The Body Language of Joy
August 8, 2019
Show Notes: Episode 61 – HR in Nonprofits
August 12, 2019

Click here for this episode’s show notes.

This transcript was created using an automated transcription service and may contain errors.

Susan 0:10
Welcome to The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast, where we talk about embracing humanity in the workplace. I’m Susan White, a national HR consultant. With me is my co-host, JoDee Curtis, owner of Purple Ink, an HR consulting firm, and author of “JoyPowered®,” co-author of “The JoyPowered® Family,” and along with me, co-author of “The JoyPowered® Team.” In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about HR in nonprofits. We’ve heard from many of you, our listeners, that you’d like an episode where we talked about some of the differences and unique challenges for HR folks in not for profits. JoDee, I’ve been an active volunteer in a number of nonprofits and have several nonprofit clients, but I’ve never actually worked in HR in a nonprofit. How about you?

JoDee 0:53
Well, not directly. I also have been an active volunteer. I am the president of a nonprofit board right now that many days I feel like I work for, I’m doing a lot of HR work for, but technically, no, I’ve not been an employee of one before.

Susan 1:11
Alright. Well, the good news is a little bit later we’ve got a guest coming in who is very experienced in this arena. So very excited. Before we go there, though, I thought it was important that we talk about an article called “The Differences in the Roles of HR in Profit and Nonprofit Organizations,” by Paul Reyes-Fournier on Paul raised four areas that he feels differentiates profit from nonprofit HR. JoDee, why don’t we go through those quickly?

JoDee 1:39
Yeah. So the first one he mentioned was rather than a focus on profitability, the HR person helps the organization and the people in it focus on the mission. I love that and I think it’s beautiful, although I know it’s a surprise to some people to understand that nonprofits have to make money too, right? So we can’t totally disregard that, that there’s, although it might not be about profitability per se, it might be about sustainability and the importance of helping the organization meet its mission and sometimes that we have to have money to do so.

Susan 2:22
I think that’s very fair. His second area of importance he felt that differentiated the two was that in a nonprofit, you have to think sometimes about staffing like a project manager, as often roles are funded by specific grants that end or they’re not renewable, and that could have a big impact on your ability to bring in staff, to keep staff.

JoDee 2:44
And not always have administrative staff there to support the teams or the organizations. It seems like in many, especially I think in smaller nonprofit organizations, people become more of a Jack of many trades, right? You have lots of different functions and need to step up to the plate. I was actually at a dinner last night in Indiana for the Best Places to Work dinner, and on my way out – which is a very fun and unique event, by the way – but on my way out, I ran into the HR Director of the HR Indiana Chamber who was running around like a volunteer, you know, so it made me think of our podcast that we were recording today, that she certainly was not serving in an HR capacity last night, but as, as an event worker at one of their biggest events of the year, probably the biggest event of the year.

Susan 3:49
I would think that nonprofit HR folks very rarely ever say, hey, that’s not my job, right? They just jump in, right?

JoDee 3:55
The third one is managing unpaid staff. Boy, we could probably do a whole ‘nother podcast on this topic, right, of working with volunteers, which has some very unique challenges of how to hold them accountable, of how to keep them motivated, how to keep them engaged. I think we struggle with that in – with our employees enough, right? Gallup says only a third of our employees are engaged, and they get paid. Right? So now you take that same concept on how do you keep people engaged as a volunteer?

Susan 4:34
Yeah, one of the nonprofit volunteer work that I do, I work with a fella that we’ve always worked together, and he often says, “Come on, Susan. You know, what’s the worst that can happen? They’ll fire us?” So I’m thinking oh, dear. That would be very tough to figure out how do I motivate and get people to grow in a role that they’re not getting paid for? Well, the fourth and final area of difference that Paul points out is you’ve got to be able, in the nonprofit world, to be able to recruit like the big boys, because you need to have talent in order to run your organization, just like the organizations you’re competing with in the for profit world that may have salary dollars that they can draw upon that are bigger and better, bonus, other perks to compete with this war on talent.

JoDee 5:19
Yeah. But I also think that’s an interesting topic, too. I think we hear about this in the media sometimes, for, like, the National Executive Directors or Presidents of nonprofits like the American Red Cross, right? Or…

Susan 5:35
I was gonna say like the NCAA.

