Heard from a great executive type in my network a few weeks ago. The story was a common one - this exec made a move, then figured out the culture, boss and job wasn't exactly as she had envisioned. As a result, she bounced out of the job voluntarily before she was fired, which she felt like was coming in short order.
The executive reached out to me and we met. I'm not a life coach, but I've got enough experience to be a career coach. After listening awhile, we said goodbye and I pledged to give her some notes on what I would do next if I were her.
Below is the counsel I gave her. I thought she had some work to do related to thinking about the target of her search before she could really start generating leads.
Hi Janice -
Great meeting with you last week. I'm confident you're gong to land just fine. Trust that my questions and comments about your moves from <Big Company Name> to <Small Company Name> to <a C-level role at Big Company >confirmed some of the things you felt as you exited your last role.
As for next steps, I think the biggest thing you have to do is get clarity about the role and work you want to do. Most of what we talked about was situational, and with that in mind, I don't know that I know what you want to do next. You likely do, but in case you don't, here's what I think you need to have your head around to do an effective search for your next role:
The role - what do you want to do? (note, I look at the background, Finance degree and CFO role and automatically think finance, but many of your roles have been broader. What do you want the market to think of you as?
The company - what's your target company based on what you've learned across the last 3 companies? It might be a target situation, such as an startup-type role in a larger company, but that's what the last big company said they wanted. Still, you need a target, but a target that can be communicated to multiple types of companies of various sizes, etc.
The comp and to a lesser extent, the title. The recent CFO role will scare some people off - because of the title, not the brevity. You'll need to get your head around the types of roles you're willing to take and be ready to effectively communicate that to the market. Think of comp first, then title second.
I would start there, then if you'd like, I can give you next level feedback on your search. You'll want to redo your linkedin profile to support the search target you describe above.
Ping me back with notes or we can set up a time to talk after you soak on these things, then I'm happy to help you think about the search strategy.
Thanks - KD
When you try to optimize your openings for Google Jobs, you'll turn to the Google Jobs schema for guidance. If you've already been working on this, you'll find that most of the world has two remaining opportunities:
--Salary Information about the job.
Optimizing location/address information for Google Jobs is a transaction/project. You either have an ATS that can accurately index this information or you don't, and you either want to do the legwork to get location/address info broadcasting or you don't. No big deal. Either do it or don't.
But providing salary information about the job? That's a whole other can of worms, my friend.
Most of my HR friends doing the work would agree with this statement. They know they can't broadcast this information at their company due to compression issues, company culture and more.
But their's a growing voice in the world that says we should be more transparent about what jobs pay, and even what everyone earns inside our companies. The reasons for this call are legit - there's a lot of inequity across workplaces when it comes to gender, race and other factors.
We should fix those things. I personally like moves like the one Salesforce made, where they made a big push towards pay equality. Sure, they promoted the hell out of the move, but they took action, and their company is stronger for it. Let me say it again - WE SHOULD FIX PAY EQUALITY.
Now let me give you a reality. I think posting salaries in the recruiting process is a weak play.
When I post a job, I'm entering a marketplace. There are overqualified people (code for old people, but that's another post), people who are a direct fit for the job, and people who don't have what it takes, but on livin' on a prayer.
When you post the expected salary for the job, or its weak cousin - the salary range - you're narrowing your marketplace. People with great experience won't apply because you're 10K light. The rest of the people come in with a clear expectation of what you're going to pay. That sounds fair, right?
Not really. The interview process is a marketplace. When I post a job, I'm looking for the best person available. Here's a couple of scenarios that happen when I post the $$ for a job:
1--Person with great experience doesn't apply. I never get the chance to feel the experience, see the match and go to bat for the extra 15K I need to sign her up.
2--Person who is a fit comes in expecting the offer to be 80K, but as it turns out, they don't have the experience I need and they're not a true fit. They're actually worth 70K in my eyes, but I never get to make the offer because the negotiation is done once I post a salary.
3--The person with no experience who applied and was lucky enough to catch my eye with that project they worked on in their first job? Well, I can't hire them because they applied for an 80K job, and they'll always think I screwed them by offering them 55K. I'm actually filling the FTE with a different job, but it doesn't matter, the damage is done.
I won't even bore you with the fact there are a ton of sites that provide research on salary levels that candidates are using that may or may not match up with the salary info you provide (See Glassdoor screenshot at the top of this post). There are a ton of stupid people out there who are horrible human beings. I'm not one of them, and neither are most of you.
I believe we can be trusted with pay equity moving forward. If you have issues in your company, do what Salesforce did - invest and solve the problem.
But stop telling me we need radical transparency in areas like listing salaries in job postings. You think you're promoting equal opportunity, but the unintended consequence of this action is you're actually making it harder for great people to find their next job.
Taco Bell is going to pay managers 100K per year. Insert your joke <here>.
The home of Doritos Locos Tacos says it’s going to test paying managers $100,000 a year at some company-owned locations in the Northeast and Midwest starting later this year. Taco Bell/Yum announced the plan Thursday and also said that as of Jan. 1, 2020, all of its company employees “can become eligible to receive” at least 24 hours of paid sick time per calendar year.
Translation - the job market is really, really tight. The people we see landing in our store GM roles aren't what we need them to be.
But 100K to run a Taco Bell location? That's crazy, right?
Not so fast, my friend. It's not crazy. Let's run some numbers.
Taco Bell said it will start the six-figure salary pilot later this year, but did not name an exact date. The company does not yet know how many managers at its 450 company-owned stores will get the $100,000 salaries or how long it will offer the higher salaries. Current salaries for general managers at Taco Bell’s company-owned stores range from $50,000 to $80,000, a spokeswoman said.
According to Statista, the average per unit sales for Taco Bell restaurants in 2017 was $1.5 million. The average reports have found that average pre-tax income for franchisees in the food and beverage industry is roughly $90,000.
Let's say you own a string of 10 Taco Bell locations, and your stores average 1.5M in revenue per year and 90K in pre-tax income. You replaced 3 of your managers last year, and you offered a salary of 70k. You were concerned about your inability to find good people.
If you're progressive with how you view the impact the right manager can have on revenue, the decision to test a 100K salary from your current level of 70K is a no-brainer.
BTW - note that this trial is at company-owned stores. My scenario was as a franchisee, but in reality, franchisees ARE GOING TO HATE YUM BRANDS FOR DOING THIS.
What impact can a 100K person have on a single Taco Bell location? I think it's dramatic impact.
But you still have to find the right person, then sell them on the opportunity and convince them to give it a try. Simply paying the talent you see now more money doesn't do anything - you have to go out and upgrade the type of candidate you're talking to in order for this trial to have the impact Taco Bell seeks. And that's the catch - there's work to be done with how you recruit to unlock the potential of this trial.
Me? I'll take 3 Bean Burritos, fresco-style. And a large Diet Mt. Dew with no ice.
From our Kinetix Tips series (email subscribers click through for photo):
Of course, I was operating with limited characters in that space, so one elaboration. A potential boss's comfort with that question really doesn't include him automatically saying "yes". The comfortable potential boss reflects on that question and compares the good and bad he/she brings to the table.
A quick "yes" to the question, "are you a good/best boss?", probably means they're not great at managing talent. Because it's way too hard to be that cocky about being good.
"It's better to be a pirate than join the Navy."
The stale way to make the same point is obvious - "Why do you want to go work for that big company? They're going to bury your talent. You know all those ideas you have? You won't get to chase any of them at IBM. They'll just pod you up in the matrix and suck your energy over the next decade, leaving you a husked-out former version of yourself."
Wait - that's actual pretty good. A more standard version is "You're going to there and be bored immediately."
Still, I like the clarity of the Jobs quote. If you're working for a smaller firm, you need every competitive advantage you can get as you fight for the hires you need. This quote, while not perfect, is a good tool to have.
It just so happens that the only people that it works on are the people who are actually inclined to believe that they're more than cogs in the corporate wheel. Use this quote on a person who's happy being a cog, and they might dance with you a bit - but ultimately they're going to grab for the security that only thousands (often tens of thousands) of employees can provide. Doesn't make them bad people or not talented - it's a preference for security and risk management.
But they're looking to enlist with a big entity like the Navy - not roam the seven seas on that cool, but rickety boat you call a company and wonder if you'll be around in a year.
If you're at a smaller firm, the best hires you will make are the people that don't look like pirates - but have it buried in their DNA. If you think you have one of those people, I'd talk in broad terms about the pirate-like things you're going to do at your company.
Pirates like Johnny Depp, BTW - not Somali pirates.
Go buy some eye patches for your next round of interviews. Dare a candidate to ask you why you're wearing one.
