What I'm Working On - VP of HR Search (Hit me with Referrals, Friends!)

To all my HR Capitalist friends --
 
I just onboarded a search for a VP of HR role at Kinetix and wanted to reach out to my network and see who you might know that would have an interest in this role. OFFICIAL-Kinetix-Logo
 
The specs of the position illustrate a lot of opportunities. PE-held company in the automotive industry, 150 locations and around 1300 employees, but on their way to doubling that size through M&A and greenfield growth. Team of 4, but successful candidate has the ability to grow that as the function matures and delivers. Need an equal combination of strategy and getting things done. Leader can be home-based in Atlanta, Birmingham, Mobile, Auburn or Columbus area as long as they're willing to travel as needed.
 
I've gotten to know the leadership team, and it's a collaborative, low politics group that the right candidate will really enjoy. Base and total Comp is not an issue, what they can provide is both competitive and appropriate.
 
Sound like anyone you know?  Link to the job posting appears below which will give you more details on what the right candidate looks like, and I'm open to any and all referrals and will owe you one if you can take a look at this and provide me 2-3 names you think might be a fit.
 
 
Feel free to hit me on LinkedIn or reply (if you're an email subscriber) to this email with anyone that comes to mind. If you forward this email, be sure to tell the people you thought of to reach out and be assertive in addition to simply applying.
 
Thanks in advance for looking at this for me!
 
KD

HR Generalists (at all levels) Win By Adding Specialist Learning Paths to their Portfolio...

I'm on the record as believing the HR Generalist (CHRO to early career) is the most important component in the HR machine at any company. Of course, I love HR Specialists too. Shout out to the specialists! You're doing what you love and you are important! We love you!

But the HR Generalist is the one who's in the conference room when s*** has gone completely sideways, and they're also the one who business leaders at all levels and functional areas confide in when they have seemingly insurmountable issues on their team or in their business.

What's that? Of course Legal is in the room at some point, but they're the second or third call in times of distress. A trusted HR generalist who has developed a relationship of trust is always the first call.

So here we are - 2020. What a mess of a year. But if you're an HR Generalist, I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first? OK, the good news followed by the bad news:

1--Good News! In a post-COVID world, good to great HR Generalists are worth more and increasing in value versus their specialist peers.

The logic behind this reality is pretty simple. Headcount has shrunk in many HR functions as furloughs and layoffs have occurred, and as a result the market is placing a premium on Generalist skills. CHROs are rebuilding teams around the Generalist skill set. Don't take my word for it, just take a listen to these podcasts I did with long-time HR headhunter Kathy Rapp and HR pros Jessica Lee/Tim Sackett (click on the links if you don't see the podcast players below).

The challenge in this good news is that you're going to be asked to do more with less as a Generalist. Better than not having a job, for sure. But you're going to have to invest and work at developing your skills to stay relevant in the years to come, and to ensure you're making the career progress you'd like. Interestingly enough, a lot of what you'll need to add is specialist-related, because the best way to be a great generalist is to slowly but surely add specialist skills to your portfolio.

This realty brings us to the bad news, aka "the challenge":

2--Bad News! To stay on top as an HR Generalist in a post-COVID world, you need to understand how the world is changing and seek training & development that will make you "critical" to those you work for.

This is pretty simple. It's called being strategic with your own development and also being intellectually curious. You seek development to make yourself more valuable, secure and hopefully, engaged with what you do in the world of HR.

It's always better to be motivated to get better via deep interest in what you do. But if you're not curious about where HR is going, then you have to invest to stay one step ahead of the masses, my friend.

OK - let's assume you agree with me. Where do you start to seek training and development that will make you critical for the future?  I always recommend you start with a conversation with the person you work for. Whether that's a C-level, a CHRO or a Director of HR, having a chat about what L&D opportunities they think are important for your future has multiple effects. It cements a connection that you sought their feedback, which creates a perception of investment in you. It also makes them more likely to pay for it.  Advantage: You.