JoDee 5:37
Oh, right. Right, right. So those big organizations that are nonprofits, that people get frustrated that, oh, I can’t believe they’re paying those people $200,000, $500,000, a million dollars for a nonprofit, but yet, those are large organizations that run like the big boys, right? And if they want to get in that top talent, it’s not just about paying them in the nonprofit space, they’re competing with CEOs and other leadership positions in the for profit space as well.

Susan 6:15
That’s right. So lots and lots of challenges, which makes us very lucky to have a subject matter expert today in the area of HR in the nonprofit world.

As you know, ratings and reviews on Apple Podcasts can help people find our show, so we’re setting a goal to have 25 ratings and reviews by the end of August 2019. We’d really appreciate it if you go out there and let us know what do you think of the podcast. And to add a little more JoyPower to this goal, we’re going to send one lucky reviewer a free copy of our new book, “The JoyPowered® Team.” So if you write a review, make sure you listen to our episode on September 9 to find out if you’ve won. Remember, to be eligible to win the book, you have to review us on Apple Podcasts by August 31. We’re excited to see your feedback.

It’s Nancy Ahlrichs, who in fact manages HR in a very vibrant nonprofit, as she is the Chief Talent Officer of United Way of Central Indiana. Nancy is an author, international speaker, and talent management expert who has deep experience in nonprofit, for profit, and self employment. Nancy is the author of three books: “Competing for Talent: Key Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Becoming an Employer of Choice,” “The Manager of Choice: Five Competencies for Developing Top Talent,” and “Igniting Gen B and Gen V: The New Rules of Engagement for Boomers, Veterans, and Other Long Termers.” Welcome, Nancy.

Nancy 7:40
Thank you. I’m so delighted to be here.

JoDee 7:43
We’re so thrilled to have you, Nancy. You truly are known in in our community as an expert in so many areas of not only HR and talent, but also specifically now in the nonprofit community as well.

Susan 8:00
Nancy, would you mind telling us a little bit about your role at United Way?

Nancy 8:04
Sure. This is actually my second tour of United Way. I was there for five years, away for five years working for a global leadership development firm, and then invited to come back, so I feel very honored. I’m responsible for talent management strategies, including recruiting and retention, change management, diversity and inclusion, team member and leader development, and succession planning. And other duties as assigned.

Susan 8:37
You’re what they call a boomerang employee.

Nancy 8:39
Yes, I am. I am. We have 110 employees at United Way, and I’m very fortunate to have what I regard as a complete and very strong team in talent management. I have a Director of Talent Management, I have a Manager of Talent Development and Performance, and I have a Talent Management Associate who’s also my Executive Assistant. So I’m very fortunate.

JoDee 9:05
Nice, great.

Nancy 9:06
And I can truly focus on strategy.

JoDee 9:08
Yeah. And as, as you just mentioned, you recently spent some time in the for profit area, but also earlier in your career you’ve spent time at for, for profit, so I think you’re a good resources for, resource for us to ask. Also, it’s not that you only understand the challenges in the nonprofit world, but you’ve faced them outside as well. So, but what are some of those unique challenges you see that HR leaders face in nonprofits?

Nancy 9:41
You know, you mentioned some of them earlier. Not for profits are typically thinly staffed, and so I would say that everyone wears multiple hats. I’ve joked that everyone has a job and a half or two jobs and so the people, people who you hire have to be very passionate about their work and they’re dedicated, because it’s not easy. I would say another difference is that you work within very specific budgets and overhead requirements. Where a for profit could go out and get a credit line and go over their budget, because they know somehow that sales are going to pick up and and they’ll be able to pay it back, a not for profit cannot do that, and so it requires a lot of ingenuity and creativity in terms of getting your goals done without having a budget that you can exceed, and it’s usually a tight budget, but I’ve found that people are remarkably creative. I think that that, you know, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. One of the things that you mentioned was at a lot of not for profits, there is at least an assumption they will be paid below market, and and so that tends to drive turnover, so you have to come up with strategies so that that doesn’t happen. And I will tell you that my solution after doing the math on what is the cost of turnover, you are not ahead by continuing to pay your employees below market. You, you keep making it up in late projects and things that you can’t do in projects that have to be pushed to the back because you don’t have somebody who’s ready to take it on or you have an opening. So we, we seek outside consultants to help us to price our jobs to be competitive with for profit, as well as not for profit. We can’t lead the market, we can sure be in the middle of it, right?

