from-shrm15-st-hr-tech-salespeople-say/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:37:25 +0000 http://www.timsackett.com/?p=2732 That’s right SHRMies today is the day!  2 pm West Coast time, because you know it’s the best coast, Kris Dunn, and I will be dropping knowledge at SHRM 2015. Our presentation will give you the ins and outs of selecting your next HR and/or Talent technology. We’ll also be talking HR vendor negotiating and give you keep insight to getting the best deal you can!

Check us out, if you’re here.  If you’re not, here’s a little taste of what you’ll be missing:

S#*t HR Tech Salespeople Say and How to Translate It!

“This software/tool pays for itself!”

Yeah, and so does that travel insurance you bought to protect your vacation last year!  This always goes well with another line they throw into the mix, “you’ll save so much money, you’ll be able to put money back to the bottomline of the business”.  If you believe this I’ve got some great land to sell in the Everglades!

“Buy now, before the price goes up in September!”

Every single time I hear this from an HR Tech salesperson I hang-up or end the conversation.  This is the cheesiest, of cheeseball lines that a salesperson can use when negotiating.  If you’re giving me a price in June, but I need a couple of months to get this decision through the proper channels, the price better be the same in sixty days.

“We don’t have that yet, but it’s in a future release!”

You know what else is in a future release?  Their ability to use 3D printers to make real rock star candidates!  Sure that future release might be 100 years down the road, but technically they didn’t lie to you!  If the product you’re looking at doesn’t have the functionality you need now, and it’s critical for you to have it, you need to walk away.  Too many things happen in the tech industry to plan on ‘a future release’ to make the product work for you.

Want some more?!?

We’ve got plenty, stop on down to the live show and check us out.  Kris and I are like the movie Twins, with Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwartzneggar.  He’s the big one. I’m the good looking one! I think that’s how that movie went…

Anyway, it’ll be fun.  If you couldn’t make it to SHRM, hit me with an email, and I’ll make sure you get a copy of the slide deck for the presentation.

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Live from #SHRM15 – Secret Sauce Recipes! http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/28/live-from-shrm15-secret-sauce-recipes/ http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/28/live-from-shrm15-secret-sauce-recipes/#comments Sun, 28 Jun 2015 14:19:19 +0000 http://www.timsackett.com/?p=2670 Yeah, I know it’s Sunday and I normally don’t post on a Sunday, but I’m at the annual SHRM National Conference in Las Vegas and it starts today. The opening keynote speaker is Coach K, the Duke University head basketball coach.  I’m not a big fan.  His team beats my team way too often! So, he’ll be painful to listen to as I remember each defeat.

The SHRM expo floor also opens today with a big reception.  The SHRM expo is hard to describe.  Part flee market. Part carnival. Part car show. All HR and Talent.  Everyone who ever wants to sell stuff to HR is here.  They hand out pens, stress balls, mints, hand sanitizer, t shirts, frisbees, candy, basically, anything to get you to stop and talk to them.

My favorite free stuff that vendors give out is information!  You see, all of these vendors have clients that actually pay these vendors money to use their products and services.  These vendors know what others are doing to be successful.  If you take a few minutes they’ll gladly share the secret sauce recipes of all kinds of organizations!

We all want secret sauce recipes!

It’s probably the greatest weakness of HR and Talent Acquisition, in general, from industry to industry, is we suck at getting competitive data on what other organizations are doing in their HR and Talent shops.  We don’t network with our competition. We think if we share what we are doing, we’re somehow sharing national secrets. So, we fumble around through life, trying to figure it all out on our own.

That is why I spend most of my time at SHRM meeting with vendors.  I treat them like normal people, and they in turn give me great insight to what is working and not working in the world of HR and Talent.  I get smarter. I learn what I can take back to my own shop.  I gain some understanding of what the best organizations are doing that is successful. That’s valuable!

I don’t really care what Coach K does to cheat his way to national titles and stealing recruits.  What I care about is being on the cutting edge of what the best companies are doing to gain an advantage with their employees and getting the best talent.

Check me out on Pericope, where I’ll be live streaming during the conference!

