#HappyBirthdayCadenceBTR -a tweetathon

As a follow up to the challenge for everyone to send Cadence a birthday card we have engaged in a massive social media storm/tweetathon! You can be a part of this by simply tweeting @bigtimerush information about Cadences story and requesting they send her a card too! You can also post on their facebook page! Find others who are doing the same at the Cards For Cadence facebook page!

Cadence getting ready to see Big Time Rush!

She loves Big Time Rush and had plans to attend a concert with her family on their #SummerBreakTour in July. Her extended family stepped up to the plate and took her in their place and I hope it is a memory that Cadence has forever. We all know this first birthday is going to be especially hard for her. So close to the date that she survived the terrible wreck that took her family. We are doing our part by making it special and sending her a #HappyBirthdayCadence card, will you?

In addition to sending your own card please join us in asking Big Time Rush to send a card! Here are some prewritten tweets you can use:

@bigtimerush Will you help us make Cadences day special? Her heartbreaking story here: https://hrpockets.com/2013/07/04/happybirthdaycadence/ #HappyBirthdayCadenceBTR

@bigtimerush You are Cadences favorite! Please send her a card! #HappyBirthdayBTR she deserves a special birthday this year!

@bigtimerush Your biggest fan has suffered a loss & you could put a smile on her face! https://www.facebook.com/#!/CardsForCadence?hc_location=stream send her a card! #HBDCBTR

@bigtimerush Please read Cadences story! She <3s you! Send her a card! #HappyBirthdayCadenceBTR https://hrpockets.com/2013/07/04/happybirthdaycadence/ Make her day special!

@bigtimerush How can you help 1 of your biggest fans? Send a card! https://www.facebook.com/#!/CardsForCadence?hc_location=stream #CardsForCadence #HappyBirthdayCadenceBTR

Everyone! Help us tweet to @bigtimerush for Cadence! #HappyBirthdayCadence https://hrpockets.com/2013/07/04/happybirthdaycadence/ Please make her day! She LOVES yall!

Everyone can help us tweet to @bigtimerush for Cadence! #HappyBirthdayCadence https://hrpockets.com/2013/07/04/happybirthdaycadence/ Please make her day! She LOVES yall!

I may go to twitter jail today! Cmon @bigtimerush show Cadence some love! Will you send her a card?! https://www.facebook.com/CardsForCadence?directed_target_id=0

@bigtimerush you could put a smile on your biggest fans face! https://www.facebook.com/#!/CardsForCadence?hc_location=stream send her a card! #HappyBirthdayCadenceBTR

@bigtimerush While youre in the studio making songs why don’t you make a video for Cadence? She loves y’all. #HappyBirthdayCadenceBTR



You can find my tweets @HRecruit

For this project please use the #HappyBirthdayCadenceBTR … maybe we can trend on twitter? 😉

Do you have a good tweet that I left off? Share it in the comments and we will use it too! This tweetathon will go on until Saturday July 12th at 8am CST. See you there!


When the Union strikes…

One of my favorite sessions from #SHRM13 was “A Portrait of a Modern Labor Dispute”. There are sooooo many reasons why I enjoyed this presentation. Some matter and some don’t.

1) Hope is adorable. She’s just fun to be around and she’s so sweet.

2) I feel like we have a bond through a previous employer of mine.

3) Unions fascinate me.

4) They were honest.

5) They didn’t back down.

6) Cliff has a snarky sense of humor that I happen to enjoy.

The story they shared with us was the violent labor dispute between EGT and ILWU. EGT opened a facility in an area that the ILWU claimed fell in their territory and EGT chose to not staff their facility with ILWU workers and things got ugly. What they showed us was real footage. It’s the stuff the union reps don’t share with your employees when they are trying to infiltrate your organizations. I can remember a few years back at an AL State SHRM conference the speakers that closed the conference were two former union guys that shared their secrets with a room full of HR pros on how they would turn facilities. The stuff they shared with us was mind-blowing! Black mailing executives, threatening managers, harrassing employees, some real dirty stuff. And this specific example between EGT and ILWU is a prime example of how manipulative and ill-natured the union can be when they strike.

