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    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 210 - LIVE from Equifax Forum 2015

    HR Happy Hour 210 - LIVE from Equifax Forum 2015

    Recorded Live from New Orleans on Wednesday April 15, 2015

    Hosts: Trish McFarlaneSteve Boese

    Guests: Dann Adams, Mike Psenka, Scott Collins, Equifax Workforce Solutions

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve and Trish recorded a special show LIVE from the Equifax Workforce Solutions Forum 2015, an annual event for Equifax customers and community. We were joined by Dann Adams, Mike Psenka, and Scott Collins from Equifax for a fun, informative, and wide-ranging conversation on some of the most important challenges facing HR leaders today - managing compliance in a complex environment, the continuing need to stay on top of evolving ACA requirements, and how modern technology solutions and approaches are enabling HR leaders to move from simply collecting data, to gaining valuable business insights from that data.

    Additionally, we learned about how two Equifax customers, Tyson Foods with their amazing support of disaster-hit areas, and Team Rubicon, who have engaged significant numbers of returning veterans in their disaster relief efforts are doing incredibly valuable and important work in the communities they serve.

    You can listen to the show on the show page here, or using the widget player below:

    Check Out Business Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Steve Boese Trish McFarlane on BlogTalkRadio


    The Equifax Workforce Solutions team not only has developed a powerful set of HR technologies, they also understand the importance of true partnership - with their customers, their employees, and their communities. This was a fantastic, fun, and very informative event, and many thanks to everyone at Equifax for the warm hospitality.

    And of course you can listen to and subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, or via your favorite podcast app. Just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to download and subscribe to the show and you will never miss a new episode.

    We hope you enjoy the show as much as we did recording it! 


    WEBINAR: Five Ways to Make Learning Matter at Your Company

    Never stop learning.

    The day we stop learning is the day we head out to pasture.

    It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts.

    <insert your favorite 'learning' cliche here>

    You get the idea...

    But I'm not breaking any new ground here when I remind you that in modern life and business, the shelf life of acquired knowledge is now pretty short, and getting shorter all the time. Technologies come and go, popular services rise fast until suddenly a 12-person app company is worth billions, and then six months later they're dust - replaced in the public's imagination by the next hot thing.

    Learning, the constant, repeatable kind, is your only chance to prep yourself and your organization at least somewhat from becoming the next victims in a 'blink and you will miss your opportunity' world.

    That's why the good folks over at Fistful of Talent, (where I am a contibutor), are back with their FREE April Webinar focusing on Learning & Development. Join us on Thursday, April 23rd at 2pm EDT for Bootstrap Your Training Function: 5 Ways To Make Learning Matter In Your Company (sponsored by the L&D experts at Meridian).  We're going to give you a roadmap to build your training function from scratch, including the following goodies:

    What the modern Learning & Development function looks like across core job skill training, leadership development and more.  You don't have to focus on everything to have an effective L&D function.  We'll walk you through how leaders in the space prioritize tough choices in this space

    How smart HR and Talent leaders are building their approach to L&D with a mix of company provided training, outsourced training and self-paced activities tied to competencies of the most critical positions in their company.  It's 2015.  The classroom matters, but there's this thing called Google...

    Why you need an LMS/technology solution to bootstrap and make learning matter.  There's only one of you, right?  Then you're going to need to use technology to make your L&D initiatives look bigger than they really are and deliver the way the end user wants---just in time, on the device your employee is using.  You don't have to break the bank... we'll show you what to look for.

    5 ways to effectively market your L&D/training function to look fabulous as a Talent Leader.  You could build the best L&D machine in the world and there's a good chance nobody would notice.  We'll show you the 5 biggest lessons you can learn from marketing and how to put them into play as you build your training function.

    A roadmap for how to effectively optimize your training strategy to positively influence turnover and retention in your workforce.  This just in: Some people aren't going to leave---ever. That means you've got choices to make related to how you spend the limited L&D budget you have.  We'll show you how to do that

    You know ramping up your Learning & Development function has been on your "to-do" list for too long.  Join us on Thursday, April 23rd at 2pm EDT for Bootstrap Your Training Function: 5 Ways To Make Learning Matter In Your Company, and we'll jump start your planning process and help you get things done in 2015!


    Not Haunted

    Take a look at the pic on the right side of this post. A 'For Lease' sign spotted in the French Quarter in New Orleans the other day.

    Pretty funny and clever bit of advertising by the leasing agent. It is always kind of refreshing to see something so familiar, like a 'For Lease' sign, taken in a slightly or even entirely new direction. 'For Lease' signs are everywhere, they tend to kind of blend in to the surroundings like so many other aspects of the urban landscape. But this one, with the 'Not Haunted' sign stood out. In fact, in the five minutes I was standing near the sign, at least 4 or 5 other folks stopped to take the same pic of the sign that I did.

    It is pretty easy to see something like the 'Not Haunted' sign and have a reaction along the lines of 'Look at this example, HR/Business professional, and try to make your communications, job ads, emails etc. more punchy so that folks will stop and actually read/remember them.'

    But I think you also need to be careful with that kind of approach and advice. You can reasonably go two ways with dropping the equivalent of a 'Not Haunted' in your standard communications.