Susan 11:53
I think that’s probably very smart.

Nancy 11:55
It, well, it takes away that concern that people are leaving for more money. Whenever – I rarely have someone say that, but when they do, I always ask them, what aren’t we paying you enough to put up with? Almost always, it’s not the money that’s important, it’s what they’re having to deal with, whatever the challenge is. So those are some of the things that really stand out.

JoDee 12:19
Yeah. And Nancy, you touched on this for a second about keeping overhead low. I – maybe share a little bit more with our listeners about that, that, that nonprofits are sort of held accountable to not… donors don’t want to think that their dollars are going to the HR team, they want to think that they’re going directly to the the beneficiary. So can you share a little bit more on that too?

Nancy 12:51
Sure. Well, at United Way we are held to a ceiling of about 14% overhead, and that is very tight, very tight. Many organizations, especially for profit organizations, might allow up to even 35% overhead, so that’s, that’s a tremendous difference. And it means that we do have to be pretty ingenious in terms of how we keep our costs down. So you want to have job descriptions that are totally honest. This is not where you go to slow down in your career. Yeah, you are not slowing down. And I think if people walk in knowing that a lot is going to be asked of them, but that their effect on the community is is felt no matter their role, no matter if they’re in accounting or in HR or, or they’re in fundraising or in the delivery of whatever the service is for a lot of people, that’s like money. It really is.

Susan 13:53
Yeah. So Nancy, what strategies might a nonprofit HR leader need to navigate in recruiting and retention in a red hot hiring environment?

Nancy 14:06
Well, we certainly have one now.

Susan 14:08
We do.

Nancy 14:09
We do. And as I mentioned earlier, we benchmark our, our salaries, and, and that’s the start, because you have to be competitive. It is your, it’s your entree to even play. And I think that it may take some preparation to convince a board or the senior leadership that, that this will pay off, but it truly will. And we also, over time, we had evaluated our benefits against, again, the marketplace, and even our retirement benefits. And so we didn’t do it all at once, we did it over time, but we decided that there simply was no upside to having our employees leave because they needed to take care of their families, and they do. Of course, they do. So that’s something that, that we’ve done over time. And the next thing is that we post our job openings beyond our website. You certainly want put it on your website, but there are a lot of free sites that are very valuable, as well as, of course, Charitable Advisors that everyone looks at to see what might be going on in the not for profit world in terms of new positions. Now, no organization could pay to post all of their openings, so you’re choosy about what you think you would have the best result from by posting there.

Susan 15:37
Do you mind sharing what free ones do you tap into? Depends on the job, I’m sure.

Nancy 15:41
Well, we aren’t – we have some other goals that we’re trying to achieve through recruiting. We have diversity and inclusion goals, and so we tend to seek out websites that will help us to be exposed to diverse candidates. So one is Ascend. Ascend is very focused on new graduates, and just because it’s that generation, they’re much more diverse, and depending on the position, they would be appropriate candidates. We also use the Asian American Alliance. 4% of our employees currently are from different parts of Asia, and it really helps us because that’s, that, especially the Indian population in Central Indiana is much larger than most people realize. We need to mirror the community we serve and so that becomes very important. Easter Seals Crossroads helps us with exposure to veterans as well as individuals who have disabilities who could be very qualified for our positions. The Indiana Latino Institute is an organization that has a lot of referral sources and it has all of the Latino and Hispanic leaders in the community, or so many of them, we know that having a better relationship with them, sharing our job openings is going to help us to enter that market. The National Black MBA association is one that we happen to have the current local president as one of our employees, and we have a past president as one of our employees, so that’s an organization that we have a good relationship with, and depending on the level of hiring, they have absolutely the right candidates for us. And last but not least, the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, because at United Way, while the nation is about 3.5% reported LGBTQ citizens, we’re at 7% self identified, and these are some of our most important employees. So those are organizations that we always post with. We also ask our own employees not only for referrals and, and we give $100 referral bonus, and we find that that anyone who is referred and hired tends to stay longer, they ramp up faster, and they’re more productive on the job, so it’s really worth having reminding our employees to keep your eyes open for the people who are excited by change, want to build, enjoy a fast paced environment, and are accountable, responsible people. But last but not least, we also post to Facebook and LinkedIn and we ask our employees to repost our positions to their accounts, and then that doesn’t cost you anything, and they have their own networks, and if you have the kind of people you’d like to clone, they’re going to get exposure to, for their friends.

