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8 Must-See TED Talks for Staffing Industry Execs

Posted by
Pankaj Jindal
November 13, 2021

We can all use a little inspiration and motivation from time to time, which is why we’ve put together this list of 8 must-see TED Talks for staffing industry executives.

1. Simon Sinek — How great leaders inspire action

All you need is the golden circle. According to Simon Sinek in this ground-breaking talk, all a leader needs to inspire followers is the idea of “why.” Sinek examined famous leaders throughout history to see how they were able to inspire their followers and build such a movement or invention. Think of Martin Luther King, the Wright brothers, and Apple. What do they have in common?

Those leaders start by asking and articulating why.

Ready to use this tactic for your company? Instead of selling, inspire. Simon Sinek explains how.

2. Shawn Achor — The happy secret to better work

Culturally, we define happiness through our success, but each time we reach a goal, we move the goal post. This keeps our brain from ever feeling happy or successful. The problem isn’t that we’re unhappy, but we’re limiting our ability to work with our unhappiness. Happiness turns on the learning centers in our brain, making us better at our work.

Shawn Achor says, “Your brain at positive performs significantly better than at negative, neutral, or stressed.”

As part of his research on happiness and success, he’s taught people techniques to help them rewire their brain for happiness. In just two minutes a day, for 21 days, people can completely rewire their brains. Each day, think of three things that you’re grateful for.

Through his research, Shawn found that “90% of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way your brain processes the world.”

Who doesn’t need a little more happiness in their life?

3. Arianna Huffington — How to succeed? Get more sleep

“We [women] are literally going to sleep our way to the top. Literally.” Arianna Huffington doesn’t mince words in this short talk about the importance of sleep. Why has it become a contest as to who is the most busy and most tired?

The majority of Americans don’t get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

More sleep can make us more productive, better decision makers, and happier people. Why not try it?

4. Regina Hartley — Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume

As a staffing industry exec, you may not look at resumes daily, but there’s still an important lesson to learn from this talk. The people that you hire, whether they be company employees or candidates that you’re looking to place, have a personality. To discover that personality, you have to look past the numbers and ask yourself, “what type of company culture do I want to create?”

Over time, it’s easy to get into the habit of checking off boxes: college degree, good GPA, and steady job holder. Check, check, and check. In her talk, Regina Hartley encourages you to look again at those candidates whose resume might not seem perfect upon first glance.

An HR manager herself, Regina talks about candidates falling into two categories: the silver spoons and the scrappers. Those that have been set-up for success their whole lives and those who have found success against the odds.

Who would you choose to hire?

5. Dan Thurmon — Off Balance On Purpose: The Future of Engagement and Work-Life Balance

What do backflips, juggling, and handstands all have in common? Balance.

Being off balance is a reality, so why don’t we embrace it? Find yourself off balance on purpose, instead of off-balance in response to the world around you.

“If you limit yourself to what’s comfortable, you deny yourself what’s possible,” says Dan Thurmon.

We must learn new patterns to improve. Balance is about thousands of small adjustments, not one big change. He also recommends that “if you think what you’re doing now is difficult, it’s time to try something harder.” Once you try something harder, you might find that the other task has become easier to balance.

Dan also talks about finding balance between your five spheres of success: work, relationships, health, spirit, and interests. Anyone can use a little advice about finding balance in their life.

And just wait until the end when he brings out the unicycle.

6. Celeste Headlee — 10 ways to have a better conversation

As a staffing industry exec, you probably talk to a lot of people. Whether you’re networking, at the office cocktail party, or headed into a meeting, small talk is part of the job. Try these tips from Celeste Headless on how to have a better conversation.

She advises that you ask open-ended questions and learn from journalists by starting your questions with who, what, when, where, why, or how. To have a better conversation, you must create space for the answer. Once you’ve posed the question, wait and remain quiet.

“A conversation is a balance between talking and listening,” says Celeste.

Sometimes, the simplest questions reveal the best answers. Next time you’re talking to someone, try “What was that like?” or “How did that make you feel?” These questions require thought and consideration, so you’re more likely to get a more personal answer and insight into that person’s personality.

7. Mary Schaefer — Putting the human back into human resources

It’s as simple as this: “What I’m here to talk to you about today is putting the human back in human resources. I’m here to talk to you about infusing more humanity back into the workplace for those human beings who happen to be employees.”

Mary Schaefer doesn’t waste time getting to the heart of the problem. There’s a difference between treating someone humanely and someone human-ly. Humane treatment is bathroom breaks, while human treatment is recognizing the feelings and needs of humans, such as the need to be appreciated.

But is there a problem? Mary says there is. Research from Gallup has shown that 70% of the American workforce is disengaged from their job.

Mary goes on to offer a few insights into how to improve the way companies implement their human resources department and treating employees as humans.

8. Dan Ariely — What makes us feel good about our work?

Why do people work? That’s the questions that Dan Ariely poses in this TED Talk. And what he found might be surprising to some.

Instead of money, we need to focus on meaning. Dan found that we must “spend some time, energy, and effort in getting people to care more about what they’re doing.” Money and motivation aren’t the same things.

Staffing industry execs are the front line in deciding what a company’s culture looks like. It’s important that you find and cultivate meaning so that it filters through to every employee, consultant, and candidate at your staffing firm.

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