Check Out My Interview on Jennifer McClure's Impact Maker's Podcast...

Recently I had to the opportunity to appear on Jennifer McClure's Impact Makers Podcast.  Jennifer's doing a great job with this podcast - very high end, go subscribe here - and of course, take a listen to my interview by clicking play on the embedded player below (email subscribers, click through if you don't see the player) or simply click this link to go to the landing page for my conversation with Jennifer.

I've never been called the Oprah of HR - but I'll take it!  Excerpt from Jennifer's write up below:

"Are you ready to meet the Oprah of HR? On today’s episode of Impact Makers, Jennifer sits down with the infamous HR wizard, Kris Dunn. He is the founder of two popular blogs The HR Capitalist and Fistful of Talent and is also the CHRO of Kinetix, an Atlanta-based recruiting, RPO and HR consulting firm.

As one of the first well-known HR bloggers, Kris is known for his conversation tone, fun references, and an impressive 5-day-a-week schedule. Jennifer asks him how this consistency has played into the success of his blogging and writing endeavors.

If you can manage to build and maintain a following of readers like Kris has, the potential for meeting new people and finding new opportunities skyrockets. Jennifer and Kris talk about the various relationships – both personal and professional – that have come about through blogging, as well opportunities for career advancement. Kris talks about how his blogging fit into his career at different points in his life."

Take a listen via the player below or through the links above.  Make sure to subscribe to Jennifer's podcast by clicking here as she's doing great things with this podcast.


"No Poach" Recruiting Agreements Continue to Fall Across Corporate America...

If you've been in the business world long enough, you've ran into executives at both small and big companies making agreements to not recruit other company's employees.  These agreements are a by-product of the good-ole-boy network and usually the result of one executive knowing another and agreeing to keep each other's companies "off-limits" to recruiting efforts.

It's called collusion, right?  Funny thing is, HR has never really had a voice in that.  Instead, we find out what the agreement is "ex post facto" and if we're really lucky, we get to ruin someone's life by retracting an offer due to these informal agreements - after that employee has already resigned at their current company. Trading places

It's always been stupid like that.  The good news is that the legal system is rapidly taking these agreements off the table.  First it was Silicon Valley and now seven fast food chains — including Arby's, Cinnabon and McDonald's — have pledged to end so-called "no-poaching" rules that have prevented employees from moving from one franchise to another within the same restaurant chain: More from CNN:

"Washington state's Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thursday the agreement could end the practice at roughly 25,000 restaurants nationwide.

The move will mean fairer hiring practices for "tens of thousands of low-wage" workers in the United States, Ferguson's office said. His office also said it will take legal action against franchises that violate the agreement, and the companies could face civil penalties or fines.

The fast food chains included in the agreement are Arby's, Auntie Anne's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Carl's Jr., Cinnabon, Jimmy John's, and McDonald's (MCD).

"No-poach" rules bar workers at franchise-owned restaurants from being hired by a separate franchise within the same chain.

Because such rules are usually laid out in company-franchise contracts, and not in worker agreements, employees have often been unaware they existed, Ferguson's office said."

Uh, yeah - the employees didn't know they existed because they are LITERALLY THE LAST THING ON ANYONE'S MIND IN THESE AGREEMENTS.

The no-poach agreement will continue to exist in pockets, but I've got good news for my HR leaders who are expected to enforce them.

You can now tell your company they are illegal as hell.

Score one for the worker.  I'm generally pro-business, but c'mon.  A no-poach agreement that means a counter worker at Arby's can't move to another Arby's?

This is why we can't have nice things.


Are HR Pros A Good Fit to Start an Amazon Partner Delivery Business?

If there's one thing HR Pros know plenty about, it's recruiting, retention and everything it takes to keep a business afloat on the people side of the business.   That mean in some aspects of life, HR pros are the perfect people to start a business.  But there's one big thing missing for a lot of HR pros are thinking about starting a business.

Sales.

Yep, a lot of HR pros would be great at the staffing and employee relations side of the business, but they have nothing in their DNA to do the sales required to provide the lifeblood of revenue needed to put those people skills to use as an entrepreneur.  Too bad, right?

Wait - there's a perfect opportunity for HR pros to start a business and not have to sell.  Ready?

Amazon. Amazon shipping

That's right, Amazon.  The online force that's eating everything launched a new program last week that helps people in the United States start their own businesses delivering Amazon packages.

Hmm.  More on the Program from USA Today:

Amazon wants you to deliver its packages for them.

The online retailer launched a new program this week that helps people in the United States start their own businesses delivering Amazon packages. The move gives Amazon another way to ship its packages to shoppers besides relying on UPS, FedEx and other package delivery services.