JoDee 18:59
I think you’ve just given us a whole list of ways that nonprofits can be more creative. You mentioned earlier about having a lower budget or an administrative cap, it kind of forces you or should force you to be more creative. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of any organization, for profit or nonprofit, being that intentional about where they are posting positions. So even if you’re not a nonprofit, there was an amazing list of organizations that, that Nancy just mentioned, or even if many of our listeners are not in the Indiana area, but looking in your, who can you partner with in your city or in your state to do that, so bravo to you, Nancy, and to the United Way for seeking out those opportunities to post. We’ve also talked on a previous podcasts about employee referral bonuses, and now that’s a very common offering for companies to have, but yet, a very – I forget our statistics, unfortunately, now, but how low usage that is, because employees forget they have it, right? Or companies assume that, well, our employees love working for us, so if they know someone, of course they’re going to tell their friends, but they don’t. Right? We have to remind them, we have to ask them. I know we tell all of our clients, do you ask your employees to post this on your LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter? Because that’s what we’re going to do at Purple Ink, and this is your company, so you should be posting this too. And did you catch Nancy’s comment? It’s free. It’s free. Yes, yes, so well done.

Nancy 21:06
And I would like to add one more tool for recruiting for not for profits, and it’s your culture. Your website gives you, a potential job seeker a view into your culture, if you let them. So the photos that you have are very important. Posting your benefits is very important. Having an easy way for them to find your job openings. Don’t bury it several clicks in. Try to show your space. You know, I know Purple Ink is not a not for profit, but you have fabulous space here, and it lends itself to being photographed. And so if you can also show a diverse array of your employees doing what they do, whether it’s a fun event or they’re working, you also help people to see themselves and say, you know, I would fit in here. More than half of, if you, if you track who goes to your website, even the websites typically are built for donors or for recipients of services in not for profits. In every case that I know of, more than half of the people who go to your website are, in fact, job seekers. So you need to keep that in mind. It is a tremendous tool. It either pulls them in and attracts or repels them. And it would be good to ask some of your new hires, tell us about your experience with our website. Did you find what you were looking for? Clearly, they’re there. They’ve been hired, but it’s interesting, they may give you very powerful tips on how to improve your website for job seekers.

JoDee 22:50
Yeah, love it.

Susan 22:51
Glassdoor just released a report, 2019 Recruiting and Hiring Stats, and there they said that 35% of all job applicants at some point during the process are going to go and look at your website, because they want to learn more about your culture and see things, identify themselves there. So I think it’s great advice you’re giving, Nancy.

JoDee 23:10
Yeah, actually, I’m disappointed that it’s not higher than 35%. But also going back to your statistic, Nancy, about the number of people that come to your website, I’m not sure exactly what that statistic is for for profits, but I know that I think it’s at least 50% as well. And the same thing for them, they think, oh, we’re designing this website so people know how to find out about our products and services, and yet the majority of the users are job seekers.

Nancy 23:44
It is the same for for profits. It is, it is, and the way that it’s tracked is what page do they go to first? Where do they go first? And if they go to careers first, there you got it.

JoDee 23:57
Right. That’s what they’re looking for. So Nancy, are there any special regulations that HR teams need to comply with in nonprofits?

Nancy 24:08
I would tell you no. And that it’s very important, especially for someone who is moving up in the organization, they have HR responsibilities, and they may think, because people may actually say, oh, we’re just a not for profit, and as a reason to do or not to do things. From a legal standpoint, you’re going to be held responsible as any for profit would be, depending on the size of your organization. And so I would tell anyone who has HR responsibilities, join IndySHRM, and also, even if you have to pay for it yourself, get a membership with the national SHRM organization so you have access to research, you can look it up and find out am I doing the right thing? What might be some other strategies? I think that most of us who have been in human resources for a long time, we use both IndySHRM as a resource and a peer group, as well as the national SHRM research. So if someone tries to tell you that no, no, now you don’t have to do that, we’re just a not for profit, be very wary and look it up or call someone in your peer group, because chances are pretty good that you’re held to exactly the same legal standards as a for profit.

