4 Things You Can Do to Get Candidates to Open Your Emails!

Notification of new email on laptop

By HRU President Tim Sackett

I found some cool data that probably got overlooked a while back from CB Insights. Now, this data is from 2016, but it’s super relevant!

CB Insights did some testing with their own email newsletter that went out to 175K+. A very big sample and the reality is they have the exact same goal as we all do, Get Candidates to Open Our Email!

These 4 things work really well in getting people to open your email:

1. Brand Names. CB found that using a big brand name like Apple, Google, Nike, etc. in your subject line increases your odds greatly of getting someone to open your email. Now, you might be asking yourself, “Tim, how the heck am I going to use a brand name in my recruiting emails!?” How about something like, “3 Ways we are a better place to work than Apple!”

2. Short Titles. Less is more when it comes to attention-grabbing subject lines! I suggest under 5 words if possible. “Are we paying too much?” or “I’ve Got a Quick Question” or “Sackett” – Yep, in my own testing, the one email that gets open at a higher rate than any other is when I only put my last name in the subject line!

3. Negativity. This seems counter-intuitive. No way! People love positivity. You are right, but negativity draws them in! “How Candidates Fall on their Face!” will get opened way more than “How Candidates Succeed!” Again, in ten years of blogging and making headlines, this data also rings true. I get way more interaction on negative headlines than positive headlines.

4. Surprises. Different viewpoints that people don’t expect. “Punching Your Boss Can Get You a Raise!” or “Older Workers Have More Energy Than Millennials!” or “Hiring Dumb People!” Basically, people open these because they don’t agree with the headline. What the heck is Tim talking about today!?!

So, if all of these things work. What does CB Insights say doesn’t work, in fact, what should we stop doing with our subject lines? 

  • All of the opposites of above! Long headlines, positive headlines, boring, etc.
  • Question Headlines. “What 3 Things Are You Doing to Hurt Your Brand!” While Buzzfeed has made billions with these clickbait headlines, CB found readers are getting fatigued with these types of headlines. (I will tell you “The X Things to do…” headlines still work in my world. 5 Ways to Hire More People! Will always do well.
  • Broad topics do worse than Niche. A headline that says “5 Ways to Attract More Talent” will do worse than “5 Ways to Attract More Nurses Right Now!”

The key to great email subject lines is they get opened! If you send out a hundred emails to candidates and no one opens them, it doesn’t matter what the content is and how much time you spent making it perfect. Get Them To Open Your Emails! Is the single most important thing you should worry about first!

It’s very Recruiting 101, and it’s something almost every recruiting shop struggles with, but then we go and focus on the picture we’re using. Does it have a puppy and a kid in a wheelchair? No, stop the presses! Stop it. Fix the basics first, then worry about doing the higher level stuff.

What is your most responsive email subject line?

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Trump and Biden Envision Different Paths to Retirement Security

By Stephen Miller, CEBS – SHRM

There is not a lot of overlap among the proposals that President Donald Trump, a Republican, and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, have championed regarding private-sector and government retirement benefits. Below is an overview of the candidates’ proposed changes to employer-sponsored savings plans and Social Security.

Biden Favors ‘Equalizing’ 401(k) Tax Benefits

Biden’s tax plan calls for changes to the traditional 401(k), ending upfront tax breaks that grow larger as more money is saved and replacing them with flat-tax credits.

Current tax benefits for retirement savings are based on savers excluding their retirement contributions from tax in traditional 401(k) plans, and then paying taxes when they withdraw money from their account. “This system provides upper-income families with a much stronger tax break for saving and a limited benefit for middle-class and other workers with lower earnings,” according to Biden’s website. “The Biden plan will equalize benefits across the income scale, so that low- and middle-income workers will also get a tax break when they put money away for retirement.”

Roll Call reported that Biden’s plan would “equalize” the incentive system by replacing tax-deductible contributions with flat-tax credits for each dollar saved. “The campaign isn’t saying what that percentage would be, but the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center has estimated a 26 percent credit would be roughly revenue-neutral over the first 20 years and beyond, which the Biden campaign is aiming for,” Roll Call reported. “Under this plan, someone earning $600,000 would get the same tax break as someone making $60,000—an identical $260 tax credit for their $1,000 retirement contribution.”

The credit would also be refundable, so employees earning too little for the credit to offset their income tax liability would still receive the full value.

“By and large, it would help lower- and middle-income people save more,” said Eric Toder, co-director of the liberal Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, Forbes reported.

Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, also supports the idea, writing that “the Biden proposal is a desirable change on equity grounds and would have little effect on contribution patterns.”

But Brian Graff, CEO of the American Retirement Association, which represents plan services providers, is concerned over “how reduced tax incentives for small-business owners would impact their willingness to make matching and other contributions or, even more worrisome, to have a plan in the first place.”

Vince Morris, president of resources investment at OneDigital, an HR technology and services provider, noted that “business owners bear plan liability, the cost of employer contributions and sometimes plan administrative costs,” and they see their ability to make large tax-excluded contributions for themselves as offsetting the costs and administrative burdens of plan sponsorship.

“When offered a planwe know that people save more for retirement than those who don’t have access to a plan,” Morris said.

“Employer-sponsored retirement plans offer more than 120 million American private-sector workers the opportunity to accumulate savings and improve their retirement security,” said Chatrane Birbal, vice president of public policy at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), citing data from the nonprofit Pension Rights Center.

“SHRM believes that every American worker should be afforded the opportunity to save for his or her own retirement,” Birbal added. “Retirement reform proposals should facilitate and encourage voluntary employer-sponsored plans, as well as individual savings, through consistent tax incentives and simplified regulations.”

Retirement Plans Snapshot
According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2019 Employee Benefits survey of 2,763 HR specialists from among SHRM’s members:93 percent offer a traditional 401(k) or similar defined contribution savings plan.
74 percent match employees’ contributions.
42 percent automatically enroll new employees into the plan.Somewhat fewer but growing numbers also offer Roth 401(k) accounts, which employees fund with post-tax dollars and from which funds withdrawn during retirement are tax-free. Biden’s tax-credit proposal would not apply to Roth accounts.

Biden’s campaign website also addresses the following retirement plan issues:

AUTOMATIC ENROLLMENT 401(K)S

“Under Biden’s plan, almost all workers without a pension or 401(k)-type plan will have access to an ‘automatic 401(k),’ which provides the opportunity to easily save for retirement at work,” the website states. Although details aren’t provided, this could involve a mandate for employers to provide auto-enrollment plans with subsidies for small businesses to set them up, or possibly a government-provided defined contribution plan option, building on state-run auto-enrollment savings programs.

“Retirement plans represent an important aspect of the total compensation package used by employers to recruit and retain employees,” Birbal said. “As a result, many employers are already proactively enrolling employees into employer-sponsored retirement plans.”

MULTIEMPLOYER PENSION PLAN RELIEF

Forthcoming Biden proposals, according to his website, will include “issues related to pensions, starting with passing the Butch Lewis Act,” which would provide federally backed loans to underfunded multiemployer defined benefit pension plans.

The Butch-Lewis Act passed the Democratic-led House last year but has not been brought up for a vote in the Republican-led Senate.

Trump Targets Social Advocacy by Employer Plans

Trump has not proposed fundamentally changing how 401(k) plans operate. Among actions the Trump administration has taken regarding workplace retirement plans, the Department of Labor (DOL) recently proposed a set of rules that, if finalized, would:

The DOL said it was attempting to keep fiduciaries from making decisions that further social and political aims but do not advance the goals of growing and securing plan participants’ retirement accounts.

Democrats have criticized these proposed rules, and a Biden administration could seek to replace them. Democratic majorities next year in both houses of Congress also could pass Congressional Review Act resolutions to overturn any rule finalized by a federal agency within 60 legislative days of the election.

The proposals seek “to influence corporate policy on issues that some argue are not directly related to ‘economic value,’ including with respect to [ESG] issues,” according to an overview of the DOL’s 2020 regulatory agenda by October Three, a retirement plan advisory firm. “In this regard, there has to some extent been a different ‘Republican Administration’ and ‘Democratic Administration’ position at the DOL.”

During the Obama administration, the DOL eased the way for plan sponsors to consider social issues in selecting investments.

Different Views on Social Security and Payroll Taxes

The candidates have staked out different positions on the future of Social Security.

TEMPORARY PAYROLL TAX SUSPENSION FOR COVID-19 RELIEF

In August, Trump issued an executive order that led to IRS guidance allowing employers to temporarily stop collecting Social Security payroll taxes during a “suspension period” from Sept. 1 through the end of the year for employees whose wages are less than $4,000 for a biweekly pay period. Companies that suspend collection of employees’ payroll tax would collect additional amounts from workers’ paychecks from Jan. 1 through April 30 next year to repay the tax obligation.

Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have called for legislation to forgive suspended taxes. Biden criticized Trump’s executive order, calling it “a reckless war on Social Security” funding, The Hill reported.

TRUMP FLOATS THE IDEA OF REPLACING PAYROLL TAXES

Trump also suggested, but not in any formal proposal, replacing the Social Security payroll tax with funding from general tax revenues. According to Politifact, Trump said during an Aug. 10 briefing that “the payroll tax is a big deal for people … and we intend to terminate it at the end of the appropriate period of time.”

Trump “made clear … that his real goal is to replace the Social Security payroll tax with revenues drawn from the general tax fund, the vast majority of which is income taxes,” wrote Andrew G. Biggs, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who favors the idea.

Seth Hanlon and Christian E. Weller, senior fellows at the liberal Center for American Progress, wrote that “cutting Social Security’s income stream is the last thing Americans need right now,” as it could upend the Social Security system.

BIDEN WANTS EXPANDED BENEFITS AND A HIGHER EARNINGS THRESHOLD

According to Biden’s website, his administration would expand current Social Security benefits by making changes that would:

  • Provide the oldest beneficiaries—those who have been receiving retirement benefits for at least 20 years—with a higher monthly check “to help protect retirees from the pain of dwindling retirement savings.”
  • Implement a minimum benefit. Workers who spent 30 years working would receive a benefit of at least 125 percent of the poverty level.
  • Allow a surviving spouse to keep a higher share of the benefits, raising the monthly payment by about 20 percent for affected beneficiaries.
  • Provide earlier benefits for teachers and other public-sector workers.

Biden’s plan calls for having high-wage earners pay taxes toward Social Security on a higher percentage of their income. Currently, employees and employers each pay 6.2 percent from wages to fund Social Security for a 12.4 percent combined tax rate, but the tax is capped at wages of $137,700.

According to analysts at The University of Pennsylvania’s The Wharton School, the Biden plan increases Social Security taxes by creating a “doughnut hole” in the payroll tax structure. While earnings immediately above the current taxable maximum would continue to be exempt from Social Security taxes, earnings above $400,000 would be taxed at the 12.4 percent rate. However, the new taxes on earnings above $400,000 would not trigger additional benefits.

DOL Fiduciary Rule

In July, the DOL proposed guidance that would change requirements for advisors who recommend investments to retirement plan participants. The proposal would still require advisors to act in participants’ best interests and to avoid conflicts of interest when recommending specific investments, but it is less restrictive regarding how advisors are compensated than a 2016 rule by the Obama administration, which was struck down in 2018 by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Democratic party platform says Democrats will “take immediate action to reverse the Trump administration’s regulations allowing financial advisers to prioritize their self-interest over their clients’ financial well-being.”

The fate of the new rule will likely depend on November’s presidential election.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Use a Recruitment Agency

By Ian Preddy, VHR

5. Extended Reach For The Best Talent

A recruitment agency will have access to the best talent available; this includes access to candidates that are actively seeking work, as well as talent that is currently employed elsewhere.

If you use a recruitment agency, you’re statistically more likely to access the best job-seekers on the market; candidates who are actively looking for a new job position are more likely to register with a recruitment agency due to their efficiency. Most agencies will position job vacancy adverts on a range of job boards, understanding the logistics and marketing value behind using each one – invaluable knowledge that can only be accessed from working in the recruitment sector.

Finding the right candidates can sometimes be difficult, simply because they can be hard to find. If candidates don’t position themselves as ‘actively seeking a job’ then they are most likely to have a trusted, specialist recruiter who commits to job applications on their behalf – that’s access to a ‘talent pool’ that may be unreachable otherwise.

Recruitment agencies have many networks – each consultant has the potential to leverage their networks to help connect you to the right people.

4. Saves Time

It’s common knowledge that in business, time is money; however, if you use a recruitment agency, you are saving time. Recruitment agencies save your business time because they take care of the initial steps in the hiring process. No more sifting through applications and CV’s, a recruitment agency will ensure that the time you spend in the application process is spent wisely on viewing those worth considering.

However, it doesn’t end there; a recruitment agency will then schedule interviews and prepare the candidates with all the information they need – all you have to do is prepare and turn up!

Recruitment agencies deal with all of the administration issues such as: communications with successful candidates and unsuccessful applications, as well as verifying candidate information like qualifications and references.

If a business chooses to use a recruitment agency then they will reduce the time and in-house resources needed for recruitment dedication; this can lead to a quicker turnaround in filling vacancies and an increase in the efficiency of the organisation.

3. Additional Services

Recruitment agencies conduct background checks on candidates, which is essential when considering potential employees; this can be really time consuming as it involves following up on references, conducting preliminary interviews and making sure the candidate matches what they promise on their CV. Another reason as to why you should use a recruitment agency is because a business can feel assured that any candidate you meet has already passed the provisional tests as part of the additional services.

It’s important to consider the additional services provided by a recruitment agency when choosing which to go with, for example: psychometric tests, contract and permanent recruitment, executive search, project support and managed services are all beneficial facilities provided by the best recruitment agencies.

If your business has a job position available with an uncertain salary, a recruitment agency is ideally placed to give you an accurate market rate using salary data and local market knowledge. Most recruitment agencies will use website’s such as Glassdoor and Indeed to benchmark salaries and expected candidate rates.

2. Expertise: Market Knowledge

Often, your candidate requirements may be specific and difficult to find; this is where a recruiter’s industry expertise and market knowledge proves to be priceless. For example, if you are hiring a manager then you may need an expert opinion and knowledge of current recruitment legislation – the agency should know all the relevant requirements and legalities applicable.

Once you have developed a relationship with a recruitment agency that you trust, your future hiring’s will be easier as the agency will be aware of the qualities that are needed to make the right fit within your business. The best recruitment agencies will act as partners and collaborators, and will be your eyes and ears in the market.

Recruiters are industry specialists in their markets, and can give the hiring team regular insight in to what is happening. These recruiters will know: how to reach out to the best available talent, salary rates, career expectations, current hiring complexities, available skill-sets and shortages. For example, if there is a struggle to find the same quality of candidates in other relevant businesses, then expert recruiters will be able to advise on alternative solutions.

1. Short-term And Long-term Cost Savings

Recruitment agencies will have allocations on the all the top job boards, so you can ensure that your business’s job advert is in the correct place – posting single one-off jobs with advertising agencies can be expensive.

The cost of sifting through CVs and conducting initial conversations adds up, however if business’s use a recruitment agency then not only is that cost reduced, but there is also the ability for the recruiter to help negotiate the best salary (giving both guidance and advice on what is fair pay) resulting a greater chance in hiring the top candidate.

Short term costs saved:

-Posting job adverts – cost removed

-In-house staff can perform their other duties

-Reduces potential overtime costs (temporary hire/overtime periods)

-Reduces the likelihood and cost of hiring a candidate unfit for the role

Long term costs saved:

-Reduces training costs (some recruitment agencies offer candidates the chance to learn field-specific regulations whilst searching for a job)

-Future hiring costs are reduced due to trustworthy relationship with recruitment agent

Find out more about HRU and how we can transform the talent in your organization.

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It’s Super Hard to Write a Cool Job Posting!

