Punk Rock HR is underwritten by Headspace for Work.
Today’s guest is Madison Butler. She is a human resources professional, a recruiter, a talent acquisition leader, and someone who is very passionate about startups. However, the reason that she’s on my podcast today is that no matter where she goes, Madison is unapologetically herself. Her self-confidence shines through no matter where she is, whether in real life or on social media.
Madison speaks her mind even in the face of death threats. That’s right–Madison gets death threats from people in HR on LinkedIn. But even in the face of all that relentless negativity, Madison still believes in people. She still believes that human resources has a role in making the world a better place.
All of that explains why I love Madison. I admire her so much and I know you will, too. So sit back and enjoy this conversation with my dear friend, Madison Butler.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- Why we need to fix how corporations view people.
- The work Madison is doing within startups to change the world.
- How she defines the work that needs to be done in corporate America.
- Her reaction to HR professionals taking charge of DNI initiatives.
- What those of us who are disgusted by the performative behavior of corporate America can do.
- What Madison is experiencing and feeling as she interacts online.
- How to know what a company is really like when you apply to work there.
- How the interviewing and hiring processes are broken.
- Why metrics are a bad way to take the pulse of an employee’s job performance.
- Why Madison is doing the work that she is doing.
WHAT IS THE WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE IN CORPORATE AMERICA?
A lot of the work includes self-awareness. We have to be self-aware enough to figure out where we are off track. So, as a leader, first figure out what your own biases are. This will be uncomfortable at first and will require you to have hard conversations with yourself and others. A lot of companies don’t want to get to that point. They want to only talk about what’s warm and fuzzy. But that’s not the work. The actual work is peeling back the layers of your organization, talking about what is inherently going wrong in it, and figuring out what you need to do to change those things.
HOW CAN I KNOW WHAT A COMPANY IS REALLY LIKE WHEN I APPLY TO WORK THERE?
Ask good questions. For example, ask what the company did for their employees to support them during COVID. Ask how they supported their black employees during Black Lives Matter. Ask what they did to support their employees during the wild election season. When you ask questions like these, the company won’t easily be able to lie. Additionally, if you only speak to those you will report to, you may be misled. They may seem amazing in the interview but be completely different on your first day. So w ask to also speak with someone who would be on your team.
HOW ARE THE INTERVIEWING AND HIRING PROCESSES BROKEN?
In interviews, we talk too much about the organization and the job. We treat the person interested in the job as if they are just a job description. Instead, we should be spending a lot of time in interviews talking about who they are as a human. Of course, we should check a few things to make sure the person is a good fit for the role. But there needs to be much more time spent focusing on the interviewee as a human being.
Resources from this episode: