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June 2017

PEOPLE STAT OF THE DAY: Jobs in The Steel Industry & Automation...

I'll just leave this here...

14 people make 500,000 tons of steel annually at a location in Austria.

Not a typo.

From BusinessWeek on automation in the steel industry:

The Austrian village of Donawitz has been an iron-smelting center since the 1400s, when ore was dug from mines carved out of the snow-capped peaks nearby. Over the centuries, Donawitz developed into the Hapsburg Empire’s steel-production hub, and by the early 1900s it was home to Europe’s largest mill. With the opening of Voestalpine AG’s new rolling mill this year, the industry appears secure. What’s less certain are the jobs.

The plant, a two-hour drive southwest of Vienna, will need just 14 employees to make 500,000 tons of robust steel wire a year—vs. as many as 1,000 in a mill with similar capacity built in the 1960s. Inside the facility, red-hot metal snakes its way along a 700-meter (2,297-foot) production line. Yet the floors are spotless, the only noise is a gentle hum that wouldn’t overwhelm a quiet conversation, and most of the time the place is deserted except for three technicians who sit high above the line, monitoring output on a bank of flatscreens. “We have to forget steel as a core employer,” says Wolfgang Eder, Voestalpine’s chief executive officer for the past 13 years. “In the long run we will lose most of the classic blue-collar workers, people doing the hot and dirty jobs in coking plants or around the blast furnaces. This will all be automated.”

From 1,000 jobs in the 1960s, to 14 FTEs today. Sounds like a post for Labor Day weekend rather than the 4th of July.  Too good to wait until 2 months for, however.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys labor that can be automated...


How To Deal With Idea Generators On Your Team That Think They (not the company) Should Own Their IP...

With your best people, there’s always a rub that emerges.

Who owns the idea?

Let me rephrase: You can have the best people that are just really good at making the trains run on time, and there’s tons of value in that. But the ones that have the most value are always the ones that are true idea generators.

Companies, departments and individual careers are built on great ideas. In my experience, about 5% of your workforce population has the ability to innovate in this way—to create ideas that have the potential to add value.

Along the way, something interesting happens. At first, these idea people are happy to share their ideas and get some credit for participating. Then, a change can occur.

Those idea generators get jaded about the company making money off their ideas.

Need an example? Take a look at this scene from Mad Men with Don Draper and his direct report, Peggy (email subscribers click through for the video):

Paraphrasing here:

Peggy: “You’re taking credit for my work!”

Draper: “Your job is to give me ideas. That’s what the money is for.”

Deep stuff. I’m writing about this because some of you have a highly creative team member who generates ideas, and you’re going to come to this crossroad. He/she is going to reach the boiling point and hit you with something similar (but probably not as direct) as what Peggy said.

At that point, you’re either going to be a hard ass, a coach or the thing you least want to be—a weakling.

Let’s break those choices down. Your star comes to you and claims in less than direct way that you’re stealing her ideas. Option one is easy—you pour another scotch like Draper and tell her that’s what the money is for.

A better play would to be a coach, right? You sit her down and start walking through the arc of her career, talking about the old times when you (young Draper) felt the same way, and suddenly, your consistent stream of ideas meant you were the natural choice to lead a creative team and yes, secure the financial rewards that come with being a partner.

That’s what is in store for her. But only if he/she stops bitching and understands she’s getting compensated for the training ground she’s currently privileged to be a part of.

Option 3 is the worst way to go. You coddle the star and ask her what she needs, tell her how valuable she is, etc. Which guarantees that the star will keep acting the same way.

Idea generators are rare. So rare that you have to be purposeful when they come to you and claim that the company is raking in the revenue from their ideas.

Play it too hard, and it’s dysfunctional. Play it soft and you’ll get walked on and probably create your own retention issue. As with all things in life, the truth is found in the middle.

I’ll close with a cautionary note. If you’re reading this and thinking you’re the idea generator, pause and think about that. Over 75% of the people who think they’re idea generators are really just people making the trains run on time in an efficient way.

