Successful investor, hustler, showman, entrepreneur, and speaker, Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee) gave a resounding speech this year at HR Tech World to an audience of thousands. I’ve heard Gary Vee speak in person on numerous occasions and even had the opportunity to interview him before SalesLoft’s Rainmaker conference in Atlanta.

If you’re unfamiliar with Gary Vee, his story is inspiring. After his family saved enough money, his father purchased a Wine & Malt Liquor store where Gary Vee grew up working. Over the years, he started and grew an amazing following. As he continued to build his readership and following, he began developing his reputation on the speaker circuit as well as investing in startups like Twitter and Facebook. If you can get passed all the “F” bombs, Gary Vee always shoots it straight and keeps his talks on a very raw and truthful level.

This is why I like Gary Vee.

After listening to his talk at HR Tech World, we had to share the 8 Human Resource Truths he dropped at HR Tech World.

1. HR innovation is the future and Gary Vee prioritizes it more than any other industry: Gary Vee puts his money where his mouth is. The largest individual check he’s invested happens to be in an HR startup focused on predictive analytics around retention. Also, as Gary Vee has grown Vayner Media to $150mm company over the last 7 years, he’s been Head of HR more than his role as CEO. Blog post: Why Should HR Have to Own Performance Management, Too?

2. 99% of Businesses Focus More on Revenue Than Their People: This produces decisions focused on 90 day timelines vs. 90 year timelines. When you take the opposite approach and prioritize people, you maintain retention, you maintain speed, and you maintain a positive culture.

3. HR’s Brand Needs Improvement: Gary Vee grew up thinking HR did not have a good brand. It only came to his realization recently. Because Gary cares about brand and positioning, so much so, he has named the HR team at Vayner Media the PET team which stands for People and Experiences.

4. Truly Evaluate and Assess Your Company’s Beliefs and Priorities: Gary Vee’s head of HR has the title: Chief Heart Officer  The Chief Heart Officer sits ahead of the COO and the CFO! That move alone says he and his company prioritize people. Gary Vee challenges every HR leader to truly assess what is prioritized in your organization. Blog Post: 4 Behaviors Proving Performance Management Is a Priority? Ask yourself the question: what is the engine and finish line within the organization. Simply stated: how much does your organization care about your people?

5. There is only one important piece of data to your organization: Gary Vee believes there is a lot of “commodity content” being spewed in the media. Articles such as “X Things Millennials Want” or “Ways to Manage So and So” are a waste. The most important piece of data is knowing what’s important to every individual person within the organization at that time. This piece of data is everything.

6. It’s Time HR Makes the Business Case: Gary Vee pleads to have over 150 CFO’s at HR Tech World next year because the business case is so important to companies. Making a 90 day financial decision to invest in your people will yield returns over the next 24 and 36 months. It’s time that HR start having these conversations.

7. “360 Reviews are the Biggest F&*ing Horse S&%t of All Time:” Gary is not a fan of 360 reviews and he makes it clear. The best HR leaders know that once people find a landing spot after excelling, they go complete defense and tear down everything around them that creates vulnerability for taking their spot. Gary Vee is not alone in this belief. Blog Post: The Fatal Flaw of 360 Reviews.

8. The Key HR Mindset: One of the most important takeaways from the conference is to make sure you have the right HR Mindset. Any leader can gauge it based from one question: Are you bringing more value to your employees than you are asking for in return?

Gary Vee is a provocative, entertaining, and raw speaker. He jolts listeners into thinking differently and that’s a big deal.

Below is me interview Gary Vee in 2016 at Rainmaker Conference.

interview Gary Vee


Here is Gary’s full speech: