Lover of HR, recruiting and technology William Tincup of RecruitingDaily joins us in this episode to blow apart the work/life balance myth. He shares his COVID silver linings as well as how companies are helping their employees with all the related current stressors. He makes the case for flexible work arrangements to allow your people to work when they are most productive and becoming more outcomes focused rather than being set on how the work gets done. William also chats through how his life experiences have forced him to slow down and realize that optimism is a choice.
William Tincup is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter: @williamtincup.
For more insightful conversations, visit www.talentexperiencepodcast.com. We hope you enjoy this episode of the Talent Experience podcast!
Rhonda Taylor 00:25
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are, it's truly an international time in our lives right now. It's Rhonda Taylor with TalentX and today I have the unique opportunity of having a lifelong analyst friend joining us today. And that's William Tincup. William, introduce yourself.
William Tincup 00:50
Well Rhonda, I am a Virgo, favorite color is turquoise. Just kidding. I've been studying HR tech about as long as you have and I think we both love both HR, recruiting and technology. I've studied it in a couple different ways, as a market researcher, as a consultant, owning an agency and with Recruiting Daily, more on the talent acquisition side from a media perspective. My week, I think it's always interesting to kind of dig into how people use their time, so my weeks are kind of evenly divided between talking to practitioners, HR and TA about how to use technology and then the other half is talking to technology companies about how to get practitioners to become aware of them. I enjoy both conversation, they're vastly different but I enjoy both conversations.
Rhonda Taylor 01:54
You know, you're being very humble William. I can remember when HR Tech was on, and I knew who you were, but I did not know the power and how well you were known within the HR tech community. It was at HR Tech, and you came walking down the aisle and there must have been like 15 to 20 people walking right behind you and they were all just yipping at you asking questions. I looked at somebody and I said, who's that? and they said that's William Tincup.
William Tincup 02:30
Well some of that I did and this is the fun bit, I did tours there for a couple years. I would take practitioners, mostly, I would take them on tours of HR Tech. So we would walk down the middle of aisles and just look left and right and I'd say okay, this is a payroll processing company, this is a benefits management company, this is an internal mobility company, this is what they do. Because most practitioners are so busy, they've got their heads down, they can't keep up with what we keep up with. They can't keep up with all the kind of the improvements and innovations and how you people are using things. And so that was actually a fun bit for me to do for a while.
It's not easy, because the questions would come out of all kinds of different perspectives, but I appreciate it was it was a fun bit. I do miss being, COVID I mean we've had an HR Tech, but it wasn't the same. The virtual experience that we've been doing with Recruiting Daily, we've been doing virtual training events since February, but it's not the same. There's nothing that's kind of still, going and having a cup of coffee with somebody and looking them in the eye and just going Hey, what's going on? How are you doing?
Rhonda Taylor 03:52
Yeah and all the hugs that we use get out on the floor, you really realize how much you miss the human contact.
William Tincup 04:06
There's some things with COVID, there are some silver linings, it has sped up some things. So it's sped up like video interviewing, it's sped up candidates adopting video, etc. it's sped up some things like empathy, like look at the three of us. We've got our backgrounds, there's kids screaming, dogs barking and I think my dishwashers running like, but that's normal and it's okay. We start off calls how are you doing? How's everything going? How's your family? How are your kids? And we end calls with wash your hands, wear a masks, stay safe, whatever. And I like that. I wasn't like that. I will tell you December of 19 a year later, I was very much when I get on business calls it's business. Let's get to the business, what's the agenda. And I think COVID has helped me slow down and be more empathetic of people's situation. And I hope we don't lose that post COVID. If we can imagine a world where there is a post COVID. Post COVID I hope we don't lose that empathy.
Rhonda Taylor 05:26
That's right, the caring and realizing that we all have families and additional stresses that we're dealing with on a regular day, we all can't be in our happy place all the time.
William Tincup 05:39
We've talked for a while about bringing your whole self to work. And we've talked about this concept of work life balance. And I think those are, I think work life balance was a myth and I think COVID destroyed it. And I think it's, once we come out the other side of this, I think it's more work life integration. Where we think about, hey, listen, you know, it's okay, you're gonna have bad days, your going to have good days, or have days where you need to take a nap or go to the museum or whatever, there's gonna be times we're more productive or less productive. And that's okay.
