Is Time or Money More Valuable?

You might have seen this in the news that Estonia has started experimenting with a new way to punish speeding drivers. Instead of making them pay a fine for speeding, they are giving them an option to ‘take a timeout’ instead for 45 minutes to an hour, right then and there. Which brings up the question: What is more valuable to these drivers, their time or their money?

From the article:

Drivers caught speeding along the road between Tallinn and the town of Rapla were stopped and given a choice. They could pay a fine, as normal, or take a “timeout” instead, waiting for 45 minutes or an hour, depending on how fast they were going when stopped.

The aim of the experiment is to see how drivers perceive speeding, and whether lost time may be a stronger deterrent than lost money.

Early results of this pilot program are unclear, as it seems that those who can pay the fine will, while those who would be hit harder by a financial fine will tend to take the timeout.

These types of tests are what we should be doing with our own employees within organizations. Everyone has different values of certain things, but we tend to build rewards and punishment programs all the same. Do well and you’ll get a $500 bonus! Or do well and you’ll get an extra day off!

Rarely do we build them where we give people the option – do you want more time or more money as your reward, or on the flip side, for your punishment do you want money or time taken away?

I’ve used both and not one is 100% correct. I’ve had goals set that would reward is something was met, but also if it wasn’t met then the person or team would have to come in and work extra time. I can tell you, no one liked coming in extra to meet their goals. So, making some work extra, for the same pay, seems to be a big deterrent, but also a pretty crappy work experience.

On the flip side, being able to take more time off is really liked by some, but not all. You’ll have some folks who actually really enjoy coming into work, and taking a bunch of extra time off gives them anxiety to be away from the office.

Is there a magic solution? 

The one thing I see that consistently has the biggest impact on a positive employee experience in any environment I’ve worked in is simply flexibility. Treat employees like adults and let them integrate their life with their work and make the choices they need to make to make both work as effectively as possible.

Sounds easy, it’s super hard and complicated in real life! Because it’s complicated, we tend to do the opposite and have a bunch of rules, which then just makes it miserable for everyone. I prefer to give the flexibility, but and then take care of the outlier issues that crop up. We believe there will be many issues, but it’s fewer than you think.

One easy way to control for all of this is to have really great, non-subjective, measures of success. The reality is if someone working for me is successful, then they should have the freedom to have the flexibility they desire.  What I know is time and money are both valuable depending on the situation you are currently in, and those values can change daily for some people.

For more from Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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What Is The Best Day To Post Your Job?

By Tim Sackett

It’s a blocking and tackling-type of a question in talent acquisition and recruiting, right? Most of us believe it’s part science and part art. “Well, Tim, that all depends on…”

No, it doesn’t.

It depends on data and the Appcast data from their 2019 Recruitment Media Benchmark Report says this:

Yep, it turns out Monday is the day. Then on Tuesday. Then Wednesday. Then Thursday. Then Friday.

Any questions?

It makes sense, right? We tend to hate work the most on Mondays. As the week starts to go by, we tend to hate work a bit less, as it gets close to the weekends.

By the way, this is true for almost any type of content and interaction. If you want to have the most exposure of something, you release it on Monday. If you want to see a story or piece of content die, you release it on Friday or Saturday! The same goes for job postings!

Does this mean you should only post your jobs on Monday to get the most bang for your buck? Hmm. Great question (I just asked myself)! The data would say yes, but you really have to test this with your own jobs and marketplace.

Also, there are Monday’s you would never post because it’s a holiday or some other calendar factor that doesn’t give you the best opportunity for traffic.

It’s probably clear that when that hiring manager is begging for you to post the job on Friday, “to get a head start on next week” you tell them to shut up and do their job, and you’ll do yours! For the most part, you’re going to post jobs Monday – Wednesday and stay away from the end of the week and weekends, as a broad policy.

I remember my Mom (she started the company I run now) telling me early on in my career that you should always fire someone on a Monday, not a Friday. “If you fire them on Monday, they take the rest of the week looking for their next job. If you fire them on Friday, they sit at home all weekend and get depressed, angry, drunk, all of the above!”

Now she said this based on zero data, but a lot of experience firing people and believing the Monday fires were better, and now when I see the data about how many people apply on Mondays it makes me wonder if everyone was like my Mom and fires people on Mondays!

I like the data from Appcast. It’s a robust amount so you can’t question the accuracy of when people like to apply to jobs, and it passes the ‘eye-test’ of feeling about right. I think all of us want to believe people spend their weekends applying to jobs, but the reality is most people like to get paid to apply to jobs while they’re working!

Article by Tim Sackett on FistfulOfTalent.com

For more by Tim visit TimSackett.com!