Almost every solid TA pro and leader I know wants to have cool, hip, on fleek, whatever new saying the kids on Snap are saying, type job postings. What most organizations end up with is still the old written job description, KSAs, boring I just feel asleep same posting as they always have had.

The main problem is you usually have some over-conservative lady in a cat sweater cardigan who a tiny ounce of power and believes you adding the word “crazy” to your job posting will get you put in prison. True Fact: I’ve been in the HR/TA game for twenty years and still to this day I have never seen anyone go to prison for getting ‘crazy’ with job postings!

I even, yes this is true, saw one company not put “EOE” on their job posting! Yep, no prison! Not even a fine! No grounding. Nothing!

Still, most of us struggle to do something about our crappy job postings and job descriptions. Well, Apple tried to do something! They got creative, kudos for that, but sometimes being creative and HR don’t mix well. Apple’s attempt was to create “Apple’s Orchard” (see what happens when HR and Creative get together! Lame city!) to attempt to recruit entry-level marketing professionals to Apple.

Because you know what’s really hard to do!? Get entry level marketing grads to want to come to work for Apple! Here’s how it sounded:

“The moment is now. Throw everything you know out the window. All in. Head first. Join the Orchard. If you’re lucky enough to make the cut, expect to surround yourself with like-minded souls who are as terrified and excited as you are. Be part of a hand-picked team with a plethora of talent. Kick ass together. Panic together. Grow together. Work alongside the brains of all the iconic work you love from Apple. Watch and learn. Trust your gut. Challenge our ways. Have an impact on everything you touch. Be prepared to stumble and fumble and embarrass yourself. It will be messy, and it won’t be pretty at times, but if you stick together as a team, you’ll build a special bond and something truly great will come out of it all. Take it from us. It’s the only way. Does this whole proposal sound crazy to you? Good. We like crazy.”

“We like crazy!” Like certifiably crazy? No, wait, I’m asking for a friend, who’s locked up..

Apple was forced to take down the land sight almost immediately after complaints started raining down on them like dollar bills at a strip club where you took the new entry level marketing recruits to show them how cool you were.

It’s kind of creepy and overzealous, right? I’ll give them credit for trying to be creative. Apple found out what most of us find out. Writing really good, creative, engaging, funny, endearing, job postings are really freaking hard! 99.9% of TA and HR pros will never be able to do this. My advice is to go out and hire real creative types to do this work, don’t kill yourself trying to do it yourself.

For more by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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6 Things That Make Great HR Pros Great!

By Tim Sackett

The one great thing I love about going to HR and Talent conferences is that you always get reminded about what really good HR should look like.  It doesn’t mean that your shop will be there, but it gives you something to shoot for.  I’ll admit, sometimes it can be frustrating listening to some HR Pro from a great brand tell you how they ‘built’ their great employment brand through all their hard work and brilliant ideas.  All the while, not mentioning anything about “oh, yeah, and we already had this great brand that marketing spends $100 million a year to keep us great!”

Regardless, seeing great HR always reminds me that great HR is obtainable for everyone. Great HR has nothing to do with size or resources. It has a lot to do with an HR team, even a team of one, deciding little by little we’re going to make this great!

I think there are six things you need to know to make your HR department great:

1. Know how to ‘sell’ your HR vision to the organization and your executives.  The best HR Pros I know are great storytellers and in turn great at selling their visions.  If you don’t have a clear vision of what you want your HR shop to look like, how do you expect others to get on board and help you get there?  Sit down, away from work, and write out exactly what you want your HR shop to look like.  Write it long-hand. Write in bullet points. Just start.  It will come.

2. Buy two pairs of shoes: one of your employees and one of your hiring managers. Try them on constantly.  These are your customers, your clients.  You need to feel their joys and pains, and truly live them.  Knowing their struggles will make you design better HR programs to support them.  Support them, not you.

3. Working hard is number 1.  Working smart is number 1A.  Technology can do every single transaction in HR.  Don’t allow tasks and administrative things to be why you can’t do great HR.  Get technology to do all of this busy work so you can focus on real HR deliverables.

