The 2013 Season of the #8ManRotation is here...FINALLY!

by Matthew Stollak on Friday, May 30, 2014

Better late than never, it is the 2013 Season of the 8 Man Rotation - your compendium of all things sports and human resources.  The team of Steve Boese, Kris Dunn, Lance Haun, Tim Sackett and yours truly have once again assembled to bring you all the highlights from 2013 in the sports world that impacted or is related to human resources.

What is the 8 Man Rotation?  From the 2010 season, "In basketball parlance, it refers to the five starters and three players off the bench who play the primary amount of minutes during a game.  Given that most basketball rosters contain 12 or more players, the coach has decided that the combination of these 8 players provides the team with the best opportunity to win.  Team chemistry and production are at its maximum."

This edition highlights such chemistry and production with 60+ posts covering Manti Te'o, Earl Monroe, Triple H, and LeBron James.  Find out what is meant by the phrase, "Ball Don't Lie."  Get a detailed look at the NBA Summer League.  In addition, you get a foreword from Saints superfan, Robin Schooling.

So, download it now, and read it in parts, or in one piece all weekend. Bring it on the plane for some light reading on your trip to Utah for Hirevue's Digital Disruption or Orlando for SHRM Annual.  It also makes a great Father's Day gift!

As always, you can get the 2013 Season, as well as the 3 previous seasons at

On @hirevue's Digital Disruption Conference #vueDD

by Matthew Stollak on Friday, May 23, 2014

In February, I noted on this blog that the state of education regarding HR Technology is lacking.  In particular, A 2013 SHRM Survey of 372 HR faculty (out of 1,723 invited to participate) noted that 61% of faculty cited Human Resource Information Systems as a perceived deficiency in HR training offered to undergraduate HR students.

That is why I am excited to join fellow 8 Man Rotation member, Tim Sackett, in Park City, Utah, June 1-4 at HireVue's First Digital Disruption Conference (you can read his pre-conference take here).  

They have a rich agenda with keynotes from Billy Beane (General Manager of the Oakland A's), Jason  Averbook (Chief Business Innovation Officer with Appirio), and International Best Selling Author, Shawn Achor.

Three particular sessions have caught my eye.
1.  Given my academic background, I am interesting in hearing how Texas Instruments is engaging with students and improving campus recruiting efforts.
2.  Given the 8 Man Rotation emphasis on Sports & HR, coupling Billy Beane with Mike Danubio, HR Manager of the Boston Red Sox, will likely prove enlightening.
3.  Aon Hewitt & Caesar's Palace will share their insight on hiring technology accelerators to shrink a pool of nearly 5,500 applicants in only 5 weeks.

The full agenda can be found here.

If you are attending, please let me know, as I would love to connect.

If you are not attending, you can follow all the action at #VueDD.

Nine Things NOT To Do at #SHRM14

by Matthew Stollak on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

In less than a month, individuals will be heading to Orlando to attend the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference.  This will be my 14th SHRM Annual Conference, and, based on my years of experience, here are the things you do NOT want to do while attending.

1.  Do NOT suffer from SWAG remorse.

The exhibit hall is going to open at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 22 and you going to be tempted by every vendor with some sort of gee-gaw or doo-dad that you absolutely have to bring back to the office.  You may have already received an inch tall pile of vendor mail and you've mapped out your strategy for maximizing your haul.  You may have even packed light so that you have plenty of room in your suitcase for the haul.  It is free, right?  You HAVE To grab it.  Trust me, as a former victim, you will suffer from SWAG remorse.  It may take a may take a month, but you are going to look at that tote bag full of "goodies" you brought back and you are going to ask yourself why you grabbed that 7th t-shirt or 14th squeeze ball.  Regret always tastes sour.

2.  Do NOT bring a rollerbag to the conference

I have posted this several times since 2010, and people are still not listening.  Rollerbags are the scourge of the exhibit hall.  They get underfoot, and people are often unaware of the people behind them when toting it along.  Don't be that person.