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“My Company” vs “Our Company”

By Tim Sackett

I was listening to some of my recruiters talk to candidates the other day. I like to do that from time to time. You learn a lot about your team, your jobs, your hiring managers, your engagement levels.

One of the things I overheard was something like, “I’m going to tell you about the benefits that “MY” company offers”. There was another conversation where someone used “our”, “I’m going to tell you about the benefits that “OUR” company offers”.

It seems like a small difference, right? Both positive, for sure.

I will tell you, as a leader, “my company” brings me to tears. The one thing I consistently hear from senior executives is “I can get my team to care about this company the same way I do”. It’s a very common issue that comes up all the time. How do we get employees to take ownership when they don’t have ‘real’ ownership?

It’s a cop-out and too easy to say, “oh, just give them some real ownership”! Having an employee-owned company isn’t simple or easy, it’s very complex.

Using “My company,”, says to me that this employee is 100% in. Onboard. Wearing the logo! Reppin the gear! It’s not that saying, “our company” doesn’t say that, but “my company” definitely says that!

It’s similar to when you hire a new employee from a competitor and it takes some time to get them away from “we” vs. “them” vs. “you guys”, etc. “So, I know ‘you guys’ do it this way…” Oh, you mean, “us guys”, right!? You’re now on the team. You’re not a ‘them’, you are a ‘we’!

Sometimes some of the biggest changes we make to culture are simple changes in our own language, and what those changes end up meaning to all those stakeholders in an organization.

For more by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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Talent911: VLOG 2

In Talent 911 Vlog 2 Tim Sackett talks about his experience at WorkDay Rising last week in Orlando. He digs into the technology and functionality of the platform and how it’s going to effect the talent space.

Stay tuned for more from Tim at TimSackett.com and be back next week for Talent 911’s Vlog #3!

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What is the biggest driver of employee engagement?

By Tim Sackett

I got to see Marcus Buckingham speak at the HR Technology Conference in Vegas a couple of weeks ago. I think it’s the 2319th time I’ve seen him speak. I’m not sure if I’ve seen Marcus or Josh Bersin speak more, it’s probably almost a tie. Basically, if you go to HR conferences, you get to see those two dudes speak, a lot!

That’s not a bad thing. Both bring great data and are strong presenters, Marcus has the English accent which all American’s love. Marcus and ADP’s Reseach Institute released some new data on Engagement and that was the main focus of the talk. The research shows that 85% of employees are just showing up to work, because only 15% are ‘fully’ engaged, and if you’re not fully engaged, you’re basically showing up to collect a check.

That was pretty shocking, but the most shocking piece the research showed was the number one driver of engagement in any organization had to do with one simple thing: Are you a part of a team.

The research shows that being a part of a team is the strongest predictor of full engagement. There are others, like being new to an organization is fairly strong and makes sense. When we first start working at a new job, we are usually more engaged. Do you trust your team leader is another strong predictor, but first you better be on a team!

Being a member of a team.

It seems fairly simple, but for those of us who are constantly working on teams, we know it’s not. You could simply just throw everyone who works for you on teams and think, “okay, I just fixed engagement!” It’s really more about the dynamic of being on a team where you feel you belong and have a role that is valuable to that team.

Belonging is a big part of being on a team and being fully engaged. There are plenty of people who are on teams but don’t feel like the team they’re on needs them or wants them. Or you are on a team that isn’t successful. Turns out, failure is a big deterrent to engagement as well.

Once you are on a team, it then becomes critical that you trust the team leader. Lack of trust of the team leader is another negative driver to engagement. This then becomes more about the leader themselves establishing trust, and having team members who are open enough to first assume trust. Too often we get on teams and immediately believe the team leader is keeping things from us, probably because many times they are.

In any team, in the beginning, or when new team members come in, they should do a transition meeting. A meeting designed to establish trust from the beginning. It’s a time to get everything out in the open, at the beginning (or when it’s new for someone else) and do things like ask all the questions that usually go un-asked but then become issues down the road, establish communication likes and dislikes, share items that you should know, but might not, etc. I always have this facilitated by someone outside the team, so the leader doesn’t try and control the outcomes.

Go download the research paper, there’s great information about how to drive higher engagement in your organization and more information about the importance of the team dynamic.

For more by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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Talent 911: VLOG 1

The first episode of Talent 911’s new Vlog by Tim Sackett focuses on job referrals. He talks leveraging your network and how to reward your employees with monopoly money.

Stay tuned for more from Tim at TimSackett.com
and be back next week for Talent 911’s Vlog #2!
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The 7 Words That Turn Candidates Off!

Communication is a tricky thing. It’s so easy to turn off another party by simply using just one wrong word, especially when you’re trying to build a relationship with a candidate you potentially want to hire.

I think there are some words and phrases that have a high probability of turning off a candidate to want to come work for your organization. I speak to students a few times a year about interviewing and I tell them something similar, which is what you say can automatically make a hiring manager not want to hire you!

Think about being an interview and the candidate starts to tell you why they’re no longer working for ACME Inc. “Oh, you know it was just a ‘misunderstanding’, I can explain…”

“Misunderstanding” is a killer word to use while interviewing! It wasn’t a misunderstanding! You got fired! The ‘misunderstanding’ is you not understanding the crap you were doing was wrong! 

So, what are the 7 Deadly Words you should never use as a recruiter? Don’t use these:

-“Layoff” – It doesn’t matter how you use it. Even, ‘we’ve never had a layoff!’ “Layoff” isn’t a positive word to someone looking to come to work for you, so why would you even add it to the conversation!

-“Might” – Great candidates want black and white, not gray. “Might” is gray. Well, we might be adding that tech but I don’t know. Instead, use “I’m not sure, let me check for you because I want to get you the truth.  Add

-“Maybe” – See above.

-“Unstable” – You know what’s unstable? Nothing good, that’s what! If something isn’t good, don’t hide behind a word that makes people guess how bad it might be, because they’ll usually assume it’s worse than it really is!

-“Legally” – “Legally” is never followed by something positive! “Legally, we would love to give you a $25K sign-on bonus, but…” It’s always followed by something that makes you uncomfortable. When trying to get someone interested in your organization and job, don’t add “Legally” to the conversation!

-“Temporarily” – This is another unsettling word for candidates. “Temporarily” we’ll have to have you work out of the Nashville office, but no worries, you’ll be Austin soon enough! Um, no.

-“Fluid” – Well, that’s a great question, right now it’s a fluid situation, we’re hoping that hiring you will help clarify it! Well, isn’t that comforting… Add: “Up in the air” to this category!

We use many of these words because we don’t want to tell the candidate the truth. We think telling them exactly what’s wrong with our organization, the position, our culture, will drive them away. So, we wordsmith them to death!

The reality is most candidates will actually love the honesty and tend to believe they can be the one to come in and make it better. We all want to be the knight on the white horse. Candidates are no different.

Tell them the truth and you’ll end up with better hires and higher retention!

For more by Tim Sackett please visit TimSackett.com

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Why am I being ‘ghosted’ after I interview?

Dear Timmy,

I recently applied for a position that I’m perfect for! A recruiter from the company contacted me and scheduled me for an interview with the manager. I went, the interview was a little over an hour and it went great! I immediately followed up with an email to the recruiter and the manager thanking them, but since then I’ve heard nothing and it’s been weeks. I’ve sent follow-up emails to both the recruiter and the manager and I’ve got no reply.

What should I do? Why do companies do this to candidates? I would rather they just tell me they aren’t interested than have them say nothing at all!

The Ghost Candidate


Dear Ghost,

There are a number of reasons that recruiters and hiring managers ghost candidates and none of them are good! Here’s a short-list of some of these reasons:

– They hated you and hope you go away when they ghost you because conflict is uncomfortable.

– They like you, but not as much as another candidate they’re trying to talk into the job, but want to leave you on the back burner, but they’re idiots and don’t know how to do this properly.

– They decided to promote someone internally and they don’t care about candidate experience enough to tell you they went another direction.

– They have a completely broken recruitment process and might still be going through it believing you’re just as happy as a pig in shi…

– They think they communicated to you electronically to bug off through their ATS, but they haven’t audited the process to know this isn’t working.

– The recruiter got fired and no one picked up the process.

I would love to tell you that ghosting candidates are a rare thing, but it’s not! It happens all the time! There is never a reason to ghost a candidate, ever! Sometimes I believe candidates get ghosted by recruiters because hiring managers don’t give feedback, but that still isn’t an excuse I would accept, at least tell the candidate that!

Look, I’ve ghosted people. At conference cocktail parties, I’ve been known to ghost my way right back up to my room and go to sleep! When it comes to candidates, I don’t ghost! I would rather tell them the truth so they don’t keep coming back around unless I want them to come back around.

I think most recruiters ghost candidates because they’re over their head in the amount of work they have, and they mean to get back to people, but just don’t have the time. When you’re in the firefighting mode you tend to only communicate with the candidates you want, not the ones you don’t. Is this good practice? Heck, no! But when you’re fighting fires, you do what you have to do to stay alive.

What would I do, if I was you? 

Here are a few ideas to try if you really want to know the truth:

1. Send a handwritten letter to the CEO of the company briefly explaining your experience and what outcome you would like.

2. Go on Twitter and in 280 characters send a shot across the bow! “XYZ Co. I interviewed 2 weeks ago and still haven’t heard anything! Can you help me!?” (Will work on Facebook & IG as well!)

