Latest SHRM Ratings – R.I.P. Recruiting

shrmA couple of weeks ago, I led my latest webcast on SHRM called “R.I.P. Recruiting.” This session focused on the new recruiting model that will be necessary in order to reach today’s talent, and the importance of keeping “human” the priority in “Human Resources.” The session received a huge turnout and I wanted to share the results as provided by SHRM. I’ll also provide a link to the transcript of the session so you can check it out if you missed the webcast.

Effectiveness of Doug Douglas as a presenter: 97.3% (16% higher than the average presenter on SHRM)

Usefulness of the information: 99.1% (one of the best scores in the history of SHRM webcasts)

What grade would you give this presentation: A/B = 96.8% (average score for A/B is 90%)

Quotes from attendees:

  •  As always a great webinar from a great presenter. Please continue bringing Mr. Doug Douglas back!
  • Doug Douglas was a very engaging presenter.
  • Doug Douglas was an amazing presenter; he has a true message and passion for his work and has linked it to giving back.  I heard so much echoed of my own thoughts and feelings toward recruiting.  Thank you for bringing him to SHRM webcasts. I will be contacting him.  WOW!
  • Doug Douglas was on the money – excellent !
  • Doug was a great presenter! He added humor, facts, human perspective and inflection in his message. I found it very interesting and am trying to figure out what my role is in sharing this information!
  • Excellent information, will follow Doug Douglas.
  • Greatly enjoyed the learning experience as presented by Doug Douglas.  I will definitely be an avid blog follower after viewing this webcast.  Thank you for having him present.
  • I will attend additional SHRM webinars based on my experience with this one.
  • This should be shown to CEOs and government agencies.

If you would like to check out the transcript of this session, go here.


10 Million Reasons Why

10 Million PicThe U.S. Department of Labor states that in 2012, the U.S. economy had the largest workforce in the nation’s history – more than 162 million people. Impressive, huh? But the government also estimated a shortage of more than 10 million skilled workers in 2012.

Part of the reason is “The Great Crew Change.” In my work within the energy industry, this has been a topic discussed for several years now. They have this group of highly skilled and experienced workers who have been working in the field for many years, mostly Baby Boomers, and now they are at retirement age. 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every single day! But behind them, are Gen X and Gen Y – and there aren’t as many of them who have been interested in getting into the skilled trades. So obviously, this has caused a HUGE problem! Energy companies, and others who use skilled labor like construction, manufacturing, etc. have big shortages of experienced and qualified people to back-fill the positions of those retiring.

The good news is, there are things that can be done to address the issue. I have tackled this issue head on for some of my clients and produced a steady pipeline (pun intended) of qualified candidates for their hardest to fill positions, as well as for geographic regions where it is tough to locate people. It is certainly not something where you can flip a switch and see immediate results, but if you are willing to set a strategy and follow it, it will pay off in big ways! One of these companies had trouble locating qualified people for a highly skilled position. Within 1 year’s time though, I was able to give them a $12 million ROI as I produced a steady pipeline of qualified and experienced candidates. This allowed them to take on projects that they previous had to turn away because they didn’t have the personnel to do it. At the same time, we lowered turnover by 30%. When you combined those two elements – it far exceeded any costs that were incurred because of the work done on their behalf.

If you are having issues finding skilled workers, reach out to and let me help. I’m happy to discuss your unique situation, and customize a solution for you to get you far ahead of your competition.

What I Learned Through My Audition on The Voice

My alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. today. By 4:15, I was out of my bed. I needed to be in downtown Austin by 7:00 a.m. to check in for my audition on The Voice. By 6:00 a.m., I was out of the door and on my way, arriving at the Austin Convention Center around 6:30. When I walked up, I was greeted by no less than 2000 other hopeful contestants who were already in line.

I worked my way 2/3 of the way around the perimeter of the building and took my place in line. Let the waiting begin. Casual conversations were started with those around me. The lady behind me flew in from Seattle to audition. The guy next to me was from Los Angeles. At 45 years old, I was the oldest contestant that I could see at this point, although I did find a few older than me later on. I was amazed at the various color options available for hair these days! I think I saw every color and/or combination possible! I also noticed that I wasn’t dressed appropriately for this audition. Booty shorts and cowboy boots were the outfit of choice by the vast majority of the crowd!

I am normally the person who talks to everyone and wants to hear everyone’s story, but not today. I just watched and listened mostly. There were some in that sea of people that just stood out because of their quiet confidence. They sat there and waited their turn and didn’t spend 3 hours reciting the resume to everyone around them. There were others who would break out into song every few minutes at the top of their lungs – thinking that everyone would just think they were warming up, but in reality, we all knew they needed the approval of those around them to make them feel better about themselves. Lots and lots of teenagers were there, and most were scared to death, although they tried to put on a good act.

In some ways, I was envious of many in the crowd today. I grew up singing and had lots of big performances when I was younger. I have sung for a couple of Presidents. I’ve performed in front of 25,000 people. I was on TV and radio regularly. But now, I’m 45. My voice isn’t as strong as it used to be. The swagger has diminished somewhat. These types of shows weren’t available when I was younger. Maybe I’m way off base here, but I truly believe that if I had entered a show like this when I was 18-19 years old, I would have made the show and might have won it. But now, I knew deep down in my heart that I had no shot of being selected to be on the show…I know a few things about demographics! These kids and young adults around me, they had that look in their eye – excitement, determination, and passion.

NBC's "The Voice" Press JunketIn conversations that I heard today, most of the people gained their experience singing in church. The others who had experience, gained it in bars. And the rest, they had no experience at all. I wonder where kids who don’t have opportunities to sing in church gain their experience? Schools have cut lots of music programs. Many bars aren’t going to allow minors in to perform. Their options are limited. But they still have a deep hunger to perform!

It finally came my turn to enter the audition room and do my thing for one of the producers. 10 of us entered a room together. There was no interview or discussion. The producer would call your name, you walked up to an X on the floor, told her what song you were going to do, and you had 60-90 seconds to win or lose. None of the 10 in the room with me were bad, in fact all were really very good. They called my name and I walked up for what I knew would likely be my last audition ever. I sang my song, and was pleased with my performance. I deserved to be in that room with these other performers. When I finished, the producer looked up at me and sad, “Very nice!” She didn’t speak to any of the other contestants. Finally, all 10 had finished and she named one name and asked for that person to stay behind and everyone else could go home. Mine was not that name. It was the last girl to go from our group. She was very good, but not the best in room by far – maybe not even in the top 7. She was 14-15 years old, blonde hair, blues eyes, cute…pretty much the exact opposite of me…hahaha!

I walked to the door to leave the audition room and each of the other singers in the room approached me and wanted to speak to me. Each told me how I should have been the one selected. It was a cool moment for me, especially considering that would be the last time I would go through this type of process. They didn’t know that, but their words validated my efforts and made me feel like I still could “bring it” when I really wanted to.

The Voice is a very cool concept. What we see on TV is that judges objectively listen to the singer’s voices while having their backs turned. They don’t know if the singer is young, old, overweight, pretty, or any other factor other than their voice. But the process to get to that point is no different than other talent competition shows. If The Voice really wanted to do it correctly, they would have singers enter behind a curtain and sing so the producer can only hear a voice and then make a decision. Video tape submissions wouldn’t be accepted – only audio submissions. Make it really, all the way throughout the process, about The Voice and nothing else.

I had a great time going through the process. It was very interesting. My approach after defeating cancer has been to try to enjoy life and try as many things as possible. I wanted to put myself out there and take some risks. I have a teenage daughter that I hope will learn from this example and always be willing to try. But really…that’s a lesson all of us could learn.

Audition Day: The Voice

the voiceTomorrow morning, at 7:00 a.m., I will be at the Austin Convention Center to audition for The Voice. I am 45 years old, a husband of 24 years, the father of a soon to be 16 year old daughter, the Managing Director and Partner at a recruiting firm (Providence Partners), and I will go stand in line beside kids as young as 13-14 for my chance to sing. Am I crazy???

I grew up in a very musical home. My mom played the piano, and my two older sisters sang in a Gospel quartet that traveled all over the country performing. My first solo came when I was 2 years old. I took 13 years of vocal lessons, attended college on a vocal scholarship, and have performed for as many as 25,000 in a live performance, as well as performing on TV and radio. My dream coming out of high school was to be a professional musician, but while in college, I messed up my vocal chords by singing around 4-5 hours a day each day. My throat would bleed while I was singing, hurting like crazy afterwards, and then my voice would disappear after a while. My dream ended when that happened.

I spent close to 20 years as a Youth Minister and a Worship Leader at various churches, so in a way, I did become a professional musician – but not quite the way I envisioned it at 17 and 18 years old. Several years ago, I stopped singing for a couple of years and it was the first time in my life that I took that kind of a break. It allowed my vocal chords and throat a chance to fully heal. But now, much older, and not near as polished as I was “back in the day,” I have a chance to go audition. But why?

I’d love to tell you that I have this burning passion to just sing the rest of my life away…and I do enjoy singing still, but that’s not it. It’s a weird story, but one worth telling.

On August 24, 2010, I was diagnosed with cancer. Let me tell you, when you hear the words, “You have cancer.”, it changes every aspect of your life. My priorities shifted from making a lot of money, advancing in my career, and owning nice things to the priorities of faith, family, and friends. I wanted relationships. I wanted meaningful conversations. I wanted to do all of those things that I always wondered about but never took the chances to try. I wanted my daughter, and those around me, to see that taking a risk – putting yourself out there – is okay! I went through a tough time in my fight with cancer…my second surgery was the worst and could have cost me my life. But after a few months of hard core surgeries and treatments, I was declared cancer free!

So, when I walk into my audition tomorrow morning, it’s not to impress everyone with my voice. At this stage of my life, there will be many who are far better than I am. But I walk in to take a risk, to put myself out there, to face a challenge, and with the hopes that I’ll make it far enough to share my story. Not long ago, I didn’t know if I would live or die…but neither do any of us. Tomorrow is not promised. Enjoy life. Take time to do fun things and build memories. Engage in deep conversations about things that matter. Tell people who matter in your life – “I love you.” And find your song and sing it as loud as you can!

Old School: Recruiter / New School: Influencer

influencerFor a couple of years now, I have been speaking with HR leaders from around the world on the coming transformation in Recruiting. A good deal of the need for change is based on generational issues, but also an important factor is the loss of “Human” in the whole “Human Resources” world. Last Thursday, I spoke with a very large group of HR leaders through SHRM and we addressed this issue head on. I mentioned some of the reasons for change, and what changes need to be made, and one of the issues is that the skill set of the next generation “recruiter” will be the ability to be a world-class “influencer.”

An Influencer is someone who can make other rave about their brand. This is done through engagement and building a trust and rapport with others. It’s a transparent and collaborative relationship, not the ones robed in secrecy and distrust that so many recruiters have today.

I am now in my own search for Sourcers and Influencers at my own place of business. I am hoping that the best of the best will rise to the top and make themselves known through direct contact with me, or through referrals built through other relationships. I’m excited about the search…and interested in how this will all go down. I believe that the people that I need may not have the experience that others may seek in our industry…and that’s okay. I am much more interested in finding people with the right motivators, drivers, personality, and behaviors, and if I can find that…I can train them in how to do what I do.

So, the search is on! Let’s see where it takes me!