3. Do NOT get in the way

You make think the exhibit hall is huge, but the rows are narrower than you think.  If you see someone you know, step out of the way, so that others can traverse the area more freely.  If people have to walk around you, you're doing it wrong.

4.  Do NOT use the phrase "Seat at the Table" or you'll be fined $100

The phrase "seat at the table" is officially barred from mention at the conference.  If you say it, you owe $100 to the SHRM Foundation.  If you overhear it in Orlando, tell that person they owe $100 to the SHRM Foundation. If a speaker uses it in a session, please tweet out the following phrase:

"(Insert speaker name here) owes $100 to the @shrmfoundation for saying "Seat at the table." #SHRM14 #SHRMShame"

5.  Do NOT be Gwyneth Paltrow in "Contagion"

I know you are excited to be going to Orlando, and hanging with 13,000+ of your favorite HR friends.  You may have already spent significant dollars on travel, hotel, Disney tickets, etc.  However, if you are even remotely close to being ill, please consider staying home.  It seems I get ill once every couple of years, and most likely I caught something from a sick person.  So, do not be patient zero.

6.  Do NOT, treat students with disrespect

This one goes out to the exhibit hall vendors.  Ideally, every person who walks through the exhibit hall should be treated with respect.  However, it is inevitable every year that my students will come back with horror stories about being treated rudely by someone manning an exhibit hall booth.  I know you are there to make potential sales connections, and a student is unlikely to be a customer anytime soon.  However, if these students are dedicated to travel to Orlando, they are dedicated to the profession, and will likely be a potential customer in the future.  Don't burn a bridge before it has a chance to be constructed, as those students will remember who did them wrong!

7.  Do NOT text or tweet and walk

There will be 13,000+ individuals in attendance at the Orlando Convention Center.  When that General Session with Robin Roberts or Tom Friedman lets out, you and all your new friends will simultaneously be trying to get out of the hall and head to the next session, the bathroom, or to grab some coffee.  Please do not start walking and stare down at your phone.  I am excited that you have the Twitter, Facebook, or Hootsuite app, and you are using the #SHRM14 hashtag.   But, inevitably, you will run into the back of someone.  This will not be one of those "meet cute" scenarios you see in the movies. Instead, you will likely be called out because that person you just ran into will see your name on your badge.

8Do NOT make me stand up & participate during your sessionIf you are a speaker and part of your schtick is to get me to do some activity as part of the session (particularly as a warm-up at the beginning), unless it magically causes me to lose 40 pounds, you will receive the lowest rating possible.  It tells me you do not have enough material for the time required.

9.  Do NOT wear your SHRM Conference badge at night.
As SHRM notes, wearing your badge outside of the convention center will peg you as a visitor from out of town and a target for crime.  Even worse, many of you will likely heading to one of the bevy of parties they are out there.  Bad behavior might ensue.  Wearing your badge will likely make your name live in infamy as people mention your sordid exploits at future conferences.  Try to drink in relative anonymity and leave your badge in your hotel room.

So, what else would you tell attendees NOT to do?  Leave a note below, or tweet your suggestion to #SHRM14Festivus (h/t to Laurie Ruettimann for the hashtag).  Also, check out the #SHRMChat twitter discussion this afternoon at 3:00 p.m./2:00 Central for all things #SHRM14 related.

Stillbirth, #ReturnToZero, & Bereavement Leave

by Matthew Stollak on Thursday, May 15, 2014

One of the most challenging and difficult experiences any one must confront is the loss of a child through stillbirth. The hopes and aspirations that you and spouse had are dashed. And, the emotional devastation that follows can be difficult to handle.   Individuals want to be supportive, but few do not know how to react and know the right words to say.