JoDee 25:37
I think that’s good advice, Nancy, and also just to help people be aware, SHRM is the Society of Human Resource Management, but you don’t actually have to be an HR professional to be a member. So if your nonprofit doesn’t have a designated HR person, or the Executive Director or the CFO or the Office Manager is handling HR functions, you can still be a member of, and join.

Susan 26:09
Marvelous advice. Nancy, what do you think the best part is of working in HR at a nonprofit?

Nancy 26:16
I know it sounds trite, but it is the people. It is the, the, just the sheer energy level that people have every day that they bring to their work. We tend not to attract people who are just there for a paycheck. That is… in the, my two tours I can count them on one hand, and they were taken aback by the dedication and the passion of everyone around them, and because they never experienced that before. And I will tell you that as much as I did enjoy my five years away in a terrific organization, that every day, I am reminded that everyone at United Way is there for the mission. That’s, that’s why they are there. And I had an interesting conversation with someone who was in accounting, and it was the end of a very long day, and I knew he had not had a good day, and I said, well, you know, Leland, how are you doing? And he said, oh, I’m going to be fine. And I said, well, I know you had a hard day. He said, yes, he said, but you know what, at the end of any day like this, I know I could have had a hard day anywhere, but I had a hard day here, and I made a difference for the community. That makes all the difference for me. That’s why I come back. So that kind of approach is very energizing to me, because of course I have crazy full days. And then so and there are times where I have to remind myself, hey, you made a difference today, even beyond the immediate people who you’ve been working with before, because of what they do in the community.

JoDee 28:02
Yeah, that’s beautiful. Beautiful story. So when, Nancy, as you mentor and advise HR professionals, and by the way, I know you do that, because when I was starting Purple Ink, I reached out to you, and I’m not sure I’ve ever told you or said how thankful I am for the advice and counsel you gave to me early in my business, so thank you. But what would you tell those who are considering going into HR at a nonprofit and maybe how they should prepare themselves, if anything different?

Nancy 28:39
I am frequently approached by people who know that my background is not purely not for profit, and they’re very interested in transitioning sectors, and the first thing that I tell them is to be prepared for a fast paced environment, that if their assumption is that this is where you go to coast to retirement, it’s not going to happen. You’re likely no matter what your role is to wear many hats, it’s going to require every bit of knowledge, every brain cell you have, because you do have to be creative within tight budgets. And they may not be used to having a tight budget, or perhaps not having an administrative assistant, or sharing an administrative assistant, when they were used to having one who was dedicated to them. I think it’s important to take a look at if you’re going into HR, there is a wonderful resource through Charitable Advisors, the HR peer group, and I think that that they not only bring in speakers to speak to not for profits about not for profits, but you have an automatic group that you can bounce things off of, and that, that can be very, very helpful. I do think the larger peer group that you might have through IndySHRM is very valuable also. And that you need to have that peer group for your for your transition. I think it’s important to absolutely believe in the mission of the organization. If you think yeah, it’s fine, you’re never going to make it, because the passion of the people around you, you will notice the contrast. And – but on the good side, attitudes are contagious. And so when people are very passionate about the mission, it, it helps energize you too. Aligning all of the HR processes and procedures around supporting the mission will be something new if, if that’s what you’re transitioning into. But I think that it makes for a very positive culture overall, and you get to be a key player in creating that culture.

Susan 31:01
Wonderful. Nancy, what else do we need to know?

Nancy 31:07
I think that the not for profit world is one that is a very good one for transitioning into. I think a lot of people can bring their knowledge that they have from other environments, because there’s so much change going on in the not for profit world. All of us are looking at how can we drive revenue through different channels? Well, you have that in the for profit world. We’re looking at recruiting and retention, how do we attract and keep the best employees? Almost every organization recognizes that culture is a key bottom line effecting tool. And so if you haven’t done much studying on change or culture, I think it would be a good idea because you frequently would be the only resource to others in the organization on those two subjects. And there’s so critical right now. It’s a very competitive environment, not only for people but also for dollars. And I think that this is truly HR’s time to affect everything about the organization in a way that in the past, perhaps IT did, or operations, and we’ve, we’ve made those changes and now it’s HR’s turn.

JoDee 32:33
Nice. Well said. Nancy, how can someone reach out to you if they would like to have you speak in an event or buy one of your books?

