Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – TalentTalk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives. TalentTalk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues and having the cultural mindset to embrace the needed diversity of the workplace.
Today’s guests are Tim Sackett, President of HRU Technical Resources and David Bradford, Chairman of the Board for FluentWorlds and Author of “Up Your Game.” To hear the entire show, click here.
On the show today, an HR and staffing thought leader discusses the world of talent recruitment and a seasoned C-suite executive shares his experience and talks about the importance of building connections.
Tim Sackett runs a staffing contingent firm out of Michigan that places people nationally in areas such as engineering, IT, defense, public education, and so on. Like most staffing companies, Sackett’s firm saw the recession job market and came out of it well. Now that the job market is picking up, they’re once again seeing companies hiring in full swing. The challenge for staffing companies is that the older employees who held onto their jobs during the recession want to retire. It’s like a double whammy for the companies who are trying to hire and there’s just not enough technical talent out there. Especially in tech domain, there aren’t enough graduates who can fill the open positions. “It’s one thing to hire an entry level graduate but entirely another thing to replace that college grad with a person who’s been working for 30 years and is on top of his game,” explains Sackett. There is a cost involved in replacing a senior executive with another executive from a competitor. The compensation will be higher and the cost to the organization increases. Thus, Sackett says it’s this basic economics of demand and supply that the industry is currently facing.
Finding the Right Fit
The difference between a good staffing firm versus a bad one is that the latter just thrusts 20 resumes at the company which meet the technical requirements and consider their job done. According to Sackett, a good staffing firm makes an effort to understand the company’s culture, the hiring manager’s personality fit and what they’re looking for before going out and finding a match. In most cases, finding out whether a person is a good fit happens only once the person starts working. Thus, the contingent workforce that Sackett’s company places is a perfect staffing solution. These workers work for three to six months on a temporary basis and very often, if they blend well into the culture, companies hire them full-time. Also, companies are scared of hiring full-time workers right at the get-go because they feel like once they hire them they’ll never be able to get rid of them. Hiring managers feel that the organization has spent a lot of money on training these people and that they don’t hire to fire so they’re more willing to put up with the slow performer. Hence, hiring a contingent worker works well for the companies. When they do decide to hire that person full-time, they already know about the performance level and whether or not that person is a good cultural fit or not. On the other hand, if they’re not happy with the worker, they simply have to end the temporary contract without any fuss.
Technology is influencing HR in a big way and 2016 is going to continue the trend of seeing new HR tech innovations. However, Sackett says that due to the recession HR professionals weren’t able to focus on a number of issues because of the bigger problem at hand. Now that everything is back to normal, things like retention rate will be important. There was no retention problem during the recession because there were no jobs. Focus on retaining top talent is now becoming increasingly important across the board. Thus, a topic that wasn’t talked about in over a decade is going to be at the center of HR. It has a huge impact on the bottom line of a business and it also rolls into employee engagement. Organizations want to figure out how to give their employees the best possible experience which leads to increased productivity which eventually impacts the bottom line.
Being an Industry Thought Leader
For the past six years, Sackett has been blogging on HR and staffing topics every single day. While interacting with HR pros and being in the industry for a long period, he believes it’s easy to forget that there is always a new set of HR people coming in every year who have no idea what they’re doing. They could be fresh graduates or are probably coming from other functions within the organization. As an industry thought leader, Sackett believes his topics need to be at a level that they can understand because they make a big part of the audience that wants to learn about industry trends but in a way that’s easy to comprehend.
What Are You Reading?
Tim Sackett isn’t reading any particular book currently but is trying his hands on Blinkist, an app that summarizes the top lessons from non-fiction books in under 15 minutes. He hopes that this app will help him consume more books.
David Bradford has a long career that started back in the 70s when he was a practicing lawyer in Los Angeles. In 1980, he joined Prime Computer which was a hot company at that time. After being with the company with five years, Bradford joined Novell, which was the world’s second largest software company. Bradford was their Chief Legal Counsel for 15 years. After his tenure at Novell, Bradford went on to Fusion-io. In his illustrious career, Bradford has served as the CEO of companies such as Fusion-io and HireVue. Currently he is the Chairman of Board at FluentWorlds which is a game-changing language learning company.
Bradford emphatically says that an effective leader empathizes with his people and shows that he is not above them. He is a part of the team and tries to accomplish goals together with his people. Some leaders throw around their C-suite status and portray as someone above everyone else. Bradford says that in reality it should be the opposite. Leaders are meant to serve – serve their employees, their customers and everyone else.
Bradford believes that people make all the difference. Thus, he follows a 60-30-10 rule which he explains saying that 60% of the success of any company that you’re involved in is people related. It’s the people you surround yourself with, the people you bring into the organization as well as their passion for the business. Thirty percent relates to your products/technology/services which also in a way begins and ends with people. The remaining 10% is simple dumb luck pertaining to your timing in the market, says Bradford explaining his rule.
Lessons from “Up Your Game”
Bradford learned the value of connecting with people and forming deep and abiding relationships while graduating from law school. He was among the top 20% of his class and everyone used to tell him that since he’s performed well academically, he’ll walk out of law school with a job. At that time the economy wasn’t very great. But he realized all the people who ended up having jobs, even the ones in the bottom half of the class, were people who had a connection in the industry whether through a friend or family or an acquaintance who helped them build a pathway. His mother gave him an important life lesson during that time saying it’s ‘not what you know but who you know.’ This wisdom stayed with him forever and made it a lifelong endeavor to build lasting relationships.
Thus, his book “Up Your Game: 6 Timeless Networking Principles” is a summary of his business career and how he “stood on the shoulders of others to move forward in his career whether it was working with them or working for them.” The first part of the book is how to give with no thought of getting. The book is full of stories from his career and how his connections blessed his life and also helped him raise nearly 200 million dollars for three companies that he has been involved with. He narrates a little story of how an out of work sales rep wanted to meet him for lunch to talk about his next opportunity. In spite of having a number of things to do, Bradford agreed to meet him and the meeting resulted in Bradford pitching a Saudi Arabian prince for investment because the guy he met had a connection. Thus, his earnest advice to everyone is that no matter how busy you are and have a million excuses to not meet someone who reaches out to you, find a way to get around yourself and meet the person because the law of reciprocity exists in the universe and comes back in different forms!
Dreamers who Do
Bradford is currently also a Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Utah. He tells his class that the world needs dreamers and it also needs doers. But what it needs most are dreamers who do. It’s the execution piece which is important. He shares an interesting quote by Nolan Bushnell, owner of Chuck E. Cheese’s and Atari – “Everybody that has ever gotten up and taken a shower has had a great idea. It’s the person that towels off, gets out of the shower and goes and does something about it that changes the world.” It’s important to hone in on the execution part because everyone has an idea but the person who executes it is the one that makes a difference, says Bradford.
What Are You Reading?
Bradford is currently reading “Larry H. Miller: Behind the Drive 99 Inspiring Stories from the Life of an American Entrepreneur” by Bryan Miller. Larry H. Miller was the CEO and founder of the Utah Jazz organization. He had a number of entrepreneurial endeavors in Utah. He started from the scratch and went on to become one of the wealthiest men in the state. Bradford also recommends “Blueprint to a Billion: 7 Essentials to Achieve Exponential Growth” by David Thomson. The book outlines seven principles for building a billion dollar company though they can be used for building a company of any size, according to Bradford.
How Can People Connect With You?
Connect with David via LinkedIn giving a little context while sending him a request. He also requests everyone to download the FluentWorlds app that is changing the world of language learning. He would love to get some feedback and reviews.