Of course, you can't just walk into that meeting without some prep, right? Here are a couple of big ideas on the best way to map specialist skills to add to your generalist portfolio:

--Look for trends that your company/industry/boss feels are important for the future. I wrote a few weeks ago on 21 Future HR Jobs (click link to review), and as it turns out, I'm not sure any of them are standalone jobs in the next decade. But I'm 100% sure many of the trends covered will be important for high-end, high achieving HR Generalists. You likely could develop a short list of 3-4 of these to guide your path.

--Then match those trends and look at resources like SHRM which is actively creating high-end continuing education for HR pros. For best results using SHRM as you seek to build out your Generalist knowledge and portfolio, do this:

--Flip through SHRM's Fall catalog to find your 2020 program fit(s) and map your future.

--Take a 6-question quiz to receive a curated list of recommended programs, based on your interests, learning style, and expertise.

HR Generalists are in the driver's seat in a post-COVID world. But any high performing HR pro knows they have to stay current and continually add to their portfolio to stay on top and get the career results they desire.

Map it out, invest and go make it happen, my friends!


21 HR Jobs of the Future...Do You Buy It?

Do you believe that HR is going to look dramatically different in 5, 10 or 15 years?  Shoutout to the all the deep thinkers and futurists out there!

Harvard Business Review recently ran an article focused on 21 HR Jobs of the future - here's a taste what they researched and what they found:

The Cognizant Center for Future of Work and Future Workplace jointly embarked on a nine-month initiative to determine exactly what the future of HR will look like. We brought together the Future Workplace network of nearly 100 CHROs, CLOs, and VP’s of talent and workforce transformation to envision how HR’s role might evolve over the next 10 years. This brainstorm considered economic, political, demographic, societal, cultural, business, and technology trends.

The result was the conception of over 60 new HR jobs, including detailed responsibilities and skills needed to succeed in each role. We then created a ranking of each job by its organizational impact, allowing us to narrow the list to an initial 21 HR jobs of the future.

We arranged these HR jobs on a 2×2 grid; the X-axis depicts time, and the order in which we expect them to appear over the next 10 years, while the y-axis depicts “technology centricity” (i.e., all jobs will utilize innovative technologies, but only the most tech-centric will actually require a grounding in computer science). Furthermore, each job was analyzed in the form of a job description (overall requirements, specific responsibilities, skills/qualifications, etc.) similar to those an HR organization will need to write in the coming decade.

Ready?  Here's the grid that lists the new jobs they found (email subscribers click through for the chart and the jobs):

21 hr jobs for the future

OK! What's your call? Is this the future we're looking at, or is this all hype?

The truth, as you might expect, is somewhere in the middle. While the trends associated with these 21 projected new jobs are real, the reality of whether any of these jobs make it through a future budget process is dicey at best.

Is HR going to need better competency at helping organizations prevent bias? Absolutely. Will we need to guide employees and candidates who are displaced by technology in a more effective way in the future? Yes!  Are the other 19 job titles reflective of future needs? I can't argue that they're not.

What I can argue is whether any of these things rises to the level of a stand-alone job. For the biggest companies that are fully funded and flush with cash, maybe. But for the rest of us? Nope.

Think of these 21 areas not as jobs that will be available, but areas to invest in related to training, knowledge and education as a part of your broader HR career.

Don't count on these jobs being what you do in 10 years. Count on the fact that if you dig in with curiosity in 3 or 4 of these areas, you'll make yourself more valuable, especially in larger companies.

Most companies can't hire a "Distraction Prevention Coach" - now or in the future. But they can value and reward the HR Generalist who digs in and becomes more valuable and knowledgeable in this and the other 20 areas.

Get busy living or get busy dying, my HR leader and HR Generalist friends.

 

 

 


HR Leaders Are Increasingly Turning to Generalist Over Specialists (Best Hire Ever Podcast)

Change. We've had our share of it in the business world in 2020, right?

It has hit everyone hard without question, but HR leaders and pros have been hit as hard as anyone. Like you, I have a lot of friends who have faced furloughs, layoffs, etc - both inside and outside of HR.