William Tincup 06:19
Whereas before, we tried to wall off, like, Oh, that's work, and then you won't do work, and then oh, that's home, and I think COVID is blowing all that stuff up and shown that for kind of the fraud that it was. You're gonna do work and when you feel like you can be productive. And in your well being, you're gonna take time off and do things that to make yourself not get burnout. Yeah, and those are situational and so they're not as rigid. I think that's going to be kind of an really interesting flexibility that comes to bear with employers and employees, is just a more flexibility, and an understanding of, hey, listen, outcomes have to be achieved, check. Now, how do those outcomes need to be achieved?
Now there's all kinds of flexible things that we can do there. We can look at flexible work arrangements, we can look at remote work, we can look at gig workers, we can look at all these new things and say, well, the outcome still get done. So I'm excited about that. I'm excited about that choice, that flexibility. And then I'm excited of how companies and employees and candidates and recruiters how they start thinking of how that flexibility works.
Rhonda Taylor 07:46
Yeah and I've always lived by life is work and work is life. And to draw the line between the two of them, it's impossible. It's impossible but it's up to you as an individual to make sure that you have a work life balance.
William Tincup 08:04
That's right. You essentially, it's almost like you being in touch and in tune with your own body or your own mind and understanding, I need a break. I need a break. And it could be at nine o'clock in the morning. Like that's the thing that we got to get mentally over. It's like, I got up, got the kids out to school, had breakfast, had a call - train wreck, I need a break. Right? And before we would have this rigid idea of like, well, no, from eight to five, you've got to be productive in this time period. It's like no, and I think COVID taught us that.
It taught us that a lot of these jobs that we thought we couldn't do remotely we were forced to do them remotely. And so that sped that up, which was nice. But it also sped up the idea of like, productivity it becomes kind of a game of understanding yourself, and understanding the way that outcomes need to be delivered, value needs to be delivered to the firm and less discussion of how the work gets done. So I think actually micro managers are probably the biggest victims of COVID. You know, those are the folks that feel like they have to stand on top of you to get the work done. I think those folks are really suffering.
Rhonda Taylor 09:36
Yeah. Yep and they're the ones that are not having a productive workforce working with them.
William Tincup 09:45
Mm hmm. No, no and you know what, and not a happy, productive, happiness and engaged and all that other stuff side of this of satisfied work. People have so many stresses, we don't know right now the full extent of the emotional toll that COVID has placed in our laps, we have no idea. And I don't want to say PTSD, because there's an official definition of that. But like, we don't fully understand how crippling this has been, we're in it and so we don't really know.
Years from now, we will know, we'll be like, oh my God, I can remember. But I think on some level I think it's a tell if you have to have your people like post COVID if you have to have your people in the office, like you have to stand over them, you're a bad manager. That's a tell for me, that's an opinion. I think that's a tell that you if you feel like you have to stand over somebody to do work, then then you probably don't know how to manage people.
Rhonda Taylor 10:52
Or maybe they don't have the right employee in the job.
William Tincup 10:55
Could be, could be. But a good leader, Rhonda will take that raw clay and train and invest and mentor and get that person to a place or they'll get them to another place in so far as from getting them to another place in the firm or letting them go. But a good leader will then try to not micromanage, they'll try to think about the outcomes. And go okay, if you're a demand generation manager, you've got to deliver to the firm 20,000 leads a month, okay, that's what you got to do. How you do that? There's a lot of different ways, there's many paths to the outcome. And I think great managers, great leaders will back off of the how, and let people kind of get to it.
Rhonda Taylor 11:53
Yeah, but you're right. We're right now seeing a high amount of stress and you're right, gosh, we don't know the effect that this will have on our healthcare workers in another six months. That's a storm waiting to happen.
William Tincup 12:17
It is, it is.
Rhonda Taylor 12:19
Let's just talk about the employee that's working remote at home, and their stress involved? What are companies doing for these employees? What are you seeing, even with some of the employees doing themselves.
William Tincup 12:36
I'm seeing some really remarkable things Rhonda, I have to admit. I'm seeing companies basically become more flexible. And they recognize where 2020 from the fires and the famous people that have died, to COVID, to a recession to a presidential election in the US, Murder Hornets like this has been, I had such high hopes for 2020 I really did and this has been the year we'll look back years from now and go how did you make it through that year? How'd you cope?
And I've seen some really fascinating things with people that are doing wellness initiatives, and well being initiatives where they let they give their employees access to therapists. And basically say, Hey, listen, we're all doing therapy, it's not forced, it's not mandatory, but we all have access to it. And if you just want someone to talk to great, take an hour, schedule a call and just talk. And it could be nothing to do with work, it could be talking about your husband not pulling his weight, whatever, like whatever the bid is, because again, that home stress is work stress. The two are congealed.
So I think that I've seen some fascinating things on onboarding, people really doing a great job of bringing in new employees and setting them up for success. Like sending them a stand up desk, and a laptop that's already provisioned and lights because they're going to be on camera and things like that. They're thinking in advance of how they would have tooled up that employee for somebody at the office and then thinking about Okay, well, they're in Topeka. How do we get them set up for success in Topeka? So what kind of Wi Fi do they have? What can we do to help them?
So they're thinking, I mean, what I like when I talk to practitioners, they're thinking well outside of the box, and it's really employee centric work. It's really thinking about each person, instead of treating everybody the same, which is historically been a problem in HR they're looking at the employee and saying, what do you need? What do you need? You have three kids in diapers? Okay. Yeah, first of all, sorry, second, what do you need to be successful? And I like that, because it's looking at the individuals case, and saying, we recognize that you're different, and we want to help you and we've got all kinds of different ways to help. So they've opened up the aperture of EAP's, and all kinds of other things.
That's where I've seen some of these other newer technologies that have kind of crept into the space like student loan assistant program. Where maybe before we would have talked about that, but because of the recession, we have employees that are choking on student debt, well, you know, what we have a program, we'll buy this technology, it'll help you manage that debt, we'll do dollar for dollar, or will do some type of deal. And they're working with their employees to be successful.
And it's the first time in my career that I've seen it, we normally, I mean, again, December of 19, we'd have dropped employees off the deep end of the pool and said, hope you know how to swim. You know, here's your onboarding, six hours, here's your notebook, great, get to work. That doesn't work today and it hasn't worked through COVID. And I think, again, some of the silver linings of COVID, is COVID brought that empathy to HR and to talent acquisition that says, you can't drop them off at the deep end of the pool. You shouldn't I mean, getting to that moral and ethical issue. You shouldn't, but you can't now.
Rhonda Taylor 17:17
Yeah, well you know, I'm in Canada and right now our government is discussing bringing on board, universal childcare.
William Tincup 17:30
Hundred percent. Great.
Rhonda Taylor 17:32
We have universal health care. And they're saying...
William Tincup 17:36
...and good health care. It's not just universal, you actually have good health care, to boot.
Rhonda Taylor 17:41
And the government is saying, and they just did some budget announcements recently and I had to give credit, they talked about this pandemic being the she-demic and lots of money has gone into women's programs.
William Tincup 18:00
Good. It's about time. It's only a couple of centuries late, but all right, yeah, good. I'm glad it's finally happening in my lifetime.
Rhonda Taylor 18:13
But when you think of COVID and the hospitality field, it was mainly women that lost their jobs. And women gave up their jobs, their careers because of daycare, because of taking care of seniors because homes were just a mess or just homeschooling setting up homeschooling for their children. So there was a lot of women that stepped out of their careers.
William Tincup 18:41
It's disproportion is one of the things that you think about Ronda, is it affected women and has affected women and lower income and we could also do with people of color in a similar breath. It's disproportionate, it isn't equitable. It wasn't never equitable. But COVID has also highlighted how the inequities were there.
Rhonda Taylor 19:07
William Tincup 19:09
That's a great word. Yes, it amplified those inequities and so I love when government can get in there and do something and say we have a problem here. Corporations aren't going to fix this on their own. Nonprofits can't fix it on their own, we're gonna step in and fix it. And I hope it works. I hope it eventually makes it to the United States. I think it'd be wonderful.
Rhonda Taylor 19:36
It's in discussion right now. So with TalentX we are all about enjoying what you do and being good at what you do and you excel with Recruiting Daily, your brand is just so phenomenally strong. And it's because you're so positive in everything that you do, what keeps William going putting one step in front of the other every day?
William Tincup 20:06
Oh good gosh, I think, we talked about it pre show. I think, you know, I had three near death experiences over a period of 22 months and prior to that, I lived very fast. And I was kind of the next thing, what's the next thing, I'm here, but what's the next thing? What's next? And those three, if you take all three of those events and push them together, I learned to slow down, and to enjoy every moment. And some of it's the ages of my kids, or the age of my myself and my marriage. And some of it's just I've become even more at peace, I've always really been at peace with myself but I've grown to become even more at peace, and just being myself and letting people to either deal with it or not deal with it.
And so I think one of the things that I've recognized is that, COVID's taught me some things, like I'm always learning things that's sort of my grandfather actually kind of wove that into me, it's like, you can learn something from every exchange, you can be in a elevator for two seconds or 20 seconds with a person and you can learn something if you're aware. So I'm always learning and I'm always trying to adapt. But I think the thing about being positive, is it actually came from one of those near death experiences, I almost got a tattoo on my hand and it was because I kept having this dream that optimism is a choice. And that was this reoccurring dream that I had, and it is you wake up every morning and you choose, you can look outside and it can be cloudy and you can choose and I choose optimism. And I didn't grow up that way. That wasn't the way, that wasn't me in my 20s or 30s. For sure, not until my 40s. But optimism is a choice.
Rhonda Taylor 22:26
When I met you, you were a redneck Texan. And the person I see today has mellowed so much. It's just hard to believe it's one in the same person.
William Tincup 22:47
I can still go to that gear, if needed. I can go zero to 80 if I have to. But I don't have to. I think that's one of the things Rhonda, I finally realized that I don't have to be that guy. I can be, if needed, if required. But I don't have to be that guy and I like that. And I think that some of that's wisdom and age and some of it's also, I do believe that those experiences really pushed me into kind of a reformat kind of mode where I have to look at my life and the way that I was living my life, but also the way that I was looking at relationships. And so I think you are the sum of some of your experiences and so you've got to go through these experiences, you don't pop out of the womb with them. You gotta you got to go through them and have them. And I'm glad I have.
Rhonda Taylor 23:44
And like you said, you have to learn from them.
William Tincup 23:48
And some people don't though, as you well know. Some people will have those experiences and then not learn anything from them. So you got to be open, you got to be open. It's like I think I was 36 when I realized this, but you can't change somebody. So like when dealing with like some of the addictions, if somebody's addicted to alcohol, and you're around them and you can try everything, you can hope, you could pray, you can try. You can do everything but unless that person wants to change, they're not going to change. And so recognizing that in yourself, recognizing that you could still try and pray and do all those things.
But the real change won't happen unless they want it to happen. Then that's all of us. And that's not just addictions, that's pretty much everything in life. It's up to you, as an individual if you want to choose optimism, you choose that. If you don't want to be addicted to alcohol, you can actually, I don't know if you ever get off or get away from being an alcoholic, but you can transfer your alcoholism to another addiction.
Rhonda Taylor 25:10
Like another energy.
William Tincup 25:12
To another energy, that's right. I've seen a lot of people do that.
Rhonda Taylor 25:16
Yeah. And I think, one of the things that I was taught William as a coach, the 10 most powerful two letter words in the English vocabulary: if it is to be it is up to me.
William Tincup 25:31
Oh, that's good. That's really good. Well and again, I think that's true of just a lot of things in life. I've got Henry in ninth grade and Van Ollis is in fifth and so right now they're both kind of discovering grades in different ways. And so it's like with Henry, I'm having more adult conversations like, listen, grades are just a way to create options. That's all it is. It's a game. Whether or not the topic is biology or history, it doesn't really matter. It's a game, you play the game. And in the game is to get the A, that's how you know that you've achieved the game. You just play the game, you get the A, well, why do you get the A's? Well, you get all A's, so that the end of your high school career, you've maximized your options. That's all it is. You can then at that point, do what you want. But if you don't have all A's, let's say you're a C student, your options are less.
But all that's a choice and it doesn't come like this is one of the things with this generation, both my boys are Gen Z is teaching them that nothing's given to you. Like if you want something, just like you said, you're going get it, you gotta go and work for it. You gotta go and earn it. In fact, Henry and I talked this morning about a biology thing, and he said, I want her to give me this that and the other. I said, you need to stop saying give, take that word out of your vernacular, get it our of your lexicon. There is no give you earn, you go earn that A in biology, she's not gonna give you anything. You earn it. So it's again, that's something in my 30s I wouldn't have thought like that. I love that phrase. if it's to be it's up to me, is that correct?
Rhonda Taylor 27:30
If it is to be it is up to me.
William Tincup 27:33
I love that. Well done.
Rhonda Taylor 27:36
Thank you William and this is Rhonda Taylor from TalentX with my guest. Thank you ever so much William Tincup. It's always a pleasure to connect with you. And I say goodbye to everyone and stay safe and as the saying is these days test negative stay positive.