A longtime friend of mine (at least in the world of HR social media) has just published a book and will be a speaker at SHRM18 in Chicago. I’m excited to catch up with Tim Sackett IRL (in real life) and talk HR, recruiting ... and sports.
Tim started out as a business partner and then became an educated and experienced HR professional, which has worked rather well in guiding his philosophies and decisions within HR and operations. His experience includes a fairly extensive background in recruiting and selection, mixed with some solid experience within the HR generalist world, including heavy employee relations, organizational development and training.
He also is a prolific writer in the HR and talent space, writing every day at his blog, the Tim Sackett Project, and this year, in conjunction with SHRM, Tim released his first book, The Talent Fix: A Leader’s Guide to Recruiting Great Talent (SHRM, 2018). Tim is married to a hall of fame wife and has three sons and a dog, Scout. In 2018, he was named one of the Global Influencers in HR Tech, which gives him mad street cred with his teenage sons on Twitter (@TimSackett). He is a lifelong workplace advocate for Diet Mt. Dew fountain machines, and he is considered the world’s foremost expert on workplace hugs.
What key highlights would an HR practitioner gain from reading your book? Why do you think that?
I like to believe that at heart I’m an HR generalist. I know a little about a lot! I take pride in that I can work to design a benefit plan, as I can work to design a talent acquisition [TA] strategy. Most of our organizations are struggling to find talent right now. My book helps HR and talent leaders find talent. So, you might not be “responsible” for recruiting talent for your organization today, but one day down the road you will be, and this book will help you. If you are in charge of recruiting talent for your organization, this book will help you right now.
Are there other key points from your session that are not in your book that you feel HR practitioners would learn from?
The session really has little to do with my book. The session was built on some really great experiences I’ve had in my career spending quality time with CEOs of major organizations. What I found when I was alone with them for a long time was they would let down their guard and just become real people. When that happened, we were able to have some real conversations about their true expectations of HR and TA in their organizations. Those expectations are the learnings, and they’re awesome!
What made you decide to write this book?
I knew I could write 500-word blog posts. I’ve written over 2,500 of those in my career. I didn’t know if I could write 55,000 words at one time. It was a challenge to myself. I’ve never been a big New Year’s resolution kind of person. In fact, I’ve never been a real goal-type person. I saw work. I did work. I wasn’t big on goal setting. My wife, on the other hand, is queen of goal setting! So, December 31, 2016, I made a New Year’s resolution to write a book in 2017. To help me keep that resolution, I signed a contract with SHRM. Turns out my wife is pretty smart! Setting goals works!
The Talent Fix is the answer to the question I get from more TA and HR leaders than any other, which is, “Tim, how would you fix this?” “This” is their talent acquisition strategy, and [the book is] how I would go about a step-by-step process, from the foundation to the best tech on the market, to build a world-class talent acquisition department. [It’s for] anyone who has any part of the hiring process—filled with tips and tricks on how you can attract more talent to your organization!
What is a book you’d recommend, other than your own, that HR folks would benefit from? It doesn’t have to be a straight HR book.
Oh, gosh, there are so many that have transformed my career. I don’t know if I have one favorite, but I have two favorite authors. Get any of their stuff and you’ll be captured. Malcolm Gladwell is someone I admire as a storyteller, and he challenges me to think differently and look at how I do HR differently, from a business and scientific perspective. Leo Buscaglia, “the love doctor,” is someone I found long ago. He has since passed, but his books live on. He’s a wonderful, brilliant, compassionate man who truly challenged me to be more empathetic as an HR leader. His books have nothing to do with HR and everything to do with people
Are there any other speakers you plan to see at SHRM18, and why?
I’m drawn to young practitioners. They might not be the most polished speakers right now, but their passion and energy is exciting to me. Plus, I tend to learn more from them, as they look at our crazy little HR world differently, being new. I love that! Also, I go and support all my friends who are speaking. It’s tough to get on stage and put your heart and soul out there for our profession. It’s great to see friendly faces in the crowd urging you on!
What is your can’t-miss recommendation for Chicago, other than the conference, of course?
I almost never miss the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM. It’s open 24 hours, so you can go anytime. I will tell you that I’ve been there many times after the bar! Best cupcakes on the planet!
Tim will be signing his book at the SHRMStore at 12:10 p.m. on June 18.