Category Archives: General

joe deloss

Can a Business Grow Competitively While Doing Social Good? [Podcast]

The United States is experiencing one of the lowest unemployment rates in history, and a new study from Express Employment Professionals shows that 8 in 10 businesses expect to grow this year. Where will that talent come from, since artificial intelligence isn’t here yet to save us?

joe delossFor most employers, this means that retention is going to be more important this year than ever before, and this is especially true for employers where turnover in customer-facing roles leads to critical gaps in coverage, performance, and service. We need to be asking ourselves how we can treat the people we hire in such a way that we actually improve their lives. It’s about more than just offering them a paycheck in so many ways.

In the interview below, I speak with Joe DeLoss, Head Fryer and Founder at Hot Chicken Takeover. The question I asked in the title (can a business be competitive while doing social good?) is clearly answered in this interview as we talk about his mission and vision for the company in the context of the social impact it has.

Subscribers, click through to listen to the interview.

Show Notes

Episode link: Listen on the We’re Only Human Podcast page

Customers come first. Time is money. Tie it to the bottom line.

In each of these instances, we think we’re serving the business. But what if we thought first with our heart instead of our head–could we still serve the business just as well? In this interview with Joe DeLoss, Head Fryer and Founder of Hot Chicken Takeover, we will deeply challenge your thinking on that concept.

In this episode, I talk with Joe about the company’s rapid growth, unorthodox hiring strategies, and what happens when you bend from your principles during times of high-pressure growth (hint: not a good idea). Additionally, they discuss tailoring employee benefits to meet the needs of the workers instead of offering a template plan like the competition. Through it all, you’ll hear Joe’s focus is not just on marketing strategy or chicken recipes, but on the employees he serves as the leader of the business.

For more information about Joe and HCT, check out the links below:

To see all the show archives and learn more about We’re Only Human, please visit https://upstarthr.com/podcast

onboarding connections culture

Onboarding: Creating Connections to Coworkers and Culture

onboarding connections cultureThe onboarding process can be one of the most overlooked areas for organizations needing a quick win in the overall employee experience. Instead of leveraging this process as a way to drive engagement and create a lasting impression, some organizations tend to deliver a subpar experience or forego the practice altogether.

Employees want an onboarding experience, but all too often they only get an orientation session and a handful of paperwork to sift through. However, employees should have an onboarding experience that gives them not only deeper insights into the business, but more connectivity into the culture, the people and the history.

According to the ADP Research Institute, the majority of employees want employers to take time to orient new employees to the policies, benefits and culture of the employer, yet many firms don’t make this a priority. This is strange, because from an employer perspective, onboarding was the number one choice in some of my 2017 research into talent acquisition priorities. Continue reading

Will an HR Certification Make Me More Valuable for a Senior HR Role? [Reader Question]

hr certification career optionsHR certification questions are often seen as pretty binary: either I get one or I don’t. But in reality there’s a lot of nuance to the decision. Should I get an HR degree or an HR certification? Will this help my career? Can it make me more competitive? How much money can I make?

That’s because certification is tied in with our personal lives in that it supports us financially, if we do it right.

For the sake of the author I’m not sharing the person’s real name. 

Hi, Ben!

I am an HR Generalist in a school district. We only have two HR staff here. The rumor is that there may be an opening for an HR Director. I would love a shot at the job. The issue is that my co-worker has been at the district for a long time and I have only been there about two years even though I have nearly 10 years of HR experience.

I feel taking the PHR exam would possibly give me a shot at the Director’s job. What are your thoughts?

-Nancy

My Response to Nancy

Two questions wrapped into one!

First the easy one: if you want to pursue the PHR then go for it. There’s nothing that forces you to tell everyone at work that you’re pursuing the exam on the off chance you don’t pass, and you could have it as soon as March/April if you decide to jump in with both feet. No time like the present, right? If you’re worried about preparing then I’d highly recommend the courses that we’ve put together simply because they help in ways that no other system does. If you have the budget, the HRCP materials even offer a “pass or money back” guarantee, which is hard to beat.

Secondly, let’s look at the career front. While this is still a rumor you should start thinking critically about what makes you a fit for the role.