    The first way is that you actually do get folks to stop and notice your communication or job ad with some kind of edgy line or element. Just like people stopped on the street to laugh at and take pictures of the sign, mostly tourists that had no intention of actually inquiring about the apartment lease, your folks, many of whom that might not be in your target audience, will stop and notice/engage with your content.  That is a win, mostly, but only a win if you have built up at least some credibility and trust as a communicator, and your moment of edginess has at least some context to support it. The 'Not Haunted' sign works in the French Quarter of New Orleans because in that place, themes of strangeness, weirdness, voodoo, and general fun prevail. 'Not Haunted' fits there. 

    And that takes us to the other way the equivalent for you of something like 'Not Haunted' can turn out, as something that seems completely out of place, or creates a suggestion or an implication of an experience that you can't deliver. If you suddenly start punching up job ads will all manner of clever and newly invented titles, edgy statements of company culture, and describe the ideal candidate in some kind of a combination of rock star, champion athlete, and Don Draper-level creative, you run the risk of coming off as a little bit insincere, and trying a little too hard.

    'Not Haunted' works on the New Orleans sign because it fits the context, it's quick to digest, and it shows that the communicator understands the place and the mindsets of their audience. It's easy to tell folks they should be more clever and funny in their communications. It's much harder to do well. And it's even harder than that to do it quickly and concisely.

    Take a lesson from the 'Not Haunted' sign sure, but make sure that lesson is that great, funny, memorable communications are a job for real pros. Like Don Draper maybe.

    Have a great Tuesday!


    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 209 - Castlight and Enterprise Healthcare Management

    HR Happy Hour 209 - Castlight and Enterprise Healthcare Management

    Recorded LIVE from the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference April 9, 2015

    Hosts: Steve Boese, Trish McFarlane

    Guest: Maeve O'Meara, VP Products Castlight Health

    Listen to the show HERE 

    US organizations spend about $620B annually on employee health and benefits programs and up to 30% of this enormous spend is wasted according to some estimates. For most employers, health and benefits is a Top 3 cost, but most have also only managed these as costs, i.e., as needing to be controlled, managed down, and to be shifted more to employees in the form of greater employee contributions towards care and benefits. But for many organizations, employee benefits have moved from a cost to be managed towards an important asset to be leveraged for employee well-being and organizational success. 

    Today on the show, Steve was joined by Maeve O'Meara, VP Products from Castlight Health, an HR technology solution provider that has created a platform for what is becoming known as 'Enterprise Healthcare Management'. The Castlight platform helps employees access and utilize benefits and health programs and provides them better information, educational resources, and transparency to guide them in actively managing their care. For employers, the platform provides rich analytics about employee use of benefits, trends that are impacting and indicative of workplace challenges and tools to better predict what will happen next with employee benefits utilization. This leads to better experiences for employees and better outcomes for employers.

    You can listen to the show on the show page here, or using the widget player below:

    Check Out Business Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Steve Boese Trish McFarlane on BlogTalkRadio


    And of course you can listen to and subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, or via your favorite podcast app. Just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to download and subscribe to the show and you will never miss a new episode.

    Thanks to Maeve and Castlight Health for joining us!


    By the time you catch Google as a 'Top Place to Work', it may already be too late

    Here's a quick note of caution for any employers chasing 'Top' of 'Best' of 'Most Amazingly Fantastic' organizations to work for lists - the kinds of lists that are almost always topped by legendary companies like Google, courtesy of a recent piece on Business Insider titled In terms of 'prestige', Google is now a 'tier-two' employer, says recent Comp-Sci grad.

    A quick excerpt from the piece, then some comments from yours truly, (it is my blog after all):

    When Google offered a recent grad from a top CS program a job, the new grad said no.

    That despite monthly compensation of $9,000, including a housing stipend.


    In an email, the engineer gave us four reasons:

    • "Lower pay after tax. Housing stipend is taxed more, and several places pay more than Google. That being said, Google is still very competitive. Google's full time offer is very average (105k starting salary) and the best startups pay more."
    • "Less interesting work. It's a large tech company. The impact I'd have is minimal."
    • "Lower prestige. Outside of tech, and maybe within average CS students, Google is the place to go if you're one of the smartest engineers. However, within top CS students, it's not considered that great. Probably tier two in terms of prestige and difficulty to get an internship. I have lots of friends barely passing their CS courses that are interning there. Saying you intern at Google just doesn't get you that much respect."
    • "Less upside. For full time specifically, you get equity at a startup. If it IPOs, you make millions if you're one of the first 100-1000 employees.

    Lots to take in there but the gist is pretty clear - at least according to this Comp-Sci grad, even one of the most highly lauded top companies in the world isn't immune to being 'topped' by competitors for the best, most sought after kinds of talent. If Google, with it's history, success, mythos, and bucketfuls of cash is getting beat out (at least in the perceptions) of top recruits, it reminds everyone that while chasing companies like Google might seem like a great strategy, it eventually is a failing one, since Google can't even keep up with Google, if that makes sense.

    But there is also one other nugget in that quote worth teasing out a little and that is the way this Comp-Sci grad talks about how he and his peers think about and talk about companies and workplaces. From the quote, there definitely seems to be an odd kind of peer pressure and one-upmanship going on with these recent grads. The desire not just to get a great offer and work on great tech and projects but to be able to brag to the other kids in Comp-Sci is pretty high on the list of desires for this group.

    Interesting stuff it seems to me, and a great reminder that no one, not even Google, is immune to competition, changing values, and the need to constantly be moving forward and re-inventing their value proposition in order to keep their lofty status on whichever 'Wonderful' Place to Work list you subscribe to.

    Have a great weekend!