Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 79: Riding the Recruiting Storm out with Bert Miller, CEO of Protis Global

January 04, 2022 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 2 Episode 79
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 79: Riding the Recruiting Storm out with Bert Miller, CEO of Protis Global
Show Notes Transcript

Career and recruitment expert Bert E. Miller, CEO of Protis Global and MRI Network

Website: https://bertmiller.com/

Company Website: https://protisglobal.com/

With over 25 years of leadership experience in the world of work, Bert E. Miller currently serves as CEO of Protis Global , Ace Talent Curators, and President and CEO of MRI Network, a network-centric recruitment organization that offers consulting, training, contract staffing, and community building to over 325 search firms worldwide. 

Bert’s expertise in search and recruitment dates back to 1995, when he co-founded Protis Global, an MRINetwork member and award-winning search and recruitment firm specializing in the F&B, CPG, cannabis, and hospitality industries. Protis Global has built some of the most iconic brands in the CPG space, and has consistently ranked in the top 10 of MRINetwork offices over the last 15 years, generating over $75M in permanent placement fees. In 2019, Bert acquired MRI to lead the organization and its global offices through digital transition and into a new era of talent access. His vision is to effectively scale MRI’s unique network model while supporting existing members with proven tools, training, digital media products, and technology. 

Bert is an entrepreneur, active speaker, mentor, advisor, and investor. He hosts the MRINetwork Podcast and his new video podcast series, Beyond the Bottom Line, debuts this fall in which he will be interviewing CEOs and leaders from across categories on issues impacting the world of work.

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people 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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Bert Miller:

I hear so often you know, I want work life balance. And I understand what it means to some people really what that means to me. It's not work life is life. I mean, when you find your calling you find what you're doing, it becomes part of who you are and part of that DNA and therefore you don't have to bounce back and forth. And when you have something like that, then who you really are, it tends to be then communicated or seen very naturally both from the people in your teammates you're working with, as well as in your home and your personal friends that you hang out with.

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 revelon HR rebels right rebel HR listeners super excited for our guests here. This week we have with us Bert Miller. He currently serves as chairman and founder of produce global and Ace talent curators, co founder of BCC media and President and CEO of MRI network, a network centric recruiting organization that offers consulting, training, contract, staffing, and community building to over 325 Search forums. Worldwide. Bert is also an active speaker, mentor, advisor and investor. He hosts the MRI network podcast and his podcast series beyond the bottom line. Bert, welcome to the show.

Bert Miller:

Thanks for having me, Kyle. Great to be here, Molly.

Kyle Roed:

And we have Molly Pradesh joining us, Molly. Thank goodness, you're here because our guest is exceptional. And I'm going to need your expertise. As always, I'm so excited to be here. Sounds good? Well, Bert, I'm really excited for the conversation today. You know, this is this is an exciting opportunity to talk to somebody who I've actually had an opportunity to work with your organization in the past year, MRI has helped me with some, some searches in my business in the past. And so we're really going to be talking about talent acquisition, innovation in the space, some of the things you're seeing. But before we we dive into that, I'd like to understand, how did you find yourself in the talent acquisition space?

Bert Miller:

Yeah, it's an interesting question. And a great question, Kyle. My background, I came out of school went to work for the Gallo Winery, they placed me in a distributor in Indianapolis, Indiana. And then I was fortunate enough to meet the the a recruiter based out of Omaha, Nebraska, who introduced me to an opportunity with Revlon, North America. So that's my first interaction with direct hire and executive search, and was able to win that position at Revlon spent seven years there. And then while I was in sales in lead their college recruiting program at Indiana University, Indiana University and Colorado State, and thought I hate my when I was trying to think about what I wanted to do and coach my children and spend time with them. As they got older, I decided I was going to open a search firm and produce global and I thought it was just gonna be just like the college recruiting program. And I found out quickly that is a bit different. Executive Search versus college recruiting, so had my Rude Awakening in 1995. And luckily, we're still here.

Kyle Roed:

That's, that's funny that you mentioned that and I think many of the HR practitioners on here that have been in the, in the field for a little while have have felt that they can feel that journey. I remember, my first recruiting job was was a campus recruiting coordinator, you know, career fairs, and you know, it was and then about 10 years later than it's, you're you're doing the executive recruiting, you know, internal but executive recruiting. And yeah, it's a little bit different when you when you're talking bright eyed and bushy tailed college students, versus trying to find seasoned seasoned executives and skilled technical talent. So as you went through that journey, you know, first of all, kudos for, for starting and building up, you know, protis global into into what it is today. What were some of the key things you learned along the way?

Bert Miller:

Yeah, when I think about some of the things that would have been great to to have known for me. I came from sales. Kyle. So finance was not my strong suit at the time. So, you know, having having the ability to engage with somebody from a financial perspective, the complexities, particularly now the complexities of multiple businesses that I have and the different solutions sets that we're offering our clients between direct hire and contract. And you know, the, the way those the finances and the cash flows through those various solutions, such as it has a bit of complexity to it. So my advice to anybody out there that's listening, you're starting your business today is just ensure that you, if you're not a finance guru, yourself, go hire yourself a great CFO, which is what I did ensure you have advisors behind you that are creative and deal structuring. It is the number one thing of running a business. And it really offers you the ability to be creative and agile in the marketplace, when you know how to manage the monies, how to forecast and how to make decisions based on certain triggers and situations.

Molly Burdess:

gonna shift gears a little bit, we have a question. So you do you work with direct hire and contracts? I'm curious where you're seeing the industry going. It's been a while since I've been in an organization that we've used contracts. And we personally prefer direct hire, do you see the industry shifting one way or the other?

Bert Miller:

Yeah, that's a great question, Molly. Look, pre COVID. We know we had about 160 million people working in the US and 60, give or take 65% of those were in direct hire, or full time employ and 35% were working contract yet that the pie was shifting at that point in time, both in numbers and in work arrangement. Were in working arrangement. And in time in the roles I should say, the 65% was shrinking the time in the roles were now running under four years. Contract staffing, on the other hand, was 35%. And growing. And timing, the roles in these, these contract roles were averaging over three years plus, so you had this convergence happening between direct hire, and contract staffing, then 2020 20 Hit 2020 Hit I should say and the pandemic. And there's a lot of uncertainty that was going on during that period of time, like many of the listeners probably felt, but since that time, the acceleration of contract staffing has, has blown up in MRI network, we've grown our business 76%, year over year, the last two years. So it's really interesting, dynamic that we're starting to see. Because people are looking for different work arrangements, and flexibility. And I think that's impacting and accelerated based on what we what we felt over the last 19 to 20 months.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, it's, it's, that's really, it's really interesting. And I think it's a great example of, you know, being used the word flexible, I feel like that's, that's like the word of the of the year in all aspects of business, but especially in, in, in people, operations. But I think that I just remember, you know, back when the back when the kind of the quarantine was was happening, and you know, we weren't sure what was going to happen, you know, I'll be honest, I thought, oh, you know, this might help, this actually might help us, you know, shore up some of these staffing issues. And, you know, maybe you know, as much as I don't want people to be unemployed, this might, this might make it easier to hire for some of these positions that are really hard to hire for, well, how wrong was I? And, and, and I think it's, it's been really, really fascinating to see that it's been the complete opposite. So so when that was happening, and you were you were preparing and, you know, in preparing your network at MRI, what, first of all, what did you think was gonna happen? And, and, and, and then how did you react when, when we started to see how the talent market actually was starting to evolve?

Bert Miller:

Yeah. When you think about, you know, I remember doing I sat down with my business partner, Joe Molins. We sat down and did a podcast and this was in February, March of 2020. And we're thinking July or August is what we were thinking, right? So July, August, we're gonna be out of this thing where you have to ride the storm out, so to speak, and it didn't take long for us to understand this. It was going to be an elongated journey that we were all going to go on. Fortunately for us, we have, you know, we have a beautiful studio that we're able to do town halls and bring people together, we're able to bring our network together through a digital medium, and have conversations with them beyond just a computer screen, and we're able to do virtual war banquets and things of that nature and allowed us to really make decisions that were going to be more more leaning toward communication via digital approach. And then when we realized it was going to be an elongated journey as well, we started looking at the different ways that we had to take care of our own people. And the first thing was making sure everybody was safe, certainly over communicate, and then think about what pivots we had to make in our own businesses to do business. Contract staffing was one of those that we started promoting and educating our offices that they had this other solution set out there available to them, we pay roll that we do the entire back office, and we were able to bring that solution to them as they grow their business. And they took advantage of that. So what came out of that then was, we've continued to grow and build upon that. And we are now as a really, as a as an entire world. We're learning to live with this thing. We're now conducting commerce, we have our own issues of supply chain and various other challenges. And to your point earlier, Kyle, it's gone to complete opposite of what we might have thought were the fears might have been in that the the battle for the best talent is at an all time high. Even greater than you know, y2k. And instead an all time high. And I do not see it really letting up. I do see evening out and becoming more normalized, but it's not going to let it's not going to you know, let up for some period of time.

