Tagged: HR

The Bachelorette #MenTellAll: The Ultimate Exit Interview

Finally. A forum to tell people what is really going on at this company (sort of)! Exit interviews can provide companies with feedback on areas of improvement and offers closure to employees. The concept is a little kumbaya, assuming that all break-ups will be civil, but if done correctly, exit interviews can be a positive experience for both parties.

The Bachelorette: Men Tell All episode aired this past Monday evening. There are two lucky bachelors left, vying for this season’s bachelorette, Andi. As for the twenty-three unlucky bachelors sent home earlier this season, the tell-all episode gives the guys an opportunity to explain what went wrong, why it wasn’t a match made in Heaven, and what led to their departures.

With twenty-three good-looking, broken-hearted guys confessing their love, I have to say that’s an epic display of a true, romantic tragedy.

When conducting an exit interview, there are a few types of people (or bachelors in Andi’s case) HR should be on the look out for:

Extremists (Marcus):

These are the people that make you feel like this (insert eyes wide open emoji). They say so many good things about your company that there aren’t any take-aways, and you can’t get one piece of constructive criticism out of them. It’s like talking to Elmo or something.

Then there are the folks who have a V for Vendetta against the organization. Your company is so detrimental to society that even the instant coffee machine that spits coffee onto their brand new white pants gets stage time in their “famous last words” speech.

If you detect either of these sentiments, run far, far away. Don’t let these people skew your data.

Friend Zoners (Marquel):

This never works out too well. Telling current HR staff members about the laundry list of awfulness is like officially breaking it to someone that they’re in the friend zone. It’s hard. It usually means it’s been going on for a while, and their heads don’t match their hearts. You’ll never get the truth.

The Gentleman (Chris):

Nice guys finish last in love, again… But, on the off chance you find an Honest Abe who has the opportunity to express his constructive criticisms and valid compliments to a non-partial third-party, do not squander the encounter! If Chris, the farmer from Iowa, is sitting at the table, don’t let him get away!

Whether it’s feedback on culture, a manager, the location of the popcorn machine in proximity to napkins, or process improvements, capturing the data and implementing action steps is imperative.

While most exit interviews won’t have an HR department with Bachelorette host Chris Harrison on staff, a blooper reel, lie detector results, millions of viewers, tears (well maybe), or cookies thrown into the crowd, the idea is the same. We all need closure, whether it’s with The Bachelorette or a company. And if done the right way, the conversation might yield an improvement in the instant coffee machine for the rest of us.

It’s 2014: 3 Ways Technology Can Drive Your People Strategy

Last Saturday night I sat on the patio of a local pub trying to hold back from devouring the plate of funnel cake fries sitting in the middle of the table but, more importantly, to celebrate one of my closest friend’s 25th birthday. We all went to high school together, and during those wonder years, the patio I was sitting on was home to a Borders.

My inner geek started creeping in and I thought to myself how incredible and powerful technology is, putting entire industries either out of business or forcing those who survive to radically change their business models (e.g. Barnes & Noble).

Poof. The need for another “me too” storefront retailer of CD’s and books is gone. Thank you iTunes and tablets. But, iTunes is so 2006, and online music streaming is now putting even the almighty iTunes at risk of extinction.

Every two days we create as much information as we did from the beginning of time until 2003. Today, it’s no secret data can aid in making better, more efficient decisions. Why not start applying it to how we attract, develop, and retain people?

In a few years (or today if you’re a Decoded Company):

(1) Internal referrals will never be the same!

Your LinkedIn profile is a data source being tapped by people you’ve never met, terrifying right? Not really.

With LinkedIn data and network notifications, you can be reminded of that ex-coworker who meets all of the requirements for the Accounting Department’s open analyst role. A quick e-mail asks if you would work with him again. A survey is sent evaluating culture fit. A few clicks later… #boominternalreferral. No outbound recruiting needed.

(2) The best Sourcer is no longer determined by who has the best Boolean string.

Wouldn’t it be cool if while I was sitting at a stoplight on my way to lunch, Wendy’s pinged my cell phone with a Buy One, Get One Free Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger coupon? By the way, it’s right across the street.

Location-based advertising can not only get you a discount on your next burger but maybe even find you your next job. Unassuming passive job seekers would be alerted of an opening on their smart phones when they walk by your office that could be a good fit for their background. Click here to apply. Companies in metro areas should be all over this with the high-level of foot traffic populating their sidewalks.

