Want a Good Laugh? Read This….

September 11th, 2018

I got this Ask The Headhunter post in my email this morning:

Employee quits, boss wants her to refund employment agency fee

Oh. My. Gosh.

At first I thought this was a joke. But Nick is serious about his advice… this isn’t a joke. This is one of the reasons why finding and keeping a job feels like a joke.

Some of my favorite parts:

“… the recruiting and hiring process usually blows up in the job seeker’s face — not the employer’s.”

“Most agencies play fast and loose because they get paid to fill a job, not to deliver the best hire, and everyone suffers for it.”

“What’s your company doing to make sure it’s a good place to work?”

“I suggest you improve your recruiting and interviewing processes — and how you manage.”

The question makes me wonder if the person who wrote it, and wants to go after the ex-employee, is an embarrassed narcissist. Too bad we don’t know who the company is, so we can know to never, ever work there. Who’d want to work for a boss that is even entertaining this idea?

When I’ve had people who have reported to me resign, my response to them is “you have to do what is best for you and your family.”  Seriously, we need to be more kind, more accepting, more human, about this whole thing. Sure, you might be in a pickle, but there are human lives and families at stake here. If you had a better environment and paid more perhaps you wouldn’t lose your people. (perhaps)

The sentence that most stuck out at me was this:

“Once you’ve got the hire for five months, whatever happens next is a management problem, not a placement problem.”

In my new role at BambooHR I’ve been learning a lot about culture, and HR buzzwords like employee satisfaction employee performance. When these are buzzwords they can maybe inspire a bit of change. But when HR, managers, and organizational leadership really care about these things, culture changes for the better.

Seriously, would any of you want to work at a company where the manager would even put this crazy question (read it here) in writing, much less send it to Nick?

There aren’t enough face palms in the world for this one.

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Happy Labor Day! When The Unemployment Rate Hits 100%!

September 3rd, 2018

Hey there… I’ve been blogging here over ten years and have posted a number of times about how I feel about the unemployment rate. It’s pretty much a facade. The only saving grace is that it is standardized, which means that every time you read an unemployment number it is measured the same way it has been forever.

What does 3.1% mean? What does 7% mean?  You think a low unemployment rate is awesome, but economists tell us it is not awesome. It means there “isn’t enough supply” (supply being us, workers), and it’s unhealthy for the economy. Economists like it when the unemployment rate is a bit higher… because there is a healthy tension instead of things being off-balance.

I remember one speaking trip to Minneapolis where I was doing a few keynotes. At breakfast I saw the front page, above the fold headlines, which bragged about how the area’s unemployment rate was really low (one of the best in the nation). This was clearly written by a journalist, not an economist. Anyway, I was about to speak to about 100 unemployed professionals who were experiencing something different than a celebratory economy.

I don’t care what the government or journalists say about the unemployment rate…. when you are unemployed, your unemployment rate hits 100%. It’s demoralizing to read how great the economy is doing when you in a job search… especially after the first few weeks of the job search honeymoon.

If this is you… if you are experiencing 100% unemployment, ignore the numbers and ignore the comments about how great things are. Your reality is not aligned with what people are saying. I know that. I lived that.

What do you do?

Get to work, doing the right things. Spend time and effort in the right places. Figure out a system that works, and then work the system! Put time and effort and patience into it, and reevaluate and tweak the system to ensure you do more of the right things and less of the wrong things.

And phooey to those unemployment numbers, when yours is personally 100%. Get to work so you can get back to work.

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