Here in AL we are a “right to work state” so I have stumbled upon plenty of HR pros that think their facilities won’t go union because of that. My own digging has turned up quite the opposite information. We happen to have a large presence of union reps going after plenty of facilities in AL, specifically in south AL where we have more automotive facilities. They are persistent, they are hardcore, they do not give up. So, how will you handle that?

Here’s the deal, we all hope that our facilities won’t go union, but what would you do if it did? What would you do if it did go union and your facility had to deal with union protests? How would you handle a stack of grievances every week? How will you handle the unions intimidation tactics? How are you preventing this from happening? Unions are not just a manufacturing facility problem either, if you think that you are living under a rock in a nice cozy HR office with no windows or doors. As a disclaimer let me just add that not all unions are nasty and untrustworthy and neither are all union employees. A lot of times employees join a union because they don’t know any better or maybe because their dad did and his dad did and so on. But, the word “union” typically paralyzes an HR professional. There are so many things that we want to say to our employees that we are prohibited from saying so we freeze up and chase our tails waiting for the whole thing to play out. That is not okay.

What Hope and Cliff of Thompson Coburn LLC did was fight for their client. They didn’t negotiate some kind of deal and tell their client to abide by the ILWU’s wishes. They pushed for what was right, when no one was on their side. Even when local law enforcement chose to stay out of it, they continued to push for what was right. I think that’s outstanding and we don’t see that enough from companies & attorneys. We don’t see companies willing to battle something out until the end because they are afraid of negative headlines. I believe that organizations should fight when they haven’t done anything wrong and these attorneys felt that way about this particular case. They did a wonderful job presenting to the group! These are people you want in your corner when you’re in a fight like this, no doubt.

It starts with you though, yeah HR professional, I’m talking to you. Make sure your organization is taking care of its people. And I don’t mean go put tequila shots in the break room and a slide from the 4th floor to the basement. I mean listen to your people, talk to your people, grow your people, give them opportunity, pay them fair, give them fair benefits, be honest with your people, connect with your people. Don’t guess what they want either, seriously, go have conversations with your people.

Heather, Hope and myself at #SHRM13
Heather, Hope and myself at #SHRM13

Do you have any union experiences to share? As previously mentioned, I’m completely fascinated by unions so please do share!

Preparing for #SHRM14

Lessons learned from #SHRM13

No need for any t-shirts in your bag, you can pick plenty of those puppies up at vendor booths at the conference, but my favorite conference swag is books, the rest of that stuff is probably not necessary. I intend to leave room in my suitcase for books and that’s it.

Come a day before conference starts. It’s easy to check in and get out the day before conference starts. Checking in the day of will mean lines, long lines! Coming the day before also allows you to take time to get the lay of the land. Also check into public transit. C’mon people, don’t take a cab everywhere!

Wear comfortable shoes. Nothing says newbie like stylish uncomfortable shoes. Don’t be foolish. We all know we are doing a lot of walking so don’t think twice about pairing some comfy tennis shoes with your trendy office attire. And really, dress how you feel comfortable. There is no dress code and you’ll see everything from professional dress to jeans and t-shirts.

Take a water bottle with you. There was several water stations set up through the conference location, but small cups. It wouldn’t hurt to take a bottle with you (or buy one in the SHRM store) so you can easily tote water around with you.

Bring your charger to the conference. There will be charging stations.

Get your Twitter thumbs ready! #SHRM13 made it to a trending topic on Twitter this year so we hope to do it again in 2014! *If you do not have a Twitter I highly recommend setting it up before the conference. Twitter is a good tool for your note taking and a great way to follow the Speakers at the conference and the other HR pros you meet there.

Review the sessions ahead of time. If you’re going with people you know talk to them about splitting up and sharing notes from different sessions. This will help you make the most of the sessions and force you to network with new people. Each of you may want to choose up to 3 topics for one session in case you need to make changes for logistics or overflow reasons. So much to hear, so little time.

Take a hard copy of your session calendar with you in case of spotty Wi-Fi.