(3) Training is proactive rather than reactive.

What if you had an internal system tracking your projects? Any mistakes or errors made would be flagged. If an individual is consistently being flagged for the same mistake or error, their manager could be notified in order to provide training rather than wait for a quarterly or annual review to discuss solutions.

How we do things is being optimized by technology, and HR (or whatever snappy title you’ve given this department) is no exception.

We live in a world of information and if companies choose to ignore this or are slow to adapt, they may very well end up like Borders. However, if an organization can adjust their business model, use technology as an asset, and still hold onto their where I came from swag, they may find themselves in the Barnes & Noble safe zone… for now at least.

Anyone reading this blog on a Nook Tablet?

Labor Unions: Who The Heck Is Kain Coulter?

Unions are out of style. Just like kids from suburbia with popped collars. Despite this “behind the times” thinking, The NLRB ruled on March 27th that Northwestern University Football players are employees and can unionize because college football generates enough critical mass in dollars to warrant an employee designation. What makes me uneasy about this?

Northwestern does not bring in the big bucks:

In 2012 the Big Ten generated $315 million in football revenue finishing first atop all other conferences. How much of that did Northwestern account for? As the only private institution in the Big Ten they do not have to report numbers but let’s compare the Wildcats with my Buckeyes.

 ryanfieldSea of red at Ryan Field in Evanston, IL. OSU fans generating revenue for Northwestern.

Stadium Capacity:

  • Ryan Field – 47,000
  • The Shoe – 106,000 (and growing, we need to compete with the Team Up North)

Ticket prices:

Bowl games: (The conference receives a pay day when their teams are not only selected for bowl games but also when their teams WIN the bowl games)

Simply by the numbers, it is clear Northwestern does not bring in revenue anywhere close to others in their conference such as The Ohio State University. They’re a David in a Goliath game.

No one knows who Kain Coulter is:

If you’re going to lead a charge as game changing as this, it might be more credible if people knew your name. The incremental name recognition difference between Kain Coulter and Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Braxton Miller, Aarron Murray, or AJ McCarron is substantial. Even between Kain Coulter and AJ McCarron’s girlfriend for that matter. 

kaincoulterKain Coulter announcing the formation of the College Athletes Player’s Association 

It’s similar to running a political campaign; you have to be influential in your field in order to be a game changer. If Kain Coulter was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, with say the 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, do you think the Browns would have sold 1200 season tickets in the next four hours? I think not. If Johnny Manziel was fighting for CAPA everyone might pay a little more attention.

Universities are still academic institutions (that make money, A LOT of it):

Why do schools like Ohio State exist? Outside of what our moral beliefs are about education might be, let’s talk dollars because that’s what this “union” is about.

While I will be at each home game this year for the Buckeyes and I thoroughly enjoy football Saturdays, it’s only a small portion of what these universities do, even in terms of the pocket book.

I’m over unions like I’m over American Idol.

Granting the athletes a union is a Band-Aid. It is another public acknowledgement of the exploitation of college athletes. It’s real. It’s happening. However, will a union really solve the problem? The NCAA isn’t going to listen until the college football powerhouse schools start to make moves. Until then, let the debate continue.

Why is Human Capital a Top Challenge in 2014? Again.

CEO’s have once again listed human capital as their top challenge for 2014. Woo hoo! Victory for HR! And what specifically are they worried about? 1. Insufficient talent coming in and 2. Insufficient leadership talent.  This all sounds great right? Focus on your people, develop your people, and you will move your business forward. We can now wash our hands of this and move onto “real business activity.” I say wait a minute…

Unknown

Did CEO’s just recently find out that even an automated process had to be created by a person? Is corporate America unaware that the movie “her” is a fictitious film? Outside of the beginning of time, regardless of how you think that came to be, every product, service, or idea came from someone’s mind. This logic makes it seem necessary to declare that PEOPLE MATTER. If people didn’t exist there would be no products, services, or ideas. And voila, I give you the year 2014 and the biggest challenge in a CEO’s mind is still human capital, but why?

We as humans have this inherent uncertainty and that level of uncertainty is magnified when your name is tied to the bottom line of your business, Mr. or Mrs. CEO. There’s pressure for your people to perform. Can you trust them? You want to… but there’s just something that’s keeping you from fully committing.