When HR staffs contract in a recession, something interesting happens. Generalists start to be valued to a higher degree than specialists. Add in the need to flex skills not prioritized in a pre-COVID world, and the need for strong HR generalists becomes the smart play - especially if you're doing it with less headcount.

That's why I had a conversation with Kathy Rapp of hrQ on the changing landscape of hiring HR Leaders and Pros in a Post-COVID World. Kathy's a great voice in the world of HR and she talks to more HR leaders than most of us do. Check out the podcast below, and I've even given you meaningful time stamps to make great use of your time. While you're at it, do me a favor and subscribe!

Viva, HR Generalists!!! You just got more valuable. Whether you're still employed or you've been impacted by this madness as an HR pro, take a listen to this podcast for some great ideas for how to maximize your career prospects.

--KD

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

In Episode 7 of BEST HIRE EVERKris Dunn chats with Kathy Rapp of hrQ on the changing landscape of hiring HR Leaders and Pros in a Post-COVID World. Kathy and Kris talk about the current state of the HR job market, what skills are in demand, where HR might have fallen short inside companies and what it all means for the HR job market moving forward.

Please subscribe, rate and review (Apple) and follow (Spotify) to get the latest BEST HIRE EVER episode delivered to you! (Click this link you don't see the podcast player below)

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

12:40 - Kathy and KD discuss the many misses HR functions experienced related to employee and internal communications during the COVID lockdown period.

14:30 - Kathy shares other areas where the bar has been raised for HR in a post-COVID worlds beyond comms - including Risk Management and DEI.

15:05 - Kathy and KD give their definition of "HR Generalist" and other titles (hint, it's a lifestyle rather than a career level). Kathy talks about the HRBP title, "people" designations, etc.

18:25 - Kathy and KD dig into what’s going on in the marketplace related to HR generalist vs specialist. The market is placing a premium on Generalist skills, and CHROs are rebuilding teams around the Generalist skill set. Kathy and KD talk about how long this vibe will last.

21:00 - Kathy talks about the need for HR pros to lead the conversation about "what's next".  KR takes a pot shot at talking about "having a seat at the table" or "being strategic".  Discussion follows related to what is needed vs flavor of the month rules the conversation.

22:50 - Kathy and KD talks about how HR candidates seeking employment need to modify their approach to land a job in this market.  Building networks, create a personal board of advisors and staying mentally/physically strong.


Interesting CHRO/VP of HR Move: Eileen Moore Johnson is the new EVP and CHRO at Scientific Games

We've got a new recurring feature/segment on The HR Famous Podcast - The CHRO/VP of HR/HR Leader "Move of the Week".

Will we do it every week?  Not sure. But it's interesting to keep an eye on who's making moves in the world of HR and note the ones that are really interesting. Johnson

First one we covered this week was Eileen Moore Johnson becoming the new EVP and CHRO at Scientific Games.

What made this move so interesting is that Johnson is moving from an operational role at Caesars to her new, pure play HR role at Scientific Games. To get a sense for who Eileen was before moving into this pure HR role, here's a snippet from her LinkedIn profile:

Regional President at Caesars: Responsible for operational oversight and P&L responsibility for four large casino resorts and attractions on the Las Vegas Strip (including The Flamingo, Harrah’s, The LINQ, The Linq Promenade and The Cromwell). Oversaw region representing 8,400 hotel rooms, 28 restaurants, 7,000 employees, $1,4B in net revenues, and $435M in EBITDA. Served as member of company’s Capital Committee overseeing strategic deployment of annual capital plan of $550M. Functioned as member of Caesars Corporate Equity Council, 401k Committee, Cyber Security Council, and executive sponsor of VIA, Latino employee business resource group. Founder of Caesars Lean In Circles for executive women development. 

That's an impressive background. Click through to the profile and you'll see a history of being interested and involved in all things Talent related, which is one of the reasons I'm sure that the move to HR makes sense and felt natural. In addition, she paid operational dues before landing in Vegas in the industry, leading less-well known properties in Indiana and Illinois, including Horseshoe SI, Harrah’s Joliet, and Harrah’s Metropolis. Still a big business with $600M in annual revenues and oversaw 3,400 employees, but without the glamour.