My good friend Sean Hanish, and his wonderful wife Kylie, unfortunately went through this experience 8 years ago, when they lost their son at 35 weeks. Sean turned his grief into a wonderful new movie starring Minnie Driver and Paul Adelstein which has its world premiere on Saturday, May 17th on Lifetime at 8pm/7pm central.  You can check out the trailer for the film below:


Unfortunately, bereavement leave is limited.  According to SHRM's "Examining Paid Leave in the United States,"87% of companies surveyed offer bereavement leave, which means 13% do not. Further,  following the death of a spouse, domestic partner or child, for instance, 69% of respondents provided up to three days of paid bereavement leave; 70% provide up to three days following a miscarriage or stillbirth; and 72% offered up to three days after the death of a sibling or parent.  Is three days of paid leave really enough?!?

To learn more about the film, please check out the website at  It not only has a behind the scenes look at the film, but has a number of resources to deal with stillbirth and miscarriage.

I hope you check out the film this weekend.

New #SHRM Certification Raises More Questions Than It Answers (Update X 2)

by Matthew Stollak on Monday, May 12, 2014

The big news from SHRM HQ on Monday was the announcement of the creation of a new certification program for HR professionals.

While the SHRM online staff discuss the details of the competency program, it was unfortunately very short on details regarding a whole host of questions.

What happens to current professionals who hold PHR/SPHR/GPHR certification?  While SHRM CEO Hank Jackson states that a clear path for currently certified individuals to the new model is in the works, as someone who just spent considerable time recertifying, I'm curious as to what this path holds.  Will we have to take the new exam?  Will we have to pay a fee for this exam?

Further, you have many professional chapters and state councils trying to develop programming for monthly meetings and state conferences. While SHRM indicates they will support the PHR and SPHR certification until January 2015, many chapters are already planning programming for the 2015 year. As the availability of earning recertification credit is often a strong driver for attendance, will certified professionals continue to push on hoping that SHRM will work it out, or will they wait it out until more answers are forthcoming?

What happens to those HR professionals who are getting ready to take the exam?  I already know at least one person who is questioning whether or not to take the exam next month, after spending significant money and time preparing.  Will SHRM be refunding those who spent money on the SHRM Learning System?  What happens to PHR prep courses many chapters will be offering in the fall?

What happens to the Assurance of Learning exam?   Less than 5 years ago, the HRCI made major changes regarding eligibility for the PHR exam - individuals must have two years of exempt level experience prior to taking the test.  Several years have gone into developing an alternative, the Assurance of Learning exam, so that students could demonstrate their had a strong understanding of the HR body of knowledge.

However, given that the competency model will be focusing on behavioral proficiency at four different professional levels, including "entry," does the exam go away?   Do I continue to promote it to my students (as student chapters get credit for such action on the merit award)?

Why announce now?  Usually such an announcement would be made with a big splash at the SHRM Annual Conference next month.  Perhaps SHRM wanted to get ahead of it early, so questions such as the above, can be asked and answered, and a more detailed plan will be made clear then.

In any case, I will be waiting with bated breath for answers.

UPDATE: The Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) has issued a statement here.
The new HR certification is based on the SHRM HR Competency Model, which consists of nine primary competency domains defined with behavioral proficiency standards across four professional levels – entry, middle, senior and executive.  The new certification is focused on teaching and testing practical, real-life information that HR professionals need to excel in their careers.  - See more at:
SHRM has provided an updated and FAQ here.

UPDATE 2: SHRM will allow those currently certified to transition to the new certification free of charge.  To do so, one must have proper certification documentation, sign the SHRM Code of Ethics, and complete an online educational module on HR competencies.  More details here

From Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2015, SHRM will allow those with HR certification from other organizations to convert to the new credential free of charge. Doing so requires showing documentation that the certification is current, signing the SHRM code of ethics and completing an online educational module on HR competencies. - See more at:

The new HR certification is based on the SHRM HR Competency Model, which consists of nine primary competency domains defined with behavioral proficiency standards across four professional levels – entry, middle, senior and executive.  The new certification is focused on teaching and testing practical, real-life information that HR professionals need to excel in their careers.  - See more at:
The new HR certification is based on the SHRM HR Competency Model, which consists of nine primary competency domains defined with behavioral proficiency standards across four professional levels – entry, middle, senior and executive.  The new certification is focused on teaching and testing practical, real-life information that HR professionals need to excel in their careers.  - See more at: