Rebel Human Resources Podcast

RHR 102: Strategic HR with Jennifer McClure

June 07, 2022 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 3 Episode 102
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
RHR 102: Strategic HR with Jennifer McClure
Show Notes Transcript

Jennifer McClure is the Founder and CEO of Unbridled Talent, LLC, CEO / Chief Excitement Office of Disrupt HR, LLC, and all around awesome person.  

Jennifer McClure is also a sought after Speaker and Coach who combines her experiences as a Business Leader, Human Resources Executive, Executive Recruiter and Executive Coach with an educational, entertaining and informative style in order to Educate, Empower and Encourage audience members and clients to unleash their individual potential and enhance their skills as Leaders of People.

Consistently rated as a top Speaker at major events and conferences, Jennifer’s engaging and relatable style is a mix of inspiration, “how-to”, sharing of best practices and strategic discussion based upon her over 25 years of experience leading human resources and talent acquisition efforts, studying of industry Best Practices and partnering with senior executives to improve their skills and increase their impact.

Jennifer has spoken at over 200 industry-related conferences and events, where she has delivered keynote presentations and provided workshops or training in the areas of leadership, executive development, presentation and communications skills and talent acquisition strategies.

Connect with Jennifer today at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifermcclure/
https://jennifermcclure.net/
https://disrupthr.co/
How to start a movement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V74AxCqOTvg

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work.

We'll be discussing topics that are disruptive to the world of work and talk about new and different ways to approach solving those problems.

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Jennifer McClure:

So yeah, I think a lot of the skill of the future it's also was necessarily the past, but even more so in the future because we're going to have to propose things that are out of the box, we're going to have to try weird and wacky things like my boss proposed, you know, hiring those people or ringing on those people from the company that was laying off. There needs to be a business case made in most of those cases to get people to say yes, yeah, it's great to say I want to be more innovative, creative, visionary, and those are skills I can work on and learn, but hard and fast, being able to build a business case to get my ideas heard and approved. That that's a basic skill that leaders need to grow.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR Podcast, the podcast, where we talk to HR innovators about all things people leadership. If you're looking for places to find about new ways to think about the world of work, this is the podcast for you. Please subscribe, favorite podcast listening platform today, and leave us a review. Rebel on HR rebels. Welcome back, rebel HR listeners extremely excited to have our guest on this week we talk to Jennifer McClure back in episode 11. All about starting a movement and disrupt HR she is back to talk about the new world of work. A lot has changed over the last few years. We're going to talk a little bit about leadership, and upskilling. Jennifer is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker and high performance coach who works with leaders to leverage their influence, increase their impact, and accelerate results. Welcome to the show, Jennifer,

Jennifer McClure:

thank you for having me back. I'm glad that I didn't uninvite myself from future episodes of my past performance.

Kyle Roed:

No, I'm just I'm so excited that you agreed to come back. And you know, as I was preparing for this, I was so so surprised that it has been almost 100 episodes since we last spoke. So I'm just looking forward to reconnecting and catching up. With us. We have Patrick Moran and Molly Pradesh always excited to have them join us. And really looking forward to the conversation today. So I want to start off, kind of where where we left off almost two years ago, we were talking about what is the new world of work going to look like? And so I just like to understand, Jennifer, what have you seen over the last few years? And and what is your take on the current state of work?

Jennifer McClure:

Well, my eyes have seen a lot over the last couple of years, as has everyone right. But it's it's interesting to me. You know, I've had conversations over the last couple years, especially doing virtual events and talking with people who are organizing events, and now thankfully, talking with people about in person events going forward, for the most part. But the conversations and the questions that we're asking, are a lot of the same ones that we've actually been talking about for a long time. You know, I started my business, April of 20. What 2010. So I just had my 12th anniversary is a full time professional speaker out there talking about you know, these issues of strategic leadership and the future of work and personal branding. Those are the topics that I kind of, like stay on. And I'm still talking about, you know, one of my very first presentations was called Talent shortages and skills gaps. And I did that for like three or four years, and was talking about, you know, the future of work, where we wouldn't have the skills that are needed for the jobs of the future, and that we needed to plan for that. And so what is everybody talking about today, talent shortages and skills gaps, the only thing is, is it's way worse than even what we predicted, you know, 10 years ago, I was also talking about, you know, the future of work being you know, really looking at flexibility. And, you know, whether it was remote work options or finding ways to to get you know, and flexibility into your employer's life that that was going to be an employee engagement issue. Now, I wasn't the only one talking about these things. So it's not like I was pressured futurists or anything, it's just been amusing to me to kind of think back on Well, I'm still being asked to talk about those things in this, quote, new world of work. I like what Jason averbuch says, he started calling it the now of work. It's not the future of work. It's the now of work. And we really need to focus on the now of work. Because the reality is in the future, it's just going to be ever changing forever. I don't know that we, in the past necessarily had periods of time where there wasn't changed, but we got comfortable in the status quo. Often I know I did in my HR career as well, because things are not changing so fast that you couldn't keep up. But in today's world, things change. Show fast, show fast, so fast, that you have to be really considering, you know, organizational agility, your personal ability to navigate through change. And that's a skill I think that leaders really need to focus on in the future. So that was a good synopsis of where I am for right now.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. I love the car. meant the now of work. And it's it's it. It's kind of like the whole like, quote, new normal. Like, it's like that's such a, that's such a nothing statement because like there is no such thing as normal, right? Like we're in a concert every

Jennifer McClure:

day as a new normal. Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

You Yeah. And I do think it's kind of like, you know, and I've had these conversations with HR professionals and business leaders recently is, there's so many people who just are waiting for it to go back to the way it used to be, you know, or we're just waiting for that talent market to calm down. Or, you know, we're just waiting for our retention, you know, to, to improve back to where it used to be. And it's, you know, I just think it flies in the face of what I think all of us on this discussion. Agree is, is if you're just sitting back and waiting for change, to go back to, quote, normal, you're, you're going to be passed by? That's just the real

Jennifer McClure:

I really don't. I, I'd love to have conversations with people who say that I don't know that I've had anybody say that to my face? Because I would be like, Do you really think first of all, what, what was normal? Was it you know, post, the great, what did we call the, you know, the housing crisis of 2008 910. People call that the great something I don't like the great either, because it wasn't great I was in recruiting, then it wasn't great at all. But after that, and again, I used to talk about that in some of my presentations, I mean, you came to the point where there was so much talent available, because so many people have been let go or laid off, or companies had closed, that hiring managers got really used to saying, Well, I want somebody who has 12 years of experience in our industry, who has a client database, who had a specific job title, who makes this amount of money, and you could find that person, because there were a lot of them available. And they were often willing to take a job for less than what they were working for, again, not advocating that at all. So we had a period of time where people were very, very picky. Even that was cyclical, I mean, we came out of that pre pandemic, we were in a very difficult hiring situation, then it is not going to get better. You have to look at demographics, the demographics of the world, in again, pre pandemic, the demographics or the world where the population growth is going to come from third world countries like you know, Central Africa, Southern South America, that's where the population was predicted to grow before the pandemic, it's predicted to decrease before the pandemic in the UK, in the US and some of the, you know, global markets. So we were already facing demographic challenges with, you know, aging generations in the workforce getting ready to retire, less people coming into the workforce. Now, you've just exacerbated that by jobs have changed so much technology is changing so rapidly, how we do work, all over the world is changing so rapidly, the global challenge of so much interconnectedness with supply chain disruptions, war, you know, there's just things that I don't see how anybody could look into the future and say, well, in six months, there will be any war in the world, and all the boats will be on their way to the US with the stuff that we want to buy. And people will come out of the woodwork from somewhere and want to come back to work. That's just never gonna happen. So

Molly Burdess:

you know, I did just read an article actually last night about the one not the one, but a good thing about inflation is they're predicting that people will be in the workforce longer, they will delay retirement. see that happening?

Jennifer McClure:

Wait a minute, was the title of the article, the good thing? Well,

Molly Burdess:

another perspective on inflation and employers?