Love HR leaders who have put in the dues. Congrats on the move Eileen, and welcome to the world of HR and Talent, but let's face it - you've been doing it a while.

Sometimes the best HR people are the ones who don't have it as part of their title.


BEST HIRE EVER PODCAST - Liz Desio, NYC HR Pro Impacted by COVID...

Hi Gang - ramping up a new podcast called BEST HIRE EVER, where I'll be talking about hiring top Liz talent with undeniably talented corporate leaders, recruiters and candidates. Today's guest is EPIC as
I talk to Liz Desio, a resident of NYC and HR Pro. Great talk about Liz’s personal experience with a COVID-19 lay-off, writing, and HR.

Liz's story makes this a must listen - use the show highlights below to spin to what interests you most, but Liz's story about heading to NYC and hustling to be a journalist before landing in the world of Recruiting/HR is a doozy. Talented lady that you should figure out if you can hire 100%. Enjoy the pod and don't forget to subscribe, rate and review (if you love it) on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Play.


Show Highlights:

1:08: KD introduces Liz, HR Pro and Candidate! KD gives some backstory on how they were introduced and why she’s on BHE

4:45: Liz takes us through her career. UVA grad, move to Brooklyn, hustling, getting hired in first HR job (hard knock life), getting out, getting a really good job in HR and then hitting COVID.

14:33: Liz’s take on being a new manager and the challenges she faced dealing with imposter’s syndrome.

16:05: KD asks Liz to share the story of getting laid off during Covid – You can check out her article here: https://medium.com/@lizdesio/making-peace-with-getting-laid-off-9bead164c43a

25:33: KD then pivots to reflective Liz, the one that wrote the post comparing herself to an early character on The Wire who gets killed off in season 1 - https://medium.com/@lizdesio/when-trying-to-switch-career-fields-makes-you-feel-like-dangelo-from-the-wire-4102c0bded99

33:48: KD and Liz discuss his take that recruiting prepares you to be an HR Generalist better than most.

40:15: KD asks Liz what your dream job is in HR. They discuss.

Kinetix

The HR Capitalist

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Boss Leadership Training Series

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KD's Book - The 9 Faces of HR

Liz Desio on Medium

Liz Desio on LinkedIn


HR Trails Almost Everyone Other Career Related to Freelancing - Let's Discuss...

Welcome to the recession, team! It's just like any other recession, except that it was caused by a Global Pandemic, which seems a bit - extreme.

But I digress. If we're no longer in the peak economic cycle and over 30 million Americans Sidehustlehave hit unemployment since mid-March (WTF, and the number is likely much bigger if you count all the underutilized employees that companies are holding onto via cash reserves and stimulus programs like the Payroll Protection Act), it seems like a good time to talk about freelancing, because all of us might need an alternative source of income at some point in the near future.

You know, a side hustle.

Who's good at having a side hustle? According to research conducted by The Hustle, a nifty little business newsletter you can get delivered to you daily, it's who you would expect. Professions most likely to have a side hustle are first and foremost creative pursuits, the kind where companies often have difficulty justifying a full time position. Graphic design, online media and photography all lead the charge in freelancing and putting together portfolio careers rather than relying on (or being able to rely on) a single source of income (email subscribers, click through if you don't see the charts below).

Hustle 1

What's that? How's HR doing related to having a side hustle?

Shitty.

I regret to inform you we are neither good at it or comfortable with it. See the chart below from the same research, which shows HR as the third least likely profession to have a side hustle, behind the sexy, risk-taking tribes that are lawyers and engineers (woof).

Hustle HR

For god's sake, bankers experiment more with a side hustle than we do. #sad

If you're reading this post as an HR or talent pro, I've got good news for you - you're already hungry for knowledge and experimentation with the status quo, or you wouldn't be here. 

Why do HR people rarely experiment with the side hustle?  Some thoughts:

--We write the policies on the people side and it feels a little hypocritical to do our own thing after we wrote the blurb on moonlighting.

