June 15, 2021
Interviews 17 October 2016
Essential Recruiting Tips from the Tim Sackett Project
Gisel Malek
interview questions, recruiters,  The Tim Sackett Project

We had the chance to interview Tim Sackett, creator of The Tim Sackett Project and ask him questions about his extensive experiences in HR, details on his passion project and got insight on some of the important issues surrounding hiring and recruitment today. 

1. What has your extensive experience in the world of HR taught you the most?

Don't believe people know what they're doing because they work at a giant brand, and don't think someone is unsophisticated because they work for a small company. Where most people land in their careers is more a function of time, location, and your capacity for high political savviness, then skill. People don't really want critical feedback. People want to be told they're a rockstar and get a raise. About 1% of the population can actually take critical feedback and get better from it. It's statistically impossible for candidates to have as many 'car breakdowns' as they claim they have when telling you the reason they missed the interview.

2. What inspired you to create Recruitment 20/20?

Recruitment 2020 was inspired by me taking about 20 calls in one week from talent acquisition leaders all wanting me to tell them how to fix their shops for free! Seriously. I love giving out advice and sharing my knowledge, I have over 1500 blog posts doing just this, and I open myself up to the community as much as anyone I know. But, there came a point when I couldn't even get my own job done, so I put a value on my time and knowledge. 

The engagements I've had with organizations using Recruitment 2020 have been awesome. I truly believe organizations want to improve and get better and I've made some life-long relationships from those engagements!

3. You have over 20 years of experience spread over different aspects and departments of HR. What is your opinion on the disconnect between recruiters and C-level executives and how does it affect overall company culture?

First, you have to understand why this is an issue. Not all, but most, corporate recruiting pros started out in HR or administration in the organizations they work in. They didn't actually want to be recruiters, but it paid more, so they took it! So, they don't want to recruit, but they love the process and administering processes. 

Keep your head down, follow a process, don't make waves. They're basically farmers of talent. C-Level executives want results. They want corporate recruiting to be killers! So, most executives look at their TA teams as ineffective and unwilling to make the changes to be effective. It's shocking at how many TA leaders turnover from a corporate job to corporate job because the executives keep trying to find someone who can solve their talent problems. 

The major issue is that if you have only farmed, you keep trying to solve your problems like a farmer.  It's all you know. Most organizations need an overhaul in the talent on their recruiting teams, the technology that they use and the strategy to attract the right talent. This takes vision, confidence, and money. This means you have to go to the executives and tell them exactly what you need, what you're going to do with those resources and be able to stand behind the results of those actions. This is the opposite of most corporate TA leaders. 

4. How does the evaluation of job candidates play a role in increasing talent base?

Modern assessment technology can flat out help organizations pick smarter, more dynamic people. The problem is most don't listen to the results and still feel their 'gut' tells them who the better candidate will be. Ultimately, what they want is to hire people who make them feel comfortable, which doesn't lead to increasing your talent. 

I tell TA leaders and executives all the time, "hire the person who scares the shit out you!" They laugh. But, I'm serious. You should strive to hire people so talented, you're scared they'll take your job! 

5. What is the one piece of advice you’d give to companies as they are evaluating potential candidates to position themselves for higher retention?  

Don't make skill your number one reason for selection. Hire for cultural fit. That's not easy because most organizations have no real idea about what their culture is. So, you need to figure that out first. Not what you want it to be, what it actually is! Then hire people who want to be that.  Teach them the rest. Almost every position in our organizations can be taught to someone who loves working for you and has the capacity to learn. If you want high retention, hire people who love your company. 

Background Check

Tim Sackett has had over 20 years of experience in the field of HR and is a recruiting professional with a Master's degree in HR and SPHR certification. Currently, he's the President at HRU Technical Resources – a $40M IT and Engineering contract staffing firm and RPO. He is also a leading contributor on the popular HR blog Fistful of Talent.