THE HR FAMOUS PODCAST: e17 – Crocs and Compensation Strategy in a COVID World...

In episode 17 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Kris Dunn and Tim Sackett come together to discuss Crocs, compensation strategy, Facebook’s new location based salary adjustments, and the return of the MLB. The duo discuss the different compensation adjustment strategies companies have been taking, why companies have been choosing which strategy to implement, and how decisions made during the pandemic may translate to problems when life returns to normalcy.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!  (email subscribers, if you don't see the podcast player below, click here to go to the episode)

2:00 – Haven’t heard about Crocs in awhile? No worries! Tim starts the episode talking about the resurgence of Crocs and talks about his history with the infamous shoe brand. 

5:00 – Tim wears his Crocs around the house but KD lives in a strict no-shoe household. Is your house a shoes on or shoes off home?

6:45 – Today’s topic: compensation strategy. Tim discusses the 3 different strategies companies are taking during the pandemic recession. 

8:30 – KD wages that the specific compensation strategy chosen by businesses depends on how the economy is looking and how it will be in the future. Some industries will be hit differently at different times. 

10:45 – Airbnb recently announced that they’re cutting 25% of their staff. KD discusses the strategy the CEO took for their layoffs and how they went about it. 

12:30 – Quick digression: Vegas time! Las Vegas is opening up in June and Tim talks about casinos that are giving away one way tickets for Vegas’s grand reopening. 

14:00 – We have seen upper level management and executives cutting a lot from their earnings. KD praises execs for doing a good job of forgoing or cutting salaries during the pandemic.

15:20 – Last compensation cutting strategy: location based pay. Facebook has announced that employees who elect to WFH permanently will have their pay adjusted to their personal cost of living. 

19:30 – How to adjust pay becomes a new problem with this compensation strategy. Tim and KD discuss how salary adjustment based on location and cost of living could add to the problem of wages and unfair pay

24:30 – “Stop using forever when you tell people they can work at home.” – Tim Sackett

25:00 – Google is giving their remote workers $1,000 to set their employees up for success in a WFH environment. Tim said he spent $4,000 on his personal home office when he worked remotely. KD seems stunned by the price but Tim reminds him furniture is expensive.

27:40 – KD brings us back to the days of relocation compensation. He thinks that $4,000 seems very high and argues for the side of “bootstrap America”. Bootstrappers don’t need a Herman Miller chair for their home office!

30:20 – Tim discusses the draw of working for highly known brands and how the experience of working for these brands goes away when working from home. Tim says that these companies should have Uber Eats drop off lunch for their WFH employees and KD groans. Okay boomer!

31:50 – One last topic for today: sports! KD and Tim laugh at the potential new plans for social distancing for the 2020 major league baseball season. 

34:00 – Want to go visit Spanish beaches? They’re planning on creating beach reservations that adhere to social distancing standards. Tim loves the idea. Who is down for a Spain trip?


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Wake Up

How long?
Not long
'Cause what you reap is what you sow.

--"Wake Up", Rage Against The Machine

Yes, I understand there's a higher authority than Rage Against The Machine to attribute this quote to, Ragebut when s**t's falling apart, you go with what you know best.

Let's start with the obvious. I'm white. My full name is Kristian Patrick Dunn, which on the white-o-meter lands somewhere between Jim from The Office and Conor McGregor. I'm becoming increasingly aware that my position is full of privilege and there's a bunch that I don't understand about what's going on and where we are at.

Although I wasn't born into wealth and come from hard working people, in relative terms I hit the birth lottery economically when and where I was born. 

But Kent and Deanna Dunn (RIP, I miss you) didn't raise me to think any of this was OK. But my upbringing is part of the issue with white people of my ilk. We were raised in homes without a lot of direct conversation about racism, raised by good people who taught us to keep our head down, work hard, treat all with respect and things would work out.

That means people like me are not naturally vocal about what's ***ked up in our nation. 

But enough of this b******t. When Minneapolis is burning, protests break out in dozens of cities and citizens are setting police cars on fire in front of the Atlanta HQ of CNN, it's time to have a take and look for change.

I can't add much to the conversation about race relations. I don't know enough, and I haven't experienced enough. It's better for me to listen and make sure we're talking about it in my house. But I know what evil looks like and that's probably the best way to start.

So what's next?

I'll start with the obvious. Can we please take bad people off the board in an expedited fashion?