--Our profession is made of up of rules people, and having more than one job doesn't feel like it's in compliance.

--Our skill set doesn't lend itself to side hustle as the work product isn't as transferrable as the graphic designer. 

--We simply aren't a profession full of entrepreneurs. #truth 

Let's examine some of those reasons. We ARE full of rules people and if we wrote the policy manual, we're compelled to follow it. But that sounds like it might be time to reexamine the policy in a gig economy. 

As far as whether our skill set lends itself to the side hustle or not, well, all you really need to do is look at the tens of thousands of HR Consultants who have hung their own shingle to help small business in American and it's clear - the transferrable skill set argument doesn't hold water.

The real reason for such a low side hustle score is we are full of rules people, and HR for the most part doesn't have an entrepreneurial spirit.

And that's 100% ok.  But in a recession that looks like it may be deep and long, it's probably time to figure out what you could sell if you had to.

There's never a better time to look for a side hustle writing an employee handbook for a small company than... wait for it... when you still have a job.

Recession = get ready to bootstrap.


Time to Transform Your Personal HR Brand By Saying Yes! (Even When You Mean No!)

Let’s talk about your personal brand inside the world of HR.

More to the point, let’s talk about saying “yes” as an HR leader/HR pro. The biggest stereotype the world has about HR is that we’re the corporate people police, there to say HYFno to everything we can – regardless of our level.

Our function declines a lot of things inside companies that need a hard “no.” The problem, is that a large percentage of our profession is behaviorally wired to say no—to everything.

And that, my friends, is bad for the brand. Your brand, the one that’s supposed to print money for you the rest of your life.

Being behaviorally wired to say no means you don’t say yes when you should. The people in our profession who are genetically programmed to say no are often the first people your peers in other departments experienced in HR, and as a result, most of the world hasn’t experienced a key HR pro or leader looking to say “yes.”

Those people suck. They’re bad for business.

But Kris (you say), it’s complicated. I feel you, HR.

How do you say yes more as an HR leader or a line HR manager? It’s simple:

1--Listen to someone’s problems. As Jay-Z and ASAP Rocky have explained to us in the last decade, the business leaders around you have many, many problems.

2--When they ask you for permission to do something that feels icky and risky, resist the urge to say “no.”

3--After fighting off the surge of blood to your throat to avoid saying “no,” say “yes.”

4--After saying yes, quickly follow the affirmative with a list of things you need them to do to make the “yes” a reality.

Need an example? Let’s help a manager looking to fire an employee we’ll name “Shirley”:

Manager: “Shirley’s killing me. She’s gotta go.”

You (the HR leader/HR pro): <huge gulp as you resist the urge to say no>

You: “I agree, if you say she’s gotta go, she’s gotta go. You have my support, but here’s what I need from you in the next thirty days to get it done.”

Instead of saying “no, you can’t, because you haven’t done this,” you said, “I agree, here’s the plan.”

Breathe deeply, control freaks of the world.

You said yes instead of no. That’s freaking huge, and here’s why - you interrupted a ten-year pattern of that manager thinking HR was going to tell them no. The list of things they need to do to make it happen is exactly the same, but the difference is that you just agreed to partner with them to make it happen.

Saying yes doesn’t mean “go crazy, manager.” Saying yes means “I support what you want, so here’s what I need to help you get that done.”

Advantage: You and your personal brand in HR.

This Just In: A Lot of People Are Counting on HR to Say No

So you said yes, rocked their world, and ceased to become a corporate cop. Oddly enough, some of these managers are actually looking for you to say no.

They’ve grown addicted to you saying no because it means they don’t have to deal with their own s***.  You’re the excuse, the reason they can’t do proactive work on behalf of the mother ship.

Here’s a list of things that the managers in your company are counting on you to say no to:

--Firing low performers. It’s just easier if you say no, especially if they haven’t been manager of the year to the person in question.

--Paying high performers more money. “Want more money? I’d love to give it to you, but any pay increase request out of cycle is going to be denied by HR.”

--Giving the highest rating on a performance review. One of my favorites is hearing the following from employees: “My manager said she’s been told that no one can get the top rating.” Grrrr.

--Proactively coaching their employees on tough issues. We ask to be in those coaching meetings too much. At times that’s for good reason, but our need to be part of tough conversations makes the manager move slower, or not at all.

Some of you are looking at that list and thinking, “That seems like a level or two below where I’m at.” Don’t kid yourself, if you’re an HR Leader, you’re saying no too much and being a cop for those that won’t deal with their own problems.

The managers and leaders you support have grown addicted to HR saying no. When you say no, it means they’re off the hook and don’t have to have the hard conversations. They simply report your “no” to the requesting employee or candidate.

They love when you say no, because the alternative is messy. If you say yes and quickly follow it by what you need to execute the “yes”, the burden is on them.

I say screw being the fall guy/gal for bad managers. I say let’s embrace saying “yes” with a bunch of conditions that looks like the Treaty of Versailles and see what happens.

Start saying yes to change the narrative of how you’re viewed as a leader and build a better brand as an HR leader/HR pro.

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Looking for help in enhancing your brand as an HR Leader? I recommend you take a look at SHRM Education Spring 2020 Catalog and pay close attention to these programs and e-learning modules:

  • 32 – Consultation: Honing your HR Business Leader Skills
  • 33 – Investing in People with Data-Driven Solutions
  • 34 – Powerful Leaders – Transform your personal brand and executive presence. Strategies for Leadership in HR.
  • 35 – Future of Work Fast Track

 Use the code “HRRocks” when registering for a Spring or Summer SHRM Educational Program and receive $200 off until May 15th! (excludes SHRM specialty credentials and SHRM SCP/CP prep courses)


The HR Famous Podcast: E11- The Future is $99/Month HR Managers (and thy stripper name shall be...)

It’s episode 11 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee, Tim Sackett and Kristian Dunn kill some more time by recording a new episode on the pod (of course trying to flatten the curve in their respective isolation pods) focused on what virtual HR looks like today – including what kind of HR services you can get for $99/month. Plus there’s some stripper name talk too.

Email subscribers click through if you don’t see the player below or click here for a direct link or hit iTunesSpotify and Google Play - please rate and review!

Show Highlights:

1:42 – Jessica calls Tim sexy, or at least she calls his voice that, while he proceeds to completely pass on the compliment and instead complain about back to back conference calls followed by hating on Kris’ deck, which he sure seems to be jealous of. Not the first time he’s talked about Kris’ deck. Sounds like it’s gonna be a really good episode.

3:13 – The crew takes a cue from John Krasinski of The Office fame and channels some of his Some Good News goodness – at which point KD shares that his house looks more like Lord of the Flies with nearly grown children fighting over Corn Nuts. Just kidding. The real good news is that his boys are home and bonding. Sacks meanwhile shares that his team is finding the purple squirrels. They exist. They can be found.

6:06 – JLee humbly admits that she has finally – nearly 20 years into her career – mastered VLOOKUPs in Excel and shares that she and hubby have come to an agreement to FINALLY allow for some food delivery to start happening in their household.

7:46 – On to the real topic. Wait for it. JLee gets an ad on her FB feed and it’s for… drumroll…  get your very own HR manager for $99/month via an L.A. based startup, Bambee.

10:26 – Tim reveals the truth about Bambee. These aren’t HR managers who are on the other end of the phone line providing consultation to Bambee’s clients. (And no, they aren’t strippers either.) These are life insurance sales people disguised as HR relationship / account managers.

12:40 – KD breaks down the model. They start with offering a baseline of HR services targeting SMBs that maybe just to start have an HR coordinator who can also do payroll. At 100+ employees, bigger needs obviously develop and that’s when you can’t leverage Bambee anymore. But Sacks thinks there’s no way there’s any value to be gained from a service that’s $99/month regardless of your company size.

15:15 – JLee gets more curious about who exactly these HR managers are that Bambee is hiring and finds a single job posting for the job. It turns out you have to manage 200 clients at a time in addition to the upsell work they do on the life insurance and training services the company also offers. But look, they have a really good Glassdoor rating as JLee finds. People are happy to work there.

19:29 – The crew exposes the fallacy of Bambee, especially in this era of the Rona – virtual, remote HR services yet they require their HR managers to work on-site.

23:00 – KD prophesizes that virtual is the future and the world will be moving to being employed outside of your metro area. Which gets the group talking about what the true value of HR is, and what it then means to deliver HR in a remote environment.

27:50 – A new business idea emerges. It turns out the crew actually not-so-secretly loves the Bambee model but just with higher end remote resources. They struggle with what to call it though. There’s got to be an available stripper name out there though. JLee quickly moves away from sharing too much about their next business venture and seeks out some advice from the guys.

31:22 – Kristian Dunn the life coach offers JLee some advice on how to influence and lead in these times when we’re virtual and remote. He also proceeds to pronounce “Marriott” the right way. It rhymes with “chariot” folks. And Sacks comes back around to Bambee again and the value of the service and wants in on the biz.

37:00 – The guys land on a stripper name that they’ll call their next biz. Wait for it. Welcome to the stage… (you have to listen to hear it).

39:00 – KD wisely shares that he knows enough to not ask what’s for dinner. Especially if it’s chips and dip again.


FALLING INTO HR WEEK: One Kid's Path Into the Rock and Roll Lifestyle of HR...

Note from KD - It's “Falling Into HR” series this week at The HR Capitalist.  Go check out my post on Fistful of Talent from Monday as part of this series.  This is the second post in that series.

THERE ARE 8 MILLION STORIES IN THE NAKED CITY

Some of you knew you wanted to be in HR in middle school.  It’s rarely that clean for the rest of us.

Consider the story of how I (Kris Dunn, aka “KD”) fell into HR. It’s a doozy:

1--I graduated from Northeast Missouri State (now Truman State) and automatically started a career as a young Division 1 college basketball coach at UAB (University of Alabama-Birmingham), because that’s how great HR is born, right? LOL. 

2--As a coaching staff member at a Division 1 program, I probably witnessed 9,000 conflicts with widely accepted people practices in corporate America, even though I wasn’t familiar with the terms “people practices” or KD head shot“corporate America,”or “HR”.

3-- After 3 years in coaching, I decided I was likely to be poor for a long time and exited the coaching game to go back to get my MBA, then took a job working overnight in a wireless call center to pay the bills.

4-- While working overnight in the call center, a soon to be mentor named Marilyn Brooks (Director of HR) figured out I had some potential in random post-shift interactions in the hallways and parking lot. She decided to seek me out for a project evaluating staffing vendors as part of a RFP process they were going through. I worked on the project overnight and delivered a lot more than was required. Mrs. Brooks was pleased.

5-- After getting my MBA, my wife and I relocated back home to Missouri (St. Louis area) where she became a staff prosecutor and I went to work doing market research for IBM Global.

6-- We went through one winter from hell, looked at each other and said, “what the hell are we doing?” Even though we were from the Midwest, 5 years in the new South had thinned our blood, and we wanted to get back to the Southeast.

7-- With LinkedIn not even a glimmer in venture capitalist’s eye at the time, I started calling people I knew, Marilyn Brooks among them, seeking career opportunities that would get me back to warm winters.

8-- Marilyn’s words: “I don’t have anything in what you’re doing now, but I do have a HR Manager spot. Would you be interested in that? You used to be a coach and there’s a lot of coaching in this role.”

9-- I interviewed and got the job. I was on my way in the world of HR.

Many of you are reading this and shaking your head. Some of you hate me for falling into this opportunity without paying my dues. Bottom line is this – I had a mentor of sorts, did good work to reinforce the mentor’s belief in me, and the mentor ended up plugging in a non-traditional protégé into an opening on her HR team.

Shit like this happens all the time in HR. Film at 11.

THERE ARE 8 MILLION STORIES IN THE NAKED CITY - what's yours?