  • Can you demonstrate your leadership skills now, before the job even exists?
  • How can you start positioning yourself as the kind of person that would be a fit for the job in the eyes of those around you?
  • What other hard or soft skills do you need to pick up in order to be competitive for the role?

Thinking this through helps because when it comes open, even if it’s a publicly posted opening, you have an edge because some of the local leadership should see you as a strategic player, not just another administrative paper pusher.

Let me know if that helps or if I can offer anything more to support you! I think it’s a good question not only because it’s making you think about certification, but because it’s making you think about yourself in terms of how qualified/ready you might be for a leadership role. This book I reviewed previously might be helpful in guiding you towards ways to be influential as a leader even before you get the “title” to go along with it.

Anyone else have comments or suggestions for Nancy?

If you have your own question you’d like featured here, feel free to shoot it to me at ben@upstarthr.com for consideration. 

randy swart

Talent Lessons from the Transportation Industry [Podcast]

How should you structure your talent attraction and retention strategies if you are in an industry where there are sharp declines in talent entering the field, high turnover rates, and a physically and emotionally demanding job description?

That’s what we’re here today to find out.

We hear all the time about driverless cars and automated trucks, but those advances still aren’t a reality yet. At this point we still have a large number of human drivers navigating the roads and keeping the nation and the world economies chugging along. But the trucking and logistics industry also has its troubles–driver shortages. high turnover rates. low engagement. tough work and work environments.

randy swart

Randy Swart, COO of A. Duie Pyle

Today I speak with Randy Swart, Chief Operating Officer from A. Duie Pyle, to understand some of the impact of this profession on the nation’s economy and how his company has been able to dramatically outperform its peers in the industry with low turnover, high employee engagement, and a phenomenal culture. I highly encourage you to take notes because Randy breaks out his company’s playbook and shares some concrete ideas for how the company accomplishes these feats. Regardless of your industry or company size, the takeaways and insights are really incredible for those employers looking to improve their onboarding, training, or even their employee experience.

Show Notes

We’re Only Human 19 – Lessons on Culture & Engagement from the Trucking Industry

Host: Ben Eubanks

Guest: Randy Swart, COO, A. Duie Pyle

What would you do if you found out that you were facing a drastic shortage in the primary candidates you hire? How would you work to retain the workers you have while simultaneously marketing your business to potential applicants?

In today’s conversation, Ben interviews Randy Swart to answer these very real questions that he deals with every day. As COO of A. Duie Pyle, Swart helps to run the transportation and logistics company through its normal operations. But the challenges the industry faces are anything but normal: turnover is rampant, the workforce is aging, and predictions of shortages continue to be ever more severe.

In the discussion, Swart shares some of the key practices that A. Duie Pyle uses to not only keep workers from leaving, but to actually help them enjoy the work they do at the same time. Regardless of the industry or company, listeners will have some wonderful takeaways from a true business leader on how to create more value for our employees.

For more information on A. Duie Pyle: https://www.aduiepyle.com/

For more episodes and information about We’re Only Human: https://upstarthr.com/podcast

Lessons on Culture & Engagement from the Trucking Industry [Podcast]

Host: Ben Eubanks

Guest: Randy Swart, COO, A. Duie Pyle

What would you do if you found out that you were facing a drastic shortage in the primary candidates you hire? How would you work to retain the workers you have while simultaneously marketing your business to potential applicants?

In today’s conversation, Ben interviews Randy Swart to answer these very real questions that he deals with every day. As COO of A. Duie Pyle, Swart helps to run the transportation and logistics company through its normal operations. But the challenges the industry faces are anything but normal: turnover is rampant, the workforce is aging, and predictions of shortages continue to be ever more severe.

In the discussion, Swart shares some of the key practices that A. Duie Pyle uses to not only keep workers from leaving, but to actually help them enjoy the work they do at the same time. Regardless of the industry or company, listeners will have some wonderful takeaways from a true business leader on how to create more value for our employees.

For more information on A. Duie Pyle: https://www.aduiepyle.com/

For more episodes and information about We’re Only Human: https://upstarthr.com/podcast

Subscribe to We’re Only Human and all the HR Happy Hour Podcast Network shows on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts – just search for ‘HR Happy Hour’.

Artificial Intelligence for HR (a practical viewpoint!)