One big change I'd like to see is expedited investigations and when necessary, expedited trials for specific types of lethal force used by our police forces. Simply put, it can't take months to figure out whether to charge someone and years to carry out the legal process when obviously wrongful deaths occur. We've got to fast track the entire process when outlandish (not all) deaths occur at the hands of the police. Make the penalties severe for cronyism that cause delays to put someone in the system. Make justice swift in these circumstances and make the penalties hard. Of course, police unions will be a barrier to reform.

Side note: Our police forces have impossible jobs and most are capable of great things. Need an example? The police force protecting the White House on Friday night held the line with little use of force, despite objects being thrown at them repeatedly and unspeakable things being shouted at them inches from their face.

No deaths. Very limited physical force. All the more reason to change the rules/laws and take bad cops off the board quickly. 

(Yes, I'm aware of the videos showing the physical force over the weekend by police forces around the country. Sorry - I believe most police officers are good. Riots are hard.)

But reform related to expedited investigations/trials for police forces doesn't do enough to make justice as swift as we need it to be. We need similar reform for hate crimes, where people like Ahmaud Arbery get systematically tracked down vigilante style by terrible people and murdered.

Of course, someone reading this will ask me if we'll provide the same expedited process/trials for white victims. To that I say, "sure," but the last time I checked, it's not a white guy who gets tracked down by non-whites in a pickup truck or crushed to death by a cop's knee. I'm sure someone will give me stats that counter that statement. Remember, I said, "sure."

When I ask for an expedited process, I'm not asking for 10,000 cases into the process a year. I'm asking that we move to take the obvious outliers off the board, quickly and unapologetically.

The world doesn't need another panel on CNN/FOX/MSNBC or a White House/Speaker of the House press conference. We need our senators and representatives to come together, to the middle of the aisle, and do their job to get real change. Or course, that will take courage from both sides of the aisle.

I know that the people I'm talking about the need to fast-track have rights. Let's give them their rights, but modify the legal system so it happens in 10% of the time. We should fund whatever resources are needed to make that happen.

I don't know enough to speak intelligently about a lot of issues of race, so I'm going to listen and learn.

But I know what evil looks like and I want it gone. Quickly. 


FOT mainstays Kris Dunn and Tim Sackett talk shop in this video, riffing on 3 things HR Leaders are focusing on during the COVID recovery, including overall HR agility, HR Communications/Branding and topgrading talent in a down economy.

Video below! (email subscribers click through if you don’t see the video player)


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  • 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 30th! (excludes SHRM specialty credentials and SHRM SCP/CP prep courses)

HR FAMOUS - My Conversation with Ed Baldwin, HR Leader at Mikron (RTW from COVID)...

In episode 16 of The HR Famous Podcast, I track down Head of HR for Mikron Ed Baldwin for a continuation discussion about return to work plans. we discuss Mikron’s early decision to start working remotely, what changes they have made in their manufacturing plants, and what tactics allowed them to be on top of the pandemic.

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)! (email subscribers, click through if you don't see the podcast player below)

Show Highlights:

2:00 - KD starts off the episode by asking Ed about his position and what Mikron does and their unique position that helped them to be better prepared for the Coronavirus pandemic. 

5:15 - KD and Ed establish the timeline of the WFH and circumstances that Mikron faced. 

6:00 - Ed outlines the plan and decision Mikron made for remote working, why they made that decision, and how they implemented that plan. 

9:30 - KD asks Ed what he attributes Mikron s early call to have employees work from home to. Ed says that WFH wasn’t as dispurtive as they had thought and frequent leadership team meetings helped their quick and effective response as well as their decision to make remote work a permanent fixture where they could.

11:50 -Ed and KD discuss work/employee density as a driving force in COVID response for a manufacturing company. 

13:00 - Ed explains a few things that Mikron has done to keep their workers still working on site safe, like modifying work schedules, increased hygiene and cleaning services, and open doors where possible among other changes. 

17:30 - KD asks Ed on how his midwestern upbringing in Iowa has prepared him for his work at Micron and his decision making during this pandemic. Don’t forget where you come from! 

19:45 - Check out Ed Baldwin’s profile on LinkedIn and his writing on Fistful of Talent!

Ed Baldwin on LinkedIn


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What Is Your Pettiest Reason For Being Lukewarm On A Candidate?

Updating this post for COVID-19, although most of you are bigger than that. But that doesn't mean we're not all small in some way...

I'm asking. You know you have some type of petty thing - that's caused you to rank a candidate lower Pettinessthan they should have been.