Be realistic. You probably will not be able to last all day every single day. I recommend deciding if you want to go early or stay late. If you go to a 7am session don’t overdo it and stay through a 4pm session too. Because of this, get plenty of rest leading up to conference time! Bobbi explained it like this, “the flow of the conference is more like a sprint than a marathon, prepare accordingly”. Furthermore, pencil in down time on your schedule. This will allow you to stay fresh! You will also learn from talking with your fellow conference goers so realize the value in connecting with your fellow HR pros!

Meet with some vendors. Not just enter to win. I recommend really looking at the vendor list before you get there and deciding who you may utilize (whether it be for now or in the future) at your organization and make the most of your time at the conference. You never know what you may learn from a vendor or what idea it can spark. And after all, without vendors we really wouldn’t have as great of a conference. So pick 2 or 3 that you like and start from there.

Take notes. Really take notes that you can take back to your organization and present. Make this conference a resource for your organization, not just for yourself.

RSVP to some parties! I worked as a waitress for a LONG time and I always said servers had the best parties. Boy was I wrong; HR people know how to party! I had a blast! Don’t party? Still go! Network! Get free food! Ditch the place before too many drinks have been consumed! 🙂

Last, but certainly not least, if you sign up now for #SHRM14 in Orlando you can save yourself (or your company) some dollars! Pop on over to the shrm.org website and check it out!

Some of my super cool HR network. Check out Angelas comfy shoes!
Some of my super cool HR buddies! Check out Angela’s comfy shoes!

Do you have any “prepping for annual conference” tips? Leave them in the comments!


This post is not like my normal snarky, ill-humored, HR related post. This post is very personal. This post will break your heart and it will challenge you.

On June 22nd of this year a dear friend of mine, Jessica McGuire her husband Nic and their two beautiful girls Cadence (6) and Brinley (2) were in a terrible car accident. The car accident took the lives of all of them except Cadence. Cadence was injured, but thankfully that child is a fighter. She quickly realized she was the only one talking and as people rushed to the scene they were able to help and save sweet Cadence. Through this tragedy Cadence has been an example of strength to all of us. At the funeral she wanted to make sure that we all knew she loved her mommy, daddy and baby sister. She is in the loving care of Jessica’s parents and she has a very loving extended family surrounding her during this time. Her birthday is July 23rd, so close to the tragedy this child has endured. I want to challenge everyone, every single person we can get these posts in front of, to send Cadence a birthday card. As she faces her first birthday without her family lets shower this child with love. I promise no amount of love we show this child will be too much. She loves to check the mail and I know she will be so excited when she sees so much mail for her! She has been receiving sad cards in the mail from people expressing their condolences to her and while that is incredibly appropriate let’s send her happy cards! Cards that will put a smile on her face! Share this challenge everywhere! Email, Twitter, FB, News stations, Pinterest, Instagram wherever… use hash tag #HappyBirthdayCadence I’m including the link to the family obit for reference. And a picture of the challenge for easy share. I will also post the challenge in text format. I’ve spoken with the family and they are so thrilled that so many people are willing to do this for Cadence. Please know your assistance in this is so very appreciated.



The Challenge:

This month is Cadence’s birthday month. On July 23rd she will be 7 years old. Every birthday will be hard for her, but this will be the first without her mommy and daddy. She also lost her sweet baby sister Brinley who was only 2. I want to challenge you to do something simple. Send sweet Cadence a birthday card this month. If you have kids let your kids make her a birthday card. Just imagine how wonderful she would feel to get hundreds of birthday cards from us? No amount of love we show this child will be too much! Please join me in sending Cadence a birthday card this month. They can be mailed to Cadence McGuire 577 East County Road 122 Gosnell AR 72315. The obit for her parents are online at Cobb Funeral Home. Please share this on your own page and at work, church, with your neighbors, EVERYONE. I challenge you to spread the word and lets show Cadence how much she is loved! #HappyBirthdayCadence



This is sweet Cadence!
This is sweet Cadence!


Why do you HR?

Coming out of #SHRM13 I’m overwhelmed with the information I want to share with you guys. I am trying to pace myself and review my notes and break up the posts so I don’t overwhelm everyone else!  Today I had an interesting conversation with an HR buddy that asked a question I don’t think anyone has ever asked me “Where did you get all the crazy ideas about changing the way HR does thing that you have?” [I know it wasn’t an accusing question because this happens to be one of my few HR buddies that has “crazy ideas” too]


Errr… well duh. Where did I come up with my definition of HR? It wasn’t from the textbooks (you all know I don’t have an HR degree right?), it came from experience. It came from not accepting that “this is just the way things are done”. There is always room for improvement and I wanted to improve the working experience for everyone I worked with. I wanted to fine tune the screening process to assure we were selecting the best candidates for our customers and the best customers for our candidates. I recognized that to change the recruiting process we had to change the employee development/engagement as well. It doesn’t stop with a job placement. So where did I get these crazy ideas? From failing. From watching customers fail. From watching employees fail. Finding the pain points of customers and applicants & committing to choose a problem and work towards a solution. That meant trial and error sometimes. It meant listening to customers and candidates and making sure I knew all the legal stuff in between. It meant being transparent. It’s something I didn’t know I was passionate about until I did it. And witnessed results. When I started getting thank you cards from candidates after they went “permanent” with one of my customers and after customers started referring other customers to me because I did a fantastic job for them I knew I was headed in the right direction. I will never settle or be complacent. One of the comments that came up in our conversation today is that I will automatically think when something doesn’t work out (especially when I miss out on an awesome candidate) “What could I have done differently”? Not what could the candidate have done differently or even the organization I work for, but me. You’re never going to do everything perfect and if you really want to keep improving you start with that question. It’s a hard question to ask yourself, especially when the situation at hand provides you with a lot of easy answers/obstacles to blame. If you don’t challenge yourself, who will? Commit to growing. What can you do better for the next time?


This is Chicago day 2 and I have to say SHRM knows how to have a conference. I’ve been in complete awe since I stepped foot in the McCormick center. The volunteers are the friendliest people you could ever meet and beyond helpful; turns out there is hope for customer service yet! HRCI is sponsoring free 10 minute massages today-Heck yeah! There is a lounge for chapter volunteers to kick back and enjoy some snacks and win some cool prizes. There’s vendors for every little thing your company could need from pet insurance to some kind of breast pump solutions (?). There’s people here from all over (78 countries) like Korea, Brazil, Canada, Australia and even, you guessed it, Alabama! Just thinking about how much knowledge and expertise is sitting in this building with me seriously gives me chills!!! The SHRM store is here selling some really cools stuff for all of us nerdy HR pros. The HIVE is set up next to the SHRM store to answer all your social media questions and tech recruiting questions. And there’s plenty of time and opportunity to network and have fun with your HR friends! I’m quickly making new friends and connections and already learning things to take back to work and share with my coworkers! I’m so excited to be here at #SHRM13 and if you’re here then come seek me out tomorrow in the HIVE from 10-12, I would LOVE to meet you! If you’re not here at #SHRM13 my blogger friends and I will be working diligently to keep you in the know!


I’m going to Chicago suckas! #SHRM13

I’m so stinking excited about attending my first annual SHRM conference that I can’t even stand it. I still feel like it’s too good to be true! I’ve wanted to attend one ever since I’ve been involved with NASHRM/SHRM and I finally get to go. And I’m pretty excited that my first conference is in Chicago-I’ve always wanted to go to Chicago and haven’t really had the time/resources/reason to do so yet. I’ve been reviewing the content on the SHRM website and today playing around with #SHRM13 app for my smartphone-seriously go check it out, it’s pretty cool. I honestly cannot think of any reason an HR professional should not attend SHRM national. So what are some reasons you should go?
-I’m going
-A lot of other really cool people I know are going
-They have some super excellent speakers
-RECERT CREDITS!!! Shout out to you PHR/SPHRs
-If you’re a Kelly Clarkson fan, she’s going to be the entertainment
-Uh, it’s in Chicago!

Want to know more? Go check out the app! #SHRM13! Need to register? Do it now (before the 17th). Want to make sure you have someone cool to hangout with? Hit me up-I’ll be there! @HRecruit.