Great research and post over at OnGig related to which Sales Titles generate the most traffic to job postings.
To summarize what OnGig found, here's some numbers on the most prevalent sales job titles and the traffic they generated. Take a look and we'll talk about it after the jump:
# of Google Searches per month: 37,900
# of Results on Indeed.com: 148,582
# of Google Searches per month: 15,800
# of Results on Indeed.com: 42,775
# of Google Searches per month: 13,300
# of Results on Indeed.com: 16,312
Business Development Manager (BDM):
# of Google Searches per month: 8,000
# of Results on Indeed.com: 4,638
# of Google Searches per month: 6,700
# of Results on Indeed.com: 5,229
What's it all mean? Go read the OnGig post for greater depth, as they have quality insights into the trends into the sales world. Here's my thoughts:
--Sales Associate is going to net you people who want to work in retail. If that's not you, don't use the title.
--When comparing Sales Representative vs Account Executive, I would tell you that the higher end the sales position, the more it leans to "account executive". My experience is that the AE title delivers more white collar sales pros who are "hunters" vs "farmers" in sales world. Also notable is that while there's almost 3X as many Sales Rep positions as there are AEs, the search traffic is the same - meaning there's no penalty for using the AE title if a hunter is what you're after.
--Business Development Manager (BDM) - if your intent is to find an independent sales pro, be careful with manager titles in the posting. Better to use Sales Rep or AE to clarify what you're looking for, then give them whatever title you need to in your company's convention of titles once they are hired and in the door.
--Not listed here but a problem - the use of Account Manager as a title. If you're looking for a hunting sales rep and post using the AM title, you're inviting relationship people who aren't used to hunting to apply for your role. You'll either tell all of them no or make an ineffective hire - either way you lose, so stay away from that title if closed new business is your goal.
As with all job postings, title matters. So does a clean, effective job posting that allows people to see what's most important to you, and most importantly - opt out without applying if they aren't a fit.
Be clean on title and what's most important to you early in the posting, and your false positive hires will go down.
It's hard not to like video interviewing solutions as an HR Pro or Hiring Leader. After all, what's better than seeing how someone communicates on a basic level with some simple questions before you invest your time to bring them in and commit a minimum of an hour to interview them live?
To be clear, I'm not talking about Skype or similar solutions when it comes to video interviewing - I'm talking about robust situations designed for the top of the funnel - when the candidate applies, they are getting a chance to answer 5-7 questions, the audio of which is designed to really replace the phone screen, and the video of which is to make sure they have the command and presence necessary to do well with your hiring manager if you bring them in live.
Of course, there are some issues with video interviewing. The first one is obvious - even in 2020 (I'm rounding up, folks), most people in the world today aren't comfortable firing up the smartphone or laptop camera for an on-the-fly, taped 1-way interview. It freaks them the F out, which means you're losing good talent because they can't deal with this digital test.
The second issue is one related to bias. There's been a lot of discourse lately about the presence of unconscious bias, and if that topic continues to trend and cause us to do things like redact certain portions of resumes, then showing all identifiers via a video interview can't really happen. In a world concerned with unconscious bias, a solution with risk of straight up, old-school bias seems destined for the scrap heap.
The third issue? The video interviewing solutions really stretching the boundary claim to have AI in mix that can measure items like "personal stability". If that seems like more than our legally challenged world can bear, you're right. The FTC is being asked to investigate HireVue (a leader in the video interviewing industry) for their use of AI in the hiring process. It’s probably one of the first of a series of challenges to the use of AI in HR. More from TechCrunch:
"The Electronic Privacy Information Center, known as EPIC, on Wednesday filed an official complaint calling on the FTC to investigate HireVue’s business practices, saying the company’s use of unproven artificial intelligence systems that scan people’s faces and voices constituted a wide-scale threat to American workers.
HireVue’s “AI-driven assessments,” which more than 100 employers have used on a million-plus job candidates, use video interviews to analyze hundreds of thousands of data points related to a person’s speaking voice, word selection and facial movements. The system then creates a computer-generated estimate of the candidates’ skills and behaviors, including their “willingness to learn” and “personal stability.”
Video interviewing solutions have long listed bias concerns and generally non-progressive, non-rationale hiring managers who make flippant decisions as threats to their future.
It will be interesting to see where the privacy world's issues with video interviewing go in the future and how those concerns stack with unconscious bias to impact this industry.