We can find this inherent uncertainty when we watch historical events. One thing we cannot change is history, unless you have a Delorean of course. However, as we watch instant history replays, we know the outcome and yet we may still be unsure if that outcome will come to fruition. Don’t believe me?

Example 1: Argo

In the film, as the hostages and Ben Affleck’s character were navigating the airport in Iran, slowly making their way through security with bogus identification, I was clenching the armrest in the movie theater, probably perspiring, and unknowingly grinding my teeth, rooting for the fake film crew to make it out of Iranian airspace. Well folks, they made it! The only problem is, I already knew they would make it, everyone did. However, if you were recording a video of me watching you would have thought I was watching live events on a newscast.

Christipher-Dunham-Clea-Du-Vall-Tate-Donovan-Rory-Cochrane-Kerry-Bishe-and-Scott-McNairy-in-Argo

Example 2: 1983 National Championship NC State Buzzer Beater

I have probably watched the clip of the three-point prayer thrown up by Dereck Whittenburg, that is then snatched out of the air by Lorenzo Charles and dunked for the win about 124 times. Yet again, here I am wondering if the prayer will fall to the ground, short of the bucket. Maybe this time Charles isn’t around? Maybe this time, Houston boxes out? Nope. NC State wins every time.

062811lorenzocharles_crop_north
Example 3: Nik Wallenda

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, this is the guy who walked across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope in June of last year. It was a television event on the Discovery Channel garnering 8.5 million viewers. The big players in TV were reluctant to show a live account, as they were uncertain if Mr. Wallenda would fall to his death. If you can watch a replay of this event and not have your heart rate spike as he’s wobbling 1500 feet above the ground, I congratulate you and also question whether or not the FBI has trained you. It’s one of the most stressful and anxious videos to watch and you more than likely were shifting your weight back and forth on the couch as you completed the feat yourself. I know I did.

Nik Wallenda

We as human beings are unsure of events that are already written in history. Let alone relying on a company, department, or team of people who are responsible for delivering results that do not exist yet. CEO’s are concerned because they understand they need their people. But people are scary and a challenge. It’s not enough to state human capital is a challenge; the true question is what are we doing about it?

You can never be 100% sure you are acquiring, developing, and retaining the best. But, what you can do is commit time and resources to finding and using better information to increase your chances of doing so.

After all, your people matter.

4 GenY Misconceptions About Mentoring

As millennials we’re not only green (aka young, inexperienced, naiive… you get it) when it comes to skill sets needed in a job but the real issue is we’re green to full-time work in general. This creates a perfect storm for 20-somethings and we simply just don’t know what we don’t know.

I currently serve on the board of the Human Resources Association of Central Ohio (HRACO) as the VP of Student Services. My responsibilities include the organization and execution of our mentoring program for college students. Last week I was preparing to speak to students about joining HRACO and I began to think about why GenY might balk at the thought of mentorship.

Misconception #1: Making a decision might be worse than Chipotle running out of steak right before they close and it gives me anxiety.

chipotle

When individuals say you need to find a mentor, it’s singular. As a 24 year-old millennial, how am I supposed to pick just one mentor? What if I pick the wrong one? What if I don’t think I have the time? What if someone recommends me the wrong person? What if I want two or three mentors? The idea of choosing “My Mentor” is daunting and therefore I refuse to even look into it because of the “what ifs.”

Truth: Getting out of your comfort zone is the best thing you can do. Decisions really aren’t that bad. You can have one or more mentors and if it’s not an “epic” experience, that’s ok. If you pick up just one nugget of information it’s an experience that is moving your forward.

Misconception #2:  I’m young, wild, and free like the retro 2011 song says. I have plenty of time.

Three months ago I had my two-year anniversary at work and if you do the math, with a retirement age of 65, I have 41 years left in my career. 41 years? I’ll get a mentor when I’m 30. I can wait.

Truth: So my question would be what happens when you’re 30? Is that when your career jumpstarts? It might be. But, be content with knowing others started at 22 and you’re now 8 years behind. #sorryimnotsorry

Misconception #3: “Older” folks know nothing about technology and that’s what runs the world, please tell me what I can learn from them.

I have a co-worker who has asked me multiple times to help show him how to forward text messages. I tie both hands behind my back, close my eyes, rap “Ice Ice Baby,” hop on one foot and forward the text at the same time, thinking to myself… “For real?” I guess by definition he could be a mentor but he can’t even use his own phone. On to the next one.

