Author Archives for dancrosstaw

About dancrosstaw

Dan Cross is particularly passionate about two things - basketball and human resources. Unfortunately, Dan was never drafted into the National Basketball Association (NBA) so he embraced a career in Human Resources instead. Driven by data, Dan challenges conventional HR and People practices through the use of analytics, human-centered design, and agile methodologies. An advocate for disability employment, Dan coaches for Special Olympics and regularly volunteers as a vocational rehabilitation specialist. When he’s not in the office, on a plane/train, or on the court – he’s most likely on Twitter (@CrossOverHR).

Top 10 Takeaways from the 2018 SHRM Annual Conference

Top 10 Takeaways from SHRM 2018 in Chicago -

Another year, another success! The 2018 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference and Exposition wrapped up last month, and I’m now looking back and processing all the amazing learnings and networking. Here are my Top 10 Takeaways from this year’s conference in Chicago:

  1. Sheryl Sandberg: Sheryl impressed the general session crowd with a call to action for all HR professionals to identify the biases that negatively impact women, particularly women of color. She shared personal stories and described her current experience as the COO of Facebook, while highlighting the importance of paid maternity and bereavement leave.
  2. SHRM Book Store: If you didn’t collect your fill from vendors in the exposition hall, the SHRM Book Store had plenty of HR books and merchandise for you to bring home or into your office. I was pleasantly surprised with the collection of learning resources available that went beyond the typical “HR how-to” books.
  3. Chicago Deep Dish Pizza: I grew up in Upstate New York and my small town even has a “Little Italy” neighborhood. I share that because my friends may disown me if they ever heard me say this, but Chicago-style deep dish pizza is the real deal! I won’t go as far as to say that it’s better than New York pizza but it was a delicious treat throughout the conference.
  4. Jeb Bush: The 43rd Governor of the State of Florida started the conference off on Father’s Day with a loving tribute to his own father, former President George H. W. Bush. He also advocated for the reform of immigration, incarceration and education as possible solutions to the growing skills and talent gap.
  5. Adam Grant: If you haven’t already read some of Adam’s impressive work, check it out. He is a professor at The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania (ever heard of it?) and his general session was filled with humor and an important message that focused on the dangers of allowing your organization to become a “cultural museum.” He encouraged all 17,000-plus HR practitioner attendees to “hire, reward and promote cultural contributors: the misfits, original thinkers and disagreeable givers who stretch and enrich the culture.”
  6. The Givitas Platform: During Adam Grant’s session, all attendees were made aware of a free resource offered by him and his team. Be sure to sign up for Givitas – – a platform for attendees to stay connected, ask questions and share their perspective to help others within the platform.
  7. Pentatonix: Overhead on the shuttle bus on my way to the Pentatonix concert on Tuesday night, “Pentatonix is like Pitch Perfect, but in real life.” I must say, they weren’t that far off. The show was wildly entertaining and had most of the audience singing along with these acapella all-stars.
  8. Dave and Jerry: In partnership with Universal Orlando Resort™, the TicketsatWork booth invited conference-goers to meet and greet with Dave and Jerry, the lovable minions from Despicable Me. Attendees were also given the opportunity to learn more about the corporate benefits program, which offers employees exclusive discounts and special offers to travel and entertainment, including theme parks, Broadway shows, tours and attractions, special events, hotels, movie tickets and more.
  9. Connections: In between all of the learning sessions, one of the major highlights of the SHRM Annual Conference has always been the promise of deep and meaningful connections with other HR professionals. This year, I was able to meet a variety of HR Department of One attendees who shared their scrappy approach to Human Resources – something I think would be beneficial for all HR professionals to strive toward.
  10. Las Vegas: Next year’s conference is going to be held in Las Vegas – we hope to see you there!

Mission-Driven Companies: What’s Your Purpose?

Mission-Driven Companies: What's Your Purpose?

Now more than ever, employees are searching for a sense of purpose in the work they do. Companies are searching for the same. A company can leverage a deeper sense of purpose as a competitive advantage and use it as a way to attract employees – and customers. Driven by a shared purpose, mission-driven companies and employees can work together to find more meaning behind the work, and achieve better overall outcomes together.

The best candidates are typically looking for more than just a paycheck. They ultimately apply to organizations that appear aligned with their values or that provide a positive corporate culture. There are many other reasons a candidate might apply, but values and culture alignment are key in today’s war for talent. Developing a sense of purpose is also a significant boost for employee retention. Working day-in and day-out toward a deeper purpose encourages current employees in a way that maximizing profits alone never will. They are much more likely to be engaged and, in turn, much more likely to stay at the organization.

As much as employees want to find a purpose and create value toward it, they also want to be valued. TicketsAtWork’s Reward Management Solution platform helps boost employee engagement through recognition and employee awards. How an organization rewards employees is a key indication of the value they place on doing the right thing and living up to their declared values. This is magnified if a company rewards behavior and work that supports the mission or shows purpose-driven significance.

Today’s most successful business leaders understand the concept of shared value – and the balance between creating economic value and social currency. It’s a win for all when businesses pursue a mission that incorporates an overall purpose. Companies should also strive to allow for opportunities outside of work to find purpose through community service or pro-bono volunteerism. In a nutshell: For a company to thrive in today’s competitive environment, it needs to incorporate a strong sense of purpose into every product, service and workforce initiative it offers.