*image credit to Gaping Void.

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Live From #SHRM15 – Everyone Wants Priority Status http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/26/live-from-shrm15-everyone-wants-priority-status/ http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/26/live-from-shrm15-everyone-wants-priority-status/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:55:02 +0000 http://www.timsackett.com/?p=2651 Next week I’ll be speaking at SHRM’s Annual National Conference in Las Vegas with my good friend Kris Dunn.  Come check us out!  Our session is titled: We’re Bringing Techy Back!  It’s on Monday, June 29th at 2pm in rooms N228-N230.

In this session we’ll discuss everything you need to know, as an HR and Talent pro, about selecting your next HR technology, what HR tech companies are saying, and what it really means. We’ll also give you some great tips on negotiating the price! Our hope is to take the fear and confusion of HR Tech and make it simple and clear.  We’ll also have some fun and probably be a bit snarky about the HR Tech industry!

Also, check me out on Periscope (TimSackett) as I’ll be attempting to do some live video feeds from the Expo floor and maybe, just maybe, live from our session at SHRM.  It’s super easy, just download the app to your phone and you can watch whatever it is I’m videoing, live, in real-time. You can also ask questions and make comments.

As I get ready to take off to Vegas I started thinking about checking in to my flight and hoping I’ll get a good status so I can find some space in the overheads and not have to wait at baggage claim.  I hate the concept of priority status, because I hate the way it ‘classes’ individuals.  I get it. Delta wants to take care of those passengers who are most loyal. I actually like that part.  After that, it all becomes a little hairy!

First comes the needs of those who need extra time and help boarding. Usually, elderly, injured and families with babies and strollers.  I’m fine with this, but the family thing has gotten out of control. I mean, look, your kid can walk by themselves, you don’t need extra time! You’re just gaming the system.  If I was smart I would befriend a really old person and offer to carry their bag!

First Class is next. Okay, they pay the most, I can buy into that.  I’m a capitalist. I can fit my brain around that.

Next, comes those skymile frequent flyer types.  Again, I’m all for loyalty programs, and would argue these folks should probably get on before first class, but they are both getting on early, so all have no real issues.

This is where all hell breaks lose.  Seating Status 1, or 2, or 3, etc.

There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason behind the rest of us get on the plane!  They claim that ‘zone’ seating is done back to front, but if you’ve flown anytime recently you know that isn’t true.  You can buy into zone 1 if you want to pay a little extra to jump on early, but not as early as about 50% of the plane listed in the above classes.

Basically, Delta has created this entire system where people just all push towards the gate and wait for their zone, but try and get in early on their zone. It’s chaos!  And their is no reason for it.

Can you imagine if you did this with your employees or candidates?  It’s dysfunctional at best, and creates ‘fans’ who end up hating you at worst.

I fly about 12-15 times per year, not anywhere close to the real frequent travelers I know.  But each time I question the boarding process and what a bad process it is, on all airlines, not just Delta.

What’s a better way?  I like the pure capitalist play of seating by ticket price! Those who paid the most, get on first, all the way down to those who paid the least or got ‘free’ travel with miles. I’m even willing to have this take longer. It might not be ‘better’, but at least I can justify why I’m getting on last!

See you in Vegas.  Make sure you hit me up on Twitter (@TimSackett). I would love to meet you in real life while I’m at SHRM, unless you’re creepy, then please hit up Kris Dunn (@Kris_Dunn)!

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The #1 Way to Communicate Success of a HR Change! http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/25/the-1-way-to-communicate-success-of-a-hr-change/ http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/25/the-1-way-to-communicate-success-of-a-hr-change/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:52:46 +0000 http://www.timsackett.com/?p=2647 Adobe recently changed their annual performance review process of the traditional once-per-year review to a more modern design of having frequent feedback throughout the year:

So, based in part on ideas crowdsourced from employees, Morris and her team scrapped annual evaluations and replaced them with a system called Check In. At the start of each fiscal year, employees and managers set specific goals. Then, at least every eight weeks but usually much more often, people “check in” with their bosses for a real-time discussion of how things are going. At an annual “rewards check-in,” managers give out raises and bonuses according to how well each employee has met or exceeded his or her targets. “Managers are empowered to make those decisions,” says Morris. “There is no ‘matrix.’ HR isn’t involved.”