I'm hitting both coasts of Michigan this week to share a stage with some of the best at the Michigan Recruiter's Conference. Crazy lineup of speakers - how's the saying go? If you're wondering who the weak one is, it's probably you?
Make sure you come up and say hi if you're up north this week.
My topic is as follows:
For those liking formality: How to Increase Your Ability to Influence and Negotiate
For those liking honesty: How to Raise Your Recruiting Game By Thinking Like a Money Hungry VP of Sales
It's all about playing offense. Here's your title slide (email subscribers click through for art):
I have 7 strategies ripped from Sales to help recruiters manage things like hard to handle hiring managers. Along the way, we'll play games like "Dude(ette), Does It Suck?", which is designed to show how badly you might need these strategies.
Tim Sackett does a great job with this conference and I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be than in Michigan in the winter. His speaker swag bag WAS OFF THE CHART though. Coach bag, Pistons gear and a Shinola journal. Simply the best.
Say "What Up, KD" if you're at the conference today.
Hi Capitalist Readers -
I'm up at Fistful of Talent with some notes on what we can learn from the recent decision by retailer Kohl's to become a return center for Amazon. Here's a taste, hit this link to get to whole article at Fistful of Talent:
"In case you missed it, Retail – at least of the normal variety – is on life support.
We’re all to blame. That big sucking sound you hear? It’s the gravitational pull of Amazon, giving you
two-day one-day delivery you didn’t even know you needed, but now expect. Amazon has a history of innovating, taking the long view of changing your behavior completely, reinvesting profits in the business to keep you coming back to the crack pipe of unlimited choice and immediacy and yes, paying almost no corporate taxes.
What could go wrong?
But I digress. I’m as guilty as anyone, seeing how I recently ordered two sizes of the same jacket from Amazon because I couldn’t be bothered with a single one not fitting and having to repeat the process. So I ordered two, then got the jacket and decided like an impatient aristocrat of the KG3 variety to send both of them back because I didn’t like it. The humanity!
I was an Amazon Aristocrat until I returned the jackets. You know how I returned them?
I went to ****** ******* Kohl’s."
Quick post today related to employment branding and HR marketing. The big thought is this:
You get sick of your own stuff at a much more rapid pace than the marketplace does.
Trust me, I'm somewhat of an expert related to being impatient with things that are done well. But the reality is that once you (or I) create something, we see it more than anyone else. Whether it's a comprehensive employment brand strategy or simply an analog handout you're using at job fairs, you see the creative related to your employment brand about 1000x more than anyone else.
The result? You and I call for dramatic recasts/redos of employment brand artifacts much sooner than we should.
Let's offer up some realities in support of this:
1--You are responsible for creating the brand around your HR/recruiting/talent practice at your company.
2--You do the work. It's like having a child. It's a LOT of work, and once done, you hopefully feel good.
3--You see the brand EVERY day. The imperfections and woulda/coulda/shoulda grind against you on a weekly, if not daily basis. A year in, you're sick of it and thinking about doing it again. It feels necessary!
4--THE DIRTY SECRET TO REMEMBER - nobody gets exposed to your employment/HR/talent brand at the same level you do. You're sitting on Main Street in Chernobyl related to your brand, everyone else is thousands of miles away. They come around every once in awhile, get what they need, then leave. They come back occasionally. THEY HAVE NOWHERE NEAR THE BRAND EXPOSURE YOU DO AS THE CREATOR.
The rule of seven in marketing says that prospects have to hear messaging 7X before they get it. Whether it's an internal HR brand or an external employment brand you've create, PLEASE RELAX. If you did a great job on it and are proud of it, don't recreate it every 12 months.
Chill out. If your brand efforts in recruiting or HR sucked the first time, then by all means, recast it and make it better. But remember, no one is seeing it as much as you are.
I think a good rule of thumb for a brand done well is to look at a rebrand at the 3-4 year mark. If you've had the same brand for that period of time, I think it's OK to think about a HR/recruiting brand refresh.
I'm reminded of the power of leaving pretty good alone by our website at Kinetix. We get comments on how much people enjoy it on almost a weekly basis. If you asked me or my partner, Shannon Russo, what we want to do differently, we've have a laundry list of items. But based on the continuous feedback, we'd be suckers to change it too much.
Once your brand is good, don't rush to redo it. Add depth to the brand components, tools and messaging you already have rather than starting from scratch.
This public service announcement is provided to all my OC friends in HR and recruiting.