4. Break something in your organization that everyone hates and replace it with something everyone loves.  This is usually a process of something you’ve always done, and people are telling you it still has to be done that way. Until it doesn’t, and you break it.  By the way, this doesn’t have to be something in HR.  Our leaders and our employees have so many things that frustrate them in our environments.  Just find one and get rid of it.

5. Sometimes the path of least resistance is the best solution. HR people love to fight battles for the simple act of fighting the battle. “NO! It has to be done this way!” “We will NOT allow any workarounds!”   Great HR finds the path of least resistance.  The path of greatest adoption.  The path which makes our people feel the most comfortable, even if it isn’t the path we really, really want to take.

6. Stop being an asshole. You’re in HR, you’re not a Nazi.  Just be nice.  We’re supposed to be the one group in our organization that understands.  Understands people are going to have bad days and probably say things they don’t mean.  Understands that we all will have pressures, some greater than others, but all pressure nonetheless. Understands that work is about 25% of our life, and many times that other 75% creates complete havoc in our world!

Great HR has nothing to do with HR.  Great HR has a lot to do with being a great leader, even when that might not be your position in the organization.

For more by Tim visit TimSackett.com

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Are you working more, or less, during the Pandemic?

Different Working Positions

If someone was to ask me I felt that, on average, were people working more, or less, during the pandemic I think my gut feel would be less. Not that I don’t think most people want to work, it’s just so much got shut down and so many jobs went remote, it would seem natural that most people worked less.

Our perception of how long we work, as an employee, is truly warped! I wrote a post years ago on the lie of working an 80 hour week and I get so much strong reaction to that post to this day! An 80-hour workweek is super rare, but the amount of people who claim to work that much is exponentially higher!

new COVID-19 study on our work habits came out recently and the findings are fascinating. The study looked at meta-data from calendars and emails from over 3 million users. So, it wasn’t interview data, which tend to be a bit more subjective. Here are some of the findings:

  • So during the Pandemic, our meetings have increased by 12.9% per person
  • The number of people in our meetings has increased 13.5%.
  • But, the average length of our meetings has decreased by 20.1%!
  • The net effect is we are spending about 11.5% less time in meetings.

So, we are having more meetings being remote, but spending less time meeting, which probably has a lot to do with virtual meeting technologies like Zoom, Teams, etc. If you are face to face in a conference room you probably tend to linger around and socialize more. We don’t do that as much on digital meetings.

The other major finding was that our average work time per day has increased by 8.2% or roughly an additional 48 minutes per day! So, it would look like we are working more, not less. How can that be!?

Let’s go back to the perception of how long we think we work. Most people have some commute time when going to work. On average that’s anywhere from 30-90 minutes per day. If you work remotely, you have zero commute time, but you now might check your email first thing in the morning before that first cup of coffee. So, while you normal in-office workday might start at 8:30 am, now maybe you’re checking email by 7:30 or 8:00 am.

Our actual workday probably has extended on the ends. When you have a remote office you tend to have more flexibility when you work. Put the kids down, and return some messages at 9 pm. So, our calendars and our emails are showing this day extension, but it can’t show the flexibility we enjoy throughout the day to go throw a load of laundry in or enjoy breakfast and lunch with our family or run out for a quick trip to the store midday.

So, we’ve extended when we will do work to a longer path throughout the day, but we also added in a ton of flexibility. More meetings, less time in meetings, interacting with more people, and a longer tail of when we allow ourselves to work. Welcome to the new world of remote working!

For more by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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COVID Career Pivots – The One Thing You Need to Know!

Figures showing a pivot or change indirection

On a daily basis, I get messages from folks who are ready to make a pivot in their career, and with so many folks losing their job because of COVID the amount looking to pivot seems to be increasing. Career pivots aren’t a new thing. On average people change jobs like 358 times during their career or something like that.

Here’s how that conversation normally goes when I have a conversation with a friend who’s deciding on a pivot:

Friend of the Project: Tim! So, I lost my job (or I hate my job) and I’ve always wanted to be a Professional Puppy Petter!

Me: OMG! Me Too! I love puppies! So awesome!

FOP: Okay, so I’m currently making low six figures, like $127,350. And while I know I won’t make that same amount in my pivot profession, I still need to make $127,300. What advice do you have for me to become a Professional Puppy Petter?

Me: Don’t.

FOP: Haha! No seriously, petty puppies are my passion! I’ll do whatever it takes!

Me: You have to be prepared to take a pay cut of at least 99% (in reality, for most career pivots, it’s probably 30-40%).

The reality is, most of the actual examples are people asking me how to get into HR. They are usually coming from a sales job or management job where they are making $65-85K. Some even have an HR degree, but little or no experience.

That’s awesome. I love HR! But, you have to be ready and prepared for an offer around $40-45K for your first HR job, depending on the market. That means you need to adjust your lifestyle to make that career pivot. I find about 1 out of 25 people are willing to make that adjustment.

When I first jumped from agency recruiting to HR I took a 65% cut in pay to move into straight corporate HR. I actually lied about how much I was making because it was probably double what my new corporate boss was making. They never would have hired me knowing they were making me an offer so low from I was currently at. But, I truly wanted to make that pivot!

Career pivots take major sacrifice, but often they are worth it if you find a career doing something you truly care about. It’s easier to pivot at the beginning or end of your career. You have less to lose. When you are mid-career with a house payment and kids and a dog, career pivots are almost impossible, without major adjustments to lifestyle.

The one thing you need to know…

Career pivots have less to do with your ability to do the new job and everything to do with your willingness to take a major step back in life comforts.

Good luck out there my friends!

For more by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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5 Tips to Strengthen Your Organization’s Diversity Representation!

5 Tips to Strengthen Your Organization’s Diversity Representation!

We’ve been talking about Diversity and Inclusion in talent acquisition for decades. Yet, the vast majority of organizations and leaders still believe they are behind the curve when it comes to D&I representation in their organizations.

Industry-leading HR expert Tim Sackett discusses 5 tips to strengthen your organization’s diversity representation and change the way your company performs in diversity and inclusion!

For more by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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5 Traits That Make Your HR Business Partner Great!

By Tim Sackett

I use to think the title ‘HR Partner’ was played out and it probably was for a time.  There was a point a few years ago when every HR Pro had to change their title from HR Manager, HR Director, etc., to HR Partner.  It always made me feel like we were all apart of a bad cowboy movie, ‘Giddy up, Partner!’

I’ve actually grown to really like the “Partner” in the title of an HR Professional.  While many HR Pros just changed their title, I’ve met some great ‘Partners’ in HR who have changed their game, to match their title change.

What makes a Great HR Partner Great?  Here are 5 things I think makes them game-changers:

1. Great HR Partners know your business.  Now, wait.  I didn’t say they ‘knew their own business’, they know the business of who they support. But wait, there’s more!  They know the business of who they support, the way the person or team they support knows it. Say what?!  It’s not good enough to know the business of your organization.  You have to know how those you support know and support the business.

That could be different, based on the leader.  One leader might be ultra-conservative in their business practices, another risky. A great HR Partner knows how to support them in the way those they support, want to be supported – while still being able to do the HR part of their job.

2.  Great HR Partners have a short-term memory. Great baseball pitchers don’t remember one pitch to the next.  Each pitch is new. Each pitch has the potential for success.  If they remembered each pitch, the last one, that was hit for a home run, would cloud their judgment about the next pitch.

Great HR Partners are willing to change their mind and try new things.  They don’t carry around their experiences like a suitcase, pulling them out and throwing them on the table each time those they support want to try something new.  Don’t forget about your failures, but also don’t let your failures stop you from trying again.

3. Great HR Partners allow risk.  A great HR Partner is able and willing to accept that organizations have risk.  It is not the job of HR to eliminate risk, it is the job of HR to advise of risk, then find ways to help those they support, their partners, to achieve the optimal results in spite of those risks.  Far too many HR Partners attempt to eliminate risk and become the ‘No’ police.  Great HR Partners know when to say “No” and when to say “Yes”.