A big change for any organization, for sure, but that’s not what this post is really about.  You see, Donna Morris, Adobe’s Sr. Global VP of People and Places could have easily just said it’s been a great success and shared stories from employees and hiring managers about how much they loved it. She could have shared retention metrics and employee engagement scores to show its success, but she didn’t. What shared did was absolutely brilliant! She shared this:

Getting feedback in real time, so everyone stays on track and is pulling in the same direction, has helped make Adobe’s 13,000 employees far more productive, Morris says. Adobe’s stock price has increased from about $30 to over $80 since Check In began.

Drops mic, walks off stage.

You want to really communicate the success of HR change, tie it to direct financial outcomes!  Yes, it’s a major leap to say “Check In” created $50 per share of shareholder value.  Let me say that again, MAJOR LEAP!  In fact, I don’t even think you could scientifically correlate this one HR change to the raise in shareholder value, but she did!  What she did would be similar to saying global temperatures have risen 3 degrees on average since they started making Krispy Kreme donuts, so Krispy Kreme is responsible for global warming!

You see, success of a major program has little to do with fact, and ton to do with perception.  Here is a senior HR executive who gets it.   She wants to do other cool and innovative stuff at Adobe, and now she has her big-win to go back to when someone pushes back that it won’t work, or it’s not needed.   In the minds of Adobe employees, this program has increased shareholder value, and we need to listen to her other ideas!

Take note HR Pros!  If you get this opportunity, you take it 100% of the time! Because you won’t get it often.  How do you communicate your success of a HR program?  Wait until you have favorable financial data in your organization, then connect the dots for people!

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Do Demotions Work? http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/24/do-demotions-work/ http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/24/do-demotions-work/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 11:09:51 +0000 http://www.timsackett.com/?p=2645 Quietly, Brian Williams returned to NBC last week. Not in his usual spot of nightly news anchor, but in a demoted spot, for less pay:

The embattled former NBC Nightly News anchor has been demoted and will receive reportedly less money in his new role, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Williams is being replaced by Lester Holt, who took over for him after he was handed down an unpaid six-month suspension for making factually incorrect comments and “misremembering” details spoken about on-air.

The newspaper reported that Williams will receive “substantially” less money when he returns to the network as a breaking news and special reports anchor for MSNBC, a division of NBC. He had been making at least $10 million a year for the last five years.

It begs the question, do demotions work?

They certainly aren’t popular. Both, employers and employees, dislike demotions.  Employers feel like if they demote an employee they are just giving them notice to go find another job.  Employees feel like a failure and that the organization is probably just trying to push them out the door. In my experience demotions rarely work.

What kind of demotions work?

There are times when you promote a good worker into a new role, a promotion, and both you and the employee think it will be great, but then it ends up not being great. The employee can’t handle the new role, you did a bad job preparing them, there were other organizational issues at play, whatever the reason, it’s not working. This happens more than you realize, but we usually just end up firing the employee for performance, or they see the writing on the wall and take off before you get a chance to shoot them yourself.

I always find it ironic when I hear about this type of turnover. I’ll ask, “was this person a good, solid employee before they got promoted?”  The answer is always yes.  They wouldn’t have gotten promoted if they weren’t. So, then, why did this person have to be a turnover statistic? Why couldn’t we figure out how to get them back to a position where they were productive and successful again?

Modern organizational theory doesn’t allow for this.  We don’t believe that a person will ever want to go backwards in their career. Once they have been promoted, they will not want to go back into a position they had prior, and they definitely don’t want a pay cut!  We assume this to be true. Also, it might be true in many cases. So, we take a ‘good’ employee and terminate them or let them just go away on their own.

I think the only way you make a demotion work is if you set it up within your organizational culture that this ‘demotion’, going back into a very important role in the company, is something that happens here.  We want to challenge people, and sometimes those challenges won’t end well.  That’s okay, we still love you, and respect you, and we want to get you back on a path of success.

