Lessons for HR: A PhD on Netflix Revenue and Spending...

 "The goal, is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us."

-Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

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Simple task from the HRC today.  Watch this six minute video below and get a PhD on the Netflix spending spree on original shows and how it justifies burning money as they grow the subscriber base.

Netflix is pretty good at the pivot.  Lots to learn here... (email subscribers click through if you don't see the video below)

 More on the economics of Netflix in this Wired article from 2017 as well...


If You're Going to Fail, Fail Small, Grasshopper...

My friend, Tim Sackett, has a post/video about Failure Being The New Black.  His hypothesis is that we've all been fed a load of crap when it comes to failure.  His point is that all the new age thinking that failure is good in careers/business is total BS - and we ought to be more focused on success, not failure.

I'm going to cut down the middle on this one.  Is failure OK?  I think it is at times. Fd company

Is big failure OK?  No - because you should have done some homework and seen it coming.

The goal should be designing change in your company in a way that makes failure as small as possible.  To do that, you have to be disciplined in your approach to experimentation.

There are a lot of buzzwords out there that I could use here - Agile, Lean, Scrum, Kanban - just to name a few.  I'm an expert in none of those - but I think we can learn a lot from broad principles pulled from some of these development methodologies.

Let's say you're going to change how recruiting is delivered at your company.  You could put a big project plan together, slides, etc - and go on an approval tour in your company to show how this change is going to rock everyone's world.

You might believe it - but it's 50/50 at best that it's going to work.  If you fail, that's a big failure and not OK - and you're just proving Tim's point.

But if you simply carve out 5 open jobs, create a hypothesis of what you think will happen if you treat those a different way, then conduct an experiment and measure the results before deciding to try and sell the change globally - you're actually using broad Agile/Lean/Scrum/Kanban principles.

It's called Minimum Viable Product - which is designed to test your assumption before you spend a lot of money/time and potentially fail spectacularly.  Let's say there are 10 sub-strategies related to your big recruiting change.  Why not test one of those strategies on 5 jobs and see what happens, then evaluate it in an objective fashion?

Small failure is OK, big failure is not.  It sounds like a cliche, but failing fast - and cheap - is the way to go.  It's also the way to prove ideas for big change as part of a bigger plan.

If you fail spectacularly, you probably suck.  You should have broken it up and experienced the lighter pain waaaaaay earlier.


Older Workers and Unconscious Bias...

I did a post over at Fistful of Talent last week on older workers, unconscious bias and a new org attempting to represent older workers call I, Too, Am Qualified.  Here's a snippet of the post, hit FOT for the whole thing:

"Why is better understanding of unconscious bias a good thing for older workers?  Mainly because it transcends what is merely legal and seeks to connect on a higher plane.  The key to getting better treatment in the recruiting world for older candidates is inclusion in the concept of unconscious bias as it gains traction, which goes something like this for your average hiring manager:

1--I'm a good person.

2--I'm a horrible person because I have bias I'm not even aware of.

3--I shall correct this unconscious bias by giving impacted groups of people more play than my mind is telling me too.

4--Did I mention I'm a good person?

5--I made a hire from an impacted group of people as a form of self-correction, and I'll be damned, that ended up pretty good.

6--I'm going to keep looking to hire people from groups of impacted candidates since that went well.

7--Told you I was a great person.  I'm not even sure I was part of that whole unconscious bias thing.  Other people, though? Heathens...

Go take a look and support I, Too, Am Qualified.  You'll know they (and others like them) are winning when we include age in the unconscious bias narrative."

Go hit Fistful of Talent to get the whole post!


Administrative Leave Means You're Already Gone - Urban Meyer Edition...

Well, I heard some people talkin' just the other day
And they said you were gonna put me on a shelf
But let me tell you I got some news for you
And you'll soon find out it's true...

-"Already Gone" by the Eagles

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I think I've written about people being put on administrative leave before - but I'm reminded of it on the news that Ohio State put football coach Urban Meyer on Paid Administrative Leave this week.  Meyer is currently looking at the kitchen walls at home as his phone blows up, based the school announcing it is investigating Courtney Smith's claims that several people close to Meyer knew of a 2015 allegation of domestic violence against her ex-husband, former Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith, who was fired in July.

This post isn't about college football.  It's about the use of Administrative Leave, usually of the paid variety.

Paid Administrative Leave means the following things:

1--Whatever you're accused of is too damn hot to allow you to remain in the workplace.

2--Your employer believes that you likely did enough (or didn't do enough for leadership positions) on the issue in question to warrant your eventual termination.

3--Administrative Leave is a form of action your employer can point to as taking action while they actually investigate what happened on the issue in question.

4--YOU ARE UNLIKELY TO COME BACK FROM ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE.

Got it? Great.  Let's dig into #4 above a bit.  It's a tough pill to swallow for some.

YOU ARE UNLIKELY TO COME BACK FROM ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE.

Your employer put you out because they believed there was a high probability your investigation would end in a termination.

But for every day you are out, your career expertise and power, as well as your ability to return to your job, decreases in a dramatic way.  That stinks. It's like a game of Fortnite where you have a power level for an individual.  You're getting whacked hard every day you are out, and the players in the game all see your power level after a week of being out and determine it's only a matter of time before you're out of the game.  This perception makes it hard for you to survive and come back off of paid administrative leave.

That stinks because sometimes you're innocent.  The good news for most people who will read this is that their process would be nowhere near as public as Urban Meyer.

If you're confronted with an allegation, do what you can to avoid being placed on leave.  Offer to take vacation, personal days and generally get out of the way.  Avoid the tag of Administrative Leave if you can.

Oh yeah, be sure to take action on people who do bad things and shouldn't be part of the company.  Don't protect people you like who do stupid things.  Don't do stupid things.  These are all viable options to avoid administrative leave.


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.


More College Recruiting: Natty Light Knows Their Target Audience Better Than Your Company...

Yesterday, I posted my observations after leading a college recruiting roundtable - which led me to recommend you zig when others are zagging if you're starting to ponder an investment in campus recruiting.

Another observation - if you're a consumer product company, you might have an easier "in" to gather attention from the kids on campus than non-product companies.  No one has done it better recently than Natural Light (that's right, the beer).  Natural Light, better known as "Natty Light," the cheap beer of choice for college students across the country, has done multiple things to garner the attention of the college kid.  Earlier this year, they announced they would be giving away $1,000,000 to help 25 lucky drinkers pay off their student debt. In order to compete for one of these prizes, participants had to submit a short video showcasing a green tab from a can of Natty Light and share what made their college experience special.

Nice. Effective, right?

Well, they're back.  Natural Light has just announced a contest to put a student's resume on a NASCAR ride.  More details below and we'll talk after the jump.

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Natural Light is about to hook it up yet again for a recent grad that’s deep in the job search.

The beer brand is going to turn your resume into a NASCAR paint scheme that will appear on Chris Buescher’s #37 racecar at the South Point 400 in Las Vegas on September 16. Work experience, skills, contact info, head shot and all, will be painted on the car.

Natural Light and Censuswide surveyed 1,000+ employers across America and 4-in-5 agreed applicants need to find new ways to stand out when applying for jobs.

Is there a better way to get your resume noticed than have it plastered all over a car for a nationally televised race? Guaranteed your inbox and voicemail will be full after catching the eye of millions of recruiters while racing 200 mph around the track.

To be considered for the paint scheme, any person over the age of 21 can:

Here's a full mock up of where the resume details are going to go on the car (email subscribers, please click through if you don't see the image below)

Natty

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The interesting thing about these contests is that they really aren't related to college recruiting.  Natural Light is marketing to people who buy the iconic beer, in this case, college kids.  They want them to drink more Natty Light, which is why they're running the contest. 

