Author Archives: Ben

WOH 67: Filling Critical Skills Gaps for Today’s College Graduates

Thousands of students are graduating every day with a lack of understanding of the basics of how to interact professionally at work. Everything from etiquette to basic resume preparation is missing from the educational curriculum, so how can we solve this problem?

In this episode Ben speaks with John Nykolaiszyn, the Director of the Office of Business Career Management for Florida International University. John is working with the university to experiment with radical changes to the educational institution’s approach to student preparation, and early results are positive. Listen in to learn more about how this approach is changing the lives of students and graduates for the better.

To learn more about John Nykolaiszyn please e-mail: jnykolai@FIU.edu or connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jnykolai

 

data driven people oriented

The Best HR Leaders are Data Driven, People Oriented

data driven people orientedOne of the phrases I’ve found myself repeating more and more often of late is this: data driven, people oriented. 

When I’m speaking to audiences, I share the story about how I *accidentally* insulted my wife during childbirth to illustrate this concept.

Yes, really.

It makes a great point that we can’t just be data driven or we lose sight of the people behind every metric and number. If you want to hear me tell the story live during the first ever episode of the podcast, you can check that out here.

The point is that as HR and talent leaders, we have two things that we need to keep in mind:

  • People: we are the “people people” in the business. We need to know the people better than anyone else. Most of us got into HR because we like helping others and because that service brings us joy. However, we also have to know…
  • Data: for far too long HR has said, “I want respect! I want to help the business, but they won’t invite me to the meeting. How do I get some credibility?” Data is the answer to that. Evidence matters.

Hence the phrase data driven, people oriented. We can’t go too far into either side or we create nightmare scenarios.

  • All people, no data: we are soft and squishy and nobody cares what we have to say because all that matters are hugs and rainbows.
  • All data, no people: we are hard-charging, ROI-driven monsters without a single concern for the people at the other end of our decisions.

Balancing both aspects helps you to not only have a voice in the business and with your leadership team but also helps to ensure that your voice is being used to advocate for the workforce. Bringing data and evidence to the conversation in the form of HR analytics creates a more credible, valuable conversation. And doing so on behalf of the employees is critical.

Even if you didn’t get into HR because you love data and numbers, you need to learn to speak the language of the business or risk being ignored, shut out, and forgotten when all of the important decisions are being made in your company.

Who’s with me?

WOH 66: Trends Driving 4x Growth in HR Analytics Teams

Employers have increased their focus on measurement in recent years with a 4x growth in the number of companies with an HR analytics team. Why this relatively sudden change, and what can it tell us?

In this episode, Ben interviews Matt Jackson, VP Client Solutions at Thomsons Online Benefits about new research the company has done on analytics and data usage within HR. The conversation includes practical insights into how HR teams can get started with data as well as what it takes to build or buy your first analytics subject matter expert.

To learn more about Thomsons visit https://www.thomsons.com/

5 Rules for Hiring A.I. and I.T. Talent

The quest to hire developers, data scientists, and technology engineers is more competitive than ever before. It seems as though organizations in almost every industry need to grow their teams due to the ever-increasing need for a strong digital presence, apps, in-house I.T., tight cyber security, and other critical tech and A.I. based roles.

“With all of the tech startups and niche pharma companies popping up all over the country, it’s no wonder there’s much more demand for A.I and I.T specialists than supply. It poses a real challenge for hiring managers,explains Sarah Groom, Director at Groom & Associates.

If you find attracting talent for these hot fields seems nearly impossible, your recruiting tactics might be in need of some updating. For a better shot at attracting A.I and I.T talent, consider these five rules. Continue reading

WOH 65: Delivering HR Technology for 75,000 Global Employees at Emerson Electric

Recently Ben had the opportunity to attend Oracle Open World and speak with some amazing HR leaders at companies doing business across the globe. This is one of the interviews from that event. Ben interviews Jim Rhodes, VP of HR Information Systems at Emerson Electric, a firm with a global workforce of more than 75,000. The conversation explores how to build a business case for HCM technologies, what it takes to create a strong selection team, and more. 

This episode is sponsored by PeopleStrategy

hr spark

The One Thing You Must Know to Be Successful in an #HR Career

Last week at LinkedIn Talent Connect in Dallas, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with one of the other speakers about his session. Peter Sursi is a talent acquisition/HR pro working in the FBI to modernize some of their approaches to finding and keeping talent. He’s not what you might expect from a government agency: he is energetic, passionate, and forward-thinking. Yes, this is HR/career advice from the FBI, of all places!

During our conversation, we talked about what makes the difference between teams that are successful long-term when it comes to HR and which ones continue to struggle for years with being strategic, creating value for the business, etc. The quote was a powerful one:

We can’t be emotionally invested in the process. We have to be emotionally invested in the people.

The Big Takeaway

hr sparkThis was a light bulb moment for me. So much of the time as HR practitioners we get wrapped up in our process, our way of doing things, and our perspective on the world.

The problem with that? The business doesn’t always see HR as a requirement to getting the job done. They often see it as a nuisance or a blocker of other necessary activities. The “no” police, in other words. This negative perception even discourages people from trying to get into HR in the first place!

In this quote we see that we should flip it: be invested in the people, care about their results, think about how to help them and eliminate barriers to their success.

Don’t get caught in caring more about your process than you do about the people.

Don’t Let the Light Go Out!

So many people I talk to got into HR because they want to help people. Because they enjoy working with people. And so on. But something often happens where you stop really caring about the people and instead become clingy with your processes, tools, and requirements.

I can still remember ~10 years ago when I was early in my HR career and someone told me that my passion for the profession and the people would eventually wane. I’d stop caring so much. I’d just settle for mediocre.

Maybe it’s because I have a little redneck in me (hello from Huntsville Alabama!) but I decided then and there that I wouldn’t easily let go of that spark that drove me. It’s kept me going all this time and I don’t see it going out any time soon. I want to leave a legacy with my HR career, and I want you to do the same.

What about your spark? Is it still going strong? Do you need to relight it and refocus on why you got started in this profession in the first place? Whether you chose it or you fell into it by accident, you’re here now and it’s up to each of us to make sure we don’t turn into the crusty old HR lady that cares more about process than people.

I’ll hold you accountable if you’ll do the same for me. Deal?

 

WOH 64: How to Engage Remote Teams and Virtual Workers

Today, almost every company has workers that are either remote, telecommuting, or virtual. There is incredible value in this for businesses and for workers, but the challenge comes in engaging these people that you rarely (if ever) see face to face. 

In today’s conversation, Ben interviews Beth Hearn, an HR leader with PeopleStrategy who has a variety of experience working at technology firms with remote staff. She shares a great set of ideas, from the simple ways to say you care (think templates and employee gifts) to the more challenging (and more valuable) methods like culture books that capture the key moments in time for your people. 

If you want to connect with Beth, check her out on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bethhearn/

This episode is sponsored by PeopleStrategy