Cover design for the new book

Cover design for the new book

I’m in the middle of writing a book. Yes, a BOOK! I’m having fun and writing a ton, but I’m also looking for a little help. See, I need some examples from vendors and employers to help me fill in a few case studies and would love to feature you in the book if you’re a fit for my requirements. If you want to be notified about the book, please make sure you subscribe for updates to the blog.

The survey below is open to anyone and I would appreciate it if you would respond. This goes doubly for anyone looking to be highlighted (vendor or practitioner) in the book. 

Please take our 1-minute survey

  • Vendors: I’m looking for any HR, recruiting, talent, or learning software companies that are using machine learning, natural language processing, deep learning, etc. in their products for purposes of automation or augmentation. I need examples across the spectrum so while I know talent acquisition is going to be heavily represented (and that’s fine) I would also like to talk with those serving talent management, workforce management, learning management, and other HR audiences.
  • Practitioners: I’m looking for companies USING these kinds of software tools. Is your recruiting tool doing automated sourcing for you? Is your workforce scheduling tool automatically offering shifts and reducing the hands-on work your team is doing? Maybe your talent management system is giving you red flags on which of your high-value workers are in danger of leaving the company? Is your learning tool recommending highly personalized content for workers based on what their peers are consuming? If you’re using a modern piece of HR technology, there’s a chance you are seeing some of these benefits. I’d love to feature you in the book whether as a small segment in a chapter, a case study, etc. Lots of opportunities to highlight the great work you’re doing as an HR leader!

Click here if you are interested in participating and I will be in touch soon. Thanks so much!

Why write a book about artificial intelligence in human resources?

I’ve had a few people ask me why this topic. In truth, I see it as a public service. So much of what I read (and you probably, too) around how AI will impact human resources is written by the following types of people:

  • People who have never worked in HR
  • People who want attention by latching onto a “hot” topic

The problem is that very few of these pieces I’m seeing actually talk about solving problems. Instead they talk about theory or high-level impact, which doesn’t help you do your job any better. I’m trying to bring a highly practical perspective to the topic, which is why I’m looking for company stories and examples to weave into the content. I will have to give a basic primer on AI and how it works, but that’s just to get everyone to a basic level of understanding. The vast majority of the book content will be focusing on ACTUAL problems HR can solve across performance, learning, and recruiting.

Plus it’s my chance to write a book for a traditional publisher. I’ve published a Kindle book but have not had this chance previously, so I’ll be sharing the experience and what I think about the process. Look for me to talk more about this topic as the year goes on!

Want to Meet in 2018?

As the year winds down one of the things I’m spending time on is scheduling out my 2018 year. Travel, conferences, speaking, etc. I have several events on the calendar already where I’ll be speaking (such as the HRPA Conference January in Toronto and the HR Conference Cruise in February, and about half a dozen others), but if you’re reading this and enjoy the kinds of things that I share here on the blog and you also have responsibilities for planning events in 2018, I’d love to speak at your conference!

To give you an idea of what I’ve been up to in 2017, here is a sampling of this year’s speaking events (and webinars/virtual events):

  • SHRM chapter workshop: Evidence-Based Change Management Practices that Deliver Results
  • SHRM chapter workshop: Practical Methods for Measuring HR’s Business Value
  • Webinar: Informal Learning Myths and Truths
  • SilkRoad user conference – topics: Talent Mobility Strategy; Diversity and Inclusion; Employee Engagement and Business Results
  • Skillsoft/SumTotal user conference – Employee Engagement and Business Results
  • Achievers user conference – Improving Employee Engagement Outcomes
  • Webinar: Learning Strategy, Measurement, and Content
  • Webinar: Using Talent Mobility for Engagement and Performance
  • Webinar: Performance Management: What High-Performing Firms Do Differently
  • HCI Innovation@Work – Hacking HR Workshop
  • Panel discussion: The Future of Learning
  • Panel discussion: The Next Great HR Technology Company

Bottom line: it’s been a busy year!

I already have a great 2018 planned, including both on-site and virtual presentations. One of my favorite things about working on upstartHR these last 8 years is being able to meet each of you when I’m attending an event, so please ping me if you are going to be somewhere so we can connect!

In addition, if you’re looking for a keynote speaker that knows the trends and insights that matter to your audience, feel free to contact me while I still have some room on the schedule. I’d love to speak at your event.