This conversation has to happen, not after failure, but before the person is ever promoted.  That moving along the career path here, at our organization, isn’t just up, it’s down, it’s sideways, etc.  We are going to constantly want to get you into a ‘role’ of success.  Yes, failure happens, but we will want to get you back to success as fast as possible.

The reality is, people don’t stay around if they’re failing.

Brian Williams is damaged goods, so he accepted the demotion.  He’s talented. He’ll get back on the horse, show his value, and then he’ll go someplace else.  NBC is giving him an opportunity, but this kind of demotion doesn’t usually end well, for the employer.

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T3 – PeopleDoc http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/23/t3-peopledoc/ http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/23/t3-peopledoc/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 11:43:45 +0000 http://www.timsackett.com/?p=2643 This week on T3 I’m reviewing PeopleDoc.  PeopleDoc is a cloud-based HR Service Delivery and HR document management solutions.  What does that mean?

PeopleDoc has four components to what they do. First, they manage all of our employee and HR documents.  Almost like an HR system of record, but more focused on maintaining your documentation and compliance of all those docs.  Let’s say you had 5,000 employees spread over 500 locations. Maintaining your I9 compliance alone would be a nightmare. For example, PeopleDoc allows you within seconds to pull all 5,000, see which are not compliant and immediately communicate out to those individuals to correct it.

PeopleDoc also has an Employee Self-service Portal that allows your employees to get in and see all of their documentation. Make updates. See pay stubs, etc. This also acts a communication vehicle for the organization to communicate to employees anything they need, but also act as a compliance vehicle when you need to verify that each employee actually got and understood such communications.

Case management is another huge piece of the software that most companies desperately need.  This allows the organization to track every single question and problem coming into HR, and document how it was handled, auto assigns certain questions and problems to certain groups. Allows you pull metrics on almost anything related to the metadata of all these calls and emails coming in.  Need to know what location is your problem-child? Done. What about by manager or employee? Done. Show data around what your biggest issues are across the organization. This is a must have for employers working across multiple locations, where it’s hard to really understand what’s going on from location to location.

The last piece of PeopleDoc is new employee onboarding, with all electronic documents and electronic signatures.  Most companies are moving in this direction, and many ATS and Systems of Record are getting into the electronic onboarding business. PeopleDoc can easily do this for you as well, across any system you are currently working.

5 Things I like about PeopleDoc:

1. Part of their Employee Portal functionality is a blog like content developer that allows HR and Talent Acquisition to easily develop content and push it out to employees from with the system. You can even share videos. With this they also show you and your employees what the most popular content is.

2. Backend dashboard for HR to see the status of all your pending issues, who owns them, what’s been done since they’ve come in, and how long they’ve been sitting there.  With this function you can also ‘private’ message others in HR to explain what needs to be done, your opinion on the matter, etc., and it’s automatically documented as part of the record, but the employee doesn’t see it. You can also quickly message the employee on the answer to their issue, or what you are doing.

3. Acknowledgement forms that allow you to ensure CYA. It’s something we all have to do in HR. There are just certain things we need to be compliant on 100%, and it’s really hard to get there and maintain. PeopleDoc makes it so simple!

4. The data analytics you can pull are so powerful to show what HR is really working on, and where your HR capacity is going. This is particularly important for HR executives, to show the senior leaders of the organization what work is really done by HR on a day to day basis.  It might feel like all you do is put out fires all day long, but now you can actually prove that’s what you do!

5. eSignature capabilities. This sounds like a small thing, but if you don’t it, you spend so much time just tracking down signatures on documents. It’s a waste of HR and organizational resources to spend one minute on something like with today’s technology.

Check them, I did an hour demo and I ask a ton of questions, you could probably get through it faster.  Primarily, systems like this are designed for enterprise level clients, 2,000 employees and above. But, it really depends on how you are structured.  I can see this tool being invaluable to organizations that have multiple locations, even if you only have a few hundred employees.