Amazon.com Inc. says startup costs begin at $10,000, and the businesses created under the program would operate 20 to 40 vans and employ between 40 and 100 people.

Here's what else to know:

WHO IT'S FOR: Amazon says those with little or no logistics experience can apply. And existing package delivery businesses can sign up, too. If they are approved to join the program, Amazon says those businesses can continue to deliver packages for other companies.

HOW DOES IT WORK: Those interested first need to apply at its website,logistics.amazon.com. The company will vet applicants and figure out if they're the right fit. There's also three weeks of training, including a trip to Amazon headquarters in Seattle, which you'll pay for as part of the startup costs. At the training, Amazon says you'll learn about its shipping operations and spend time in the field with an existing delivery provider.

WHAT AMAZON PROVIDES: Amazon says it will offer support to the businesses, including discounts on insurance, technology and other services. Amazon-branded vans will be available to lease and Amazon-branded uniforms can be bought for drivers. But keep in mind that those vans can only be used to deliver Amazon packages.

WHAT TO KNOW: The new business would be responsible for hiring staff, and Amazon would be the customer, paying for the deliveries.

WHERE DO I HAVE TO BE LOCATED?: Amazon says opportunities are available near its 75 delivery stations across the country. A map is available at logistics.amazon.com./marketing/getting-started.

What I love about this for the right type of HR pro is what I have already described.  Many of you are great at the hustle it takes to get a business staffed up, dealing with employee relations issues of all types and generally grinding out the workday through the at times dirty business of people. 

What I hate about this opportunity for HR pros is that as good as you would be at this, the Achilles heel for most of you/us - sales - would ultimately come back to haunt you. 

Amazon is setting people who can't sell up for failure.

Amazon has the demand.  They need you to start this business.

They need you to contribute to the gig economy.  Not by being a gig employee, but by being an employer of gig employees.

No co-employment issues on their part.  You take those!  

Pricing power belongs to... not you - Amazon.  You get selected for the program, start your business and then the inevitable happens.  Amazon has a variety of partners, and you'll be asked to take a reduced price for delivery at some point.  Your margins and profitability will fall until - you guessed it - it no longer makes sense for you to run your (Amazon) Delivery Business.

Because you aren't a salesperson, you don't have a lot of revenue options and as it turns out - you're contributed to the further destabilization of the American workforce by creating a company that has jobs - but they're on-demand, gig economy jobs.

Meh.  Maybe you should just stay in HR.

To date, Amazon has largely steered clear of the criticism heaped upon WalMart related to destroying the traditional economy.  

That feels like it's about to change.  Mommas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys resistant/stupid when it comes to macroeconomic change.


WEBINAR: Building the Perfect HR Function and Team!

Paycor-hr-coe-logo

Is your HR department the best in the biz? If you answered “yes” you’re probably stretching it – but we know a few HR experts who can actually help you get there! The FOT team is made up of industry pros from multiple top-notch HR shops (with the awards to prove it), and now they want to tell YOU how to be awesome at HR too during our upcoming webinar.

Join us on June 7th at 1 PM ET for our webinar, The FOT Guide to Building an HR Center of Excellence sponsored by Paycor where we will reveal our trade secrets to making your HR shop the best by sharing:

– How to build a solid HR team from the ground up that will put you on track to become a Center of Excellence...

– The 6 pillars necessary to any HR team’s success, and how you can use each one to propel your organization towards greatness...

– 3 key insights that will allow you to move past the foundational HR and put you on a clear path to HR excellence...

– A FREE tool that will allow you to pinpoint where your team is at on the journey to becoming an HR Center of Excellence...

Tim Sackett and I will lead you through how the FOT team would build out your HR COE from scratch, or from where you are right now no matter how bad you think you might be broken!

FOT believes that every HR shop can be a COE. It’s not easy, but it’s also not like we are trying to launch the Space Shuttle! What you need is the knowledge and the plan, which we will give you!

It all goes down on June 7th at 1 PM ET (Noon CT, and 10 AM PT).

REGISTER TODAY FOR THIS FREE WEBINAR BY CLICKING THIS LINK!!!


Announcing the HQ for HR Game Show - Sign Up Today!!!!

Most of you know I founded another site called Fistful of Talent - we are getting ready to do something cool based off of the HQ series many of you play and have some fun in the process...

Fistful of Talent has teamed up with Paycor to bring you HQ for HR every Tuesday at 1PM, starting May 1st. We'll air five episodes with fifteen different HR leaders! Watching this could be the best 15 minutes of your day!  Jeppic2

Here's how it works - hit the link here or below to register for HQ for HR, and you'll automatically receive email notifications each week about when HQ for HR is going live each Tuesday.  Click the link and join us and answer 12 HR body of knowledge questions digitally while you watch your peers answer them live on air.  You can do it from your desk or your phone, we just want you there!
 
After every episode, we'll post a top 10 leaderboard at Fistful of Talent and here at the Capitalist showing who among the participants is an HR LEGEND.  We'll use that leaderboard to invite you on the show live the following week - we'll keep working down the list until we have 3 takers!  The top 5 cumulative scores across the 5 episodes will receive a major award to be announced during Episode 1.
 
PS - no Google allowed - or even Bing, people. We trust you because you look trustable, and let's face it, most of you are in HR.

Check it as FOT's Tim Sackett and your friend KD get down to the nitty-gritty with some of the sharpest minds in the HR/Talent industry! 
 

What Was the First Day of the Rest of Your Professional Life?

Not going to lie - I'm underwater with work today.  Enjoy this blast from the past and be sure to read the comments...

I'm on a little bit of a Dave Grohl kick - as evidenced by this post I did with a money quote from Grohl that really nails how people become world-class at anything (get your first instruments, start practicing your craft and suck, but keep coming back because you're having fun, etc.)

Grohl is basically a proponent of the 10,000 hour rule.  With that in mind, I've got a question for you today: First day rest of your life

"What Was the First Day of the Rest of Your Professional Life?"

Not following me?  Check out the following clip from Grohl at SXSW where he did a keynote (thanks to multiple readers who sent me the link to this) - I've set it to the point where he talks about the first day of the rest of his life.  Click here to listen to the story - it involves a punk rock relative and a trip to Chicago.  I start it at 14:05, listen to at least 16:40 to hear the reference.

The first day of the rest of your life.  What does that mean?  It means what was the inflexion point in your life where you found purpose and challenge that would define who you are for the rest of your life?

What was the first day of the rest of my professional life?  I think there are two:

1.  I was a sophomore in high school and took a roadtrip with some juniors and seniors from our small town to the University of Missouri to play basketball for a weekend - pickup, ragtag hoops in the on-campus rec center.  Figured out I could hang at a young age, and that cemented a work ethic that would allow me to chase hoops in a way that resulted in playing college baskeball on full scholarship, but more importantly gave me the abilty to chase things I really believe in with a singular, dogged focus.  Almost OC in some ways. It's served me well as a transferable skill, but that's the first time I found it - after that day.

2. I was living in St. Louis as a 29-year old and trying to get back to the Southeast and in networking with some BellSouth Executives they said the following: "Kris, we don't have anything we can put you in within Marketing, but we've got this HR Manager spot.  You used to be a college basketball coach, right?  Why don't you try that?"

DING.  It was the first day of the rest of my professional life.  I have to say the ride has been fun, and I can't imagine myself doing anything else.

What was the first day of the rest of the your professional life?  Hit me in the comments (or in email as many do) and tell me when it all changed for you.


Warren Buffett’s #2 Would Hire HR Generalists Over HR Specialists...

Let's start out with a definition of what an HR Generalist is from my viewpoint:

HR Generalist - a HR pro at any level who is in charge of a client group of employees - M_Awesome-Tee-For-Hr-Generalistmeaning they provide HR services to a location, a business unit, a functional area or geographical area.  As part of this role, they provide counsel, service and insight across the HR Body of Knowledge - comp, benefits, recruiting, employee relations, legal, etc.

An HR Generalist can exist at the individual contributor level or manage people, as well as exist at the HR Rep, HR Manager, Director, VP and CHRO level.

Some people define an HR Generalist as a early career HR title.  Don't be fooled.  An HR generalist is more about mindset and world-view than it is about a title.  If you serve a client group and they come to you seeking counsel on every item under the sun, you're probably a generalist.

Good news - The guy behind Warren Buffet thinks you're the valuable type of talent that exists inside an organization.  More from The Hustle:

Behind every lauded genius, there tends to be a No. 2: A Pippen to Michael, a Woz to Jobs, and, dare we say, a Munger to Buffett.

For 40 years, Charlie Munger has served behind the scenes as Warren Buffett’s most trusted business partner.

He’s played a pivotal role in managing Berkshire Hathaway’s $178B stock market portfolio (Q3 of last year), advising him to invest in electric vehicle powerhouse BYD back in 2008, and many others.

While Munger has worked tirelessly over his 70-year career, there is one thing (or, technically many things) he contributes to his success.

Knowing a little about everything

According to Munger, his theory on work ethic, AKA ‘expert-generalism’ goes somewhat against the ever-popular 10,000 hour rule.  

According to Quartz, rather than “lasering” in only on investment theory, his strategy is to study “widely and deeply” in many fields that he could one day apply as an investor.

Bill Gates once said, “[Munger] is truly the broadest thinker I’ve ever encountered… Our longest correspondence was a detailed discussion on the mating habits of naked mole rats and what humans might learn from them.”

You can be an expert-generalist too

Orit Gadiesh, the Bain & Co. chairman who coined the term, describes expert-generalism as “the ability and curiosity to master and collect expertise in many different disciplines.”

Research shows EG’s have:

Hmm, sounds like the world could use a few more EG’s.

If you're an HR generalist at any level, be proud.  You're a trusted advisor that understands that the world is gray, and you also know how important you are in helping those in your client group navigate all the complexity and chaos that comes with managing a workforce.

Simply put, HR Generalists are the most important cog in the HR world.  Be proud, because you are irreplaceable.  

 


VIDEO HANGOUT THURSDAY - The Psychology of Recruitment: Brain Hacking to Get Agreement...

If you’re a client or follower of Jobvite, you know the Recruiter Nation Live series.  It started with the Recruiter Nation Live Conference in San Francisco last June, and continued with the Recruiter Nation Live Roadshow that brought real recruiter talk to 9 cities in North America over the last three months of 2017. 
 
The feedback was great – you loved it, so we’re back with the latest in the series – the Recruiter Nation Live Hangout Series, hosted by Fistful of Talent and me.  Once a month, FOT will host a live Hangout designed to keep the conversation among HR pros and recruiters going – focused on things you can use, like the best-kept secrets of today’s smartest and most efficient recruiters, Jedi-mind tricks proven to make you more persuasive/get great candidate response and strategies to hold your hiring managers accountable for their choices–so everyone wins.

 ----------------------------------------------

Our next hangout is at 1pm ET on January 25th (Thursday!).  It's an informal thing - we fire up the video and a few slides (emphasis on "few") and run through a few things in 20-25 minutes...

Topic - GETTING READY FOR THE JANUARY 2018 HIRING RUSH!! (WITH FOTers DAWN BURKE AND KRIS DUNN)

REGISTER FOR THE HANGOUT BY CLICKING THIS LINK!!!

TOPICS/THE GOOD STUFF - 

The Psychology of Recruitment: Brain Hacking to Get Agreement
 
While technology continues to have greater importance in our day-to-day lives and jobs, knowing the things that make us uniquely human is just as critical. How you use social psychology, and our decision biases to help connect, engage and influence a job candidates is where you can make a huge difference. 

Join Paul Hebert and Dawn Burke of FOT for this 25 minute video hangout as they riff on:

1--How you can use aversion to your advantage - even when the person doesn't have a job to lose.

2--Understanding how getting small commitments can drive even bigger ones.

3--Leveraging "framing" when you talk to candidates to help you lock in salary and other things you might normally have difficulty discussing with candidates


It will be fun and fast. You'll want to join us because it will turn your recruiting game up to 11.  Or if it's already an 11, it will turn it up to 12.

(Hint - one of the weirdest influence techniques is included in this session. Listen in and Paul will explain it.)

REGISTER FOR THE HANGOUT BY CLICKING THIS LINK!!! 


ASK THE CAPITALIST: Are HR Pros with MBAs Special Anymore?

Kris- 

Would love to know your opinion on a trend I am seeing as I'm screening HR Director candidates... DOCTOR IS IN 

I used to encourage HR undergrads to pursue their MBA instead of a Masters in HR. I felt it held more value for businesses and was a tough program that would advance them in ways a specialized degree couldn't. 

I am shocked at the number of candidates I am seeing with an MBA and MA in HR. 

The result for me is I am losing respect for the MBA! I mean, if sooo many people can get one, is it really a tough program? Does it really demonstrate anything special anymore? 

What do you think? Am I way off track with my line of thinking? 

-AW

---

AW - 

I obviously have to lead with a Groucho Marx quote here - "I'd never belong to any club that would have me as a member".

Your advice is still relevant, and if it's any consolation, lots of young HR pros took your advice, right?  Now they're pissed off that people like you won't get out of the way fast enough, and in a cocktail of following AW's advice and having time on their hands - they've got more degrees than they've had jobs.  I say this as someone with 3 degrees, including a MBA.  But I'm Gen X - now a veteran of all this we call HR.

You're obviously seeing the explosion related to accessibility and availability of the MBA.  Distance learning and lots of options has made the MBA tag a bit easy to gather, which I think means you've got to evaluate what the candidates are actually presenting in a couple of different ways:

1. Where did they pick up the MBA and did they actually have to work hard to achieve it? Traditional programs where you have to spend time in class still rule in my eyes - that commitment, along with the interaction that occurs when you have to work in groups with other humans is still the most important thing.  That being said, there's a lot of online MBA programs that work the hell out of people, with University of Phoenix coming to mind.  Of course, there are a lot of diploma mills as well, which is why you feel the way you do.  

Good rule of thumb - any school with a directional name without reference to a state or city is a problem.  Southeast Missouri?  Says legit to me.  Southeastern University?  Wait, Southeastern where?  Oh, university... <shudder>

2. The most important thing related to the MBA is what they learned and how it's changed them.  With that in mind, some of your interview process has to go after what they learned from the MBA program and how they applied it.  Additionally, how has it changed them?  If someone really took the MBA and ran with it, when you ask them for a portfolio of their work at their job, you'd like to think they could provide that to you.

No portfolio means they checked off a box.  Existence of a portfolio means it changed their worldview a bit and now are looking to create work product that helps them in the future.

I still like the MBA.  I just think you'll have to do a little work to figure out what Steve Martin learned in The Jerk - what's S*** and what's Shinola.  


A Very Special Christmas Eve Story From the HR Capitalist...

Capitalist Note: This story is a Christmas Eve tradition at the HR Capitalist. Merry Christmas...

It's Christmas Eve. Time for anticipation. Time for reflection.

Time for an outrageous demand towards a candidate that could only occur from the bowels of corporateGrinch3_18101208 America.

Gather round the tree kids, because it's story time, HR Capitalist style. Bring me a Diet Mountain Dew while you're at it, because this eggnog sucks. 

Everyone here? Good.

The year is 2002 and it's Christmas Eve.  The Capitalist has just become a VP of HR in corporate America, and just got a new boss, who let's say - is a little INTENSE.  The Capitalist finds himself at home on Christmas Eve, piddling with some work, etc.  His cell phone rings.  The Capitalist flexes his bicep (remember, phones were much bigger then), picks up the phone and answers the call.  It's the boss of the Capitalist:

Capitalist: Don, what's up?

Bossman/EVP (1B Line of business): Kris, glad I got you.  I'm ready to make an offer to the Director of Finance candidate we like.

Capitalist: Sweet.  I'll call her today and let her know.  Nice Christmas present.

Bossman: Great.  Just one little catch.  I need to know today that she accepts.

Capitalist:  You need an answer today? You know it's Christmas Eve and it's 12:30pm right now, correct?

Bossman - Yeah, I know.  But I just got word from a friend that corporate is thinking about making me take Sparkman from Atlanta as part of a succession plan, and you know what I think about him.  So rather than wait on that, we're going to move on Carol, and we need her to accept today so I can go into the next week and tell them that it's already filled when they call me.

Capitalist: Why don't we just say we have an offer out if that happens and give her a couple of days to think about it?

Bossman: Not good enough. Corporate will make us retract the offer.  Get it done today.  Gotta go! We're opening some presents!  <Click>

After the call, the Capitalist gathered himself on the reality of making a demand like a three hour window to accept an offer on Christmas Eve, and you know what he did?  He made the freaking call, boys and girls.  It went a little something like this:

Capitalist:  Carol!  How are you?  Kris Dunn from <company name retracted>.  Got a couple of minutes to talk? I've got good news...

Carol: Kris, can you repeat that?  I'm at Church with my three kids.  They always get so excited around Christmas.. (Church bells ringing in the background)

Capitalist:  You bet Carol, got great news for you going into the holiday.  We want you to join the team, and here's some detail for you... (Capitalist outlines broad specs of the deal, selling as hard as he can)

Carol:  Well Kris, that is great news.  Send me the offer package and I'll look it over on Christmas Day and call you back the day after Christmas.

Capitalist: Well Carol, it's funny you say that.  Because I'm in a little bit of a pinch here (long, apologetic intro into the issue), and well, I need you to decide by close of business today to accept the offer or not.

Carol: Kris, you know it's Christmas, right? That I'm with my kids? I'm currently in church?

Capitalist:  I know.  Still, you're the one we want and we have to close it today to ensure we can bring you aboard. 

Carol: <silence for 10 seconds>.  Send the package.  I'll look at it.  Goodbye. (Capitalist trying to apologize again but unable to before hearing <Click>)

And that, boys and girls, is how you know you've arrived in the show.  Cost of a Monster posting? $200-$400 depending on volume.  Cost of a third party recruiter placement? 10-15K..

The realization you've just crossed a line on Christmas Eve that only Gordon Gekko and Ari Gold could appreciate?  Priceless...

PS - Carol accepted and rocked the house at our company.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays....