Author Archives: Ben

4 Signs a Company Doesn’t Value HR [Reader Question]

Hi all!

It’s been a minute. Working on a lot of fun stuff between the latest book, HR Summer School, regular livestream events, a ton of speaking at HR conferences and industry events, and so on. But I still get questions pretty regularly and love addressing them when I can (here’s the archive you can skim). Here’s one that came in recently:

I’m looking for my next HR job. At my last company I realized too late that they didn’t really care about what HR had to say. They had only hired me to check a box, and my opinions and ideas didn’t really matter. How do I find a company that really values HR input and practices?


Ouch. I think a lot of us in HR have had an experience where we got surprised by something like this, even though we’re often the ones who have our radar up for leadership weirdness and other things that might make a workplace toxic or unsustainable.

That said, if you’re one of those leaders looking to make a change, here’s what I would recommend looking for or asking about in the evaluation process.

  1. What’s the HR to employee ratio? 1 to 50? 1 to 100 (which is often kicked around as an industry average)? 1 to 1,000? While it’s not an exact science, the more extreme the ratio, the more you can tell what the company expects from HR. 1:50 = high-touch HR. 1:1,000 = paper-pusher HR.
  2. If you can see the location, where does HR sit? Are you in the middle of the people, far removed from the people? This isn’t a deal breaker but it’s good to know if it jives with your expectations and preferences. HR CAN work remotely, but it can be challenging.
  3. What would be your first 5-10 priorities in the role? If everything they want you to focus on is compliance-oriented, then that’s telling. Handbook. Policies. Absenteeism. Related: they avoid or dodge discussions of more modern HR practices like stay interviews or technology. You are looking for relationship-building, establishing trust, etc. as priorities, not just getting a handbook hammered out ASAP.
  4. Ask about past investments, focus, and behavior. Past behavior is a predictor of future behavior overall from a trend perspective. If they haven’t invested in employee-centric things in the past, why now? What’s changed? Why do you have any reason to believe they will do differently next year than they did last year?

It’s hard to calculate this, but I’ve seen this to be true at many, many companies: if the HR department is consistently left out of important discussions, planning, or decision-making processes, this is a likely sign that the company does not value their contributions.

Best of luck to you, Jaded!

How to Skip 1,500 Interviews and Increase Quality of Hire

And so that doesn’t happen overnight. But over time, as people bought into it and we started to see over the course of one year, we gave the business back 1500 interviews. Imagine the extra time that was available for our product managers. They could do their job, and then when the quality of hire goes up with that, you start to get this [positive] cycle. You’ve now made a better hire, and because you started with listening, there’s a high probability that [they’re] gonna be successful and stay longer.

Lance Sapera, Former VP Talent Acquisition, Talend

We’re Only Human — Episode 164

How do you structure talent acquisition teams to support business growth?

Did you know that the best approach isn’t to use a very lean team and overwork them? That’s the perspective of today’s guest, Lance Sapera, who has supported multiple organizations through rapid growth as a talent acquisition executive. The insights he offers are a roadmap to smarter, more effective hiring practices.

As the title indicates, Lance shares one change to TA processes that led to 1,500 fewer interviews AND a stronger quality of hire at the same time, which is virtually unheard of. 

Grab your notepad. This is a great episode and you should have some excellent takeaways. 

Show Notes

Can HR Really Work Remotely? How Eco’s Head of People Does It

I’m really excited we are a fully remote organization. It’s why I get to do the work I do from Hawaii. It does mean I have really early mornings, so be aware of what you’re signing up for, but I get to work fully remote. In supporting fully remote organizations, we have to be incredibly intentional about the culture and the way we work.

Diana Brown, Head of People, Eco

We’re Only Human — Episode 163

Working remote. It’s a polarizing topic overall, but perhaps even more so when it comes to HR positions. Should HR be in the office, or is it okay if People professionals work remotely?

In this episode, Ben talks with Diana Brown of Eco about how she and her team manage the remote/distributed aspects of creating a connected, employee-focused culture through intentional design, communications, and more. 

Show Notes


The One Thing Employers Have to Know for Worker Retention in 2023-2024 [Livestream]

New Research: 4 Critical Connections to Employee Belonging and Retention

On Thursday, August 10th, George Rogers and I will be hosting a special livestream to look at our brand new data on Performance, Engagement, and Culture Enablement (PEACE). Based on 1,000 global workers, this study has some incredible insights on how employees feel about their experiences at work today, what employers need to do to support them, and more.

We’re analyzing and planning to share some important signposts for employers that want to maximize workforce productivity, including:

  • The biggest blockers to worker alignment with performance expectations
  • What culture can (and can’t) do to drive performance
  • Why retention may be easier than ever (if employers know one important fact)

Can’t make it live? Sign up and you get the replay for free.

Check out the 90-second video below for a preview of what I’ll be covering alongside our newest analyst George Rogers during this special event.

We’ll also be featuring some conversations with technology providers that are supporting these types of needs for employers, including Quantum Workplace with their suite of performance, engagement, and culture-focused technologies. We hope to see you there!

DisruptHR HSV is BACK!

In August I’ll be hosting the DisruptHR HSV event. This event is open to HR professionals that want to think differently about the profession, grow their network, and challenge the status quo.

We’ll have multiple speakers covering everything from coaching and performance to culture and DEIB topics.

If you’re within a few hours of Huntsville (we already have registrants from Nashville and Atlanta!), the tickets are very inexpensive (just enough to cover food costs) and the event promises to be a fun and exciting night. Check it out

3 People Leaders Share Frontline Employee Engagement Secrets

“One of the things that a lot of our industry struggled with was trying to regulate employees and not let them have their phone in their hand, but we actually encourage it. We ask them to help us do TikToks. Everybody gets involved. It really brings in a sense of camaraderie. We’re not constantly saying, ‘Get off your phone. Get off your phone. Get off your phone.’ We’re encouraging them: get on your phone, take the pictures, take the videos, promote the brand.”

Michele Corkins, Senior Manager, People Solutions, Hawaiian Bros Island Grill

We’re Only Human — Episode 162

Think about this research stat: One out of every two frontline workers thinks they aren’t treated equitably with corporate staff. In our 2022 Frontline Worker Study that covered thousands of frontline staff around the world, we found so many different insights that are helpful for understanding how to build an employee experience that supports, connects, and engages these critical employees. Today’s podcast episode is a replay of a conversation between Ben and three HR leaders at frontline employers:

  • Michele Corkins of Hawaiian Bros Island Grill
  • Gemma Elay of Hawksmoor
  • Ana Ledesma of Just Salad

Listen in to hear what tools they use to support their people, what resources they think are more relevant to frontline staff, and more. Thanks to Harri for connecting us!

Show Notes

Listening to the Needs of 1700 People at Once at Getty Images

“We have 1700 people at our company. That’s 1700 different opinions, needs, journeys. So at Getty Images we create and we measure and we monitor engagement opportunities to strengthen a work culture where people belong and they can do their best work.”

Marie Potter, Senior Director, Culture & Development, Getty Images

We’re Only Human — Episode 161


Defining the problem is a big step towards finding a solution. But what do you do when the problem or challenge is so broad and varied that it’s hard to pinpoint what solution might work? That’s the difficulty that arises daily for HR leaders looking at how to support the needs of every person in the workforce. In this episode of We’re Only Human, Ben talks with Marie Potter from Getty Images about how she and her team are able to listen, identify, and support the needs of their workforce at scale. 

Show Notes