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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What Not To Eat: Work Edition http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/22/what-not-to-eat-word-edition/ http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/22/what-not-to-eat-word-edition/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 11:37:33 +0000 http://www.timsackett.com/?p=2640 We are constantly bombarded in the media about what we should be eating and what we shouldn’t be eating. Just last week the FDA came out with it’s new ban on Transfats starting in 2018.  While this is a good thing for the health of our society, it’s just one example of how we are being told what to eat and what not to eat.

While I don’t want to get into an argument here about whether or not you should be eating more protein, or fruits and vegetables, etc. I do want to give you some insight into foods you just should never eat at work.  Here’s my list:

1. Bananas.  No one wants to say it, so I will. There’s no good way to eat a banana at work and not have some fourteen year old comment come out. Male or female, eating a banana just isn’t a good look for anyone at the office.  I know, I know, you just break off small pieces and it’s fine.  It’s not. Stop it. Eat that home before coming in. (Also see: Twinkies, foot long hot dogs, those cream filled long john donuts, a full carrot)

2. Beanitos Chips.  The name pretty much tells you why.  Really, any “Beanito” product isn’t a good office product if you’re within fifty yards of a co-worker.  Yeah, they taste great, I’ll give you that!  But, an hour down the road we hate you, and that Fabreeze isn’t helping.

3. Sushi.  I love sushi.  The one problem with sushi is similar to bananas, you have to open your mouth so wide that you look gross eating it!  Sushi is a bad date food of choice as well, it’s just not a good look.  Any time you have to shove something the size of a golf ball into your mouth in one bite, you’re in trouble.

4. Raman Noodles. Again, love noodles, but I don’t want to see or hear you eating them. The slurping of noodles, while respected in Asian countries, is not respected in my office.  I don’t want to hear you eat, or slurp.

5. Anything cooked in the microwave in the break room that stinks up the entire place. Usually, this means fish. While it tastes great, fish does not smell good warmed up, and lingers.  I actually have a policy in our employee handbook at HRU that if you cook fish in the microwave you get fired.

6. Microwave Popcorn.  I actually love the smell of fresh popped popcorn! I worked in movie theaters growing up and can kill a large bucket by myself. The problem is, most people can’t quite grasp the concept of cooking popcorn in a microwave.  You have to watch it, listen for it. You have about a three second window to get it out before you have incinerated microwave popcorn. You just can’t push the “popcorn” button on the microwave and walk away, that is a recipe for disaster!

7. Any Vegan Food that looks like poop. Vegan’s know what I’m talking about. Let’s face it, most vegan food is gross and tastes like dirt, but God bless those people, they’ll probably live a lot longer than I! Like into those great 90s and 100s years! Yeah, can’t we all wait for those years…

What are the foods you don’t think people should eat at the office? Hit me in the comments!

*Shoutout to Jacks in my office for the idea for this post!

 

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Too Small, Too Slow, To Succeed http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/19/too-small-too-slow-to-succeed/ http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/19/too-small-too-slow-to-succeed/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 11:31:41 +0000 http://www.timsackett.com/?p=2637 Regular readers of this blog know I’m a huge Michigan State fan, and a basketball fan. So, this week, when the Golden State Warriors won the 2015 NBA Finals I was excited.  Not because I’m a big Warriors fan, although I do love their style of plan, but because former Sparty, Draymond Green, is on the Warriors and played his butt off!

Three years ago Draymond was the National Collegiate Player of the year, then he got drafted in the second round.  Normally, a player reaching that level is a for sure lottery pick, but DayDay was told he was too small, too slow, didn’t have enough skill to play in the NBA.  What they didn’t measure was his ability to lead and his heart to win:

CBSSports.com’s Zach Harper captured Green yelling to his mother, Mary Babers-Green, “Mom, they told me I can’t play in this league!”…”That’s what they said,” Green said postgame. “I won the national player of the year award in college. Consensus all-American. I made every single first-team all-American [team] that you could possibly make. And I was a second-round pick and a lot of people said I could never play in this league. Too slow, too small, can’t shoot well enough, can’t defend nobody, what does he do well? He doesn’t have a skill that stands out. I got heart and that’s what stands out.”

Constantly, throughout the playoffs you heard the Warrior players and coaches say that Draymond was the heart and soul of this team.

