|Tim Sackett |
(Presenter at ILSHRM11)
Though my inbox and Twitter feed are flooded daily, rare is the article that catches my eye quite like a recent piece published by Fistful of Talent. It posed a simple question: “Is Tim Sackett the Most Powerful Man in HR?” The answer (“Yes.”) was news to me. After reading Sackett’s piece, I was left with another, more pressing question: Who exactly is this guy?
Having determined that his was a brain worth picking, I scheduled a Q&A with Sackett and quickly found out he’s an HR veteran with a big personality. When I asked him how he got into HR, Sackett said that, like a lot of college kids, “You just fall into something. You either like it and do well, or you don't and you start looking for something else.”
Fresh out of college, his mother – the CEO at HRU Technical Services – offered him a sourcing position as a research assistant. From there, he launched into a 10-year career in corporate HR before returning to take the reins at HRU. Now the Executive VP, Sackett seems to have found his place in the HR world and, thankfully, was willing to share his lessons learned.
Q: HOW CAN RANK-AND-FILE HR PROS BRING THEIR HR DEPARTMENT UP TO SPEED WITH LIMITED RESOURCES?
Sackett: If you have limited resources, the only thing that is going to help you become more efficient is technology.
The only way you are going to do more with less is to utilize the technology that you have available to you, and to educate yourself.
Everyone should be using Google Reader. There are organizations out there that drive a community of HR professionals that share resources and information, and all you have to do is subscribe to them to get their updates in your inbox. I also use Twitter, and at any minute I could go out there and say, “I'm looking for a total comp statement to use.” I have roughly 3,500 Twitter followers, and within five minutes I will have five people send me a link or an email of a total comp statement that they put together.
At that point, I'm not just one single HR professional in northern Wisconsin working on my own. I have all these people who are saying, "Let's use this community to really go out and drive better HR in our organizations individually.” But you’ve go to plug in first.
Q: BEYOND YOUR PHONE, EMAIL, AND THE INTERWEBS, WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY EVERY HR PROFESSIONAL SHOULD HAVE?
Sackett: There's some basic automation in HR that you need to be effective. For me, an applicant tracking system is invaluable. You have to find a way not only to process incoming talent, but also to go back and find that talent that has found you already. When I first started at HRU as a research assistant, I worked with file cabinets full of resumes. A recruiter would say, "I need a Process Engineer.” That's file 63, and the file would literally be five inches thick of resumes. You would start calling and looking at notes people wrote on them six months ago. Really from that experience, I can tell you that an applicant tracking system is worth its weight in gold. You're always going to get your return on investment from that standpoint.
For further reading, check out the full Q&A on Kyle's blog:
-Thanks To Kyle and Tim for a wonderful post - Dave Ryan Director of Social Media ISC SHRM.