Mass Layoffs or Hiring Boom?

Episode 55

Episode Overview

What is the current state of the labor market? Will hiring layoffs or a hiring boom occur in the near future? Pete and Ricky are back again on this episode of the Hire Calling Podcast, attempting to figure out exactly that! While the latest BLS data tells us one story, the weekly layoff announcements tell another. To make sense of it all, Pete believes there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer, while Ricky is determined to do some research and report back on his findings. 

In addition to the job market discussion, Pete and Ricky also share their thoughts about leaders and their ability to acknowledge when they’ve made a mistake. Is the willingness to be vulnerable a necessary trait? Tune in to find out and hear about what’s happening in the job market! 

55 minutes

View transcript

What You Need to Know About the Current State of the Market

  • The BLS data suggests a strong job market. January’s job report tells us we are in a hiring boom with 517,000 new jobs created. But, the report also adds nearly triple what economists had estimated. 
  • Meanwhile, according to, the mass layoffs in just the tech space alone left 101,617 individuals without a job last month. As we scroll on LinkedIn, our feeds are filled with people looking for employment and frustrated they aren’t having better success. 
  • Be skeptical and use your own first-hand knowledge. We don’t know how the game ultimately ends, but make decisions based on your own experiences and your own trends rather than relying on a third party.
  • Let the market dictate the market. Rely on the data we are given, but also be willing to take a deeper dive into those numbers. Do your own research before making decisions that will affect your organization.
  • We are in uncharted territory, and the workforce continues to evolve. Let the businesses that are demanding unrealistic things suffer the consequences without the government stepping in. People are always going to paint you a picture with them in the best light. 

Leadership Tips For Navigating a Market With Both Mass Layoffs and Hiring Booms

  • It’s perfectly okay to show vulnerability with the people who report to you. If you’re constantly pretending to be perfect, you’ll look worse making a mistake than if you were just honest and admitted you don’t know the answer in the first place. 
  • Don’t be afraid of vulnerability. While it’s understandable as you’re meant to influence your team and be seen as a source of leadership, but it doesn’t do them any favors. Acknowledging your mistake is as important as anything else, so take ownership and learn from it. 
  • Be willing to admit when you’re wrong and encourage your team to do the same. Practice what you preach and your employees will look up to and trust you as a leader. Everyone makes mistakes, and the most trustworthy people are those who are quick to acknowledge when they messed up. 

Additional resources

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the president of 4 Corner Resources, the nationally acclaimed staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. His mission back then was the same as it is today: to do business in a personal way, while building an organization with boundless opportunities for ingenuity and advancement. When not managing 4 Corner’s growth or spending time with his family of six, you can find Pete sharing his sales and business expertise through public speaking, writing, and as the host of the Hire Calling podcast.

Ricky Baez

About Rick Baez

Efrain “Ricky” Baez Jr. is a published human resources professional specializing in strategically aligning HR competencies to business goals with a down to earth, common sense approach. Ricky is a four- year veteran of the United States Marine Corps and holds a Masters degree in Human Resources (MHR) from Rollins College and an SPHR certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute. Ricky is also a faculty member for the Master of Human Resources program at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.


Pete Newsome  00:00
You’re listening to The Hire Calling Podcast, your source for all things hiring, staffing, and recruiting. I’m Pete Newsome. I’m with Ricky Baez. Ricky, how are you today?

Ricky Baez  00:09
I am doing awesome  Pete. It’s a beautiful day, sir.

Pete Newsome  00:13
It is a beautiful day. I haven’t been outside yet. Ricky, it’s almost noon. And I’ve been locked it away for about five hours. 

Ricky Baez  00:22
Florida is starting to realize it’s Florida again. It’s yeah, that temperature started to creep up just a little bit. Because you know, in Florida, we get a total of five days of winter.

Pete Newsome  00:34
That’s it, at most.

Ricky Baez  00:38
And then we’re back to flip-flops.

Pete Newsome  00:39
Well, here we are, once again, talking about what’s going on in the job market. And I feel like we have to address something that I brought up last week before we can progress. 

Pete Newsome  00:50
And I got a little conspiratorial during our podcasts last week. And when I questioned the jobs report the numbers in the jobs report. 

Pete Newsome  01:02
So I’m happy, of course, that to see that we created 517,000 new jobs. So that’s new people on the payroll, additional people on the payroll in the US. 

Pete Newsome  01:14
But I expressed some skepticism that in that number because it doesn’t, it doesn’t seem that way. What do you think about that? Is that? Is it tinfoil hat time for me or what?

Ricky Baez  01:26
I think a tinfoil hat is for everybody. Because yes, we did touch on that a little bit. And that’s like a little deeper dive into it after we connect it. But I still want to put them because I do have a question out there. 

Ricky Baez  01:36
Because you’re right. We see this amazing progression when it comes to all the jobs posted half a million right in January a little over Yeah. 17. Yeah, a little bit north of half a million jobs, which continue to go higher and higher. 

Ricky Baez  01:51
But then on the same breath and the same internet breath, if that’s the thing, we see all these companies that are laying people off. 

Ricky Baez  01:59
So obviously we start to think this doesn’t make sense. And then it hit me. I wanted to put this out there for you. Pete, could it be that maybe the jobs report since we have to wait sometime until the month closes? 

Ricky Baez  02:12
You know, for them to bake the books for us to see the actual true numbers. I’m wondering if we’re just not seeing all the layoffs yet. Do you think we’re gonna see it? 

Pete Newsome  02:22
No, no, that’s no,  it’s real-time. And it’s done. So I didn’t know this during our call, or podcast last week, and went back and did a little research. 

Pete Newsome  02:35
And basically, it’s a collection. It’s a survey. 

Pete Newsome  02:39
It’s a survey that’s done in the prior months, this would have been, I don’t know the exact dates, but probably the middle of January to determine how, what the set number of companies, you know, how their numbers went, and then they extrapolated those numbers into the market as a whole. 

Pete Newsome  02:55
So it is not an exact number that wouldn’t be unrealistic in that short timeframe. 