Nancy 32:42
Okay. Well, I can easily be reached at the United Way website, And my books are out of print now, actually, I wrote them all in the early 2000s. So you can get a real bargain on Amazon. The research still stands, I could update it, and I’ve just literally been too busy. I have a few other books up here. But I would be happy if somebody just cannot find a book, I probably have it, they can reach out to me.

JoDee 33:24
Very nice.

Susan 33:25
We’re so glad you came today and you really enlightened us in HR in the non for profit world.

JoDee 33:30
Yes. Thank you. It’s been a pleasure.

Nancy 33:32
Well, it’s been a pleasure for me too. Thank you very much.

Susan 33:37
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JoDee, I know we both make concessions in our pricing for nonprofits when we’re hired to do consulting with them. I actually learned that from you, and why did you start?

JoDee 34:37
Well, I am – I do it for three reasons. Number one, as you know, Nancy mentioned earlier nonprofits typically have much tighter budget constraints around their administrative costs, so I try to help them with that. Number two, I do it because I believe in their missions, or if I didn’t believe in their missions, I wouldn’t give the discount.

Susan 35:01
You would charge double!

JoDee 35:02
That’s right! I want Purple Ink to be a part of their success in doing that as well. And for selfish reasons as well, many times when you’re working with a nonprofit, you’re getting exposure to board members who are working for for profit organizations, so it can be an opportunity to earn their business as well.

Susan 35:27
That’s great. I have to tell you that the very first nonprofit that I worked for when I started my consulting business about five years ago, Executive Director asked me to put together a training program on how to do performance reviews, you know, first of all, it’s like how to, how to – these people had never had a performance review system before, they created one and they just wanted training on how to do it. So I got, learned all about the organization and the people and I just really got into it, got into their mission. So I went and I did it, and at the end of it, I sent my invoice, and the executive director said, Susan, I’m sorry, but I know you put a lot more time and money in it, and if you don’t go home, and if you don’t change, if you don’t increase the amount on this, I’m going to feel guilty ever calling you again. I want to work with you, so go back and give me a realistic invoice. So I have continued to work with these folks on and off over the last five years, and I still, crazy about them and their mission, but I do charge, you know, maybe not my normal rate, but I charge a rate that they think is fair, and I know is more than fair.

JoDee 36:28
Yeah. Yeah. Well said.

Susan 36:31
So this has been a great topic. I think I’ve learned a lot. I just want to put out the request to any of our listeners who work in nonprofit HR. If you have any other insights that you want to share with the rest of our JoyPowered® listeners, we would love to hear from you.

JoDee 36:44
Yes. So Susan, we have a listener question today. This question came from a listener in Nashville. She says, “I’m reading more about digital interviews and one way interviews. It feels a bit impersonal and not very JoyPowered® to me, and I wonder if we start using them, we might alienate great candidates who aren’t comfortable videotaping themselves. What do you think?”

Susan 37:13
Yeah, I’ve been talking about this for quite a while. Back when I worked in corporate America, at the very end of my stay there, we just started using Hire-vue, H-I-R-E dash V-U-E, for select jobs, and they’re just one vendor who provides the option of doing digital interviews. So the candidate would get email once we pre-screened them, and they would get an email that had a link in there that had up to 10 questions where the candidate could then record themselves answering those questions. We always had a timeline, three to five days, that they had to have it done. We gave them unlimited practices, and you can decide when you’re using it, whatever vendor you use, how many practices you want to allow the candidate to use, but they would then record themselves when they were happy with it. Within that three to five days, they could push the complete button and send it back to the recruiter, who would then look at all of the videos together and decide who to invite in for on-sites. The positives, you know, there are positives and negatives to everything. The positive I see is that it really does reduce some of that bias that you can get when a recruiter talks to candidate after candidate over a pretty spread out period of time. This way, they’re looking at all the candidates in a row and they’re getting a chance to make that decision without, you know, anything in between clouding their mind or, or their memories. I do think that it’s pretty efficient for those recruiters. But as the candidate and as this person wrote in, I do think that it can feel kind of weird, especially the first time when you’re recording yourself over and over again, and then you send it off into the netherworld and you don’t really have that human connection. And I so I think you have to really think about the pros and cons and is that going to work for you. Maybe you try it out in a small segment of your population and then talk to the candidates, what are, what are their reactions? The world today, so many folks are so much more digitally equipped and comfortable, it may turn out to be good answer for you. A competitor to Hirevue is SparkHire, and I’m sure there’s many more others out there. I’ve actually experimented with SparkHire, and I did feel funny at first, but eventually I got comfortable with videotaping myself. What about you, JoDee?

JoDee 39:22
So we have also worked with SparkHire, and I think it’s a great vendor and a great tool, but from the candidate perspective, we had some struggles as well. I have to admit, I – one of the reasons why I went to work with them was for efficiency, that it would be much easier for us, I thought it would be faster, I – your concept of it being less biased, I think can be true as well. But you know, in such a tight labor market, what we found is that many of our candidates just didn’t do it, and if they had other opportunities and they felt uncomfortable doing a videotape, they just skipped it.

Susan 40:07
Wow, they can opt out.

JoDee 40:08
Right, right. So we actually lost some candidates in the process as well. So again, I think I’m with you. There’s pros and cons to doing it, it can be much more efficient. Sometimes if the candidates are comfortable with it, it can actually be more efficient for them as well. Right? But if they’re not comfortable with it, you might just lose them as a candidate altogether.

Susan 40:35
Great point.

JoDee 40:36

Susan 40:36
So in the news, a March 8, 2019 HR Morning article by Lynn Cavanaugh highlighted that candidates are getting more aggressive negotiating salaries. Lynn cited a recent Robert Half report that reported that half of professionals, or 55%, tried to negotiate a higher salary with their last employment offer. That’s a 16 point increase from the same question asked a year ago. Through different research, Robert Half found 70% of senior managers said they expect some back and forth on salary, and about six in 10 are more open to negotiating compensation than they were a year ago. You know, I do often have people I’m working with or coaching through a job search say, Susan, do you think they expect me to negotiate? What do you think, you know?

JoDee 41:24
Well, there’s your number.

Susan 41:26
I know! I always say, you know what, we don’t want to leave something on the table, so if you’re – if you have anything that you want, let’s ask for it before they accept, because your negotiating power goes to zero after you sign on, so let’s think about it.

JoDee 41:41

Susan 41:41
JoDee, there were two other Robert Half findings of interest that Lynn reported on. 68% of males employees try to negotiate pay versus 45% of women.

JoDee 41:53
Yeah. Come on, women, step up your game. We just heard that that 60% of those hiring managers are open to that.

Susan 42:03
More professionals ages 18 to 34, or 65%, asked for higher compensation compared to those ages 35 to 54, where only 55% did, and then aged 55 and older, only 38% asked for more. I’m thinking as baby boomers need to think, rethink this.

JoDee 42:22
That’s right. That’s right. I always tell people it doesn’t hurt to ask. Right? You need to ask in a professional way, in a thoughtful way, not demanding it or not expecting it, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Susan 42:39
And we actually have a podcast, one of our earlier ones, we’d encourage you to look at called “Successful Salary Negotiations.” We also picked that up, that particular episode and dropped it into a combined “Launching your Job Search and Negotiating Salary.” We hope they’ll help you do it, you know, artfully.

JoDee 42:55

Susan 42:56
So finally, you know, Lynn said why is negotiating Easier today than it has been in the past? And what she says is because number one, there’s increased competition for highly skilled workers, and then secondly, because there’s a lot more access to salary information via the internet than there ever has been in the past.

JoDee 43:12
Right, right. So I think the the benefit of that is then employees can support their, their need for that. This is what I’m finding, this was what the market value is, they can come with some data to support their increase.

Susan 43:30
Exactly, which is can be very powerful. Well, great. Well, thank you so much.

JoDee 43:35
Thank you and have a JoyPowered® day.

Susan 43:39
Please tune in next time. Thank you for listening today. If you’ve missed any of our podcasts, you can catch all episodes for free on iTunes, Google Play, Podbean, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts by searching on the word “JoyPowered.” If you like our podcast, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any upcoming episodes. And we’d love for you to rate and review us on iTunes. It helps people find our show. If you have any questions on any HR topics, you can leave us a voicemail at 317-688-1613 or email us at We’re also on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter @JoyPowered. We welcome listener questions and comments.

Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily works behind the scenes at JoyPowered, helping to edit and publish the books, producing the podcast, and running the website and social media.

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