A painful work reality + An Employer Brand cheat sheet + A must listen podcast + Here’s the bedrock of your 2021 EB strategy

November 5, 2020 By Tarek Pertew

After a tiring week, this podcast episode will make you feel better...

The most I’ll offer with respect to this election is that I think you need to take 30 minutes to listen to this amazing episode of On Being, featuring Arlie Hochschild as she describes spending years getting to know the “other side” of the partisan divide. It’s truly inspiring. Her perspective gives me hope that we can unite in our differences.

Actually, I’ll offer up just one more read with this historical piece on previously contested election results.

In more personal news, at the risk of making you slam your head into your desk, I feel like sharing a bit of a life concern (though it’s probably more of a nagging complaint): being forever tethered to a screen.

Previously, I’ve commented on how nearly every personal aspect of our lives plays out the vision of a white, male engineer. Not that, in isolation, they should have done anything other than solve the problem they set out to solve. But our collective reality is that this homogenous profile has informed how we purchase products, how we date, how we connected with others, how we consume content, and perhaps most significantly, how we work.

Or, how we spend 50% (or more) of our waking hours.

Nearly all of these wonderful inventions were fueled on the back of eliminating the need for doing things in person, that take time. Anything we need to do, we can now do so without speaking directly with a human and, should we chose, without removing our butts from the chair.

Like anything in life, we must take the bad with the good. The good, of course, is that so many aspects of our lives have become much easier. The bad, in my opinion, is that we are becoming less adventurous, less understanding, less communicative, far more fearful and completely reliant on technology.

Essentially, less human.

For me, the bad plays out in physical and mental fatigue. By physical, I don’t mean the fatigue you get from hiking a mountain or playing backyard WWE with your cousins. I mean an overly stiff body and strained eyes by doing quite the opposite: nothing. By mental, I mean the fogginess of a brain long-detached from nature, reality and regular human interaction.

We are beautiful creatures designed to be active, appropriately stimulated, appropriately stressed, using our 10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 legs, 2 arms to advance our livelihood.

What exactly am I complaining about? I don’t really know.

We can work from anywhere and chose to leave our computer screen for a jog or rendezvous with a friend whenever we want. I suppose it’s that, inevitably, for nearly 8 hours every day, I (and probably you) have to stare at this bloody computer screen.

I’m just complaining, I suppose. And whenever I do this, I can’t help but imagine my brother taking in my complaint and responding: “You know you have the power to change it if you want”.

And ain’t that the truth.

(But it’s do damn hard).

Next week, I’ll dive into (read: complain about) the challenges of being a work-from-home parent (like so many of us today).

Today’s poll: From last week’s poll, 51% of you have been in a car and hit an animal (split evenly as either the driver or passenger). I honestly can’t believe it’s that high. It’s nice to know that so many of you could empathize with me.

THIS WEEK’S POLL: What are your 2021 employer branding expectations for your company?

It’s a top priority and we are going to get a bigger budget for employer branding
It’s a top priority, but we are going to have a smaller budget for employer branding
It’s not a top priority so we are going to have a smaller budget for employer branding
It’s not a priority, so we will likely not invest meaningfully in employer branding
It’s a top priority and we will have the same budget this year
It’s not a top priority and we will have the same budget this year

*Please note, your choice is always anonymous. Not even I can see who chooses what.


And onto the weekly reads, watches, and listens:

  • READ THIS (CSR):  2020 has accelerated an already growing CSR trend. It just accelerated in a bit of an unexpected way when it comes to your employer brand, with a focus on Corporate Social Justice. For more on this, read this mid-summer piece by HBR.
  • TAKE ACTION (NON-HR HIRING): Folks, if you’re looking to hire outside of HR, you can always post on our job board, where we currently have over 20K jobs featured. You can do this with HR jobs as well, of course.
  • ALWAYS UNRELATED (MOVIES):  This week in “what to watch”: Dads. Won’t win an Oscar (or maybe it will), but it’s light & fun.

Folks, I’m looking to interview young engineers or data scientists as part of my 8-minute-interview series. They will answer questions for students on tips to effectively land a job at your company. If you’d like your company featured (it’s free), please hit reply.

Bye for now,





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Companies with multiple HR Jobs:

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