Pete Newsome  03:01
But here’s the conspiratorial part. Right? We go. We may or may not have been given some information over the past couple of years that by the government by the federal government didn’t actually prove to be 100%. 

Pete Newsome  03:19
Accurate, right? Do you think that that’s the case at all? You know, and I’m talking about some of the things that were reported during COVID. When that was happening, there was inconsistent information reported. 

Pete Newsome  03:33
I don’t think anyone would disagree with that at this point.

Ricky Baez  03:38
No, I think, I think with how quickly different agencies wanted to put information out, there have been some inconsistencies in the information they put out. 

Ricky Baez  03:48
But, Pete, we didn’t need COVID to show us that. Right. I mean, I think we’ve all had, I don’t want to call it a tinfoil hat. But I think we’ve all had that level of skepticism when information comes out. Right. It’s not COVID’s fault. Do you think? 

Pete Newsome  04:02
Well, I think maybe COVID in the numbers that were reported. Maybe it put brought it to the spotlight in a different way. Yeah, so I do. 

Pete Newsome  04:19
It’s just convenient, right that these numbers came out. Right. So this is the I am consciously acknowledging that this sounds conspiratorial, okay. 

Pete Newsome  04:31
And I don’t know that this is what I believe. But I am going to say it is convenient that it feels like the market conditions aren’t great when I speak to my peers and staffing around the country, which I happened to have a call with a roundtable group of executives from. 

Pete Newsome  04:54
Usually, it’s between 10 and 15 staffing companies that are on each month and we get together I’ve known. Have had these folks for years now. It’s a great cross-section of what’s happening in the job market. 

Pete Newsome  05:07
These companies are spread throughout the US, for the most part in major cities, from Portland to LA to Dallas to New York. 

Pete Newsome  05:14
And the sentiment on the calls that hiring has been down in staffing really sees what’s happening in real-time. Now Summit, some of the folks on the call, shared it, they’re having good results right now. 

Pete Newsome  05:31
So again, it my view is also limited, but when I see that the BLS data is gathered from only 147,000. As of now, this was from a CNN article. 

Pete Newsome  05:45
And to that 17 Snap, we got to back up even further, I guess, in wondering what you can trust anywhere. But according to but as of 2017 147,000 businesses are surveyed or surveyed to report what translated into market numbers as a whole. 

Pete Newsome  06:07
And it’s just convenient that it happened right before the State of the Union address. Got it? 

Ricky Baez  06:16
Is it not as convenient, right? It’s a little bit too convenient.

Pete Newsome  06:20
But now we did it. We also acknowledged last week that the number of layoffs had been really public in the tech space. Those aren’t I think I’m looking at a website. I think everyone’s familiar with this by now. Layoffs dot FYI. 

Pete Newsome  06:35
And it shows that all of these 334 layoffs in the tech space have amounted to guests guess what the number is? I’ll ask you because altogether, the layoffs Yeah, of 334 companies, how many layoffs in total? According to this website? 

Ricky Baez  06:55
Alright, I’m just gonna take a random guess, random guess? I don’t know 12,000.

Pete Newsome  07:01
Of that. Well, that’s, that’s really small. So 12,000 certainly wouldn’t move the number at all in the US just wondering, you know, 100, it’s a little over 100,000 101,617, according to this website, I expected you to. 

Pete Newsome  07:16
Well, I expected you to state a number much higher because think about it. If we’re basing any thoughts on this limited reporting of tech companies and the layoffs that they’re having. 

Pete Newsome  07:29
Now we know it goes beyond tech companies, maybe that’s part of it, too. But 12,000 is not even a blip that wouldn’t even move the employment number in a large state.

Ricky Baez  07:40
It’s realizing when I said Pete and yeah, that was a really ridiculous answer. Because I’m thinking every week we hear people being laid off in the 1000s every week, and we’ve been hearing this for what, six, seven months now? Yeah, it’s gonna be more.

Pete Newsome  07:54
Well, this is one of those times where if you were I should know better, I’ve learned throughout the years that if I have a number in mind that I think is surprising. 

Pete Newsome  08:03
And I asked someone to guess what they think it is. They always guess either lower or higher. It always means my number is going to be disappointing, and it’s not going to have the effect I thought I expected you to use, say a number that was close, maybe even as high as a million. 

Pete Newsome  08:22
But now 12,000 I mean, dude, that’s like they got to one company. 1000!

Ricky Baez  08:29
Yeah, yes. I’m actually on the website right now. Again, that’s layoffs dot FYI. I see. Wow. Yeah. So Yahoo. 1600. And wow, look at this.

Pete Newsome  08:41
So I’m saying two things simultaneously, effectively. One is that it is convenient that these numbers are gathered that it’s gathered in a way that no one could really verify, I mean, really verify are released a week before the president’s address to the nation. 

Pete Newsome  09:01
And then also, I’m saying that these layoffs, which give us a feeling that things are bad out there, even though they’re bad for the individuals there, the numbers aren’t great enough to move the market as a whole. 

Pete Newsome  09:17
So there you go. So I wanted to circle back on that because I did say that I did question. Question the 517k. I want to believe I want to be Fox Mulder and believe from 5x files. 

Pete Newsome  09:33
Comment, but I don’t know. What do you think? Do you think the job market is strong right now?

Ricky Baez  09:43
You know, I know what the numbers say. Right? And the numbers look good. But you and I have you and I have a point of view an avenue that nobody else does. Right? 

Ricky Baez  09:54
So let me pause real quick. And let’s talk about what you and I were talking about exactly a year ago. 

Ricky Baez  10:00
Oh, today, we don’t need job numbers to let you and me know where we were going to end up here because we started talking about this four months ago P, we started seeing a lot of recruiters jumping from one place to another because they those organizations thought they needed that was held, and they over hire like crazy. 

Ricky Baez  10:20
And you and I saw that. And we’re like when that starts swinging back the other way and is swinging back now. 

Ricky Baez  10:27
So seeing that happening in these job reports coming out, whatever, whatever kind of skepticism I had before seen all these layoffs and all these job reports coming out, it’s just breaking records and breaking records. 

Ricky Baez  10:45
My skepticism is getting larger and larger and larger. 

