Category Archives: General

perspectives ultimate

#UltiConnect 2018: AI Means HR Can Be More Human


perspectives ultimateThis week I spent some time at the Ultimate Connections conference in Las Vegas with the team from Ultimate Software (Twitter stream here). There were tons of product updates and great sessions, but one of the biggest takeaways for me was around AI and what it takes to build a great workplace.

During a recent event I was speaking with someone and she mentioned Ultimate Software. I said I knew the company, and her response shocked me. She said, “I wish I could…” And my brain jumped to the conclusion: “I wish I could get that software.”

However, her response was something else! She said, “I wish I could work there.” That, in a nutshell, embodies what Ultimate is all about. The firm is known within the HR community as a great place to work, has won virtually every award you’ve ever heard of (and probably some you haven’t), and has some pretty astounding Glassdoor reviews. Continue reading

8 Reasons to Marry an HR Professional (From the Archives)

Last year my wife and I celebrated our tenth anniversary. Four kids, three houses, two sets of in-laws, and hundreds of silly arguments about toothpaste, dirty clothes, or what to eat for dinner later. And we’re still going strong.

eubanks family

Several years ago I wrote a piece on funny reasons to marry an HR pro. After having to pull out my HR skills to handle yet another conversation this week with my wife’s former employer about retirement benefits, this has been top of mind for me. So, what are the best benefits of marrying someone working in HR?

Reasons to Marry Someone Working in HR

Continue reading


The Secret to Great Team Performance May Surprise You [Podcast]

The way we have done business in the past–it’s not going to work in the future. The world is volatile, complex… There’s rapid change. We have to change ourselves. It’s not making a change with tech or tools, it’s about the soft things: thanking people, helping them articulate the mission, helping them with careers. We have to be hard with the business, soft with people. -Adrian Gostick

If this concept inspires you, then this episode of We’re Only Human is going to get you excited about how to drive performance within your organization. I believe so strongly in the ideas in this book that I’ve worked with the publisher to set up a contest to give away a few copies! Here’s how it works:

Want to win a free book? Share this episode link on your LinkedIn feed, tag me and 2 or more of the BEST people you’ve ever worked with, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of the book!

Subscribers, click through to listen in. Continue reading


I’ll be at #SHRM18 — My Interview on #DriveThruHR

Last week I had a quick conversation with my long-time friend Michael Vandervort on the DriveThruHR podcast. As one of the official social media team members for the SHRM 2018 Annual Conference, Mike wanted to chat about me, my background, and my current projects as a lead-in to the event.

It was one-sided (as interviews must go!) but if you’ve listened to my podcast We’re Only Human or if you’ve followed the blog here for any length of time, you might be interested in learning more about me and what’s going on in the background when I’m not writing blogs at upstartHR. We cover everything from my writing process for the new book to the triumphant return of the HRevolution event later this year. Check out the link below to listen in!

Episode Link:


Workers Feel The Pressure of the Skills Gap Around the World [Podcast]

As HR leaders, we’re well aware of the skills gap. Hiring and retaining workers for key roles is what takes up a key part of our mental energy on a daily basis, but what about the workers themselves?

In a new report that analyzes global worker opinions, it is clear that the skills gap is on the minds of the workforce as well. But who is running point on this issue? Is it on workers to train themselves, diminishing the skills gap one person at a time? Or should employers take some responsibility, building key skills in the workforce to keep them sharp in our fast-paced world of work?

Check out the conversation below to learn more about the research and some interesting insights on how to resolve the issue.

Episode link:

Show Notes

The skills gap is a challenge for many organizations, but how do we address it? Read any news article and it seems as if the United States has a looming crisis on its hands around critical skills areas that we simply don’t have enough qualified workers to fill, and new research shows this is actually a global phenomenon affecting firms worldwide. For instance, 98% of workers in Brazil agree there is a skills gap, and two-thirds of them felt like it affects them personally!

shelley-osborneIn today’s interview, host Ben Eubanks speaks with Shelley Osborne, Head of Learning & Development at Udemy, about this research and how we can use it to attack the skills gap within our own company through learning and development opportunities. While the research shows that individuals are generally confident about the level of skills they possess, they also know that the pace of change and business today requires them to be constantly learning. It’s no longer good enough to get a degree or vocational training and be “good enough” to compete for jobs, promotions, and other roles.

To see the research, check out this link:

This episode is sponsored by WorkHuman. Join me and hundreds of highly engaged HR leaders in Austin this April for WorkHuman, an event dedicated to helping HR make the workplace a better place. 

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Case Study: Using Hackathons to Attract, Develop, and Engage Talent

“This message will appeal to people in our recruiting process who gravitate towards a culture of hackathons and innovation. It will also turn away others that don’t fit.” Gary Bolton, Vice President of Marketing at ADTRAN

I recently had the pleasure of connecting with a handful of key staff members at ADTRAN in Huntsville, Alabama, to discuss the company’s innovative internal engineering hackathon program. The firm has more than 2,000 employees and is headquartered in Cummings Research Park in Huntsville, the second largest research park in the United States. It also has offices in Germany and India. The company is known locally for its innovation, and the staff credits its continued innovation in part to the hackathons and the type of culture those activities promote.

May Chen, Software Engineer at ADTRAN

May Chen, Software Engineer at ADTRAN

The hackathons are events “by engineers, for engineers,” according to May Chen. This was a grassroots program launched by three of the firm’s 400+ engineering staff, but support goes all the way to the top. Chen, one of the leaders of the initiative, said “We’ve had tremendous support. Business, IT, strategy, R&D–all the business units believe in what we’re doing.” This concept of ownership and self-leadership was echoed by the company’s marketing leader: “This is definitely organically steered. Leaders stay out of hackathon management and leave it to the engineering staff.” Continue reading


How Does AlliedUniversal Hire 90,000 Workers a Year? Referrals and PURPOSE [Podcast]

How many people did your firm hire last year? 10? 100? 1,000? While it’s not a contest, there are lessons to be learned from organizations that hire more people, because they have the process down to a science. Today we’re going to hear from the head of hiring operations at AlliedUniversal, one of the largest security firms in the world. AlliedUniversal hires more than 90,000 workers per year and has some great lessons we can all learn from, such as hiring with purpose.

I actually looked at the archive and realized I recorded a video nearly 8 years ago on how to work with purpose. It’s pretty early in my video recording days, which means the quality is iffy and you get to see the version of me that was brand new to this whole world of HR, but if you want to subject yourself to it, here’s the link. :-)

Subscribers click through to listen to the show below Continue reading