4. Great HR Partners don’t pass blame.  If you are a great HR partner and you work with great partners, you will all support each other in the decision making process.  A great HR Partner will never pass blame but will accept their share as being one of those who supported the decision to move forward.

This doesn’t mean you become a doormat.  Behind closed doors, with your partners, you hash out what there is to hash out.  When the doors open – all partners support the final decision that is made.  A Great HR Partner will have the influence to ensure they can, and will, support that decision when those doors open up.

5. Great HR Partners don’t wait to be asked.  A great partner in any capacity is going to support those they support with every skill they have available to them.  In HR we have people skills – so when those who we support have issues, we offer up our ideas on what we can do to help the team.  Great HR Partners don’t stop at HR advice!  In a time of brainstorming and problem solving the idea that goes unshared, is the worst kind of idea.

I might not know operations, and I will say that up front, but I’m going to put myself out there and tell my partners that eliminating the rubber grommets on the bottom of the widget is a bad idea because while it saves us $.13 per unit, it also makes our product slide around and that ultimately will piss off the customer.

Being an ‘HR Partner’ has very little to do with HR.  Those you support expect you have the HR expertise. What they don’t expect is how great of a ‘partner’ you can be.  Great HR Partners focus on the partnership, not on the HR.

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The Single Biggest Factor in Finding Your Dream Job!

Dream Job - This Way!

By Tim Sackett

I’ve been given the opportunity to speak to a number of high school and college graduating seniors. The one common question from both groups, I get frequently, is “how can I get my dream job?”  It’s a simple question, with about one million possible answers.  Which makes it a tough question to answer in front of a group.

I think I might have found the perfect answer to this question.  From Penn State football coach, James Franklin, when asked at a conference how does a graduate assistant move up in the college football coaching ranks:

“It comes down to people and opportunities for growth. I always tell people to stay broke for as long as possible.  When you have a car payment and other things like that, it becomes a factor. Keeping money out of it allows you to chase your dreams longer.”

Stay broke as long as possible.

Internet personality, Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee), says basically the same thing when people ask him how they work at something they just love to do. He will tell them you need to then live the lifestyle that affords you the ability to do what you love. If you love to pet puppies all day, you can’t live in a mansion! You’ll probably live in a box.

But, if that’s truly your passion in life, then that’s what you need to do to make it happen. What he finds is people who are willing to lower their lifestyle to do what they love are usually the ones who end up making money doing what they love. The theory being they found a way to live doing what they love, and little by little, they’ll find a way to make money doing what they love. Most people are unwilling to change their lifestyle to do what they love.

I remember back to when I first got out of college and was making $20,000 at my first job.  The reality was, I could have gone almost anywhere and made $20,000.  The money wasn’t the draw of the position, the opportunity was.  If it wasn’t for me, I could go and try something else. I had a crappy car and a $400 per month apartment. I didn’t have life obligations that were going to stop me from chasing a dream.

Fast forward five years and now I have a new car, a new house, and a new kid.  Chasing a dream would be much more difficult.

You hear it all the time, chasing dreams is for the young. Not because the young necessarily have better dreams or are better equipped at chasing dreams, it’s because the young can ‘afford’ to chase their dreams.  They, usually, have little holding them back, financially.  The older you get, the more responsibilities you have and the larger tax bracket you’re usually in.

Leaving a $20,000 job to chase my dream wasn’t going to be a problem. Leaving a $100,000 job to chase my dream was going to be a problem.

No one really wants to tell you this in their ultra-motivational writings and speakings.  “Go chase your dream! Don’t let anything or anyone stop you!… Just be prepared to have nothing for a while!”

We never get to hear that last part.

Want to be an NFL Referee? It’s a great gig! You just have to put about 15-20 years in at being a referee at every other level where you make peanuts and have to work other jobs to make ends meet. Yes, you can get there.  No, you won’t get rich getting there.

You can definitely go out and work towards getting your dream job.   Being broke will help you with that.  It takes away the fear of failure and losing what you have.  If you have very little, losing it doesn’t seem as bad.  If you have a nice life, giving it all up, seems extremely hard.

Being broke, in a very ironic way, gives you more options, when it comes to a dream job!

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