#HRevolution Returns in November!

by Matthew Stollak on Monday, March 24, 2014

Are you ready for HRevolution 2014?

Since 2009, HRevolution has been creating unique opportunities for HR professionals, recruiters, consultants, and vendors to come together to discuss and debate the future of HR.

This year we are celebrating our fifth anniversary by taking the event back to its roots. We have been gathering your feedback regarding location (you can still share your feedback regarding topics here) and are excited to announce where HRevolution 2014 will take place!

HRevolution 2014
Symbolist Headquarters in Grapevine, TX
November 7th-8th, 2014

As you may be aware, HRevolution is a ground-breaking event in both content, format, and delivery of ideas that are key to the practice of human resources.  HRevolution is not your typical conference either.  Our main purpose is to grow your professional and personal network. You will network with 100 of the brightest and most innovative leaders in the industry. Other benefits include:

*Fully participatory sessions
*Opportunity for participants to bring work issues to debate and discuss
*Workable solutions you can take home to your organization
*Increased reach - since HRevolution is fully integrated with social platforms, you will be reaching hundreds of thousands of professionals

Session highlights from previous years: 
  • HR Improv - an entertaining way to ensure you have your presentation skills up to par
  • Live action case study and problem solving with an actual organization's recruiting leader
  • Sessions on the latest trends in HR technology and how we do HR on a daily basis
  • And more!
We are also seeking sponsors. If you are interested in helping us keep HRevolution affordable for attendees and sharing your message with senior leaders in the HR and recruiting space, please reach out and we can discuss. Previous sponsors include SumTotal Systems, Ceridian, Monster, and other industry leaders. 

Look for ticket sales to open in a few weeks.  Space is limited to 100 people, so be sure to grab your ticket early!

Snappy Answers to Stupid HR Questions

by Matthew Stollak on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Like most 8-12 year old boys growing up in the 1970s, I was an avid reader of Mad Magazine.  From Alfred E. Newman to Spy vs. Spy, Don Martin, and the Fold-In Back Cover, I looked forward to every issue.

One of my favorite regular features was Al Jaffee's "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions."  For a shy boy, I always wished I had the audacity to have the snarky comeback that Al Jaffee provided.

Like most professions, HR is not immune to receiving some ridiculous queries.  In that vein, here is the first edition of "Snappy Answers to Stupid HR Questions:"

Q: (after the company had a poor year)  Will I be getting a raise this year?

A1:  Yes, when you get back to your desk, your chair will be raised two inches higher

A2: Yes, we raise our glasses to you to celebrate your departure.  You've been laid-off.

A3: Raise?  We prefer to call it a zero adjustment approach.

A4.  The whole company is...we're razing the building next week.

A5. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Given my weak responses, what would be your answer? 

If you have other ridiculous questions, send them to me at mstollak@gmail.com.   I'll try to provide some snappy answers in the future.

On the Billion Dollar Bracket

by Matthew Stollak on Monday, March 17, 2014

Its my favorite week of the year....spring break combined with what should be national days off - the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday and Friday.

I'm sure many of you are researching heavily trying to put together your winning bracket.  Others are going to adopt a "Go By The Gut" approach.

Every year many sites sponsor a prize for the top bracket.  This year is different.  Quicken Loans, in conjunction with Warren Buffet, are offering a $1 billion prize (If you win, you can take $25 million a year for 40 years or a $500 million check right away) if you are able to put together a perfect bracket.  That means one has to pick all 32 opening round games correct, all Sweet 16 games, the Elite 8, the Final Four, and the championship game - 63 games in all.

Is Buffett taking a risk?

The odds of putting together a perfect bracket are 1:9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (9 quintillion to 1).  To win the $400 MegaMillions jackpot is just a mere 1 in about 258.9 million.

Most (if not all) brackets will be finished by 6 p.m. on Friday.

But, let's say the truly unlikely happens and one gets to the National Championship game with his/her perfect bracket intact?

Buffett says he isn't worried about individuals fixing the games. 

However, if $500 million was on the line:
  1. How do you not hedge (i.e. if you pick MSU to win it all against Michigan) by placing a bet on Michigan just in case?  Would your mortgage your house?   What kind of loan could you possibly get to bet against your pick (just to be safe)?  1 million? 5 million? 10 million? More?
  2. Would you offer every player on Michigan several million dollars to throw the game?
I'd like to see someone get to that point just to see what kind of scrutiny and pressure would be put on that result.

On Religious Liberty Laws and Transparency

by Matthew Stollak on Thursday, February 27, 2014

So, Arizona Senate Bill 1062 was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer last night, under pressure from businesses, strong voices on the Left, and even members of her own party.

