A surprising new skill + WFH tips from Conan + Opportunities amidst chaos + HR execs take center stage + Work’s new normal

April 16, 2020 By Tarek Pertew

And what you probably need to know about Gen Z...

A bit of a PSA here:

We are living in a brutal period of uncertainty. That may very well be accompanied with a false sense of hope that the stimulus chatter means we’ll be okay. Week over week, I hope my tone acknowledges the seriousness of the times, but I will lean towards a more light-hearted tone and one that may even suggest that normalcy still exists in our lives. 

End of PSA

Hello you,

TLDR: A watch-if-you-dare instagram video, a diatribe on what hurts and opportunity, Conan O’Brien’s WFH setup, HR leadership during COVID, a new normal of work, a webinar on coping with sudden & drastic staffing changes, your college recruiting strategy, and what’s going on with Gen Z?

Welcome to all the new folks that have found themselves on this email. Admittedly, the numbers have been growing far faster than usual. That’s a welcomed sign of the times for me. Let’s hope it is for you as well!

Brace yourselves, because today’s is a long one…

I’m dialing this one up from the woods and let me tell you, I am quickly graduating into a proper woodsman. If you find that hard to believe, just watch this (and please meet my father by swiping right with sound on).

One area of growth during this time has been an ability to mute/unmute any and all video conferencing platforms with extraordinary skill. Now, intruders (a teapot whistle, a child popping up to join my meeting, a YouTube video launching at max volume), don’t stand a chance.

Despite that professional achievement, I won’t begin to pretend everything is hunky dory at Uncubed. We’re very much a hiring platform that relies quite heavily on companies…well…hiring. And that’s down. Way down. Plus, most of the projects coming out of Uncubed Studios, our employer branding agency, involve on-location shoots. Those aren’t happening.

But here’s the reality. It’s our job to sharpen our focus and seek out opportunities that could take us to even greater personal and professional heights.

There’s opportunity for us just like there is opportunity for you or your company.

Demand for an off-campus college recruiting strategy is way up. That’s one of our most successful offerings. So, we’re shifting much of our focus in this direction (and could use your help – see below).

We’re developing a more sophisticated animation arm so our studio can continue helping companies share their stories (is there a more inspirational time than now in sharing how your company is handling this situation?). Microsoft will be the first series under this new approach and I can’t wait to share this content with you.

And there’s more. Virtual events are a particularly exciting opportunity. They are efficient, favor a remote setup and are cost-effective. We’ve decided to leverage the opportunity and create private hiring events for individual companies, starting with our friends at 1010data.

Also, as part of our acquisition of Finalist earlier this month, we have expanded this private talent network to welcome folks affected by COVID-19 related layoffs. They can join the network here: https://uncubed.com/finalist – from there, we’ll introduce them to hiring companies.

Plus, times like these give us absolutely extraordinary analysis, like this COVID-inspired Need/Want state of affairs.

For more about HR & COVID, see below:

READ THIS (VERY RELATED): Tying back to my above diatribe, here’s a great article from Forbes on the impact of the Coronavirus on HR and the new normal of work.

READ THIS (VERY RELATED): While you’re at it (and if you subscribe to The Economist), here’s an article on how the Coronavirus crisis has put corporate HR chiefs into the spotlight.

READ THIS (GEN Z IMPACT): A big thanks to reader, Savasti Addison, for sharing this piece on the results of a survey DoSomething.org conducted on how COVID is affecting Gen Z.

ATTEND THIS (VIRTUAL): On April 21st, Justworks is hosting a webinar on coping with unexpected staffing changes. RSVP here.

WATCH THIS (FUN): Check out this fun video of Conan O’Brien’s work-from-home setup.

PLEASE HELP:  As mentioned above, we are investing more resources on college recruiting and I need your help to inform the product. Please see this as an opportunity to not only help a dear friend of yours (I do rank there, yes?) but to also get some of your own ideas out to the world.

If you could hit reply and share some subset or all of the following info with me, that would prove very helpful:

  1. Prior to COVID, did you recruit on-campus and, if so, how many colleges did you typically visit?
  2. If you did recruit on-campus, were reaching enough schools to fulfill your hiring & diversity needs?
  3. Did you have an off-campus (digital) approach, either exclusively or in conjunction with on-campus recruiting?
  4. Will your on-campus strategy for Fall 2020 and/or Summer 2021 move to an exclusively digital approach?
  5. Where have you experienced ongoing challenges (e.g. diversity hiring, talent curation, branding, etc.)?

WHAT’S NEXT (A PERSONAL NOTE): In case the instagram video didn’t convince you of my lineage as an outdoorsman, perhaps this railing I co-made from a dead tree branch will do the trick:

Currently taking orders…

Bye for now,






  • Senior Recruiter (SF) – Volta
  • Financial Senior Recruiter (London) – Ebury
  • Associate Director, Recruitment (Troy, NY) – UnCommon Schools
  • Senior Tech Recruiter (SF) – OpenAI
  • Tech Recruiter (NYC) – Justworks

People Ops

  • Talent Ops Manager (SF) – Airbnb
  • VP, People Operations (SF) – TaskRabbit
  • People Ops Coordinator (Brooklyn) – Kickstarter
  • People Data Analyst Internship (SF) – Cloudflare
  • Senior People Ops Analyst (Redwood City) – Carbon


  • HR Business Partner (NYC) – Index Exchange
  • HR Business Partner (NYC) – DraftKings
  • HR Business Partner (Sydney) – Canva

Companies with multiple HR Jobs:

Uncubed | Make Work Human


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