All Our Rowdy Friends

What would you do after conferencing all day?

Well we met Abby Cheesman, Katrina Kibben and Dawn Burke in a bar, grabbed some drinks and set up the mics to talk about SHRM Talent, the industry and the WTF moments we deal with everyday in the Recruiting Industry.

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Intro: When we were at SHRM Talent in Nashville, we found a bar, some rowdy friends and some microphones. Check it out.

Announcer: Hide your kids. Lock your doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinions and loads of snark. Buckle up, boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.

Joel: Welcome to the post-show, all nickname edition of the Chad and Cheese podcast. I'm Joel Cheeseman.

Chad: I'm Chad Sowash.

Joel: And we're gonna go around the table. Introduce everyone. This is sort of a star-studded cast of drinkers that we have at the table.

Chad: At this bar.

Joel: Reliving the days events and we thought it'd be fun to turn on the mics. And just talk about takeaways, highlights and whatnot. So, I'm going to start with the other Cheeseman at the table.

Chad: You're so biased.

Joel: I am. Abby introduce yourself for those who don't know and what you do and then pass the mic to Kibbles over here.

Abby: My name is Abby Cheeseman. No relation to Joel Cheeseman, although [crosstalk 00:01:17]

Joel: Thank god.[crosstalk 00:01:18]

Abby: I'm trying to crash his family reunion this summer and he's not having it.

Joel: She's showing up.

Katrina: It has to happen.

Abby: I'm comin'. We're all comin'.

Chad: You should.

Katrina: You are a Cheeseman. [crosstalk 00:01:25]

Joel: All Cheeseman are welcome. If you're out there listening. This is like a version of I am Legend. Cheesemans, if you're out there. [crosstalk 00:01:25]

Abby: So, calling Cheesmans. [crosstalk 00:01:25]

Katrina: Are there a lot of Cheesmans?[crosstalk 00:01:25]

Joel: Show up to the family reunion.

Abby: We think so. Indiana 2019.

Joel: 2019.

Abby: I'm Abby Cheesman, I'm co-founder at Skill Scout, where we make awesome workplace videos.

Chad: Awesome workpace videos. Place.

Katrina: I think they're better than awesome. But yeah, I'll give it to you.

Katrina: So, I'm Katrina Kibben, I'm the founder and CEO of Three Ears Media and I accidentally told Joel Cheesman my high school nickname, so now that's why he just announced me as Kibbles.

Abby: You're Kibbles?[crosstalk 00:02:06]

Chad: Kibbles. [crosstalk 00:02:06]

Joel: Kibbles. [crosstalk 00:02:06]

Katrina: That was my very unfortunate high school nickname.

Abby: Hey, I would lean into the pain. Lean into the pain.

Chad: Start using it yourself, then other people won't.

Joel: Yeah, that's what I'm thinking.

Abby: I like it.

Dawn: Hi, I'm Dawn Burke. My nickname is Bits.

Chad: Bits?

Joel: It is now, anyway.

Katrina: Well, I'm Kibble and she's Bits. Kibble and Bits, baby.

Joel: I actually like that, yes.

Dawn: Yeah, you know. Kibbles and Bits. So many thoughts, so little time. No, I'm Dawn Burke. I am the founder of Dawn Burke HR. HR consultancy, really help people understand the modern worker. How do we create recruiting and retention strategies for those folks? And also, of work with Katrina Kibben over at Three Ears Media.

Joel: The Kibbles over there. Three Ears Media.

Dawn: Oh my god. That totally works. You are Kibbles from now on, lady. Yeah, so that's what we do.

Joel: Dawn, let’s start with you. You presented and you've done the Smart Stage. So, what was your topic of interest?

Dawn: Well, I'll tell you what's really interesting. First of all, there's one person who's thrilled that I spoke here today. And that's my mother because now somebody's called me smart. She's been waiting for that for a very long time.

Chad: Wait a minute, we were...

Joel: Were you not hugged enough as a child?[ Like were you not called smart by your parents?

Chad: We were also on the Smart Stage and I think that's stretching things.

Joel: It was the ironic stage. The irony. The thick irony stage.

Dawn: The Smart Stage. I might call it the Smart-ish Stage.

Chad: We might go with that. The Smart Ass Stage.

Joel: That's good. I like that.

Dawn: Actually, let’s do a little set. I'm brilliant. I made a 24 on my ACT. Thank you, very much.

Abby: I don't remember what I made.

Dawn: So, anyway. So, I spoke on two things. I did the really sexy topic yesterday, and this was a general session, on pay transparency. People wanted to smoke a cigarette when they were done. It actually was really well received, and I'll tell you why. Pay transparency right now is- it's time has come. But the thing that I focus on, isn't just so much about what you need to do or why you should be transparent, but why is that relating to a good business practice with modern workers. That is a big piece to transparency, whether it's with pay, or anything else, it's a huge component to helping modern workers of all generations stay engaged. Feel like there's secrets not being kept from them.

Joel: Can you really deny it now, like if you do a job search on Google for jobs, they pull Glass Door data, they pull Zip Recruiter data, they pull Pay Scale data, for what a typical salary is for that job. So, aren't you just better off as an employer by revealing what the salary is instead of relying on third parties.

Chad: Just suck it up.

Dawn: One thousand percent. And that's what a lot of people still aren't getting. People know anyway. People know anyway. Get ahead of the pay narrative. Lets not let other people do that.

Chad: Well, I think bad optics in some cases, right, because they know that they're fucking people. I mean, so optics wise, they're like, we better get our shit together before we actually go transparent.

Katrina: I think what you did so well, I attended Dawn's session, and I think, and this is not kissing her ass cause she's the Bits, but

Joel: Totally kissing her ass.

Dawn: I'm the Bits.

Katrina: I think it's because she talks about why they're so scared in the first place. Right, we don't do it because we're scared as hell that someone's gonna find out that they aren't making as much as the person sitting next to them, and they're gonna get pissed and they're gonna quit. That's why you don't tell 'em. Straight up.

Dawn: Oh, we're talking about the internal employees. More than the candidates.

Katrina: Exactly. And so, from my perspective it's like, if they can address why they're scared in the first place, then they can actually do something. But if you don't talk about that, then you can't even get to the fixing part.

Joel: Cause what employers will tell you is they don't want to give a negotiating chip away, but no, its that they don't want the internal employees to get the pitchforks out and demand raises.

Chad: Oh, yeah!

Chad: And then the 75 or 79 cents on the dollar issue comes up as well, which is another reason why transparency is really sucks for these companies, because if you hire somebody in, even a few dollars lower at the ground level as they grow through the company and everybody gets these same percentage increases, it just widens. So, that pay gap widens.

Katrina: And one of the people in the audience asked Dawn that question. Why did you stay at a company for ten years if you knew you could make money somewhere else. And you know what she said? She looked them dead in the eye and she goes, "I was stupid."

Joel: Was this from the Smart Stage?

Dawn: No. That was from the general session, but that would have been good for the Smart Ass stage as you said.

Dawn: Well, and what also was a really interesting thing that I saw in the research is that, I think, this might have been a Career Builder survey, I'm not exactly sure, so don't quote me on that. But they did a survey last year that said that 56% of the respondents, the employers, said that they absolutely always offer a lower salary than they're willing to pay because they expect to negotiate. That's normal. That's not a big shocker. But the thing that was interesting was that 54% of the candidates that responded to this said that they never had any intention of negotiating. They don't, because they don't know how, because they're scared to, they hate it, or they're afraid they're going to come across as greedy.

Chad: And not get the job.

Dawn: Or not get the job. And so there's a disconnect there, where it's like, let's not play the game anymore.

Joel: It's like buying a car.

Dawn: It's just like buying a car. That's why we buy cars online now.

Chad: Which is the worst thing ever.

Joel: The podcast?

Chad: The podcast on buying cars, yes.

Joel: That is the worst podcast ever.

Dawn: So, yeah. That's what I talked about. But we really talked about, how does this translate into the a better engaging practice across the board as far as transparency in general. I find a lot of employers want to do better with pay transparency. They don't know how to start with that internal piece. They don't know how to start with how do we explain to people why there's been this change and they've got to figure that out and they need to be honest about it.

Katrina: Because you just said, money and transparency in the same sense and if that doesn't make an HR person crap their pants, I don't know what will.

Dawn: After the Nashville Hot Chicken especially.

Chad: Bias. They throw bias in there, and then they're really fucking everything up.

Dawn: And I know we've got lots of other things to talk about, I know - I'm totally hogging this mic - but you talked about the pay differential, one thing that really surprised me, the 79 cents on the dollar that a white woman makes on a white man is,

that's a pretty known. Hispanic women, it's 56 cents on the dollar. That blew my mind. I think African American women was 64 cents. 50 something cents on the dollar? Come

on. Everybody knows that's not right.

Chad: Yeah, they do, which is one of the reasons they don't want to be

transparent about it, because-

Dawn: We'll fix that.

Joel: So, Abby, you presented as well. What was your topic?

Abby: I did. Mine was using ethnography and empathy in job analysis. So we

talked, I shared a video. We filmed-

Joel: No. There was a video?

Abby: Yeah, we did. Imagine. I shared a video that we did with tower


Chad: Abby does video by the way.

Joel: HD.

Abby: I've done a couple. 1,400.

Dawn: That's amazing.

Abby: I know, right? So, a couple weeks ago. Actually it was like a month ago, we got to go to Houston, Texas and we got to climb towers with the people that go and build cell phone towers.

Joel: So, did you get to climb towers?

Abby: I did not. We flew a drone. They're compliance people. I had a videographer that was like, "I'll strap it on, I'll go, lets go." And they're like, "No, no. Sit down. Fly your drone."

Abby: But the whole point was immersing yourself in an experience of a job, so that you better understand it, so you can communicate it to candidates, so that you can make better decisions about who you're hiring and they can make self-selection in or self-selection out.

Joel: So, what's your opinion on VR.

Abby: I think that's the future.

Joel: Yes!

Abby: I do. I think the more-

Joel: Cheeseman.

Dawn: That's a true Cheesey. Cheesey, Cheesman.

Abby: I think that the more we can give a work sample, like I- experiencing a job before you apply is a really powerful thing for candidates. It's also a really powerful thing for companies, to be able to let a candidate try your job before they apply and before you buy them as an employee.

Joel: So, why hasn't it happened yet? Like, what are we waiting for?

Abby: It's expensive. So, I think video is like a baby step, right? It's a baby step in visualizing the job. So many companies are still just having text job postings. Only like 1% of job posting have visual on them.

Katrina: That's insane. It's so easy-

Joel: We're still a long way from sort of critical mass of people owning virtual reality headsets. Right, when is that going to happen?

Dawn: Google glasses.

Abby: It's not going to happen.

Joel: When is my kid gonna go, "I want an Oculus for Christmas?"

Abby: So, I don't think that's far off. Actually, I think the younger generations are embracing video as their mode of learning about things, and I think companies are the people that are behind. Video is a baby step. It's easy. It's getting cheaper by the day. The next step will be immersing an experience over that video. Overlays. And then it will be try it. And that's where VR comes in.

Chad: And then at that point, they're still going to have to apply through this crappy process methodology.

Abby: Type in their resume details.

Chad: And everyone is still scared because they go into the black hole.

Joel: Do you guys do any VR, yet. Or had requests from companies?

Abby: We don't yet. So 360 video with some overlays. We've done a little bit of experimentation. It's tricky, and it's really interesting. And it's a medium that not a lot of companies are trying yet, but yes we've tried a little bit of it. It's really cool.

Joel: Assuming the most popular is just make a nice pretty video with HD and like, that's still- will that always be around?

Abby: I think it will always be a first step into making your experience more immersive, yes. I don't actually think it needs to be that beautiful. I think it needs to be real and authentic and I think it needs to really show the work.

Joel: That's a good question for companies who want to spend a lot of money for nice quality video, versus let's get our iPhones out and make some gorilla style homemade videos. What do you tell those companies in regards to where they should go?

Abby: So, I think the content is what drives viewership. Right? You can have a really crappy shot video on an iPhone that has really interesting content, people are still going to watch it. I don't actually think the medium is that important. I think for some things, to capture a tower climber, you gotta fly a drone up. So there's expense and there's equipment that comes with that. But I don't actually think that video is going to continue to be higher and higher fidelity. I think it will actually be lower and lower fidelity, but that content has to be that behind the scenes, scrappy, what's happening versus this overproduced, over corporate messaging. Realistic job preview. I think that's where it's at.

Katrina: See, and I'm surprised that you don't think video is going to take over, because right now video, Youtube has 40% of the internet.

Abby: I think video is taking over. But I don't think it has to cost you a million dollars.

Chad: There you go.

Joel: What should it cost you?

Abby: You can do it for free, right?

Chad: That was an evil laugh.

Abby: Like a whole workshop on how you can do it for free. I think Instagram stories are a really interesting place to experiment. Just go behind the scenes, film your workplace, right? I don't think it should cost thousands and thousands of dollars. I think you're going to pay for the quality of the team and the expertise of the story they bring to the table. I don't think it's going to be the million dollar budgets or the half a million dollar budgets.

Chad: Joel wants to get videos on TikTok.

Joel: Chad basically made me download TikTok and I regret it so much.

Chad: Dude, the NBA TikTok feed is fucking awesome.

Joel: I haven't gotten there yet. I'm still looking at 14 year old girls lip syncing to The Thong Song and stuff.

Chad: You're a pervert.

Joel: TikTok is- it's not me! This is what's served up to me.

Chad: Oh, okay.

Katrina: Too easy, too easy. I wonder what the algorithm is for pushing that video.

Dawn: How's that algorithm pushing that to you?

Katrina: Cheeseman.

Joel: It's commercial time.

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Chad: It's showtime.

Joel: Did you- you presented. Yes, tell us about your session.

Katrina: Yeah, so I did a session on how to translate your story into strategy. Because, I talk to companies all the time, I talk to companies that are super small, really big. And they all pretend like having a story is something that's really, really special. They're all like, "But it feels so good to work here, and everybody's so happy and everybody just loves it."

Joel: For that one person.

Katrina: And it stops right there, and it stops at our conversation. It stops at them telling their friend, "Oh yeah, pretty good job." It never becomes part of their recruiting strategy. So, what I did today was talk them through the philosophy of how you kind of understand the story in the first place. Where you go and get it. And then we walked right into how you translate that into recruiting and the most impactful ways that you can write that story so that people go, "Oh my god. That's me. I want to work there."

Joel: I feel like so many companies feel like their story is out of their control. In other words, I feel like they are a slave to whatever Glass Door says their story is. So for companies that feel that way, how do they take control of that narrative?

Katrina: I think it's about talking to your people. I have done, and I kinda do quantitative, qualitative, right? Bring all this data together. And every single time, one of those people has written it for me. They've written the one liner, they've written the little classy sentence that the people freak out about. It's usually verbatim something that their people said. And so I would anybody who feels trapped, to turn around and listen to a lot of stories and figure out the similarities among those stories and use that. Instead of trying to make something or hire some expensive marketing agency to write stuff that they don't know shit about.

Joel: You probably run into that, Abby with like tell our story through video. There's not a more powerful way to tell a story is there?

Dawn: But I think the thing that's interesting about both Abby and Katrina when they're talking about this, is the differentially or somebody that works in the corporate HR space for a long time and who hired some people to do some videos, never really dug deep into marketing copy cause it was a whole different game today. The two that I think I really learned from listening to their sessions is, they go a step deeper than just writing a story or a template or like a "Hey, here's our movie script." They both go through a job analysis when they're talking about the- what are we gonna write. It's more than just a catch phrase its really talking with the people. And both of y'all do this. To really understand at a deeper level, not just necessarily about the whole company, but about this job and what's going to connect a certain human to come to this job. And that's different than a lot of other people who are talking about job posting, copy and/or video.

Katrina: Because if we go on Amazon and they give us recommendations that aren't personalized for us, we're like, "What the hell is this? Why do they think I want a pair of boots?" Right?

Katrina: Or weird TikTok videos.

Joel: It's like a TikTok algorithm that needs to work on its algorithm by the way.

Katrina: When do we as candidates start to expect that from our employers. When do we start to expect personalized experiences? Because I think it's coming a lot faster than...

Joel: ...automation will drive a lot of that, I think.