Kyle Roed:

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Molly Burdess:

So, you know I I'm on social media and sometimes I hate it. But I'm always seen and I'm always hearing people talk about people who just don't want to work, right? So much so many people are on unemployment. Why do these people just not want to work? I don't believe that's the case. And I don't believe that's what's happening. I don't believe that's why we have a shortage of talent. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Or what are your thoughts on that?

Bert Miller:

No, I do agree. I think people are evaluating and reassessing what they want to do particularly in hospitality, right. So hospitality was beat up the most. And many of those folks who always wanted to get out of hospitality. But as you know, when you're in hospitality, you're there for a reason. You love to be hospitable, and you take care of people and you make people have a great experience. And you want to delight your customers, the elongated period of time that they were out of out of work, help them reassess. And for those that were working, the odd hours, they found that they could do other things, through re education through upskilling and find another path that they could go down. And so you're seeing hospitality really struggle even today. It's affecting how people are opening up restaurants, in hotels, you know, you have, you have these restaurants and hotels are open four days a week or three days a week. And they're if they have more than one restaurant, they kind of you know, juggling back and forth. And you're seeing some of those challenges. I do play. I do believe people want to work, they absolutely do want to work and they want to but they are looking to find out what their next interest and career path is going to be. And for those companies that are able to offer upskilling it's not just about offering people a job anymore. You cannot buy talent anymore. It goes beyond buying talent. It is of course its base. Its bonus, it's LTS long term, incentive plans and benefits, all those normal things. But now people are really they're making decisions around the values of an organization. Ultimately, the values of an organization equals the culture, the outcome of that is the culture. And they're looking for purpose driven companies. And that's how people are making decisions. And the companies that are understanding this, and leaders and CEOs that are addressing some of these, these topics, are the ones that ultimately are going to win in the companies in the past that just tried to outbid or out by talent, they're not going to be able to do that any longer.

Molly Burdess:

I couldn't agree more. And I see Kyle over there. He's just, he's loving it as well.

Kyle Roed:

That's funny, you said that, you know, I, I just wrote it down, circled it, put quotes around it. And you know, but I think it was so important. It's, you know, you can't buy talent, and then how my brain works. And I immediately overdub The Beatles you can't buy me love, you can't buy me talents, the same thing. But now that's going through my head. But the, you know, I do think it's just, it's really fascinating. And I think about, think about it in terms of, it's almost like, like, you know, the power dynamics have shifted, right, you know, back when I worked in manufacturing, but back when I started working in manufacturing, we could get away with paying, you know, temporary labor, you know, pretty low. Wages didn't have to, you know, they didn't have any sort of benefits, or at least benefits that weren't, you know, affordable. We could get away with that and tell them, you know, what, if you do a great job, we'll hire you in 90 days. Now, maybe? Yeah. It's so different. Now. It doesn't work?

Bert Miller:

Well. Yeah. It's great. I mean, it's interesting, because the hiring brand is so important. And so many people have not taken care of their hiring brand. I mean, how I guarantee you have listeners out there that will hear this, and they've heard this particular phrase, especially if you're a recruiter, and you're talking to a hiring manager, and you're like, Well, you know, you need to have this and here's the program, here's the title and path. And here's the money that it would take to get them to say yes, today, and you have hiring managers out there going, Well, look, this is our offer. But here's our brand, here's our company, here's our product, if they want to work here, they will take the job. If not, then we'll move on to the next candidate. I mean, I've heard that so many times your last 27 plus years, that the shift in power has changed. And for those that refuse to embrace that they'll do it, they'll refuse to embrace at their own peril. The candidates are what we'd like to call us individuals versus candidate individuals is the power is in their hands, in many cases, in the companies that know how to engage those individuals in a way that's going to help them be who they can be, versus just offering them a job and a career path. Those companies are going to win. So the companies need to be able to tell people or show people a path about helping others see what, what in who they can be at that organization.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, you know, I think it's, it's, it's interesting, from my perspective, I've also heard that in an exit interview, you know, where we haven't done a great job building up that brand, even if somebody has been an employee, and they're leaving to go do something that is something that they want to pursue, you know, there's opportunity out there to do things that are, you know, super exciting. And in a lot of times, it's not, it's for the same amount of money in rarely less, but every once in a while, I've heard that too. And so I think it's if you're ignoring that, you know, that that hiring brand or that employee brand in general, you're going to lose people and you won't be able to hire him, which is which is a losing combination. The last time I checked.

Bert Miller:

Yeah, exactly right. In production, I mean, production retention, align with that. So I mean, there are numbers out there were production intention, retention, aligned very well with positively for those companies that ever have have a positive hiring brand versus those who do not.

Kyle Roed:

So that's something I wanted to dig into a little bit. And I know it's one of the areas that you have some some expertise and that's, you know, how do you really how do you structure your your talent acquisition strategy to to build that hiring brand, you know, Is it as simple as I just need to make sure that I have the right pamphlet, or you know, put some pretty pictures and a cool slogan and get something to go viral? My assumption is it takes a little bit more than that. So for those practitioners that are sitting here listening and maybe don't have they don't have a lot of experience here or they're just tired of hitting, they're banging their head against the wall and not seeing any traction with their, with their talent acquisition strategies, you know, where do you Where do you start? How do you start to build out this this hiring brand?

Bert Miller:

Well, first of all, it takes time. And you have it has, it has to be who you are. So when you think about, you know, what is, what is it that you do every day, if I look at our space, guys, I mean, we impact companies tremendously. But more importantly, we impact individuals every single day. So give you an example. If you look at my search from produce global, I mean, we speak to 1200 people a week, you know, and those people have husbands, wives, partners, girlfriends, boyfriends, and children, grandchildren. And some of maybe even have grandchildren that are starting to enter the workforce. And so, when you do that, we're impacting a half million people a year that we're talking to, that we can have an impact on their career path, which then in line that impacts people that are really, really close to them. Then when I take that up to and extrapolate that to MRI network and our 300 plus offices, we're learning impacting millions of people every single day. And so it all starts there. And then when you bring it back, you understand if you understand the foundation of the what in your sector and what you do each day, and how it impacts others, it starts to inform you then how you want to respectfully credential yourself and your brand. And if you do that, I know this word is overused, you do that authentically, are you being real, then you will have people that will lean in over the course of time. And the platform we use because it's linked, you know, we use LinkedIn because it's a learning platform. We spend our time helping teach relative, helping teach people how to, really, from a digital perspective, how to communicate and build their brand through information, education and aspiration. Because we have too many people in the room of white noise, where it is we just broke a record. Look at us, we're great. We're the best firm out there, here. Here's this job. I mean, that's the white noise, man, we got to get people out of that cocktail out of that cocktail reception into a new room. And the way you do that is they start paying attention you start we start building a voice when you inform, educate, inspire.

Kyle Roed:

I used to work with a with an individual who great, great, great guy, but he always used to say, you know, what, why are we here? We're here to make money. And let me tell you, it didn't really engage and inspire. It just didn't work. And I think, you know, it's interesting, you mentioned that and, you know, if you look at it, you know, generationally, and you look at typically where we're targeting right now is the largest population of of potential employees are millennials, and Gen Z. And all the statistics that you look at, as you look at like some of the surveys of these populations is, you know, they'll they would take, you know, a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company, three, three quarters of them would, you know, they'll consider social environmental commitments before accepting a job. You know, 72% believe racial, racial equality is the most important issue today, you know, so, so these kinds of things, you know, I agree that authenticity is probably overused. But, but yeah, being real and living up to your promises, I think is more important now than ever.

Bert Miller:

What better be in your DNA, if it's a program, or an initiative, the leadership has come up with where you're checking off boxes and doing certain things that, you know, seemed to be reflective of the marketplace and what you're hearing in the media. That becomes very obvious, very quickly. I mean, it when it's part of your DNA, and you're living it, and your actions show that it's really, really easy to get people to embrace it, multigenerational, by the way as well. A mean from you know, from boomers like me, are your our we already did an REO reference with riding the storm out and we had a Beatles reference already. So there you go. Young listeners out there go pull those go glue those bands, but, but in you know, boomers, actors, millennials, and now the Z's coming behind them, I mean, we really have we have five generations working together, and you better be able to relate to all them, all of them and help them all be able to assimilate and be successful together. And In an office or within a company, for sure,

Molly Burdess:

yeah, it has to be more than words. And you know, you're talking about all these generations in one workplace, it really has to be inclusive as well. And I think the differentiator between some of the organizations that are successful in talent acquisition is they know how to share that brand, to share the cool things they're doing in their organizations that gets people excited, where some people just, I think they missed a lot of opportunity by not sharing who they are, what they are, authentically.

Bert Miller:

Yeah, well, there's that, you know, Molly, it's interesting, because I hear so often, you know, I won't work life balance, and I, you know, I understand what it means to some people, everybody has their own definition. Really, what that means, to me, it's not work life is life. I mean, when you find your calling, you find what you're doing, it becomes part of who you are, and part of that DNA, and therefore, you know, you don't have to bounce back and forth. And when you have something like that, then who you really are tends to, you know, it tends to be then communicated or seen very naturally, both from the people and your teammates you're working with, as well as, you know, in your home and your personal friends that you hang out with.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, and you also said that it takes time, and I agree, it does take time, this is something I'm super passionate about is just showcasing a brand specifically for talent acquisition. And I've been in that situation before where that was one of my key objectives, and it was, it took a lot of persistence. But what's really cool is, once you started getting some momentum, I mean, it all just kind of kept going. Right. And it was probably one of the best feelings in the world.

Bert Miller:

Well, you guys are your guys are a testament testament of that, right now, your podcasts over the last, you know, 18 months, you guys started with an idea and and you kept doing it, and ultimately, you know, it got traction, and now you're, you know, you've just been consistent with it and you're able to then, you know, lean on a little bit, which is outstanding.

Kyle Roed:

Well, I appreciate that, you know, I do think it's really interesting. You know, the term you use, it has to, it has to be in your DNA. And immediately I start to think about, you know, from the context of an organization, you know, that really, that really comes down to those those interactions amongst people within your, your teams, you know, on a talent acquisition side, it's, it's a lot of, it's about the interactions that your interviewers have, you know, with, with the candidate, you know, the obviously, you got to make sure your, your website's on point, you got to make sure that your you know, your external marketing is good, but, but it comes down to those those those people interactions so many times. And, you know, I, I think that I've had this conversation a lot, especially with all the all the concerns about retention, and the great resignation, and some of these things that are all these fears that are out there. And people ask me about stickiness. And I think it works both for talent acquisition and for for talent retention. But, you know, for me, stickiness, is stickiness is about somebody's experience with the workplace, somebody's experience with their co workers, you know, a lot of times it's, you know, it's not it's not even about the job that they're doing, as long as they have the right level of skill, it's about the interactions about the connections they have at work, the connections to the mission, the connections to the the work that they do. And then, you know, to kind of bring it back to the point you you started with burden, you know, work life balance, like, when everything's, when everything's aligned there and when things are good. Like, I don't want to stop working like this is fun. Like, I like this, right? Like, like, it's more about work life integration, right? Like I you know, how do I keep doing the things I love to do, and just make sure that, you know, I continue to, you know, to have other aspects of my life that that are that are important to me personally, you know, not take a backseat, but I don't know, it's, that's, for me, that's kind of the secret sauce.

Bert Miller:

Well, I mean, that's the way that we all make decisions. There's three, there's really three legs on the stool, personal, professional, financial. And they have to be they're not going to be equal. They're all different to everybody to where you lean toward one or the other. However, they have to be reasonably aligned and imbalanced, or balanced, I should say, because that ends up effecting your your daily behavior, and when they're reasonably balanced in your behaviors will reflect that and that's when you have something pretty magical. The other thing just came up to you guys said relative to folks, making decisions money's a big part of how they make the ultimate decision. However, having said that, it's the door that gets cracked and I'm, you know, my firm, we're just as guilty, we we've made our own mistakes, not listening well enough, or wherever the case may be. We're all guilty of it. But being cognizant, cognizant of that, and, and owning it is so important. So leaders out there, if you, you know, generally your people, you're really good ones, man, they, they're rolling down the tracks, but there's always that crack in the door of, perhaps they feel undervalued, they're not listened to, perhaps you have the connective tissue in your organization, is there a tear, a torn ligament there, and that's another individual and they're watching you, your folks, your good folk, watch you every single day about how you deal with underperformers or people that are not good for the outcome of what ultimately is the value system, which ultimately equals the outcome, which is the culture. And that's, that's very damaging, and when you have that small crack, eventually that crack and blow open.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. I wish I could say I have not personally experienced that in an organization that I worked at, but a lot of times, I mean, in Mali, I know you, I know, you feel this, but unfortunately, a lot of times, by the time we get involved, that crack is now a fissure. And it's something you're trying to build a bridge over. And, and the damage is not irreparable sometime, but but pretty close to it. And I think that's why, you know, going back to your comment, that's, that's why you've got to live and breathe, you know, in your DNA, your your mission, vision values, you know, your brand, and, and if, and yeah, the things that you tolerate, or the things that eventually will become your culture, right?

Molly Burdess:

You guys will appreciate this, I just had someone in my organization come to me today leader in my organization and said, Alright, we got to fix this retention problem and your HR. So this is your problem, you need to fix this retention problem. And I'm like, my mind, I think blew up. Because it can't be just us. You know, it has to be a collaboration with with every leader in your organization. It's, it's not just a one person. And I think HR is in a tough spot. So I think all we can do is lead the way have some of those hard conversations that no, this is not just a knee problem. Let's fix this together. And here are some ways here's what I'm seeing. But we have to do this together.

Kyle Roed:

So what do you say, Molly? Now? I'm curious. Could you react?

Molly Burdess:

I said, me personally, in my role, I feel like I have done everything I could do without the support of the team.

Bert Miller:

Yeah, you know, it was interesting, Molly is that if you go I mean, most everybody wants to feel large companies included, you know, Fortune ones, Fortune fives. They want to feel engaged with their CEO, they may not always be in the room and shake their hand. They want to feel engaged with their CEO. Having said that, only 17% of the people feel engage with their CEO. And that's problematic in the reason that exist is a little bit of what you experienced today. So yeah, that's a huge opportunity now for every podcast. This podcast is getting you in trouble. Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

Who listens to this on your team?

Molly Burdess:

No, I think it's, I think a lot of HR people can relate. And it's a challenging spot to be and kind of going back to the persistence thing, I think, all good changes. It just takes a lot of persistence. A lot of patience. You know, I actually have on my bulletin board behind me five characteristics of a change agent. And number two is patient yet persistent. And I really think that's what it takes.

Bert Miller:

Well, look, look, Molly look with you in your role. You have so much coming out you in the HR function. Always have a lot of things, anything that happens with people Oh, give it to HR, recruiting, give HR compliance, give HR problem, problem children given to HR. Everything comes to HR and really, we have I don't know who No, it's CEO originally made that call. Way back when But HR has been bombarded with everything around those particular issues in corporate America and others. Now, now, what's your face and Molly is today and going forward, environmental wellness, mental wellness, safety for people coming into organizations. And a large, you know, your listeners are out there that run large, large, or HR in large organizations, some of the CHRO is out there, they face that at a, you know, at a certainly an elevated level. And so there's a ton of pressure coming at HR, even more so than, you know, in the past. You know,

Molly Burdess:

but that's really the kudos to our industry, looking at the positive side here that we do now have that seat at the table, and that, you know, our CEOs, and they're lucky to ask for solutions. So it is a good place to be challenging, but But it feels good.

Kyle Roed:

So I'm curious on your perspective on this book, because you touched on something that I think is is maybe a little bit controversial, but I think is an interesting point. And that is, should talent acquisition, should recruiting be an HR function?

Bert Miller:

Yeah, great question, Kyle. And I would, I would say no, I would say no, I look, there, what I've noticed some companies have done is, you know, they've gone into what they call talent acquisition. We use Georgetown access, but acquisition is new well known in the marketplace, they've gone to the talent acquisition, that really you're starting to see CHRO is starting to be put into the roles in start, you're starting to see a lot of folks being brought in to lead DNI in organizations. So, companies are paying attention, which is a good thing is a good thing. But HR was put in place originally to help people listen to people run compliance, ensure that it's a good safe environment, proper communication, that all all the all the pins were lined up correctly for the employees in an organization. And when what we've done over the last several decades is we've we've dumped these other things on top of HR, around talent acquisition, or recruitment. In, in, technology has accelerated the process, and the importance and the pressure that is put on HR today to deliver and then there's finger pointing right, you know, I hear all the time from hiring managers, well, HR is not providing me a slate of you know, I don't I can't get people from them and hear that pressure. Alright, well, I need 10 People buy in two weeks, you know, whatever the case may be, and, and it's just unrealistic. If look, if I asked every CEO in America right now, what's the number one most important thing to your organization? If the first two answers, one of the first two answers doesn't happen to be their people, that's a problem. But almost, I would venture to guess 90% of those CEOs will say people, well, if people are your number one asset to your organization, to your day to day, to your growth, to your innovation, to your execution, then if you are not respecting that, and not helping build the people within your organization to do nothing but that and have a process by going out and winning the best talent. It doesn't, it doesn't reconcile, you're talking to both sides, your mouth. And what happens is when you when you give HR, all these things, Kyle and Molly, you now are creating utility players in your organization, utility players, it's hard to be great, it's hard to be great and be a utility player in a company, you need you have your role, and you need to you need to be great at your role and you can because your role is very, very important for the overall collective outcome of an organization.

Kyle Roed:

I resemble that remark. And, and you know, and I can speak you know, I speak openly that, you know, in my current role, you know, when I started I was pure generalist, you know, department one and really had to build up it wasn't until, you know, I had support from from a leader who certainly believes that people are the most important aspect of the business, to invest in resources in the approach there from my standpoint, so I tend to shift more to the sales side of things. Anyways, that's how that was my undergrad and all that. So I tend to focus more on the talent acquisition and kind of the culture building side. And then I hired people who can actually be the subject matter experts in the areas like compliance and safely and some of the areas that just aren't natural strengths. But I actually think the whole, like, the whole push for HR is to be like generalists. And every, in every aspect, it's just, it's just not going to work. It's going to pursue the entire organ, the entire career into mediocrity, if we try to be good at everything. That's just that's yeah,

Bert Miller:

there's not many great generalist good at something, which I just said, an idea that was an oxymoron, obviously, because you're a generalist, you're not great at something, you're great at being a generalist, perhaps. But it's really hard to be great at your role when you're asked and being pulled, or pushed or, you know, taking on things based on the fact that people want to hand them off.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think it's, it's interesting. And I'm sure there's probably some, there's probably some listeners right now are kind of frustrated and sitting here thinking, Well, gee, you know, I'm going to small organization, I don't have I don't have the benefit. I don't have unlimited budget, you know, how do I, you know, how do I think about this, and, you know, one of the things I would say is, Listen, I don't come from a huge company, we have resources. But just because something isn't my core job doesn't mean that I don't have a number of resources within the organization available to me. So as opposed to trying to be all things HR, and trying to be, let's say, a recruiting expert, go tap your hiring managers, give them the system to be successful, but let them go pick the talent. They're the ones that want they want them on their team anyways, I mean, I'm the first to admit, I don't know, the best, you know, developer. Let me start talking Python and C sharp. I'm like, I don't even know, you know, C sharp, I don't think there's a C sharp, it's, it's a music No, like, you know, like, we don't have to be experts in that. What we should be experts is, is coordinating and connecting those resources together so that we can focus on the things we are good at. Yeah, I

Molly Burdess:

agree. I'm a department of lawn for the most part in a small business. And that's exactly what I did. You know, I went to my marketing person, and I said, Hey, I know your expertise is not recruiting, but I need your help creating this brand and sharing this brand. And I gave her some direction, and she just killed it. You know, I took some of our most passionate people in our office and some of our stores who are passionate about culture and engagement. And I developed a culture committee of not HR people, but just people who are talented and passionate. And so now they run all things, culture related all of our engagement initiatives, and it took so much off of my plate. And it was great for the organization. So Kyle, I am a testament to that. Yes, great advice.

Kyle Roed:

And Bert, just just to give you some unsolicited, you know, backing here, for anybody else who's listening, I guarantee you that Bert probably has a solution available. Because that's what he does, is to help make sure that there are people who are living and breathing and connected to this type of work, that are experts that will be able to be specialists in the type of things that you need help with. So there are

Bert Miller:

Yeah, there. There are Kyle, thank you. And what I would also say in small business, most of our firms are small business 15 years ago, if you asked What's number one hire for your firm, they would say a business developer or salesperson, that'd be the number one hire. And in growing a firm, we asked this question, at a most recent conference that we had, we asked this question amongst our network. And the number one answer that came out of it was an executive assistant or chief of staff, their first hire, if you were starting from scratch today, even though you're a small business, you got to keep in mind you have to put people in the right positions to win and not ask them to play multiple positions. You know, you put you put Tom Brady, a defense fan, you would know Tom Brady is right. He's Tom Brady, because he plays the right position on the field. And so, you know, today you have to have people in the right roles in that role is very critical to people starting a business people leading a business and allowing them to be do many, many of the high value activities that they have to do to run the business and grow the business the right way, versus being pulled into five or 10 other different things which tends to happen in most organizations.

Kyle Roed:

Let me tell you, a good executive assistant is worth their weight in gold. I totally understand that. I wouldn't have understood that a few years ago. If you were to ask me. I would thought you know that. I don't understand it. But yeah, the right person in that role. That's one of the that's one of the people that I shortchanged in my comment is I also have a really great executive assistant that doesn't even work directly For me, but it's just somebody that helps with so many of the aspects that pull away our attention on the value added people first processes that we have to do. So with that being said, I wish we could keep talking and keep going here, but we are steadily coming to the end of our time together and I want to be respectful of your time. Berg. You are a busy guy. So we are going to shift gears and go into the rebel HR flash round. Okay. All right. The first question, what is your favorite people book? Good to Great. I love that book. I have that book. Well, of course, everybody's supposed to have it on their, you know, behind them in their in their desk. And

Bert Miller:

you know, what's been introduced to me recently, what's been introduced to me by about five people, including my business partners, radical candor, which I love as well. It really serves well. And it serves itself well in today's environment.

Kyle Roed:

Love that two great books. If you haven't heard of those books, check them out. Well, where's that Good to Great for me. That's one. I was lucky enough to read that in college. And it was very, very formative. And even though I didn't go I'm not a traditional, you know, HR, undergrad or anything like that. They didn't have that where I went to school. But that book helped kind of lay the foundation for what I thought HR could be. So yeah, definitely check it out. Question number two, who should we be listening to?

Bert Miller:

Chris Voss Chris Voss the art of negotiation, never book never split the difference by Chris FOSS. It's so non me, it's he comes at it from a different approach than academia. Although there's a combination thereof throughout, in the way that he approaches negotiation. And eight, there's so much practicality to learn everything from strategic components to the behavioral side, the way people respond to the pace by which you talk, the way you change voice inflection, or just simply listen and ask questions based off what has been asked. It's, it's a it really is it's a magical book.

Kyle Roed:

I love that. You know, the, the interesting thing, and I'm sure you know, an HR person's like, why don't need a book on negotiation? You know, I'm not I'm not negotiating contracts or sales. Well, let me tell you, it's all a negotiation.

Bert Miller:

Well, you negotiate a home and negotiate with your kids and husbands or wives. And as Chris will say, for those who say they think they have this down, Pat. And you know, I can't do his voice quite as well as he does, but negotiate negotiations a perishable skill. If you're being successful than your pride, it's a perishable skill, you're probably being successful in spite of yourself. So, listen to Chris Voss.

Kyle Roed:

I love that. I love that. There's so much of my job. I yeah, I wish I would have gotten more into that world. Molly shaking her head up and down. Oh, yeah. All right. Last question. hard hitting one here. How can our listeners connect with you?

Bert Miller:

Yeah, that thank you. It. First of all, Instagram. Bert Miller, B E. R. T. Miller, Mr. Burton, Miller, MRI, or advert Miller MRI, that's both Instagram, and Facebook and whatever else was out there, Twitter. And then LinkedIn, obviously, look me up, Bert, B. E. RT, Bert Miller. Love to connect with you guys. And I would love for those who have not listened via YouTube, to be on the bottom line with Bert Miller to look it up and listen to it. Some great guests, including Chris, but also the CEO of hostess and Peter Mondavi. And guys, you know, guys, the head of Bacardi Pete Carr. There's some really fantastic people, terrific leadership approaches that are out there. And these are these are the CEOs and heads of business that really navigated tough waters over the last several months and did so extremely well. So there's a lot to learn on beyond the bottom line with Bert Miller.

Kyle Roed:

Love that great content out there. And, you know, I think, you know, Molly mentioned if you're trying to figure out, get into the head of you know, your your CEO or your business's owner or try to understand the challenges of your, your your business leaders. You know, hearing it directly from those leaders themselves is the best way to learn. So thank you for putting that content out there, Bert.

Bert Miller:

Thank you.

Kyle Roed:

That being said, that is all the time we have today. Check out Bert Miller. We will have all that information in the show notes, MRI networks as well. great organization. Thank you so much for spending your time with us and sharing some of your knowledge with us today.

Bert Miller:

Thanks for having me guys. Molly. Kyle, thank you so much. Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. Big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those the authors 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