Ricky Baez  10:48
Because again, and now I have to question going back to that article, that CNN article in 2017. What really goes behind these, these numbers that we hold? 

Ricky Baez  10:58
So you know, it’s to such a high standard, because we use this to make decisions, right? The media practice up to make decisions to either make people worry or not made people worried about what’s really happening. 

Ricky Baez  11:12
Another question. Now, that’s definitely a tinfoil hat conversation right there. But I guess what I’m saying, Pete, is that and I think you agree as well, for everybody out there listening, when these numbers come out, don’t take them at face value, take a deeper dive, take a deeper dive into what else is driving these numbers? 

Ricky Baez  11:32
Especially if you are an organization that relies on this data to make business decisions that take a long time for the business to employ. 

Pete Newsome  11:41
I don’t know that we’re saying that. I don’t know. I’m, well, look. We need to be able to rely on this data. I think that’s what I’m saying. 

Pete Newsome  11:57
And it’s concerning to think that perhaps we can’t right. I mean, this is a bigger cut. This is not a problem. You and I are here to solve that, you know, trust in faith in government reporting of any kind. 

Pete Newsome  12:14
But I do think maybe that recent experiences have led us down this path to question things we may have not questioned in the past. 

Pete Newsome  12:29
So you said but have we ever been able to trust these things? Well, I think I mean, I didn’t. Yeah, I thought so. But maybe you do need to question it. I don’t. 

Pete Newsome  12:41
So I don’t know what I’m saying. I am saying I’m indecisive. And I’m not the only one either. I mean, there’s an article in the Wall Street Journal that came out last night. 

Pete Newsome  12:50
That here’s the sub, here’s the title. The headline is mass layoffs or hiring boom, question, Mark. I mean, you can’t say it any better than that. Right? 

Ricky Baez  13:01
It came out. Right? That’s it. You can’t get you cannot go wrong with that title.

Pete Newsome  13:05
So in that title of the show, yeah, that should be mass layoffs or a hiring boom, who the hell knows? Why don’t we? Why don’t we say that? 

Pete Newsome  13:12
And I think what maybe what you’re also saying is that you have to use your own. Use your own first-hand knowledge, and in making your decisions as well. 

Pete Newsome  13:26
So we know a lot of companies are on the fence right now, with hiring and trying to wait and seeing but they’re waiting and seeing what everyone else is doing. 

Pete Newsome  13:34
And I don’t know how that game ultimately ends. But you have to make decisions on your own experiences and your own trends that it and not just rely on a third party, regardless of who it is to tell you how you should feel or think. 

Ricky Baez  13:53
Yeah, so we’re seeing the same thing. So I agree, we have to be able to rely on this data. But what I’m saying is yes, I agree we have to be able to rely on it. 

Ricky Baez  14:06
But take a deeper dive to make sure that the numbers you’re looking at, really do affect the decisions you have to make for your organization. Right. It’s so so yes, look at the data, but go beyond the information that you’ve been given and just continue to deep dig to dig deeper, especially like I’m going to check that article as soon as we’re done here. 

Ricky Baez  14:27
You know,  we haven’t had a great moment in job history or we have massive layoffs. We’re getting two sides of that coin at the same time.

Pete Newsome  14:36
Well, so let’s look on LinkedIn right and see the number of people my feed continues to be filled with people looking for employment, and frustrated that they’re not having better success. 

Pete Newsome  14:51
So here’s one of the lines. One of the paragraphs in the article from the journal January’s job report showed employers added 570 1000 jobs nearly triple what economists had estimated. 

Pete Newsome  15:05
Okay, all right, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, the lowest in more than 53 years, which we heard about during the State of the Union. The stronger-than-expected report prompted some forecasters to reevaluate their views. 

Pete Newsome  15:18
Okay, so everyone’s reevaluating their views. But man, I guess now I’m thinking I need to go back and look and see how often the economists who do these forecasts are off by I was that was triple the amount.

Ricky Baez  15:34
Okay, so real quick. So I, obviously have my HR hat on right now. Right? If I was their boss, I’ll be talking to them right now. Whoa, triple. You were off by a triple.

Pete Newsome  15:48
I mean, I assume if you’re an economist who forecasts that you that could fall into the You had one job category of you are off by that much.

Ricky Baez  15:59
You are an economist, right? A weather person can get away with that. You cannot you have that be? Could you actually know what? No, they cannot. Could you imagine if a weather person gets on TV and says it’s gonna be at and really it was 30 degrees, there’ll be fired the next day?

Pete Newsome  16:17
Yeah, it’s, and maybe maybe, maybe we just give everyone the benefit of the doubt and say that it is just all of this is because of the just the weird times that we’re in. 

Pete Newsome  16:29
And I don’t think anyone would dispute that these have been weird times, beginning with COVID. That the weirdness, and that’s just a ridiculous word to use, perhaps, but I can’t think of a better one off the top of my head.

Pete Newsome  16:40
But the uncertain and unusual new ground that everything’s changing, right, the workforce changing the things like an egg shortage. Right. Are we really have an egg shortage? Who would have thought that coming? 

Pete Newsome  16:57
It was coming, but who would have thought that you know, we’d watch a giant balloon float across the entire country and be captivated by that? Right? Not? In the year? 2023? I don’t think that was on anyone’s bingo card. As is, as the memes would go.

Ricky Baez  17:16
That wasn’t on anybody’s radar.

Pete Newsome  17:21
on anyone’s radar, yeah. Well, the balloon is hard to spot, you can see it from the ground. But yeah, they so uncertain times, to say the least. 

Pete Newsome  17:33
But we boy, it makes you really long for a time when we don’t we’re not spending our waking hours questioning what to believe and what not to believe. 

Pete Newsome  17:45
That’s for sure. I mean, although since I already went down this path against perhaps better judgment and bringing up the State of the Union. Did you hear the comment? 

Pete Newsome  17:56
We talked recently about noncompetes and the proposed change there. I did not realize that, that that non-compete existed among those who cook burgers at fast food joints. 

Pete Newsome  18:11
Did you know that one? I did not know that came up, did you not? You didn’t watch it. You didn’t watch the State of the Union.