Still, the creativity is key.  If you're thinking about starting college recruiting or want to make a bigger splash with what you're already doing on campus, think about how your product/service ties in with the lives of those you are trying to recruit.

Contests and awards that meet college kids where they live are key.

Good luck out there.  And if you're drinking Natty Light on campus, please drink Natty Light responsibly...

 


College Recruiting: Know Who You Are and Where You Fit As a Company (Make Relative Deprivation Work for You)...

I had the pleasure of leading a roundtable discussion in Atlanta a few months ago on the topic of College Recruiting.  I hadn't been in a position to really dig into this topic with big and small employers alike, and I can say this as a result of my experience...

It was eyeopening.

As a result of getting to talk to about 35 practitioners - some who were all in on college recruiting and some who were doing nothing - here's my observations on the current college recruiting scene and what you should know: Campus

1--Big employers have brands and spends that are almost impossible to compete with when it comes to college recruiting.

2--If you really have a need to acquire hires from college recruiting and wait until a candidate's senior year, you've already lost.  The big brands invest in large-scale internship programs and actively track conversions to new hires from those programs.

3--It's easy to recruit business and marketing majors via campus recruiting programs.  They're drawn like moths to light towards campus recruiting efforts.  Technical and STEM students are much harder to recruit via these programs.

4--The big brands generally only have so many cycles to spend, so they recruit at the top schools, the state schools with the most candidate flow or my favorite - the school of a top executive - whether it really fits in the strategy or not.

5--If you don't have a big brand, competing against some of the Fortune 500 and their campus recruiting efforts has a really poor ROI.  You're going to get HAMMERED.  It will take you years to get traction at the schools where they are already embedded.  

6--Meanwhile, there are countless schools that go begging for deep involvement from companies related to campus recruiting.

The bottom line of what I heard is this: If you're at a big brand and you're invested in college recruiting, play on.  If you're new to the game, remember that there's a lot of talent that doesn't get touched by this process, but you're going to have to go to places like Kennesaw State, Wayne State, North Alabama, West Georgia, etc. - not Georgia Tech.

There's a lot of big fish in little ponds waiting to be treated like stars - to say nothing of the medium sized fish in little ponds.

Most of the small school talent has a shot to perform as well for you as the big school talent - or even outperform them.  Take a listen to the Malcom Gladwell video below on a topic called relative deprivation to understand why (email subscribers click through if you don't see the video below).


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Let's Break Down the Korean Gate Agent Claim Vs. Delta Airlines...

In case you missed it last week, four former Seattle-based Delta Air Lines employees filed a lawsuit against the company, saying they were fired for speaking Korean.

The old saying I have as an HR leader goes something like this: In America, allegations are free.  You've got the right to bring claims forward. Many people do. Some of those claims are 100% true.  A lot of the claims are afterthought allegations, with the real reasons for terminations being business-related.  Sometimes, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Delta gate agents

This is what we pay the HR generalist (at all levels) with employee relations responsibilities for.  Bigger companies have ER specialists that serve as the gatekeepers for situations that involve terminations.

So let's look at the reported facts of the Delta/Korean worker lawsuit and handicap what's going on from an employee relations perspective.

In other words to my good readers: HR, DO YOUR JOB.  Analysis after the jump for your comments, rundown courtesy of wire reports and The Hill:

"Four former Delta Air Lines employees filed a lawsuit against the company, saying they were fired for speaking Korean.

Ji-Won Kim, Lilian Park, Jean Yi and Jongjin An worked as desk and gate agents for the airline at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which has daily Delta flights to South Korea.

The four Korea-born women claim in the lawsuit that they were “singled out and admonished” for speaking Korean. Three of the four women are U.S. citizens.

Yi told Seattle TV station KIRO 7 that Korean-speaking passengers who weren't fluent in English felt more comfortable speaking with her at the airport.

One of the plaintiffs said a manager told her that airline employees who didn't speak Korean had complained and asked her to “limit speaking Korean.”

The women, who were all fired in May 2017, claim in the lawsuit that other foreign language–speaking employees were not asked to limit their non-English communications.

The company said the four women were terminated for "offering unauthorized upgrades," according to the lawsuit. The women say the upgrades were standard, particularly for oversold flights, and that other agents who engaged in the same practices were not fired.

An attorney for the women said it is also possible that their firings were related to their reporting of sexual harassment — all four claimed that they were sexually harassed by the same male employee, who is still working for the airline.

A Delta spokesperson told KIRO 7 in a statement that the airline “does not tolerate workplace discrimination or harassment of any kind” and that the allegations against the male employee were “found to be without merit.”

"These former employees were unfortunately but appropriately terminated because the company determined they violated ticketing and fare rules,” the spokesperson said. “Delta is confident that these claims will ultimately be determined to be without merit."

This kind of makes me miss being heavily involved in employee relations issues that can ultimately end up in legal action. Delta's got a solid case if the following elements are present behind the scenes, deep down in the guts of the employee relations file of this case.  Follow me and tell me what I'm missing in the comments.  Delta has a good position IF:

1--There was a clear progressive path related to the the group of 4 employees violating ticketing and fare rules.  Were they warned prior to being termed?  If so, Delta's in great shape.  If they weren't warned, it's a little more mucky.

2--Delta has a clean history of terming similar employees for ticketing and fare rules violation across multiple Title 7 areas - gender, national origin, etc. If there's not solid history across Title 7 classes, it's mucky.

3--The Harassment issue has a full investigation file (I say that in general terms) and whoever brought that to Delta's attention got closure from the appropriate Delta person and they can show it was investigated to an appropriate level.

4--The speaking Korean issue is a bit dicey.  This group of employees was valued for their language skills, so this request is interesting and problematic.  How did the group use Korean when it wasn't a business necessity?  You have to assume they used it to talk to each other and other employees felt on the outside as a result.  Is that worth a conversation?  Maybe.  A lot of merits of this comes down to what was said in the conversation, the timing of it vs. the decision to term, if similar conversations happened with other language groups who weren't termed, etc.  

What did I miss?  LMK.  

The biggest item for consideration here is #1 and #2.  If the employees making the claim were warned before being termed and the company has a history of terming employees for upgrade/ticketing/fare rule violations, Delta is in pretty good shape.  

If #1 and #2 is murky at best, #3 and #4 come into play to a larger degree.

Good HR/employee relations practices (which I'm sure exist to a large degree at Delta) require lots of discipline.  The merits of each case really come down to the level of discipline a company shows.  And if you were wondering, a quick google search shows gate agents are non-unionized at Delta.

HR, do your job.

 


HR Mind Games Webinar - Episode #2 – Does This Cognitive Assessment Tell Me a Candidate Is Stupid?

HR Mind Games is a quick hitting, 20-30 minute webinar hangout hosted by me/KD/HR Capitalist and sponsored by Caliper, the leading provider of Assessments for Selection, Talent Management, and Leadership Development.

In each episode of Mind Games, we’ll cover how general assessment geekiness/expertise helps HR and Recruiting Pros make better hires as well as maximize performance once that talent is in the door!

Episode #2 – Does This Cognitive Assessment Tell Me a Candidate Is Stupid?

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THIS EPISODE OF HR MIND GAMES!!!!

In our second episode of HR Mind Games, we're going to focus on the use of cognitive tests as part of assessment platforms. Does a low cog score mean someone is stupid? Can low cog person be a high performer? How do you coach a low cog scoring person to be successful in your organization that demands speed?

If you've ever ran into a cognitive test as part of an employment assessment and said, "****", this one is for you. Join us on 7/31 and we'll break down the wide world of cognitive tests in candidate/employee assessments.

Future episodes: Narcissistic Managers, How to Use Assessments for Good, Not Evil….

R THIS EPISODE OF HR MIND GAMES!!!!