The purpose of SB1062, and others that all seemingly came up at the same time around the nation (I see you ALEC), is to "guarantee that all Arizonans would be free to live and work according to their faith."  Further, the bill would have expanded the definition of the free exercise of religion, allowing a faithful person to adhere to his or her beliefs in practice. It would have also expanded the definition of "person" to include any business, association and corporation.

Part of me is disappointed it was vetoed.

Not because I think the bill was a good piece of legislation, but because it provided one practical piece of information to me as a consumer - transparency.

We live in a world of crowdsourcing.    When I hand back an exam in class, students compare scores to see how they did.   We turn to Yelp or Urbanspoon to see if a restaurant is worthwhile.  We click on TripAdvisor.com to check the ratings on a particular hotel.  We join Angie's List to find a handyman.  We read the reviews on Amazon.com to see if a product is worth buying.  Glassdoor has made its name on employee reviews of the company at which they work.  We check consumerreports.org before buying a new car.  We turn to our friends for their opinion on a movie we'd like to see.  We want as much information as possible so we can minimize the likelihood of buyer's remorse.

What might occur if SB1062 (or bills like it) had passed?

Imagine the first instance where a wedding photographer denies service to a same-sex couple,a mattress company refuses to sell a bed to a same-sex couple, or a hotel clerk denies a room, all under the protection of religious freedom.

Will this likely be swept under the rug?  More likely, the following would occur:
*The couple would post the interaction on "The Knot"

*There would be Facebook posts, both on the couple's individual page, as well as that of the photographer or mattress company.
*Comments might be left on the company website.
*Someone's Twitter feed might light up.
*The complaint might appear at Consumerist.com

Forget about lessons learned from Jim Crow laws, or lunch counter sit-ins, look to the Susan G. Komen controversy regarding Planned Parenthood.  Or, look at the strong response this week to Kelly Blazek, head of the Cleveland Jobs Bank and her unfortunate scathing e-mail to a potential job seeker.  

Would not a similar firestorm erupt when that baker claims religious liberty when he or she refuses to put a same-sex topper on the wedding cake?

In the end, legislation such as SB1062 gives me yet another piece of information about the merchant and whether I have the desire and freedom, religious or not, to spend my money with him or her.

So what difference does it make?
so what difference does it make?
it makes none, but now you have gone
and your prejudice won't keep you warm tonight

What Should Be In A Book About #HR Technology?

by Matthew Stollak on Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yesterday, my good friend Trish McFarlane was lamenting the poor state of HR Technology understanding amongst practitioners

I noted a few reasons:

Trish concurred and made a compelling point:

A 2013 SHRM Survey of 372 HR faculty (out of 1,723 invited to participate) backed this up, with 61% of faculty citing Human Resource Information Systems was a perceived deficiency in HR training offered to undergraduate HR students (Risk Management, and Mergers and Acquisitions were the 2nd and 3rd cited deficiencies).

However, a quick search of "HR Technology" on Amazon or the SHRM Bookstore provides, at best, a cursory or superficial look at the subject.

Given this background, what, ideally, would you see as a critical item or subject in a book on HR Technology?  Do you feel there is a quality book out there that I am missing?  Chime in.

Kelly Dingee (@sourcerkelly) - More Than A Sourcer #timsackettday

by Matthew Stollak on Thursday, January 23, 2014

Two years ago today, under the guidance of Laurie Ruettimann, Tim Sackett day was launched.  

#timsackettday is all about driving awareness for the HR/recruiting underdog. It's about the practitioner who works hard and doesn't have time for fancy lists and Forbes articles. We are celebrating a practitioner who is getting stuff done.

My story of how I met the initial recipient and holiday namesake, Tim Sackett, can be found here

Last year, the Tim Sackett Day honoree was none other than Paul Hebert 

This year's recipient is Kelly Dingee.  She goes by @sourcerkelly on Twitter...but she is so much more than that name.

I guess that would make her a sourcer-er.  Using her knowledge, skills, and abilities to help companies find the right person, she makes a magician break their wand and Magnum P.I. shave his mustache.

But, she is more than just a sourcer-er.  As she notes herself, she is "testing the limits of who I can find online."

Sourcer-est?  More like Sourcer-BEST!

If you want to learn more about Kelly, check out the links below:

My list of 444....

by Matthew Stollak on Tuesday, January 21, 2014

top HR bloggers?  Heck, No!

Instead, it is the number of articles that I have assigned to my HR Spring seminar beginning on Monday.  In fact, it may be more, since there are several e-books listed that contain a number of articles within them. Overkill?  Perhaps.

Most HR textbooks are not up-to-date on what HR professionals have been discussing over the past couple of years, and it is hoped that my students will be minimally conversant on the current hot topics, even if they have already been beaten to death (engagement, big data, gamification, etc.)

The students have already had at least one HR class, and the list is far from comprehensive, but I hope it gives them an idea of where HR has been, and where HR is going in 2014.

Check out the list here

Any critical articles that are must reads?