Truth: Don’t hate me for this… but you can only learn so much from YouTube. For example, ask YouTube how to merge a PDF. Do not ask YouTube if it can put you in touch with the VP of HR at your dream company. Whether or not a mentor has the latest app has about as much bearing on his/her ability to teach you rapport-building skills, how to build your network, or organizing/prioritizing tasks as the players on a Cleveland roster have on winning a championship. None.

indians

Misconception #4: When I step off the stage at graduation, nothing can stop me from taking over the world.

When I graduated, there was nothing I “couldn’t” do. My parents let me believe if you work hard enough you can get anywhere you want to go. Why would I ask for help? That’s admitting I can’t do it alone and that does not fall in line with my narcissistic ways.

Truth: You’re creating a new marketing plan, you have a meeting to present it to your supervisor tomorrow, and you do it all by your lonesome. All you have as a reference are the three marketing classes you took in college, where you were on Twitter 87% of the lecture and the other 13% of the time you looked up occasionally to make sure the professor was really only using the PowerPoint. In which case you need not pay attention at all, just tally up another “I showed up” in the attendance books and save the studying for the night before your test when you print the PowerPoint and take a quick read-through.  How much about marketing do you REALLY know? Maybe someone who’s done this before could give you some tips? Just a thought.

Whether or not you formally call someone a “mentor” is not the issue. What is important is that we seize opportunities to learn from those with experience. It could be a formal program, a meeting with your professor, or lunch with a co-worker.

I’m not trying to crush dreams. Please feel free to be successful. Just know you might need a few others along the way.

Job Offer Turndowns and The Bachelorette

A wise man once said, “Offering a candidate a job is very similar to proposing to your soul mate.” That wise man may or may not be my boss, but this is beside the point. If you’re ready to be at the altar and can’t wait to begin your life with THE ONE, there is excitement, nerves, anxiety, anticipation, and for some of us out there (who don’t lie to ourselves), sweat, bullets of sweat. 

Finding your husband or wife is one of the greatest fulfillments and one of the most important milestones in your life, or so I’ve heard. Treating the hiring of employees as one of the most important milestones in a company’s life though, seems a bit of a stretch, right? Wrong. No matter the level, open headcount costs companies each day its jobs are not filled. Even worse, the wrong hopeless romantic (candidate) says, “Yes! I do!”, only for everyone to find out one month later it was the biggest mistake of their lives.

 

Last Monday was the anticipated prelude to The Bachelorette finale on ABC. The Bachelorette is a reality TV show, which I’m clearly not afraid to admit I watch where a young lady is presented with 25 handsome devils to choose from with the ultimate goal of marrying a final lucky bachelor. Desiree, the bachelorette, has narrowed her pool of men down to three.

Brooks is one of the three remaining men. Des thinks she’s going on this magical catamaran date but Brooks has other plans. I guess if you’re going to break up anywhere though Antigua is not a bad draw.  I won’t get into details of how Brooks breaks up with Des; however, I will say it was similar to a 9th grade break-up with the boy you’ve been dating since the 7th grade.

It’s been long enough you think you can marry him and when he tells you his feelings aren’t the same you act as such: you begin to sob uncontrollably, pull your legs into your chest onto the bench you’re sitting on, cross your arms on your knees, bury your head  into your forearms, and pout like you’ve never pouted before. “No, this just isn’t fair! This isn’t how it’s supposed to go! I love you and you’re supposed to love me back!”

 

Similar to hiring candidates into a company, hiring managers wait with baited breath when an offer is sent out. On the other side of the relationship, candidates wait to receive the offer.  We typically hear about companies not interested in the candidate. But, what if the candidate tells the company they don’t want to get “married”? If a company wants to avoid being surprised with rejection like Des (you can’t eliminate all turndowns) there is one, proven overarching strategy.

Talk about deal breakers early and often.

There are more in-depth steps to the secret recipe I MIGHT reveal in a later blog, but if companies use this as a rule of thumb they’re well on their way to curbing their turndown rate.

Compensation. Relocation. Benefits. Title. Career path. Window seat. Flexible work hours. Company car. Summer Fridays. Trailing spouse. Children.  Direct reports.