Ricky Baez  18:18
It’s I waited to read about it in the wall street journal. 

Pete Newsome  18:21
So was the example that the President gave was that the person, who flips burgers, and I think that was his exact word I want to get wrong, is a quote, can’t simply go across the street and work for another burger joint because of a restrictive non compete agreement. And I thought, well, that’s problematic.

Ricky Baez  18:42
Look, I’m sorry, but I do not want my Wendy’s recipe going into Arby’s across the street.

Pete Newsome  18:47
I don’t even think it was it was a recipe. I think it was just the person flipping the burgers. But here’s, but here’s the thing, right, this non-compete issue, I think it’s being debated in Congress now and they’re trying to figure out what to do with it. It’s it. 

Pete Newsome  19:07
It the government is weighing in on something that I think business should settle on its own. And if there are multiple burger joints if we’re to believe that this is a restrictive thing, and that’s in the burger flipping space, then don’t go work for the one that’s off. 

Pete Newsome  19:26
That’s restricting too much. Right. That would be my advice to anyone I know that sounds simple. But let the businesses who often are demanding unrealistic things and not making their place of employment attractive to the workforce, let them suffer the consequences without the government having to step in.

Ricky Baez  19:48
Agreed let the market dictate let the market dictate. But then, but then to come back on the data because right you have to rely on the data of the market. 

Ricky Baez  19:57
You just said a few minutes ago that Yes, you have 517,000 new positions. And you have all these other organizations that are responding to that, at the same time that economists expected three times less. 

Ricky Baez  20:14
So that in itself, I’m See, I’m wondering why organizations don’t slow down? Or if they have stopped to realize and analyze that they were wrong by that much do they should they still respond to these changes? 

Ricky Baez  20:30
And I’m wondering if they really go through the process, or as soon as they get it less adjust. But I guess from my perspective, it’ll have been in HR that makes you really cynical. 

Ricky Baez  20:41
It does because somebody tells you something, and you have to look deeper into it to make sure that that’s exactly what happens, right? People always paint you the picture that paints them in the best light. Well, businesses will respond.

Pete Newsome  20:52
Won’t they? I mean, I think there’s another thing going on right now Walmart recently raised their minimum wage, a couple of dollars. And you could argue that that’s still not a livable wage that I think went from 12. They went from 12 to 14.

Ricky Baez  21:08
Or 12, or 15 was one of those two, but it was a jump.

Pete Newsome  21:12
So that is still a very low, low wage. But then the businesses as I’ve heard it, you know, fast food, in particular, said, well, great, if you push us to a point where we have to raise the wage higher than we can, we can operate with we will need to just automate will replace people altogether. 

Pete Newsome  21:35
Right? I mean, and so that’s a this is going into really uncharted territory with a lot of this stuff. When you think of tech now, you know, here we are, right, we’ve been talking about it for years technology and replacing people. 

Pete Newsome  21:48
And I think for a long time that’s happened in we could go through so many things that technology is replaced. I heard a stat not too long ago, I wish I could quote it right now. 

Pete Newsome  22:00
But it had to do with the percentage of the workforce 50 years ago that worked in manufacturing. It’s like a manufacturing plant, compared to now, and it is a fraction of what it used to be. 

Pete Newsome  22:15
So the workforce has had to evolve. And so maybe it’s not a terrible thing that fast food joints will have will replace people because if they can’t pay a good wage Anyway, well, then maybe those jobs don’t need to exist that what do you think about that?

Ricky Baez  22:38
This is, you know, this is my wheelhouse. I love this conversation. Because that stat that you just gave about the workforce today is a fraction of what manufacturing was 5030 or, you know, a long time ago. 

Ricky Baez  22:53
That’s the reason that is that technology has evolved. We’re where the workforce has evolved to be more efficient. 

Ricky Baez  22:59
So for example, 100 years ago, there was a person an actual human being that was driving an elevator right? Now that nobody does now that’s AI does that. It’s a specific kind of AI right, you tell it where to go. 

Ricky Baez  23:15
So that’s that kind of evolvement is going to happen, right that evolution is going to happen. And Pete you’re saying we’re getting into uncharted territories where there brothers were there, I was just reading an article a Carl’s Jr. Out West, right? For those of you who don’t know, Carl’s Jr. is like that’s like a Hardee’s of the West. 

Pete Newsome  23:37
And the same restaurant, same thing, right, same menu, just different name. I believe they are one and the same. Don’t ask me why there’s a different name. I don’t know that history. 

Ricky Baez  23:46
I don’t know either. But this particular Carl’s Jr. and I saw a video of somebody going to the drive-thru to the police in order, but they’re not talking to a human being they’re talking to a Siri or a Google or an Alexa. And it’s and this person is placing an order. 

Ricky Baez  24:02
This computer is putting the order by asking questions. Back and forth. Do you want tomatoes? Do you want extra this having a conversation with the computer, the computer puts in into the kitchen, completely automated who cooks the food the person drives up? 

Ricky Baez  24:19
There’s no cash because you’re really paid with Apple Pay on the app. Right? As you know, as soon as you drive through, a conveyor belt gives you your food. 

Ricky Baez  24:29
Nobody is working in that restaurant. And right now that’s a concept that is working so well. It’s about to become a norm. People who think that fast food places are a career are in for a wake-up call. 

Ricky Baez  24:44
They’re in for a wake-up call, because a human being inside of a restaurant is going to be as antiquated as somebody operating in an elevator 100 years ago. 

Ricky Baez  24:54
So it’s happening now. The thing is, that people who rely on skills said today, have to be flexible enough to be able to pivot left or right in 510 years. But to dig in your heels, you’re going to lose that fight every day, every day?

Pete Newsome  25:11
Well, again, it’s the government enforcing it people who want to enforce that fast food place to pay a higher wage when they can when there’s a better solution for them in terms of automation. 

Pete Newsome  25:27
That is the reality that you’re describing. But the hope would be that, there’s a better job for the people who would be making that low wage that they can evolve into something else as well. 

Pete Newsome  25:42
So evolution is necessary evolution will happen with technology at a rapid pace, and we know that it’s only getting faster. So, therefore, individuals have to evolve as well. 

Pete Newsome  25:54
That’s probably the harder part of this looking forward to seeing where that goes. And I, you know, I don’t if the economist can get one month to the next, right, then or even close to it, who’s supposed to do that? They’re supposed to anticipate where the workforce is going.

Ricky Baez  26:18
So let me ask you this, going back to the economist question. So if we take a deeper dive, I think you and I really should do some homework here and bring it back for the next episode.

Ricky Baez  26:28
If we take a deeper dive to see how off these particular economists have been in the past 18 months, so let’s say every now and then every two or three months, they’re off like this, then the job numbers are more accurate than we thought. 

Ricky Baez  26:42
But let’s say they’ve been, they’ve been off give or take 1%. And this is the only time that will offer that much. Yeah, I’m gonna scrutinize the living daylights out of John’s reports.

Pete Newsome  26:55
Well, I think what’s weird at this time, is it there hasn’t been. Yeah if you were off in March of 2020, then no one would no one ever any, everyone would forgive you. Right? I mean, yeah, when he kind of was kind of saw things getting weird in January, you know, on a national or international level. 

Pete Newsome  27:17
And some people were paying attention to it more than others. I would assume if you were an economist, you would be one of those paying close attention to it. 

Pete Newsome  27:23
But things change rapidly in that timeframe. And I think, to some degree, it would be interesting to do that research. And are you offering to do that research? I want to, I want to get this out there.

Ricky Baez  27:40
I’m gonna take a deeper dive. Okay, I’m gonna teach you how accurate.

Pete Newsome  27:44
Because you always hear the numbers reported together forecast was x in the actual number why? I think sometimes it’s more sometimes it’s, alas, it’s not consistently one or the other. 

Pete Newsome  27:57
But I think the diff the spread differences. What’s alarming here is they were really wrong. And we don’t know if we have a catalyst for it. Right? Like why were they wrong? That is data? I, I have not seen any reporting on that. 

Pete Newsome  28:13
There because they were wrong. And in a good way, of course. Well, what changed? Because I would tell you COVID is still working against us, not the way we reacted to COVID shutdowns, and the mass layoffs that happened, I think 22 million jobs are lost in the US as a result of that. 

Pete Newsome  28:35
So you have to be really skeptical of gains that are being touted or reported because that’s a huge number. It’s an incredibly large number, and we’re still paying the price for it. 

Pete Newsome  28:51
And I and I think that’s what everyone is ultimately in the business world trying to figure out is, are we in good times or bad? You know, one minute I hear venture capital, for example, has lots of dry powder and lots of money on the sidelines to invest. 

Pete Newsome  29:08
And then in the next breath, it’s well, yeah, but no one is comfortable investing right now because they’re skeptical about the future and what’s going to happen. Well, which is it right? 

Pete Newsome  29:18
Are we in good shape? Are we are we bad? And if there’s lots of cash, we should be able to invest in lots of new opportunities, but yet no one really trusts trust anything. I mean, that’s how it seems to me.

Ricky Baez  29:35
You know, it’s weird that we have to ask this question. It’s weird that we have to see a news article that says, Are we doing good, or are we doing bad? 

Ricky Baez  29:44
I mean, I think if it were doing really good or really bad, our pockets were now people will know. So I guess it depends on who you ask, right? 

Ricky Baez  29:53
If you ask somebody who was just laid off, they’re gonna give you a completely different point of view about that quote, Shouldn’t this somebody who didn’t get cut? Right? So it depends on what you hear as well.

Pete Newsome  30:05
That’s a great point. And you go industry, by industry, it’s different geography. One’s different than the next depending on what’s happening there. 

Pete Newsome  30:13
So maybe that’s, maybe that’s as much of a problem as anything else is we’re trying to round these numbers up. 

Pete Newsome  30:21
And give one answer when you really have to look sector, by sector, in industry, by industry to make sense of it is at that level to see what’s going on. And it’s not a one size fits all answer.

Ricky Baez  30:35
That’s crazy. No, no, yes. And, you know, the other thing, because it’s, it’s while you were saying that I was thinking about this, this article for from 2017 that she was talking about before. I’m wondering, do we have this kind? Um, what? 

Ricky Baez  30:53
I’ve never been through a COVID situation where I will question the information I get from the government, job-wise. Now, I’m wondering, when was the last time we had this kind of a question on these numbers besides COVID, right? 

Ricky Baez  31:07
Because, yes, they will offer three times as much. Now, I’m going to call that a COVID difference, the same COVID difference as what people predicted in March 2020. 

Ricky Baez  31:17
But we have the pandemic, to answer to that. We have nothing to answer this here. So I’m wondering how, how cyclical is this? Is the by the administration? Is it by the recession? I just don’t know, I’m trying to pick off the pattern here. 

Ricky Baez  31:34
Because I know that as far as the real estate boom, and all those other things, they go in cycles. But I’m wondering what the pattern is here. It’s I don’t know if you go through the same process as I do when it comes to that. 

Pete Newsome  31:48
Yeah no, I have no idea. It’s not something I paid that much attention to. We don’t see numbers that have that kind of difference. So well, Ricky, I’m gonna let you do the research on that one. 

Pete Newsome  32:00
Come back. And let us know, let us know what you found. So that would be great. 

Pete Newsome  32:06
Okay, so one more topic for today before we move on, is, I think you saw this article that was talking about leaders and their ability to acknowledge that they don’t know something. 

Pete Newsome  32:20
And I think that’s, is that controversial? Shouldn’t that be a given that to be a leader, you have to show that you’re willing and able to acknowledge when, when you don’t know or you make a mistake?

Ricky Baez  32:39
I’ve been on both sides of that fence. I’ve been on both sides. When I was in the Marine Corps, back then, in the 90s, this is very different. Now. 

Ricky Baez  32:48
The type of leadership that I was around was you never show that you don’t know what was going on with your troops. You never show that. Because it’s different. I understand why that mentality was there. 

Ricky Baez  33:02
That mentality was there. Because in the Marine Corps, the job they do is life or death. And you don’t want your troops to be worried about whether leadership knows what’s going on or not. 

Ricky Baez  33:13
So that was more a let me show confidence type of a situation than actually knowing. Now, I came from that environment. When I got to the civilian world, I quickly learned that’s not the case. 

Ricky Baez  33:26
I quickly learned that, yes, my job is not as life or death as it used to be. And it’s perfectly okay to show how vulnerable you are to the people who report to you. 

Ricky Baez  33:37
Because here’s what happens if you if you’re constantly going out there showing as a civilian showing to your employees, that I know everything. 

Ricky Baez  33:46
I know this, I know that even when you don’t, and you make a mistake that makes you look worse of a person than if you just be honest and say you know what? 

Ricky Baez  33:55
I don’t know the answer to that. But here’s what I do when I coach people, Pete because this question actually comes up quite a bit. When I do coaching for leaders, and they’re afraid of the V word. And the V word is vulnerability. 

Ricky Baez  34:11
There’s a lot of people who are afraid to show how vulnerable they are to their employees. And that’s understandable because you have, you’re supposed to influence your team and your team is supposed to look at you as that source of information that source of influence that source of leadership. But it doesn’t do your team any favors. 

Ricky Baez  34:31
If you keep yourself as a leader keep acting like you’re a computer and you’re not and you’re and you’re not human. And the reason I like for employees to see me is for leaders to show how vulnerable they are to say, You know what, I’m being honest, I don’t know the answer to this, that that that that but I look into it. That has to be part of that conversation. 

Ricky Baez  34:53
It has to be part of that conversation. Because your employees will follow you will have a big lawyer At through your claws if they know you’re just as human as they are, and you make mistakes as much as they are.

Pete Newsome  35:06
Well, I think I agree with you. I think also acknowledging the mistake is as important as anything else. And that’s what people also have a tendency to avoid doing, or certain people. 

Pete Newsome  35:19
I don’t know how I’d even split that up. I know that right now, man, it’s really hard to not talk about things going on with the government. Right. 

Pete Newsome  35:28
But there seems to be an aversion to admitting when you’re wrong about something. And I think when these issues come up on both sides, there, there’s this desire to hold on to whatever claim was made, despite evidence to the contrary. 

Pete Newsome  35:49
And I believe very strongly that if leaders just would say, I got that one wrong. I just, yep. We, whether it was something they passed, supported, passes a law, or supported a belief that they had in the past, right? 

Pete Newsome  36:10
I mean, I think we have there’s a tendency, and with some of these public figures, you just act like it didn’t happen, where the better approach would be to say, Yep, I did it. I said it, I thought it was whatever it might be. Nope, that’s, but that’s not how I think anymore. I’m past that. Here’s, here’s why, and then move on. And why is that a difficult thing to do?

Ricky Baez  36:37
It is the question of a lifetime, the question of a lifetime, because it’s for maybe think, right, because the reason is difficult to do. And I have to and I have to separate the government, people from employees, right? Because I kind of understand why government why that’s it’s difficult for the government.

Pete Newsome  36:58
Let’s not talk about them. Let’s not talk about them. Because we, I think you and I, and probably most people could question their behavior and what they do constantly so.

Ricky Baez  37:13
So why is it difficult for leaders in a regular organization to do that? They’re unsure of their capabilities. they’re unsure. I mean, think about it. 

Ricky Baez  37:24
Think about you, how you live your life, how I live my life, right? If I come home, and I’m wrong about something at home, uncomfortable there, Oh, my bad, I’m wrong about that. 

Ricky Baez  37:33
I don’t have to worry about my family looking at me differently. Whereas from a leadership perspective, somebody people you don’t spend all day with, but most of your day with, and if you’re unsure, as a leader in your abilities to really look like a leader in their eyes, you’re going to shy away from saying anything that says I did something wrong. 

Ricky Baez  37:57
Or I don’t know something because you’re trying to overcompensate with an intellect over anything else. 

Ricky Baez  38:04
Now, a leader who’s comfortable a leader who it’s knows what kind of skills they have and knows what kind of influence they have on their team has to respect the team and should have no problems, saying, I messed up. I messed up. And here’s how I messed up. 

Ricky Baez  38:19
Now, let me pause real quick. Because I’m talking from a leadership perspective. Imagine how that sounds to an employee, a leader who gets up and says, You know what, they take ownership, they learn from it. 

Ricky Baez  38:31
This is somebody that this is an employee who’s going to look at that leader, and it’s gonna connect with that leader and resonate with that leader because everybody who’s on that team has made mistakes before. 

Ricky Baez  38:42
And they’re going to resonate with that, you know, what, they’re not gonna resonate with somebody exactly how you said that, oh, I’m gonna dig in, even though the employees know, this is all wrong decision. And you still dig in, in the face of evidence showing otherwise, you’re gonna lose the respect of your folks. 

Pete Newsome  38:59
Well, I don’t think this is a leadership thing. It necessarily, I think it’s just a human thing. It is where employees, I will tell you, the employees that I trust, or people I trust in my life are those who will be the quickest to acknowledge when they were wrong or made a mistake. 

Pete Newsome  39:23
Because then I know, if that’s hard to come by, then I don’t really know what to believe. Right. And so I think it starts with the premise that no one’s perfect. 

Pete Newsome  39:35
People make mistakes, they do things that they will regret now to different degrees. Not every act is forgivable, okay. I mean, yeah. Within reason, maybe maybe it wasn’t maybe every act is forgivable, but not every act is forgotten or able to be moved past in a certain capacity. Right. So but that that just kind of goes without saying. Here’s an example.

Ricky Baez  39:59
That bagman for Free guy from FTX he admitted he was wrong.

Pete Newsome  40:03
I don’t think you know, he hasn’t, he hasn’t admitted he was wrong. He said he messed up. He’s like, Oh, he is right. He admitted he messed up. He didn’t admit that he messed up to the degree of, of, of some question of fraud and whatever else, right? 

Pete Newsome  40:18
So who knows about that? But yes, some things you can’t look past, for sure. But you were talking, you know, mistakes that happen in the course of, of, of work and life that people change. 