Jennifer McClure:

Well, again, it's, you know, different different data sets, which that's always the case. I also read an article this week, I think it was from indeed, you know, one of their economists saying that, you know, the drop in participation in the workforce of people aged 60 Plus, where many of them have decided they wanted to go ahead and retire, and they don't plan to come back because it's not worth it or whatever. But yeah, to answer your question, I I don't think that's gonna save us. You know, having people who are in their 60s work until their 70s is good in a lot of ways because that's institutional knowledge you probably have and, you know, more experienced workers that you'll be able to keep or in some cases, those people will want to share jobs or become part of the freelancer or contractor workforce. So that's good. But again, the demographics and the skills availability that is out there that is real is just not enough to supply the jobs that we need today. So employers are going to have to get really creative And I've had in my past, you know, I worked in the automotive industry in the mid 90s, when we had clients in every sector, so we had international clients, we had domestic clients. So when the domestic market was down, we didn't necessarily go down. And we did creative things, because we needed we were working so much overtime in our factories to keep up with demand that our employees were burning out before we called burnout, a thing. And I remember we did something really creative, it was not my idea. I said, it wouldn't work, thank God, my boss was much more of a visionary than I was. One of our sister companies, you know, owned by another Japanese organization in the community was only in the domestic market. And so they had lost a lot of their production. And they actually laid off all of their workforce. And they said that was for an indefinite period of time. And he reached out to them and said, we'll employ all of your employees here. We'll pay them but you keep them on your payroll. It was like really wild and wacky. I was like, What are you talking about? But it worked. They came, we train them, not all of them liked our place of employment. So they some of them did quit. But we paid the company to pay them to keep them on their salary. And that was a really creative idea to keep our business going to help our employees. And that's the kind of stuff that employers are going to have to do now. You know, whether it's that crazy, I don't know. But how are you really going to attain the skills and the people that you need to get the work done in your organization? And it's not going to be from posting a job on Indeed, and hiring 75 people? And, you know, interviewing? I don't know, it's just not going to work. This is my soapbox, obviously, for today. What do you guys, thank

Molly Burdess:

you? Well, I've been criticized for this in the past, and it has bitten me a couple of times, you know, my philosophy on hiring has always been hire for potential rather than skill and what they have right now and is it a perfect match? And I think that's where a lot of organizations are, and are having to shift you have to hire for potential, and teach these people what they need to learn to be successful in this role. No, it's not always perfect, but it's worked for me more often than it has ends. That's my soapbox on that topic.

Patrick Moran:

Yeah. I think I agree with you all, and you really have to get creative. And I love how you say that. Because I feel the same way. You know, it's not all about the skills and the education. But when it comes to employers being creative, we're starting to tap into our high schools around this area, an area where we live in Iowa, people tend to leave our community to go to a Chicago or Minneapolis or a bigger city, even Des Moines and Iowa. So we need to tap into the resources even at a younger level, the potential candidates on the high school level. And we learned just recently, employers are starting starting to educate and promote their businesses to the elementary school level. Yeah. And that was eye opening to me. So that's kind of a world where we're we live right now, with my workplace, because I'm challenged with hiring seven people for our whole infrastructure team, but I can't find them in the Cedar Valley. So we have to start now to prepare for five, six years down the road where I'm gonna need even more of that. Yeah.

Jennifer McClure:

And that's that, again, it's kind of interesting to me that I think I was at a conference board conference in the early 2000 10s, you know, so probably 2012 13, and the keynote for the event was the CHRO of Boeing Corporation. And I really wish I'd taken good notes, because I've referenced I was so I was, like, enthralled with his presentation, because he talked about how, and I wished I'd written down the actual numbers, that something like 50 60% of the Boeing workforce, you know, a skilled workforce, you know, both engineering technical, you know, and the factories, technical talent, was like 60% of their workforce was supposed to be retiring in the next five years. And so the huge challenge that they were undertaking to your point, Patrick of like, going all the way into elementary schools, not that that's going to help them five years from now, but knowing that they've got to develop the workforce of the future. So starting to expose kids in elementary schools to technical careers, sponsoring robotics competitions and high schools to get kids involved with mio thinking about robotics and technology, and then being on the boards that colleges and universities that they recruited from so that they could have a real presence there. So it was a lot of brand building, and hoping that not only will you get young talent to develop the skills or become interested in those skills, but also when they do become eligible for employment that they remember the name of Boeing in that that situation. So, again, some of these challenges have been around for a while. Some employers for a long time, particularly in the STEM areas, but now it's everybody, you know, the, the the organizations right now, let's all across the board the organizations that are having difficulty obtaining talent, but the service industries, the hospitality industries, the you know, quote, unskilled labor force is not even available. So how are we going to fill those jobs in the future. That's the chain

Molly Burdess:

a huge proponent of those school programs, especially if an organization can pair that with an awesome like tuition reimbursement program. I think that's just the power of an idea.

Kyle Roed:

So I agree, Oh, God. This episode is brought to you by namely, with workforces continuing to evolve at rapid speeds, it's more important than ever to stay ahead and support the people behind your business, you need the right HR solution to do that. But making any type of switch can feel overwhelming. Take it from me, I hate switching HR systems. But the switch to namely is different. This is the all in one HR solution that your company needs, namely, helps you and your team stay connected and informed on each aspect of HR. Whether you have 50 or 1000 employees with onboarding, performance management, payroll, and intuitive benefits enrollment, all in one connected and modern platform. Plus your team of implementation experts makes the transition to namely painless, with best practice consulting, system configuration, training and more. And it doesn't stop at implementation, get ongoing dedicated support and enhanced services from experts who know your business as you continue to evolve. So your entire team can become experts themselves with the tools and services that help them succeed. Companies are built on people don't let either fail, get the support you need, and learn more about making the switch to namely today by going to namely.com. Don't wait. That's namely.com. Let's go back to I think you had a really great point here, Jennifer, which was just looking at the demographics. And right now we've got we've got, we've got a surplus of jobs and a scarcity of available talent. And so I think like those, those elementary school programs in high school programs are great, but we're all still competing for the same people. And so as I think about it, I think, you know, I think one of the challenges that employers have to wrestle with is how do I do what I consider to be like market development work? You know, this, it's similar to like a sales professional that's going and trying to increase their total addressable market. And so a lot of the, you know, a lot of my, my thoughts there lately have been, how do I a tap into this labor pool where the population growth is occurring? You know, how do I actually hire people in remote areas of the world that have the skills that I need to do, you know, any sort of tasks? You know, there are a lot of administrative functions and tasks that could technically be outsourced? You know, and that's, I think, sometimes that makes people nervous. But the reality is, there's not enough people here for some of this work. So we're doing a strategy right now I call it the hire anywhere strategy, which is if I have a great resume from somebody outside of my region, my country, my even my timezone How can I hire that person? If they've got the right skill set? Right. And I think it's, it's, it's such a, kind of a, it's kind of a push and pull between kind of the globalization and nationalization argument that we're seeing. But I think that I mean, that's just kind of the math of the situation. And one of my biggest arguments to, you know, to people who are coming up with these policies is, let's fix immigration in the United States, so that I can, so that I can have an easier visa process so that we can grow our population specifically, where I live in the Midwest, where our population growth is only coming from immigration, it is not coming from people having more kids. It's just that's just not the math anymore. So So I totally agree with all those statements. But I, you know, I'm curious to get your reaction to that, Jennifer, and maybe what you've seen or or, or what your perspective is on that type of approach?

Jennifer McClure:

Well, yeah, I think, you know, you're right. It's it's higher anywhere. And also to Molly's point, it's higher for aptitude and attitude. Even hiring anywhere, you may not be able to obtain the exact skills that you need. So I really think you know, what's fascinating about the now of work and the future of work is how HR leaders or people leaders are really, the job is completely different. You know, when I started in HR 30 plus years ago, I don't even know the exact number but it's more than 30. The job was really very administrative. It was called personnel. I was the personnel manager, you know, I did things on index cards. And, you know, a lot of my day was spent filing and writing in triplicate on forms and administering policies and procedures and, you know, approving pay changes and stuff like that. Well, my job evolved as I grew up in the leadership chain, as well, as you know, as time occurred into more of a strategic role. But even the I've been out of the practitioner space, since the mid 2000s, the job of HR has dramatically changed. But again, post 2020, the job of people leaders in the future is going to be dramatically different. The skills that are needed to be brought to the table are dramatically different, is there going to have to be visionary thinkers, not the keep things in line kind of thinkers. Yes, there will always be administrative functions of HR. But you've got to be thinking about the next five years, the next three years. The next year, again, I'm involved right now with a large project for the Department of Defense where we're looking at upskilling and rescaling the DoD workforce, which was almost a million employees, not the military personnel, but the support personnel that that make, you know, the the military be able to be able to function. And one of the people involved in this study mentioned what we need to be thinking about 2030 and the skills that we need, and I was like, forget 2030, we need to be thinking about 2025, even 2024 2023? Because, yeah, I think people still need to do five year plans. But we've got to think about what do we predict is going to be changing over the next two to three years in terms of employment and demographics and skills? And then how do we get creative, so creativity, innovation, the ability to change, the ability to be open to trying new things, those are skills that the people leaders of today really, really will need in spades going forward. And it's, you know, we've long advocated that it's not so much about policy and administration, all again, there are pieces of the people function that will always be that. But to really lead into the future and to keep your organization afloat and ensure that you have competitive advantage, it is probably for the first time in my lifetime, not just a phrase that people say that people are most strategic asset, people are the only thing that is going to make your business successful in the future, you're either going to have them or you won't. And if you don't, then you won't be able to stay afloat and be successful. And even if you have people will, they have the skills that are needed to do the business in the way that your business needs to be done in the future, which is going to be ever changing. So I think I've long said that. HR is the most important role in the company, I still believe that. But it's even more critical today than it was three years ago, the people leaders who are really able to connect the talent strategy to the business strategy, again, not just saying that as a phrase, who truly are able to do that, to look into the future, to prepare their organizations to get creative to take risks, those are the leaders that are really going to help their organizations in the future be successful. And I think organizations will fail based on how unsuccessful some of their people leaders are in doing that.

Molly Burdess:

Do you think you can teach people that? How and how do you do that?

Jennifer McClure:

I think almost anything can be taught. You know, I have always said like, if I take an assessment, I come out as an executor. I'm somebody that if you say we're going to take that hill, and that's the goal, I can make that happen. I have long said of myself that I'm not the visionary. I'm not the one that says there's 30 Hills out there, which one should we take based off of. And I was comfortable in my roles in the corporate world being the one who kind of you know, is in those strategic planning sessions, but I'm comfortable saying let's figure this out. And then I'll take the hill. I think if I you know, and in my own business now, you know, as a sole proprietor, I have to think differently, too. But if I were in the corporate space, I would have to say, Okay, what, what training can I take to think more in a visionary sense? Can I get a coach? Can I find a mentor someone who does this well to help me really stretch my thinking? And then also, where can I take risks where maybe I'm not comfortable with saying I want to do this, but you know, getting enough information and data to support it and making the decision anyway. So to answer your question, yes, I think it can be taught, some of that is going to be self awareness. Do I really need to get better in these areas? And then really pursuing How can I learn, grow challenge myself? Because that's what's going to be necessary in order to be successful in the future. Sure,

Molly Burdess:

yeah, it's really about getting out of your comfort zone. Learning how to be comfortable in the uncomfortable situations.

Jennifer McClure:

Yeah, I don't think anybody's going to be comfortable for a while. So let's embrace it.

Kyle Roed:

If you're comfortable, you might not be listening. Yeah.

Jennifer McClure:

From one of my disrupt HR presentations, it's comfort comfortable is the enemy of awesome. So be more awesome. Get yourself.

Kyle Roed:

That's good. Nice plug for, for disrupter.

Jennifer McClure:

Yeah. Oh, he's got a plug that you

Kyle Roed:

love it? No, it's It's so fascinating. And I love that question, Molly. Because it's like, can you teach it? Well, I think I don't, I don't know that learning one specific thing is going to be helpful. I think it's so situational to what your organization needs you to be. And what you know, I work in a highly technical organization with manufacturers, we engineer stuff, you know, I have a lot of accountants, and lawyers, you know, we're not, you know, we're not like a creative tech firm, right? So my role a lot of times is to be the counterpoint to a technical solution, you know, and to enter in to be the the voice of the employee. And, and, you know, people have come to rely on me to be that, within my organization, I'm never going to be the most technically savvy person within my organization. But I know that I have a role to play there, to make sure that we are considering all aspects of you know, of a solution. And yeah, so that really resonated with me, Jennifer, this the story of kind of, you know, the role that you play, and I think it's totally different if you're in a fortune 500 company, versus a, you know, small, firm, you know, it just, it's just different. But I would say the best way to, to figure that out is to ask, you know, and you know, maybe not directly but listen, like open your ears, leverage your emotional intelligence, what I'm assuming if you're listening to this podcast, you either have it or you're developing it, you know, use that skill? Because you'd be surprised at how, how scarce it can be in some of your organizations. But we do have, we have a voice needs to be heard. And Patrick, you were trying to pipe in what were you trying to say I

Patrick Moran:

was going to piggyback off of Jennifer's comment about we have the people in place, but we have the people in the building, but do they match the skills that we need today? Our business is changing and evolving so much all of us all of our businesses are, we may have the number of people we need, but do they have the skills? And can we recognize these are the skills we need 235 years from now, who are those people that we can skill up. And kind of going back to Jennifer's point, what we were talking about before we started as identifying that as an HR professional is critical for the future of the business and employees we have here. And it helps with retainment, too, but we got to be able to recognize that. Yeah,

Jennifer McClure:

I think it's also important to, you know, I've long been an advocate, you go to conferences and events, and you look at the session titles, and, and often, they're heavily weighted to all the things that HR leaders are doing wrong, you know, the 12 ways that HR is failing their organization. And I've been like, here's four ways you can help your organization succeed, I'm much more want to help HR leaders think about how they can evolve in and grow themselves, and to recognize and step into that importance that they have, as I believe the most important employee in the organization. But all that being said, I know and I've worked in some of those as well, that there are plenty of organizations that both are very comfortable with, but also want their HR leader to be in the background, to be the person who's sitting in the meeting, taking notes and doesn't really say anything. And I challenge those HR leaders, if you know, during the pandemic, there was a lot of stuff that needed to be taken care of. So maybe you're still in that role of just executing on what the leadership team decides, I would hope that you were brought into the discussion regardless of where you sit on the organization chart and really talking about how to deliver on what the people in your organization needed to keep the businesses running. But challenge yourself if you work in one of those organizations where they really do want you to be kind of the administrative person, they're not looking for you, as the people leader to have input into the talent strategy in the future. First, you have to ask yourself a question if you're chomping at the bit saying I want to have that and I don't have it in my organization. Well there. There are a lot of jobs out there for HR leaders. So maybe there's an opportunity for you to make a move to an organization where human resources and people strategy is truly valued. But also there's a lot of people out there that are using that as an excuse. My leadership won't Let me and my answer to that often is, tell me one thing that your leadership won't let you do. And if they come up with an example, usually I can bring it back to well, the other reason why your leadership is not allowing you to do that is because you've not presented a compelling enough business case to convince them that it's the right thing to do. Going in there and saying, we need to allow people to work remotely. Okay? Well, your CEO who's 75 never worked remote, and he or she doesn't want that. But if you can come and say, We interviewed 10 people this last month, we made nine job offers, five of them turned us down because they wanted remote remote work options. As a result, we've spent $150,000, in overtime, filling those, but that's a business case we're now the CEO is going to have to listen to, it's not just people want to work from home, there's a reason why this is affecting our business, that if we don't make a change in our people strategy, we're not going to be successful. So I see a lot of leaders who use it as an excuse, my leadership won't let me and I try to put that right back in their lap and say, What are you doing to show your leadership why it's necessary? Because I think most of the times when leaders are saying they're not able to do the creative, innovative things that they believe we do, they went to a conference there, Jennifer McClure speak about how you can really make an impact as an HR leader, and they come back and they go, I want to make an impact. And their leadership says, No. What are you going to do about that? Are you going to sit back and go? Well, they won't let me? Are you going to find a way to show them how you can add value? Or are you going to find a place where you can add value?

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, and in my experience that isn't taught, unless you you know, when you're young and your HR career, and you have a really good leader who shows you and brings you into that if they do it themselves like that, that's not taught. And for me, in my experience, it takes a lot of trial and error. A really good either coach or mentor peer group to be like, This is what I did, where did I go wrong here and it from another perspective. And that just takes a lot of persistence and a lot of patience. But I do feel like anybody can get there?

Jennifer McClure:

Sure. It's often, you know, someone may approach me and say, Well, I can't get my CEO to pay attention, or my leadership team to pay attention to this idea. And I'll ask, well, are any of your competitors doing this? Or other people in your industry doing this? If you don't know the answer to that question? First of all, why are you proposing it? Say, Well, if you do know that other people are doing it, then go get data and information? You know, no, no, bleeder wants to be left behind. They want to remain competitive. And if other people are doing it in our industry, and they're seeing success with it, well, then we need to be trying that too. But you have to bring that information to them. You can't just go in and say it's the right thing to do. So yeah, I think a lot of the skill of the future, it's also was necessarily the past, but even more so in the future, because we're going to have to propose things that are out of the box, we're going to have to try weird, wacky things like my boss proposed, you know, hiring those people or bringing on those people from the company that was laying off. There needs to be a business case made in most of those cases to get people to say, yes, so developing those skills. Yeah, it's great to say I want to be more innovative, creative, visionary, and those are skills I can work on and learn. But hard and fast, being able to build a business case to get my idea is heard and approved, that that's a basic skill that leaders need to grow.

Molly Burdess:

Absolutely. I'm in the process of interviewing an HR intern right now. And I've had 10 interviews, and my question for them is always why why did you go into HR? Why did you choose HR? And their answer has always been, well, I, I'm not very good at the numbers. I don't like the numbers, but I like working with people. And that just like, ah, yeah. So it's definitely a skill that people need to learn if they're gonna go into HR for sure.

Jennifer McClure:

Well, maybe that's, that's our opportunities, like, you know, your podcast, how can you teach and train the people who are interested in HR careers, that it's much more than people that it is about numbers, we need to change that perception?

Kyle Roed:

Completely? I agree. I think that's such so powerful. And, you know, I, I've said this many times before, you know, you've got to learn the business. And a lot of times, you know, to your point, Molly, a lot of times people get an HR and it is because they like people that generally they're extroverts usually, that means they're pretty skilled at language and and connection and communication and that's kind of a natural skill. So don't think about money in the terms of a lie. As your or or or balancing or dollars and cents that accountants deal with. Look at it like the language of business, because that's really what it is, you know, when we talk about things like business case. And, you know, we earlier we were talking about demographic numbers like, those are pretty important numbers to understand, right, especially if you have a labor shed in your area that specifically tells you this is how many people I'm going after. This is how many jobs I have open. That's not enough, right? Like, you don't have to go do statistical calculus and analysis and like, but you do need to have a base understanding of how to speak that language.

Jennifer McClure:

Yeah. And again, that's, that is a great point, Kyle, I mean, when I go talk to leaders in North Dakota, that have a point 8% unemployment rate. They've long been in a different world than you know, a metro and you know, Atlanta, where maybe prior to the pandemic, it was eight or 9% unemployment rate, you're living in two different worlds. And so your strategy and might not North Dakota, is going to have to be different. And you're going to have to really make a business case for the creative options that you're going to need to come up with in order to get the talent that you need to do the jobs in your organization. So understanding not just your local numbers, and what the future looks like. And there are plenty of organizations that provide that information for free. You can use LinkedIn to do some really cool things in terms of where's the talent located that we need, you know, I think, you know, the lower in LinkedIn recruiter seats will show you that if you need to hire software developers, you can see where the software developers are located. Maybe it's Austin, maybe it's San Francisco. And if I'm, again, if I'm in my not North Dakota, and I need to hire software developers, and we're thinking about building a plant there are not applying to a tech center in North Dakota, then I need to be showing my leadership, what the challenge will be both either recruit the talent that we need, or to pay for the talent that we need, we're not going to be paying North Dakota salary rates, we're gonna be paying San Francisco salary rates. Absolutely. And I hope HR leaders are excited about that opportunity to use data and information to sell your ideas to get leadership to see what the people challenges are, and also what the opportunities and solutions are. I hope that there is real excitement around that.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, and I can very much relate to these young HR professionals, because that's why I went into HR as well for the people. But I always say I stayed in HR for the business, I love the business side of things. So I believe it can be it is something that can and absolutely should be developed.

Kyle Roed:

I was that's exactly where I was going with it. Jennifer, you know, what's exciting to me about about this discussion, and kind of this focus in this approach is, I truly believe this is where the change happens. Like if you can, if you can articulate the business case, if you can understand the business well enough to know what should work understand the competitive environment to know what is working there, then I think all of us would also agree a lot of those things are just the right thing to do. Right. So it's things like being more inclusive in hiring practices. It's things like investing in your people before they quit, right, like doing stay interviews, instead of exit interviews, you know, it's all of these things that I think a lot of us talk about doing. But you know, ultimately, the way that you do them, and the way that you enact change is by getting your business to support what you're doing. And then that solves that age old problem that I hear hundreds of times, how does HR get a seat at the table? Well, you deliver, right, you build trust, and you get stuff done. Right? It's pretty, that's pretty much it,

Molly Burdess:

and you make an impact on the business.

Patrick Moran:

Yep. And don't always go, you know, you don't always have to go for the homerun, when you're talking to the CEO, you know, take the small wins, celebrate the small wins, and then you'll get the bigger wins.

Jennifer McClure:

Absolutely. The goal is to get your voice heard, regardless of where you sit. You want people to value your input, and you want people to ask for your input. And the way to do that is to have an understanding of the business and how you can make an impact in the business. So if you're just really focused on the latest laws and regulations and how to administer FMLA it's rare that someone's going to come to you and ask you for your input on, you know, building a new facility or expanding the workforce because they see you as focused on that. If you're focused on how can we grow the business and you are contributing your input and your insights and your expertise and your skill and human resources and people strategy, then they're going to be they want you at that table.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. And Patrick, you all can't see this because of the audio format. But he did admit he is a people person and Patrick we we love our people people. So you know No, no No hate running your way, man. With that being said, we are I love.

Patrick Moran:

I love it when people say I'm a people person, I don't even know what the hell that means.

Jennifer McClure:

I am a human

Kyle Roed:

like people, except for myself sometimes. All right, we are going to shift gears. We are quickly coming to the end of our time together, but I am fascinated to hear your responses to the rebel HR flash round. Are You Ready? Ready? All right. Question number one, where does HR need to rebel?

Jennifer McClure:

Oh, wow, I should have gotten these questions in advance so I could have ignored them and not. Where do we need to rebel, I think we need to rebel or HR leaders need to rebel by again, pushing back when told to stay in their lane. You know, we heard a lot of shut up and dribble and things like that on Twitter for some of the athletes who maybe voice their opinion about some of the social issues. I think it's similar for HR leaders, don't let anyone tell you to shut up and dribble you need to have thoughts, ideas and opinions about the business. You need to voice that from your perspective and your expertise as the people expert in your business, but rebell against anyone who tells you that you don't your opinions, ideas and thoughts on marketing issues, sales issues don't matter if you are truly engaged in the business and have have insight or ideas to share about how you how those organizations can do something better.

Kyle Roed:

I love that. All right. Question number two, who should we be listening to?

Jennifer McClure:

Oh, that's a that's a broad question. How about BTS that's become a BTSA it's in the HR people space, I assume is probably more relevant. I really, really believe there are a lot of people out there doing a lot of good work and not getting as much recognition for it or, or as well known as they should be because it's so crowded out there today and so difficult. Less people are using some of the social media platforms that allowed people like myself to grow, you know, a big community in the past. And it comes to opportunities like this to you know, who should you be paying attention to? I am a huge fan right now of Julie Turney. She is I am Julie attorney on Twitter, and you can find her tea you are in EY on LinkedIn, her company's HR at heart. She is an HR a former HR practitioner who stepped out you know, in in the COVID times and is really focused on supporting HR leaders through compassionate HR leadership, of preventing burnout of HR leaders understanding what it's like to be in the day to day she offers coaching, masterminds, learning opportunities, I see Julie just doing amazing things. And I love watching her grow as a leader. And seeing her voice like she just did a TEDx talk somewhere in Europe, Central Europe, I think she's in the UK right now, you know, kind of continuing to do her businesses. She lives in Barbados. So I think if someone who lives on a small, small island in the Caribbean, can begin to really build influence and grow their influence. It's both inspiring for people to see that you too, even if you live in a small town in Iowa, can grow a community. But she's also putting out really good stuff.

Kyle Roed:

Love it. Yeah. And I follow her on Twitter. Great content. So I second that last question, how can our listeners connect with you? Who are listeners we had a interruption at the end of our recording with Jennifer McClure. The good news is that all of her contact information if you'd like to learn more and connect with her is in our show notes. So go ahead and click into the show notes. Thanks for joining us this week. revelon hr from us. All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. Big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast on Twitter at rebel HR guy or see our website at rebel human resources.com and views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast. Maybe