These are deal breakers. I know recruiters / hiring managers don’t want to scare off the “perfect” candidate and candidates don’t want to disappoint a potential employer but discussing deal breakers on the first, second, third, and fourth encounters will help avoid extending offers that aren’t accepted. Everyone is on the same page and at the end of the day no one wants a surprise, a surprise break-up that is.

If you don’t want to be left in despair on the island of Antigua like Des (or maybe you do, but you’re not in Antigua so snap out of it), think about deal breakers and talk about deal breakers early and often.

Tell Us What Not to Do vs. What We Should Do

Do this. Do that. We Millennials have been told how to act, how to dress, how to speak since we were teens. Whether it’s a millennial thing or a “this happens to every 20 something” thing, the idea of telling these “kids” how to act does not reveal consequences but rather prompts rebellion and raises this question, “Why do I have to do it that way?”

Jeff Havens is a speaker, trainer, and author regularly on Fox Business News and has been featured in Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, AOL, and dozens of other regional and national media outlets. I have witnessed Jeff in action at Ohio SHRM and I believe that saying the audience was engaged is an understatement.

Jeff’s speaking engagements, training sessions, and publications use humor in education and inform the audience of WHAT NOT TO DO and WHY. He makes learning about dress code, office and dining etiquette engaging and humorous. Jeff can tell you How to Get Fired, which might help you do the opposite and actually keep your job

A few books from the Jeff Havens collection and Big Pow! Enterprises.

A few books from the Jeff Havens collection and Big Pow! Enterprises.

Here are a few run on sentence vignettes of my experiences or stories I’ve heard during my almost quarter century of being on this earth describing how those my age have been told what to do.

Number One: There are dress codes at some public schools prohibiting students from wearing sweats basically decreeing, “No, do not wear sweat pants and try to be comfortable because you look like a schmuck and don’t reflect the affluent neighborhood and district we want to depict.” Because being comfortable and showing off your new Miami Heat 2013 NBA Championship hoodie would be a detriment to your experience as a student and is such an awful means of self-expression. Do you know how much more I want to wear that hoodie because of your “dress code”? A LOT.

Except if you know me… I clearly would not select that sports team but I’m trying to be non-bias by selecting a current event while still putting my bias into play so that I am not confused with being a front running sports fan.

Number Two: In college there was an hour of my life I will never get back to use for something much more valuable, such as watching a re-run of Grey’s Anatomy. I majored in Business Administration and rather than higher education teaching Millennials to deal with something such as rejection – we played around on Microsoft Office, learned how to write memos, worked on our resumes once a week to finagle “work experience” onto the page, and what else? Dining etiquette, yes sir or madam it was required for us future business leaders to attend this special session on how to eat and drink. I mean, who wouldn’t be jumping up and down to do that?

One, if you’re really interested in dining etiquette I am almost positive YouTube could do a fairly good job of telling you the salad fork is smaller than the dinner fork and picking up your bowl of soup to slurp the last bit of broth is inappropriate. Two, they TOLD me how I should conduct myself, which led me to ask… So if I happen to forget to turn my coffee cup over at the dinner table but, yet still decline coffee from the waiter/waitress, the person across the table from me will get up and leave?

Number Three: Speak eloquently, slow down, NEVER cross your arms, look me in the eye, and please give me your undivided attention. How many self-help or “business” books talk about how you SHOULD communicate? So what they’re telling me is if I model myself after a polished communicator, I’ll be on my way to success? What if I’m talking to a room of 20 something’s? What if I’m so polished it’s intimidating and I’m uptight and no one can relate to me?

In no way am I saying that I’m an endearing communicator but you can’t tell me that Blake Shelton’s Southern drawl doesn’t captivate you.

These are just three examples of how we are told how to act. But the younger generation entering the workforce might have some trouble with not only being told what to do but the real issue is being told what to do without understanding why. When you describe what not do to do, your why shines through. The why typically being, “I’d prefer to not act like a reckless hooligan.” If you happen to read Jeff’s books, he has a poetic and comedic means of leading you to the promise land of, “I never want to act like that.”

Please understand I do believe you need to be dressed appropriate for your environment, you need to be polite and aware when dining, and you need to understand how to be an effective communicator to your target audience. These are musts in the business environment. But might there a better way of getting this message to Millennials?

HR and Hiring Managers, show the consequence and the hilarity in that consequence. Show what not to do and you might find that the kids (and adults) you’re dealing with might listen this time. It’s not what you say but how you say it. Ask Jeff.