That’s the secret sauce to hiring.  You need to hire more employees like Draymond Green.

Employees who appreciate the opportunity they’ve been given.  Want to prove to everyone they are better than other think, but confident in their own abilities.  Willing to work harder than almost everyone else to make it happen.

Sounds easy, right!?!

It’s not, it’s almost impossible to find individuals that have those traits and also fit within your culture!  The Warriors got lucky.  Second round picks in the NBA are throw away picks, most of those players never make an NBA roster.  You can get lucky as well.

Most of the traits you are looking for can be screened if you’re looking for them. The problem is we are usually screening for two or three main criteria when looking at candidates: Do you have the skills for the job? Are you willing to accept the salary we have for this job? Are you ‘hickey’ free? If yes to all three, move forward to hiring manager.

This is where we fail. Things like heart and passion and desire are the differentiators that make someone success. You still need to have the skill, but all skills being close, you then need the intangibles.  Too often we choose someone based on their skill was slightly better.  Once you get to a certain point in skill, a little more skill doesn’t make that much of a difference.

At that point you want to look someone who has a chip on their shoulder. Something to prove. To show the world, yes, I can do it.

“Mom, they told me I couldn’t play in this league!”  Said the man holding the championship trophy.

 

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The “New” Skilled Trades http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/18/the-new-skilled-trades/ http://www.timsackett.com/2015/06/18/the-new-skilled-trades/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:48:29 +0000 http://www.timsackett.com/?p=2635 Google started it.  Don’t they start everything. You can thank Lazlo for all of this when he came out and said Google no longer requires a college degree to get hired into many of their technical roles. Now, we are beginning to see specialized training schools popping up to begin to ‘train’ the next gen workforce in what will be soon considered the new skilled trades of the future.  From CNBC:

Students at the New York City-based school pay $15,000 for four months of coding instruction. They leave with the ability to develop software, and according to Flatiron School, 99 percent of students get a job with an average starting salary of $70,000 a year.

Flatiron founders Adam Enbar and Avi Flombaum said they believe coding will be a form of literacy in the future.

“Just like you need to learn how to read and write, even if you’re not going to be a journalist, you need to learn how to code and wield technology if you’re going to be successful in the world,” said Enbar…

Some of Flatiron’s students share Enbar’s frustration with higher education. Jen Eisenberg was studying computer science as an undergraduate at Michigan State University, but stopped after her first semester when her father asked if she could build him a website.

“I realized I couldn’t build anything tangible … it’s more theory and algorithms,” Eisenberg said.

After completing Flatiron’s program, Eisenberg is a software engineer at Paperless Post, an online stationery shop. She helps write the instruction, or code, that makes the website function.

For years I’ve been telling high school students are getting ready to graduate that public education has given them two paths in their life:

1. College

2. Prison

That’s it!  Years ago we did away with skilled trades curriculum in public schools. The programs where kids learned how to weld, fix cars, pull wire, sweat pipe, build things, etc. Now, you go to high school to do well on a test and hopefully that test will get you into college. If it doesn’t?  Good luck, you’re basically on your own, which for most eighteen year olds usually ends up in prison.

So, I’m actually excited about these ‘new’ skilled trades!  Learning how to code, test, program, design and build web apps, etc.  Our reality is we have kids who don’t want to go to college. Traditional school environments are not their cup of tea!  They can’t wait to get out of high school, and the last thing they want is to go back to a similar setting in college.

America is in desperate need of vocational programs that start when kids are around seventeen.  Companies are begging for help in the traditional skilled trades, as well.  On both ends of technology, those who turn a wrench and those who click a mouse, need more trained individuals in the workforce, and at both of those ends, a full four year college program isn’t the answer.

Does this mean no one needs to go to college any longer? No.  We still need all kinds of college grads.  But, we can’t forget about all the others, and we have, for more than a decade.  Skilled trades, traditional and new, are the lifeblood of innovation.  You can design the greatest thing ever, but eventually, someone has to build it.  Someone has to get their hands dirty.  Someone has to put in the hours to make it a reality.

Sounds like a job for someone with a skilled trade.

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