3. Write a post about your experience on LinkedIn and tag the recruiter and the recruiter’s boss.

4. Take the hint and go find a company who truly values you and your talent! If the organization and this manager will treat candidates like this, imagine how you’ll be treated as an employee?

For more by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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HOW MUCH WOULD 1 SHARE OF YOU BE WORTH?

What if instead of paying your university or trade school tuition, you paid them shares of your future self in the form of “Income Sharing“? That’s what some schools have been toying around with:

“The Lambda School teaches information technology skills online, and it charges zero tuition and offers stipends to select students. The deal is that students pay back 17 percent of their income from the first two years of work, if earnings exceed $50,000 a year, with a maximum payment of $30,000. Students who don’t find jobs at that income level don’t pay anything. Students may also opt to pay $20,000 in tuition upfront and keep their future income.

There are reportedly about 1,300 students enrolled, and the company has raised almost $50 million. The early job placement record is impressive; 86 percent of graduates have jobs within 180 days of finishing the program, at a median starting salary of $60,000. It is too early to judge results — how would these students have fared without Lambda or in a less strong job market? — but this kind of effort is an economist’s dream come true.”The barrier for most people getting into the field they want is education and the cost of education. Are you willing to bet on yourself?The entire concept is fascinating to me. It makes me think about how you value yourself. What are you really worth?

Let’s say each of us was separated into 100 shares of theoretical stock.

What would your stock be valued at certain times in your life?

Would you be willing to sell a share or two or more at certain periods to help you pay for certain things at that time, or even use that money you got in return to purchase other shares of other people you believe will have higher value down the road?

The big question is what do you really get in owning stock in a certain individual?

What if it was a portion of their earnings forever?

Each time this individual earns money and let’s say you own one share, you would get 1/100th of there earnings until they die or you sell their share to someone else, or they buy their share back. All of this helps you understand how to value yourselfI get asked almost weekly by folks who want to be consultants how much per hour should they charge? I don’t really have an answer because each of us has a different value and we all value the work we do differently. For a friend, my hourly rate might be $0, or some work I don’t really want to do that hourly rate might be $1,000 per hour.

I’m not sure what my stock value is currently, but I know it’s way higher than when I was in college believing I was going to start a career as a teacher. When I was twenty I would have sold shares of myself fairly cheaply and someone would have made out really well. What do you think your current share price is?

For more articles by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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Bad Hires Worse!

If I could take all of my life, leadership and HR education and boil it down to this one piece of advice, it would be this:

BAD HIRES WORSE.

In HR we love to talk about our hiring and screening processes, and how we “only” hire the best talent, but in the end we, more times than not, we leave the final decision on who to hire to the person who will be responsible to supervise the person being hired. The Hiring Manager.

I don’t know about all of you, but in my stops across corporate America, all of my hiring managers haven’t been “A” players, many have been “B” players and a good handful of “C” players.  Yet, in almost all of those stops, we (I) didn’t stop bad hiring managers from hiring when the need came.  Sure I would try to influence more with my struggling managers, be more involved but they still ultimately had to make a decision that they had to live with.

I know I’m not the only one it happens every single day.  Everyday we allow bad hiring managers to make talent decisions in our organizations, just as we are making plans to move the bad manager off the bus.   It’s not an easy change to make in your organization.  It’s something that has to come from the top.  But, if you are serious about making a positive impact on talent in your organization you can not allow bad managers to make talent decisions.

They have to know, through performance management, that:

1. You’re bad (and need fixing or moving);

2. You no longer have the ability to make hiring decisions. 

That is when you hit your High Potential manager succession list and tap on some shoulders.  “Hey, Mrs. Hi-Po, guess what we need your help with some interviewing and selection decisions.”  It sends a clear and direct message to your organization we won’t hire worse.

Remember, this isn’t just an operational issue it happens at all levels, in all departments.  Sometimes the hardest thing to do is look in the mirror at our own departments.  If you have bad talent in HR, don’t allow them to hire (“but it’s different we’re in HR, we know better!”) No you don’t, stop it.   Bad hires worse over and over and over.

Bad needs to hire worse, they’re desperate, they’ll do anything to protect themselves, they make bad decisions, they are Bad.  We/HR own this.  We have the ability and influence to stop it.  No executive is going to tell you “No” when you suggest we stop allowing our bad managers the ability to make hiring decisions, in fact, they’ll probably hug you.

It’s a regret I have in my career and something I will change moving forward.  If it happens again, I won’t allow it.  I vow from this day forward, I will never allow a bad hiring manager to make a hiring decision, at least not without a fight!

For more articles by Tim Sackett visit TimSackett.com

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