Regardless of your career level or role, stop and spend 10 minutes today thinking about who in your company is a true generator of original ideas.

The list is shorter than you think. That’s what the money is for.

Sleepy HR Pros Won't Spend More than 30 Seconds On This Post... (The Mary Meeker Slides)

Only the true players will spend 5 minutes or more with this post and it's referred content...It's deep, but pure gold...

Kleiner Perkins general partner Mary Meeker launched the 22nd edition of the Internet Trends Report at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on May 31, 2017. Dating back to 1995, when Mary was still an equity analyst at Morgan Stanley, the annual report compiles and analyzes data from a wide range of sources, providing insights on the state of the Internet Economy. The deck covers a broad array of topics, including global internet user trends, advertising and e-commerce, gaming, online media, digital health, and much, much more. This guide is intended to highlight some of the key topics of discussion in this year’s edition – and to help media navigate the report.

It's deep.  I can guarantee if you spend 10 minutes with it, you'll find 4-5 things to share with you team and you'll look smart as hell.  A trend-spotter, if you will...

Highlights of the 300 slide deck from ReCode (full deck below from Slideshare, click through if you don't see the slides):

  • Global smartphone growth is slowing: Smartphone shipments grew 3 percent year over year last year, versus 10 percent the year before. This is in addition to continued slowing internet growth, which Meeker discussed last year. (editors note - what's next?  Apple needs a new product)
  • Voice is beginning to replace typing in online queries. Twenty percent of mobile queries were made via voice in 2016, while accuracy is now about 95 percent. (editor's note - holy ****)
  • In 10 years, Netflix went from 0 to more than 30 percent of home entertainment revenue in the U.S. This is happening while TV viewership continues to decline. (editor's note - holy ****, even with all those shared passwords?)
  • Entrepreneurs are often fans of gaming, Meeker said, quoting Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman and Mark Zuckerberg. Global interactive gaming is becoming mainstream, with 2.6 billion gamers in 2017 versus 100 million in 1995. Global gaming revenue is estimated to be around $100 billion in 2016, and China is now the top market for interactive gaming.
  • China remains a fascinating market, with huge growth in mobile services and payments and services like on-demand bike sharing. (More here: The highlights of Meeker's China slides.)
  • While internet growth is slowing globally, that’s not the case in India, the fastest growing large economy. The number of internet users in India grew more than 28 percent in 2016. That’s only 27 percent online penetration, which means there’s lots of room for internet user-ship to grow. Mobile internet usage is growing as the cost of bandwidth declines. (More here: The highlights of Meeker's India slides.)
  • In the U.S. in 2016, 60 percent of the most highly valued tech companies were founded by first- or second-generation Americans and are responsible for 1.5 million employees. Those companies include tech titans Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook.
  • Healthcare: Wearables are gaining adoption with about 25 percent of Americans owning one, up 12 percent from 2016. Leading tech brands are well-positioned in the digital health market, with 60 percent of consumers willing to share their health data with the likes of Google in 2016.

Daaaaamn.  There's a lot here.  This one's for the true players. Enjoy...

The Boomerang Effect of Firing All The UBER Leaders...

By this time, you're all caught up on all the events happening at Uber.  Uber-Harassment (couldn't resist), aggressive behavior, a big employee relations-style investigation by outside counsel and a bumbled all-hands meeting that included an HR leader calling for everyone to hug it out and a board member saying that women talked to much and then resigning.

Whew. That's a lot.  

You don't need more Uber status updates, so in the aftermath of Uber taking out most of it's leadership team including it's founder/CEO, I'm here to offer one observation.

Uber is ripe for a cultural crisis - but not the one you expect.

The biggest risk for Uber is that as they try to improve their culture, they loose the edge that made them special.  That edge was being the hardest charging, most aggressive company in the face of the planet.

Uber's doing the right thing reacting to recent events and attempting to ensure the culture for employees improves. But a likely side effect to that necessity is that the company is going to provide built in excuses for a lack of execution.

Uber never would have grown into who it is today if the leaders weren't absolute a##holes when it came to confronting challenges - the local governments, the needed ability to scale, dealing with global leaders and governments.