Candidates who got impacted by COVID? You'll get through that and not hold it against them. But you'll still be holding something small against a cross-section of candidates.

I'm not talking about bias with a capital "B".  I'm talking about bias with a smaller than lower case "b".   It's so petty that the "b" in bias is actual two font sizes smaller than the rest of the word.  

Mine?  I have a hard time with candidates who take me out of my normal messaging environment.  Namely, the ability to use iMessage across different devices and communicate with team members is a preference - not a necessity.  I've hired people that I can't message on the iMessage platform before, and will in the future.  Best candidate wins. 

But when I pick up my phone to SMS a candidate rather than iMessage from my mac, I need to remind myself best candidate wins.  Twice.

What's your pettiest reason for being lukewarm on a candidate?  Hit me in the comments, or message me.  Unless you're not IOS - if that's the case, definitely hit me in the comments.

BEST BOSS EVER Podcast: e3 - Pat Lynch and the State of Outplacement During COVID-19

Welcome to Best Boss Ever, the podcast dedicated to helping you develop managers who build great teams. In this episode, Kris Dunn talks with Patrick Lynch, President of CMP’s Southeast Region, to talk about the current state of outplacement during COVID-19.

Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Play. Rate and Review if you like what you hear!

On to the show (email subscribers, click here if you don't see the player below)...

Show Highlights:

1:15: KD intros with the topic of Outplacement and introduces guest, Patrick Lynch (Who insists we call him Pat) who will be our tour guide related to what’s going on in the world of Outplacement.

3:05: Pat tells us about what he does and what CMP does. CMP helps companies and individuals with outplacement and career transitions.  They also do about executive search needs, assessments for selection, hire and development as well as executive coaching.

4:34: KD asks Pat: What’s changed in Outplacement in the last few months with COVID? Pat says pre-COVID, outplacement levels were down overall, but despite a skyrocket in unemployment, they haven’t seen the same uptick in outplacement. There are a few reasons for this, being on furlough is a big one and they delve into the details.

8:15: Pat says things are different from 2008/2009 because employee brand is so important. Companies are trying their hardest to avoid layoffs. KD comes in and they talk about the message of hope – are we springing back or entering a recession?

10:45: KD asks Pat about levels of Outplacement Packages. Pat says the programs are based on time periods, level of service and seniority, and helping those in outplacement with access to resources. He says CMP works with people until they’re re-employed.

17:30: Pat gives some career advice during outplacement: Don’t waste your time applying for everything. Instead, ask what are your highest levels of opportunity and focus on those. Pat continues to give tips on the most important steps to take when job hunting.

25:45: Pat and KD go into the details of how some companies are handling COVID outplacement, and how Airbnb’s leaders handled the outplacement with empathy and sincerity.

33:00: KD says, even if you can’t afford Outplacement, call Pat. Pat compares Bryd to Airbnb with their Glassdoor reviews, how you handle the outplacement will matter for your company’s recovery.

37:45: They close it out talking about what’s to come, and what resources are available for the future.


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THE HR FAMOUS PODCAST: e15 - Is Your Company Ready for RTW?

In episode 15 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee and Kris Dunn come together to discuss Tim’s extravagant Southern Utah adventure, return to work plans, Twitter’s WFH forever proclamation, and Microsoft Teams. The team discusses the different return to work plans and ideas, new office norms, and a potential boom in the workplace real estate market.

Listen below (email subscribers click through if you don’t see the player) or click here for a direct link. Be sure to and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review via iTunesSpotify and Google Play.

Show Highlights:

1:00 - No Tim on this episode! Are we sad or happy? Stay tuned to find out ;)

2:00 - Is JLee still a kid? Sound off in the comments

3:30 - Tim Sackett is a jerk!!!! His Instagram is making the HR Famous crew jealous with his Southern Utah golfing, jeep trips, and luxurious escapades. Safe travels Timmy!

4:30 - Today’s topic: return to work! Some companies have their plans ready to go but all companies are going to have to get ready for “the new normal”. What is that going to look like? Are you ready?

7:00 - RTW = return to work

7:30 - Jlee sounds off on the differences of work returns there can be and the potential anxiety employees could bring with them. Will there be a major fear from workers?

8:45 - KD is taking the approach of surveying his employees on how they want to return to work. Who wants to stay home? Who wants to return to the office? Who is unsure and has concerns? 

9:40 - One size fits all? Not for RTW plans.