Pete Newsome  40:35
People change their minds, people change their personal perspective on things when they gather new information. I’ll give you a great example I interviewed recently, very recently, and in fact, earlier today, former employee who changed careers and is now developed an entirely different approach to her career as a freelancer, as someone on social media and influencer. 

Pete Newsome  41:07
And in the world of design. It’s a really cool story. And someone I’m a big fan of. But her situation changed. And her perspective changed. 

Pete Newsome  41:17
And so and that’s how life went. Similarly, during the conversation, she was laughing at me, because I’m working at home, something I never would have done back when she was an employee. And we work together so I’m wearing a t-shirt right now. 

Pete Newsome  41:36
Where, you know, she was there when we evolved to casual Fridays, right? Like, they evolved to evolve to casual Fridays. Well, my first, you know, 10 years. 

Pete Newsome  41:49
Out of school, I wore a tie every day. And I mean, my closet still filled with ties and lace-up shoes, and all the things that that I look at now and say, I don’t want to do that anymore. 

Pete Newsome  42:02
I don’t need to do that anymore. I don’t need to require that of my employees are the people I work with anymore. Nor do I need to require them to come into the office. I’ve changed. 

Pete Newsome  42:13
Was I wrong? To do it, then? I don’t know. I mean, that was that was what I thought was the right thing. But yeah, I no longer think that’s the right thing to do, or the necessary thing to do some might. So I’ve changed. 

Pete Newsome  42:25
And so this is someone who hasn’t been around me day to day for the past four years as COVID, you know, hit and we went virtual and made the decision not to come back. We weren’t going to require people to come back to the office. And so she thought it was funny. 

Pete Newsome  42:41
And I see that through her eyes now too. And I’m like, Yeah, I, I’ve, I’ve changed my ways. But my point is good. Yeah, I think so. But my point is, what people do changes, and their perspective changes and information change. 

Pete Newsome  42:55
And if you’ve made a mistake, not the things we’re talking about here mistakes, but when someone has made a mistake, and they’re the first to acknowledge it and say, I mean, I will trust the employee, and I assume that the people I work with would trust me if the mistake maker is the first one to acknowledge it. Right. 

Pete Newsome  43:17
And that is, why does that not happen more? 

Ricky Baez  43:25
100% Pete. If an employee works in a culture of fear, they’re going to work their hardest not for your organization, but to hide mistakes from you. 

Ricky Baez  43:34
Because they don’t want to be next on the chopping block. Right? In I think I shared with you. I shared this with you. But I know if it was offline or on the show, whenever I do a new employee orientation for somebody who’s going to work on my team. 

Ricky Baez  43:48
My new employee orientation consists of this. Yes, let’s talk about all the stuff for the organization. But let’s build relationships, right? Here’s how we work here. 

Ricky Baez  43:57
Never ever lied to me, knowingly never knowingly lied to me. That’s number one. Number two, if you make a mistake, and you know about it, I need you to tell me about it first, don’t wait for me to find out. Because if you come to tell me about it, we’re going to address it. 

Ricky Baez  44:13
We’re going to learn from it. And we’re going to turn that into a lesson. But I want you to be comfortable enough to come to talk to me about it. 

Ricky Baez  44:22
Because now, would there be some consequences that are first, right? If we keep learning from the same mistake over and over and over again, it keeps happening. That’s a completely different conversation. 

Pete Newsome  44:33
But you say to learn from the same mistake over and over.

Ricky Baez  44:36
Because somebody told me that and I’m like, because when I keep learning, I’m like, Yeah, you keep learning but not implementing, right, because that’s what this person told me one time. And I’m like, No, it’s we’re gonna have a different conversation. 

Ricky Baez  44:48
You know, what’s a good example of that? Pete? Domino’s Pizza have we talked about this before? When they did? What did they do? Now? What a Domino’s Pizza Domino’s was, in my opinion, great. Happy, it’s I did not like it. 

Ricky Baez  45:02
But then I don’t know if it was a Super Bowl ad or what it was the CEO of Domino’s got in front of everybody and says, Yeah, pizza sucks. It does be admitted that the ingredients were horrible. 

Ricky Baez  45:14
They didn’t have the heart into it. So the CEO said, we heard all your complaints, we heard everything that you want to see in us in our organization. And here’s what we’re doing about it. 

Ricky Baez  45:25
So he got up in front of everybody and said, We messed up, we were not listening. That’s what you see in new Domino’s restaurants, the piece of kinda, it got better, right, they got better ingredients, and they increase their market share, I still don’t go to Domino’s, I like my Giovanni friend down the street mom and pops, that’s the best. 

Ricky Baez  45:44
But it’s a great example of somebody who you would think will be out of touch because he’s the CEO of the organization. But he got up in front of everybody and said, We messed up, okay, somebody who’s responsible for the success of that organization to say that, right? 

Ricky Baez  46:02
That’s a great example of somebody who shows vulnerability, and how it worked out for that person. That’s how every leader should be. I messed up, let’s fix it, I owe it to my organization, I owe it to my stakeholders. 

Ricky Baez  46:17
More importantly, I owe it to my customer base to make sure we give you the best product ever. And I’m going to make some mistakes along the way. And I’m like, Dude, I’m a buyer of pizza. 

Ricky Baez  46:27
And I still didn’t like it. But still, the point is, the point is, that that’s the kind, of attitude a leader should have. And that’s why this article is so good at talking about how it’s perfectly okay to be vulnerable perfectly okay to say you make a mistake, so long as you learn from it.

Pete Newsome  46:47
It’s necessary to think with a leader in particular. At times, there’s a fine line, though. It’s if the business is struggling, for example, right. You want to tell all the employees that and your customers, the business is struggling. Where’s that balance? 

Pete Newsome  47:12
And I think the willingness to do it is the important part. And knowing when, you know, in how vulnerable to be is irrelevant to Right. 

Ricky Baez  47:27
Like yes, it is a balance. And, you know, it’s I’ve always said this, how you communicate something is just as important as what you’re communicating. 

Ricky Baez  47:37
So, so there has to be a balance, should you not acknowledge that the organization is not doing well? I mean, if it’s the public company employees now, so if they know you want to switch as well.

Pete Newsome  47:48
So, you know, look at layoffs. That’s right. That’s why what I have in mind, a lot of the companies we’ve talked about this to the way they’ve announced layoffs has been criticized. 

Pete Newsome  47:57
But, you know, companies have to think longer term and then just beyond that announcement and the way that message is communicated. 

Pete Newsome  48:05
And I think it’s a risky thing. If you’re just to take Twitter right there because that was so emoted, there’s been so many emotions tied to Elon Musk coming in, and the employees and political views. 

Pete Newsome  48:21
And all of that is really been emotional. And so if I’m Elon Musk, I’m not going to announce Hey, by the way, you know, 5000 people, you’re going to be laid off in the next in about a week. So heads up, right? I probably wouldn’t even be operating at that point. 

Ricky Baez  48:46
You can’t do why the losses are different with the Warren Act, but we’re not gonna go there. I hear what you’re saying. You can’t just do that. Right. 

Ricky Baez  48:54
And that’s a question that normally comes up in my leadership classes. I was like, how honest can I be look saying, hey, if somebody says, Are there going to be layoffs, saying, You know what, as of right this moment, no, but who knows what’s going to happen later on? 

Ricky Baez  49:12
Or you know what, I just can’t talk about that right now. I rather say that than say no. And then a week later it happens.

Pete Newsome  49:19
I will tell you, it’s something that I have gone back and forth on over the years as someone in a position to do. To communicate. 

Pete Newsome  49:32
The state of things in the company in over 17 years, sometimes times sometimes had been better than others to a significant degree sometimes have been bad. 2008 To the fall of 2008 I was afraid to answer my phone from a client because I knew any call that I received was going to be bad news, without exception. 

Pete Newsome  49:55
In March 2020, we lost 35% of our income contractors overnight, and being a contract staffing company, that’s problematic within a week period, and it was very similar. 

Pete Newsome  50:10
So I’ve historically chosen to communicate as much as I can with that because that’s what I want as an employee, but on the other hand, get it. 

Pete Newsome  50:19
I mean, if if you’re, if you know, you’re gonna have to have a layoff at a big company, and you know, and you you, you raise that flag, man, you’re, you’re putting yourself it’s, it’s some exposure going on that they are.

Ricky Baez  50:36
And in luck, it’s different when you’re the head of an organization versus the head of a department. During the pandemic, I was the head of the HR department overseeing self-improvement but I mean, Sears, right? 

Ricky Baez  50:51
It’s hanging by a thread for years. And here, and here’s what I tell my team, right, I will tell my team. Net, do the best you can for this organization, right? But at the end of the day, never ever, ever forget that at any given moment, we can come in in the morning, and this job will not be here. 

Ricky Baez  51:10
Always have a plan B. I’m loyal to you. I’m loyal to you. And I’m not asking for the same loyalty. But I’m loyal to you to make sure that you get everything you need at work. 

Ricky Baez  51:21
But please understand, that is a true possibility every single day, if you operate under those assumptions, you’re going to do a great job. Because when it comes, you’re going to know Rick has been telling me this for years. My team, my team, because we all got wiped out. 

Ricky Baez  51:37
My team was probably the only ones are like yeah, we knew it. Rick has been telling us for years. Right? They wouldn’t be surprised, right? Because I like you said was thinking about the long term. I’m gonna be selfish here, not for the organization. But for my team. 

Ricky Baez  51:54
And you know, this, my biggest might, the biggest thing that I operate off is the HR and HR, the human aspect, right? And, and I always told my team as long as you are performing, and I cannot help you get promoted here and you want to go somewhere else, come talk to me, I know people, I will help you go somewhere else. 

Ricky Baez  52:12
So as long as you have that kind of relationship with your team, you can communicate that but being at the top of the organization is difficult. It’s a delicate dance, you have to dance

Pete Newsome  52:21
Yeah. And we have to acknowledge that a 5000-person organization is very different than a 50 or five-person organization right there which is different than a 500-person organization. So your situation in many cases will dictate what’s appropriate and what makes sense. 

Pete Newsome  52:39
But I think we can agree on the need for the willingness to be vulnerable, which is an important trait. Once again, both for leaders as well as staff, I say it often and I’ll reiterate it one more time here that the employees I value most are the ones who will tell me bad news soonest, in many respects now. 

Pete Newsome  53:07
Well, I shouldn’t say that. The ones who I value the most are the ones who will tell me bad news, along with a proposed solution, or communicate they’ve already solved Yeah, what was the problem? Right? 

Pete Newsome  53:20
That means that’s ideal. Not every problem is solvable. Sometimes bad news is going to remain bad we know that but the earliest you know, you’re aware of it the best chance you have of turning bad into good or at least minimizing so later is the same thing admit when you’re wrong. 

Ricky Baez  53:41
Yeah, just do I mean, it’s not hard. It’s not hard. You know, when you’re wrong, your team will respect you more. 

Ricky Baez  53:48
I rather have my team walking away completely upset at me with the truth and walking away happy with a lie right It’s vast that that’s to me what matters the most and I’ve had those conversations with the where the like they hated what I told them but we got to change later on and you know, have a couple of two for once and it’s all good. 

Ricky Baez  54:07
It’s all about relationships. 

Ricky Baez  54:09
And I think I’m not gonna say we’re gonna beat a dead horse. We see that in every episode.

Pete Newsome  54:13
I think we’ve I think I think the horse is dead. I think that should be, our official ending.

Ricky Baez  54:20
We hearted the production of this podcast, just so everybody’s aware is a speech. Of no horse, it would be completely prohibited to say.

Pete Newsome  54:28
No horses are injured. Yes. Thank you for clarifying. All right, man. Well, thank you for your insight. As always. This has been interesting. I expect I look forward to the research that you’re going to do. 

Pete Newsome  54:42
You do have homework. I did my homework. So now it’s on you. And we look forward to talking about that next week. Thanks for listening everyone. Drive safe. Have a great weekend.

Ricky Baez  54:55
Have a good one and I’m on my way to Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s already. We’re in Florida this evening goodbye.

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