The 12 Best Twitter Accounts to Follow to Learn More About HR Technology

The 12 Best Twitter Accounts to Follow

In 140 characters or less, a Tweet can express a lot – and that extends to HR technology. The HR tech landscape changes often and Twitter is the perfect platform to remain up to date on the industry. Follow these twelve Twitter handles to stay on top of the latest HR trends. And, for the latest great offers and deals from TicketsatWork, check out @TicketsatWork.

  1. @HRTechWorld – This is the official Twitter handle of the HR Tech World conference held in San Francisco in 2017 (the first time in the United States). HR Tech World is the largest network of global HR professionals focused on HR Technology. Most impressively, this conference explores how human interaction balances with new digital or tech solutions.
  2. @ImSoSarah – Sarah Brennan is a former industry analyst and creator of the HR Tech Blog. The blog and Sarah’s content focuses on “free and unbiased access” to HR Tech content from a variety of sources.
  3. @williamtincup – William is the president of Recruiting Daily (bonus handle to follow = @RecruitingDaily) and is a blogger, speaker and advisor “at the intersection of HR and technology.” Following William is also entertaining, thanks to his hilarious reposted memes.
  4. @SHRMnextchat – This is the official Twitter handle of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)’s #NextChat Twitter Chat. Every Wednesday from 3 to 4pm ET a group of HR professionals discuss a key topic impacting human resources and you’re invited to join. It’s not always focused on technology but these chats are a wonderful source of information and just the right amount of networking and fun as well.
  5. @JenniferMcClure – As CEO of Disrupt HR and Unbridled Talent, Jennifer is a key influencer in embracing the future of work. She has delivered keynotes or led workshops at over 350 conferences and corporate events – is yours next?
  6. @billkutik – If you’ve ever checked out the HR Tech column of, you’ve most likely read something written by Bill Kutik. Bill is an independent HCM analyst and brings a level of experience and perspective unmatched by most.
  7. @TalentCulture – TalentCulture is a community of professionals focused on how to reimagine the modern workplace. Join other TalentCulture followers for the #WorkTrends podcast and Twitter chat every Wednesday at pm ET.
  8. @JohnSumser – John is a principal analyst at the HRExaminer. He challenges the status quo of human resources and technology, helping industry professionals think differently about what they do or what they can do.
  9. @Josh_Bersin – Josh is the founder of Bersin by Deloitte, a leading research and advisory firm in the HR technology and general leadership and management space. Known for information focused on corporate learning and talent management/development, this group now touches on every aspect of human resources with an emphasis in technology.
  10. @SHRM_Research – The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)’s official research handle is loaded with information and data behind emerging workplace topics. Beyond the identification of trends, the SHRM Research team turns that information into actionable insights and best practices.
  11. @jackyeclayton – Jackye is the editor of com, part of the Recruiting Daily family mentioned above. Jackye’s refreshing sense of humor and perspective makes for a fun and valuable resource for anyone interested in learning how technology is transforming talent acquisition.
  12. @SteveBoese – A list of HR Technology influencers would not be complete without a mention of Steve Boese. Steve is the co-chair of the HR Technology Conference and regularly pops up as the preeminent HR Tech expert across many different publications and platforms.

By following these people and conference/chat handles, you’ll be well on your way to mastering HR Technology. Heck, if you listen closely enough and participate in their conversations – you might find yourself on this list next year!

The Three Most Common Mistakes for Candidate Experience (and How to Avoid Them)


Candidate experience is one of the most discussed topics in the HR and Recruiting industry. Even with all this focus, however, there a few common mistakes. Here are the three most common Candidate Experience ones – and our advice for ways to avoid them:

  1. Putting all the pressure on the candidate. The candidate is no longer the only one with “something to prove.” In today’s competitive landscape and war for talent, it’s important to remember that candidates may have a variety of options as the economy and employment outlook continue to improve. Also, don’t forget that candidates are often customers first (or have the potential to becomes customers). If they have a negative experience, you won’t only damage your employer brand, but you may lose a customer and risk hurting your company brand overall. It’s important for the company to sell the opportunity just as much as the candidate is selling their knowledge, skills and experience to the organization. One way to do this is to include current employees in the process to help share more about the company culture or mission. TicketsAtWork’s Reward Management Solution platform can be an effective tool to recognize and reward employees that contribute to the recruiting strategy. In partnership with the recruiting team, your current employees can be your biggest advocates (or detractors) through the recruiting process.
  2. Declining a candidate through email. I get it, I do. Recruiters are busy filling open roles and sourcing passive talent. However, if a candidate made it through the application screen and talked to someone (on the phone or in the office) but were unsuccessful, it’s best that they are declined live. An email, regardless of how carefully crafted, can feel impersonal. This might also be the step in the process where a recruiter can deliver critical feedback or gently steer them into another career direction. Be careful not to oversteer here, however, and only direct them to another position or another recruiter at your company if there is a realistic potential fit. In doing so, this negative outcome for the candidate can actually turn into a positive sourcing and hiring strategy for the organization.
  3. Overselling the process. Candidates expect a quick and transparent hiring process and it’s likely that a recruiter will tell them it will be that way at the beginning. This might not be the best route, however. Whenever possible, recruiters and hiring managers should try to detail the full process upfront – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Candidates will hopefully understand that it takes time to align all of the moving parts. The most frustrating aspect for many candidates is not simply the time it takes, but the fact that they don’t know where they are in the process or are unaware if any progress is being made.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. It takes into account that a company is taking care of the basics first (leveraging technology, streamlining the process, etc.). By avoiding these mistakes, your company will find it easier to recruit top talent and keep them engaged once they are in the door.

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