A Comprehensive List of Work Roles White People Should Never Be Selected For...

Of course, I'm kidding with that title.  I'm not the authority on the PC-ness of white people in roles that are typically exclusively held by non-whites.  

But I gotta tell you, I have some opinions.  First, I think there's a lot of roles that white people don't belong in.  Here's a taste of Closedduetocolonialsimsome of those roles:

--Any leadership position at a HBCU...

--Leadership positions with Diversity titles in Corporate America...

--Matt Damon playing the lead in a movie set in Song dynasty China (I get it - he's a mercenary from Europe, but still.. Can we find a Chinese star for a movie about the Song years?) 

White people in certain roles is a non-starter. Many of you would/will argue the other way.  But common sense tells me there's more than enough talent in the world without a member of honkytown landing in these roles, even if you're arguing the tried and true "the best person should be selected" mantra.  

Turns out you might have bigger fish to fry related to what roles IT IS APPROPRIATE for white people to be in. 

From the school of "you can't make this up", the Washington Post reports there's a movement afoot in Portland, Oregon to stop white people from stealing culinary ideas from other cultures, which is called appropriation by those seeking to stop white folks from starting any type of restaurant that's not a Irish potato bar. Here you go:

Portland, Ore., has become the epicenter in a growing movement to call out white people who profit off the culinary ideas and dishes swiped from other cultures.

In the days since two white women were shamed into shutting down their pop-up burrito cart after telling a reporter that they had “picked the brains of every tortilla lady” in Puerto Nuevo, Mexico, Portland has become all but fed up with cultural appropriation within its city limits. One writer has stated, flat out, that “Portland has an appropriation problem,” going on to explain (the boldface emphasis is the writer’s):

Because of Portland’s underlying racism, the people who rightly own these traditions and cultures that exist are already treated poorly. These appropriating businesses are erasing and exploiting their already marginalized identities for the purpose of profit and praise.

Someone in the City of Roses has even created a Google doc, listing the white-owned restaurants that have appropriated cuisines outside their own culture. For each entry, the document suggests alternative restaurants owned by people of color. One “Appropriative Business” is Voodoo Doughnut, the small doughnut chain accused of profiting off a religion thought to combine African, Catholic and Native American traditions.

That's a lot, right?  As noted in the lead, I'm a believer in the fact that white people shouldn't be in certain types of diversity roles - there's enough talent in the world where the aforementioned roles shouldn't be filled by someone named Ricky Bobby.  But in the slippery slope of workplaces and what's appropriate, I'm drawing the line and saying that if a white person wants to risk some capital and sell mediocre fajitas and Corona Lights, they shouldn't draw the ire of the PC police.

HR Director of a HBCU?  No.  Owner of LaCocina?  Sure.

If someone wants to risk their capital, so be it.  The dirty little secret is that the owners of these businesses, white or otherwise, will likely employ an employer base that's majority non-white. 

Of course, the great thing about this argument is that the market will decide how far the appropriation movement can go, and if you click through to the WaPo article, you'll see that people are overwhelming bashing the appropriation crowd in the comments, even going so far as promising to patronize the white-owned establishments listed in the Google doc link above to show their support and ensure the owners aren't bullied.

Fire away in the comments.  Where can whites play in a non-white world from an employment perspective?


The Art of Timing Submission of Your Best Candidate to Difficult Hiring Managers...

And they ask you about the game you claim you got
Drop science now, why not?
You start to sweat and fret, it gets hot
How'd you get into this spot?
You played yourself...
Yo, yo, you played yourself...
 
--Ice-T

You know where I'm going with this if you clicked through, right?

Difficult hiring managers.  Not to be confused with those who suck.  Or maybe that's the same thing - I'll let you decide that...

There's an art to dealing with difficult hiring managers that pride themselves on only agreeing to interview candidates who are a direct match to the 15 things they gave you in the intake meeting.  You know how this goes, you work hard, have a decent slate of 3-5 candidates that represents what the market is in the first 7 days - then the difficult hiring manager won't talk to any of them.

That's why you might need to change your strategy with any hiring manager who fits this profile.

Instead of giving them the full slate, hold your best candidate back from your first set of submissions.

The hiring manager who rejects everything but the perfect candidate early usually becomes more flexible later.  Once the opening moves in the 30-60 day age range, pressure to get the position filled mounts.  The same candidates that were rejected at face value early suddenly become what I'll call "possibly viable" late (also know as grudgingly viable).

If you know specific hiring managers are going to hate everyone early, don't give them everyone.  Hold your best back.

Let them cycle through the superiority complex, including the following gems:

--"This is a great job - I need a great candidate"

--"This is a unique opportunity"

--"I think we can find someone who has X, Y, K and Z.  But I really need U, N, Q and E also.  Let's keep looking"

--"I need someone in the 60K range who has all those things. These people want 75k?  Let's keep looking"

If this feels nasty, I get that. But you''re working hard as the HR pro/recruiter on the case.  Your work is good. Don't allow it to be thrown in the trashcan if you know someone is going to do that 9 of 10 times with your first round of submissions.

Let the clock tick. Let the pressure mount. Manage the expectations of the candidate you're holding like the card that gives you the full house.

Then at the right moment, put the candidate/card down.

#winning

 

 


Hating the Game... Referrals From People Who Just Quit...

John resigned and left a couple of weeks ago.  It was on good terms, but you recruited John and feel some of the sting.  After all, you needed him in that role and went out and got him.

He left you hanging - he left for what he considers a better opportunity before spending a year at your company.

Free Agent Nation my #$$.  What ever happened to working through the bumps? Cue the music from the Godfather...

Then, the email comes.  John's got a candidate for his former role.  The cynic in you flares up and retorts the following to no one in particular:

-Let me get this straight, you left before spending a year and feel connected enough to refer someone on the inside track?"

-"Why would I want another you?  You left me hanging"

-"No #$**# thanks, John"

You're wounded and walking with a noticeable physical limp from the resignation.  It'll be a cold day in hell before you take that referral seriously, right?

Not so fast, my friend.  Your heart is in the way of your head.  You're forgetting that:

-John was in the role.  He knows what's required in the job.

-John knows more about your culture than any outside referral source.  Assuming he knows the referral on some level, he's more than likely making some type of match to the type of company you are.

-Most importantly: Even though John left too soon, he cares enough to refer someone to you. 

You know that some folks refer anyone and everyone with a pulse to you.  If John is "that guy", then discount the referral. 

But - if John's a legit referral source and cares enough to match after he made a quick decision to leave, you need to check your emotions at the door and vet the candidate.

Don't hate John (the player), hate the game (free agent nation).  Until you rip someone else from another company, at which point you are the game.

Ironic.


Join Me at Recruiter Nation Live (June 5-7) and We'll Dig Into Hiring Manager Batting Average!

If you're like me, you'd love to have more control over your relationships with hiring managers.  That's why I spoke last week at SHRM Talent on 7 Ways Recruiters Can Win With Difficult Hiring Managers

One of those ways to win was to get data driven - but not through time to fill, cost per hire or turnover. 

Turnover positions you (HR or TA) as the owner of turnover, which you and I know is false.

The next time you report turnover, create a supplemental slide that shows what I call Hiring Manager Batting Average (HMBA).  HMBA simply shows the percentage of people hired by a manager who are still around after one year.  You can roll this up to the departmental level to make it less personal, but its impact is simple - some departments are better at hiring than others.  The ones who are bad have the biggest negative impact to your turnover issues.  Find out more about this by viewing these slides.

I love this metric so much I'm creating a new presentation around it for Jobvite's Recruiter Nation Live (click this link for details and an early bird special).  If you're in the Bay area or looking for a reason to get there in in next 6 weeks, register and join me.  

Additionally, here's an interview I did with the folks at SHRM on Hiring Manager Batting Average to wet your appetite (email subscribers click through for the video):

Hope to see you at Jobvite's Recruiter Nation Live June 5-7 in San Francisco!


CLONES: When Employee Referrals Make Your Average IQ Go Down...

You and I love employee referrals.  We wish we could get more of them.  But, for the rare company that can generate 25% or more of it's annual hire goal from this source, employee referrals can actually weaken the company DNA.

Here's why.  High volume employee referrals mean: Clones

1.  Your company is whiter (or whatever color is your majority.  Full disclosure - I'm white.  I'm Irish.  That means I'm really white.  Don't hate.)

2.  Your company has a declining average IQ.  People don't refer people smarter than they are - that's a threat.

3.  You company is more Blue as a result (or Red).  We don't refer people who think different than we do for the most part.

4.  Your company can hold the alumni meeting onsite without anyone getting in their car.  We love to refer people who went to college where we did.  Roll Tide/War Eagle.

5.  Your company is getting less attractive with each new hire class (which wouldn't be a bad thing if the candidates didn't know someone in the company)

Referrals are great.  Too much of a good thing ends up being a negative.  Cap off referrals at 10-15% of hires.  The change you get as a result will do you good.


CAPITALIST WEBINAR: How to Become the Best at Hourly Hiring in Your Industry...

Let's face it, I like to talk about a lot of upper end talent topics here.  I'm a little bit of a snob, right?

Wait, I've done the tough stuff too! Smashfly fot

For example, take hourly hiring. The majority of hiring done on a daily basis by most companies around the world is in hiring hourly workers, yet almost no one spends time on how to make this easier or do it better. That's why with the latest webinar at FOT (my other team blog), we're going to help our brothers and sisters in the trenches who are out there every single day, doing all the dirty work in their organizations. Those recruiters and talent leaders who are responsible for hiring the masses!  

In that spirit, we're back with the following webinar, The Forgotten Majority: 7 Techniques to Trump Up Your Hourly Hiring (sponsored by the good folks at SmashFly.) Join my good friend Tim Sackett on April 27th at 1pm EDT, and he’ll hit you with the following goodies:

7 things you can start doing to increase and simplify hourly hiring in your organization

3 ways top organizations are leveraging technology to do massive (over 1,000 hires per year) hourly hiring

Pitfalls most organizations fall into when hiring hourly workers, and what you can do to make sure you don’t go down this path

You don’t want to treat your hourly hiring needs like a last minute thought, and we at FOT want to give you the tools and insight you need to build that strategy!

So join us on Thursday, April 27th at 1pm EDT (12pm Central, 10am Pacific) for The Forgotten Majority: 7 Techniques to Trump Up Your Hourly Hiring and we’ll give you the benefits of utilizing CRM technology in mass hiring, along with so many other tips, tricks, and techniques.

REGISTER FOR THIS WEBINAR BY CLICKING THIS LINK!


The Battle-Tested Psychology of the 6/3/1 Recruiting Funnel....

So you want more data and analytics in your recruiting function, but you're not sure where to start...

Allow me to assist.  One of the metrics that is time-tested and true once you really start measuring every open job in your company is the recruiting funnel.  The portion of the recruiting funnel that really matters is what your hiring managers see.  With that in mind, the funnel looks like this:

Submittals (the candidates you formally present to hiring managers for consideration)
Interviews (who the hiring manager interviews)
Hires (if you need me to define this one for, please stop reading)

I was all about the hiring funnel long before I became more focused on recruiting at Kinetix.  As a part of the Kinetix team, I have access to tons of data across a bunch of different companies, thousands and thousands of hires per year.

Want to know what the hiring manager portion of the recruiting funnel says across all that data?  Great!  Here you go:

In a company that does more than 50 hires per year, the aggregate recruiting funnel looks like this:  We submit 6 candidates, you interview 3 of those candidates and hire 1.

Boom. <Drops Mic>. Walks off.

Do individual reqs look different that that?  Sure.  But once you get to 50 positions filled, the averages always come back to 6/3/1 across all hires/all departments.

That probably says something about the psychology of the hiring manager.  She needs to see some candidates, do some interviews and if you're doing your job as a recruiter, she'll find someone she likes.  6/3/1.

You probably know if a hiring manager is a complete ass and unrealistic once you've worked with them across 5 openings or more. 6/3/1.

Sending more than 6 candidates may actually confuse managers and train them that they need to see every candidate in the search, because they subsequently treat you like a coordinator and trust you less. 

6.
3.
1.

If you're wondering whether your service level in recruiting is up to par, start with this metric and compare what you're providing.  I've got 7 years worth of data that says it all comes back to 6/3/1.

Can you measure things like the total number of applicants it take to feed the funnel to get to those downstream numbers?  Of course you can (it's 45, btw.), but don't forget to remember that what the hiring manager sees and the service level they feel/get is the most important thing.

6 freaking 3 freaking 1.

Learn it. Know it. Live It.


Use This Quote When Convincing Someone to Decline An Offer From a Big Company...

"It's better to be a pirate than join the Navy."

-Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was brutal in many ways, but with his brutality came moments of pure clarity.  This quote is one of those moments. Johnny-depp

The stale way to make the same point is obvious - "Why do you want to go work for that big company?  They're going to bury your talent. You know all those ideas you have?  You won't get to chase any of them at IBM.  They'll just pod you up in the matrix and suck your energy over the next decade, leaving you a husked-out former version of yourself."

Wait - that's actual pretty good.  A more standard version is "You're going to there and be bored immediately."

Still, I like the clarity of the Jobs quote.  If you're working for a smaller firm, you need every competitive advantage you can get as you fight for the hires you need.  This quote, while not perfect, is a good tool to have.

It just so happens that the only people that it works on are the people who are actually inclined to believe that they're more than cogs in the corporate wheel.  Use this quote on a person who's happy being a cog, and they might dance with you a bit - but ultimately they're going to grab for the security that only thousands (often tens of thousands) of employees can provide.  Doesn't make them bad people or not talented - it's a preference for security and risk management.

But they're looking to enlist with a big entity like the Navy - not roam the seven seas on that cool, but rickety boat you call a company and wonder if you'll be around in a year.

If you're at a smaller firm, the best hires you will make are the people that don't look like pirates - but have it buried in their DNA.  If you think you have one of those people, I'd talk in broad terms about the pirate-like things you're going to do at your company.

Pirates like Johnny Depp, BTW - not Somali pirates.

Go buy some eye patches for your next round of interviews. Dare a candidate to ask you why you're wearing one.


Degrees Measure Resilience In Employment...And That's Why We Require Them...

Do you have to have a degree to get hired at your company? 

Maybe.

Do you need a degree to be one of the best in any company?

Hell no.  That's probably why Ernst and Young decided to drop the degree requirement.

Then why do we require degrees?

I think for the most part we've progressed past the point where we think a degree means anything related to job performance. For the most part, degrees are used as a requirement by Neighborsmost companies because it's a test.

A test of what you ask? Of polish. Of the ability to put up with a process that has good days and bad days, but if you keep plugging away, eventually something good happens. You know, kind of like your career.

You don't have to have a degree - but people should never be able to pick you out as someone who doesn't have a degree. And that's the rub, right?

Google and Facebook can hire people without degrees who are exceptional and have been exceptional in their field since they were teens - or pre teens. It's clear to everyone they're brilliant. 

The rest of us? We tend to still want a degree - unless the candidate has plugged away for a decade with work experience that's directly related to the position we're considering them for.  Then and only then, we'll think about forgoing the need for a degree.

Does a 25 year old have the polish necessary to be a marketing coordinator (name the relevant position) at your company? We're really bad at evaluating that. Even when the interview goes great, we still have doubts.

A college degree is the ante, the chip that gets you to the table.

I'm willing to hire someone without a degree in positions that traditionally require a degree, but they need one of two things:

1. 5-10 years of relevant experience, directly related to the job in question.

2. Proof that they're exceptional in the field in question, which is usually confirmed by unusual accomplishments for their age that show passion and drive.

Don't have one of those two things? Then I'm going to rely on the degree to tell me something. Anything.

You made it through college - I know you have some ability to stick with the plan. To persevere. To accumulate debt.

Want to get hired without the degree at a young age? Have some passion and chase expertise that's directly related to the job. 

Unless you have that, you're just another sharp 25-year old. We're not smart enough to tell who's a baller and who's not. The college degree is the default.


McKinsey Report: Managing Others and Influence Safe From Next Wave of AI/Automation...

McKinsey has a pretty good report out about where machines/AI can replace humans, and where they can't. I'd encourage all in the talent space to take a look - here's the link.

What you learn from the report is that AI and other forms of automation aren't new related to their ability to destroy jobs and cause dramatic restructuring of workforces as we know them.  A recent HBR article shows that between 1900 and 1990, the population of farmers in the United States went from 30 million to 3 million all while the country’s population more than tripled. In other words, 97% of the farmers disappeared, 3% of the jobs were kept but changed dramatically, the cause: automation.  

Smaller examples - the large-scale deployment of bar-code scanners and associated point-of-sale systems in the United States in the 1980s reduced labor costs per store by an estimated 4.5 percent and the cost of the groceries consumers bought by 1.4 percent.  Huh...  Check out kiosks don't work now because humans are generally helpless to learn new things on the fly - once we can scan you walking out the door without you finding a bar code, we won't have check out counters. 

So automation is a fact of life.  The decision you have to help your kids (as well as grown relatives and friends) make is what careers will be viable in the next wave of automation.

If you look at the McKinsey report, you have to be careful when it comes to Skilled Trades.  We'll have those for the foreseeable future, but there will be pressure on these areas for sure. Look at the chart below from the report and we'll talk about it after the jump (email subscribers, click through if you can't see the picture):

McKinsey Work Automation Chart

What the chart says is this - the more predictable the physical work, the more jobs stand to be eliminated by automation.

Self-driving car technology is going to replace truckers.  Low-end recruiters are gong to be replaced by AI technology.

What's safe for right now?  Any position that manages others or requires influence (stakeholder interactions and applying expertise).

Managing others and influence have a lot of overlap.  They're also among the hardest things to get good at in Corporate America.  Unpredictable physical work is much less likely to be automated that predictable physical work.  It stands to reason that predictable work using your brain is much more likely to be automated than unpredictable work using your brain.

You know what's unpredictable work using your brain?  Dealing with those pesky people. 

Which tells me the HR generalist (jack of all trades, master of some - across all career levels) is going to be around for awhile.