In all of these areas, Uber was about action first and permission later.

You know, exactly the behavior that caused the car wreck when it came to harassment and a hundred other negative behaviors.

Action first, boldness and permission later.  Unacceptable when it comes to dealing with employees - much more care is needed. But action first/boldness/permission later is a big part of what allowed Uber to dominate the market and grow at the pace it did.

Expect to see a downturn in execution at Uber in the years to come.  The DNA that made them cringeworthy with employees is directly related to what made them special in the marketplace/business world.

UPDATE - note from a reader - "Hi Kris.  Interesting post.  I struggle with your conclusions (a little).  Maybe because I continually fight the “this is retail” mentality when it comes to how people are treated.   Are hard charging and respectful mutually exclusive concepts?   Can you have an edge, and not do incredibly stupid stuff?   Can you be decisive and not be a dick?   I think so."

I agree with the reader. The biggest point I was trying to make is that when you've operating this way for so long, it's hard to put the genie back in the bottle from a hard-charging results perspective.  I think UBER is going to have to tolerate lower execution because how they've treated certain classification of employees is how they've treated the market to a large degree.

HOW TO: Use Social Media Ad Buys to Get Better Recruiting Results...

My team at Kinetix is dropping a whitepaper today - The Talent Acquisition/HR Leader's Guide To Social Media Buys for Recruiting.  You should check it out.

There's a lot of options for your recruitment marketing spend - Job Boards, Indeed, the new Google Jobs (actually not asking for your spend yet, just disrupting for now) - it's a confusing Social ad buysmarketplace and it's easy to miss changes in what works.

One of the places most of you haven't experimented with yet is doing social media ad buys to drive candidate flow.  Simply posting your jobs on social platforms without targeting has very limited effectiveness. You need to target and spend to make it really work. The process works like this - each of the major social platforms has targeting options where you can pick who you (by career track) want to see your ad, which can be a job, content related to a career at your company or a mixture of both.

You target and then pay the social platform on a per-click basis.  Sounds easy, right?

Well, all social platforms aren't created equal when it comes to their effectiveness in helping your recruiting efforts.  That's where this paper comes in handy - download it today and we'll give you the following:

--Data on which social media ad platforms you should be using to drive raw candidate flow to your jobs.

--The Kinetix experience related to which social media ad platform delivers the best results when trying to attract quality applicants.

--A rundown of factors that Talent Acquisition and HR Leaders should evaluate when picking the right social platform for their industry and recruiting pain.

--And of course, we rate 4 major social platforms related to their overall recruiting effectiveness so you know where to go first!

Download The Talent Acquisition/HR Leader's Guide to Social Media Buys for Recruiting today and learn how to stay ahead of the recruiting and hiring curve using social.

Remember - if you need recruiting help, Kinetix is just a phone call/text away!  

Download the paper via the form below or use any of the links in this email.

If I Were Starting A Union, Here's What I'd Do...

I'm spent a lot of time over the last week thinking about the challenges of the budgeted merit increases - you know the drill - 4% across the board, and you need to get "pay for performance" out of that.  Which got me thinking about this ...


If I Were Starting A Union, Here's What I'd Do...I'd rip a page from the player's unions in the major sports leagues and focus my bargaining on the establishment of a salary cap.

Once the cap was established as a percentage of company revenue, the deal would be pretty simple from an economic perspective - members of the union would get more cash as revenue grew, and they'd be at risk if revenue didn't grow or decreased (I'd have to figure out how new headcount impacts that - there would have to be some way to protect a certain % of growth for the incumbents).

Of course, membership drives for my union would be challenged - mainly because the majority of workers in America have no interest in that kind of risk, or at least see little value in the upside. They'd rather take their 3% annually.

Which means I'd have to attempt to unionize high performers and Linchpins only.  Of course, that's problematic since this group really doesn't need representation and can increase their compensation on their own, both within the same company and via the free market.

Crap.  Back to the drawing board...

Google For Jobs Launches: Are You Going to Nap On This For the Next Year?

It's go time for Google for Jobs.  

Earlier this year at Google I/O, the search giant announced a new initiative named Google for Jobs. The goal is simple: leverage Google’s skills at organizing information to make finding jobs easier. Today, one of the first steps in this project goes live, with the launch of an improved job search feature rolling out on mobile and desktop.

The feature is pretty simple. For searches with “clear intent” (e.g., “head of catering jobs in NYC” or “entry-level jobs in DC”), Google shows a preview of job listings scraped from various sources. These include job sites like LinkedIn, Monster, and Glassdoor, but also information hosted on company’s own websites — if they’ve updated their sitemap, that is. Users can then click on results to get more information, and filter listings by criteria like location, employer, and the date of the listing.
They don't scrape/include Indeed, btw.
There's 2 things that you can do right now to experiment with that 10%.  You can buy social ads targeting the type of candidate you want on social platforms with great targeting (Facebook) and you can get ahead of the curve on Google Jobs.
Much like Indeed back in the day, there's no way for you just to write a check and say that your jobs are being maximized on Google Jobs right now.  Instead, you'll need to look at standards and understand some technical details.  Click here for a developer guide to improve search results for jobs in the Google engine.
Some of you were years late to the Indeed party.  That party isn't over yet, but let's just say it's winding down.
Search changes.  Indeed changed the job posting over a decade ago by understanding SEO, scraping every job in the world and forcing you to pay for preferred placement in their ecosystem. Now the ecosystem they built that practice on is in the jobs game, and while Google has included job postings from sources like CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, Monster, and Glassdoor, they haven't included Indeed.  Logic suggests the others might find themselves on the outside looking in as time goes by.
The cheese moved.  The best way for you to spend resources on Google Jobs is to maximize your own jobs and not be reliant on a partner.

Happy Father's Day, You Low Emotive SOB...

Father's Day is Sunday.  My dad passed away in 2005, but every now and then I get a reminder of how solid of a guy he was.

One thing about Kent Dunn - like a lot of guys born in the 30s/40s/50s, he wasn't much of a hugger.  Could you hug him?  Absolutely. Would he squeeze you hard back?  Highly debatable.

I'm reminded of Kent Dunn and others of his ilk by this great piece in the Onion called Dad Hands Phone Off To Mom Immediately After Being Wished Happy Father’s Day.  Here's a taste:

"Allowing no window whatsoever for additional conversation to take place, the father of local man Luke Asbury reportedly handed off the phone to Luke’s mother on Sunday immediately after his son wished him a happy Father’s Day. “Wow, he didn’t waste any time—he just said thanks, told me Mom was there if I wanted to speak to her, and then got off the line before I could really answer,” said Asbury, 32, who told reporters that while he in no way expected to chat at length, he did anticipate at least having one or two minutes of small talk about whether his father planned to watch any golf that afternoon."

Hilarious, but also true of guys from this generation.  Not everyone is built for long missives, showing emotion or even carrying out small talk.  Remember that as you deal with folks both old and young at your company as an HR pro.  Sometimes when someone's short with you it doesn't mean anything towards you, the situation you're talking about or anything else.

Sometimes they're just not down with the small talk.  Or your bull###t.  It's not you.  It's wired in their DNA.

RIP Kent Dunn.  Still hear your boots in the hallway.

Unlimited PTO - More For the Employer or the Employee?

Check out a recent post I did at my other site - Fistful of Talent - on the optics of unlimited PTO - what it means for companies over employees and more.  Here's a taste:

In my darkest moments, I’m a bit of a skeptic.  And I think unlimited PTO might just be a scam to not pay out accrued vacation and sick time.

With me?  Against me?  As with most things, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.  Here’s 5 things I know about vacation/sick time and the connection to the concept of unlimited PTO:

Unlimited PTO is limitless in its attraction as a component to “Best Place To Work”.  It’s hard to hear the concept exists at a company and not view said company in the top quartile of places to work.  Whatever the reality is, WHO CARES PEOPLE – THEY HAVE UNLIMITED PTO.  That’s how it comes across – in all caps, being shouted from the mountaintop.

I’ve worked for incredible CFOs in my career, and they all would evaluate Unlimited PTO with a form of glee reserved for Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.  The exchange is simple – you tell them you want to do unlimited PTO, and after they blast the dead weight in the company they think is going to abuse it, they get that thoughtful look in their eyes as they say, “wait, that means we’ll never pay out banked time again, right?  Hmmm…”

Get the whole post by clicking here.  Regardless of your opinion on unlimited PTO, let's just agree there's at least mutual benefit, OK?

New Growth Area In Executive Search: The Search Where All Viable Candidates Are Known!!!!

I must say - as someone who helps run a recruiting firm, there are always a few types of searches that surprise me.  It's a field where you're always learning.

One of those surprises is the past few years is a rare type - the search where almost every viable candidate is known, or at least easily verified.  Confused?  Let me explain. Riley

We've done some of these searches at Kinetix, in the field of education and other industries.  Who would pay a recruiting firm a full fee to run a search where they already know who all the viable candidates are?

As it turns out, people looking for a new hire where all the candidates are incredibly paranoid of being outed publicly that they're in the market to change jobs.

Case in point - the education industry.  Get involved in any leadership/CEO/Superintendent search and you'll soon learn that it's hard to have conversations with incumbents in other jobs who might be good candidates for you - because they are scared to death of the organization/school/community they currently work for finding out that they have interest in that job.

Is this America?  Yeah, it is.  That means people can judge you for nothing as well as you having the right to change jobs if you're so inclined.

The risk for this type of candidate is just too great to be seen as interested in your job.  For organizations with open leadership spots, the search firm becomes a layer of plausible deniability.  The hard part for the search firm in the education industry is that the interview process is public record.  You want to provide a slate of 5 candidates to give great options, but look at your next school leadership search and one of two things will be present - there's either 2-3 finalists or you have a full slate of 5 candidates, but three of those five aren't currently employed.  Once these candidates are forced to go public and it hits the paper, it's hard for them with the current organizations.

A similar type of search happens in the sports world for head coaches, general managers, etc.  Here's notes from a recent GM search for professional basketball's Orlando Magic:

The Orlando Magic have named John Hammond as general manager. The organization tapped Korn Ferry to help replace past GM Rob Hennigan, saying that after missing the postseason for five consecutive seasons it was time for a new approach. Jed Hughes, a Korn Ferry vice chairman and global sports sector leader, led the assignment.

Mr. Hammond, GM of the Milwaukee Bucks for the past nine years, won the NBA’s Executive of the Year award for the 2009-10 season. He is well familiar with Jeff Weltman, the recently appointed Orlando Magic president of basketball operations, whom he worked with in Milwaukee. Mr. Hammond was the architect of the Milwaukee team, where he landed top draft picks Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kris Middleton and Malcom Brogdon, hired head coach Jason Kidd and reached the NBA playoffs two of the past three seasons.

Korn Ferry’s sports practice has conducted a number of prominent searches, including for the commissioner for the National Football League as well as the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee. The recruiter has also been active filling head coaching and general manger roles for both professional and collegiate sports teams. The search firm recently placed former Magic executive Patrick Ewing as the new head basketball coach of Georgetown University. Mr. Ewing was assistant head coach of the Magic from 2007 to 2012.

In the sports world, the need for the search firm happens for different reasons. Instead of candidates being scared of losing favor with their current organizations, sports teams/athletic programs deploy search agencies to provide a layer of PR to the process.  In the sports world, teams/athletic programs are more concerned about being declined by candidates multiple times - which leads to the perception that their programs are less than desirable by their fan bases, which theoretically leads to lower ticket sales, booster donations, etc.

I've done the high level search where every candidate is known.  The first time I did it, I went in thinking it was going to be easy.  

I was wrong - it turns out that the organizations in question had some unique pain that required search.

Hit me up at Kinetix if you've got a search you need help with - whether the all the candidates are known - but especially if they aren't...