11:15 - KD fills us in on how Kinetix is facing RTW: Branded face masks: check! How do you feel about the decorative/branded face masks?

13:15 - Sexy brand check! Jack Dorsey has announced that all Twitter employees can work remote forever. What really is forever? Jlee thinks it’s a cool idea but may be too early to make this call. Only a diamond is forever ;)

16:00 - Will there be an increased need for real estate for workspace? Due to physical distancing needs, there may need more space needed to ensure employee safety. 

18:00 - Have you ever had an employee sit on the floor in your office during a meeting? Jlee hasn’t but she thinks that cramped small office meetings are on the way out and virtual meetings are here to stay.

20:30 - KD and Jlee are turning this into a Microsoft ad! Microsoft Teams chat is the new norm for Jlee but may be NSFW because of their raunchy gifs.

22:30 - KD thinks that Eric Schmitt’s perception of a workspace real estate boom is a little tone deaf. With more WFH employees and financial troubles, there may not be a real estate boom especially in spaces made for small to mid-sized businesses. 

24:00 - Should we be celebrating companies and CEOs who pledge not to lay off employees? The crew thinks it’s unrealistic to raise the expectation that companies should not lay off some workers in this pandemic, especially in service industries. 

26:10 - “Up your sunscreen game” - KD to Tim Sackett. 

Glassdoor Says I'm Worth 8K Per Year...

Damn you, Glassdoor!  

Quit toying with me. I have enough s##t going on without you cratering my expected value.

A couple of years ago we were recruiting software sales pros at Kinetix and SF was a target market. So I used my Glassdoor account to confirm that the Bay area was an expensive place to hire hunting sales pros, listing my occupation and location to match the target. I never changed it.

I expected my value to fall a bit during COVID, but c'mon. See my estimated market value as a sales pro in San Francisco below (email subscribers click through if you don't see the chart):


--Glassdoor is really good at some things, like aggregating a marketplace for people to leave reviews on companies, rate confidence in CEOs and give you a general sense of what you might be walking into when you consider joining a new company.

--Glassdoor isn't great at most of the things they're trying to do beyond that, as evidenced by my projected worth displayed above, the fact that I get whacked out job recommendations they think I'd be interested in (spot welder? sure!) or the fact that when I check the job scrape for companies I'm super familiar with, it seems to lag weeks, if not months behind while the non-paid scrapes of LinkedIn and Indeed that look to happen daily.

Glassdoor aggregated the eyeballs, but their execution in what they want to do with those eyeballs once they have them is lacking. I'd assume that's not going to improve with the COVID caused layoffs that just happened at the company (300 employees or 30% of the company let go).

Me? I'm just going to figure out how to make it on 8K.

Pro Baseball's Return to Work: A Plan HR & Youth Baseball Moms Can Love...

And now comes Major League Baseball with a 67-page Return to Work (RTW) plan, which includes details about how pro baseball will handle their workplace in a RTW, including testing, travel, workplace details (on the field, in the dugouts), protocol for the road and contact with nuclear family as well as friends.

The plan, which was reported by The Athletic (subscription site, I pay) basically summarizes a day in the life of a pro baseball player as this:

No exchanges of lineup cards. New baseballs any time a ball is put in play and touched by multiple players. Players wearing masks except while on the field, standing six feet apart during the singing of the national anthem and “God Bless America,” sitting six feet apart in the dugout and, if necessary, even in the stands.

These are just some of the proposed protocols in a 67-page document concerning health and safety that Major League Baseball delivered to the Major League Baseball Players Association on Friday night. The procedures outlined in the document are subject to union approval and thus could change.

But my favorite are the diagrams that show how the dugouts are going to be handled. Some of you have been volunteers in youth baseball, and if you've every had a bad day trying to make 5 and 6 year olds keep their hands off each other, you may have tried a plan like MLB is pondering for Post-COVID baseball.


--Assigned seats 6 ft apart in dugout.

--Assigned places for water bottles and gloves.

--Banishing some players to areas outside of dugouts.

--No spitting or smokeless tobacco.

--No standing in entrance to dugout.

This plan is straight from the Baseball Mom handbook for 5 year-olds. 

"If you can't keep your hands off each other, I'll fix it."

See diagrams below for dugout details in 67-page guide (email subscribers click through for images):



Of Course, HR pros will love this method of brining order to a dugout. Whether it's MLB, a 5-year old dugout or your office break room, you're going to have to tell them what to do and where to go for awhile.

Or no juice boxes after we're done.

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:

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 -

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.


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